Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008

Mark's mom from Tennessee, and his sister and nephew from Summerville, SC came for Christmas this year. His sister and nephew came up on Friday through Sunday morning and his mom rode back to Summerville with them. Above is our Christmas dinner.

Getting the Currier and Ives collection out to eat Christmas dinner on. Matthew, our nephew, has more energy than all of the adults combined.
Obligatory Family Christmas Photo.

Sprinkles resting on my lap. He doesn't know what to think with all of the company.

And of course, Wii may have a problem......My husband is enjoying my nephew's Wii game "Guitar Hero". But not as much as he was loving the Wii golf. I played some of the baseball game and actually did pretty good! It is fun, but can be addictive. I suppose Wii will be buying one of these in the near future.
Okay, so I ran out of boxes to wrap gifts in and had to go to the pantry and get boxes from food to use. It was really quite funny. Especially when my nephew unwrapped his and it was a box of Peanut Butter Captain Crunch. He said "What is it?" I replied, "It's cereal. I was told that you really like cereal...don't you?" He looked like he had just seen a ghost. I told him to open it up and taste it. Of course, there was a gift card for him inside.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Why Heating Pads Are A Fire Hazard

I left a heating pad on for about an hour in the floor on top of my NEW house slippers and came back to a melted heating pad and a burnt house slipper and burnt carpet. We're lucky that we found it before we left for work that morning. Can you imagine? I threw away that heating pad and bought one with an automatic shut off on it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Random Bullet Points

-We had over the couple across the street for dinner Sunday night. They're really nice and we like them a lot. They are computer engineers and expecting their first child. We were too lazy to cook, so Mark went to Red Hot and Blue and bought baby back ribs, BBQ, and all of the trimmings to serve. Of course I wouldn't want to mess up the theme of "pre-prepared" so a store bought Hershey's Turtle Pie was dessert.
-Mark's law firm office party was at a country club where we had brunch on Sunday. It was much better than I had anticipated, really. A boy's choir was brought in to sing. Mark bought $20 in raffle tickets for some fund raiser they were having and he won two drawings totaling $100 in gift cards! Rarely does that happen!
-My husband has recently become a fan of cashmere. He went to a huge sale at Jos A Banks (his favorite clothing store ever) and bought a boat load of clothes on sale including two cashmere sweaters. He said "I could just sit around and rub these sweaters." Really, he got a great deal. He got about $2300 worth of clothes for around $700!
-I am getting fat eating all of these holiday treats people are bringing.
-I went back to spin class and did a little bit better. I went to "aerobics" this morning and pretty much sucked at that too. Either I am just horribly out of shape or I seriously am uncoordiated.
-I have to work this Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sunday. Then work Tues, Wed, and Fri of next week. Whew!
-We forgot to set out the trash on Friday and it is overflowing. We're having to set extra bags along the wall in the garage because no more will fit in the can. Trash guys don't come again until Tuesday. Great.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fitness Challenge(d)

As part of my birthday gift (in addition to a great digital camera--have you noticed I've taken more photos lately?), I asked Mark for a membership to a gym. It is a more upscale gym with it's cleanliness, new equipment, large variety of classes, etc. There are only four or five of them in the Raleigh area and nowhere else. I figured if it were a nice gym, then I'd WANT to go there, right? Also, it was an absolute necessity that where I join have classes. I don't do so well going walking on a treadmill because I get bored and can just leave whenever I want. I figured that a class would force me to stay for the full 45 mins-1 hr.

So, I went. First to an abdominal toning class. I could only do about 10% of what everyone else was doing. Basically I laid there the majority of the time. It was kind of funny. I figured I should do some sit ups at home before I return to that class. That was HARD.

Next, I signed up for a spin class. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it does not mean that you spin around in circles in the room for an hour. You are on a stationary bike with a group leader and they work you to the bones. They turn the lights out in the room so everybody except the instructor is in the dark and nobody has to get embarrassed about only being able to do a small fraction of the work out. A-hem. I did about 20% of what everyone else could do and left after 45 mins. Sitting on that little seat was not very comfortable either. But I did get a really good work out as I was completely drenched in sweat at the end. I figured maybe I need to ramp up my cardio on my own before returning to spin class.

So, I showed up the next day for Step class. The group looked more my age and also a few folks in their forties. I mean, how hard could it be. You have a step and you go up and down on it, right? Wrong. It was like some complex dance routine with a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader leading you while bouncing (yes, BOUNCING) up and down off of this step. I nearly fell off of the step numerous times and left the class well before it was over. If you are not fairly coordinated, you could seriously injure yourself in this class.

So, here I am. I'm slowly working my way through the classes at the gym, checking them off (as to not to return anytime soon) one by one. There are still more I am going to try. I just haven't done any serious exercising in quite some time and need to build up to it to be able to participate in these classes.

Today it hurts to even turn around or laugh. I am so sore in every part of my body. Especially where I sat on that hard, itty bitty seat on the bike.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Decorations

I wanted to document our Christmas decorations and new furniture for later printing of a scrapbook, so here are many photos of what we've done.

