Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Great Idea . . . You'll See

So this weekend, I was sitting up in my scrapbook room and was cleaning it up so I could work on a project when I went downstairs to get the vacuum cleaner out of what is supposed to be our office.

And here is where our story begins:
I was in the office; however, it wasn't working as an office because the computer in that room was broken so we were using the laptop in our scrapbook room and the "office" had become a "please don't look in there room". In other words it became the forbidden room of no return. We didn't use the room except to throw stuff in when we needed to get it out of our way.

And on my way back upstairs . . . I had a lightbulb moment!!!! Why don't we move the craft room down there? Then we can make our current craft room into my workout room. See Bryan has a gym membership and I don't because we canceled mine and the girls in an effort to save money. (Bryan makes all of the money and doesn't spend much money and the gym is one of his special things that he loves so we didn't cancel his membership.) I still love to work out, but currently it's too much of a pain in the butt because I don't really have space.

So as I'm heading upstairs I tell Bryan I have an idea. He is NOT pleased!!! He hates when I get ideas. :) But I tell him my idea and he finally relents and says ok - after much pleading. So I start taking stuff downstairs and he starts clearing out the black hole that used to be our office.

Then I think (and here is where Bryan gets really bristley) I say "as long as we are clearing this room out, I should go ahead and paint it. So 8:30pm Saturday night I go and get a gallon of paint from Home Depot, go home, and paint the room.


BEFORE: Upstairs "Game Room" aka - Craft room; painted Ralph Lauren "Evocative Sunlight"
My table is on the right
Bryan's is on the left next to the fridge

These are my shelves with all of my supplies and stamps

AFTER: Downstairs "Office" aka New Craft Room; painted Ralph Lauren Lincolnshire Olive - which matches our velvet curtains I bought years ago from Pottery Barn.

Bryan is on the right after you walk in the doors; Tobi's homework/craft table is next to his desk
I am on the left and Zoe's craft table is next to mine

Here is the view from outside the doors

Here is an angle of my side from outside the room

Here are my new shelves - which are longer and there is one more than upstairs!!!!

Here is the table to the right of me
I keep my 12x12 paper and Papertrey Ink supplies here and all of my inkpads

Here is the view of where I will work - you can see the two layouts I am working on right now
The left side of this table holds my cricut expression (you'll see it in the next picture)

Here is where you can see Zoe's little craft table.

Here is Tobi's homework/craft table (next to B's desk)
You also get a view of the curtains and the paint color together

It's very pretty and I cannot wait to add a few design elements to the room!!!
I'll post pictures of the "new" exercise room once I get it put together.
I should be getting my new DVD workouts from Cathe ( in the next few weeks so this "move" is perfect timing.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Day - part 2

At 5:00pm after our family left we headed next door so the kids could open their gifts from our neighborhood family. We have such great neighbors and the girls got some amazing gifts - including matching Hannah Montana shirts.

Then we went back home to take a nap before our other neighborhood friend, Stacy, who moved to Michigan back in August stopped by.

We slept and slept and it was needed and poor Tobi spiked a fever again.

Then at 7:40pm I got up and headed over to DJ's house to visit with Stacy.

What a full and amazing day!!!!!!!!!

Christmas Day

8:30am Tobi comes in and wakes me up to let me know Santa came!!! Her face was so cute. I told her to go get in the bath and we would get dressed and open presents. She said let's open presents first then take a bath. I finally convinced her that we should get dressed first and then open presents that way they could open their presents and keep playing instead of having to stop and get dressed.
Bryan woke up kind of grumpy and not feeling well so when I went downstairs to finish cleaning and start getting stuff ready we started butting heads. Since that was not the kind of Christmas I wanted for the girls I sent him upstairs to take a bath so he would relax and let the medicine kick in. Since the girls were now going to have to wait to open things a little longer, we let them open one gift and turned on a Christmas movie for them.
Then I started cooking. I made the dough for the homemade rolls and while it was rising I vacuumed the house and mopped the floors. I dusted downstairs and cleaned the bathroom. Then put the ham in to roast and washed the dishes.
Then we finally opened presents!!!! (You can see in the photos how much Bryan and I are affected by our sinus problems - our faces are so swollen and our noses are red and raw. And poor Tobi is so pale because she is sick too - awww!)

At 12:00pm Amber and Anton showed up. I didn't think they would be there until close to 1pm but that's okay - I was running right on schedule and really quickly threw together the few appetizers I had. The kids danced to the "Snoopy Christmas" show we had on. Then Grandma and Grandpa showed up and the kids helped to move their big presents in to the living room. The boxes were bigger than they were.

Instead of doing a huge spread I kept the meal simple:
-Roasted ham with a cognac & brown sugar glaze
-Red potatoes with butter and parsley
-Vegetable casserole - Awesome!!!
-Homemade Parker house rolls - yummy
-Buche de Noel cake - cute!!

