Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My favorite Christmas song

I'm dreamin' tonight of a place I love, even more then I usually do

I'm not going to be home in my parents house for Christmas this year, but that's nothing abnormal. Christmas Eve's of my childhood were always spent tucked with eager anticipation into my grandma's basement bedroom spare bed. So my Christmas dreams are surrounded by the cold, snow covered mountains of the Wasatch range.

And although I know it's a long road back I promise you...

I'll be home for Christmas, you can count on me

But this year I'll be spending it with my new family. The ear doctor's family. The newest branches grafted into my personal tree.

Please have snow and mistletoe, and presents under the tree

There probably won't be much snow but his family really knows how to have a fun time. And presents? please. I've learned over the years that the ear doctor's limitless spending on gifts was an inherited trait from his two wonderful parents.

Christmas Eve will find me where the love light beams

I'm already basking in the surety that love light will be beaming all over me...

I'll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams

A dream come true is knowing that this new family I have loves me so totally. And I have the chance to be in love with my very best friend in the whole world. My Christmas wish is that everyone could be so lucky.

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's beginning...

The ear doctor and I love going out for breakfast. And while we both love getting fancy eggs Benedict with perfectly balanced hollandaise and steel cut oats topped with organic strawberries and home made granola, we can also appreciate a greasy plate of hashbrowns, bacon and sunny side up eggs.

On Saturday we went to the diner in our neighborhood. It's been open for 30 years and only takes customers from 4 am to 3 pm. Breakfast is their thing.

We came in, found a seat and ordered our food. As I looked around I knew the place would be awesome because every other table held groups of 85 year old men sipping their coffee from those thick beige ceramic mugs. It made me miss my grandpa.

Just as our food was delivered I looked to my right and what to my wondering eyes did appear?

The fat man himself!

I couldn't believe our luck! Here it was less than a week before Christmas and Santa was eating breakfast in my neighborhood. And I knew for sure it was him because as he finished his meal he paid his bill and proceeded to go to every table in the place that had a kid and handed out tootsie rolls.

Only the REAL Santa would do that!

Friday, December 18, 2009

She whom bears the mark

Since moving to our new house the ear doctor and I have change the church congregation we attend. I was a little nervous about meeting 150+ new people. I hoped we'd find some new friends: cool couples we could have over for dinner, little kids we could play with before and after the meetings, older mentor figures we could learn from and look up to.

And guess what, this new group of folks have not let us down. We've felt so totally welcomed and embraced!

The first week we were there I noticed a young mother of 2 little girls. She seemed really nice and her kids were adorable...but do you know what really caught my eye? She was wearing an awesome headband with 3 big felt flowers on the side of her head.

After church I commented to the ear doctor about her and he said, "yeah, I saw her too. Did you see her headband? I bet she's a blogger."

And I bet he was right. Can I help it if after 5.5 years of doing this I'm drawn bloggers?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Definatley not Angela

Good news everyone...I've officially made it here at my new(ish) job. It's been a long hard 6 months, but today I've arrived. I've been invited into the inner sanctum of....wait for it...the party planning committee.
Yup, despite being in a male dominated industry, I was invited to help put up the decorations with a group 100% female members.
As part of the committee I spent an hour of my time covering conference room tables with cheap wrapping paper and draping the walls with green plastic garland.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Frosted window panes

According to legend, every year my grandma asks my grandpa to put lights up on this outside of the house and he "refuses." She'll ask and he'll use a valid reason why he won't do it. And she gets flustered. It's not that he doesn't want lights up, it's that he likes to tease her before he puts them up.

And now my parents do the same thing.

On Tree Day (the day after Thanksgiving) my mom wants my dad to brave the sub zero temperatures and he putzes around for a while not putting them up. A few days go by and there are still no lights. The thing is, I really think my dad LOVES having lights on the house, but getting them up there is sort of an ordeal...and it's more fun to tease my mom until her head explodes.

This year I was pretty sure that we wouldn't do lights on our little house. Was I sad about the lack of blinking festivity? A little. Was I perfectly aware of how deep our strings of lights were under Mt. Cardboard box in the garage? Abundantly. It just didn't seem worth the hassle.

Which is why a small tear left the corner of my right eye the other day when I pulled into our street after a long, cold day at work and saw this:

(He may or may not have forgotten that we actaully have 4 posts on our front porch...)

And from the inside of the house, admiring the lights:

I guess I'm like mother, and like grandmother...I just LOVE Christmas lights on my house!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Utter shame

So, after sending my wish for a home cooked meal out into the ether of the Internet, the ear doctor and I were promptly invited over for a perfectly cooked Sunday dinner.

