Thursday, December 22, 2011

holly jolly christmas.

Here's a look at our Christmas card this year. We scoured the city trying to find a good brick wall, and ended up taking this right by a drugstore on Thanksgiving. Believe it or not, this was our first take. Way to be on Riley and Elliot!


We did our usual song and dance of setting up the tri-pod and shooting the card ourselves, along with designing the piece. It was fun to put together, and we love our family photo!

So virtual Merry Christmas to you all. I hope the next few weeks are filled with love, fun, friends + family!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

the cat rules the house.

We picked up a new bed for Elliot at Costco.

Seems like we might need to get another!


Poor Ellie!

Friday, December 09, 2011

birthdays rock.

I love birthdays. And I love my birthday. I love that it is near Christmas, because it makes this time of year extra-super-duper special. This year totally rocked, in more ways than one.

Since October of last year, I have been donating blood at the American Red Cross every 8 weeks. And every time I go, I come back and beg and plead Ryan to go with me. So for my birthday, I asked if he'd come- and he finally caved in.  So on Thursday night we both donated. (Minor detail that I forgot my i.d. and had to head home to get it.) Everything went well, and it was a nice way to celebrate a birthday!


Our red donor bandages

When we got home, I was tired from the donation, so I jumped in bed early. [So nice to get extra sleep.] I then woke up 27, with a pile-o-gifts for me!  Ryan left early to grab coffee + pastries, along with two other wonderful gifts. Earrings. And tickets to Death Cab for Cutie! For that night!


Work was hard to get through because I was so excited to go! But had a fun day with coworkers too. I also got a sweet delivery from the hubby.


I got home, got dolled up, and we hit the road. Traffic was at it's worst, so we didn't make our dinner reservations in the city.  But that's ok, Taco Bell was a close second!

The show was to benefit children, and we brought gifts to contribute for Toys for Tots. Ryan and I had a blast picking them out! (A classic set of Lego blocks and a doll with some accessories.)  Since this was a benefit show, the average age in attendance was 40. In fact, patrons right near us were knitting, and grading papers.


Death cab was wonderful. And the venue was nice- easy to see the band, and comfy seats. It was a fun way to celebrate my birthday.


I thought at that point, we'd head home.  But Ryan had other plans.  We got in a cab and ended up in the Tenderloin. Yikes.

But, to the super cool bar, Bourbon and Branch. If you haven't heard of this place, it is a speak-easy type bar. So it isn't marked- here is a photo of the place.

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And to get in you need to make a reservation, and get a password. So the gang told me to knock on the door, say the super secret password, and we were in. The place is adorable- especially the bow-tie wearing host that greeted us. They only serve drinks, but legit drinks. In fact, it is a rule that you can't order a cosmo. Ha!

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After two hours of fun, we walked back to the car and headed home. We tried to snap a photo, but this was the best we got.  Should have taken our x-shot 2.0!


The next morning I was treated to a delicious breakfast from Ryan's parents, then followed by a slurry of visitors. We made dinner at our house, popped the champagne- then hit the road to a local dueling piano bar.


Us girls had a blast, and we were thankful Ryan was our DD. But the piano players need to get with the times and learn the songs we requested (T-Swift, Bieber, Queen) - come on now!

So there you have it- a wonderful way to welcome 2-7!  Thanks to all my wonderful friends and family who helped make my day awesome!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

our puppy.

Not much to say today- but I wanted to leave you with a photo of our puppy.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

no self control.

When it comes to TV on DVD (or Netflix), I have a major problem.  I get sucked in and can't stop.  After one episode, I want to watch the next, and then the next, and so forth.

Ryan suffers too. I remember in college we got hooked on Lost and spent a good day starting, and nearly completing, a season.

My thought process is, I am going to watch it at some point, so may as well be now.  Total hours spent on the show will always be the same : )

I mentioned a while back I re-watched Felicity.  It was grand.  But, I'm on to new things, in the form of a Lifetime Original, Army Wives! (I have my buddy Brie to thank for it!) I'm not going to publicly admit how quickly I've progressed in the series, but I will say it's great. And I'm hooked. I even found myself on the Army website yesterday.  Yes, I may have a problem.

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But with the cold weather, and dark nights, curling up for some good TV is always fun.

Friday, November 25, 2011

happy thanksgiving!

Hope everyone had a lovely & relaxing Thanksgiving! And hope the food coma wasn't too bad today.

This year Ryan and I stayed put and had our first on-our-own Thanksgiving.  Usually we are flying or driving somewhere to spend the holiday with family.  And while we missed everyone dearly, it was nice to get to relax at home.

We started the morning off by making breakfast. On the menu was pumpkin pancakes, bacon, eggs, hash browns and mimosa's.  A great way to start the morning!

The kids were also thrilled that we were home on a Thursday. It's the little things.




We took our gourmet breakfast and parked it on the couch to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.  But we cheated- and had it recording for awhile before it started.  So we got through it fairly quickly.

The weather started to clear up so we dressed and cleaned up the kids so we could shoot our Christmas card.  I wanted to get it done, so was happy that the weather cooperated.  The photo will be revealed once we send them out, but let's just say Riley was not having it.

