Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Once upon a time...

It was Christmas day. As like most houses on Christmas morning, it looked like a bomb went off in the living room. That must have been one heck of a bomb, because it also shook the kitchen, and the master bedroom!!! That's ok... we can clean it tomorrow, oops, no we can't, we have to go shopping ALL day, then celebrate Christmas with the father-in-law, oh well... we can clean it the next day... uh oh... you guessed it, more shopping, and more holiday celebrating. All this partying, only adds to the chaos... the next day is "the day of rest", so we will be resting in Christmas aftermath until Monday. That's ok... we have all week, with nothing to do. Cleaning will be the focus of next week.

Sunday evening:
We woke up from our Sunday nap, to our back-up battery on the computer YELLING at us. OH HECK... THE POWER WENT OFF! That's ok... let's finish our nap, and it will be on when we wake up...

Monday evening:



Finally Wednesday at 7pm... POWER!!!

Needless to say, the house still looks like a bomb went off. We had NO HEAT for 3 days. We shared a generator with the neighbors, using space heaters to heat Nora's room, while Joel and I created our own heat in our bed. WHAT... it was like 40 degrees in our room... FREEZING! Nora and I spent the days "homeless". Shopping more, going to the movies, eating out every day, visiting with friends who lovingly allowed us to crash, missing much needed naps, trying to explaining to Nora why we can't go home... (poor girl, she did not get it.)! Life was really rough the last few days. As a family, we pulled together, and made things work. Today, I am so grateful for HEAT, Portable DVD players, car powered cell phone chargers, and HOT SHOWERS! Let's just say that we will be spending the New Year cleaning, doing 2 weeks worth of laundry, and hopefully grocery shopping, since everything in our fridge is bad. I will pray tonight that I can be helpful to anyone ever going through the same situation. I would like to thank DTE for finally getting the power on, however, I really don't think they deserve the thanks. (Just keepin' it real folks!)

Friday, December 26, 2008

"Nifty Fifty"

That is the term I heard/read a few times while researching my Christmas present!!! Do my photography friends know what the hoot I'm talking about? Well, next time you are in a conversation with other photographers, and you want to sound super wicked... while talking about your 50mm fixed lens... call it a "nifty 50". Your friends will be impressed!

Anyways... this is what I wanted for Christmas. It is my first addition to my photography hobby. So far I LOVE IT! Although, it isn't as cool as I thought it would be. I am not sure it will Auto Focus, but if it does, I haven't learned how yet. Here are a few shots while playing with the 50.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I am looking so forward for 2009, and all the many adventures our family will encounter.

Santa's not the only one with HELPERS!

Something that I never heard of, until I had my own child, are "Mothers Helpers". Maybe this is something that you pro moms know about, and maybe not... if not, I am here to share a great piece of advice. A mothers helper is a girl that is old enough to help with kids, but not old enough to be left alone. So she comes over, and "helps". They are cheaper then a babysitter, and convenient to have around during the holidays, when I really want to bake, and someone else really wants me to pretend I am a Prince Phillip, who happened upon a Sleeping Beauty "Once upon a Dream". It is fun for the kiddie, and preparatory for the girl. So when I needed one of these "Mothers Helpers", who else would I call, but my most favorite babysitters, little sister. Nora had a blast! I had a mini session with them playing in the snow. How adorable is this little "Chew" (Her parents call her Chewy.)?

FINALLY... I am in the spirit of Christmas!!!

It is the day after Christmas! I can finally say, that I am feelin the holidays!! Nora and I went shopping early this morning, and got all sorts of deals, in hopes that next year, I will be more in the decorating mood. IT WORKED! Why is it that shopping, always makes me feel better? And shopping at 70% off, it the ULTIMATE HIGH!

We are half done with our Christmas gatherings. So many wonderful things happened over the last two days, then I can now open up, and share all the things that led up to. I have taken oodles of pictures, and I am so excited to share them.

On the Sunday before Christmas, Nora and I had a mini photo session in the kitchen before we left for church. I am usually very particular with the shots I allow in my camera. After 10 minutes of giving Joel specific instructions about how to take the pictures, he finally just did it the way he wanted. I REALLY NEED TO LOOSEN UP! Nora has gotten really good at ignoring the camera, and so we get some really good shots of the back of her head.

Speaking of the back of her head, remind me to tell you what the big mark on her head is. It is rather disturbing!

I went to a cookie party before Christmas, and got to mingle with the best of friends. I am such a big nerd... I don't know why they put up with me.
Here are the cookies that I made. Which is why in my last post, I needed crushed up mints. They were really fun. I never tried them, but my awesome sister-in-law yelled at me, because they were really good, and she had to hit the treadmill extra hard the next day. Is it weird that I enjoy the look of the things I make, rather then the taste? Usually, the things I like to taste, don't look good in photos. And the things that are fabulous to look at, aren't pleasing to my taste. I have always been a little backwards like that though.

