Holiday Family Photos

My kind mother emailed me some old school photos. Photos from past holidays. Photos that crack me up. Photos that I hope you enjoy as well.

1. Here is me at 4 years old [is that right, Mom?]. Notice my pimptastic leg warmers and gymnastics leotard. Duh...of course it was pink and had a skirt. Also, this was my trademarked pose: hands to the side of my face, like I was going to sleep. Where did I learn this? It was somewhat of a princess pose, which fit me perfectly back then.

But the most important part of the picture: look at how wonderfully I decorated the tree. It was the "cluster ball" style of the 80's, people. And it was hot. I think Mom took this picture so I could go to bed, and then she could rearrange the whole tree.
2. Seriously creepy grin. I think I was trying to bat my eyes for the camera or something. But the most important part of this picture: look in the left hand corner. Do you see that GIANT ball ornament? I made it and it's seriously huge and ugly. My first attempt at a DIY project, I suppose. Mom still has it and always hangs it in front of a hole in the tree. Perfect!

3. Let's go back further in time, shall we? My parents' first married Christmas, 1975. Things to note here: the awesomely bad TV with tin foil bunny ears. The pathetic little Christmas tree, apparently the only one left on Christmas Eve for my poor newlywed parents. Another thing: my Mom is holding a crock pot and wearing an apron because that is what my loving father bought for her. Yep. A crock pot and an apron. As my Mom said in her email:
He was only 22, what can I say. He wised up considerably in years to come.

4. That's Dad! Getting creative with the poses in front of the pathetic tree. I hope our first married Christmas provides for such entertainment. But maybe a little bigger tree and absolutely NO stereotypical "wife" gifts from Nate. He better not try that. He's older than 22 and should know better by now:)


I hope you can click on my photoshopped image to make it bigger. Sorry it's so small.

This image is going above my work desk to remind me why I'm a Physical Therapist. Maybe some of you may need it for daily inspiration, too.

My job is the opposite of a glamorous business career. I don't get to wear cute suits, network with tons of top-notch associates, travel to metropolitan headquarters, receive yearly bonuses or adequate time off, or rise to the top of the corporate ladder. I don't even get to sit at a computer during my entire day [boo!].

I wear tennis shoes, khaki pants, and a white lab coat to work. Sometimes I get nasty bodily fluids on my oh-so-attractive outfits and wear rubber gloves most of the time. My patience and humility are constantly tested each day as I attempt to help others. I won't get into too many details at the risk of severe boredom but basically: it is my responsibility to get people out of bed when they are in the hospital. I have to teach them to walk again after major joint reconstructions, or help them regain their balance after a severe fall at home, and maybe show them exercises to assist strengthening their fragile bodies. Sometimes I have to make difficult decisions: like can this cute little grandma go back to living alone, or does she need help from a nursing home for awhile?

Any of you who work directly with people know how draining it can be. And no matter what we do for a living, each and every one of us can make a difference somehow. I know it sounds incredibly cheesy, but even if I have ten grumpy patients who who want nothing to do with therapy....I can have one who is genuinely grateful for my time and effort. Those cute little grins and "thank you's" make my day worth it. The elderly have such amazing life stories, if you'll take the time to listen [and if they remember who they are]. Even if I do wipe urine from the floor. It's worth it.

Is your job worth it? Do you get a sense of accomplishment each day...even if it's a LONG day? I know most people would rather have a paid holiday every day instead of working, but why have you chosen your career? Would you choose differently if you could?

I ask myself these questions all the time, and my answers change depending on the day.

Just some food for thought:) 

Holiday Decor ideas

Now that our Christmas cards are finished and ready to go, our dining room table is craft-free. When I started to clean it up Nate said, "You mean there aren't any more crafts?" Which got me thinking....I should probably get going on our holiday decor. I have BIG plans for this year, we'll see how they pan out.

1. My first project: Stockings. Now technically we already have a set but Nate is throwing a tantrum about his "gay" stocking. It's white, fuzzy, has a ribbon and a brooch on it:) Hee, hee, I'm so evil, aren't I? It was cheap at Target last year, and I suppose it's time to upgrade.

I want to buy a generic, plain set and spice them up. Think ribbons for mine, something manly for Nate's. I want our names or at least our initials on them...probably in a cute font of some sort. Here are a few inspiration pics from Etsy:

Love the pearls on top here:
Digging the lace here:

Henry needs a new stocking, too! How cute would this Mini-Me be?!

I think I really like these felt stockings. I can see this for Nate with a little Julia-made personalization. No ribbons or brooches this time.

LOVE these. Those dangly poms are totally going on my stocking. Probably some printed fabric, too. So who wants to teach me to sew?

2. My second idea: I want to make cute letters like this that say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays". This image is from All Sorts blog [love it!].
Only problem is that we don't exactly have a fireplace. But I have some ideas, don't worry. I may even spice it up a little more to make it more "me."

