Monday, December 31, 2007

And so ends another year...

So there's exactly 54 minutes left in 2007, and I honestly can't say that makes me sad. This year wasn't horrible by any stretch of the imagination. But it sure as hell wasn't stress-free either. Lots of stuff happened. Nothing horribly traumatic, and nothing as bad as some people had to deal with. But it definitely had it's ups and downs. I'm not going to do a recap, because you can just read back over this blog if you're really that interested (and I don't know why you would be... LOL!). And I'm not going to list my new year resolutions, since I don't make them. Sure, there are some things I want to change or improve on in 2008, but I'm not stupid enough to put them in print or honestly expect them to happen. LOL!

I guess the bottom line is that it's the end of another year and I'm still happily married, still have two happy, healthy kids, and I still have a roof over my head and food on my table. One can't really ask for much more than that, now can they?

So here we are on New Year's Eve. The girls are asleep on the living room floor behind me, Steve's asleep on the recliner in the next room, and I'm on the computer, drinking a beer, listening to Dick Clark's New Year's Eve special, and emailing some friends here and there. When the ball drops at midnight, I'll probably smoke a cigarette, finish my beer, and head on upstairs to bed. Because I'm a party animal like that. And I'm cool with that too. My big, bad partying days are over for the most part, I'm afraid.

So as we end yet another year, I'll just leave you with some photos I took today. It snowed overnight last night, so the girls and I spent the day outside getting some fresh air. Not a bad way to end the year if you ask me...

Grace Outside 1

Hannah Outside 2 Close

Grace Outside 2

Adding the Nose

Hannah Outside 1 Close

Building a Snowman 2

Building a Snowman

Snowman and Snowcat

Saturday, December 29, 2007

So let's talk Christmas.

Yes, I realize Christmas is over. But I haven't shared some of my photos yet, so I'm afraid you're going to have to deal with it. LOL! I actually didn't take that many, and the ones I did take weren't that exciting. I just had too much going on that day with everyone coming here to our house to celebrate. It's funny how I can take 100+ photos of my kids on a regular day just running around outside and playing, but then a major holiday rolls around and I take like 15, tops. [sigh]

Anyway, here are a few I could salvage. None of them are great, but you get the idea.

First, we have some of our decorations. Our tree, our front windows, and the view of our front yard (standing at the front of the house... not from the street). (The tree photos were taken during the day while the sun was pouring in our front windows, so this is the best I can do.)






Next, we have the girls on Christmas morning. Yes, Hannah really wore that, and no, I didn't dress her. I'd like to think that was obvious, but I wanted to clarify just in case. She donned a leopard-print shirt, a leopard print jacket from her Cheetah Girls dress-up set (tied tightly at the chest), Grace's soccer shorts (yes, she's STILL wearing those damn things on a regular basis), and patent leather shoes with a little heel. Hell, who am I to tell her what to wear. It was Christmas and she was happy, so it's all good. (And when she grows up and becomes a cutting-edge fashion designer/trend setter, we can all say, "I knew her when...")Grace's shirt was opened that morning and had puppies on it so she really wanted to wear it. Knock yourself out, kid. Throw in a huge bear tooth necklace and the look is complete. Other people do that "formal" thing with their kids on Christmas, but I look at it as a day to do (and wear) whatever the hell you want to. ;) Oh, and that's Maya the Bear behind them. Merry Christmas Maya! LOL!

Xmas_Day_2007_47 crop

Alrighty. Moving right along, we have Hannah in her new Dora the Explorer fiesta dress-up dress. Lovely.


Next we have Uncle Kyle's contribution to the girls' Christmas loot. Kyle is my older brother. He thrives on buying the most annoying gifts in the world for the girls. Annoying to me anyway. They are always Grace and Hannah's favorite things ever. [sigh] Since the girls always do like his gifts so much, I don't mind. But it's become a sort of running joke. Anyway, when Hannah opened up this doozy on Christmas Day, my jaw dropped. Yup. We live in a mansion so this is no problem, Kyle. Um, NOT! LOL! But Hannah LOVES it and has spent several days since then in it, with her table and cash register outside on the "patio", selling coffee to all of us while using her new princess cash register. How can you be mad when a kid is that freakin' happy? LOL! (Oh, and Kyle has no children (and probably isn't having any), which means I can never get revenge, dammit.)



