Monthly Archives: December 2005

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finally posting

I’m here. It’s just taken me a few days to get back to normal and I still can’t quite seem to get organized after the long Christmas weekend. It might be the fact that Jake is home from work all week. It’s really nice, but strange and definitely not the norm. Every day feels like the weekend and my days of the week are all messed up since we were in Ohio from Saturday – Monday. I kept thinking Monday was Sunday so I’m all screwed up.

Anyway, we had a really nice Christmas. We got up on Saturday morning and Santa had miraculously arrived a day early. ;) The kids got all their gifts – Chloe’s favorites were her Rescue Pet and the Disney Princess Dress Up clothes (she’s all girl!) and Zach’s were his little digital camera and the Spiderman LeapPad (anything Spiderman is the perfect gift). We packed up the car and brought along some toys and a couple Christmas movies and traveled to Ohio for the weekend. We were greeted at my grandparents farm to this big guy. My cousins had been outside all morning building a huge snowman – like 10 feet tall. Grandpa said they were using boards to roll the huge snowballs up for the body and the head. Hilarious! Wish we’d been there to get some pictures of that. Those suckers had to be heavy.

We had a nice dinner together and opened gifts. The kids had a blast playing and some of us sat around playing guitar. Jenna (my cousin) got a guitar and she was playing mine a bit. She’s pretty good. Paul was teaching Tim scales and then Tim taught me. My fingers are actually getting used to the strings now. They still feel funny and numb but they’re getting callouses so I’m finding that I can play for longer periods of time now. I even picked out a little Silent Night with chords and everything. :)

Later in the evening, everyone had to head home except for us, my parents and Uncle David and “Aunt” Suzanne. I say “Aunt” because she is technically my aunt since she married my uncle, but it’s just weird to call her that because she’s only a year older than me. :) It was nice to hang out.

Sunday was Christmas day and it was strange to have absolutely no plans whatsoever. We basically lounged around my grandparents house all day – keeping the kids occupied, playing my guitar, etc. In the afternoon, I drove to Upper Sandusky to fill up the gas tank and I stopped at the cemetery where my grandparents and uncle are buried. I don’t know what the weather was like here, but it was REALLY foggy in Ohio. So foggy that you couldn’t see very far in front of the car. As I drove through the cemetery, the light was shining through the trees and it was all foggy. It should have felt eerie because it looked like a scene from a creepy movie, but it felt very peaceful. So, I went back to the farm and got Jake and the kids and my camera and headed back to the cemetery to snap a few pictures. A little morbid, but I thought it was really beautiful. So many lives, so many stories there. I’m glad I know a few of them.

We headed from there into Upper again to see this huge Festival of Lights display that they had going. It was really beautiful. So much work went into it. My favorite part was this picnic pavilion that they made look like a carousel. So creative. I was really impressed with that. Zach loved the lights and made Jake put the window down so he could take pictures with his little digital camera. He doesn’t know how to use it yet and ended up deleting all the pictures he took – oops! It was a fun time with the kids.

That evening, I started feeling sick to my stomach. I took it easy and tried to rest, but ended up sitting with the family to watch a Christmas TV movie. Can’t remember what it was called, but it starred Valerie Bertinelli. It was a cute, cheesy one. Nice to sit around with everyone and enjoy it.

Monday, we had Christmas on the other side of the family at my Aunt and Uncle’s. It was nice to see everyone and catch up a bit. Not everyone could be there this year, which was a little sad. But it was good that the rest of us could be together. The guys talked hunting and farming and played some darts. The girls played with the kids and talked about our kids’ education and reminisced a bit about childhood Christmases as Grandpa and Grandma’s house. I miss them. Before we headed home, we all got together and I took our family picture. :)

It was a nice weekend, but we are really happy to be home. Lots of cleaning and organizing and working on the office. Jake got his computer and desk out of here and made a space in our bedroom for himself and I get the whole office to myself. I’m happy to have enough room to organize my stuff now. Very exciting. Pictures to come. :)

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! What do you have planned for New Years Eve?


Absolutely insane.

Jake did REALLY good this year.

