Monthly Archives: November 2012

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thanksgiving 2012


The past couple weeks. Busy. Busy. Busy. Lots of stuff going on surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday. On Saturday, the 17th, we got up before sunrise and drove up to GR so Jake could take part in the Santa Parade downtown as part of the Riverbank Run Road Warrior Team. It was chilly chilly that morning. The kids and I walked across the blue bridge toward Monroe, where the parade would be coming through, while Jake went to meet up with his group at the staging area. We found a nice place to wait for the parade, took a seat on the curb, and froze our bums off waiting for the parade to start. It was a nice parade, though. Jake was toward the end (lower left photo below) of the lineup, not too far from Santa.

Went to the farm on Sunday evening and helped Mom decorate her Christmas tree. It looks so nice in there. I love that they have that bannister. It always looks so pretty all decorated up.

On Thanksgiving, we went over to my parents house for a nice dinner. So delicious. We hung out and played games and took some family pictures for Mom’s Christmas card. Then we went outside and Mom took some pictures of our little family for our cards, which I will share here once I send all mine out. :) It turned out pretty cute.

On Friday, I did some online shopping instead of venturing out into the crowds of Black Friday shoppers. It was much more enjoyable sitting here in my sweats and slippers. :)

We got up early on Saturday and drove down to my grandparents farm in Ohio. This year, it was decided that we would have Christmas at Thanksgiving. We’ve never done that before, but we gave it a try. Not everyone was able to make it, though, so that was kind of sad, but the rest of us had a great time together.

(left) Somebody (Eli) wants his presents. (right) Uncle Dan carving the turkey.

(upper left): Eli woke from his nap. (upper right): Uncle Dan gave all the guys tape measures for Christmas, so they all decided to extend them out at the same time. We were cracking up. (lower left): Chloe got the “C” pillow from Justice she’s been wanting. (lower right): the newlyweds!

(upper left & right): We didn’t do the usual name exchange like we usually do, so Mom had the idea to put together photobooks – sort of a visual family tree – for everyone. I spent a couple weeks scanning photos and designing the book for her. Everyone really seemed to like them. I will share some pictures of the book here on my blog at some point. (middle left): Zach got a paper airplane making book/kit and Eli had a blast throwing the planes around the room. He was laughing and smiling. It was the cutest thing ever. (middle right): Jake found another use for Chloe’s “C” pillow. (lower left): Tyler was in the woods doing some hunting all afternoon, so he was the last one to open his gifts after the sun went down. (lower right): Three sister-in-laws. Aunt Suzanne, Mom and Aunt Rosie. Missing Aunt Deb, though. :(

It was a really nice day with family. I think Christmas at Thanksgiving was a success. It felt a little weird having it a month before Christmas, but we played some Christmas tunes on the way down to get in the mood. Grandpa played us one of his tape-recorded sermons from years ago, too, with special music sung by my Grandma. It was strange not having Grandma there this year. Even though she hasn’t been able to really participate in the festivities for several years, her physical presence was missed, but I know she was sitting with Jesus smiling down at her beautiful family all together celebrating His birth and giving thanks.

Yesterday, my mother-in-law and I traveled across the state to be with Heather and Jeff for the birth of their sweet little girl, Violet. It was so wonderful to be there to welcome another member of the family into the world. I loved being a part of that and taking lots of pictures for them.


It was such a quick process this time. With Scarlett, we were at the hospital for over 24 hours. This time, she got started with her induction around 9:30am and had the baby at 3:45pm. A little over 6 hours. It was AMAZING! She had her pushed out in 15 minutes, as opposed to an hour with Scarlett. I was so proud of her. And Violet Ellaine is just perfect.

This month is coming to a close and I know next month will be just as busy with Christmas fast approaching. I already feel ahead of the game this year, though. I have a lot of the gift buying done already, which is so strange and foreign to me. I am usually a week-before-Christmas shopper. But we have the tree up with the lights and garland strung. Just have to take some time one night this week and let the kids decorate it and put the angel on top. Then it’s time to pull out my advent boxes. The kids really like that tradition so I have to keep it going.

