Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve Comfort

This is a Christmas Eve that's a little different from my typical. My parents and I drove down to Fort Wayne, IN. today to take my nephew, Nick to his paternal grandparents Christmas celebration. When I heard of their plans I thought it might be fun to come back to the old hometown (I grew up just outside Fort Wayne in a small town called Auburn) so I decided to come along for the ride.

Our original plan was to go to Glenbrook mall for the afternoon and then see a movie this evening while we waited for Nick. One look at the mall and we developed a new plan…it was a procrastinators nightmare! So instead we drove back down the freeway to Auburn and went to Pizza Hut, one of our family’s prior favorite restaurants for lunch. This isn’t an ordinary pizza hut though, for some reason it’s much better than any other one I’ve ever encountered. I had taco pizza and bread sticks for lunch, which were quite yummy! Next we stopped by the movie theater and decided the best idea would be to check into a hotel room where my dad could take a much-needed nap and then head to a movie later. Once in the room we deiced maybe watching a movie in the room would be just as good (not to mention cheaper) than a trip to the theater.

So…here I sit…in my old hometown in a Comfort Suites hotel room on Christmas Eve. In a way it makes a nice change from other years. Normally I spend this day running around like a chicken with my head cut off getting ready for Christmas but this trip meant I had to get things done ahead of time for a change. It’s a little weird to not be spending the day with Michael but he sounds happy and I’m happy so I guess it’s all good.

While my dad took his nap my mom and I ran to the store where we got some snacks and a couple of games, one of which is called “Last Word” and it’s pretty fun but might be better with more players. The other game is called “Big Brain Academy” and it’s…interesting. There are lots of elaborate parts and there’s a “brain scale,” which struck us as terribly funny to the point of hysterical tears. All in all it’s been a good…if different…Christmas Eve and I’ve enjoyed the time with my parents perusing our old stomping ground.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sweet Relief!

I never thought I'd be happy with a "c" at this stage of my educational career but halleluiah I passed my chemistry class!!!!!! I just received my final grades and overall they look not bad, here's the synopsis:
  • Word Study in the Reading Program = A
  • Music for Elementary Education = A
  • Issues/Trends in Literacy Education = A-
  • Earth Science for Elementary Education = B
  • Chemistry for Elementary Education = C
I could literally jump for joy right now! I've been SO WORRIED about my chemistry grade after how much I struggled with the whole class but especially those last few chapters and tests. It is sweet relief to know that it's over and I passed. Now the only big hurdles left for me are math and physics, which I can probably space out appropriately over the rest of my semesters so I won't go crazy.

Today is a good day!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Done and Done!

Oh and what a huge relief it is to be done with that crazy semester!! I have to say I'm very glad it's over. Now I can relax a little and then (maybe) finally do something about this impending holiday we've got coming up. I'm never this last minute but honestly this year it just crept up.

In other news, today is my little nieclet, Ava Marie's first birthday!! Yet another example of how very quickly this year has come and gone. I have been very blessed to be close to Ava this past year and I have enjoyed every moment I've had with her. She is such a sweet, cute little girl and I think (though admittedly I may be biased) quite smart as well. She's walking and saying lots of words already. Yesterday I said, "is it lunch time?" and she replied with, "Ava eat." She said "Ava" with a short A even though it's pronounced with a long A so it was very babyish and sweet. She says and does so much these days and it's such joy for me to watch her grow and learn so many new things! Hard to believe that this time last year we were all in the hospital down in Monroe wishing her a good night's sleep! Here's to you, Baby Ava Marie!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Chip In

This is an online service that allows friends and family to contribute to our adoption fund via paypal. I think it's pretty cool!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

My Winter Wonderland

Let it snow
Let it snow
Let it snow!

Light up the Night

Here are the photos I promised in my previous blog entry of our little home all lit up for Christmas! I woke up at 6:45 this morning to let the dog out. When I saw that the snow was up to her belly I decided to get dressed and go take some photos. It was cold but exhilarating and fun too...and I think the photos were worth it!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

And so this is Christmas...

Well...December 13 has come and gone and Christmas is officially underway at our house now. Michael spent a majority of his time yesterday and today lighting up our little house. It looks great and I'll be posting some photos of the finished design when I have some time to take a timed exposure. Besides...we're supposed to get a big snow storm tomorrow night so it will be even prettier then. We've had a good couple of's always a treat for me when it's finally time to get out our Christmas decorations, sort of a pre-Christmas Christmas! This year the wait was not nearly as long as it normally seems since I've been so busy with school. Hard to believe Christmas is only {nearly} ten days away!

I had a hard time with the tree this year, cutting it down made me feel really sad. I'm not sure why but my awareness of the tree's sacrifice on behalf of our annual tradition is much greater this year than it normally is. It's not that I don't typically think about what happens to trees at Christmas time because I do but this year was much more difficult for me for some reason. I stood there for a while and seriously thought about not having a tree this year. Now I'm nothing if not a traditionalist and I value our Christmas traditions in particular, so this is saying something. I actually came close to walking away but in the end we said a prayer of thanks and we still cut the tree down. Who knows...maybe my feelings are telling me it's time to make some changes? Maybe in future years we will decide to give up the tradition of a live tree? I guess part of the struggle for me has to do with the fact we are cutting down our own trees now. Sad to say but it's a lot easier to not consider a tree as a living entity--and to justify the desire for the smell of a live tree for Christmas when you don't see its growing place among all the other pines. But all that aside - I have made my peace with our decision and I've spent the better part of my time these past couple of days decorating the tree. Good times.

Friday, December 07, 2007


Here's something every woman who loves a man should read. Definitely interesting, though my husband claims it's less than ten times a day.


I was just looking through some photos I took for a friend over the summer. These are two of the little girls I care for, the daughters of my good friends, Molly and Lee. They are so sweet and I just wanted to share a couple of the highlights of my life.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Miss Brown

I've been working with my mom to help her illustrate her first post-retirement book, a leadership principles book she's writing that features their chocolate Labrador Retriever, "Miss Brown," AKA Nestle.

We've done two photo shoots so far and it's been fun, in addition to resulting in some pretty cool shots of Nestle in action!

I've enjoyed helping out with this, it's a fun project to be involved in!

Getting There...

Well it's been an exhausting weekend and I've (literally) been at the computer writing/researching for the better part of the past 30 hours...BUT...I'm getting closer to the end of the semester!! Except for a letter to my professor with suggestions for improvement on the assignment and any last minute changes I decide to make, this particular {monstrous} global warming/carbon offsets research paper and chemical safety lesson project can be classified as complete.


The week ahead is going to be absolutely packed with final projects and exams and I'm still not quite clear on how it's all going to get done on time but at least I have one huge item checked off my to do list...that's definitely something!