Christmas Favorites

So I know it's only November 26th and it's raining outside instead of snowing, but I noticed it has been some time since my last post and I thought that making some lists of my favorite Christmas things might be fun.

The items listed appear in no particular order...

Favorite Christmas Songs
  1. O Holy Night
  2. The Little Drummer Boy
  3. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
  4. Baby It's Cold Outside
  5. Christmas Eve Sarajevo

Favorite Christmas Albums
  1. Christmas Eve and Other Stories - Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  2. The Lost Christmas Eve - Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  3. Home for Christmas - Amy Grant
  4. Rejoyce: The Christmas Album - Jessica Simpson
  5. The Sinatra Christmas Album - Frank Sinatra
Favorite Christmas Movies
  1. A Christmas Story
  2. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
  3. Home Alone
  4. The Grinch with Jim Carrey and Dr. Suess' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
  5. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Random Christmas Essentials
  1. white Christmas lights
  2. peppermint bark (preferably Ghirardelli or Andes)
  3. shrimp cocktail at Grandma's on Christmas Eve (I don't eat the slimy things, but the rest of the family does and it wouldn't be the same to see them go without it.)
  4. the smell of candles with the scents of Christmas
  5. the lighted Christmas wreath on the front porch of mom and dads accompanied by the lights on the weeping cherry tree (seeing those when we come to visit is so welcoming...reminds me of the times I would help dad put them up when I was still living at home.)
I just love this time of year! And of course not just because of the "things", but because of the birth of Jesus. What an AWESOME thing to celebrate!


Bulging Bulbs!

Mom told me the other day that I should probably get my non-hardy bulbs dug up by Wednesday, so I did just that when I got home from work tonight. She said that they will have probably reproduced over the summer, but what I didn't know was how much...

God's nature amazes me more everyday...


Near Completion

Near the end of June, Adam and I decided to tear off the wallpaper that was in our back living room. Underneath the wallpaper was paneling. It was nice paneling, but definitely needed some primer and a few coats of fresh paint. So we decided to make this our summer project.

Let me just tell you something...I will never, EVER, for the rest of my life, hang wallpaper in my house. It takes so much time and effort to get that stuff off of the wall! Ours came off in layers...layer one was the wallpaper itself and layer two was the glue backing. Ugh. I can't tell you how relieved I am that that was the last room in the house that had wallpaper in it.

Ah yes, our summer project. I feel like I should have had a sign posted in the doorway to the room that read..."Room closed for repairs. Will reopen by Christmas 2007." Seriously. It's now October and the room isn't even finished. Oh it probably could have been if the first gallon of paint we tried hadn't turned out to be a Pepto-Bismal pink color. After that I was ready to hire a professional because there was no way that I even wanted to try again at finding the right color of paint.

Finally though, Adam and I decided last week that we were going to put our noses to the grindstone. We painted in our spare time last week and got the first layer of paint on the walls you can see from the rest of the house. I figured that if we at least got that much done that when you walked past the room it at least looked finished.

My parents came up to hang out with me on Sunday. (Adam had to farm...) Dad helped me hang a couple of the new Roman shades that I had bought at JCPenney months back. He a
lso fixed our storage closet doors. I got the trim work that I wanted to get done finished, so it looked like we had gotten something accomplished...FINALLY!

The big day was today. Tonight actually, after we were both home from work. Adam grilled some chicken and I made some potatoes for supper so we could get to work on a full stomach. I got some more trim work done, Adam finished up with the second coat of paint on the walls, and we got our molding nailed back up that we had taken down back in June.

After some dusting, vacuuming, and re-arranging of furniture, it looks like this...


A Perfect Fall Day

Today was a PERFECT image of a beautiful fall day. The weather was cool, yet still inviting enough to enjoy the sunshine outside. Adam and I decided to take a journey outdoors after work to see what was going on...

Adam stumbled across a visitor...

... and we admired a few new blooms.

Oreo and Cali seemed to enjoy the fresh breeze as they watched us through the window.

I think that fall is officially my favorite season. I love the smells, the changing colors, being able to have the windows open more often and even through the night, and even the sounds of a good football game. Everything about it makes me smile.


Happy Anniversary to Us!

Today marks a moment in our history...our 1 year wedding anniversary. Here's to our first year of marriage and the many more to come. Thanks for the memories Adam. I love you!

