Monday, December 29, 2008

A Weekend of Surprises

It just never know what things could be like and the simplest things could go wrong. So, as the Boyscouts prepared!!

We were heading up to Maine on Saturday, for my friend Lexi's surprise baby shower. (I've written about her before, she's a near-and-dear friend from our days at Salve, and she's having her first child next month!) Will was comfy in the backseat, watching "Cars" and we were a hundred miles into the trip, with about eighty to go. We had also made hotel reservations in the area so we didn't have to make a return trip in the same day. Well...imagine OUR surprise when my car started to buck and vibrate!! We immediatley slowed down and it got a little less buck-y, and we were able to get to the next exit. Luckily we knew the area a bit since we had vacationed there a couple of years ago. I made some calls and found a Ford dealership, but it was eighteen miles away. (To anyone that says...why so many miles? This is Maine, people. There isn't a dealership on every corner like in MA!) So we drove slooooowwwllllyyy up Route One to the dealership, whom we had called ahead. They said that they were working with a skeleton crew that day, but were open til 4PM and would do what they could for us.

The dealer was amazing! Not only were they the nicest dealership I have ever encountered, they offered us sandwiches and use of their play area. They diagnosed the problem quickly (a misfiring cylinder) and had us out of there in a little less than two hours. They really made a rotten situation a little better! Had we been near home, all of the dealers would have been snarky about their Saturday hours and said that we would've had to wait until Monday.

Anyway, we ended up missing the shower. But we got to spend some one-on-one time with Lexi and her husband, which I think is even better!! Lexi loved her gifts from us, including the "Porn for New Moms" book that I found in North Carolina over the summer. (hilarious, any new moms should read for a laugh) Will certainly enjoyed playing with his racecars and Lexi's husband, Perry. Then it was a quick trip to our hotel room where we fell asleep fairly early in recovery from our "adventure." Next time I see Lexi she'll be a Mama!!

One of the best parts of this "adventure" is that Brian has decided that he can no longer make fun of me for knowing someone everywhere we go. I made two phone calls to friends in Maine and had the names and locations of a couple of dealerships, and if it came down to it, a place to stay the night!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Craftiness

Now that the big day has come and gone...I can share my handmade Christmas presents!!

A knitted scarf for Tracy! Actually, I haven't given it to her yet, but she knows about it. I actually combined two different knitted stitches to create stripes. (and I'm already working on another one!)

Blue earrings and necklace set for my aunt Nancy.

And I made three bracelets for Kim (green, red and pink) and two necklaces for my mom. Of course, I managed to DELETE those pics before I could post them! Better luck next time.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Favorite Christmas Things

(Meme stolen from one of my favorite blogs, Confessions of a CF Husband....)

These Are a Few of My Favorite Christmas Things

Movie - Christmas Vacation (y'know, the one with Chevy Chase having the whole family over for the holidays and well...things go awry!) I also enjoy A Christmas Story and White Christmas.

Sweet - Rollo cookies!!! Also kahlua fudge, though I didn't make any this year.

Song -O Holy Night for seriousness, The Waitresses "Christmas Wrapping" for silliness

Tradition - Opening one gift on Christmas Eve

Gift Received - Brian coming home from naval deployment the first year we were dating.

Gift Given - That's a tough one. I love it when I give a gift to someone and it's a surprise and the person is pretty excited about it. (Thinking about it, who DOESN'T love that!!) My dad really liked his fishing vest this year, and Brian loved his new Alton Brown book.

Meal - Roast beef

Happy Christmas

It's the day after Christmas, and we're winding down from such a great day. Good food, lovely family, fun presents....this year's holiday has all the makings of a great time!
First, we got up late to open presents and peek in stockings. (I DO realize that this is probably the last time Will is going to let us sleep in on Christmas morning!!) Santa was very good to Will this year, with "Cars" books, a Backyardigans bath boat, Mr. Potato Head and other goodies, not to mention his very first camera!! That is the favorite toy from Santa this year, he loves to walk around with it like he is a little photographer. And best of all, it takes real pictures!!

We had a houseful of guests yesterday, and a wonderful meal followed by more presents and then dessert. It was a magical day!

These are the pictures I had on my camera, I'm sure "Aunt Razzi" will send some very soon!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

All Dug Out....and Excited!!

