Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Short Story

Once upon a time (today) Morgan and I went shopping to Bath and Body Works and bought soap, lotion, body spray, and THREE lip glosses.  Then, we went to Wal-Mart and bought Swiss Cake Rolls (and some other stuff) and it was awesome.


The End.



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Christmas Build-up

I know I'm behind on posting what I've been up to in the weeks building up to Christmas.  It was such a busy time, so I'm going to sum it all up here in one post, as best I can.

More hockey games than I can count...

A Christmas dance recital, with a visit from the big guy himself at the end...

Hot tubbing and rolling in the snow with cousins...

Two separate Christmas programs at school, on two separate days...

Knitting, sewing, shopping, wrapping, ordering, planning, decorating, mailing, etc, etc, etc.

My friend Kristi posted on her facebook status this morning that she felt like she has a Christmas hangover.  All the prep work, and then BANG. It's over.  So very, very true.

I didn't get my Christmas crafting all the way done, but it was ok.  The recipients loved their gifts, and they both just needed a little finishing.  I will post more about them, and more about Christmas a little later. 

I hope you all were able to enjoy your weeks building up to Christmas, and didn't get too caught up in it all (like I often do) and get stressed out.  What is your favorite part of pre-Christmas festivities?  I love making hand made gifts for people.  They are always so appreciated!

And now, as I sit here and stare at my living room that Christmas barfed in, I am trying to decide what to do next, since I'm NOT at work today.  The options are:

  1. Clean the living room and put all of our gifts away.
  2. Search Ravelry for a new sweater pattern
  3. Take a shower and get ready for my afternoon dentist appointment.
  4. Take a nap.
Hmmmmm...  Decisions, decisions...

Have a great day!



Monday, December 26, 2011


A few nights before Christmas, we made the trek down to Bentleyville, to view the "tour of lights".  Bentleyville was born in 2001 by Nathan Bentley at his home in Esko, MN.  It has grown every year, moving to Bayfront Festival Park, and hitting nearly the 3 million light mark!  A food and toy drive accompanies the tour every year, and there has never been a charge to attend.  For more info on the history visit The Bentleyville Website Here.  It's such a fun place to go, though very weird this year with no snow!

Don't mind if I do! Thanks!

Pretty tunnels of lights...

In case you needed directions...

Roasting marshmallows

Derek, Morgan, Andy and Emily found Rudolph.

I can't explain Derek.  I guess he loved these lights?

So much time and effort goes into setting all this up each year!



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Hills Are Alive!

I have no idea how many times I've seen "The Sound of Music".  I have memories of watching it in my jammies with my sisters lots and lots of years ago.  The songs would be in my head for weeks after watching it, and I'd sing them and sing them and sing them until everyone in the house would tell me to SHUT UP!  I so wished I was one of those kids in The Family VonTrapp.  Julie Andrews nailed all of those songs, but dang, that was some ugly hair.  :)

Isn't it funny how when you are a kid, you only really pay attention to the good parts of a movie, and although you watch the whole thing, you don't really know the story line, and don't really care about it.  Pretty Woman - Oooo she gets to live in a hotel and go shopping on Rodeo?? COOL!  The Wizard of Oz - sparkly shoes, a cute dog and nice little people that send Dorothy on a walk through the woods!  The Sound of Music - a cool babysitter who teaches the kids to sing!  War?  What war?  Who's Hitler?

Morgan and I were able to score some awesome tickets to the live production of "The Sound of Music" at our local Playhouse for last Saturday.  Knowing that we'd be heading to the show, I borrowed my mom's copy of the movie, and Morgan and I sat down to watch it one night last week.  I was really hoping she'd enjoy it, and it totally had the potential to be one of those situations where the old dorky mom tries to convince the young daughter that something is really cool.  Just give it a chance.  To my delight, she was sucked right in, just as I'd hoped she would be.  She must be much smarter than me when I was her age, because she kept asking questions about what was happening with the war and why people were after the dad.  I just kept telling her to shush.  A good song was coming up.  hehe.

We were both very excited to see the performance.  My sister Erin played in the orchestra.  (Great job Er!  Those were some MEAN clarinet solos you nailed!) 

The actress who played Maria had an absolutely beautiful voice.  I could have listened to her sing all day long!  Sooo good!  (and sorry Julie, but she had waay better hair than you!)

When you are scared of thunder, just think of raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, and all is good in the world again.

So long, farewell!

Morgie's favorite part!  Mine too when I was little!  "The sun has gone to bed and so must I..."

More singing children...

Oh Leisl.  I know you think you love Ralph, but trust me.  Stay away from boys.  They are nothin' but trouble!!!!!

Don't be sad Father, Maria will come back to us one day!


Ahh, the wedding!  It still makes me laugh that she walked down the aisle to the song How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?

And Eidelweiss at the music festival!

Morgan was captivated for all three hours of the awesome performance.  I'm so glad we had watched the movie just a few days before so she would recognize the music and know the storyline a bit.  It really was fun to watch, and I think we are so fortunate to have such talent locally.  We can't wait for the next play!

