That Was November

that was november

Well November flew by, didn’t it? Weren’t we all just doling out the candy our kids got on Halloween? And now we’ve moved on to candy canes and fudge. I didn’t take that many photos this month. I’m not sure why, but I’ll have to remedy that in December.

Today we had our chimney and wood stove cleaned, so we can burn all winter without fear 🙂 I’ll tell you that not being able to light it for the 24 hours prior to our appointment was a killer. I ::big puffy heart:: our wood stove. It is cozy and toasty and beautiful and winter just wouldn’t be the same without it. So yes, I’m now happily sitting next to the stove as it warms up the house, once again.

Today is also my parents’ wedding anniversary. ♥ 38 years! ♥  Happy anniversary you two crazy kids!

Tomorrow is December 1, and Sinterklaas (a big deal around here), and Christmas gets into full swing, and for me it ushers in a busy month full of parties and last-minute doctors appointments, (and yet another dentist appointment), and baking, and cooking, and family, and decorating, and cocoa, and tea, and giving, and hopefully lots of laughing and fun!

I always find myself feeling weird about December. Simultaneously in love with the joy, but sad at the same time, thinking about people we love who are no longer with us, missing their presence, and trying to remember to savor every moment (especially at the holidays). It can be a tough month for people, and I try to keep that in mind when I meet people who aren’t exactly in the spirit. However, it’s the perfect time, the perfect opportunity to just extend a little kindness. I think we all should try to do that more often, anyway.

OK, December. I’m ready for you.

This entry was posted in Family.

Hyundai Santa Fe: Families Who Rock!

This post is brought to you by The New Santa Fe from Hyundai. Think your family rocks? Show us by uploading a photo of your family rocking out. Enter now for a chance to win great prizes.

Those of you who know how I met my husband, know that rock & roll is the whole reason behind it. And for those of you who don’t know, here is the abbreviated version… Drew was in a band in college called Rosemary Caine, and I absolutely loved them.

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Years later, when I was living in Boston and looking for shows to see during the week, I checked out the Rosemary Caine website and learned that they’d broken up. I e-mailed Drew to let him know what a bummer it was because I really liked them. He wrote back, and we eventually went on a picnic for our first date, during which a random person told us he just knew we were going to get married.

And the rest, as they say, is history! That was back in May 1998. Some 14+ years later, I still think we rock 😉 Of course, our kids love to listen to Drew’s music (both old and new) and they jam together in the basement studio. Or living room. Or out on the deck. Wherever there happens to be a guitar laying around! (Or in this case, Noah’s drum set and Jake’s trumpet.)

rockin' out

Some of you also know about Drew’s comic Skateboard Heroes, the brainchild of our boys. As the tagline goes, “They rock, they roll, they save the world.” It’s a story about two kids (depicted by Jake & Noah), who love skateboards, ska music, and jamming in the garage when they’re not trying to save humanity from the evils of Dr. Inferno.

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What about you — does your family rock? Do you love to play around and have fun together? Do you play practical jokes on each other? And most important, does your family value kindness, sharing, and hard work? Then you’ve got to enter the Families Who Rock Contest sponsored by Hyundai Santa Fe and Rolling Stone.

Just upload a photo that shows how your family rocks and write about yourselves in 500 words or less. The prizes are pretty amazing and include a photo shoot in Rolling Stone (!!!) featuring the winning family shot by an industry photographer; airfare, hotel and transportation to the 55th Grammy Awards; and a fully tricked-out Hyundai Santa Fe custom rock ‘n’ roller.

The contest ends December 14, 2012. So what are you waiting for? Rock on!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Tangled Up In…

ugh!

… purple and white? Sigh… well, in this case yes. I was getting my projects organized to bring to Craft Night tonight, and found that someone has been playing with my yarn.

Who can blame her? It’s all so soft and cuddly. Sometimes Laura pretends that the skeins are her “puppies” and drags them around by the “leash”, which is probably what happened to these two. At least they’re not the pricey ones. I’m much more careful with those 😉

So, what to bring, what to bring… I feel like I always bring the most mundane projects because I can’t focus on my stitches while chatting, so I might work up a few Christmas trees. I can now make those in my sleep and I am making a few more of the garlands for gifts.

Well, I suppose I should try to roll this yarn back up into something manageable. Serves me right for leaving my stuff where it shouldn’t be, LOL!

Black Friday

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Ours was wonderful and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Now today is my dad to put all the dishes away, do the laundry, and get back to normal. It also is, as we all know, Black Friday. Honestly, if I didn’t have a dentist appointment this afternoon, I wouldn’t even bother going out of the house. I used to really enjoy shopping on the day after Thanksgiving, but it’s gotten out of hand and honestly, I don’t think the deals are as good. You can do just as well online.

Drew was sneakily doing a little online ordering this morning and says he’s now all done with his shopping! I found a couple little things for him, but I need just a few more. Hmm… I’m not rushing, though. Thanksgiving was kind of early this year (at least it seems so!), and there is still plenty of time to stalk the sales.