One of my newest friends texted me and practically demanded that she save us from another night of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Gratefully, I immediately took her up on her offer. In addition to providing awesome food, sparkling conversation and a little competitive scrabble action, these friends LOVE our dog making them the perfect people to spend an entire afternoon/evening with. You see, they used to have a dog but had to find another home for him when they moved from Arizona to Colorado. They miss their dog terribly so anytime Roscoe is around they are thrilled!

Excitedly we all piled into the car, Roscoe included, and drove over to their house.

Dinner was awesome.

Roscoe played so gently and lovingly with their little 18 month old darling.

After dinner we all went down to the basement to kick off our shoes and play some games. Things were going so well until we all looked over and saw that Roscoe was BENT OVER TAKING A DUMP ON THEIR FLOOR!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have never been so embarrassed in my life. We quickly cleaned the place and disinfected with bleach, but the image of his brown lump of goo on their white sealed cement floor will haunt me for eternity.

But you know what? They were totally cool with it. They'd had a dog. They understood.

But seriously, Roscoe is NEVER going to someone's house again.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Gift Guide: My little sister

My little sister is an awesome mommy of 2. As a result she doesn't think of getting herself special things very often. This list is a whole group of things JUST for the Magster.

1.Brown boots $180

2.New spatula $7 and scrubbie $5

3.Cashmere turtleneck $158

4.Ten-finger mittens $28

5.Honey roasted peanuts and cold cereal

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gift Guide: My mom

Shopping for my mom is really easy for me. She has such great taste and is happy with anything!

1.Colorway watch from Sundance $88

2.Beautiful farmer’s basket $99

3.Nesting bowls $60

4.Jan Brett’s Christmas Treasury $27

5.Turkish towels $28


One time the ear doctor and I went to the Denver zoo. We were way in the back in a pretty secluded little area. There was a cute squirrel just sitting there staring at us. I thought he was just adorable so I walked up to him. I figured that FOR SURE he would run away, but he didn't. The ear doctor just stood and watched as I reached down and put my finger out. I still thought he'd run away.

But he didn't.

He reached up and GRABBED me.

I was so shocked I jumped about 1o feet in the air and squealed.

Which is why this necklace would be PERFECT for me. I hope I win it from my cousin's ETSY shop. She's hosting a give away over on her blog so go check it out!

She's officially christened!

We'll, we've finally cooked our first thing in the kitchen of our new house:

The ear doctor woke up early, threw on his snow stuff and braved the 4 degree weather one morning this week. It had snowed and I was running late so he gallantly picked up the snow shovel, broom and window scraper. His mission? to clear a way to my car, brush off the foot of powdery flakes and scrape the windows free of ice so that I wouldn't have to do it in my work clothes.

Unfortunately it was bitterly cold and he didn't have the time to clear off his own car before he was a human Popsicle.

When he came back in I took one look at his perfectly rosy cheeks and I realized what he'd done. I was so thrilled by the thoughtfulness of the gesture that I HAD to do something to show my appreciation.

I dug to the bottom of one of our many MANY kitchen boxes, pulled out a pan and boiled him up steaming hot mug of hot cocoa. I really wanted one too, but we only had enough cocoa mix for one cup...so I went without.

Kind of our own little Gift of the Magi moment, eh?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Gift Guide: Snow Bunny

Living in Colorado means having the right gear. Do you know someone who loves the snow?

1.Helen of Tundra Sorel boots $150

2.Cable knit gloves $26

3.Candygrind beanie $27

4.Merino basket-weave scarf $50

5.HH Baselayer $55 (top) $ 40 (bottom)

Ugh! Enough complaining!

Want to see something about our new house that has totally, completely and utterly changed my life for the better?

Yup...that's our totally ugly, not-in-keeping-with-the-historic-nature of our old house DOGGIE DOOR! The days of me walking our little Roscoe down 2 flights of stairs 10:30 at night when its 6 degrees out are behind me. Having the ability to just let him go do his biz whenever he feels like it is HEAVEN!

I assume this is about 1/10th the elation that parents feel when their kids are fully and totally potty trained.

However, now that I look at that photo that door may need a serious stripping and re-painting job...

....and that hardware could get stripped and restored as well...

...and currently that original door knob isn't functional...

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Gift Guide: Book Lover

I always thought I was a serious book reader. That is, until I met my college roommate. That girl rips through books like you wouldn't believe. The tricky thing about gifting for a voracious book reader is that you never know if they've already read a book or not. My solution is to get them book accessories...