We decorated the outside very simply with one plain wreath hanging from a red ribbon on each of the front downstairs windows. Mark put a spotlight outside and it really looks good at night!
Our entry hall. Come on in!!!Living Room. We got a real tree again this year. A Fraser Fir. It sheds very litte. So far.The bannister decorated with live greens and real lemons. I was trying to be all Martha Stewart.A close up. Really, this takes longer than it looks like it would. I was quite surprised.I even strung fresh cranberries on top of the live greens for the mantle piece. I added some oranges, lemons, and pomegranates (sp?) to the mantle.Here's the sofa that I have just been having a stroke to get delivered. The velvet is incredibly SOFT. Awesome to lay on. I picked a different fabric when ordering the throw pillows though. So far I don't regret it and think that it ties into the chairs we got very nicely.And the chairs. They have little rollers on the front two feet of each chair. Also, nailhead trim. And guess what: they recline!!! And totally don't look like it!An antique piece that we bought to put the tv on. See the little stand on top with the cable box and DVD player under it? Mark MADE IT!! Yep. And it matches absolutely perfectly. Totally looks like it is supposed to be there.
The only gifts we've bought so far. Thank you Crabtree and Evelyn for running a 20% off sale!Our new breakfast set. SOLID WOOD TABLE that is so heavy I can hardly move it. There are two very large leaves that go in this that seat 8-10 comfortably. I don't think we'll ever use them though because they're entirely too big for the space!

And alas, all of the Christmas treats I have been hard at work on this weekend.

A few things I have learned.....

.....while making holiday treats and decorating for Christmas.
1. Fraser Fir trees do not shed as badly as Scotch Pine trees do.
2. Decorating with live greenery and live fruit is not as easy as it looks like it would be.
3. Wax paper and parchment paper are NOT the same thing, and cannot be interchanged when baking.
4. You cannot bake with wax paper in the oven. It will catch on fire. (Ask me how I know this.)
5. Do not wait until you're getting tired to start dipping candy in almond bark you have just melted. The almond bark won't re-melt properly. (Ask me how I know this too.)
6. I probably won't make cookie cutter cookies again. It took about six times longer to make them than if they were just round cookies. And a few gingerbread men ended up being amputees by the time they were packaged.
I spent all day Saturday and most of today making treats for our neighbors and a few others. I am not sure but I think I baked around 6 dozen cookie cutter cookies--and iced them ALL, 3 dozen chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, 1 dozen mini pound cakes, 2 dozen lemon pound cake mini muffins, 6 dozen pretzels dipped in chocolate, 2 dozen ritz cracker and peanut butter dipped in chocolate, and a tray full of rice crispy treats. And yes, I sampled everything. A few times. You know, just to make sure it was good. Mark helped me tie up and package all of them. Now they are sitting on our kitchen table waiting to be delivered tomorrow. I just don't have the energy to do it today!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Personality Types

Ever heard of the Myers-Briggs Personality Test? Well, you should take the test if you haven't already. It is absolutely amazing how dead on the results have been for Mark and myself.

I am an ESTJ and Mark is an INTJ. (click on the links to read about each and at the bottom of each page you can click on more info regarding careers, relationships, etc.)

If you want to take the test, click HERE. And you have to let us know what your results are and if you think they fit you well or not. I'm interested to hear from you. After you take the test, click on THIS link to find out more about your personality type.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Turning 30

Today marked a new phase in my life. My thirties. Sheesh. Where did my twenties go?

Well, I had a really great day! I just hung out and watched television for a couple of hours this morning and then got dressed to go to a short meeting. After that I drove to Mark's office and he took me to a great Thai restaurant (which I LOVE) for lunch. I then decided to get a haircut which has been way overdue. When I got home the doorbell rang and I had some beautiful flowers from our wonderful friends from Memphis, the Hoffmans. (Thank you, guys!!!)
I then proceeded to clean my entire downstairs. No idea why I was in that mode. Mark came home with an AWESOME peanut butter and chocolate cake from a bakery that the firm orders from. It had Reeses sprinkled all over it. Mark said "We'll see if we go into a diabetic coma tonight."
We ran some errands tonight and got some garland and wreaths and a ton of other Christmas decorations. We plan to get our tree tomorrow night and decorate it this weekend. And oh, yes, I will post many photos! :)
Thanks to everyone for all of the emails, phone calls, and flowers. It really was a very special day.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The dining room is almost done!

Here is a photo of the dining room. We lack one painting on the wall to the left and then changing the chandelier to something different. I have a chandelier that was in my parents' house that belonged to my grandmother that I want to use. But right now it's lost. I'm in great hopes that it will turn up soon.
The curtains are silk and Mark and I made them. Yes, we MADE them!! We put black out lining on the back and I am very happy with that. The hardware is by Levelor from Lowe's. They only took maybe 2 hours to pin up, sew and hang. We will NOT be trying Roman shades again like we did in Memphis. That was a nightmare.
The buffet was a killer deal from an antique store in Concord, New Hampshire when we lived there. It is solid mahogany and six feet long. The dining set (with the exception of the parson's chairs on each end) was bought at an estate sale in Germantown, TN when we lived in Memphis a few years ago. The painting was bought at an art store in Hot Springs, Arkansas and the two buffet lamps were a Christmas gift from my parents. So, that's the scoop with the dining room. Now we're just needing to finish up those two things in there and then we'll be ready to complete another room!