Tuesday, December 31, 2013

When you laugh so hard you cry, it's a good night

When you get together with your college girlfriends you are reminded of how hazy those four years actually were...
One of my college BFFs, Jeanna, is in town for the holidays, so we thought a little WWU reunion was in order. We organized dinner at my house quite a while back, and I had been looking forward to it ever since!
The girls came over last night and we cooked a delicious dinner while those of us not growing tiny humans indulged in a few glasses of wine. Then we decided it was fantastic opportunity to break out my brand new game of Cards Against Humanity! I know I am one of the last people to jump on this particular band wagon, but this game is amazing! I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard I cried, and it happened a couple times last night.
These girls crack my shiz up.
Jeanna, Amanda, Michelle and I lived in the dorms together freshman year (Ridgeway Beta Stack 9, Represent!)
and Jeanna, Cailin and I were in the journalism program together at WWU (journa-nerds, Unite!)
I feel pretty fortunate to have had such long-standing friendships with these fabulous ladies. Honestly though, getting together with them makes me semi afraid for my sanity, or at least my memory. Some of our conversations went a little like this...
"Oh, you didn't live with us sophomore year?"
"No, remember, I moved out of state to be with my boyfriend."
"Oh. I have no memory of that. I thought you lived there with us."
"Why didn't we live together in that house near campus?"
"I think we got into a big fight."
"What about?"
"No idea."
"Whoa, what a cool tattoo!"
"Don't you remember going with me to the tattoo parlor when I got it?"
"Oh yeah!!"
And so on and so forth. Luckily though, it seems like we've only blocked out the negative and irrelevant memories, because we still had a ton of fun stuff to reminisce about. In addition to catching up on our current, more grown up lives, which now include careers, jet setting, and tiny humans.
In conclusion, this seems like an appropriate time to share a quote from one of my favorite sources: Baz Luhrmann in Everybody's Free To Wear Sunscreen.
"Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young."
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Monday, December 30, 2013

An Alway Family Christmas, Seahawk Style

It seems like this is the year that Christmas just keeps on coming!
Russ and Patty arrived on Saturday to celebrate the holiday with us a little belatedly, and also to use the Seahawks tickets we had given them for Christmas. Of course we decided to throw in some 12th Man jerseys as well!
I love having house guests, so it was a blast to have them come up and hang out, and they unnecessarily and generously brought even more lovely gifts (as if the amazing Seahawks jackets weren't enough)!
Aren't the personalized stockings adorable?! And yes, that is a Seahawks tooth fairy pillow for Baby Marshawn!
As much fun as I was having, I was still pretty nervous about Sunday's game against the Rams, one that we needed to win in order to clinch the NFC West title and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Everything that we have been working for over the entire season literally came down to this one game...
Don't worry, we pulled it off!

Being there to see the Hawks pull off their big win made every single moment of the entire season worth it.
Now... on to the playoffs!
I am so lucky that I got to spend Christmas this year with TWO families. Sometimes it is difficult and stressful for us to spend enough time with both of our families and friends, but we're lucky that everyone is so flexible and accommodating. Family is so important!
It's also good to be reminded that not everyone always has the luxury of seeing loved ones during the holiday season. But Tiffany from Dropcam emailed me earlier this month to share some wonderful videos of soldiers who did make it home for the holidays, which I thought I'd share with you here as well. Stuff like this makes me cry every time, but it also warms my heart... take a look.
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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday Social -- Ringing in the New Year

In honor of 2013 coming to a close, I decided to link up with Neely and Lindsey to tell you a little bit about my New Year's traditions...

1. What is the best New Years Eve you’ve ever had?

To be honest, NYE is not my favorite holiday. I find the whole thing to be incredibly stressful and expensive. The cover charges to get into bars and clubs are ridiculous, and even if you go to a house party, it is inevitably absolutely impossible to get a cab home from any of these places. So you are forced to either stay sober or crash at someone's house for the night.

In general, the most fun nights I've had ringing in the new year have been when I've paid for a hotel somewhere. The one that comes to mind most is NYE 2006. I had been living, single and fabulous, in Seattle for less than a year. My very good friend Jeanna and I headed up to Vancouver, BC with a couple other girlfriends to celebrate. We got a hotel room right down the street from The Roxy, one of my favorite clubs up there. We drank a ton at the hotel beforehand to save money, and then used our pre-purchased VIP passes to waltz on in as only a group of single girls can. We were greeted by a live cover band playing '80s music, and we danced the night away, pausing only for the midnight countdown and champagne toast. And at the end of the evening we just stumbled back on down the road and into our waiting hotel beds.

No stress, low cost. Love it.

