Esther 4:14b

"...and who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this."


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Party 'til the cows come home (or leave)

They start out so sweet and innocent. Clarabell's mommy died in childbirth, so she was raised as a bottle fed calf a few years ago. She was the sweetest little girl and you thought she'd remember you forever.



Fast forward a few years and that cute little girl is now a big mamma who likes to cause trouble. Last week hubby was loading up his cows to take them to Pennsylvania for a few months because we don't have enough pasture and stuff for them during the winter and to get bred. I had already left for work, so I wasn't able to help him load, and loading 5 cows on your own is no fun task.

Well, Clarabell delayed things by a couple hours by not wanting to get on the trailer and made hubby so mad that he sold her as soon as he got to Pennsylvania.

For all you animal lovers out there, she wasn't sold as meat, but as a recip cow or basically a surrogate. So now, she's looking at a life of being pregnant one calf after another. Best of luck to you Clarabell!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wedding Photos

Moriah at Please Pass the Salt participated in this and I thought it'd be fun to join in too. Most of them don't have my groom's full face in them unfortunately due to him needing to stay mostly anonymous, but there is a side view!

Our wedding was on October 6, 2007 at the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch in Loveland, Colorado. It was an outside ceremony and reception so we were praying for no snow. We had a three day party and it was hands down the best weekend of our lives! We had 70 degree weather the whole time with some wind on our wedding day and just as we were leaving to drive to the mountains for a few days before heading home, it started to snow. Is God good or what!?

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Final Monogram Choice

Thanks for everybody's vote and comments on the monogram. I think the first one is my favorite, but I'm not sure yet.

Here's the one that my cousin and her fiancee chose:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Updated Blog Roll

If you have some time on your hands and want to read some more blogs, check out my updated blog roll. If you're a regular reader and I don't have you listed, please leave me a comment so I can check out your blog too.

Happy 90th Gram!

Today is my hubby's grandma's 90th birthday! She is such an amazing lady and I'm so blessed that I have the chance to call her Grandma too.

She is unlike any other 90 year old I've ever met. She still lives on her own in the same house that she raised hubby's dad and his older sister (who unfortunately died in her 50s of cancer). She delivers the Meals on Wheels, they don't come to her. She's also the same lady who went parasailing for the 7th time this past summer at the age of 89. For Christmas, we all gave her a gift certificate for a hot air balloon ride once the weather gets warmer. And, if she has her way, she'll get to experience skydyving before the Lord calls her home as well.

In addition to her spirit of adventure, she makes the best eclairs you'll ever taste and hosts a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner every year. She's such a wonderful lady and I hope she'll at least stick around until we can celebrate her 100th!

Here's to you, Gram. Hope I have at least a quarter of your spunk and spirit of adventure when I'm your age! Can't wait to celebrate with you this weekend.

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25 Random Things

All the craze on Facebook right now is tagging people to list 25 random things about themselves, and Beth tagged me so I thought I'd use it for blog fodder too.

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you want to play along go right ahead and leave me a comment so I can read your 25 random things.

1. I have naturally curly hair and I hate it. It never looks like beautiful curls...they all curl a different way and thus I have become the biggest fan of the flatiron.

2. I am always freezing cold but tell my hubby all the time that "cold hands equals warm heart". He usually laughs in response...I don't know why!

3. I'm addicted to sugar and desserts. Addicted might be too strong, but I definitely love sweets!

4. I have very small hands.

5. If I could go back to college and major in something else, I would do it in a heartbeat. Interior or graphic design would be my new major of choice.

6. I am going to have a second nephew in a month and hope he doesn't come before I get back from my trip!

7. I'm anxious to join the mommy bandwagon, but know it will come in due time.

8. There are two stations that play on my car radio...country and contemporary Christian.

9. I'm a closet Martha Stewart addict. This is a recent addiction and I have to sneak in my tivo'd shows when no one else is watching!

