Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thanksgiving...

So I'm pretty much a bad journal keeper. I think I made it through two gratitude days before my embarrassing failure. But you know what, I'm okay with it. I taught last week in Young Women's and the topic was using your leisurely time wisely, which I wouldn't say I'm the best at, but it was good for me. That is why I haven't written lately. Blogging, unfortunately falls under the "want to" category, and my "have to" list hasn't allowed it. So I'm going to play catch up. Here's a little recap of this last Thanksgiving week/weekend.

Steve's parents in town- they haven't seen Hallie in such a long time that it was so fun to see the interaction. In fact, after they left, Hallie got in some trouble and I was disciplining her, she quickly ran to dad, who luckily reinforced my original punishment (1 minute timeouts for a two year old are traumatizing!) when she wasn't happy with mom or dad she said, I want grandma! We took them to the children's museum so they could see Hallie in her fun little environment. We had some good times. It's always a little hard for me to say goodbye, especially not knowing when we'll see them next.
Awesome Turkey day- We did wake up to snow, that was a little weird. We hosted a large breakfast at our house with Steve's parents and his brother Bob's family. We had french toast, eggs, hashbrowns, cinnamon pull aparts, and smoothies. We went to Bob's for our evening feast, and oh what a feast it was. Virginia made a beautiful Martha Stewart worthy Turkey, garnish and all. It was just so good to have so many family members around the table. Something we don't see a whole lot here in Wisconsin.

Black Friday Shopping-This was my first experience of the day after Thanksgiving shopping. I had purpose, so I got up at 4:15, did my business and I was home back in bed by 5:30. It wasn't nearly as bad as I imagined and it was worth every penny.
August Rush- Friday we went and saw the movie August Rush. It wasn't liked by the majority of the family, but I have to say I really liked it, probably because I really liked the music. Is the story believable...about as believable as How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, but I liked that too.
Great Conversation- There was plenty of good conversation to go around. It's a good feeling to be in the company of family and be at ease knowing you don't have to make conversation just to make conversation. Also Bob's son was home from college and he is always a great person to talk to. He's honest and open and I really like that about him.
Pit
- A nice family game of Pit. I only include this because...well, I won, it was a highlight!
Football- wow was there a lot of football going on. I'm part of the Neilson Media Research this past week, so our TV journal was quite easy to fill out. Steve was supposed to play football Thanksgiving morning, but woke up to snow on the ground. Being from Arizona, he was not about to go out in the cold and play, he figured they'd cancel...but they didn't. Too many Wisconsinites I guess!
Santa cookies- Steve's family has a tradition of making these santa cookies, and boy are they a lot of work. I'm not sure how Marva ever managed to make these with all the kids she had, that had to of been a chaotic task. But it was a tradition passed down that you don't dare break! So we thought what better way to start a tradition in our family than with Nana teaching us how to do it. She is seriously the master at these cookies. It was great watching all the guys decorate these little cookies, painting the lips, painting the eyebrows. I don't dare eat one now that I know all the hard work and effort that went into them. This was my first experience with the cookies and I have to say I'm impressed and excited to carry on the tradition.
And now ladies and gentlemen...it is Christmas, and I'm soaking up every second of it!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Saturday Gratitude...

I can't believe the week is already over...this is my favorite time of year, but it moves more quickly than any other time of the year, and it just frustrates me. There's so many things I would like to do, things to go see and listen to, people to help out, memories to be made. But instead, I'm consumed by everything else that isn't very important, but for some reason always ranks so high on my list. Nonetheless I have so much to be grateful for, it's hard to count them all. But I will attempt.

I'm grateful for the fall colors. There is something that warms me all over to see beautiful foliage changing colors: the reds, oranges, and yellows. I really can't get enough of it. My favorite part is the fact that they're not in our yard. We get the benefit of enjoying it without all the work that goes with it. Hallie and I went out and played in the leaves, and she just had a ball. She loved throwing them up in the air and then running through it screaming. It was all fun and games until she realized that her fingers were frozen. At first she thought her fingers were "Hot" but quickly realized, they were quite cold. But it was fun while it lasted.




I'm grateful for Steve's help in our kitchen project. He was quite the trooper through it all. He painted, he taped, he even smiled and nodded when I decided I wanted to take down a cabinet and changed my mind on the color. I love it!