After dinner and before dessert we moved into the living room to open gifts.
During Thanksgiving I decided I wanted to read a book about the holiday to the kids and I continued this new tradition with Christmas - reading the story of Jesus' birth. I did this before they opened presents to help remember the focus of the holiday - plus, they love books! We also played the White Elephant ornament game my Mom came up with. We all drew numbers and chose an unmarked box and that was the ornament gift we got. We decided earlier in the fall that adults would not get gifts - just kids - but we would do this game.
Then the kids got to open their big gifts from Grandma and Grandpa. It was hysterical because the boxes were way bigger than the kids were!!!!

When they finally opened the box - this is what they saw:

So the kids opened the little boxes - they were very confused but loved it!

This is what was in the next box??? But what does a key do?

I don't know, but I can fit inside my big box!!!

Then they figured it out and here were their real gifts:

We had a great time outside teaching the kiddos how to not hit us or the cars!

Afterwards, we said goodbye and everyone went home. It was a very blessed Christmas Day!

Christmas Eve

Bryan and I have started a kind of tradition of waiting to shop until the weekend right before Christmas. It works out really well because we generally find that a lot of retailers have steeply marked down their prices and we wind up with some great deals. So, Sunday we packed up and headed out to La Cantera - they have a great Santa out there. It was cold (okay - it was only 39) so we bundled up and got some shopping done too.
Then on Christmas Eve, I spent the morning doing some cleaning at the house I clean for extra money while Bryan and the girls picked up the back yard in case the kids wanted to play back there. Then we got dressed and headed up to Austin to go to the Candlelight service at my Grandfather's church. It was beautiful and we took a family photo. Then we went back to his house and ate dinner and the girls opened their gifts from Austin Grandpa.

Afterwards, we headed home to get ready for Santa:

Bryan went right upstairs to the craft room and painted (free-hand) this plate to put the cookies on for Santa. (It was a plain white plate from Wal-mart and he used the same porcelain markers I used on the ornaments, then baked it in the oven).
The girls helped me decorate and bake some cookies to put on the plate - Christmas tree cookies were the order for the night!
Then the girls sprinkled their reindeer food on the front walk so the reindeer would get some food too. It was so cute. Tobi kept thinking she could hear sleigh bells ringing and when it was time to put the reindeer food out she got scared that the reindeer were going to show up right then. I had to hold her hand and go with her to get her to sprinkle her reindeer food and Belle ran out trying to eat the food!
After they sprinkled reindeer food I told the girls it was time for them to go to bed because of course, Santa will not come if they are awake and Zoe (clever girl that she is) asked how Santa was going to get in because he's supposed to come down the chimney. I told her he has his ways, but he was probably going to come in the dog door. So she said she was going to go check and see if she saw anything. I still had the camera from catching the reindeer food so I was able to catch her looking for the sleigh in the backyard.
We FINALLY got the girls in bed and then Santa's elves started hustling. I made the cake for Christmas dinner - my first Buche de Noel and Bryan (yes Bryan) started wrapping gifts. Then Bryan went to bed and I finished wrapping. I finally went to bed at 3am.

Looking back . . .

January - We started this year with a bit of uncertainty as we found out Bryan's contract was ending earlier than expected - so Bryan was shifting jobs again. We met our neighbors - after all living next to one another for 3 years. Zoe had her bike Rodeo

February - Bryan started with his current company in February. He took a paycut in order to have stability and benefits. We had to fill out the paperwork to enroll Zoe in private Pre-K. Tobi and Zoe had Cowboy day and Tobi had her bike rodeo and the girls finished Gymnastics for the winter.

March - Tobers turns 5 and celebrates Cowbow style. We celebrated Easter.

April - We start really noticing the money crunch and start downsizing our spending. Tobi's class went on a field trip to the zoo and Zoe and I went too! The girls started playing the spring season of soccer and I had to stand in as coach one game. Zoe was in a fiesta parade at school and Tobi had Fiesta Day!

May - Bryan's birthday!! And the worst day I've ever experienced at a workplace happened on May 30. Tobi was in a dinosaur parade as a "pink-spotted" pterodactyl

June - The girls were in their dance recitals - cute. Aargh!!! Zoe turned 4.

July - Zac turned 16. We went to Randolph Air Force Base for some Fireworks. Temperatures get really hot!

August - We went on a vacation to the beach - but it was overcast so no tans. Zoe's first day of preschool. Tobi's first day of Kindergarten. Our first day of having to wake up at 6am for the next 15 years - oh boy!!

September - Bryan's first go as Soccer Coach!!! He was brilliant and the girls loved him! Zoe does her numbers in Spanish like noone's business!

October - I ran my first half marathon! Halloween!!!

November - My 31st birthday! Our 6th anniversary! Anton's 4th birthday! Thanksgiving!!! Tobi is really doing excellent at learning to read. One tired Indian

December - Christmas!