A Relaxing Evening

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Ah… Yes, I’m putting up my feet and unwinding for the night. Drew is off in NYC tonight, attending a reading of a play one his friends is working on, and I spent the entire day cleaning and getting things ready for Thanksgiving. So tonight’s plan includes little more than relaxing in front of the wood stove while watching true crime TV shows on Netflix (I just love those ID Discovery series)!

I did end up having to run to the store earlier (needed more wine for Thanksgiving dinner, and yes I caved in to my pecan pie craving), so while I was out I decided to use my free birthday “sweet” on my Panera card. Helloooo chocolate babka that no one knows about but me 😉 I actually had to cut it in half because the slice was just enormous. My tea is steeping as I type!

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Tomorrow there will be lots of cooking, table-setting, and tidying. For me, the day before the holiday is the crazy one. But today I focused on dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, etc. The carpets drive me crazy. With three kids, they are just never clean no matter what. While my in-laws could do a search for carpet cleaning Chapel Hill NC to spiff up the floors in their kid-free home, I will just make due with my ammonia and hot iron trick that I learned from Pinterest.

But anyway, I’m done thinking about it. For now, I just plan to enjoy my dessert, maybe pick up some crochet, and take it easy before the Thanksgiving hustle really begins.

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Hope you all have a nice evening, too!

{Ta-Da!} An Owl Hat

owl hat

Good afternoon, friends! I hope you’re all getting geared up for Thanksgiving. I know I am! But first I wanted to just share with you a little ta-da! If you like my Facebook page or follow me on Instagram you might have noticed a photo of a last-minute project I’d started. Well, this is it! A cute little owl hat for my niece!

Today is her 3rd birthday and we saw her over the weekend. (She had a John Deere themed party and my sister-in-law did an amazing job — the decorations were so cute and the food was delicious!) I wanted a made-to-match hat for the outfit I picked out for her, and while the colors aren’t exactly spot-on, I think they’re pretty close.

owl hat

I used a free pattern found on Repeat Crafter Me to make the hat, and the instructions were wonderful. The toddler/pre-schooler pattern is just a teensy bit small, so if you are making one of these, I’d recommend trying the hat on as you go (if possible). But it’s a super quick, super fun project!

Holiday Mail for Heroes

One of the best things about the holiday season is getting cards in the mail from family and friends. I don’t care if they say Merry Christmas, Season’s Greetings, Happy Holidays, or something different. It’s the sentiment that matters to me, the thought behind the cards and not the verbiage. And if my family loves checking the mailbox every day, I can only imagine how great it is for our servicemen and women to get special mail at this time of the year.

Enter The Red Cross’ program: Holiday Mail for Heroes. It’s a great way to get your kids involved and help provide a service to others. The cards are delivered to veterans, military families and active-duty service members at hospitals and installations around the world.

There are, of course, guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety and to make sure the program is successful. From the Red Cross Website:

Every card received will be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working around the country.

Please observe the following guidelines to ensure a quick reviewing process:

  • Ensure that all cards are signed.
  • Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member.” Cards addressed to specific individuals can not be delivered through this program.
  • Only cards are being accepted. Do not send or include letters.
  • Do not include email or home addresses on the cards: the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.
  • Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos: these items will be removed during the reviewing process.
  • Please refrain from choosing cards with glitter or using loose glitter as it can aggravate health issues of ill and injured warriors.
  • If you are mailing a large quantity of cards, please bundle them and place them in large mailing envelopes or flat rate postal shipping boxes. Each card does not need its own envelope, as envelopes will be removed from all cards before distribution.

Mail your cards to:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

Cards will only be accepted through December 7th, and any received after that date will be returned. This is a great activity for a scouting group, a class, a playgroup, or even just for a family activity (maybe start a new tradition to write out cards after Thanksgiving dinner).

I’m sure each and every one is appreciated.

Talking Turkey

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So much for that warm weather we enjoyed for the last two days. I woke up to gray, rainy skies and a chill in the air. Oh well. It’s November. That’s what it’s supposed to do, right?

This time of year I’m not thinking about gardening and landscaping, or dreaming of a pool with jandy pool lights, I’m focusssing on the holidays and in particular Thanksgiving, which totally snuck up on me! I can’t believe that it’s next week!

Luckily, I don’t find it to be all that stressful. I’ve made my list out, so I know what we’re having. Honestly, I find it to be a pretty easy meal to pull together. It’s just that the main course takes forever to cook!

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I also am going to refer back to my “Turkey Timeline” that I used last year. I’ll need to adjust it a bit because we did end up eating later than scheduled, and this year I’ll be doing a slightly bigger turkey because my parents will also be here, but it’s a starting point and something to go on. I never remember what time I put the turkey in, so it’s wonderful to at least have an idea this year!

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Is it crazy to make out lists like this? LOL, I am just one of those people who has to write everything down. Otherwise I forget it. (My dad likes to call it CRS — “Can’t Remember S–t”!) What about you guys? Are you getting ready for Thanksgiving? Do you have lists made out, too?