Saturday, December 29, 2007

Smoke and shopping

Today The Colonel and I ventured out on a little adventure together. We started out by trying a newer Mexican restaurant not too far from our house.

Before I tell you what happened, I have to tell you that one of the BIGGEST things we miss about California is the "no smoking" law they have so wisely adopted. It's so nice to come home from a restaurant or anywhere and not smell like smoke. Well, Kansas seemed to have been trying to catch up to the rest of the modern world, as this topic was being discussed by our city council this month. For whatever lame reason, they decided to table the topic for now. SO, The Colonel and I have decided that the only restaurants who will earn our business are those that are smoke-free (and there aren't too many of those around).

Ok, back to lunch today. The restaurant was pretty empty when we got there, but after we were seated, a guy by himself walked in and was seated in the bar. All was well until the bar dude finished his meal and lit up a smoke. Although he was about 50 feet away from us, there was no divider between the smoking and non-smoking area (makes you wonder why they even ask you when you get in there, huh?), we could smell his smoke...and we were still trying to eat our food.

I know I just said that we weren't going to frequent smoking places, but we made an exception to try this place, we had a coupon.

When we went to the front to pay for our meal (which ended more quickly than it would have if no one would have been smoking), the guy asked how we liked our food. We said it was good. He asked if it was our first time in the new restaurant, and we said yes. THEN, I opened my mouth and told him that we probably would NOT be coming back because the smoke was so irritating. He said, "what smoke?" We said the smoke from the bar, duh! He didn't get it...but we kept talking and told him that we had decided to only frequent non-smoking establishments until the smoking ban is in place. Either he didn't understand me (language barrier??) or he just wanted me to leave, but we didn't really feel like we got through to him.

The Colonel and I have decided that we will go into restaurants and if they ask us if we'd like "smoking or non", we will say "NEITHER, we won't eat where smoking is allowed" and turn around and walk out. We could just not go there in the first place, but then how will they know that people are staying away because smoking is allowed?

C'mon, if FRANCE is adopting a no smoking policy, what the heck is wrong with Kansas?? It seems like almost everyone in France smokes!

After lunch, we headed over to Lowe's to use The Colonel's Christmas gift card on some black, brown and green paint for the comes camo! While we were waiting for our paint to be mixed, we had the following conversation:

The Colonel: I hope I didn't bring my sunglasses in here, because if I did, they're gone.

Me (looking over at my loony husband): They're around your neck, ding dong.

The Colonel: Uh...oh, yeah.

I always give hubby a hard time when we go into stores because he leaves his sunglasses on as we wander around shopping. He is tall and intimidating and stoic, and I always say he's trying to be The Terminator or this time he says that he took off his glasses to please me. Yeah, right...he just said that so he could have an excuse for why he had NO CLUE that his glasses were around his neck and not lost somewhere.

I'm STILL laughing about it! And he's not even pregnant!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Off work?

Ha! That's what I thought. Two weeks away from the daily grind...who knew how hard I would really work, though.

My goal for these 2 weeks is to get a bunch of rooms rearranged in our house in preparation for Little Major's arrival. These moves involve 3 rooms -- turn the storage room into the office, the office into the guest room, and the guest room into the nursery.

I was expecting to have all of this done by the END of NEXT week. But, The Colonel has other ideas. Even though he called me The General in our Christmas letter, he seems to be giving me orders! He told me he wanted to move the guest bed downstairs this weekend, so we can paint and do some other stuff in the baby's room. What??

The Colonel and I have different ideas about how to move all our stuff around. I wanted to take this time to go through a bunch of stuff and get rid of old paperwork and organize a little more. The Colonel wants to just move stuff around, NOW. AS a compromise, I worked for hours yesterday and today cleaning stuff out and moving the computer to the new office. It already looks a lot better. Tomorrow we plan on heading over to Lowe's to use The Colonel's gift card to buy some paint and other supplies.

Guess this kid really is coming! =)

Speaking of the kid, I had a doctor's appointment today. The doc says that everything still looks great, and she gave me some info on some stretches I can do to try to relieve the back pain I've been having lately. I have to take the glucose test at my next appointment in 4 weeks, and then after that I start going every 2 weeks. I can't believe how fast time is going by! I'm only about 10 days away from starting my third trimester! Wow! It's time to start getting info on the classes that we want to take before Lil Major shows up.