10. I'm a crime show tv junkie. My favorite shows are: NCIS, Criminal Minds, 24, CSI: (only the original), Psych, Lost, Survivor and Amazing Race.

11. Those are my favorite shows I watch with hubby. I also enjoy Divine Design and any other decor show on HGTV.

12. Hubby and I plan to move to our new home this June and I'm super excited!!

13. I really don't like vegetables at all, but I force myself to eat them because I know it's the adult thing to do.

14. I really dislike doing laundry so I let it pile up for weeks until I have 7 loads to do in one weekend. Not fun. Personally, I think that says we have way too many clothes, or my husband wears his way too long before changing!

15. I love reading blogs and I'm terrible about leaving comments because I'm too lazy to click out of my Outlook RSS feeds box to go to the comment area.

16. I'm terrible about wasting time on the internet while I'm at work. I get all my work done, but seriously I must spend at least 4 hours a day doing my own thing at work because there's not enough to keep me busy.

17. I love to read and constantly have piles of books and magazines lying around.

18. I love being snowed in with a roaring fire, cozy blanket, my hubby and a good movie or book.

19. I inherited by Dad's genes for talking way more than those around me want me to.

20. I wish I lived closer to my siblings and family so I could see them more often.

21. I already have names picked out for my children now I just need children and to convince my hubby that he likes the names too.

22. One of my new favorite snacks is the "sweet and salty" granola bars...the peanut and almond are the best.

23. I love to bake and can't wait until my own kitchen with the double ovens and huge countertop space is finished this summer.

24. I've ridden a camel and an elephant.

25. I'm starting to get scared of snorkeling in the Cook Islands because I've been reading about people who got swept out to see in a rip current while snorkeling.

There you go 25 things about me that you probably wish you never knew!

Friday, January 23, 2009

My Visit with Martha

Yesterday my mom was in town and we went to see a taping of The Martha Stewart Show in NYC.

We were super excited just to see what Martha was doing, but also because guests in the past few days had received awesome giveaways such as $100 juicers, cupcake stuff, craft stuff, special edition Estee Lauder makeup sets, etc.

After waiting for a train that was delayed 45 minutes, we finally arrived in the city and walked our way through the crowds only to wait in line another 45 minutes in the freezing cold outside her studio. While waiting, we saw people leaving the taping of the LIVE show for the day that tapes in the morning. They had huge brown bags filled with stuff, so we were all starting to get more excited.

They finally let us in and Joey came out (if you watch the show, you know who he is) to tell us what the show was on. It was now Tuesday, February 10th, and we were talking about stuff for Valentine's Day. Martha had one of her former chefs on and they were going to make steak au poivre and pastries. She was also going to do a glitter craft and had some live birds on her show before doing another craft. We all thought we were going to get to taste some pastries and get some good foodie and/or crafty giveaways. Yeah!!

The staff came around to see if anyone had questions for the "Ask Martha" segment they were going to record if there was time and they put stars on your tickets if your question was picked. My mom got a star which meant we got awesome seats!

They lead us all into the studio (after giving us the signs for applause, aahh, oohh, and mmm of course!) and we anxiously awaited Martha. She looked so pretty when she came out in a yellow shirt, khaki colored dress slacks, and high heels. She went right to work cooking the steak and it smelled heavenly! After a commercial break, they came back and finished up the steak and proceeded to give out the first giveaway. What was it you ask? A new pan, Omaha steaks, a special pepper grinder? Oh no my friends. We got demi glaze! Yeah. The $5 tub you could make yourself or buy at the grocery store! Whoopie de da do! And we didn't get to taste any pastries either :(

The next segment was Martha crafting the glitter heart buckles to use on wrapping your valentine gifts. Very cute, but seeing how they didn't give out the glitter, and I'm not even going to be around this Valentine's Day, I don't think I'm going to be rushing out to buy all the different colors to make my own "bedazzled" buckles! Not to mention the fact that I don't think my hubby will wear it after he unwraps his gift.

