Saturday, November 26, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree...and Thanksgiving too.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, at least at my house.  I have found that this residence is the hardest to decorate, and I have also found that I didn't take any pictures of my super-duper decorations when we lived in Elmhurst.  Gone are the days of the large dining room with the evergreen mounted above the molding.  For a two flat that place was ah-mazing when it came to decorating.

At this casa, I don't have many surfaces to let me Christmas decorations explode over.  So my living room feels a bit cluttered, but it least it is cluttered with Christmas crap.  I have not yet decorated any other room, but I will get there.  Hopefully later today.

I was also really excited that we decided to put lights up outside.  One strand across the front of our straight house.  Who can screw that up?  We can...when we use our old light strand because somebody (me) likes the old ceramic lights where the bulbs go out repetitively even when they are replaced.  So now we have the Charlie Brown Christmas house. It may also look a little Charlie-Brown-esque due to the fact that the strand was longer that the length of the house, so we dropped it down to the bush and just unscrewed the light bulbs in between.  Yup we are those people.

Here is the house a couple hours after we put the lights up.  Stupid little bulbs.  It's like that building in Schaumburg were there are lights all the way around the top and we used to play the "count how many bulbs are out game," most likely when my mom wanted us to chill the heck out.  Now I am that house.  The "count how many bulbs are out" house.  Ugh, what losers.

 I just want to point out that though our lights string from our roof to our bushes, we did take out the bulbs.  Those lights in the distance are our neighbors, thank-you-very-much.  We are not that trashy with our Christmas lights...well, almost.

While we are on the subject of Christmas lights, let me heed a warning.  They can give you lead poisoning. Yup, read the back of the box.  I don't know that it is all Christmas lights or just the old ceramic ones, but I had to hold back from chewing that electrical cord.  You know what else can give you lead poisoning? The eight layers of paint that came off my wall when I tried to hang the moosehead with a 3M strip.  Luckily I was still standing there and the moose head did not land on baby Jesus or the three wise men.  Moral of the story?  Wash your hands all the time, all the day long.

This is a terrible picture of me with the piece of wall and the sad moose.  For documentation sake.
 The wall after the moose head.  Mind you this is a plastic moose head and weighs next to nothing.
The moose head in all of its glory above the TV. I used to hate this thing, but it is growing on me.  It usually resides in the garage, but I have decided to bring it inside for the sake of Christmas. I might like it more because while I was stringing the lights on the antlers I noticed how broken they are and that he might be on his way out the door.  Mixed emotions friends, mixed emotions.
All out Christmas clutter.
 I l.o.v.e.  my Willow Tree nativity.  If that moose breaks it he will surely be demolished and thrown in the trash.
 Ahhhhh.  The Christmas tree.  Do you see how ornaments go all the way to the inside of the tree.  I also put the ones that don't sparkle in the back.  Its B.E.A.utiful and I just can't get enough.
I was terrible at taking pictures of Thanksgiving.  Maybe because I still have a terrible point and shoot camera.  Just sayin.  But here is a picture of the amazing feast as well as the love of my life.  Thankful for so much.

OK I need to go pick up some leftovers ASAP.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Yarn Letters X-Mas Decoration

Sorry for the crappy quality picture.  I used cardboard letters and wrapped them in yarn.  Turned out really cute! The O was infuriating because I had to keep putting the yarn through the middle and couldn't go quickly.  Luckily Lindsay helped me with that one before I threw it across the room.  I would recommend a word without an O.  Now I can always swap out the Y for and N and put it above the bed on Jon's side.  Or not.

It is officially my first Christmas decoration to go up.  Woohoo!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Nocember

It seems to rain/snow on important days of my life.  The day I was born was the first snow of that year.  The day I got married it poured.  Today, on my birthday it's cold and rainy.  I don't mind. It is kind of a reminder of this season I love so much.  There can be a raging storm outside, while inside there is peace, warmth, and comfort.  On my wedding day I stood in the rain for a bit when I nominated myself to put out the sign on the main road to help people find the place.  Just me, my rain boots, and the rain drops.  It was a sacred moment.  Today I stood outside Whole Foods, among the Christmas trees and took in the smell of Christmas heaven.  I really love the smell of evergreen, and one of these days I'm going to get a real freaking Christmas tree and not just a Yankee Candle to go with my fake one.

I have officially decided that November and December are my favorite months of the year, and not for the Chicago winter weather, but for all the goodness that is packed into them. The rest of the year really pales in comparison.

I tried to create a funny word by putting the two words together, but if you cut the words in half and put them back together you get the same freaking word.
November - ember + December - Dec = Crap.
So my new word for the season I love the most: Nocember.  Yup.

Happy Nocember.

Anyways.  Between birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, our anniversary, and New Years, it is hard to pack any more awesomeness into two months.  January really blows.

And while the actual holidays and birthdays are great, I think even more so I love that anticipation leading up to them.  I love the advent season, you know something good is coming, or at least some good food.  While it feels like time flies by, it feels like the world slows least in my head.  I pay more attention and stand in the rain to smell a silly Christmas tree.

So here are some of my Nocember loves:
My mother's Thanksgiving meal, specifically, the stuffing
Bowling with all of the cousins on Thanksgiving night
The birthday cards I receive.  Those that really know me know how much I love an awesome card
The fact that my dad remembered my birthday this year, I think unprompted :)
Adopting a family with my in-laws
Salvation army bell ringers.  They could have my whole purse if it would fit in that slot
Candy Cane Joe-Joe's
Decorating the house for to come
The December baby that was born where I was working last year named "Noel"
My Mom's upside down Christmas tree.  Really.  It's bolted to the ceiling.
Gingerbread competition (I need some ideas, I have done a church..with stained glass, and a castle...three feet tall.  I'm really bummed I can't find the pictures of the castle or Jon's Pirate ship)
Singing Silent Night with my family at church
My brother as Santa Claus at Walmart.
Christmas music
So much more.