Oh, and I plan on using one of my gift cards next week when I go for my first prenatal massage. I can't wait!

Catching Up

My SIL reminded me today that I haven't posted about our Christmas here goes.

Our donut making went amazing! They were so yummy, and I ate the last leftover donut today -- it still tasted awesome! Last year I didn't help with the donut making...I just ate them. But, I felt a little guilty, and this year I was the only daughter around, so I helped. One SIL was in the basement working on Christmas gifts and the other SIL was at lunch with a friend. MIL had already made the dough, punched out the donuts and set them to my assistance wasn't needed until it was time to fry them up. The Colonel and I took advantage of being the only ones around when the first donuts went into the oil. I mean, c'mon, we had to make sure they tasted ok. My job was to glaze the donuts when they came out of the oil. I quickly got into a routine -- glaze one for the pan, glaze one for me, one for the pan, one for Colonel, one for me. I just didn't get why the pan wasn't filling up, but my belly was!

I didn't really eat that many, but I was stuffed when we finished. My FIL kept running in and stealing donuts to run around to people in town. The first batch he took went to the people who pulled him out of the ditch the other day. All the siblings must have smelled the frying dough because they showed up just in time.

Luckily, we had to leave for our Christmas Eve service which forced us to STOP eating donuts. We ran home to feed the puppies, then left to drive across town to meet SIL and BIL and the girls for Christmas Eve celebration at their church. First of all, their church is gorgeous (and all paid for - so cool!). There are wood beams and rustic light fixtures everywhere. They sanctuary was homey and decorated with a real manger on the stage. We sang Christmas hymns, listened to the pastor talk about what Christmas really means, watched snippets from The Nativity, took communion, and had a candle lighting ceremony. It was really fun to visit their church and to enjoy the service as a family. SIL's parents were there, too.

After all those donuts earlier in the day, The Colonel and I needed some real food. Too bad the only place we could find that was open was McD's...where the drive thru line wrapped around the building. Oh well. We got our food and headed home where I think we were in bed within an hour.

We were at the 'Rents by 11am (our given arrival time), where it was time to open gifts. Now, if you read my Christmas post from last year, you'll know that my ILs open gifts VERY differently than my family does. SIL Jayme was just as out of her element as I was, so we made a tactful suggestion to do it differently this year. And they agreed to try it! It took quite a bit longer, which was fine with me, and we even got to see what everyone got! It was much more enjoyable for me...let's hope it sticks!

My niece loved what we got for her, and I'm so glad, because I feel like I stink at picking out kids she is as she starts on her hunt for all those animals (Go Diego, go!).

And even though we opened gifts in a much more organized fashion, the aftermath still looks a little scary.

We sat down for a family diner of Turkey and all the trimmings after we finished with the gifts. FIL carved the turkey, but MIL thought he needed an apron (or two) to protect his clothes.

I LOVE to play games, but The Colonel hates it as much as I love it, so I have to take advantage of the siblings being around. And at my suggestion, we played Chicken Foot (kind of like Mexican Train dominoes, but more fun). Of course, I ended up being the BIG loser. I had the most points of anyone (which is really bad in this game). Oh well, we still had fun, and The Colonel came made himself useful by running to the gas station for sodas all around.

By the time we finished the game, it was getting late and we were exhausted. We loaded up the car and headed home to the puppies. Christmas was went by so fast!

But, we prolonged it as long as we could by meeting the siblings the next morning for some shopping and lunch before we had to head back to the real world. You can't miss those after Christmas sales!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Woo hoo!

Christmas was wonderful, and I miss it already. I'm not ready to take down all my decorations and go back to normal yet...which is why I will refuse to for another week or so.

And it is about SO much more than the gifts we receive, but man, I got some great stuff this year! I have a lot to tell you about our Christmas celebrations, but I'm going to start with the cool stuff I got...takes less brain power. =)

The Colonel and I opened gifts from each other on Christmas morning before heading over to his parents house for the day. And let me tell you, Little Major made out pretty well, too.

The Colonel got me a gift card to a local day spa so I can go pamper myself while I'm off work these 2 weeks. I'm thinking a facial and a pre-natal massage...mmm...I can't wait! I also got 3 pairs of slippers, an ipod adapter for the cassette player in my car, a cute camo outfit for Little's The Colonel holding the outfit and the Diaper Dude diaper bag I got for him.