Next was time for the birds. They had a lady there from the Maryland Zoo with 4 different kinds of endangered birds. The first one was this huge crane that looked like this:

The bird had to make a grand entrance, so they had him in the back of the studio audience and when called he flew down over us (we were directly under his flight path) up to the front. After they finished his segment, he was supposed to fly back up to the trainer behind us. As he took off, he was a lot lower over us going back than he was coming, and two rows short of the back he decided he got tired and decided to perch on some lady's head instead! It was hilarious!! Best part of the whole show!

Once they got the crane off her head, they went on to show us the hawk, parrot and tucan that they had as well.

After the commercial break, Martha was supposed to show us how to etch on a fish tank and we were all supposed to get another giveaway (which my mom peeked on the way out and saw it was a glass etching kit which I've wanted for a long time), but to protect themselves from getting sued, they had the lady who had the crane on her head come on to have her say on national tv that she was okay after the incident, and ran out of time to do anything else.

My mom did get a chance to ask Martha her question after the show was done taping, "How do I get red candle wax off my white wall?" and Martha's answer was, "Paint. It will never come off and ban all red candles from your house like I have because the red dye is the worst."

So, even though we only came away with "meat glaze" as my mom likes to say, we had a great time and are looking forward to getting tickets again.

If you feel like seeing a lady with a giant crane standing on her head (and my mom and I because we should be in the front row off the floor) then definitely watch the show on February 10th. It's hilarious!

P.S. We came home and watched the live show from yesterday morning's taping to see what they all had in their big brown bags and they got fleece jackets, Quaker oat products and an Obama hat. I could have done without the hat, but the fleece sure would have been nice!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monograms

Here are some of the monogram options I've come up with so far for my cousin and her fiancee. We're going to use whichever one they pick on their envelopes, thank you notes, favors, napkins, etc.

Which one do you like best?


Friday, January 16, 2009

New "Client"

I'm super excited about this wedding I'm working on right now. Afterall, it's only fair that I donate my services after my cousin came and helped me put together all my centerpieces:

Currently I'm working on the invitation. I'm going to make a few modifications before I send it to her for final approval...such as actually having a photo of her and her fiancee instead of a random one I used, converting the photo and font to sepia instead of black, and adding in all the necessary wording for the invite. We're also going to do something besides the rhinestones. They wanted something that would be affordable to mail, so we came up with a format that fits in a #10 envelope. Looking at these photos again, I see my proportions are off, but you get the idea:



It was my first time using a stamp with a glue pad and glitter and I think I'm addicted!

I'm also working on designing a monogram for them to use on numerous things as well as centerpieces and other stuff. I love doing this stuff and wish I could do it for a full-time job. Maybe someday...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

House Remodel: Kitchen Demo

I thought I had posted some photos of our kitchen demo, but can't seem to find them, so here are some more. Right now everything is on hold during the winter months - let's just say it's not cheap to heat a 7200 sq. ft. house with no insulation and very poor windows. I won't even mention how much our heating bill was, but will say it tripled what it was last month even though we have everything turned super low. We'll definitely have to be doing something about the lack of insulation.

Before we left for the winter, though, we were able to get most of the kitchen demo done so that when we come back in the spring we can start on installing new flooring, cabinets, countertops, and finally having one room finished. I have the finished design in my head and can't wait to start seeing it get put into motion.







I had to have our neighbor take my picture just so I had proof that I'm also working!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Say it ain't so...

Wow...it's been a long break I've taken from blogging. Don't know if anybody still checks in on this thing, but in case anyone is out there...

I'm sure we're all pretty sick of seeing Christmas photos by this time in January, but I have to post some for posterity. So without further ado:

L to R (front): my brother-in-law, sister, nephew, my brother's girlfriend, my brother; (middle): my parents; (back): me and hubby (who still has to remain faceless)

My cute nephew wearing an outfit I wore as a baby that my parents bought when they travelled Europe while pregnant with me. Hopefully my kids will get a chance to wear it too!

