Merry Christmas!

I hope you had a good one.  I hope it was full of remembering the Savior, singing songs about Him, service to those in need, an abundance of sweets, beautiful colors and pretty lights, time spent with those you love the most, kindness to strangers, lengthy naps, ski days, oversized sweatshirts with comfy leggings, excited children, old friends, ridiculous traditions, sentimental movies, praying your Amazon items make it on time, reading new hardbacks, and eating huge dinners—because isn’t that what this is all about??

Ours was lovely. Can’t say I had all of the above, but enough to make me happy as can be and feel like I just having everything I need in life and so much more. Camryn had a high fever all Christmas day which was pretty sad because we had so looked forward to her being so excited and saying “wow” in the ridiculous way she does, and pushing that shopping cart around that we got her from Toy ‘R Us that she picked out herself, and doing her jumps for joy when she got “TEATS!!!” (treats) in her stocking.  But instead she spend most of the day sad and curled up in her grandpa’s arms.  (That girl is so in love with her two grandpas and has both of them totally wrapped around her fingers.  I love watching her make my dad laugh and call her the most animated toddler he’s ever seen, and watch Tanner’s dad chase her laps around the kitchen to exhaustion.)  Two of Tanner’s nieces were also really sick and were quarantined to the basement when they came over, and when you are 8 and 5, being sick and stuck in the basement on Christmas is just the kind of thing that can make you feel like the world is over.  Poor things.

But on to something happier, I have the best gift giving husband in the world!  He seriously is the sweetest thing, it kills me.  If I married someone more practical and frugal, I would totally be in the kind of relationship where we agree to forgo gifts and save the money for something else or put it towards furniture or a car payment or just buy clothes and shoes we need or something.  But that isn’t who Tanner is.  He loves giving gifts and is so thoughtful about it.  His first gift to me was a box full of 5 different ‘options’ for a little 3 day trip for us to take together next month (because I’ve been dying to go on vacation).  He probably should have known better than to give me choices, because I’m in agony over here trying to decide like it’s life or death.  I might have to have him just decide for me.  And also. . .

He bought me a kindle paperwhite!  I’m really excited about it.  It’s one of those things I resisted for a long time (like my smart phone) but I think once I start using it, I’m going to fall in love and wonder why I wasn’t dying for one in the first place. Does anyone have one and have advice for how they buy and read books?  I know the library lends out ebooks but I wonder how good their selection is?  Or if it’s worth it to pay for an Amazon prime account to access the free books they offer through that–again, I wonder how good the selection is?  I don’t have a lot/any money to be spending on books so I’m wondering what the best way to go is and if I can get away with never paying for ebooks.  Either way, I think I will do a lot more reading this way which makes me happy because I haven’t been doing very much of that.  I also need to hurry and learn to like audiobooks because I could be going through a lot of those while I bookbind.

Anyway, I need to be more like Tanner.  I’m pretty lame and hardly give any gifts and I think I should be a lot more thoughtful and giving.  I’m committing to get more into holidays!  I can try to blame it on finances, but really, it’s my practicality that always stops me.  I usually just like to sit back and enjoy the awesome plans, preparations, meals, and presents provided by our generous parents.  Since they do so much to make our Christmas’s great, I feel like I don’t really have to, but it wouldn’t kill me to try a little harder.  Next year I’m planning ahead!  Next year I will start shopping before it’s too late to have anything shipped!  Next year I will give thoughtful gifts to people that I love but could get away with not getting them anything.  Next year I will put up a tree before December is half over! And next year, heaven forbid, if the stairs align and this fire lasts I may even send out a Christmas card. Watch for it people, we’re going places.

I digress, so lets just skip to pictures. Some of these I stole from Thanksgiving, mostly because I felt like Nolan’s cute face should be included.

Camryn @ toys ‘R us, our new winter playground/Lauren with Ruby giving a master crusty/talking to missionary Anne in Tokyo

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Sorry Camryn, we don’t like this place either, but sometimes we’re desperate/Big grandkid gift that stays at grammy’s house: car.  Don’t camryn and max make a cute couple?/sick and sleepy in papa’s arms

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My husband is SO GOOD LOOKING!!/ O Christmas tree/ my brother’s beautiful family/ mom

xmascollage3 my mom wraps things cute/ nephew Nolan–remember how he was a huge baby?  he thinned out quite nicely/my pretty sister

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Ryan and Kelsey, Zach and Alison, Anne, we missed you guys!!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night

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7 quick takes

Linking up for 7 quick takes!

1.  I feel like I’ve discovered a major secret of life:  You can put whole chicken breasts in the Kitchen Aid with the regular attachment, and in less than 2 minutes you will have perfectly shredded chicken to put in that casserole, taquitos, soup, whatever.  Isn’t that awesome??  Pin that, people.  And think of me and be grateful every time you do it for the rest of your life.