I really, truly love Nocember.  Here are some pictures to prove it:

Larry bought me sprinkles for my birthday
 Cousin Jaci is a great influence on children

Emme came over to make some Christmas crafts.  She didn't even sew her fingers together.
 We made some headbands
 Her end result Christmas pillow.  Pretty good for a first time seamstress!

I want to give mad props to Lar-Bear for my moms amazing tree.

 The view from under it.  I like to sleep there.
Pictures from our epic fail 1st year anniversary trip.  We did much better going to Florida the following year.
 That is the Bed and Breakfast we stayed at.  It was pretty much as creepy as it looks.
 He was in our room:
 We then went to Kohler Wisconsin and learned about toilets and sinks.  Like I said Epic Fail.
Gingerbread aka Graham crackers and glue guns
Aly made a doll house
Jon made a Trojan horse.  See the gingerbread man coming out the back?

We go all out.  I love Nocember.  I'm off to clean my house (even on my birthday) so that I can put up some Christmas decorations.  Loving it.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The post where I apologize in advance.

Within the next year of my life I will surely have a breakdown.  An ugly cry, snot dripping, gasping for breath, nasty breakdown.  I'm sorry for when my patience runs thin and my tears flow like the Mississippi.  Can anyone type out Mississippi without singing M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I?

Anyways.  It is bound to happen, but I have decided it is worth it.  It is worth it to jump in with both feet and swim in the deep end.  Time to put my big girl pants on, or better yet, rip off those pants and rock the bikini with confidence.

I was just accepted into Northern Illinois' Family Nurse Practitioner Post-Master's Certificate program.  Pending all of my paperwork and finger prints I will start in January.  Less than two months from now.  Even though I put out this application in October, I didn't have my "oh, shit" moment until the acceptance letter arrived yesterday.  That's when the reality hit.  The finances, the time, the commitment, the papers.  I am planning on doing the program part time while still working my full time night position, and this scares the bejeebus out of me.  I don't always feel like I handle the whole "no sleep" bit very well, and I am about to multiply it exponentially.

I'm rocking the "I'm young and I can handle anything approach," but in all honesty I am scared to death that I won't be able to do it.  I think a lot of my anxiety and stomach knots are due to the anticipation.  I have no clue what to expect.  A part of me wishes I could go barf right now because I think I might feel better after the fact, but I digress.

So even though I'm scared, I'm holding onto hope.
Hope that it is meant to be and that I can hack it.
Hope that I can have a bigger impact on healthcare as a whole and those who don't have much access to it after completing this degree.
Hope that I can go into the program excited to learn, and not just to get through.
Hope that one day I can find a balance between a kick ass career and being a kick ass mom, because I want to rock both worthy professions.
Hope that I will become a stronger person for going for what I want even if I know I am sending myself down a difficult path.
Hope that my marriage will only be stronger in the end while we walk this life together and I learn to let my husband love and support me to an even deeper extent.
Hope that I can teach my kids that difficult things are usually the ones most worth going for.
Hope that one day my skin will sparkle like Edward's does.

So when I start drowning in the deep end, can you love and support me and help me up for a breath of air?  I think I will need it these next two years.  I will come out of the pool with pruney fingers as a trophy.  I'm going to stick it out to play and swim hard.  I want my life to be rich, and satisfying, and fulfilling and I refuse to settle for the kiddie pool.   I'm leaving my water wings at home and rocking my bikini like a Victoria Secret model.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mi Casa

Thanks to my wonderful mother I have made even more progress on my house.  What was our "crap collection room" has now actually turned into an office.  We spent a night organizing and I now have a place to pursue all of my crafty ambitions.  I would love to put some paint on the walls, make the shelves more pretty, paint the trim around the bulletin board, take on more projects than I have time know.  But in the mean time, I'm excited that I have unpacked a room in record time (I unpacked my basement three months before I moved out of my last apartment).  Everything in the room is something that I already owned.
Here's my one and only before picture:

And after:
 Nothing matches perfectly, but I loved the curtains from my last living room and had to use them somewhere!
 Do you see the gobs of organized fabric.  It's been in boxes and I can't wait to get my hands on it.
 It's so pretty.
 I love the antique Ferris wheel.  The hub-ubs tells me it's creepy.
I also put some other touches in my living room.  Here are some before pictures:
 I like that there are three different colored doors.  Very zen.
 Some progress:
 Still rocking the multi-colored doors

And here are the after pictures:
Pictures hung in the hallway 
 Ahhhhh all white doors.  Much better.
 Candles up to warm up the room.
 I stole this idea from my friend Megan.  Herbs in apothecary jars.  Love it.
 A pillow I made for J.  We have a running joke with his family where I buy his sister stupid squirrel stuff and she retaliates with dumb duck stuff.  Only J likes the ducks.  So I made him this pillow.
 Starting to all come together!  I have one more pillow to make.
 We covered the inside of this cabinet with fabric.  Awesome.  See how it all looks crooked.  It is.  The whole house is crooked.
 Pretty dresser.  Pictures up on wall.  Love it.  House turning into a home.
So there you have it.  Too many pictures of our itty bitty ranch.
On a side note, I love candy cane joe-joes.  I bought three boxes.
 I hate leaves, we have raked for many hours and it still looks like crap.
 And our trees are still filled with leaves.  Ewww
Have a wonderful week!  I'm off to sew the night away so that I can sleep through the day before my shift tomorrow night.