He also got me some camo netting to decorate the nursery...

And then, when I thought I'd opened all my gifts, we headed over to his parents house with a HUGE box in the back of the car (which he told me was for his dad)...but when we got over there, he gave me the box to open. And inside it was a "diaper" bag...check it out...

More to come about our celebrations!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Day 2...

of my 2 week freedom from work was pretty nice.

The Colonel and I started out the day going to church. I LOVE church at Christmastime. Everyone is so happy and festive, the sanctuary looks gorgeous, and the worship and singing are wonderful. Of course, we only sang a couple song this morning -- which seemed kind of lacking, but it was ok.

We drove through our favorite gringo taco stand on the way home, and came home to watch our Chiefs lose YET AGAIN. At least the score was fairly close today...but we still lost.

After the game, we headed out to the shooting range...where we arrived a little late, since the Colonel refuses to write addresses down. We eventually found it, and after he helped an idiot in the parking lot by pushing him out of the snow, we made it inside to meet his brothers. I shot 4 different guns today, and I don't really remember what they're all called, but I KNOW I did better than the last time we went.

Besides all our running around today, I also made 2 dishes for Christmas Day dinner, did some laundry, read some blogs, watched Christmas in Connecticut, and did my nails. Whew...I'm tired!

Tomorrow will be another busy day. I'm heading over the 'Rents to make homemade donuts and hang out with the kiddos (oh, and the adults, too). The Colonel is undecided on if he'll go with me...even with the lure of homemade donuts. Because you know, it would be way more fun to sit at home by yourself. Whatever. Tomorrow evening we're heading to Christmas Eve service at my SIL and BIL's church. I'm looking forward to a family Christmas Eve service. Last year, The Colonel and I went by myself, and it just wasn't the same as year's past.

Oh, I forgot to mention one of the snow stories from yesterday. My FIL drove his truck into a ditch! He was coming home from his church where he'd been prepping his sermon for today, and the wind was blowing so much he couldn't see the he just drove off of it! Luckily, someone saw him do it, and they helped him out of the truck and took him home. It was hours later and a couple of tow trucks later before they finally got the truck out of the ditch and back home. FIL is fine, and I think the truck is, too. Crazy!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007


That was the warning that flashed across the screen at 7am this morning as I ate my English muffin and got ready for the gym. It was still dark outside, but it didn't look like snow to me. It was windy, but I didn't see anything blowing around besides leaves...until I walked out to the garage to leave. There was the slightest bit of snow starting to blow around. No big deal, I thought.

So, off to step class I went. A couple girls and I headed over to a local coffee shop to chat for a while afterwards. That's when the snow really started coming down. Wow! In about an hour, the parking lot was covered and so were our cars. We kept putting off leaving because we didn't want to have to scrape the cars or run through the blowing snow. I had planned to stop at the grocery store on my way home, but once I was in my car, there was NO WAY I was going to get out of it until I was in my warm garage. My drive home was a little nerve wracking, since I couldn't see more than 30 feet in front of my car. I just took it nice and slow.

After I got home, it continued to snow and snow and snow...for 7 more hours!

We had planned on eating dinner with The Colonel's brothers and their families at a favorite Cajun restaurant tonight, but the restaurant called to tell us they were closing due to the weather. Guess those Cajuns can't handle a little snow! By the way, The Colonel's brother and his wife drove in from Colorado today...and the funny thing is that the roads were totally clear until they got to Wichita. No problems whatsoever until they hit our town, and then the roads were terrible. We're glad they made it safely!

We did manage to get out and have dinner with them, but at a different restaurant...that wasn't nearly as tasty as the original place.

Of course, before we could head to dinner, we had to shovel out of our driveway. There was a lot of stinkin' snow, so I got out and helped, but I sure was beat when we finally came back in.

The puppies were nice and warm inside, watching us shovel away. They both love the snow, but it was a little deep for Lucy. Rerun hopped around like a mountain goat.

Tomorrow we're meeting the brothers at the shooting range, where I will once again test my shooting abilities. My niece had something to say about all of this...

Addy: Are you going shooting tomorrow?
Me: Yes
Addy: You're a girl, for goodness sakes!