3. My third project: I want to make us our first yearly ornament as a married couple. Both Nate and I have adorable moms who got us ornaments for each year of our lives. My mom laughs because sometimes when our family had a particularly hard year, the ornament was shabby and rather pathetic. And sometimes Hallmark's selection involved barnyard animals and random phrases [ah, those were fun years]. It's so fun looking through every yearly ornament and I definitely want to do that with our family. So that means for our first married Christmas, we need one SUPER cute ornament. Again, I have some ideas so stay tuned--most of my ideas involve personalization, and possibly a wedding picture. Shocking, isn't it? Maybe it will look something like this, from pottery barn:

And I kind of want our tree to have a theme [go figure]--as in a silver theme, or red theme. Okay, honestly I want a pink and green theme but Nate shot me down. Damn those husbands! I like this tree scheme from PB, dangly sparklies and all.
4. My fourth project: a wreath! I want to copy Martha on this one with lots of fun ornaments:
Or maybe tons of beads [ie lots of work]. Either way, a big fat ribbon is a must.
Yes, I know. That is a lot of projects. But I can do long as the dining room table surrenders to my clutter yet again. And if I muster up the courage to enter Michaels---that place is a madhouse right now!

Also, if any of the above pictures mysteriously morph into question marks...I'm going to lose my mind. I don't get blogger sometimes and I tried your desktop upload trick, Darci. So let's cross our fingers that it works.

The Big Reveal.

Okay, ladies. I brought my pics of Mandy, Meg, and Katie. And told the girl to work her magic. I got a newbie fresh out of beauty school and I really liked her, surprisingly. She tried to diffuse my hair to bring out the curl, but she isn't aware that my hair does what it wants. And it never wants to curl after a fresh cut. So this is me after straightening it a bit. I know I will probably have to use the blow dryer for my bangs at least, but it took about 2 minutes for my whole head to dry. I think I can handle 2 minutes. Maybe even 4 if I have to flat iron it:)

Tell me I don't look like a man. Or a forty year old soccer mom. I'm afraid I crossed over from the "wife" cut to the "old married hag" cut. But strangely, I think I like it!

On another note, guess who else got a haircut today? He's thrilled, can't you tell?


Since I started my blogging journey, I find myself "blog hopping" quite a bit. Meaning, I'll start at one blog and link to a favorite, then again I'll jump to another favorite from that new blog, and so on.

In the process, I've stumbled upon some ridiculously inspiring blogs. As in, blow-your-mind-talented people. I'd like to consider myself fairly creative and I fiddle around with different projects to keep my creativity alive. But some of these blogs I've discovered make my projects seem so....crappy, for a lack of a better word.

One of these blogs I just HAVE to show you : Anahata Katkin. Her art store is here, and some of my favorite stuff is in her site called PaPaYa! found here. Everything is so whimsical, bright, vintage, eclectic, and GIRLIE! I am in love. [swoon!]

Check out these holiday cards [oh, how I wish I was a procrastinator and didn't already make mine]

And then there's the journals. Talk about inspiring! I don't keep a journal [well, besides my blog] but maybe I'll get one just in case:)

Her art prints would be most practical for me. I would LOVE to have something like this framed and hanging on our walls. I checked with the hubby and he only approves of the first two---which is better than none, right?

Is anyone else drooling right now? Sigh.

Weekly Blog Spotlight

Third edition of the weekly spotlight, featuring Hannah !!! Sit back and enjoy, folks. She is one of a kind!How did you meet this person?

I met Hannah on a bus ride to SLU when we were mere seniors in high school [read: scrawny little pip squeeks]. We attended rival high schools as I was from the [better] Capital of the Whole State, called Jefferson City and she was from the Crazy College Town of Columbia. We uttered about 3 words to each other on that bus ride to our future university, but we just seemed to click. Before our return back to mid-MO we decided to be roommates since neither of us knew anyone else attending SLU. Hannah seemed to exude "coolness" in all that she did. I was in awe of her laid back attitude---she seemed so mature and I definitely wanted to be her friend [awwww].

Favorite memory/story about this person?
Oh, so many to choose from. Hannah has an extensive history of memorable falls and you all know how I love those, right? She also suffers from one of the worst cases of "paralytic hangovers" known to mankind. Back in her day she could drink any guy under the table and then pay for it BIG time. I vividly remember one time when she didn't move a muscle for 24 hours straight, as she laid on her dorm room floor in a sleeping bag unable to utter a sound. I wanted to check her pulse to assure she was still alive, but then she opened one eye and said, "I think I had some bad wine last night." This was during our "boxed wine era" and boy did that end quickly. It's still a debate about whether the wine was actually bad, or if Hannah's body simply quit processing the massive amounts of alcohol. Her famous quote she uses to get through waves of nausea is "This too shall pass." You may hear her mumbling that from time to time, which is completely normal, right?