After we got back we got on iChat and talked with the fam.  Even was able to watch a dance performance from my bro.  Gotta love technology.

Then it was time to eat dinner.  But we cheated this year.  When discussing what we wanted to do for dinner, we decided that cooking a Turkey was not the way we wanted to spend the day.  So we thought we'd eat a slurry of Trader Joe's specials.  We ended up with some good grub: Turkey meatballs, sweet potato fries, mash potatoes, gravy, green beans, stuffing, crescent rolls and cranberry sauce.


The best thing about our meal? It took about 25 minutes to prepare. We even planned it out.



We also bought Riley and Elliot a turkey dinner. Theirs took about 30 seconds.


The result? It was fabulous!  Everything tasted great- and we didn't have to slave away all day!  So thank you Trader Joe's for dinner!

Lastly, I leave you with what we were most thankful for at dinner.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

dressing up.

Our friend's wedding this past weekend was ridiculously awesome. They had popcorn. And cake-pops. And blue gin & tonics. So I imagine that I will be talking about it for awhile. They also had a photo booth- and this was my first wedding-photo booth experience.  So fun!

My friend and I hand-crafted all of the props, so I was extra excited to get to use them.  I had my eye on the Princess Beatrice hat. Elliot did too.


She also liked the tea-party hat.


Yes, I torture my pets with embarrassing pictures.

But I do it to Ryan too, so it is ok.


I digress. I was so excited to use the photo booth, so I grabbed Ryan, grabbed my hat, and instructed him to grab a prop.  What does he pick? Black-rimmed glasses.

Here is normal Ryan.



Here is Ryan in disguise.


 Geez. But, it was fun had by all!


Monday, November 14, 2011

somewhere over the rainbow.

When Ryan was an intern, he met Kevin.  Once he started full time, we attended a work-Christmas party where we met his girlfriend Dani. The first thing we both remember about her was she grabbed Ryan's hand, after spotting his wedding ring, and mentioned to Kevin that he needed to start hanging out with Ryan more. We both thought it was adorable. Later that night Dani and I bonded over lines from Teen Witch. It was a great night.

This past weekend we were lucky enough to attend their wedding.  It was nothing short of spectacular- but more importantly, showcased just how in love the two are and how the world is right when they are together.

I wish I had 10,000 photos to post. But, without our good camera in tow, my iPhone and pocket canon just weren't doing the job.  So, I decided just to soak it in with mental images (I know, a horrible thing to say coming from a photo-addict).

I did, however, capture this video of their father/daughter, mother/son dance. You can see how drop-dead gorgeous the bride was. How dapper the groom was. And what a talented husband I'm lucky to have.


Thursday, November 03, 2011

we've got the travel bug.

With 2012 quickly approaching, Ryan and I began talking about our summer '12 worldly adventure.  We've tossed around a few places: Greece/Turkey, Czech/Germany/Switzerland, UK, etc. Yup, mostly Europe has been discussed at this point. We want to go to Thailand, but we've read it's best to go between Nov. and Feb. and frankly we won't be ready to go by then!

So I ask, anyone traveled to any of these places, or does anyone have a better suggestion?  We are both so excited to get our travel books and start planning!

Sign me up! | Source

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

dressing up, morblog style.

I hope everyone had a fun & festive Halloween!  We had a great time at our place.  My mom was in town (nice to have her around!) and our friends came over for dinner- we had a family favorite, Cincinnati chili.  So yummy!  We also had our annual showing of Teen Witch. We had basically no trick-or-treaters, and ended the night with a musical serenade.

Since we had a low key holiday this year, we didn't dress up.  I know- crazy!  It was nice to not have to run around town, but I do love to put together a good costume.  Since I have nothing new to share, I thought I'd reminisce on years past.

I've always gone all out with my Halloween costumes, even pre Ryan days. Check out this costume duo with my childhood BFF, Laverne & Shirley-


See.  It's not a joke.  I take costumes pretty seriously.

For our first Halloween dress up as a couple, Ryan and I went as Spider-Man and Mary Jane. And yes, Ryan had a spider-wed blaster.


A few years later we enlisted Scott to join us, and came as Harry, Ron and Hermione.  We did this costume about a year before it became popular- so it was fun!

We went to a party that year in Chico, and when we walked in, the whole room was silent because they loved our costumes.  It helped that Ryan looked slightly like Daniel Radcliffe.


All handcrafted by moi, and love that Ryan and Scott were on board!


The next year we channeled our love for the Beatles and went as John Lennon and Yoko Ono. For my inspiration, I went with their wedding garb.

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And after scouring Chico, we came up with this:


Alone, people thought Ryan was Howard Stern. I get it.

A few years later, we debuted probably my favorite costume, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. For those of you not familiar, they are the family on TLC that has 19 kids, and counting.

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We went as them when she was preggars with the 19th.  I've been intrigued by this family for years, so I was so excited to go as them. I loved this costume for the extra props.


I baked their family recipe, Tater Tot casserole, and we printed each kids photo, and put them in Ryan's wallet.  Slightly creepy to print, but was so great to pull out.  We even memorized the kids names.  Check us out!