Friday, December 21, 2007

All Quiet on the Midwestern Front

As is the 2007 installment of our Christmas letter. This is my favorite letter that The Colonel has written...he is a great writer and very creative, and he really out did himself this year. I did not change a thing to post it here, so this is exactly how he wrote it. Enjoy, and have a very Merry Christmas!

All Quiet on the Midwestern Front

The Colonel sits in the drawing room, chomping a dead cigar, gazing out the window o’er the homestead. Two furry corporals patrol the grounds, alert and anxious to quickly dispose of any intruding fowl; three so far this year. All is quiet.

Closing his eyes, The Colonel painfully reflects on his declining golf skills in puzzlement. How can his mechanics suffer so, after having walked the fairways with Woods and been within spitting distance of Mickelson earlier this year in Tulsa? The Colonel had hoped beyond hope that some of their skills would rub off on him, to no avail.

Now The General enters, barefoot, bearing a tray of yogurt and fish oils. She eases down beside The Colonel. Sighing, she nibbles the snacks.

The furry corporals bay loudly now, having spied a ferocious feline on the adjacent grounds.

The General looks on at the noisy corporals in disapproval. “Those corporals need remedial training and more discipline,” she states. “That racket will be unacceptable soon.” Absentmindedly she rubs her belly.

The Colonel pats her hand understandingly. He knows The General has had a trying year. Two “buddy” conventions, four scrapbook festivals, numerous bunko bazaars, several girlfriend ‘business’ cross-country trips, and 590 hours of aerobics have left her weary.

The corporals return from patrol, having successfully driven away the dangerous feline intruder. They track mud across the fresh carpet to sit at The Colonel’s feet, seeking approval for a job well done. The General wrinkles her nose in disgust, glancing accusingly at The Colonel. The Colonel rubs his forehead and sighs. Where has he gone wrong with these two rowdy corporals? Perhaps they should be banished to the cellar.

The Colonel reflects on the numerous aspects of this year’s lackluster performance of the battalion: out-of-control corporals, failure to break par, a larder stocked only with yogurt, fish oils and sunflower seeds, squabbles with a crotchety neighbor, a brother-in-law unwittingly hooked on cigars, injuries sustained while falling down the stairs and a slippery driveway (medic!), a niece in dire need of remedial toilet training, fighting words exchanged with a dirty sailor at Chipotle, a spouse prone to giving pointed feedback to inattentive drivers in parking lots, stray canines roaming in and out of the manor, a spouse stricken with reality television-itis, and to top it off, dismal performance by the hometown Chiefs. The Colonel is unsettled. A change is needed.

The Colonel rises from his seat. The cigar is in tatters now and he pitches it toward the rubbish bin. Glowering, he paces the floor, the furry corporals in tow.

The General silently looks on, nibbling fish oil tablets.

Fresh from his 20-year class reunion, the Colonel paces slowly – it’s not the years, it’s the mileage.

But then he stops.

He has an announcement.

“I’ve got it!” The Colonel shouts.

Now the furry corporals are excited, baying loudly, bouncing to and fro.

“What we need is some new blood! We need an infusion of new young talent brought on board,” The Colonel proclaims. “Perhaps a young, new, lieutenant will jumpstart this battalion!”

The General listens in amusement. “A young new lieutenant?” she asks. “I already have that covered.” She smiles to herself, rubbing her belly.

Bloggy Giveaway!

There is a GREAT giveaway over here! This would make an awesome gift to yourself this I hope I win it! =)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Colonel's Dream

As we walked the dogs around the neighborhood last night, I brought up the name of soon-to-be-born child again. Of course, the Colonel gave me the same reply that he always gives me when I bring up this topic, "The decision has been made." And he says it in his most formal military voice.

I ignored his comment and started spouting off my latest list of names that are interesting to me.

And then, in either an effort to get me off the name topic, or just because he remembered he hadn't told me yet, The Colonel told me of a dream he had a couple nights ago.

He said, "I dreamed that I was holding the baby at home when he was about 2 days old. I was watching TV and he was taking a nap, when all of a sudden, he opened his eyes, looked up at me and said, 'What are you doing, Colonel?' Then I went to tell you what had happened, but you didn't believe me, and you told me to go away."

I had to stop walking because I was laughing so hard...and I was also trying very hard not to pee my pants.