He’s been hiding my Christmas gift at my parents house for like a month and normally by this time we have caved and given each other our gifts or spoiled the surprise. This year, he totally stunned me. I have mentioned several times how I’d love to learn to play the guitar. My brother, Tim, taught himself and I always say I’m going to have him teach me, but I never seriously thought I would go out and buy a guitar on my own and learn it. Well, tonight was Christmas at my parents house. They had it all planned and made me sit on the couch between my brothers until Jake brought it out. I had to close my eyes and my mom and Jake took pictures of me when I opened my eyes and was in complete shock that he had done this for me. My mom even bought me a stand, an electronic tuner and a book/DVD on how to play the guitar. My fingers are killing me right now. Tim taught me some basic chords and I played around with the how-to book when we got home. I tuned it all by myself and learned how to play Beethoven’s Ode to Joy and Yankee Doodle. LOL! :) It’s a start, right?

I’m just amazed that Jake kept this secret from me. Tim had the guitar in his room this whole time and they were both surprised that I didn’t see it because I was just in his room recently and Jake said it was sitting right there, but he has a couple guitars of his own so I never even noticed it.

Good job, family! Love you all!

Took lots of pictures – the kids were sufficiently spoiled!!!

I also got my new office desk tonight. The trucking company brought it at like 9 pm. When they said evening, they weren’t kidding. I felt so bad, though, because we had a friend of ours come and stay at the house in case the truck came while we were gone at my parents for Christmas dinner and gifts. He basically sat here and did nothing for a few hours and they didn’t come until after Jake got home. :( Thanks, Neil!

Need sleep now! Will my fingertips ever have feeling in them again? It’s really hard to type like this.

lazy day

Just kind of lounged around the house today. The kids were being so mean to each other today that I distracted them by giving them some cardstock, colored pencils and stickers. I asked them to make Christmas cards for Grandma. They did a great job. Zach is so creative. He draws things in such detail. I can see how he takes after mommy and daddy. We are both very creative. Jake has always been very much into art and drawing. Me – not so much, but I’ve always enjoyed doodling. Chloe was so cute placing the stocking stickers on her cards. She would either put them all the way to the bottom or top but never in the middle. So cute. We put her name in stickers and she actually circled it. I didn’t know she even knew how to draw a circle. I was impressed with both of them this morning.

So, I haven’t mentioned this yet but my mom and I have been adjusting our eating habits for the past couple months and exercising 2-3 times a week at her house and we have each lost 15 lbs. so far. I feel so much better than I did. I’ve gone down a size into some of my old jeans and they are actually a bit loose. I can’t wait to drop another size. We are both just amazed at how God has given us this mindset that we are through being overweight and we are doing it. We have cut out the sugars – no more Coke or M&M’s. If I am craving a pop, I drink Diet Cherry Coke, but most of the time it’s water for me. And we’ve really done well with the exercising. We’ve alternated between a Pilates video and one that I bought in 1997 called Claudia Schiffer – Perfectly Fit Legs. We really love that one. I’m always excited to do the Claudia video. The exercises were designed by Kathy Kaehler, who always used to be on the Today show demonstrating easy yet effective exercises. I love it. It really does work. My hips have shrunk considerably. The fat roll that used to hang over my jeans on the sides is now pretty much gone. It’s amazing. So, I looked online for the other Claudia videos. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find them since they were made in like 1995. But I found them all. Two of them (Perfectly Fit Arms and Perfectly Fit Buns) are on backorder, but Perfectly Fit Abs arrived today. Can’t wait to try it and see the rest of my belly roll disappear. As you can tell, I’m very excited about this change in my life and my weight loss. After I had Zach in 2000, I lost 35 lbs and was back in my high school size jeans. It was amazing. But then I got lazy again and let my diet slide and got pregnant with Chloe and never watched what I ate at all. Just cutting out all the fast food and regular pop has made a huge difference. I eat a Nutrigrain bar for breakfast along with some skim milk, have a very light lunch and some decent portions for dinner (usually chicken or fish) but I don’t overly stuff myself. Just watching my portions, but not counting calories or anything like that. I didn’t want to get too stressed about that this time around. It’s working for me and it’s amazing! I will probably post again soon about our progress.