The aforementioned snowstorm lasted...three days! All told, it left us with about a foot-and-a-half of snow and plenty of ice, as well as negative temperatures on Monday. We didn't venture out for most of the weekend, other than me going to the grocery store Saturday night. That wasn't a lot of fun, pushing a fully loaded grocery cart through the snowy, half-plowed lot!! By Sunday we were all a little stir-crazy from being home. But there is something to be said for being home three days, I got all of our wrapping done (including Will's presents from us and from Santa!) and I baked cookies. I am glad that our holiday shopping was done.

Once today is over, I'm off from work until next Monday, and I'm so excited! I can't believe Christmas Eve is tomorrow....and I'm not the only one that is excited!! Will and I read a book every night before bed called "Ho Ho Ho Tucker!" He always asks for Tucker, to take the book to bed with him. Last night, every time we saw Santa in the book he would yell "SANTA!!!" and kiss the book! Someone also taught him how to say "Merry Christmas" this week! It's really cute. Last week, he also learned "Happy Birthday" and kept pestering me on my birthday about the whereabouts of my party hat!

I probably won't post again until the weekend, so I want to wish all of my Blogland friends a Merry Christmas!!! Hope it's a great one!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cabin Fever

It's been snowing for over 24 hours now, and the stir-crazy boredom is starting to settle in. I'm glad that I finished all of my Christmas shopping yesterday morning. Today has been about wrapping presents and baking another batch of coconut macaroons. (Brian's favorite.) I wanted to go grocery-shopping but that'll wait till later.

I hope that my family can make it tomorrow to celebrate my birthday and watch the game!! It's not looking good, though. Another storm is brewing right on top of this one, starting tomorrow afternoon last I heard. Welcome, Old Man Winter! (Now get the hell out!) :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Birthday to ME!!

Happy Birthday dear Ginny........Happy Birthday to me!

It's 8am on Friday, December 19th and I've already had oodles of birthday wishes. Thanks!

I am (gasp!!) 32 years old today! Hard to believe. I used to wake up sad on my birthday that I was getting older, but why would I do that???? Life isn't perfect but I have a lot to be thankful for!!! Let's see....

1. First and foremost, my family. My husband rocks and my little man is the best!! I'm so lucky to have them in my life. And my parents and my brother and his fiancee....they're all awesome as well. I'm blessed to have such people in my life.

2. My friends. I have a great group of friends! Some are old friends that go all the way back to childhood and some I've made as recently as this month. Some are close aquaintances, and some are close enough that they'd hide a body for me. (not that I've ever needed this!!) Thanks for your friendship.

3. I have a snuggly dog that loves me unconditionally, even when some days all I do is yell for him to get off the couch/pick his food off the floor/stop being so jealous of Will.

4. I've got a roof over my head. And after last week's storm, this is no small feat!! We're thankful for not having lost power or had tremendous damage in last week's ice storm. But we know plenty of people who were affected, and some that STILL don't have power!!

5. I have a job that I love, and I have a job, period!

So I have a lot to be happy about!!! And in the past year I've learned to take a deep breath and make some time for me. Something I plan on still doing over the next new year. I've learned new crafting skills and discovered blogging. And to celebrate ME today, before the snowstorm hits, I'm going to treat myself to a massage and an eggnog latte at Starbucks. And since it looks like we'll be snowed in all night and not be able to go out to eat as planned, I'm going to bake a cake!

Thanks for all of your birthday wishes. :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday: Show and Tell!!

I know that it's Wednesday, but the pictures this week cannot be explained wordlessly. I finished my ornament for my knitting group's ornament swap, and well, I want to brag about it!
The rule was that the ornament had to be handmade, but it didn't have to be from yarn. So I cross-stitched a snowman and turned him into a little ornament to add some cheer to a lucky recipient's Christmas tree. :) Also, I finally used my sewing machine...

Thanks, Mom, for showing me how to do it right!

Cross-stitching the snowman holding some Christmas lights

Finished Cross-Stitch Design

Sewing the fabric back and the cross-stitch front

Turning it right-side out

Hand-finishing the bottom. (My sewing by hand needs some work!)