Hmm, wonder what his dream means? It's kinda like the one I had a while back that my newborn starting running around talking.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Go Mustangs!

I found the most wonderful thing in my mailbox today! A package from my dear friend Shell. I hope that I wasn't supposed to wait until Christmas Day to open it because it's way too late for that now!

As soon as I got in the house and sat down with a piece of toffee (Shell's mom's recipe, minus the nuts since I'm now allergic), I ripped open the box to find these...

for me...

(...which I will work very hard to be able to wear after the kid is born.)

and for Lil Major...

It's his first Christmas present, and it's so cute!!

I met Shell while I was going to Cal Poly way back when (wow! It's been like 12 years ago, I think). We met through a mutual friend, and we spent many many hours after that in a country bar where we danced the night away or at one of the frat houses where we...well, y'know, we partied. Oh what fun we had!

Thanks, Shell! These are so special to me! Go Mustangs!

Christmas Meme from Shell

Shell tagged me for this meme, and since it's a VERY slow week at work I have plenty of time to do it. Merry Christmas!

“When people say ‘Christmas’ you immediately think…” Christ is born! family and friends, yummy sweet treats, fun decorations...maybe some snow.

“Favorite Christmas memory…” after my brother, sister and I were all adults, Christmas became even more fun, I think. We stopped traveling all over the state to visit relatives, and just had our own immediate family celebration. We'd take it slow in the morning, sometimes making breakfast before we opened gifts. A lot of times we were still in jammies when we did open gifts, so there aren't a lot of photos of that! =) Then instead of a huge Christmas dinner, we'd just snack all day and play games and do puzzles and watch movies. And a lot of times, we'd head out to the movie theater in the afternoon or evening (we did this a lot when dad was an air traffic controller and had to kept us occupied til he could come home).

“Favorite Christmas song/carol…” Wow! There's no way I could pick just one, I LOVE Christmas music. I like Mary, Did you Know? Silent Night, Santa Baby, I could go on and on

“Favorite Christmas character…” Baby Jesus

"Favorite Christmas movie..." it's a wonderful life, a Christmas story and Christmas vacation, White Christmas, Holiday Inn, Christmas with the Kranks

“Favorite Christmas ornament/object…” We have a lot of ornaments from our travels together -- Wyoming, Maine, Ireland, Hawaii, Pismo Beach. And I love all the ones from when I was growing up - ones I made, some others made for me, and the photo ornaments I add to each year -- I love them all!

“Plans for this Christmas…” Christmas Eve we'll make donuts at the 'Rents, then head to Christmas Eve service with my SIL and her family. Christmas Day we'll head back to the IL's for gifts and food and games and nieces.

“Is Christmas your favorite holiday?” I didn't used to think so, but I get so excited about it now, and I love to decorate and bake and have snow...I think it may be my favorite one.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pregnant at Christmas

As I sat in church Sunday listening to the sermon based on the biblical events leading up to Christmas, I realized (I’m a little slow), that I have spent this advent season in a state like Mary did over 2,000 years ago – pregnant.

But, unlike Mary, I had been married for several years before my husband and I decided, together, to try to become parents. I was prepared (as much as you can be) for becoming pregnant. Mary wasn’t even married yet when the Angel came to her and told her she would give birth to a child – and not just any child, but the Son of God, our Savior and Messiah. How amazing is that??

Oh, and beyond that…Mary had to travel on a donkey for days before they arrived in Bethlehem, only to find that there was no room for them in the inn. So, she gave birth in a stable! And placed her newborn in a feed trough! And she had no ritzy birthing center or nurses or doctors around to help her, not to mention an epidural. Man, we have it good now, don’t we?

And Joseph, her betrothed, reacted like a typical man when he found out she was pregnant, and they had never been together. We’ll give him credit for coming around later, but he was ready to ditch Mary and try to save his own face. It wasn’t until an Angel appeared to him that he changed his tune.

Our pastor has been spending this advent season preaching on those present for the birth of Christ, and how that experience changed them. So far he’s preached about John the Baptist, Joseph, and the shepherds. Next week he’ll talk about the wise men. It’s easy to think about those moments at the manger, when shepherds and wise men came to worship the new baby, the Savior. But, I’m sure that their lives were forever changed based on that one night.

