Thursday, December 31, 2009

Scenes from Christmas

Mark's mom preparing our Christmas Eve dinner: Me getting a sentimental charm bracelet that was my mom's:
Holding little babies:
Family portrait:
Mark putting on his gift sweater from Dress Barn. (My grandmother got mixed up and apparently thought this was a man's sweater.)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The kitchen is almost done

All that we lack is a range hood being built above the stove and Mark is going to do that sometime after Christmas. Right now I am just enjoying the construction being done. I have to say, the kitchen is definitely my favorite part of the house. There's lots of room and plenty of windows to let in light (in the breakfast nook).

The custom island we ordered arrived and it's just wonderful!! Notice that it houses the microwave.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cookie time!

I didn't get to bake anywhere near as many cookies as I did last year. And I LOVE to bake. So, I was kind of bummed about that. But it seems like work and social obligations have just sucked all of the time from this month so far.
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Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas decor

I decided last year to decorate with all real greenery, fruit, trees, wreaths, etc. Why? Well, I do love the look and smell of it all, no doubt. But the real reason: I don't have to pack ANY of it back up and put it in the attic. It all gets tossed to the curb when I'm done. That's the BEST part of it. I have never ever liked decorating for Christmas. I can't explain it, but I just hate it. I enjoy the decorations once they're up, but detest having to do the decorating. Am I alone?

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Thursday, December 17, 2009


This has been quite a work in progress over the past month. We ordered the tile from a specialty tile shop that seemed to always be out of whatever we needed and had to order it. This tile shop is enormous. Mark and I walked through the entire store by ourselves and then met up a little while later after we scanned all of the tile. Can you believe that we both said that we had found ONE subway style tile that we liked and it was the exact same one!! We were also informed by the sales person that we had chosen the second most expensive tile in the store. Of course. It's great though. A cream colored Travertine tile. Mark is doing the backsplash himself and it looks fantastic!!!
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Glass Cabinet

Mark took the area above the old useless desk in the kitchen and made me a plate rack and then built two doors with glass inserts and then put lighthing in. Now we can showcase our Currier and Ives collection!

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Almond milk

Mark is lactose intolerant. (Too much information? hahaha) So we don't buy cow's milk, unless I'm having guests. We buy soy milk. But the other day at Harris Teeter, I looked beyond the Silk Soy milk I usually buy and found Almond Milk. I had never heard of it and thought I'd give it a try. I bought the vanilla flavored and plain flavored. Oh. my. goodness. This stuff was like a dessert drink. Kind of had a boiled custard sort of taste (the vanilla flavor). I don't think I'm going to be able to continue buying it though because I keep drinking it. And although it has the same calories as skim milk, it isn't calorie free. And I am liking it WAY too much. Have any of you tried this before?
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Monday, December 14, 2009

Sprinkles got a friend

This is the Quinns' son, Simon, who just loves Sprinkles. He was so incredibly excited when Sprinkles let him sit next to him last night. I just had to show you all the pictures. Simon got a little excited and starting hitting Sprinkles (from excitement) and Sprinkles got up and left. But it was so very cute!

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weekend Recap

This weekend was really busy. Saturday morning started with a two hour breakfast meeting for me at Panera. Was buzzing from two huge cups of coffee by the time I left. Then I came home so we could run a thousand errands. Mark finished up kitchen renovations (almost) and I cleaned and cleaned and then got ready for dinner guests Saturday night. We had over one of my coworkers and her husband.
Today (Sunday) we drove to Chapel Hill to the Siena Hotel restaurant for Mark's firm brunch. Man, the food was GOOD. I ate entirely too much. The entertainment was the UNC Clef Hangers. All I can say is WOW. Here's a link to them on's not from our brunch although Mark and I both videoed a little from our iPhones. And they did sing this very song. Let me mention that they make their own sounds. No instruments or additional music added. Completely A Capella.
Afterwards, we went by Sears to pick up the deep freeze we ordered a while back. I am so incredibly excited about getting this freezer. You certainly know you're an adult when you're thrilled about not only an appliance, but a boring appliance: a garage freezer. I love our refrigerator, it's the kind with the fridge on top and the freezer on the bottom. But it's just lacking a lot of freezer space that I felt like I had in our side by side fridge. So, I needed the extra space.
Then back to dinner preparation we went. We were having our neighbors over. We really have such great neighbors, lots of them. Mitch and Katie came with their 10 month old son Simon who has really become a whole lot of fun now. And he LOVES our cat, Sprinkles. We had a fantastic dinner with them.
Now we're just sitting here watching the movie "License to Wed" and trying to catch up on blogging. We have such an incredibly busy week ahead of us with a dinner party to host on Saturday night.