2. Are you doing anything for NYE this year and if so what?

Funny you should ask. For the past several years we've been attending a big shindig that our good friends host every year, but they're taking a break this time around so we're forced to make other plans. And frankly, we're not that highly motivated (I mentioned it's not my favorite holiday). I thought briefly about inviting a few good friends over to our house, but I'm hosting guests both tonight and tomorrow night so I'm not sure if I'll have the energy. Stew would like to go to a bar somewhere, even if it's local, and I don't blame him one bit seeing that he has a permanent sober driver right now. But yeah... we definitely need to round up some friends, I'm thinking. Old, lame ones like us who don't have any plans yet, either.

3. Name a book we should all read come January?

Let's see... the only book I marked with a rare "favorite" heart this year on my book club list was The Distant Hours by Kate Morton. Here's what I said at the time: "Oh, how happy it makes me when I discover an amazing book like this! I'm really sad it's over; I would love to be able to experience it for the first time, again." I've had another one of her books, The Forgotten Garden, on my shelf for a while now as well... I should probably read it before Baby Boy arrives, because I have a feeling he's going to be keeping me far too busy to read anything but Dr. Seuss...

4. What are your new years resolutions?

I don't actually do resolutions... I feel like they inevitably set people up for failure. It's just silly to sit down and write up a list of goals you're just going to end up re-writing next year, anyway. That being said, there are some things on my general life list that I'm constantly trying to work on...

Exercise routinely and eat healthy foods whenever possible.
Focus on the positive, not the negative.
Love others and treat them like I would like to be treated.
Smile and laugh every single day.
Adopt a "do it now" mentality -- no procrastination!
Read classic books from different centuries.
Cherish my friends and family, and tell them how important they are to me.
Invest in my marriage every single day.
Raise my son to be a happy, healthy and productive member of society.

But these are not just things that I'll strive to do in the upcoming year... they are goals for my whole life, from now until the day I die. I think everyone should constantly strive to be the best version of themselves, and for me these are just a few simple things that I'll try to work on as often as I can.

Care to share any of your resolutions, should you have them?

The Crafty Practitioner Sunday Social
Have a great rest of your weekend, everyone!
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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Snowflake Swap!

Back in November, on a whim, I decided to sign up for the Snowflake Swap, a holiday-themed gift exchange, just for fun. I was partnered with Joni at The Lively Days of Joni, and it was fun getting to know her a little better.

Joni loves everything Christmas related, plus all things girly, glittery and animal print. That was definitely enough for me to get started! I put together a fun little gift box for her that I think incorporated all those things nicely. I hope that she liked it!

As for me, Joni was so generous and thoughtful!

{1} A gorgeous mint and black lightweight, flowy, green scarf which I LOVE.
{2} Miniature manicure kit which went straight into my purse. Awesome.
{3} Adorable sparkly headband that is going to look great at holiday parties!
{4} Slipper socks, probably my favorite thing in the whole package -- these things are so soft, comfy and amazing!
{5} Russell Stover chocolates, which I unfortunately left on the kitchen counter, which means Stewart ate them as soon as he came across them. Silly mistake on my part.

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 This Snowflake Swap was brought to you by...
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Friday, December 27, 2013

Dear Baby Boy... 21 Weeks

Dear Baby Boy,

Christmas was so exciting this year, knowing that you were with us, listening to everything that was going on. We spent the holiday at your grandparent's house and saw so many people who already love you so much! You even got quite a few gifts, including a Marshawn Lynch jersey that will be just perfect for you next season. Be sure to thank Nana for that when you arrive!

You are now the size of a pomegranate (10.5 inches and about 12.7 ounces) and are very busy in there! You're crating meconium (a tarry black substance made of swallowed amniotic fluid, digestive secretion, and dead cells), which will fill your first diaper after you are born. No offense, but ew.

I'm starting to really suffer from dry, itchy skin, but I bought myself three huge bottles of Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion, which will hopefully alleviate some of the discomfort and help avoid any terrible stretch marks. Here's hoping...

I found a great tutorial on how to paint chevon stripes for your nursery, and now I just need to make the time to do it. We're going to go with a gray and white theme with navy accents, and I also found a super duper cute Etsy shop where I'm going to buy you some adorable animal prints in those colors. Your daddy LOVES animals and he's definitely going to pass that onto you, starting with your nursery d├ęcor. Unfortunately the crib I wanted to get you is no longer available, so it's back to the drawing board there. Probably not a big deal, since if I buy everything for you from Pottery Barn Kids we're going to go broke and you'll never be able to go to college.

The holidays were relaxing, but also busy and stressful at times. Luckily the only tears I shed were over football games, although it does seem that I'm still pretty emotional these days. Hopefully now we can get back to a more regular schedule.

I think about you all the time and can't imagine how I am going to wait patiently for another 19 weeks until I get to hold you in my arms.

 Merry Christmas, my sweet baby!

Love Always,

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Live & Learn -- Crochet v. Knitting

Welcome to another edition of
Live & Learn Thursday!
Life As Always

Join the party... follow your hosts and link up your post!

I struggled to think of a clever or humiliating yet entertaining lesson to share with you today, so instead I chose to share with you something I learned that was actually new information for me! I'm sure it won't be for all you crafty homemakers out there... 