Just like my life will be forever changed by the birth of my child in a few months, my life was SAVED because of the sacrifice and obedience of Mary and Joseph. They trusted the angels that came to them, they trusted God, and they brought our Savior into this world so that he could die on the cross and give us eternal life. Wow!

Sure does put the Christmas season in perspective for me!

Matthew 1:18-25
The Birth of Jesus Christ

18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[a] because he will save his people from their sins."
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"[b]—which means, "God with us."
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus


I was supposed to have a job interview today...notice I said "supposed to."

I spent a couple hours yesterday researching the company, writing down questions I have, making sure I had all the examples of work ready that I want to take, and looking for just the right outfit so I don't scream, "I'M PREGNANT!" when I walk in the door.

Then this morning, I get a call. From the recruiter. Saying that they need to "postpone" my interview. For budgetary reasons.

Why does this always happen to me??

Apparently, they've been in 2008 budget meetings all week, and they're questioning whether they have the budget for the department and position that I would be part of. I'm glad they're evaluating this now, and not after I accept the position, but really? All this tells me is that they may not be as committed to the philosophy that sold me on interviewing with this company in the first place.

From what I've heard, it sounds like a great company. The guy I would report to has responsibility for 3 plants, and doesn't live here. It's a non-union plant, which is AWESOME! The job description sounds great, and I would be a perfect fit based on that. My commute would be about 15 minutes longer, but I could probably live with that. It doesn't go through the rush hour traffic, it's just further.

The recruiter told me that she would keep in touch with them, that they still really want to talk to me, and that maybe after the New Year, things will be different. We'll see.

Oh well. Looks like I'm stuck here for a while.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Hodge Podge

It’s Monday, and I’m at work. But, it’s the last Monday I have to work for the next 2+ weeks. Hallelujah! And it’s the LAST Monday, EVER, that my mom has to work. She’s retiring at the end of the week. She’s a teacher, and she’s telling her kids tomorrow, so all you Bako people out there...keep it quiet for me, ok?

I’m so excited for Mom and Dad. Dad retired in June, and now Mom in December…the next step for them is to sell their house and move to the Land of Oz to join us and Little Major. I can’t wait! I love hanging out with my parents, and I’ve missed them for the last year and a half.


Now for some sad news. My good friend Shell lost her little kitty Finn over the weekend. He’d been missing for a week, and their neighbor found him this weekend. Finn didn’t make it. I’m so sad for Shell. I know how pets weasel into your heart and family, and it feels like you lost a family member – well, you DID lose a family member.

We lost our first dog, Linus, 6 years ago, and I still get sad when I think about that night. When you lose a pet to an accident, when they’re young and playful still, it’s such a shock. Shell – I’m thinking and praying for you!


After that, I need to tell you some happier news. Another good friend had some wonderful news this weekend! Agnes and her hubby welcomed their 9 lb 3 oz son into the world on Friday night. And he’s adorable! I talked to her Saturday morning, and I could here the cutie cooing in the background. Congratulations, Agnes! I can’t wait to see that kid...I only hope it’s before he turns 1!


I wrote in my previous post about the snow we got this weekend. It’s already melting, and I’m sad. But, there’s a funny thing. The Colonel insisted that wherever we went this weekend, I drove. He told me I needed practice driving in the snow and ice. And, I did beautifully, I might add! I think the reason he wanted me to drive is that he LOVES the seat warmers in my car! And he’s realizing that my Pilot is pretty cool!


My Christmas shopping is done, with the exception of a few small stocking stuffers that I will probably go get at lunch today. All the gifts I’ve purchased have been wrapped, and the last box to California will be shipped this afternoon. Whew...and a week to spare! Now, I just have to make sure I STOP shopping...I have a terrible habit of not stopping until I’m forced to – because Christmas has come and gone.

I even made some gifts for my neighbors over the weekend, and I just need to add some tags and deliver them this week. For a preggers chick, I sure am on the ball this year!

Have a Merry Christmas! Stay tuned for our annual family letter...I’ll be posting it sometime this week!

Saturday, December 15, 2007


I was trying to post this with the video on the post below...but youtube is NOT cooperating. Anyway...

We had our second snow of the season last night and today, we missed the first one because we were out of town.

I'm so excited we're here this time! It's gorgeous out! And I'm becoming a true Kansan...I got out in the snow this morning and went to the gym, and then Colonel and I had to go out again to run a couple errands.