Speaking of food... my friend Jennifer, and I have a tradition, where the weekend before Christmas, we spend HOURS making Grandma Buscha's TOP SECRET canoli recipe. The recipe is so top secret, that I am not even allowed to know what goes into them. I am only allowed to roll, and fry the shells. But, they are pretty A-mazing as far as Italian Pastries go. And also beautiful to photograph... HEY... maybe, I'm not so weird. This is enough for one post. I have much more to post about, but need to take a breather from all this yummy food. "I can actually hear me getting fatter!"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Reflections of Christ

A couple of years ago, I learned of this amazing photographer. Being one that is intrigued by talented photographers, I became a fan. During the season of Christ, I have noticed bloggers talking about Mark Mabry, and I thought I would jump on the "Reflections of Christ" post.

It had me thinking tonight, about where I am at this season. I have been underwhelmed. Baking, decorating, crafting, all those things that make the season so fun, have been far far down on my priority list. I didn't get cards out this year. I had Joel and Nora decorate the tree. Just things that I should be excited about, I really haven't. I am so grateful to be able to feel the love of the Savior every day. I continually try to honor His birth, His life, and His death throughout the entire year. I think it is great, that so many people in this world take advantage of His love for us during Christmas time. I would like to think, He would be pretty proud of the birthday party we throw for Him.

So, in lui of a Christmas card from the Evans Family, here is a video from Reflections of Christ, and the link to their website. Please share it with those you know. Don't let the twinkling lights over shine the reason for this season. Merry merry Christmas.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Emotional Christmas!

Ha! I had to get out some Christmas agression today! Find out why, later! Also, coming soon... finally a little bit of snow to make our Christmas truly Merry! And by little, I mean like 15 inches in the last two weeks! I am NOT dreaming of a WHITE CHRISTMAS! Virginia Beach... where are you?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My poor Blog!

It has really missed seeing my baby! I haven't put anything about her on my blog in a very long time. Because there was nothing special that I thought I should blog about, (really, I have been a lousy mom the last few weeks, and have lost all bragging rights to what a perfect little angel I have. She still takes the binki, blanky, not potty trained, and thinks her name is Nora Kirstynn Evans!) so, in looking at the positive, I thought I would blog about how beautiful she is! Joel and I try to make her think that she is also smart, and not only beautiful. Sure, I prance her around in tutus, and squeaky shoes, and she gets lots of attention, but when we are at home, we don't sit around telling her how cute she is. Anyways, she talks all the time. She always wants mommy to sing princess songs to her. Beauty, Belle, Rella, Jammy, White... She knows them all. And if I try to change the words, or sing too loud, she gets mad, and Shushes me! A few weeks ago, while I was putting her to bed, she wanted me to sing the "Ky" song. I told her I didn't know the "Ky" song. She kept insisting on the "Ky" song. After several attempts to convince her that I really didn't know what she was talking about, and her insisting that I did, I made an executive decision, and made up my own "KY SONG". Then she wanted a Marley song. Then a Maggie song, then a Ryan song, and every other person she has ever known! That was a long bed time night. And thankfully she forgot about it!

I am preparing a talk that I have to give on Sunday. The topic is peace. After Nora fell asleep, I took a couple pictures. When I close my eyes, and think of the word "PEACE" this is what I see...

Then I noticed something else, that I don't think I have blogged about, but think it is blog worthy....
THE TAG! This blankey has become her "blankey". The one she will always have, and will never forget about. Last February Nora and I were going on our first flight together. Because I didn't know how it would go, I bought a "spare blankey". Thinking that if she got sick while on the flight, I would have a clean back up! Only when I went to buy the new one, the tag was different. They changed the material on them. Of course it is not the same, and of course she would have to notice. Thankfully we didn't need a back up. It would sure be handy now though. She has rubbed the tag on this so thin, that it is almost impossible to find. We are past the stage where she would wake up in the middle of the night, yelling, "TAAAAAAAAAAAAAG!!! TAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAG!!!" She can find it on her own now. Every time I wash it, it gets a little smaller and smaller. The tag is also turning black. Not quite sure how that happened, but it is rather GROSS!

Cristi's Creations

Check out Cristi's Creations. Is it time to "Holiday Spice" up your blog? She can help. Super cute pages, and the best part... THEY ARE FREE! I feel like I hit the Jackpot!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

There's NO place like HOME!

