Tuesday, December 14, 2010

No mistakes, only happy accidents!

I can't believe this is my 300th post! I was going to do something celebratory, but, like most things, it's just sort of snuck up on me, and I clearly haven't thought of anything at all.

The bad thing about pre-scheduled posts is that they leave little room for changes. (Especially when we're so busy with those changes that I can't post to my blog and update!)

I worked all weekend, like always. But you know how we were going to IKEA yesterday and getting a new bookshelf? Yeah. That didn't happen.

Mark had some stuff in a collection to finish up at his internship, and he asked if we could reschedule. I was disappointed, but said that was fine. And then Sunday night, Elissa texted me and said that her flight had been cancelled (she was flying from Seattle to Nashville, and there was snow!), and could she come and crash on my couch in Birmingham?

Little did she know that I'd been planning to surprise her and come to her birthday party in Nashville today! So after several phone calls to a couple different people, we got things worked out - she'd fly from Kansas City to Dallas Sunday night, spend the night in the airport, then fly to Birmingham early Monday morning. And then, depending on the weather, I'd drive her back to Nashville at some point and spend a few days.

She was tickled pink :) I love making her day!

So here I am - I picked her up at the airport yesterday morning, she crashed on my couch and took a long nap, and then we left yesterday afternoon for Nashville. Spent the evening with Price and Mel (her brother and sister-in-law), and now she's at work. I'm planning to knock out the Christmas shopping today (since I've done exactly NONE thus far, and our family Christmas is less than a week away!), then Lissa's birthday party is tonight, and I'll spend the rest of my time here reading and relaxing and trying to stay warm. Oh, and just as an aside ... it is 11 degrees right now. ELEVEN. I am not made for weather like this...

Wish me luck with all my shopping!

Monday, December 13, 2010

It doesn't really feel like Christmas to me until the decorations are put up, and I wanted to get right on that after we got back from Thanksgiving. Easier said than done when I'm working one to two extra days a week, and trying to look after a puppy at the same time!

But I did manage to get them up, and I like the way everything looks despite the fact that we're lacking a tree this year. (We decided a certain furry someone would eat it, and all the ornaments, for an afternoon snack...)

Here's what I have gotten to do this year:

The dining room area:

My sweet Mark, even though he pretends to hate Christmas decorations, helped me put up my little greenery on our banister :)

He is a good husband :)

Mark with the baby :)

I think that would be even prettier if it was framing a Christmas tree ... oh well, maybe if we're still here next year...

My pretty table - the color is terrible, but that tablecloth is a pretty bright Christmas red, not ugly burnt orange...

The kitchen:

My sweet little wreath (made by my mom) hanging on my fridge :)

Also made by my mom (I inherited a box full of Christmas goodies this year), these cute little cabinet hangers make my kitchen look so festive!

My collection of snow babies sitting in my kitchen window. Mark thinks they're creepy :)

My favorite part of Christmas, lately - my late grandmother's Christmas china! My sweet aunt was kind enough to let me have it - I may have to share it with Kelly and/or Brooke someday, but for now, I'm the only married female, and I get it all! It's BEAUTIFUL. 

I've always loved this china :) It makes it the season feel like Christmas to me!

The living room:
My only decorations, because this is where Luna hangs out the most, and is the most likely to try to eat things!

The downstairs bathroom:
I kept this pretty plain and understated, but I like the way it looks :)

The upstairs bathroom:

Our bedroom:

Pretty (but fake) candles in our windows)

And last, but certainly not least... my pretty wreath that I made for the door! I think it looks pretty good, if I do say so myself :)

Hooray, it's nearly Christmas! I love this season :) I'm even okay with the cold, for now...

Exciting news - today, while this post automatically is blogging (LOVE this feature), we're traveling to Atlanta for a short day-trip. We're going to IKEA for the first time, and I'm sure I'll be totally flipping out in a couple hours. We're searching for a new bookcase for our dining room to replace the ugly old winecart that we've had since we got married, and before that Mark and Andy had it, and before them somebody else - it's one of those thrice-removed hand-me-downs that needs to go away, plus we need the extra storage space that the wine cart just can't accommodate like a bookcase can. So excited!!

Happy Holidays to everybody!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Our Thanksgiving Festivities, Part 2

Wednesday was the day that we were going to be actually celebrating Thanksgiving at my parents' house. Mark and I and Kelly and Colton all had to leave that evening, so we decided to do lunch, but there were scheduling conflicts that left Kelly and me to cook about half of Thanksgiving dinner. I've made a few dishes here and there for Thanksgiving, and have watched my mom for years now, but this was the first time that I was in charge of the turkey, plus several side dishes! Luckily it all went without a hitch, and dinner was fantastic!

The turkey going in the oven - my mom chose to do 2 breasts rather than a whole turkey this year (which was just fine with me), and I rubbed them all over with sage butter. So yummy!

Kelly loves her some Sister Schubert's rolls!