We only got a few inches, and I'm wishing that we got more because it will probably all melt within 2 days...but at least we can enjoy how pretty it is right now.

Here's what it looked like when we woke up this morning. The puppies had a blast playing in the snow. We'll have to take them out for a walk later this afternoon.

White Christmas

Here's a song from one of my favorite movies, White Christmas.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Spirit

I love decorating my house for Christmas! It looks so cheerful and festive, and the red and green and gold tones go with my everyday decor. I try to get everything up as soon as possible after Thanksgiving, and I procrastinate taking it all down again well into January (I'm not sick of it by New Years, and I don't like the actual work of packing it all up again).

This year my house looks pretty much like it did last year, as far as decorations go, but I do have a few new items.

Come on in, and check it out...if you were close by, we could make some hot cocoa and chat for a bit!

My Christmas tree sits in the front room, where we can see it from the living room or the front door. It's over 9 feet tall, and thank goodness, it's already got lights on it! The Colonel doesn't like to help me decorate it, but this year was his last free pass...after Little Major gets here, it will be a family tradition to decorate it together.

I have this amazing fireplace, hearth and mantle that I love to cover with garland and lights and hang the stockings. Next year there will be another stocking up there (there are 4 b/c the dogs get one, too...I should actually fill those up with something for them, shouldn't I??).

Right next to the fireplace I have my Willow Tree Nativity set displayed. My mom got it for me for Christmas a couple years ago, and I love it! I love that they're faces aren't lets me imagine what they were thinking on that wonderful night.

I have another Nativity set displayed in the front room. It's a wooden carved set that we got as a wedding gift from some favorite people in Texas. It was my first Nativity set ever, and I love it. Our friends who gave it to us collect Nativity sets, and they have dozens of them displayed in their house -- from all over the world!

Like I said earlier, my house is always decorated in reds and golds, so my red breakfast nook table is perfect for Christmas decorations. Here's something funny about the placemats on the table. I don't think they will wash very well, so I make hubby and I eat on plastic placemats we put ON TOP OF the nice ones. Am I anal or what??

I got a few new decorations this year, and I'm loving them. I have a lot of stars in my house year round, since I use the Americana theme a lot, so this Christmas star I found seemed perfect for my living room.

And I saw (and fell in love with) this centerpiece at a craft show with my MIL, so she bought it for me for my anniversary.

I got this charger with the cool message on it at the bazaar I hosted last month.

And I got this little tree at the same craft fair I went to with my MIL.

One more photo, and then I'll be done, I promise!

Growing up, we never believed in Santa Clause...and I don't think I missed out on a thing. See, Mom and Dad worked very hard to give us what they did, and they wanted us to know that someone had worked to give us gifts...that we didn't just get them because we sat on some man's lap and asked for them. But, Mom and Dad recognized that the history behind Santa Clause is an important story -- the story of St. Nicholas. So, every year, we would all gather around and read the book below together. It tells the story of St. Nicholas and how he would sneak around leaving gifts, in stockings, for people that didn't have much. I loved the book so much that I went and bought my own copy when I moved out on my own.

I will read this story to my children and explain to them why we see Santa Clause around at Christmastime. And I will let them know that The Colonel and I work hard to give them the gifts that they get. Oh, and you won't see any Santa decorations in my house...there are too many other wonderful things about Christmas to celebrate besides Santa.

Have a blessed and happy Christmas! Let me know if you post about your Christmas decorations, so I can go check them out!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

No work!

I'm home from work today, and I didn't even have to play hooky.

We are in the midst of an ice storm, although so far it hasn't been as bad as predicted. Yesterday, all anyone could talk about was the coming ice storm and how it could be just as bad as the storm of 2005. We didn't live here in 2005, but I've heard all the stories now. It was pretty bad, and people were afraid this one would be just as bad. Apparently, a lot of people lost power for up to a week, tree branches broke off from the weight of the ice, and the whole town shut down.

Luckily, it hasn't gotten that bad yet.

My trees ARE covered in ice, but so far we've just had rain, not freezing rain. Of course, it's hovering around 30 degrees, so the water on the ground could freeze at any time.