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side note–almost everyone who comes to our house comments on how cute our ice blue kitchen aid is.  Well, my dad came over for dinner a while ago and one of the first things he said is–“Wow!  that kitchen aid is really ugly”.  Thanks dad.

2.  Tanner got an interview offer in Florida.  So forget what I said about Kansas City being a pretty much done deal–this might be a game changer.  You know I love the snow, but I wouldn’t hate warm temperatures all year long and being 10 minutes from the beach.  Wouldn’t hate that at all.  We’ve scheduled an interview (not til February)  and have more research to do before we decide if he’ll go, but it’s a possibility!

3.  The internet is harassing me with “Last-minute” gift ideas, and I’m like what?  Last minute is still 4 days away.  Calm down.  I haven’t purchased or wrapped a single present, but I am committing to reform because I decided I am way too lame when it comes to holidays and it wouldn’t kill me to put forth a little effort.  That’s all.

4.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my etsy shop!   I was going to do a whole post on how much has happened with it this year, but I don’t think that’s going to happen, so the quick version is that I’m so excited for what I think this could turn into.  It was so fun having the shop busy busy busy through the holidays, and I have big plans for 2014!  Thank you so much to all of you that have supported my shop either through purchasing items or just liking, sharing, and encouraging my work.  It means a lot!

5.  The Daybook isn’t on my list of must-reads, but I do read her from time to time, and just about died when I read this post about their lovely treehouse cabin for two getaway, and just go read that and tell me you are not dying inside to go do that??  And then, just in case you are overcome with blogger jealousy–go read this post because I think it’s always good to have these kind of reminders that people’s lives aren’t the perfect edited version you see on the internet.

6.  I feel like a lot of people I know try to blog, but every time they post they are saying how they wish they were better about doing it more often.  Might I suggest joining the 7 quick takes link up?  It’s a really good method I think for those who having a hard time just getting something down.  You might even try journaling that way.  Every Friday just get 7 things down, no matter how short or fast.

7.  I was trying to post a video, but it’s not working, so here’s some picture from Tanner’s phone of me and my people

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Have a good Friday!

big t.v.’s and icy stairs

This thing happened and it’s that we got a gigantic t.v.  I really don’t like it at all, but it makes my husband happy and sometimes I do things that make him happy just to be a good wife I guess.  The t.v. we’ve had since we got married has a screen that is roughly the size of a standard sheet of paper.  Tiny, you might call it.  And Tanner has always been dying for a new one, but the size of our apartment (tiny) and the amount of our discretionary income (also, tiny) have always just by default kept us rocking the tiny screen.  But as of late, he got into his head that he really wanted a bigger screen (he started watching more football is probably what did it) and he started rearranging our furniture and measuring square footage.  He found his dream on KSL for $60 and I couldn’t say no.  

Now, I knew it was going to be bigger, but I had no idea how massive this thing was actually going to be.  This is not a flat screen my friends.  It took four guys to get it up our stairs, the screen is literally about 10 times the size of our last one, and it looks completely ridiculous in our tiny living room.  I’m embarrassed, really.  At first it was placed so that it was the first thing you saw right when you walked in the door, like–BAM.  HELLO!  Welcome to our home.  We moved it to the other wall, which is better, except that makes our couch so close to it that I feel like I need to push the couch back 6 feet to watch anything and. . . that’s not possible.  So really it’s just ridiculous you guys.  But my husband loves it and let it go down in history and on my tombstone that I am the best wife ever and my husband is lucky to have me right?  right.  And the other thing is that we are moving in 6 months and several people have asked if we will be moving it with us, and the answer is–ha.  absolutely not.  We will be selling it for more than we paid for it.  So, I can live with anything for 6 months right?

I would show you a picture but I’m still embarrassed so I’m not quite there yet.

On Friday night after the ward Christmas party–which was seriously the most diverse talent show I’ve ever seen in my life–we pushed the couch back as far as it would go to watch Parenthood on on-demand and during the most intense part, we heard a thump-thump-thump X7, and I, knowing that sound all too well, rushed outside to make sure that whoever had just fallen down our metal stairs of death didn’t have a broken back.  It was the Dominos delivery guy.  And he was not happy.  I asked if he was okay and he was like “NOOO I’m not okay!!!”  and starts going off about how dangerous that is and how someone is going to break their butt and sue our landlord and how they’ve got to do something about that.  Not like yelling at me or mad at me, just complaining to the universe in general in a really whiny way, and I could just tell this guy was miserable enough delivering pizza on a Friday night on icy roads in below freezing temperatures–and then something like this just tops it off.  Poor guy.  Not gonna lie, we did have a really good laugh at his expense once I’d shut the door, but still, we pity the man.