Bravo to all the actors, musicians, and all those that helped out behind the curtain.  We were very impressed!



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's all gonna be ok...

I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  It would be very very easy for me to sit here and tell you all of the things that I still have to do before Christmas, but usually when I start thinking about it, I get to the SLIGHTLY FREAKING OUT stage and have to go lie down.  So instead, I'll tell you that most of my shopping is done.  I bought  new stocking hangers tonight, so my stockings can be hung soon.  My cards are written out, I just have a few addresses to confirm and I'll be able to hand them over to hubs to mail for me.  My crafts are almost done.  One is super close, and the jury is still out on the other one.  I'm not sure if it will be done in time or not.  It wouldn't be the first time I've wrapped up a WIP (work in progress) and had to snatch it back to finish it up.  I'm so exited about how it's turning out, that I know the recipient won't mind if it takes a bit longer.  There is still a faint glimmer of hope that I'll be able to bake something to bring to the in-law Christmas, but I'm not going to freak if it doesn't happen.  If I end up with my family and get to watch them open the gifts that I've chosen for them, eat, drink, and be merry with them, and spend a little time reflecting on why we are having a party...  then I'll be a happy girl.

It's easy to get caught up in the commercialism.  Heck, it's hard NOT to. I like the pretty lights.  I like presents.  I like selecting gifts for people, and hope they like them.  I like hearing Christmas songs on the radio, and days off of work.  Oh yeah, and eating.  The diet shuts off pretty soon.  :)

My shopping trip with Morgan last night was one of the most fun times I think we've ever had together.  We were both in a fabulous mood, and I think we giggled more than we didn't giggle.  We turned up the Christmas music loud in the car and sang along at the top of our lungs, slaughtering the words, which made us laugh even harder.  The girl has good taste, so I'm glad I brought her with me to help make some decisions.

So, I've been chisling away at the To-Do list, and it's getting there.  Slow and steady wins the race, right?  I have three hockey games, a sleepover birthday party for Morgan, two choir concerts, a dance recital and 75% of my Christmas prep under my belt in the last week.  I have been borrowing my big brother's camera (which is awesome and I might give my third child to have one like it someday) during at least a few of these tasks, but the camera is just so fancy, you need a program installed on your computer that converts them to a readable file (or something like that) so I can't look at the pictures, or post them here.  I'll keep on that, because I think there are some really, really cool pictures to show you.

How is your holiday prep coming along?  I hope you are more organized that me (trust me, it wouldn't take much) and are enjoying a stress free pre-Christmas week!



Friday, December 16, 2011

Photo Assignment #7 - Topic

Ok peeps.  I have a goal with this assignment.  My goal is to get TWO of you who have never sent pictures in, to send something this time.  It's very, very easy.  You can check out THIS POST if you need instructions, otherwise just email me your pictures and I'll just post them on my bloggity blog blog for you.

The topic for this week is:


I hope this topic doesn't offend anyone.  If there is anyone reading that doesn't celebrate Christmas, I'd love to see pictures of you celebrating your holiday the way you celebrate.  Christmas is the one my family and I celebrate, and I think there are so many gorgeous parts of it.

I'm very excited to take pictures of the kids this year, since I'm finally to the point where I'm setting up my pictures with a little more thought than I ever have before.   So from me, I can pretty much promise some pictures of the kiddos for this assignment.  I'd like to try and take some pictures of outdoor lights, ornaments, fireplaces, and all of my family too, but who knows if there will be time for all that! 

I do hope you all are enjoying this last week or so ramping up to the big holiday.  I am really looking forward to spending time with family that I don't get to see very often.  I will be happy when all the gifts I'm giving are wrapped and under my tree.  They aren't there yet, so I had better go get working on that.

Take pictures.  Send in.  Be cool.



Photo Assignment #6 - Submissions FOOD

Please don't be shocked, but here I am on a Friday, posting the submissions!  YAY ME!  (we won't talk about the week long extention, mmkay?)

The topic for this assignment was food.  Here they are!

By iLuke09 - ahh yes Luke, you continue to remind me how much I want a better camera.

by iLuke09 - Such a cute idea! 

By iLuke09 - I love that you guys just let him have at it.  Adorable!

by iLuke09 - sooo cute!

This is one of my submissions.  Taken tonight.  Because I'm home alone on a Friday night, and I'm blogging and drinking wine.  This is my light fixture reflected in my glass of wine.

Merry Christmas to me!  (and to all of you!)



Monday, December 12, 2011


I'm so sorry the posts have been slowing, but to say this time of year is busy would be a total understatement.