At my holiday office book club last week, our HR manager was kind enough to hand make each book clubber their very own snowflake Christmas ornament...

Isn't it adorable?!
Of course my first reaction was to say, "Oh my gosh, you knitted this yourself?"

No... apparently not. She didn't KNIT the ornaments, she CROCHETED them -- and apparently there is a huge difference! My lesson began... 

People often confuse knitting and crochet, which is understandable because they share many similarities and common elements. Both crafts utilize yarn or fiber, and you can make the same sorts of projects (sweaters, shawls, wraps, blankets, afghans, scarves, hats, mittens, socks) with either technique.

BUT, my co-worker explained, the two crafts have some very important differences, so much so that many people can become highly offended if you mistakenly label their craft project as "knitting" when it is, in fact, "crochet." 

Knitters use two pointy needles while crocheters use a single hook, and there are important structural differences between crocheted fabric and knitted fabric (but I can't really tell the difference... shhhh!!)

Most often, apparently, people specialize in either knitting or crochet, but not both. My co-worker says that rivalries over which one is better run rampant in crafting circles, and I think if you're a "knitter" you're not allowed to socialize with a "crocheter." Kind of like the Sharks and the Jets, as I understand it.

In any case, my word to the wise is to be VERY CAREFUL with your wording when you are commenting on or complimenting someone's handmade sweater, blanket or hat. If you identify it incorrectly to the wrong crafter, they are likely to cut your head right off with one of those knitting needles, and then it's no more personalized holiday sweaters for you.

Live & Learn.

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Merry Christmas my friends!
I hope that you had a wonderful day with loved ones near and far. I certainly did!
Stew and I arrived at my parent's house on Sunday night and basically bummed around there for three days straight. I did hit the grocery store once with my mom, but other than that stayed in major hibernation mode. I was pretty unplugged from social media for once, too, which was nice. I managed to get one or two things posted here, but for the most part my phone and iPad stayed put away in the guest room so I could concentrate on family time.   
There were puzzles, board games, movies, naps, lots of food and football, and even the installation of a new dishwasher (the old one conveniently decided to crap out on us). Oh, and we also did a photo shoot using the totally radical TMNT masks that mom and I picked up a few weeks ago as a surprise...
Because Stew had to work on Christmas Day this year, we did our family gift exchange on Christmas Eve, which worked out really well because of the family present I put together this year...
Christmas Jammies!

Stewart was worried that my Christmas Jammie idea wouldn't go over well, but as you can see it was an epic hit. You're obviously going to be seeing those outfits in photos for years to come...
That night we nestled all snug in our beds, while visions of sugar-plums danced in our heads. And since Santa had already arrived, we got to sleep in a little bit the next morning before my dad's family arrived for more gift exchange festivities and photo shoots.

And there you have it... Christmas 2013!
I apologize for many things in this post, but mainly the quality of the images and the massive photo dump itself. But hey, a picture says a thousand words, right?
My Christmas wish for you is that you your heart is filled with joy, happiness, and peace. And remember, this really is a wonderful life, and no one is a failure who has friends!
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Happy Holidays 2013

From our family to yours... 
Merry Christmas, and best wishes for a happy New Year!

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays, Hawk Fans!

It's too hard for me to talk about the game itself. Let's just say there were tears on my part (I'm a little emotional these days). Instead, let's focus on the fun part of the day... 

The Hawkwagon Tailgater Christmas Party!

Every year Bill and Dana host a super fun holiday tailgate event in Seahawk Alley for our group of diehard Hawk fans. This year was just as fun, festive and fabulous as the last, even though I had to spend it sober for Baby Marshawn's sake...

Notice our fancy new Seahawk coats?! An early Christmas present from Russ and Patty!

The deep fried turkey almost made up for the lack of blue and green jello shots in my belly. Almost...

Chef Bill with this year's ritual sacrifice to the football gods.

Happy Holidays from your two favorite Hawk fans!

Tailgater White Elephant Gift Exchange. Stew and I left with a "Would You Rather" board game and a bottle of Jager with a set of shot glasses. I guess we'll be saving that for next year...

One of these things is not like the other... hi Evan!


Hawkwagon Tailgater Association - 2013.
 The only unfortunate part about Sunday was that I had a terrible cold, and of course due to Baby Marshawn any decongestants or cold medicines are strictly forbodden. Ironically, I was looking back at my post about last year's Holiday Tailgate, and apparently I was sick then, too... 'tis the season, I guess. To be honest I'm still feeling like crap, and I've been bumming around my parent's house since Sunday night (hence the lateness of this post). Honestly though, we never get down time like this, so I don't feel super guilty. 

I hope that you are having a blast with all of your favorite people during these last few days leading up to Christmas. I suggest football, board games, movies, and lots & lots of junk food for maximum enjoyment. 

Happy Holidays, Hawk Fans!

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