How have I done with my goals, you’re wondering? haha.

Running Well, I ran once this month. I did walk with Mom once, too. I am going to help her get going on the Couch to 5K program, too, so she can join us when we run the Fifth Third 5K. I didn’t gain any weight back or anything this month, even with the holiday eating, so that’s good. Just have to get back to running and moving more in December.

House projects I got almost everything done outside on the house that I wanted to before winter. I still have things I wish I’d gotten to, but we got quite a bit done and the biggest thing, the trim on the house and garage, is mostly done. Just the back of the garage is not finished, so I think we did pretty good with that. Still need to choose a color for the front door and get some house numbers. I took the old ones off our garage ’cause they were brass and ugly. I was worried about not having numbers on the house somewhere until I go pick some out, so I took white paint and painted the numbers on the front door. haha! It looks crazy, but at least the house number is there for now. I really need to go take a picture of that so I can remember how weird I am. :D

Christmas projects Done and done. The one project I was working on was the Family Tree books for Thanksgiving/Christmas last weekend. I also finished designing our Christmas cards and got those ordered. And I finished one of the photobooks I had been working on forever. Yay!

Tonight was Jake’s very first training night for the Road Warrior team. I’m so excited for him as he gets going on this journey to health and fitness. :)

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

a mossy mess


Things are coming right along on the house, so I thought I would share a few pictures. I didn’t take a before picture of our back door, but this one of the kids from September shows the lovely yellowy color our siding previously was as well as the ugly yellowish border around the window on the door. So gross looking. I painted the small section of house around the door on our back porch, also the trim around the door and window. The new color looks so different at different times of the day. Sometimes it looks more brown and sometimes more grey. I love it either way. I will be painting that door, too, as soon as I decide on a color.

As you can see below, our front porch roof was nasty. This moss got on it from the trees above and has been slowly growing all over the roof and up onto the siding. So gross. I hated seeing that all the time, so I am very thankful we don’t have to anymore.

The porch roof is now replaced and it looks so much better. Jake and my brothers worked hard on it with a little assistance from Mom and I, who cut shingles ahead of time and for specific widths they needed so they didn’t have to keep stopping to measure and cut. It was quite an efficient little system we had going. I only wish we’d done that the weekend before when the guys did the back lower section of roof. It took them twice as long. Live and learn, I guess.

That mossy mess needed attacked, so Mom and I got up on the roof and scrubbed it off with some house cleaner. SO much better. Also scraped and prepped the window for painting.

Then the next day, we got up there again and painted everything except the shutters (I have yet to decide on a color for those). Lookin’ good!

We did more work last weekend. The old broken nasty storm door on the front of the house was removed and the threshold there had rotted underneath, so Jake completely replaced that and did a darn good job of it, too. I was so giddy. I can’t believe I’m so excited over house projects. I guess it’s because nobody wants to live in a house that’s falling apart and I feel better about our home with each project we finally complete.

Also, today I finally finished painting in Chloe’s room. I will share some pictures when it’s a little … cleaner. She goes through little spurts of cleaning her room nicely and organizing everything perfectly, then a week later it is completely trashed with clothing and stuff all over the floor so you can’t even walk in there. Time to clean so mama can take some pictures. :D

old photo love


I love this picture so much. Look how cute my Dad was at age one. Here he is with his dad, my Grandpa.

Yesterday, my entire day was spent scanning old photos for a project I’m working on. This little gem was among them. There is just nothing like those old black & white prints from film. I’m so thankful for every picture we have from both of my parents’ childhoods.

I don’t think I ever shared any pictures of the book I put together last Christmas for my mom’s side of the family. We have a nice collection of letters that my Grandpa sent to my Grandma during his time in WWII. I scanned all of them and designed a soft cover photo book for everyone that my Mom gifted to all the aunts and cousins at our family Christmas.


I only wish we had Grandma’s letters back to him, but sadly those were lost when things were divided after my grandparents passed away. boohoo. We’re very thankful for the letters we do have, though. It gives a little bit of insight into what Grandpa went through in the war and also tells us just how much he really loved Grandma.

