Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

How does Costco always know exactly what I need?  I don't understand that.  We've been looking everywhere for the perfect travel mats for the pups.  We wanted something small (but big enough for our guys when they're full grown), sturdy (so we can use it indoors or out) and packable.

The mega-store from heaven just started carrying these.  They're so least they seem like they are right now.  We'll find out after we really test drive them this week while we're on the road.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I had a chance to go to a party last night at our friends - Ian and Chris's house.  I didn't really feel too hot, but it was important to me that I make it over there.  On top of being the reason that Brian and I ever met in the first place, these guys have become really wonderful friends to us.  To explain how good they are to us, let me show you this:

This was our housewarming/engagement gift from them.  They loved the fire that we kept burning all day on Thanksgiving, so they thought this was a perfect "housewarming" present.  They're going to literally warm our house.  They're having a cord of firewood delivered to our home at the first of the year.  


What wonderful guys.  We're so lucky to have such great friends.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

The sun came out this morning!!!!  Don't get me wrong, I love Seattle. I love the weather here, but occasionally, the grey skies even get to the best of us.  Here's a shot of the sun peaking through the trees in the backyard...

I think the boys were just as happy about the sun as I was.  They had a blast running around like lunatic puppies and finding mischief.  

Here is how a typical double-doodle trouble gets started in our lives:

Daijo finds a stick.

Venn notices said stick.

Craziness ensues.

And craziness continues.  (You'll have to excuse the bluriness.  I thought about not posting them, but honestly, the blurs make me laugh even harder)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I've started a new project for the wedding.  It involves me gathering brooches.  Lots of them.  I'm foreseeing a great deal of garage sales in my future....

For now, I'm trying to bargain hunt online.  My first batch showed up today, and I'm really excited about how pretty they are.  I think this is going to be really fun!

Woo hoo!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Because it made me smile...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

So, I have a lot of Christmas ornaments.  I'm definitely that girl, and I'm okay with that.  It's kind of my thing.  There are a few though, that just make me especially happy.  Once they're up, they just round out the whole "decorating process" for me.
I don't know why, but this little santa tops my list.

He doesn't have any sentimental value.  I'm not sure what it is - his jalepeno cowboy hat or his candy cane gun, but I love this little santa dude.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Although my parents have a massive nativity scene that I was obsessed with rearranging as a child, I never thought I would have one in my home during the holiday season.
Then I saw this one.
There is just something about it, about the way Mary cradles the baby so's just...honest.  I believe the scene.
So, for several years now, my Christmas decorations have involved a nativity scene.
And I love it.
(and I still rearrange it nearly every time I walk by)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Our friends are too kind...

We didn't expect gifts.  Really.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

In our new kitchen, we have cabinets with glass doors, glass shelves and built in lighting.  It's the silliest thing, but I love it.  This house just feels so "pulled together" it was designed to be a homey little gathering place (with perfect accent lighting).

We had our first party in the house tonight - a housewarming/engagement/holiday party.  It was a wonderful time, full of really beautiful people that just made me happy that we now have the opportunity to open our home to our friends so we can enjoy their company here.

Feels good.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Oh No!  That crazy lady with the camera is back!!!

I got to spend some time with Melisa and this beautiful little guy again today.  Holy cuteness, Batman!

Guess who discovered his hands?

Yep, hands are cool.

And still all smiles and heart-melting adorable-ness...

You wanna know the coolest thing about today?  I realized that in a couple of weeks, we get to see Brian's nieces (who I now get to claim as my nieces - Yay!) and I get to totally drive all of them crazy with my camera.  That is so going to rock.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

We're working hard to get in the Christmas Spirit around here...

Friday, December 3, 2010

I have a story to share with you.

I'm not gonna lie about it, I'm pretty excited to be getting married to my dream guy.  Planning and preparations have begun.  Today, I'm feeling pretty victorious.  I'm not sure why, but I was dreading the wedding dress shopping experience.  I've been trying to keep my mind open to new and different ways to save money on that part especially.    It's a long and boring story, but cruising around online, I found a dress that I loved.  Cruising a little more online and I found it for a third of the price.  Throwing caution to the wind, I purchased a wedding dress online from a retailer in Illinois that I had never seen in person and certainly never tried on.  Oh my.

It showed up today.  And it's perfect.  Perfect as in: I really wouldn't even need to get it altered if I was getting married next week.  It's beautiful, it fits and it's even long enough.  I don't have to go wedding dress shopping!!!

And here is the box that held this ray of sunshine today:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Found this at Central Market this weekend:

It's my perfect fall treat!

Monday, November 29, 2010

I'm not gonna sugar-coat this.  Even with all the amazing ways that my life is blessed right now, I occasionally still have really nasty days.