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Is it really December already?

This is a post where I'm just thinking out loud. My to do list just keeps getting longer and longer. We're hosting two Christmas parties this month and I have only one day off between now and the first party. So much to accomplish.

-Finish tiling the backsplash in the kitchen (this is more Mark)
-Finish building and hanging the glass cabinet door in the kitchen (totally Mark)
-seal the granite countertops
-buy all of the food and supplies for the party
-buy a Christmas tree and garland, etc
-make 3 wreaths for the doors
-decorate the tree and entire house
-clean the entire house
-bake lots of cookies and treats for the neighbors and also the party

Not a big deal, except ALL of this has to get done by/on Monday (tomorrow), my only day off. Tuesday thru Friday I'm working until 8 p.m. so those days are shot. And I'm sure there's more I forgot about. I was so tired yesterday when I came in from work at 6 p.m. I had a conference call meeting for an hour, then ate dinner and went to the wholesale store. Today I'm at work again. When I get home I'll try to drag Mark to the Christmas tree lot to get the tree so it's branches can relax before it has to be decorated.

Is anyone else a tad stressed?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Oh, yeah. I paid real money for this.

A Snuggie. They had them on sale at CVS and my dad frequently gets cold. So, wouldn't this be just the most perfect solution? And it's made of fleece and there's few things hotter than fleece!
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Friday, December 4, 2009

So, this is 31.

Today I turned 31. It feels a whole lot like 21, really. I mean, where have the past few years gone? I had made a "life list" of things I wanted to accomplish by the time I was thirty. (insert a really big hearty laugh here.) Thirty was SO OLD just ten years ago. But now? Thirty is the new 20, right? I'm not bothering with making a life list of things to accomplish by the time I'm forty. If it's something I want to do, I figure I'll get to it. If I don't, then it must not have been something I really wanted to do too badly.
So, I'll be spending the day at work. Helping sick people be well again. I just hope somebody doesn't decide to give me the gift of illness.
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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Last one of the season

This is the last (of the three) red peppers that we'll get this growing season. I honestly don't think I'm gonna fool with trying to grow anything next year. I had poor results all the way around. And I even bought those Aqua Globes to put in their containers so they'd never go thirsty! Yes, you have to grow things in a container here because the dirt is just clay under the topsoil. There are other options, but none of them very good for us. So, I'm trying to decide what recipe to use with this last pepper.
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner

How was your Turkey Day? Well, I had to work from 10a-2:30p (plus an hour of driving in there). I saw a never ending line of sick people who were truly sick. These people were really thankful that I was there to help them. And I even had a couple of people say "You are now on my thankful list":). It made me feel a lot better about having to work the holiday. But really, 10-2 wasn't so bad as there was still plenty of time to still celebrate Thanksgiving with a lovely dinner. We have no family here, but we are blessed with a multitude of friends. And one of those friends invited us to dinner!
Above is only half of the amount of food that was served. And the photo below is of Kate and Gill, the hosts. There was also another friend couple there along with the hosts' children.
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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Heading back home

Our last night in Munich. Mark book a fantastic five star hotel right at the airport. So it was super dooper easy to catch the flight the next day!
This tub was, I swear nearly three feet deep. It was NOT easy to get in and out of to take a shower.
All of my passport stuff is ready to go! I also want to mention that we flew over Greenland and Iceland on the trip home. And a U.S. Air Marshall was sitting in front of us on the flight home. How do I know this as they conceal their identity? Well, because there was a ruckus on board on the way home and he had to step in and reveal himself. All was well in the end, but it was awfully cool to see somebody who was truly undercover.
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