On a completely unrelated note, for those who might be wondering, we are pretty much 100% going to KCUMB in Kansas City.  Tanner has had 2 other interview offers, but after thorough research, KCUMB is a better school and he would almost certainly choose it over the other ones even if they did accept him, so he opted not to go to those interviews.  It seemed really weird to turn down interviews when we had been working for them and waiting for them for so long, and it seems like most people choose between a bunch of schools that they interviewed at, but it didn’t make sense to pay the money to fly out there when we already had a better offer.  The one school we were waiting on that he might have taken over KCUMB was Midwestern in Chicago, but he just got a rejection letter from them last week :(.  SO!  Onward to Missouri!  We are so excited.  And we just sent them a big fat check in the mail to reserve our spot (which will seem skinny skinny skinny compared to some other checks that we’ll be writing them, but lets no think about that).

and now I’m going to go have some ice cream with my love

go and have yourselves a lovely day

the weary world rejoices

It’s easy to forget the reason for the season and nothing helps me remember better than the song O Holy Night.  Let us rejoice, our Savior was born!  Is there anything more worthy of celebration than the arrival of the Savior of the World? Let all within us praise his holy name.

O Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Til He appeared and the Soul felt it’s worth

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn

Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night, O Night, O night divine!
O night, O Night, O night divine!

Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name

Christ is the Lord, let ever, ever praise we
Noel, noel! Oh night, oh night divine!
Noel, noel! Oh night, oh night divine!
Noel, noel! Oh night, oh night divine!

(sing it Carrie.  this is my favorite version: here.  Though the pictures are awkward, so just listen, don’t watch)

Snow!

Snow snow snow!!!

Oh yea, winter comes with SNOW!  I kind of forgot, what with all the warm days, and then the gloomy/overcast/rainy days.  I’m something of an obsessive weather-checker, especially if I’m waiting for something–like colder, warmer, or snow, but for some reason I haven’t lately and woke up to surprise snow which is way better than expected snow come to find out.  I took Camryn out and about in it and wish that right here it was time to comment on the wonder and astonishment that lights up the eyes of a child seeing snow for the first time in their memory, but. . . if I’m being honest (always am) it was much closer to confusion with a side of grumpy.

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(ya, it’s too big and she often gets mistaken for a boy, but guess who isn’t paying for a new coat next year or for my next child be it male or female? me.)

And now, with all this snow, I just really really badly deep down to my gut and bones and fingertips and creaky knees–all the parts really want to be on a mountain skiing right now.  Do you think my family would get mad at us if every time we come to visit from Kansas City, we spend the whole visit up at the ski resorts?  I mean, they are more than welcome to join us, but there is no doubt we are going to miss these mountains in a bad bad way.

I’ve had the travel bug really bad lately.  Perhaps a combination of it being a long time since I’ve been somewhere I’ve never been before, pouring over atlases as I make a dozen map journals, and watching The Amazing Race.  Gets me every time.  I have peoples to visit in New York City, Miami, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and San Diego, and if it were up to me, we’d just take a nice little drive around and hit every last one of those.  Instead we’ve been talking about a week-long Seattle-Portland roadtrip.  or Tanner suggested a ski trip instead and that just might’ve squeaked ahead in the runnings for me at the sight of this snow!

are you bored yet?  Sometimes I’m boring, sorry.

lately. . .

we had a lovely Thanksgiving with all the right foods and plenty of leftovers.

we finally got over croup and then more croup and then colds all around.  I’m already stir crazy and it’s only day numero tres of the first month of winter.

I also finally got to meet (not hold, but still) my new nephew Jett.  His mother wasn’t letting anyone hold him for fear of illness and says he won’t attend church until March which I think is smart smart smart and all you ladies with your 7-day-olds/2 week olds/anything younger than 3 month olds especially if it’s winter in sacrament meeting are CRAZY.

I got to watch my niece dance the part of a sugarplum in the Nutcracker and it was lovely.  Next year she wants to be a party girl and I’m going to be reeeeally sad if I have to miss her being a party girl!

Tanner worked 17 hours on black friday with double pay because it was a holiday and a call shift which was really really awesome because double pay on a day that doesn’t even feel like he’s working on a holiday is the best of both worlds.  I probably won’t feel so awesome about his 7 a.m.-7 p.m. call shift on Christmas day, but for now–yay for a fat paycheck!

I’m on an organizing frenzy.  I’ll tell you about it later.

We had a lot of fun at a holiday party thrown by some old friends from high school who were in town for Thanksgiving. I heard somewhere recently that everyone needs old friends and new friends and I think that is so right. I love those people. They’re always good for a laugh.  There was much sugar coated popcorn eaten and a white elephant exchange full of re-gifted wedding presents, an off-color novel, and one tacky Christmas lamp.  An astonishing number of these friends married each other just like Tanner and I did. Almost all of them have dogs, 4 of whom (the dogs, that is) attended, half of them in Christmas sweaters which is cute.  But not one single person there has a child or is even with child that I know of.  Which made me wonder if maybe my commitment fears are a little mixed up because over here?  We are just not ready for a dog.

 

Over and out.  Enjoy the snow!