My company did a smart thing - for once. About 2pm yesterday, they decided to shut the plant down for today. Employees were talking about calling in anyway, so there probably wouldn't have been enough people to run the lines. So, here I sit, blogging away. I'm going to try really hard to be productive today. I have cookies to make for our bunco/cookie exchange on Thursday, gifts to wrap, bills to pay, bathrooms to clean...let's see how far I get.

I hope all of you fellow midwesterners are suviving this ice storm. It sounds like it's a lot worse south of us, so Chelf - be careful!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

OH, so you're one of THOSE...

pregnant women!

That's what my sister said to me when I told her what I had done.

It was time for my next cut and color, so I scheduled my appointment and went in on Thursday evening. I was exhausted and wishing that I had made the appointment for a different time. I had gone in to work at 6:30 am that morning, hit the gym after work, and rushed home to shower and change for my hair appointment.

When I got there, I told Kelly that I was kinda bored with my cut and wanted something different. Well, this is what I got...

I chopped it off! And I love it! I had worked hard to grow it long a couple years ago, and I said that I wouldn't cut it until I was really sick of it since it took so long to grow. Well, I can't say that I was completely sick of it, but I was ready for a change, and I'm glad I went for it. In the picture above, I had curled it to make it wavy for some pictures, but it looks really cute straightened, too. I think I'm going to go back to Kelly and have her cut it a little shorter in the back and stack it so that it doesn't get into my's right at that length in the back that drives me crazy!

So, I cropped the picture above to show you my hair, but here's the whole picture...the first one I'm making public showing my growing's me at 19 1/2 weeks.

Today I spent a bunch of money. See, yesterday at lunch I went to start scoping out baby furniture. The store I went to was having a big sale, AND the saleslady told me that some of the cribs took up to 16 weeks to come in. Well, that lit a fire under me.

But, the store was packed with furniture, and I was overwhelmed. I called my sister and told her I expected her to get in her car RIGHT THEN and drive down here so she could help me. Well, that didn't happen. But, my SIL was available this morning, so we met back at the store when they opened today. We started out by slurping some Starbuck's hot chocolate down, and then we went inside to try to narrow down my choices.

The Colonel wanted no part of our shopping trip. All he wanted was for me to call and tell him the price...before I bought anything. Well, after wandering around the store, talking to the saleslady, sending photos through my phone to my mom and my sister, quizzing Jayme on all the things I needed or didn't need...I made a decision...and I ordered a crib and a dresser. And I'm poor now...but, here they are!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

#2 it is!

Thanks for all your input on the ring decision. I chose #2. It's probably not something I would have chosen 7 years ago, but it's gorgeous, and I think I'll enjoy wearing it! Funny thing fingers seemed to have shrunk since it got cold a few days ago. Now I hope the NEW ring will fit! Ha!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Fun with Images

Terri did this on her blog today, and I thought it looked pretty fun...

In this latest meme, you type the answer to the following questions into Google search images. Then pick one to represent from the first page that comes up. Here goes nothin':

My age at my next birthday (which is still 10 months away!!)...appropriate, doncha think?

Place I'd like to travel -- Greek Islands:

Favorite place I've been -- Ireland:

Favorite Objects -- Wedding Rings:

Favorite foods:


Ice Cream:

Stuffed Grape Leaves:

Favorite Color -- Red:

Favorite Animal -- Miniature Schnauzaer:

Monday, December 03, 2007

I need your help!

I'm only 19 weeks along, and my wedding ring is already too small!

I LOVE my wedding ring. Colonel and I picked it out together (I took him to the store and pointed and said, "that one!"). I'm never without it. I don't feel comfortable going to bed if it's not on my finger. I mean, what if there's a fire and I have to run out of the house, and it's not on my finger?? It might be lost forever! Seriously, it means a lot to me - it signifies the lifelong commitment that The Colonel and I made to each other over 7 years ago.

So, you can imagine my dismay when I realized that it didn't fit anymore. It was a little on the snug side anyway. We had it sized to a 5 1/4 after we got engaged, and there really wasn't any extra room.

I can't go another 5+ months without my ring, so I've decided to buy a cheap fake. Which means now is my chance to get something flashy with lots of stones, something fun that I can show off for a while...but, there are too many choices and I can't decide!

Below are 5 of my favorite ones I've seen so far. I've always been a gold person over a silver person. My real ring is gold, but I'm willing to branch out a little for this short time.

Help me decide! Tell me your favorite and why. Thanks!!