For my baby bump I put a bike helmet under my shirt, here is a better view:


And last year, we went as Doug Funnie and Patty Mayonnaise.  A childhood favorite. We even had the banjo. Oh snap.


So there you have it, Halloween's of yesteryear.  And, while we are chatting Halloween- check out these pumpkins Ryan and I carved about nine years ago.


Needless to say it took awhile. And isn't Marge the coolest?

Lastly, while Ryan and I didn't dress up- our kids did.  I leave you with Elliot and Riley, the cows.


Hope your candy was plentiful- and happy first day of November!

Monday, October 31, 2011

our house needed new jewelry.

I mentioned that last weekend we tackled a few items on our to-do list.  One thing I've been dying to do since we moved in is update our front porch area. It was fine- just not very glamorous.  The main point of change needed- the porch light.

The house came with a flood light as a porch light, that was motion censored.  It was ugly. Harsh. And reminded me of a light that would be used at a prison to catch escapees.

This is the best photo I have of our house in its original state.  Don't let the green tree and blue sky fool you.  But if you look at the porch you can see the light.  But it doesn't pack-a-punch- so it had to go!


We stopped at Lowe's and Home Depot- but couldn't find a light that we liked.  We went to Osh, and found one we both thought would work. Since Ryan was installing the fixture, he had to be onboard! And being under $50 we were sold.

My thoughts on porch lights is that they are your houses jewelry.  And like all good diamonds- the bigger the better.  Too many people suffer from small-porch light syndrome.  But not these two, anymore!

Ryan was tasked to hang her up.  (After turning off the electricity of course.)  And like all good house projects, this one came with many hiccups.  Our electrical box is vintage 1960's so it needed some extra love to get our light up.  But Ryan stuck with it, and we got her up just in time for our trick-or-treaters!

Isn't she pretty?


And the finished porch, in fall mode of course!



So much better!  The next things on our list for the porch is to relocate the mailbox, and I'd love to fill the dirt pit to the right with concrete.  We also need to repaint the house.  Ah, so much to do!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

yuck!

Ok, ok- this isn't a photo for the 30-day photo challenge.  Nice one Christina on making a proclamation with no follow through.  Give me a few days...

However, this weekend we were Weekend Warrior's, and tackled and started many fun projects. This included a handful of trips to Lowe's and Home Depot.

I was getting paint mixed at Home Depot, and the pre-teen girl in front of me was getting these four colors made:


I can only imagine that each bright color is going on one of four walls in her bedroom.  As Ryan stated, she is going to regret that in a few years.

But, alas, it is only paint.  And kudos to her dad for taking her and not saying a word about her poor taste in paint colors.  Not sure if I could do that! (Although I know my parents did the same when I opted for the brightest yellow know to man in my room- but at least it was the same color on all four walls!)

Hope your Monday went well- Elliot, Riley and I just finished watching Once Upon a Time on ABC. Enjoyed by all!

Friday, October 14, 2011

thirty day photo challenge.

While pinning on pintrest, I came across a great idea. (Well I suppose most things on pintrest are a great idea...) It's called the 30 Day Photography Challenge.  Awesome. After seeing this, I knew I wanted to take part for a few reasons. a. I run out of photography ideas b. The only way to get better at photography is taking pictures c. blog content.

Yup, I've been slacking, and I thought having daily (or a post with a few days of photos) would help me get back in to the blog song and dance.  So for the next 30 days, or 60, or however long it take me to get through the list, we will be seeing photos related to these themes:

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I can sense the excitement!  And I can already tell you I don't quite know what to do for Day 13. And, I'm hoping I can find a way to make my feet look small for Day 18. So folks, have a happy weekend, and stay tuned for the first installment- my self portrait...

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

my first pintrest creation!

If I haven't said it before, I'll say it right now- I'm addicted to Pintrest.  I love it. It's like a light version of a blog- just the photos. I've found some great ideas through the site.  I also love the graphics about Pintrest that you see while browsing:

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But then you'll see images like this, and then you remember that the point on Pintrest is to actually make things, or inspire you to create.

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So I decided to make one of my Pins, an autumn wreath.

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Isn't it so cute?  And the blog where she originated, Little Things Bring Smiles, had the instructions for the wreath, along with how to make the rosettes.

So on Sunday Ryan and I went to Michael's and Joann's to get the goods.  I had a coupon for Michael's so the grape vine wreath base was only $3.  The felt they had at Michael's wasn't quite the color I wanted, so I went to Joann's and picked up a yard of a mustard color.

I then turned on the TV, and got my crafting on!  As the tutorial states, just use a CD to create a pattern.


Then, cut out the circles


And yes, a Pumpkin Spice Latte helps! Then create a spiral out of the circles.


Roll them from the outside, in- and you're left with these cute little guys:


I didn't glue the bottom, since I knew they'd be glued to the wreath.  Once I had all the flowers made, I heated up my hot glue gun, and arranged the roses around the wreath.  After the layout was how I liked it, I glued them down.

And now our front door looks a bit more like the season!




It was fun to craft, and I'm excited for my next project!
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