Before getting pretty...

And after! We figured we had a few minutes to get ready while the turkey started cooking :)

Kelly making our grandma's vegetable casserole

Dumping it in the dish...

Making sweet potato casserole from my CSA sweet potatoes :)

The spread. And what a spread it was! Turkey, dressing, green beans with lemon and red peppers, sweet potato casserole, vegetable casserole - it was all SO yummy! (And amaretto pie for dessert, too - yum yum!)

Mommy with the table, decorated all pretty :)

The gang, minus me (taking the picture)

Colton was nice enough to offer to take a picture of our whole family for us :)

Still sickly, but enjoying the food!

Mark and "Momma Shannon"

Daddy was excited about some sweet potatoes!

Kelly and Ninny ready to eat

That afternoon, we played a rousing game of Trivial Pursuit, and then Mark and I left that evening for Griffin. The puppies were introduced and did really well (aside from Luna picking the dining room as her chosen place to poop, and Cocoa acting completely out of character and peeing ALL OVER the living room rug...), and we were off to bed.

Thanksgiving morning dawned brisk and clear and beautiful and warm. We let the dogs play that morning, put Thanksgiving dinner on to cook, and then decided to go to "the farm," basically a 114 acre piece of land that Mark's family owns. It's beautiful out there, so quiet, and made for the perfect way to spend Thanksgiving.

The puppies playing - Cocoa's not such a puppy anymore...

They like each other! 

Out at the farm - Mark's dad and Cocoa :)

Luna really hates the water - we kept trying to get her to go in, but she wasn't having any of it. She went in once (potentially not so voluntarily), swam around a bit, and came right back out.

Cocoa, on the other hand, would LIVE in the water if she could. I think in another life she could be a fish :)

Mark's mom with the dogs

I love going to the farm on fall days like that - it's absolutely gorgeous :)

With my love on Thanksgiving :)

The last picture I got before my camera died ... Mark's carrying Luna to a big old log where some bunnies live to see if she'll go "wabbit hunting." She caught the scent, but there were too many other smells distracting her for her to really follow it well.

Mark's dad and brother brought their guns, and we walked around and looked for deer - I'm sure all the noise we were making totally scared them off, but it was a great, leisurely way to get some exercise before stuffing ourselves silly again :) We went back to the house, ate another fantastic Thanksgiving dinner and vegged on the couch the rest of the day. Mark and I had to leave the next day so I could get back to work, but it was honestly the nicest Thanksgiving I've had since we've been married. I think because it was so low-key, totally not stressful at all, it was a really, really nice time for everybody :)

Can't wait till I see Mark's family again - we'll be Orlando-bound!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Our Thanksgiving Festivities, Part 1 (also known as Pre-Thanksgiving)

Finally, I'm updating about Thanksgiving! (Only about 3 weeks late ... sorry...)

An aside - check Luna out right now. She is SO cuddly :)

Ahem. Anyway. Thanksgiving. It was  a really fun week filled with loads of yummy food and good family time. We started the week at my parents' house, on Monday. We did quite a bit of nothing that day - Kelly came that afternoon, Colton came that night, and then Tuesday started our fun times :)

We always decorate the tree when all of us are home for Thanksgiving, and this year was no exception. Colton was very vocal about how it's THANKSGIVING and not CHRISTMAS, but we Shannon women typically get what we want :)

Kelly trims herself :)

Everybody joins in to help - even the Scrooges :)

Daddy and Colton 

I love this guy. He's pretty great :)

My pretty Mommy, in the Christmas spirit

This was Mark's contribution to the Christmas tree: a corn cob from the Thanksgiving table decorations :)

They are way too cute.

Love my sister!

Mark then decided it would be fun to hang ornaments from my belt.

Pretty Christmas tree!

That evening, Kelly and I had our annual Thanksgiving funny photo-op. We convinced Colton to play along for a couple of pictures. This one is "pretend like you're sick," inspired by Colton, who had a cold.

I think in this one, we were supposed to be Voldemort casting the Avada Kedavra spell, and the look of rage that would typically accompany it

Hm. Not quite sure what this one was. Make your lips really big? Or something?

Blowfish face! (This one's really hard to do without laughing.)

The token "pretty picture" of the bunch.

I don't remember what this one was, but I'm loving Kelly's face :)

Okay, this one has a backstory. We're trying to replicate the pig-face, which is fairly irreplicatable. (I don't think that's a word.) It was this fantastic face that Kelly made back 3 or 4 years ago, the first time we made these pictures. Here is our attempt at re-creating, and below is the original pig-face picture. It is not possible for me to look at that picture and not laugh. 

Moving on - I think this one was "act like you're in labor." I love Kelly's face - she looks mournful :)

Attempting to look like Dolores Umbridge. (Did I mention we'd gone to see HP7 that day? Ohmigosh, what an amazing movie!)

And because of the excess of pictures, Thanksgiving is going to be continued in the next scheduled post, tomorrow....