We got back last night from a hockey tourney in Brainerd.  I will post some pics and tell you all about it another time.  It was a very fun weekend.  We all flopped into the house at 6PM last night.  I tried to make sure homework was completed, the children were bathed, and some laundry was started.  After all of that was accomplished, I settled in to finish Christmas knitting project #2, which I was able to do.  However, when it was done, I tried it on and realized that I had made the biggest IDIOTIC mistake on it, that will result in ripping out half of it, or starting over.  I honestly can't believe I did it.  It's one of those mistakes that you read about (well ok, that I read about) and laugh and wonder how on earth a knitter could make such a silly mistake.  Well, now I know how.  I'll elaborate more after Christmas.  I don't want to give anything away.

So, I'm sure there will be knitting of some sort in my future for this evening.  I was hoping to be able to start on one more gift, but I just don't think it's gonna happen now.  Ugh.

Also, I've decided to bump the deadline for the Food photo assignment to this Friday (the 16th) because it's my photo assignment, and I can change it if I want to.  (and I haven't taken any pictures of food yet, and I really want to.)  So please, if you were planning to take some pictures of food and submit them, please do.  There are a few so far, but I'd love to see more.

So, not unlike every year at this time, I'm trying to remind myself to slow down and enjoy the season.  The shopping will get done when it gets done.  I highly doubt there will be any cookies baked this year, but that will just have to be ok.  The tree is up, but the bins are still sitting next to it, waiting to be brought back downstairs and put away.  At this point, I'm wondering if it's worth it to put them away, since I'll just have to bring them back up to put everything away in a few short weeks.  :)

Before I end the post for today, I would like to share an adult beverage with you (well, a picture and a recommendation anyway).  My dear friend Amy told me about this, and I brought it to the tourney this weekend.  It is so darn yummy.  I enjoyed it over ice, but I've heard you can mix it with a pumpkin liquor and it tastes like pumpkin pie.  Alone it tastes exactly like snickerdoodles.  So if you try this, there is really no need for that Christmas baking.  2 birds, 1 stone.

I present:  Rumchata.

Go get some.  You will not be disappointed.  I promise.

Hope you have a GREAT Monday!!!



Wednesday, December 7, 2011

20 things that make me happy today...

  1. Vanilla caramel creamer in my coffee.
  2. Andy's team lost their hockey game last night 8-0, but he still came off the ice with a smile on his face.  I don't know how he does it.
  3. We are having a potluck today at work for lunch.
  4. Nate and I had our daily argument this morning about who loves who more.
  5. I get to see my Hooper family tonight, including Carson, and my bro-in-law Ben, who has decided recently that Florida is a better place to live than Minnesota.  Pffff.
  6. I finished one more item on my Christmas knitting list last night.  (well, almost)
  7. There is Tom and Jerry mix in my freezer right now.
  8. There are some awesome presents with my kids' names on them this year.  I can't wait to watch them open them!
  9. I have two kids that are deserving of awesome presents.
  10. Comments on my blog.
  11. A few weeks ago, I had two different people tell me on the same day that I inspired them.  It was two very seperate situations.  Thank you both for telling me that.  You have no idea how that impacted me.
  12. Pretty soon, there are TEN days in a row where I do not have to go to work. 
  13. My fireplace works again.
  14. I have some silly friends.
  15. I get to see my sissy in two weeks.
  16. Chocolate
  17. Hugs
  18. Snuggling
  19. Knitting
  20. People still read my blog.  COOL!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Hockey Tourney Season is here.

This weekend was spent in hockey rinks.  Fortunately, our tournament was local.  Which means we don't have to fork over the cash for a hotel room and all the gas to get us there and back.  I'd say we wouldn't have to spend money on eating out, but we did that anyways, so that doesn't really count.

Our team played a total of 5 games over the course of the three days. I am so so so proud of these boys.  I know I've mentioned it before, but taking pictures inside hockey rinks is very difficult, so please bear with me.

They skated really fast.

They shot that puck, and it went in the net.

They made their coach proud!

The kiddo made some amazing saves.  He was right in the center of the frame just a split second earlier, I swear.  It's hard to take pictures and watch your kid in the net at the same time.  Have you ever tried it?  I need practice.

And they won.  And won.  And won.  And won.  FOUR times!  We were headed to the championship game!

A celebration in front of the cheering section!

Time for warmups...  (I wonder if he had as many butterflies as I did?)

Nah...  I don't think so.

Sissy came along to cheer on Brother Bear!


Unfortunately this one ended in a loss.  We'll take 2nd though!  Not to shabby!

Such a fun tournament!  Good, CLEAN hockey.  I am amazed at how these boys have improved in the few short weeks they've been a team.  I'm one proud mama!  Of this...

Can you blame me???

So I know this post is already quite lengthy, but I do need to share one more thing with you.  Hubs sent me an email today that had an article in it with some BRILLIANT words on parenting your child that plays hockey.  It really applies to parenting a child that plays any sport, in my opinion.  I really don't think there is anything in this article that I disagree with.  I am going to keep this handy and try to read it often to remind myself of a few things.  There are a few others that could learn a few things from this as well, but I think I'll just end there without getting too specific.  :)

I strongly encourage you to read this article.  It will stick with me for a long time.  Enjoy!

Hockey on the brain, and LOVIN' it!