Today was one of them.

So, here's to the fact that I try to keep wine in the house.  If I want to relax with my favorite guys and a glass of vino, I can.

Sunday, November 27, 2010

Who would have thought that I could be so thankful for a shower head?  There's a handheld in the guest bathroom of the new house.  Bath time for the boys no longer fills me with dread.  Without one of these handy things, it used to take me forever to try and get those silly pups clean.  I would be soaked, and the dogs would be very unhappy.  Now, I won't say that Venn enjoys his baths, but he doesn't seem to hate me quite so much afterwards.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

With all the storms and snow in Seattle, the mountains out here have been getting pummeled with snow.  Bran has been itching to take the dogs and introduce them to real snow.  We spent the morning driving up to Snoqualmie Pass for a little snow play time.

Oh my goodness.  It was hilarious.

Fun was had by all...

Just to give you an idea of how deep the snow was...

They both had a blast...until we decided to leave, and realized that their fur isn't exactly "snow friendly."  (At least not for this kind of snow.  Brian thinks they may be fine in "Spring Touring Snow," but that barely even sounds like English to me...)  Anyhow, the poor boys had so much snow clumped to their legs that they couldn't even jump in the car.  Once we lifted them in, they weren't able to sit down for 30 minutes.  This picture was taken after we had already spent a fair amount of time trying to knock the snow off.  Good Grief.

Looks like Brian has to cave on this one - guess who gets to buy some snowsuits for our dogs?

Friday, November 26, 2010

I knew the first time we looked at this house that we would have to put an offer in on it.  Of all the houses we toured, even of all the houses we put bids on, this was the only one that I could envision our Christmases.

Dreams = Reality.  The Christmas Tree went up last night.

It looks perfect.

(And, so far, the dogs haven't eaten it)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day.

We were lucky enough to spend today with our friends, Chris and Ian, their friend Wally and their beautiful golden retriever, Addison.  Our Thanksgiving tradition doesn't involve turkey or stuffing or cranberries.  Ours involve rib-eyes thrown on the grill, a lot of wine and any other food our hearts desire.  Yum.

It was fitting that we got to spend today, of all days, with Chris and Ian.  If it weren't for them, Brian and I never would have met.  I don't think we've had the chance in the last year and a half to really thank them for that.

We ate, we drank, we talked, we laughed and at the end of the day, I couldn't have imagined a better way to celebrate the gratitude that I have in my heart.  Each time I think about this blog, I'm reminded of it.  Because of this blog, each time I pick up my camera, I'm now reminded of it.

There is just so much to be thankful for.

On that note, I thought you might enjoy our version of "the kids' table."

Don't worry, I promise when there are human kids around, I won't gate them up in the mud room while the grown-ups have dinner :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

The snow started falling in Seattle today, which means, aside from the fact that this city will completely shut down, the boys get to experience snow for the first time.

Tee Hee.  That makes me laugh.

Unfortunately, snow doesn't hide the dirt.

And the view looking skyward in our backyard...

Have I mentioned that our backyard looks like a forest campground?  Can you even imagine anything more perfect for us?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I love the way our boys will just sit and stare at us, patiently awaiting their next adventure.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Driving across Washington, I get to spend a fair portion of the drive watching the wind turbines spin.  They are incredibly hypnotizing and strangely beautiful.

Makes me wonder sometimes about the long-term effects of us harvesting natural power.  What other problems will evolve as a result of diverting the wind?

Anyhow...the things you think on a 5 hour drive alone...

Glad to be coming home.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I'm embarking on a new project for work.  I won't bore you with all the minutia, but I've found a way to have my job help me in my never-ending quest for work-life balance.  It involves trying a new recipe at home and enjoying it with friends and family at least once every two weeks.  So far, so good.  
Here's the unexpected benefit: I had forgotten how much I love to be in the kitchen.  I've done a ton a cooking in the past couple of weeks.  It's been fabulous!  After an impromptu dinner for 7 last night, I woke up this morning, threw a sausage gumbo in the crock pot then got to work on some individual-serve lasagnas for the freezer.  Yum.

Here is my army of lasagnas lined up in the freezer.  We're almost ready, Winter, give us your best shot....

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I got the opportunity to photograph beautiful Baby A once again on Saturday.  He was not too pleased with the arrangement, but I think we were still able to capture some pretty precious moments.

I'm not gonna lie, I kind of think that all babies need to have a crying-in-the-santa-hat picture in their portfolio...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Oh, my fenced back yard!
How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways...

Yes, we have taken "dirty" to a whole new level.  You know it's bad when even the brown one looks filthy.

But, honestly, who cares when they look that happy?