Voila! The snowman does a practice run adorning my tree.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Last night, Brian and I went to see the loooonnngggg-anticipated Terry Fator show at the new Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA. I say "loonnnngggg" because we bought the tickets back in June, and the date circled on the calendar had been teasing us for some time. Who is Terry Fator, you ask? Well, he's season two's winner of "America's Got Talent." What's "America's Got Talent??" It's a talent competition that NBC has in the summer. Terry Fator is a ventriloquist/impersonator, and he's VERY good at his job! I haven't laughed so hard or so much in one night in a while! Seriously, he puts on a fantastic show. This is just a regular guy that was trying to make it in his career, and he beat out many hopefuls for the million bucks on the show. He also just recently signed a ten-year, HUNDRED MILLION DOLLAR deal with The Mirage Casino in Las Vegas!

When someone gets a deal like that, you wonder if fame will go to their head. Judging by last night's show, I would say in this case, definitely not!! He had them turn on the house lights and asked anyone who is or had served in the military to stand up and be thanked and honored by him. And if that's not gracious enough, he wrote a song for St. Jude's Children's charity called "Horses in Heaven" that he will donate all proceeds to the charity. Still not enough? Instead of putting the copyright in his name, he puts it in the name of St. Jude's, so even if someone else sings the song, they still get the royalties as donations. Wow! What a great guy.

Now I can get to the "starstruck" part. He was in the lobby, doing a meet-and-greet. Brian and I waited in line for an hour to say hello and get his autograph. Also, he allowed photos during the show, which isn't the norm. Had I known that was going to happen, I would've brought a camera better than the crappy one on my phone. (At times like this, it would've been great to be traveling with "Auntie Paparazzi," who goes nowhere without one!! Maybe she's onto something.....) Anyway, when I got to the front of the line, his DJ took our picture with my phone, and despite my rehearsed greeting in my head, all I could get out was "Thanks for a great show and all the good things you do" in a tiny voice, while shaking his hand. Ah well. I did better when I met Wayne Brady!!!

Anyway, if you ever get a chance to see Terry perform, you should!!! He puts on one hell of a show!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Project Complete...

I've finally managed to finish a knitting project...this is my first scarf! This beauty is for me to keep!!!

As soon as it was finished, I already missed the yarn flying between my fingers and onto the needles. So I started another one as a gift to my friend Tracy.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Indecisive Much?

I wonder if Mother Nature will make up her mind soon about the weather. I realize that this is New England and all.....but it was freezing cold yesterday, it's going to be almost 60 degrees tomorrow, and by Friday we might have a few inches of snow! Short sleeves, long sleeves, gloves and hat......this week we'll see it all!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

What a Guy!!

There's a well-known "secret" in my family. My husband has a tough time holding onto birthday presents until my actual birthday. Sometimes he just gets excited about what he got me and just can't wait to give it to me! Our anniversary is the first week of October and one year I got a beautiful mid-September. Not that I mind, mind you! However, I do find it amusing.

Sometimes he ends up gift-giving early because it's something we could really use in the moment. Like last year, when he had gotten me silicone cookie mats and we were about to bake a mess of cookies. Or this year.

It's cookie making weekend in our house.......anyone who knows us well knows that the first weekend of December we knock ourselves out baking. We make tons of cookies and give them away, ship them in packages and of course....indulge in some of them ourselves. :) Last night we were making the "short list" of what we wanted to bake and ranking them. (Yes, I'm aware that makes us big dorks, but hey, that's allright, cookies are awesome!) I was disappointed that we had to cut out one recipe because it needed a food processor. And anyone who's read this post knows that you can't use a blender in place of a food processor!

Suddenly, Brian opened the basement door to "listen for the washing machine "to see if it was done." He went downstairs to put towels in the dryer, and I went out to the computer. He comes upstairs and presents me with a box wrapped in Christmas paper and blue painter's tape, "Happy Birthday, Dear!!!" Oh boy, my very own food processor!!!

Now we can make "Pecan-Caramel Surprises" with the rest of our cookie menu. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Favorites...

...for today, my Christmas favorite is hot chocolate from Starbucks. I may make fun and call it FOURBUCKS, since you can't get out of there for less than four bucks. But I really love their drinks. I don't go very often, but I'm much more apt to go in there for a white chocolate latte or gingerbread cookie during the holidays! And if you're going to get the hot chocolate, take the splurge and get the whipped cream. It's worth it!