What is this person's best quality?
This is extremely difficult for me to specify. I lived with the girl for eight whole years, during times of major character growth, life experiences, and self discovery. Neither of us have sisters but Hannah is the closest thing I have to one. She is undoubtedly very honest and caring--she is my friend who won't sugar coat things, and will tell me the truth no matter how hard it is for me. Plus, the initial quality that drew me to Hannah was her laid back attitude--which is something that is appreciated in a friend. She has the ability to calm people down when we are a bit worked up over nothing. She'll put things into perspective without added drama. Now that's not to say she doesn't have her share of elaborate stories or classic girlie freak outs. But Hannah is one of the most down to earth friends of mine, and I miss her dearly. Even though living together for eight years of our life was difficult at times, I'll treasure our memories forever. Nate certainly had big shoes to fill as my new roomie :)

Do you have any funny pictures of this person?
Ah yes, I certainly do. If I was feeling especially mean or reminiscent I would go find my college photo albums and do some scanning of old pictures. But I suppose recent pics will do for now. [Although I'm secretly bummed I didn't own a digital camera during our Spain experience. Now THOSE would be some beauties for this blog!]

1. Here is Hannah getting extremely flustered with my bustle. You can't see it here, but she has her characteristic scowl on her face here. She may even have broken a sweat at this point.

2. While getting ready, she is thinking, "How in the HELL am I supposed to open this thing?" As if she's never opened a bottle of the bubbly before.

3. I'm sorry for this one. I have so many beautiful shots of your Maid of Honor speech, and yet...I chose to post this instead. Oops:)
4. Do you see Hannah and her then fiance breaking it down? I'm not sure which is funnier, Hannah or Michael and his jitterbug moves.
5. Ah yes, Hannah's bachelorette party. I believe this was a cooling face mask of some sorts and shortly there after she put it to good use.

6. Here she is getting ready for HER wedding. Ingredients for a great wedding picture: A bride, some faux hair, and a sarcastic look on her face.
7. The beautiful bride en route to her wedding. It's a shame I don't have more pictures of her wedding, but this one about sums it up: airing out the pits on a hot August day!
8. At my rehearsal, Hannah is absolutely enthralled with my bouquet. Either that or she's counting down the minutes until we can eat.

Does this person read your blog?
I don't know. I assume she checks in from time to time, but she once mentioned that she can't leave comments because she "forgets" her password. Maybe she can find it this one time, in the moment of her glory:)

Love you Hannie! Hope all is well and can't wait to see you soon [I hope!]

Cut. It. Off!

So this was me right before our wedding, after growing out my hair. It drove me absolutely NUTS being this long, but at least I could have an up-do for the wedding:
Then after the wedding, I chopped it off like this [excuse the shiny face and lack of makeup]:
And this is me right now, after the original haircut has grown out a bit. I wear my hair wavy like this on a daily basis [too lazy for a blow dryer]:
SO....I'm getting my hair cut on Tuesday. I REALLY want to chop it off again. As in, really short. Almost "butch" short. I'm so sick of it being in between lengths, and I have worn my hair butch short in the past and I think I liked it.

So here are my inspiration pictures. Which do you like best?

1. Meg Ryan. I LOVE this one with all the choppy layers. But I know her hair is probably eight times as thick as mine.

2. A random girl, I like how the back has some volume. Not a big fan of the long piece on her right side.

3. Mandy Moore. This is extremely short but I LOVE it. Especially the little swoop bangs.

4. Meg Ryan part deux. This is a lot longer in back and my hair won't usually be this straight. Cute bangs!

5. A random girl, who has those cute bangs again. And lots of layers. Too bad she is so creepy looking.
6. Katie Holmes with her bob. Love the bangs and the general length. But it doesn't have as much volume as some of the other pictures.

Any opinions welcome. I will post pictures of the results tuesday night!

Christmas Cards part 2, etc.

I. This is what our dining room table looks like right now:

And here is what I decided to do with the inside of the cards. I cannot get the picture to rotate vertically for some reason, so you'll just have to tilt your head sideways:
I used my Christmas tree stamp a few times, did the "we're moving" announcement, and decided on a quick personal note at the bottom. And of course, different printed papers for each.

II. Speaking of printed papers, I just got a Paper-Source catalog and I'm drooling over their wrapping paper selection. Guess which of the following color schemes is my favorite:

III. Also [this has nothing to do with cards or paper]....some new pictures of Henry! Just playing around with our current camera and trying to convince myself we don't need a new one:)That last one is my fave. He's such a good subject to shoot!

IV. And final topic: I obviously updated my blog design for the holidays [yay!] But I'm having some issues and I hope you bloggers can help. When I add pictures to my posts, should I upload them from the web or from my desktop?

I ask because sometimes I'll post pictures from the web [using a url] and within about 24 hours my pictures turn into question marks. And sometimes I'll just save the web picture to my desktop and upload it from that location, but I don't think that always works, either.

So basically, my pictures will work for awhile then disappear for no apparent reason. Why is this happening? Any ideas?
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