I'm grateful for close parking spaces. Milwaukee decided to have a little snow flurry while Hallie and I were out and about shopping this evening. We had to park so far away that our noses were frozen by the time we got inside, and Hallie was quite frustrated with the snow. She kept trying to slap the snow away crying, "Stop it rain, stop it". Needless to say we were wishing that we either had a closer parking space, or we were handicapped! We had to run to one more store after the mall. As we pulled in to the parking lot, the second car in the first row was pulling out...Score! Reminds me that its the little things in life that count!

Gratitude for Friday...

I am so exhausted...Steve and I have been working on our kitchen this week which has made for a lot of late long nights. Needless to say, yesterday I was grateful for sleep. And no matter how many times it happens; I stay up late, Hallie doesn't get the memo, she wakes up early, which leads to me being exhausted, I never learn my lesson! So there you have it, I'm grateful for sleep, a good night's sleep!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Today I'm grateful for...

Today was a good day...busy, yet successful, as most of my days usually are. Steve and I were just talking about it tonight; talking about our busy days, weeks, months and everything in between. I made the comment, "I know we are so busy, and I absolutely love it!" For me, I'm happier when I'm busy. It seems like I go through periods where I long for the vacation, and then when I go on vacation, I pack it full of every possible thing we can do so I'm still busy. I guess it's in my blood. Here's my gratitude for the day...

I'm grateful for Gap's Friends and Family coupon! That's 30% off baby!! For those that know me, know that this is a big deal. I have a friend that works there and she gave this to me this morning, I was walking on clouds, and Hallie will be walking in new pants! YEAH!

I'm grateful for talents. I had a couple photo shoots today and it's good to know that there are those things in your life that you're good at, but yet can always work to be better! I love it.

I'm grateful for family. We went to Steve's brother's house this evening, as we do every Thursday night for our weekly get together. We get food, (tonight it was chinese food, yum) catch up on the weekly happenings, and then partake of the goodness of Thursday night television: Survivor, Office, Scrubs, 30 Rock. I'm a little disappointed that tonight's Office is the last one until the Strike is resolved...what ever will we do on Thursday nights. Anyway, it is so good to have family around, especially family that you love being around and consider them good friends.

I'm grateful for friends. Hallie and I were out and about this morning at the mall and we happened to run into three of our good friends here in Milwaukee. It was a little bizarre that we were all there at the same time in the same place (I guess we all have friends who work at Gap!!) But it was so good to spend the morning with them, chatting, shopping, wrestling children. It reminded me of the great friends we have made here in Milwaukee and what a role they play in our lives.

So concludes another day of gratitude. I can see how doing this every day (regardless if it was November or not) could really affect someone. I enjoy the time I get to count my blessings for the day, it's probably a good habit to get into.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Gratitude Month...

It's already half way through November a.k.a. "Gratitude Month" and yet I've failed to post even a short blurb on the buckets and buckets of blessings that I have. So I'm going to try each day to display a few things I'm grateful for this day.

Today I'm grateful for...Hallie singing. She loves to sing, her favorite being "I am a child of God" and I'll hear her singing it as she moves around the house. It brings a smile to my face. This morning when she got up, Steve was already up, so I brought her in to bed with me and we just stayed in bed and sung songs, it was the best.

I'm grateful for Steve. He is such a good sport about everything. He lets me tear apart the house and then helps me pick up the pieces. He also gets Hallie out of bed in the morning so I can sleep longer and above all he's good looking.

I'm grateful for the great weather today, it was just beautiful. The trees have lost most their leaves, so it was nice to have a decent day where a light jacket was more than enough.

Lastly (just for today that is), I'm grateful for humor. Humor gets me through a lot of situations everyday, I think that has to be the case when you have a child. Steve and I share a similar sense of humor and it's reassuring at the end of the day, he still thinks I'm funny. Hallie is starting to pick up on the humor...for example. Today, after countless times of getting into something she shouldn't, she knocked over the full trash can on the newly cleaned floor. Although upset, I felt I kept my cool...I asked her to leave the kitchen while I cleaned it up. She sat at the edge of the tile and when I finished, she walked over to me, patted me on the back and asked me, "Are you happy now Mom?" (Clearly this is something we ask Hallie a lot because it stuck with her) I couldn't help but laugh out loud.