And finally, the annual Christmas family photo. Lovely, aren't we? LOL! From left to right, we've got my sister (Kristin), my SIL, my mom, my brother (Kyle, the gift buying bastard), my dad, me, my aunt (mom's sister), Steve, my grandmother (mom's mom), my uncle, and my grandfather (mom's dad). Obviously, that's Grace and Hannah in the front, holding their new American Girl dolls. Yup. That's us. Do we bear an uncanny resemblance to the Beverly Hillbillies or what? ;)

And notice how Steve towers above the rest of us. LOL! We're a short family. I think Grace is going to be tall like Steve's side, but obviously, Hannah got the genes on my side. Rock on.

(That odd thing next to Steve's head is the beehive that's part of Maya the bear's mount. I realize it looks odd, but I didn't feel like Photoshopping it out yet. LOL!)


Thursday, December 27, 2007


I know. I know. I'm late. But better late than never, right? I'll be back later with photos and a recap of our Christmas (which was great, by the way), but I wanted to throw these up here right now.

This week's words were Pink and Tradition.


Hannah got an American Girl doll for Christmas, and the one she got (Elizabeth) comes in an old-fashioned pink dress. Hannah is obsessive about dressing like her dolls, so when she unwrapped a pink princess dress-up gown that day, she was in Heaven. So here they are, in their pink attire:




I'm all about holiday traditions. I try to incorporate some from when I was a kid, as well as throw in some new ones as I hear about them from other people. So this year, I did an old one and a new one. Every year, we try to create "evidence" that the reindeer landed in our back yard. Last year, Steve took "bite marks" out of a cardboard box out there and told the girls the reindeer had chewed on it. This year, I took it one step farther and decided to put footprints out there. So I took a dead deer's lower leg (from the deer Steve shot this hunting season), and used it to create footprints in the snow. This was supposed to be Steve's job, but he fell asleep that night about 2.5 seconds after arriving home from his dad's house on Christmas Eve, which is where we always celebrate that night. So there I was that night, outside, in the cold, at midnight, half crocked on wine, using a dead animals leg to create paw prints. The thing is, our "snow" was actually covered by an icy layer on top. So for each print, I had to swing the leg like a chisel, break through the ice, and then press (hard) into the snow I uncovered underneath. It took my about 30 minutes. LOL! I thank god the neighbors didn't see me, or I could've been arrested. "Officer? There's a drunk woman swinging a dead animal's appendage in her backyard, while drinking a beer and cursing loudly." LOL! Anyway, here's Steve showing the girls the footprints on Christmas morning:



I also started a new one this year. I've been meaning to do it since I first heard about it 2 years ago, but never planned ahead and got the stuff I needed. But this year, I traced a boot onto cardstock and cut it out to make a stencil. Then I used the stencil and powdered sugar to create Santa's footprints leading from our back door to our Christmas tree. I left a note for the girls (from Santa) thanking them for the cookies and milk and told them to apologize to their mommy for leaving his footprints on her freshly mopped floor. But I explained that my (Santa's) boots are magic and that the snow that touches them doesn't ever melt. They were soooo excited on Christmas morning. They made me leave the footprints on the floor until the 20 guests we had that day showed up. It kind of killed me to put those footprints there since I had just scrubbed that floor on my hands and knees not 6 hours earlier. But the magic of Christmas for my kids (and lots of wine on my part) won out.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007


So Steve "made me" go with him to Cabela's today. Can we say total snoozefest for most chicks? Dear god. Although I totally give credit to how amazing the building itself is, and how it's a pretty cool place in terms of looking at mounted dead animals (LOL!), the merchandise really does nothing for me. I mean, there's only so many fishing lures, gun parts, and camo items one (uninterested) person can look at before he/she wants to blow his/her brains out. But it's a good 35 minute (or so) drive away, and I felt bad making Steve go alone, so I went along. Let's just say that when we were in line to pay, birds were singing in my head. LOL!

Now that that trip is over, there are only a few more people to buy for. Grace's bus driver (who totally freakin' RULES), Grace & Hannah's teachers, and a bunch of people on my side (mom, dad, sister, SIL, etc., but they're all getting gift cards because I suck ass like that). Of course, since we host Christmas here for my side, I still need to go buy all of the groceries and stuff, but I'm not sweating that.