On New Year's Eve, hubby and I had to make a trip to New Mexico for a business trip. We left my parents' house in Colorado Springs at 4am to start the 5.5 to 6 hour drive. I'm trying to get my photo with every state sign, but seeing how it was still dark when we crossed the NM border, this is the best I could do. We got to the ranch where we needed to install the system and learned that it's actually owned by the either the writer or producer of A River Runs Through It. Hubby got to meet the guy, but I stayed in the car for what was only supposed to be an hour, but ended up being three and a half, looking at home remodeling and decor magazines and napping. We then stopped and had dinner and headed back to Colorado arriving around 9:30pm...just in time to celebrate New Year's Eve with my parents. Long day, but fun day.

The rest of the time out there, we just relaxed, ate, played games, and of course shopped. It was a lot of fun.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I'm back (for now anyway...)

So 2009 isn't shaping up to be a good blogging year so far, but hopefully we'll get better as time moves on.

Hubby & I travelled to Colorado to spend time with my family for Christmas. We had the opportunity to enjoy Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas breakfast with his family before we left on a jet plane. Besides the 4 kids constantly screaming in French behind us and kicking the back of our seat, it was a pretty smooth flight.

My mom's dad and his wife had already arrived in town by the time we got there so we had a couple days of just my parents, us and them until my nephew, Braden, and his parents (love ya too guys...but let's be honest you know we all are dying to see Braden!) arrived on Saturday night the 27th. Shortly after they got to our house from the airport, my mom received a call on her cellphone that brought some very devastating news. The husband and father of our very, very dear family friends was in a serious accident and death was imminent. We called my brother and had him and his girlfriend drive over to the hospital because they were right in the area, and then my sister, parents and I started out on the 2 hour drive north. We got to the hospital around 10:30pm or so and finally got the story.

Jim (who's only a year older than my dad) was ice fishing with their second oldest, Adam (who's my sister's age). It was really windy so they decided to pack up and call it a day. Adam had taken the first load to the truck and turned to go get more when he saw his dad lying flat on his back on the ice further from the truck. He thinks what happened was that some of their gear got blown away by the wind and Jim went after it only to slip and fall flat on his back, fracturing the back of his skull on the ice. This and the combination of being on blood thinner for his heart caused a bleeding on the brain and uncontrollably hemmoraghing of the brain stem. Due to the conditions and remote location, it took over three hours to get him to the emergency room. He never woke up again, but was put on life support in hopes that he would. From the time he was brought in and through several tests later, there was never any brain activity so the doctor finally pronounced him dead around noon on Sunday. They hoped to donate his organs, but when they did the autopsy they discovered that his spleen was three times the normal size, so they were only able to donate his corneas.

It's such a freak accident and so hard to believe Jim's gone. My heart breaks for his wife Linda (one of my mom's best friends), and their children Justin (27) and his new wife Vale (we just went to their wedding the end of October), Adam (25), Larissa (21), and Evan (18 and a senior in high school). The Hirt's aren't just friends...they're family. We grew up together from the time Justin & I were 1 and 2 years old, having sleepovers at each others houses. I can't even begin to fathom the loss and grief they're experiencing right now.

Back (L to R): Evan, Jim, Justin, Adam
Front (L to R): Justin's wife Vale, Linda, Larissa

Jim was an amazing man. A man after God's own heart who wasn't afraid to demonstrate that love to those around him. In the short time he was on earth, he made more of an impact than many people who live much longer than him ever will. We don't understand why God called him home at this time, but we can rest knowing that it's all part of God's perfect plan and that Jim is with his Heavenly Father.

I leave tomorrow to fly back to Colorado for the memorial service on Saturday and will be back sometime next week. If you remember, please keep the Hirt family in your prayers.

If you want to read more about Jim from his wife and children's perspectives, check out the blog they started in his honor here.

Friday, January 2, 2009

For now...

read this blog and please pray for this family.

I will update more when I return from spending time with my family in Colorado on Monday.

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.