Here is a humorous quote for the day from The Office:
Dwight: Would I ever leave this company? Look, I'm all about loyalty. In fact, I feel like part of what I'm being paid for here is my loyalty. But if there were somewhere else that valued loyalty more highly, I'm going wherever they value loyalty the most.

Also...
Michael: I'm not superstitious, just a little stitious!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Wisconsin Dells...

We went to the Wisconsin Dells (a.k.a. Waterpark Capitol of the World) with two families this week, Wednesday and Thursday. We stayed in a two bedroom suite at the Kalahari with the Lundgrens with Chaplins next door and it was awesome. There is something about 40 degree weather that just makes me want to jump in a swimsuit! It was really a great trip. We had the waterpark to ourselves which meant we had more than enough time to enjoy all the rides. Steve spent a lot of his time mastering the Tidal Wave body boarding, which normally would have a really long line, but we lucked out. After seeing Steve's mad skills, I decided to give it a whirl...and whirl probably best describes how I looked the first couple times. But I became one with the board and managed to keep my swimsuit on so I felt it was a success. (The lady right before me lost her top...somewhat awkward for her I'm sure. The waves beat so hard against you when you fall, it wasn't her fault, except she was wearing a bikini and it was probably a little small, but that's beside the point!) Steve pointed out later the large disclaimer basically saying make sure your swimsuit fits very tight or it is possible that it will come off.

Hallie enjoyed some of the slides, as long as she didn't get her face wet. She disliked the kiddie area because they had misters and waterfalls and she kept telling me over and over again that she didn't like it because it was raining! After just four hours the kids (as well as the adults) were exhausted. In fact we put Hallie to bed at 7pm last night, and although she woke up at 6am for a short time she fell back asleep and I had to wake her at 10 so we could check out. She was wasted...in fact the whole day she was a little miserable. She didn't want to get in the water or play at all, which kind of put a damper on the waterpark experience today, so it was a good thing we enjoyed ourselves yesterday, and had a blast. So for two short days we showed off our white pasty bodies, and enjoyed every minute of it!!



Just sick of it...

Tuesday night, Steve and I were packing for our trip to the Dells. It was late and we heard Hallie kind of scream and then start crying. We both went in and took our turns holding and comforting her. As I went to put her back in bed my hand brushed by her blanket and it was very wet. Confused as to what it was, I washed my hand and went back in and turned on the light. And there Hallie sat crying next to her blanket which was covered in throw-up. Now Steve and I got our feel of cleaning up after her when she was an infant. But ever since she had her surgery over a year and a half ago, we haven't had any problems. In fact it wasn't more than a week ago I was talking with a friend about her sick child and I made the comment we were so lucky because Hallie hadn't thrown up in so long, and yet we both (Yes, Steve was quite the trooper!) got our fill that night. And of course after we got everything cleaned up, new sheets/bedding, pajamas, Hallie's running around like nothing ever happened, and then she starts again. I now have a new appreciation for my mother cleaning up after me, including the time I woke up a little confused and threw-up in the washing machine...

Falling Leaves...



I woke up one morning and saw this row of trees on our street. My favorite part was the slight wind that dropped leaves continuously. They were fresh leaves, crisp, and bright in color. Cars hadn't driven on the road yet, so leaves covered the street. It was beautiful, except it was so cold as I was taking pictures, my fingers were numb before I was finished soaking in their beauty.

Monkey Time...



We celebrated Hallie's birthday last week at Steve's brother's house. In honor of Hallie's favorite animal at the zoo, (or perhaps the only one she can say and that we fully understand!) I made a monkey cake. Which turned out to be harder than Martha Stewart claims on her website, and not exactly what I was hoping for, but Hallie didn't know any different. She did however notice the doll and accessories that were given her. I found her doll the next day with Desitin all over it. She walked around carrying her doll saying, "Cream, Cream". I'm happy to report the doll is rash free! We gave Hallie a kitchen set for birthday which she loved. Steve set it up behind her as she was opening presents so when she turned around she would see it. When she turned around she yelled "It's a Chichen, a chichen dad!" Hallie has been cooking us meals ever since!
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