1.Read sign $32

2.Eat sleep read necklace $24

3.Personal library kit $20

4.This book belongs to label kit $11

5.Conceal bookshelf $15

A pick me up

So I think we've decided that this year we won't be putting out our Christmas decorations. Our house is a zoo with boxes half unpacked and piles of odds and ends everywhere. Next week our new appliances, cabinets and flooring will all arrive and fill our house to the brim. An electrician will be coming in and our moving old outlets and replacing them with new. We hired someone to come replace the existing window with a new one twice it's size, so he'll be cutting a hole in the side of our house...in the middle of December.

In consideration of all these factors it just doesn't make a lot of sense to go out and buy a tree that will eat up precious space. And putting out the breakable beautiful decorations just doesn't make a lot of sense.

And I know it's logical and practical to leave my snowglobes in storage, but the lack of festive cheer around our little house has really been getting me down. I mean, it hardly even feels like Christmas to me!

So, last night I took matters into my own hands. I decided that if I couldn't decorate my house, at least I could decorate my body. If you'd come by our house last night at about 8 pm this is the get-up you would have seen:

A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Gift Guide: Cook

A person who likes to cook is sometimes different from a person who likes to bake. Although, I like to do both, so anything for either list would make me feel like a million bucks.

1. Ceramic Pizza Stone $11

2. Le Creuset baker (isn’t that blue gorgeous!) $80

3. Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2010 (I LOVE these books) $25

4. 2 Calphalon pans $99

5. New 8” chef’s knife $60

Saturday's happenins

What to know what's fun?

Ripping out old hardwood floors.

I didn't get to do any of the demo of the kitchen, so this was my first experience with intentional destruction of our house. Taking out stress and frustration with a pry bar is wonderfully rewarding. It's especially nice when the 87 year old plank subfloor is still in working condition.

Not a termite bite or water damaged spot to be found! I love Colorado!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Gift Guide: Proud Puppy Parent

So I never thought I'd be the person that loves their dog so much they get excited over dog products...but I totally am. And I'm sure the doggie lover on your list would love getting any of these lovelies.

1.Snuggie for Dogs (hilarious!) $10
2.Classic Kong chew toy (You can never have too many!) $10
3.Personalized Dog Bed cover $44
4.Classy new leash $19
5.Bio-degradable poop bags $20

Still no kitchen

I knew it would happen, but I didn't think it would come so soon.

I am officially SICK of eating take out. Tired of sitting in restaurants. Annoyed by just the thought of another drive-thru window. Bored by having to spout the requisite small talk to the endless line of delivery people knocking on my door.

I yearn for a simple meal cooked in 30 minutes. I pine after the calm ambiance created by dinner eaten at a proper dining table instead of hurriedly inhaled from in front of the TV.

Don't even get me started on how depressed I am that I won't be doing any Christmas baking this year....

Can anyone think of a polite way to invite myself to a friends house for a home cooked meal?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Gift Guide: Creator

We all have a friend who is awesomely brilliant and always makes the coolest things. Well, here are a couple of things that I'm sure they would love to find under the tree. I know I sure would!

1. Masking tape $25

2. Gingher scissors $20

3. Yudu screenprinting Machine $200

4. Dry Erase Paint $99/25 sq ft

5. Crayon Rocks $7

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Gift Guide: Baker

Aside from the nesting prep bowls (which I already have and LOVE) any of these would rock my world, so I'm sure any other baker would probably love them too.

1. Fleur de sel $12.50

2. Escali Primo Digital Scale $25

3.Emile Henry pie plate $44

4.Bench Scraper $7

5.Glass nesting prep bowls $30

Denial: A photo essay

Looking around our living/dining room last night I started to feel pretty good about the house. There were so few boxes and things were really starting to look like we've moved in.

I mean, aside from having a bed in the dining room (it won't fit down the stairs into the basement) and a stack of boxes holding kitchen stuff that can't be put away until the renovation is done, it's basically livable!

I was really feelin great...until I looked in our kitchen:

And then I peered into our basement bedrooms:

Do you think if I just close the doors I won't have to unpack all that stuff?

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Gift Guide: New Home Owner

Well, it's that time of year again. I get to my computer and start scouring the Internet high and low for the perfect gift for my loved ones. Along the way I find tons of great stuff that's not quite right for my people...but they might be perfect for yours! Today the recipient is a new home owner.

Not that anyone around here is one of those....

1. Stamp with their address ~$40:
2. Stat Key $11:
3. Welcome/Goodbye doormat $30: http://www.cb2.com/family.aspx?c=170&f=5547
4. Home Depot gift card
5. New House numbers $40/ea: