Monday, December 29, 2008

I Finally Did It!

I have been quilting for a little over a year now, mostly baby blankets and other baby stuff for friends and family. I finally decided to channel my quilting skills into making a real grown-up sized quilt. I made this one for Brett's mom for Christmas. I'm quite proud of it. ;-)

Christmas Week(end)

Brett and I each had a five day weekend for Christmas which was WONDERFUL. Actually, Brett is off from school for 2 whole weeks, although he is still going in to see patients on certain days. We got even more snow. I swear there was at least a rock solid (and I really mean rock solid) foot of snow on the ground outside just from the past week. We are handling snow removal for our neighbors while they are out of town. They conveniently picked a very snowy week to be away, but we don't mind because they're good neighbors. Here is my snow-shoveling husband out clearing the walks on Christmas Eve:

I was so excited to FINALLY have a white Christmas that I just had to take a snowy picture in front of our tree in our front yard.

Later that day we went to see the movie Four Christmases, which Brett & I can totally relate to. Then we drove all over town looking for a restaurant that was open for dinner. There were surprisingly few restaurants open for Christmas Eve dinner. After dinner and a movie we returned home to make some cut-out cookies. Brett & I have always just called them sugar cookies, but everyone in Iowa seems to call them cut-out cookies, so I will call them that too. :)

Christmas morning we slept in. It was wonderful. Then we went out to see what Santa had left under the tree:

(lovin' the bed-head)

Santa even brought something for Moose:

We hung out, relaxed, watched a Christmas Story a few times and made our own Christmas dinner. I don't have any pictures of that.

Friday we did our part to keep the economy going ;) by heading out for some day-after-Christmas shopping. I'm afraid I don't have a picture of that either, but we had a good time.

The rest of the weekend Brett & I focused on cleaning and getting more organized. I am especially proud of my completely re-organized closet:

I hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

We Haven't Blown Away (Yet)

I am having a hard time believing that today is the first official day of winter, because we have been hit hard by the winter weather already. It all began on Thursday with lots of snow, sleet, and of course freezing rain to go on top of and solidify all of the snow we already had on the ground. Yesterday Brett was kind enough to go out and de-ice my car that had been sitting outside since Thursday night. The snow was so solid that this huge chunk came off in one piece off of the roof of the car:

Everything outside is completely covered in ice...

Even this bird house has a giant icicle:

We could even pick up giant chunks of snow in our yard because everything is so frozen:

Today it is very cold and VERY windy. When I woke up this morning the air temperature outside was -7 degrees with -32 degree windchill... I think I am just going to stay inside where it is warm and cook some chili. :)

NOTE: For those of you receiving e-mail blog updates, I added a cool plug-in to the blog so that it looks like it is snowing. If you want to check it out, you can go here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Toys

This year, in lieu of an office gift exchange, we decided to pool our money and buy toys for needy children. My co-workers Amanda and Jordan and I went to lunch and afterward went shopping for the kids. We had lots of fun together, and it feels good to help out a good cause.
Racecars for the boys:

And a cart full of toys:

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Last Weekend

I figure that since this weekend is pretty much over, I should probably blog about last weekend before time gets away from me.

Thursday was bowling night, as usual. Brett was on fire that night and bowled five consecutive strikes! We have since learned that this feat is called a "five-bagger" in bowling lingo.

Brett's look of pride after bowling five strikes:

Friday night was the much-anticipated Christmas Craft night at my house. My friends Meggan..:

...and Kelly..:

...came over for some food, wine and Christmas crafts. If that sounds to you like a winning combination, let me tell you- it is.

We made all kinds of ornaments, including these cool round ornaments made out of scrapbook paper:

and reindeer magnets made out of Christmas light bulbs:

Then Meggan had the idea to make boy & girl reindeer, so we added bows to some of them:

We also made more of these ornaments from Homemade by Jill that I previously blogged about.

On Saturday we wrapped some Christmas presents...

...and I made Moose a stocking. He had been needing one for some time now:

Saturday night we went with our friends Kelly (above) and her husband, Matt to Clinton, IA (about 45 minutes away if you don't get lost) to check out the Symphony of Lights. We sipped hot cocoa, ate some yummy gingerbread, and looked at all the pretty lights in the snow. It all felt very festive and Christmas-y.