I need a vacation from our "Vacation"? I thought it would be like a second honeymoon going to Virginia Beach... WRONG! There was one moment, at The Cheesecake Factory, one night over dinner, that Joel and I were completely focused on only each other! Then we started talking business, and that was the only time we didn't really "work" while we were there. The first two days we were there were frustrating, because it didn't go how we expected. We didn't see a house that we even liked. We went to one of the wards, that I thought would be "Our Ward"... it wasn't. We did however LOVE the beach! Which was one happening place! The night we got there, they had a LIGHTS parade, and then on the boardwalk, there were MILES of light displays on the beach. Our room was right on the beach, so we saw a few of the displays. Santa water skiing was the one right out our balcony.

On Monday, Joel met his staff, and his boss. They were very helpful. Showed us a few areas that they thought we would like. (Of course they didn't know the ward boundaries, so that was a non-issue once we requested outside help.) So while Joel went to work in the office, I WENT SHOPPING! Apartment/rental shopping. I found an area that we could definitely live in! I loved it. It was a few blocks from the beach! Close to shopping, work, and other fun happenings! I am not sure what the area is like during summer, obviously. But I think we could make it work. Now that Joel is back at work, we should start learning, when this great move will take place. We are both excited for the adventure. He is anxious to learn more.

We saw the definition of Christmas "threw up" all over someones lawn. In fact, in this neighborhood, there were several THROW ups of Christmas!

I also learned what Joels favorite part of VB is... In the airport on the way home, we saw a Soldier reunited with his wife and children. It was so beautiful, and made me want my baby! We both missed her so much! She was so fun when we picked her up from Lulus. She was jumping around, laughing, petting, hugging. It was amazing.

Friday, December 5, 2008

It's official...

We are selling our house! Now, there is still a chance that we're going to hate VA. and decide to stay here. We fly out tomorrow to check it out. But, we have to start somewhere! And better sooner then later! One thing at a time!

Monday, December 1, 2008

WHAT have we gotten ourselves into???

I am in bed typing this from Joels laptop. My computer is in... 5+ pieces in the den, waiting to either be packed, or... set back up "impersonally". And to know, that I have to go all day tomorrow without my computer... well, frightens me! The last few days we have been packing! I know what you are thinking, "You don't even know when you are moving... why would you start packing?" Well, we are trying to sell our first house! This is the first time we have lived in a house, and we built it, so we don't really have a lot of experience in the whole house buying/selling area. On Thursday, we are having the realtor come over, and she is doing a "virtual tour" photo shoot. So, the house has to look picture perfect! NO CLUTTER, NO STUFF, PRESS EVERYTHING, blah, blah, blah!!! This is something that is so super annoying to me! I know it shouldn't be, and I understand the whole concept, however... I am not a designer. I will pick up a decorating magazine, and every page looks great! I LOVE IT ALL! So, I really don't know how to make this house look any better. When we built the house, construction went into winter, and we accumulated OUTRAGEOUS winter building costs! So, our decorating budget went out the ice cold window! Which I was fine with, because, like I said, I am not a decorator! But, now that we are moving, I have to pretty it up? It breaks my heart to have to move as it is, leaving an even more beautiful home, is going to make it that much harder.

To look at the bright side though, it feels soooooo good, to get rid of a bunch of stuff. We packed 13 tubs, gave away 3 truck loads, and donated another truck load! And that is only 1/3 of the house!

I really don't know what it takes to sell a house. I am hoping that our prayers are enough. That is all we can really do at this point.

On another note, Joel and I are going to Virginia on Saturday, and coming home on Tuesday. I am excited to see what they have to offer. I am excited to see where Joels new place of business will be. I am excited to take a mini getaway, just the two of us. However, I am not sure how I will do without my "prin-prin" for that long. We will miss her like crazy! And I honestly think it could be a tough trip if we brought her with us. While we are there, we plan to meet with a realtor, and look at a few houses for rent. We also plan to visit a possible ward. (We will church shop more once we move, but I am really excited about this part of the move... hehe...) We will see Joels mall. And depending on how the day with the realtor goes, we may also be apartment shopping. Which is my speciality! I was a leasing agent for several years, and know how to make those agents tick... that will be fun too!

I would like to cry out to my faithful blogging buddies, if you could keep our humble little home in your prayers, it would be so appreciative. And if you know of anyone looking to rent/or buy a great little happy, peacful, sweet, home... in the Howell/Brighton area, please pass on some info... please.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. And remember, usually I may respond very quickly to emails, however, since I will be ALL day without my computer, then you may not hear from me until... 5pm tomorrow.... YIKES! Whatever will I do??? Clean/Pack/Organize/"Impersonalize".... I will for sure deserve a vacation by the end of this week!