Friday, December 30, 2011


was full of wonderful.
Our family saw lots of changes.
Some sad, some joyful.
We are feeling completely blessed and are looking forward to what 2012 has in store for us.
We are excited to spend New Year's Eve and the first week of 2012 with my family in New Jersey.
Watching my niece {9 months old} and Callan interact is going to be SO much fun.
There will be lots of pictures to share when we get back.  :)

To think that, just a year ago, Callan was just a little munchkin...  

...and now he's a walking, "talking" little boy.

My word for 2011 is BLESSED.

As you reflect on this past year and celebrate the upcoming 365 with your friends and family, I want to wish you, and yours, a beautiful, healthy, happy, and incredibly blessed New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

our Christmas day

consisted of pj's, leftovers, and a few quiet, thankful moments.

We started off the day with a peach French toast bake and big mug of hot cocoa.

It was quite delicious.
Like a breakfast cobbler.

My homemade peppermint marshmallows are way yummier in a hot cup of cocoa than by themselves.
They get ooey gooey yummmmm...

We watched/helped Callan open his Christmas presents from his grandparents.
He, actually, had it figured out to rip the paper off - it was quite exciting to watch.  :)
He's getting so big!

Look at him go :)

My boys.  Lovethemtopieces.

We had a restful day, just the three of us.
A very merry day, indeed.

Monday, December 26, 2011

a peek at our Christmas Eve

A family picture.

Or three.

A simple Christmas Eve table.

A full oven.

A pepperminty dessert.

Moments shared with new friends.


Friday, December 23, 2011

salt dough disaster

Earlier, we attempted to make hand-print salt dough ornaments.
Here's a look at how that went...

"Ok, bud.  Just lay your hand flat...I'll help you."

"No, keep it flat."

"Really?  C'mon dude.  This only has to take 10 seconds...just work with me."

"Here.  Hold this cookie cutter for me.  Yay!  We're happy now!  Let's try again..."

"Ok, you hold onto that cookie cutter...I'm just going to help you press your hand into the dough..."

"There we go!  See?!  It's not so bad!  Good job, buddy!"


"I think we can make them a little better, now that we kinda know what we need to do. Let's start over."

"Good job, bud! No, no, no..don't grab the dough!"

"Well, that was way better!
{sarcasm, totally, intended}

"Ok, last time.  Then we'll call it quits and accept defeat.  Oh!  Good job!  No, no!  Stop grabbing!"

"Well, I think that's the best we're gonna for me!"

And then I put it in the oven and ruined it.  
We won't follow those salt dough instructions again...

Maybe we'll try it again.
Maybe we won't.
Or maybe we'll just try it again next year...

Have you had any luck getting prints of your little ones?
Any suggestions, at all?
Maybe a dough recipe that works really well?


Can you believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve?!
December flew by this year.

Here's what tonight holds for us:

Chinese food by the fire
hot chocolate with peppermint marshmallows
finishing up all that I need to have done by tomorrow

We have a busy day ahead of us tomorrow.  Christmas Eve is our Christmas.  For my family, it always has been (it's a Norwegian thing).  Travis, gladly, adopted this tradition.  We have friends coming over for dinner, and I have much to do before then!  But first a little relaxation, fireside, with my boys.  Gotta steal a few quiet moments amidst the holiday craziness.  :)

Wishing you the merriest of Christmases to you and your loved ones!

thrifty finds

Yesterday morning we ran out to two of our local thrift stores.  Nothing like a little pre-Christmas thrifting.  The purpose of our trip was to, hopefully, find an embroidery hoop so I could finish up a Christmas gift for a friend.  I have found that they are way cheaper at the thrift stores than buying them brand new at, say, Hobby Lobby.

We had a pretty successful thrifting adventure.

This chair = tufted seat and back, perfect colors, nailhead trim around the legs, no stains, great shape = MINE.
We can finally put the 4th dining chair back in the dining room, because this little beauty found a new home at our computer desk.

Love the tufting.

Love the price.  $14.96

The thrift store didn't disappoint; I found just the right sized embroidery hoop that I needed.  It came with two smaller ones, too.  Bonus.  All three were $.93.  I also found a plain white mug.  $.79 - 40% = practically free.

And I bought thrift store clothes for the first time.  *Gasp*, I know.  So, maybe they're not for me, but they're size 24 months and in great shape.  I have always thought it a little skeevy buying thrift store clothes - God knows where they come from, but I might finally be over that.  I can always run them on the washer's sanitizing cycle.  Now I just need the patience to actually sift through all the dated, [ugly] clothes to find the half-way decent, hey-i-can-work-with-that articles of clothing. These two shirts for Callan were $1.49 and $2.49, not bad.

So at thrift store #1, I scored that great chair, 3 embroidery hoops, a plain white mug, and 2 shirts for our little man, all for a whopping $21.75.

I felt so good after our finds at the first store we hit up, I convinced Travis to head over to another thrift store [one that we've never had luck at, but I figured third times a charm].  Here's what came home with us from store #2:

A white, ceramic, duck head hook.  A splurge at $.99.  
And a pack of Christmas bulbs.  $.59 - 60% = even more practically free than the white mug from the first store.
I have this project in mind for next year, so I'm on a bulb hunt.

We walked out of thrift store #2 spending a crazy, out of control $1.33.

Successful thrifting outings make me happy.
And so does that pretty, tufted chair.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

' twas the Nerf before Christmas

and all through the house, Nerf darts were flying and I hid like a mouse.

Well, not really.
I tried to get a picture of a Nerf dart flying in my direction, but that didn't happen.
Ellie was the one running away, hiding, and shaking.  Poor thing. 

Travis shot.
Whether he was actually aiming at the coffee can in front of me, or at my head, has yet to be determined...

Callan frantically gathered the fired darts like a little squirrel collecting acorns for winter.

He loved every second.

And as Travis shot, 

darts gathered at my feet.  

I think it's safe to say it wasn't the coffee can he was aiming at after all...

Oh, and we elfed ourselves last night.  Too fun.
I never thought I'd say this to someone, but "go elf yourself!"

Just click HERE to see our little video :)