...Then on Sunday I finally finished this adorable baby quilt for my friend Tara who is expecting a baby boy any time now:

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Brett and I awoke this morning to a winter wonderland outside! You know what that means....

No, not snowball fights and cocoa by the fire... time to shovel the sidewalks! This is the first time (believe it or not) that it has snowed since we moved to our house, and we no longer have the convenience of 5 am snow clearing that we had at our apartment. One more reason to look forward to heading back to San Diego!
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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Birthday!

I was going to blog about my birthday... aaaaaaaand then I completely forgot. We did take plenty of pictures, so if you would like to check them out (complete with captions) you can go here. :-)
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My New Camera!

My big Nikon camera just got a new little camera sibling! Brett suggested that I take advantage of the holiday sales and some birthday gift cards and spring for a new point-and-shoot camera. Naturally, I didn't argue with him. ;-) I got a new Plum colored Nikon Coolpix today. My old point and shoot was such a dinosaur, I honestly couldn't even tell you where it is right now. Plus, it will be nice to have something lightweight and convenient that I can just stick in my purse and not worry about so much.

Thanksgiving Weekend

This year for Thanksgiving we headed over to our friends Keven & Tiff's house. We had a really great time just hanging out and relaxing with good friends. After our delicious Thanksgiving feast, we all kicked back for some board games: Apples to Apples and a rather heated round of Battle of the Sexes.

On Friday morning we got up and made the annual pilgrimage out to Milan, IL to Jack Frost Pines tree farm to chop down our very own Christmas tree. I had a total Clark Griswold moment when I saw this tree:

But since we don't have 20 foot ceilings, we opted for this more practical tree next to it:

We then went home and trimmed our tree and decked our halls for Christmas. Later that day our friend Kelly dropped by so we had her take our picture in front of our Christmas tree.

For dinner on Friday we cooked our very own Thanksgiving dinner, that way Brett can enjoy his leftover turkey sandwiches for a few days.

This extra-long weekend has allowed me some time to work more on my Christmas crafts. I made some glittered snowflake ornaments (inspired by Homemade by Jill). I think they turned out quite nicely.

[Let me tell you, if there were a list of things that I never thought I would spend $10 on, at the top of it would be a single tube of Martha Stewart extra-fine Antique Silver glitter. But, what's a girl to do? If there was a list of things I'm glad I didn't spend $10 on, on it would be the Martha Stewart make your own tissue paper flower kit (found next to the glitter)... I think I handled that one pretty well on my own.]

Today we headed to Coralville, IA to check out the Coral Ridge mall. It is much larger and nicer than any malls we have here in the Quad Cities. We successfully managed to get the vast majority of our Christmas shopping done, which is a relief.

Now our evening plans involve watching Wall-E and wrapping some Christmas gifts. Tomorrow it is supposed to snow, so I think we will stay in and avoid the crowds and the cold. :-)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My Drinking Team Has a Bowling Problem

...At least that's what my shirt says. The ironic thing about this is that I pretty much don't drink, but that doesn't mean I can't be the drinking team's designated driver. ;-)

Palmer League Bowling has officially begun again. Thursday nights from now until March we can be found at the bowling alley, sucking most of the time, but having fun nonetheless. Our Bowling Team:

Our neighbors Clay & Jess, our friend Amber, and us.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New Hair!

I got a new haircut today! I was going for that whole side-swept bang thing...

What do you think?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Michelle's Baby Shower

Let me just say that if you were in Davenport this weekend, and you were not at Michelle Sheldon's baby shower, then you were missing out. I'm pretty sure everyone, men included, had a great time. My fabulous co-hostess, Meggan, and I made carriage shaped cookies...

And we constructed a diaper cake...

Remember those tissue paper flowers from last week? Well here they are!

Meggan was very ambitious and even made chocolate covered pretzels!

Cupcakes anyone?

We played "Guess the Baby Food," "How Many Peanuts in the Baby Bottle?" and of course, "Baby Gift Bingo"...

We also guessed the size of Michelle's tummy using toilet paper...

The fabulous, adorable, and famous Abri Thompson was even in attendance...

It's hard to believe that almost this time last year we were having a baby shower in her honor!

Michelle got to open many fabulous gifts, including another pair of adorable cloth baby shoes made by yours truly...

And a super-sweet baby quilt (also made by me)...

...I think she might have liked it. ;-)

If you would like to see more pictures, you can check them out here.

Congratulations Dean & Michelle!
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