Oh, and then there's the fact that almost all of my Christmas cards are sitting here unaddressed and unsent, but I swear I'll get to those tomorrow. No, for real. I will. Honest. [sigh]

So getting back to Grace's kickass bus driver, what the hell does one buy a man whom you basically know nothing about, but whom you adore? I was just going to stick a scratch-off lottery ticket into a card, but if he doesn't win anything (which is very likely), I'll feel like I gave the man nothing. I know he wears a lot of camo (like everyone else in this town), and that he slows down the bus a lot to let the kids look at animals in the fields around the road, but other than that, our sole interaction has been waves and smiles and a few "Good mornings!" Shit. We live in a small town, so there aren't many places to buy gift cards for. Do I give the guy a gift card to a local restaurant and hope he actually likes eating there? A gift card for Dunkin' Donuts (assuming he likes donuts and coffee)? I'm at a total loss. And I mean total loss. [sigh] So if you had to buy a gift for a random guy who safely delivers your child to and from school everyday, and who ADORES your child and always greets her with an enthusiastic "Good morning, Gracie!", and who complements your child on her kick ass leopard-print hat everytime she wears it because he likes it so much, and who won't let your child off the bus after school until he sees you and knows she'll be safe, what would you buy him? Arg!

Anyway, I need to head to bed. I have a bunch of stuff to do tomorrow (like those damn Christmas cards), and I need to get some sleep tonight. Later gators!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

You may as well show Christmas spirit whatever way you can...

Right? So last week, I got some highlights. I had already decided I wanted some blonde ones again, but I also wanted a little red thrown in too. Not actually because of Christmas -- just because I like red/auburn hair. So I told my hairdresser to pick whatever colors he wanted and have at it. I LOVE how they turned out. In this photo, you can only really see one of the red highlights right there in the front. But they're actually all over my head. They're a tad bit darker in real life, but you get the idea. I know not everyone likes obviously unnatural hair color, but with my current haircut, I think they work. Hannah says I look like a rock star. LOL!



Worst Blogger Ever Award...

Yup. That would go to me. LOL! Sorry gang. Beyond the usual "Holy shit! It's almost Christmas!" stress, I've had a bunch of other stuff thrown in there just for good measure. A stomach bug for Hannah. A cold for me. An insurance audit for Steve's business (standard, but so not cool this time of year). My MIL's birthday. Steve's birthday. Etc., etc. WTH? LOL!

Speaking of Steve's birthday, it was today. My man turned 33. I can't believe how old we're getting. Granted, I realize that 33 and 34 (my age) aren't old, per se, but I swear, it seems like just yesterday that I met him right before my 25th birthday. Now we've been married 9 years and have 2 kids. And yet, I swear, it seems like just yesterday that we met in that shitty ass bar in town. LOL! God, time flies when you're older. [sigh]

I still have a shitload of Christmas shopping to do in the next few days, but I'm totally pumped about some of the gifts I've already gotten for some people. Isn't that the best feeling when you buy a gift for someone that you totally know they're going to love? I love that feeling.

I still have a bazillion Christmas cards to send out. I suck at that whole thing every year. I really should just make "Happy New Year!" cards and be done with it. LOL!

I'm trying to decide what food to serve on Christmas Day. My whole side of the family comes here that day and although we don't do a formal sit-down meal, we have about 8 crockpots plugged in, along with a ton of other food. I'm trying to change it up a bit this year, but I'm not really sure yet what I want to serve. I guess I should get on that, huh? LOL!

We've been blasted with crazy ass weather lately. Snow, ice, freezing rain, sleet, crazy ass wind, etc. Grace didn't have school today and I'm still not sure why. LOL! But it all worked out since it was Steve's birthday and he took the girls outside to go "sledding." It's in quotes because normally, sledding is on snow, but in this case, it was on pretty much solid sheets of ice. This, however, makes for kick ass distance since you pretty much keep on sliding until you bail off the sled so as to avoid crashing head first into a tree on the opposite end of our property. LOL!

Cleaning sucks around this time of year, but when the day is spent at YOUR home, you kind of can't get out of that, dammit.

Anyway, I guess that's it for now. I'm going to finish the rest of my beer and head to bed. Tomorrow is my own personal deadline for getting Christmas gifts ordered online, figuring out what still needs to be done, deciding on the Christmas Day menu, etc. Good times, lemme tell ya. ;)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I'm fried.