Got most of my Christmas shopping done. Still have a few things to get for the kids. Tomorrow night will probably be another shopping night for me. Mom and I went last night and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I expected huge crowds and there were definitely lots of people, but not too bad. We had a good time and I got almost everything bought. Spent last evening wrapping all the gifts and making cute gift tags for them with Heather’s new gift tags – so cute! Worth every penny – only $1.99 for the set. Heather is so talented. She always designs such adorable stuff.

Off to watch the last 1/2 hour of “Deal or No Deal”. This show is so fun to watch! :)

congratulations, Mr & Mrs Currier

The wedding on Friday was absolutely beautiful.

Gorgeous Christmas decorations, beautiful bride, wonderful people.

I’ve posted a few more pictures on my photography blog.

Lots of editing for me over the holidays, but I don’t mind.

Browsed through the images this evening and this wedding just makes me really happy.

So happy for Tracey and Dave!
Congratulations, you two!
And Merry Christmas!

christmas card

Here is our Christmas card as promised! I think pretty much everyone has received them by now so I thought it safe to post here!

Click on the image for a larger view.

It would have been nice to have a family picture this year, but I didn’t get around to it. So, I went with individual pictures taken in the last couple months. I like how it turned out. I normally do this long newsletter every year, but that didn’t happen either.

There’s always next year!
Merry Christmas!

P.S. used digital kits from Digital Design Essentials to design my cards this year! :)


Heidi and I will be heading to Livonia on Friday morning to photograph Tracey and Dave’s wedding! We’re both very excited. It’s been a few months and we’re ready to get back to it! :)

I love this picture that Heidi took at Amy & Steve’s wedding in August.

The last few months have been nice. A little breather at the end of the year helped me to refocus and get ready for the 2006 season. But it’s time to get to work again! I had two really great meetings this week. I love when I meet people and they are so nice and I feel at ease talking with them. That’s always good. My calendar is really starting to fill up for next year and I am getting a few inquiries a week now for 2006 weddings. Very exciting!

So, everyone say a prayer that the roads will be clear and traffic/accident free on Friday morning so we can get there on time. Lots of snow is coming for the east side of the state so I’m hoping we won’t have any problems. We’re leaving pretty early to give ourselves extra time.

Can’t wait to share some pictures when we get back!

gym night

Tonight was Gym Night at Zach’s school. For the last four weeks, they have been learning on the tumbling mats and gymnastics equipment and this was their night to demonstrate what they’ve learned. The kids were all so cute. Zach was so proud after he completed each thing. He would look for us in the bleachers and make sure we were watching him. It was so cute.

The Phys Ed teacher, Mr. Greenman, is a fun guy. Zach just loves him. And it’s also kind of cool because he was my P.E. teacher when I was in elementary school, too. And I can remember just having a ball in there and I know Zach is, too. I’m so glad that he likes to go to school now and he wants to play and learn. It was a fun night. My mom came, too. She said they never had anything like this when I was a kid – no gym nights for the parents. So, it was cool that she could be there to see how Zach’s doing, too.

The end of this week starts Christmas break. I’m glad to have a couple weeks where I don’t have to get up early 2-3 days a week to drive him to school. It will make it more difficult to do the Christmas shopping, though, since I’ll have both kids home with me. We’ll manage it somehow.

Jake’s up getting the kids ready for bed now. This week seems very long since I still am not feeling well. I am determined to fight off this cold, though. I do not want to be sick. Especially since I have a wedding to shoot this weekend. Looking forward to that. :)

Off to make a nice hot cup of coffee and snuggle up on the couch to watch the two hour finale of The Amazing Race. Rooting for the Linz family! They’re so fun. :)


Saturday morning, before Jake took the kids to stay with his sister while we had choir practice, I asked the kids to stand in front of the tree and smile for me. They were dressed so cute, all ready for the Christmas party we had to go to at noon. And they actually did it. They stood there and hugged and smiled. I took about a half dozen pictures of them. This is one of my favorites.


Busy weekend. Good weekend.

Spent the afternoon at my parents house yesterday. The kids (especially Chloe) helped decorate the tree. Zach was more interested in his Legos, but Chloe was just having a blast helping Grandma hang the ornaments. I took a million pictures. Here are a few. :)

PS … playing around, used an action on this photo collage from Itty Bitty Actions.

AJAXed with AWP