On a completely unrelated note, I hope everyone will get out to the polls and vote today in this very important election. I voted this morning and was so happy I went early in the morning when there were no lines. PLEASE VOTE!!!!

how’s it goin’


October has come and gone. The leaves seemed to turn colors and drop in like a week. This is actually the first year that all the leaves from our trees dropped before the city trucks come around for their leaf pickup. The two trees in our yard usually hold onto their leaves as long as they possibly can. Then after the city trucks are done on our street, they let go and our yard is full of leaves again, like we never raked at all. So, I guess that’s one positive thing about the leaves falling so quickly this year.

We did a lot of painting this month. Mom and I were out there almost every warm dry day (does 50 degrees count as warm?) painting trim and the front and one side of the garage and a couple lower sections of the house. I am in love with the color and so happy I picked it. It looks a million times better than it did before. Here is a picture of the before and after of the front porch window trim. Each time we drive up to our house, it makes me smile and I feel proud of the great job my mom and I are doing. We’re not professional painters by any means, but we’re getting out there and making it happen.

There has also been a lot of climbing up ladders onto roofs around here lately, too. Last weekend and this weekend, Jake and my brothers have been up on the lower two sections of our roof replacing the shingles. It’s been a lot of hard work, but it is nearly done. Just a few little details and the job will be complete. In the Spring, we will be looking for someone to roof the top part of the house for us since it is way too steep for us to do ourselves. Looking forward to having a whole new roof. It looks funny right now with two different colors of shingles and partially painted. Ah well, one step at a time.

Now that we’re in November, let’s see how I did on my October goals.

1. Continue healthy habits.
I did pretty good this month. I lost a couple more pounds and some more inches. I didn’t completely steer away from fast food and pop this month, but I ate a small amount once or twice a week, so that didn’t hurt my weight loss. Most of the time, I ate light meals and drank a lot of water. I did well with running at the beginning of the month, but then didn’t run for the last couple weeks because of rain and sickness. I came down with a bad cold last weekend and it knocked me down for several days. Am happy to be starting the month of November healthy again.

2. Finish painting trim on garage and house.
We got the trim on the porch windows done. Still have a couple windows on the house to attend to. The garage trim is done on two sides of the garage. May not get the other two done before winter sets in, but it looks like some warmer days are in the forecast this week (still considering 50 degrees to be warm) so maybe it’s possible.

3. Work on my book for a couple hours a day.
I worked on my book for the first half of the month and got through a second draft, then I stopped to work on some other things. I don’t feel bad about that, though, because I got all the way through all the chapters again and filled in the story some more and I feel very good about it. It still needs another run through and another and another and another until it’s ready for the world (or at least my friends and family) to read, but finally making progress on it after having it sit for three years feels great.

My first two November goals will probably bore you. It feels a little same old same old now, but it really is helping me to put my goals out there every month, to write them down in a list, so when the month is over I can see how much I rocked it or how badly I sucked. LOL. :D
1. Exercise and eat healthy
2. Finish painting trim on garage and house.
Must do this before winter.

3. Christmas projects (yes, I just said Christmas)
— Year in Review books
I have been working on a year in review book for my mom from 2011 for a while now. Other things (painting the house, photography stuff, everyday life) have gotten in the way and I sit down every once in a while and work on it, but it’s been slow going. So, I want to finish that.
— Christmas cards
Have been thinking about a family newsletter style this year. Haven’t done one of those in a while. We shall see.
— Secret stuff
Can’t write about all the projects on here since some are gifts. ;)

WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!
And I have to end this post by sharing something really fun. Jake has been chosen as one of 25 finalists for the ROAD WARRIOR TEAM for the 25K FIFTH THIRD RIVERBANK RUN. They have a team of 10 that train over the next six months to get ready for the race. It would be SO awesome for him to be a part of this team and have that motivation and accountability to keep running. He will be interviewed this week by the event coordinators, but one member of the team will be chosen by popular community vote. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO GO VOTE FOR JAKE. Voting closes Sunday, November 4th at noon EST. Thanks so much!

AJAXed with AWP