Just really fried. Like, I don't feel like getting out of bed ever fried. (OK. Maybe to smoke and grab a beer, but that's it.) I'm just tired. It's just that time of year, I guess. The holidays, the gifts, the money spent on gifts, the kids, the husband, the house. I look forward to Christmas Day every year, not because of the celebration itself, but because it means that all of the preparation leading up to that day are over. Usually, at that point, whatever isn't done isn't getting done, and if someone doesn't like it, they can kiss your ass.

Although I LOVE that we have so many wonderful people in our family, and that we all live close together and can celebrate our holidays, I HATE that I'm buying for 8 bazillion people every year. And I HATE that everyone asks me what to get the girls and I tell them, and then when I go to buy them their gifts, I realize that I've given all of my ideas away and I'm left buying them random crap. I HATE no matter how hard I try every year to get ready early, it never works out that way. And as much as I adore hosting Christmas at our home for my side of the family, I HATE the preparation leading up to it. And I HATE the drama that inevitably comes out of everyone else feeling the same way I do and taking their stress out on each other.

Don't get me wrong... obviously, there are thing about this time of year that I love. Many, many things. And when all is said and done, I'm not like, Mrs. Scrooge or anything. But right now, I'd really prefer to just curl up in the fetal position and not wake up until New Year's Day. And I truly, truly mean that. I need a vacation. A long, looooong vacation where I talk to no one except my husband and children (and even that's debatable). Prozac anyone? Because I think I need some.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Uhhh... "Christmas" shopping?

Yeah. Um, so I went Christmas shopping today, for the first time this year. I ended up getting more for myself than anyone else. [sigh] In my defense, I NEED new clothing. None of my stuff fits right. My pants are all way too big... my sweaters are huge... etc. So when I do get to the mall (30 miles away), I try to grab stuff I need for myself too. And I NEEDED jeans.

So anyway, I headed into Aeropostale, which is one of my favorite clothing stores. I snagged Steve a kick ass coat. All of his winter coats are ugly, too big, etc. I got this bad boy for only $30 (regularly like $60 or $70 or something). I also grabbed him a pair of jeans (something else he desperately needs). I can't WAIT to see him in it. Mmmmm....



So I couldn't buy Steve stuff and not myself, right? I mean, they were having fantastic sales. Eh-hem. So I snagged three or four fitted sweaters and 2 pairs of jeans. I was THRILLED because I totally dropped a size (or 2) since the last time I shopped there. SWEET!



These are the only things that are currently on their website, but I also got a pink and maroon striped sweater (similar to that green one up there, but it's a zipper cardigan), some camis, and a hoodie.

However, I DID manage to get the girls a few things at Libby Lu's. Makeup kits, another Webkinz for Grace, and a t-shirt for Hannah. I never did get over to Toys R Us though because I had to get home to get Grace off the school bus. And now I'm going to return one or two of the things I got for myself at Aeropostale because I need different sizes. That means I'll probably go back again tomorrow. Me. A girl who, for the most part, HATES shopping at the mall. But um, people other than myself need gifts, so I don't have much of a choice. [sigh]

Monday, December 03, 2007

Hi guys!

I'm here. I've just been busy making lots of Christmas gifts (for myself and other people), etc. I got our Christmas cards in the mail today and I LOVE them! I made them from scratch, but that's not why I think they're so cool. LOL! I made 5"x5" tri-folds and had them printed at White House Custom Color. I decided to print them on their linen paper and oh... my... god... It's to DIE for! It's so rich and the colors are amazing. Here are the actual .jpg files and below that are the actual cards that I took pictures of today. I wasn't going to post these because some of you will be getting them in the mail and then the thrill is sort of gone (LOL!), but I couldn't help it. :) The photos really don't do them justice though. You have to feel them to truly appreciate them. LOL!

Outside Spread:

Outside Spread2


Inside Spread:

Inside Spread2_edited-1


Front of Card:

White Balance


First Flap After Opening Front:

White Balance2


Full Inside of Card:

White Balance3


Full Outside of Card:

White Balance4


I still have to make another card. I send out a TON of Christmas cards every year and the tri-folds are too expensive to buy more than one pack of 25 cards. So I'll make a flat card for the other people I send some to. :)