Watching every motion
In my foolish lover's game
On this endless ocean
Finally lovers know no shame
Turning and returning
To some secret place inside
Watching in slow motion
As you turn around and say
My love

Take my breath away

Watching I keep waiting
Still anticipating love
Never hesitating
To become the fated ones
Turning and returning
To some secret place inside
Watching in slow motion
As you turn around and say
My love

Take my breath away

Through the hourglass I saw you
In time you slipped away
When the mirror crashed I called you
And turned to hear you say
If only for today
I am unafraid

Take my breath away


Yay for concrete!

Oh what a difference a day makes...



BE Mangas Construction did a FABULOUS job on our new driveway. Not only did they re-plant some trees that needed moved, but brought in topsoil so that I could start a new garden! (I think it was intended for grass seed, but who knew!) Thanks Brad and crew and Happy Anniversary honey...this is my gift to you. :)


Holy Gladioli!

These things are going nuts! I didn't realize how heavy they got nor did I realize how tall. Regardless, I think I like them even though I'll have to dig them up in the fall.

I really like the red ones. They were actually supposed to be more of a dark maroon color (I can't remember it's REAL name), but they really look nice considering I don't have any other red flowers.

I think the red ones, for some reason, kind of look like an amaryllis.

One of these days, MoM, I'll start using the scientific names!


We're on our way...

...to having a new driveway!

Adam and I came home today to find a rather large machine in our backyard. This machine will be the one to take out our stones to prepare for a new concrete driveway on Friday. We cannot wait! Not only will it improve the looks of our property, but it will also make it easier to pick up sticks and branches that fall from our huge oak tree. All that we'll have to do now is sweep them up!

Here is a before picture. The after will follow later on.

PS. Happy Anniversary MoM and DaD! I love you!


A Bad Day Gone Good

Waking up with a horrible headache that lasted all day, I struggled to make it through the work day yesterday. On top of that came stress from customers, computers, and cell phones. I was supposed to end my day at 5:00, but didn't end up leaving until after 6:00...with my headache. Once I was home, I changed into my 'comfy' clothes and collapsed on the couch. I told Adam that I was going to go to bed earlier than normal to try and erase my awful day. He wasn't going to allow me to do just that.

"Let's make some cookies", he says. "It will put you in a better mood." I wasn't so sure, but decided to pick my lazy body off of the couch and into the kitchen to give it a try. We whipped up some chocolate chip cookie dough and baked a little over 2 dozen in no time at all. They came out soft and moist, just perfect! And he was right, it cheered me right up!

In between batches, we made our nightly rounds throughout our yard to check out our plants and flowers. My gladiolus was in partial bloom so I ran inside to grab my camera and take some pictures. I am doing a photo book from Shutterfly that includes different pictures of flowers that have been in bloom in our gardens and thought pictures of my Gladiolus would be a nicely added touch.

So all in all, my bad day was turned into good thanks to my wonderful husband. He always knows how to lift my spirits!


Do you like it?

So I got this crazy idea yesterday to paint the west wall in our family room a different color than the other three. Adam and I like it. What do you think?


A Night Out

Last night Adam and I spent a wonderful evening with our good friends Nick and Brandi. It had been a while since we had last seen each other, so we made plans earlier in the week to go out to dinner and play some miniature golf.

We decided to eat at Papa Primo's which is a wonderful Italian restaurant on the south side of town. I indulged in their Baked Pasta Promodoro and a glass of Piesporter wine while Adam had the Shrimp and Crab Pasta Alfredo. I had won a $25 gift certificate at the Chamber of Commerce golf outing for closest to the pin, so needless to say, we didn't break our budget!

After dinner, we traveled to the north side of Defiance to BallQuest where they have the nicest miniature golf course around. The sunset was amazing, the air was cool, and Adam won.

We had the most perfect evening and hope to do it again soon!

Nick & Brandi



It's been some time since the last time I've posted. It's also been some time since we've gotten rain. We've had some sprinkles here and there, but not a full, blown-out, lightening and thunder enhanced rain. Until last night.

God FINALLY blessed us with the wet stuff!

.78 of an inch to be exact. Not quite as much as we would have hoped for, but The Weather Channel is calling for more today. Let's pray that for once this summer, the weathermen are right!

PS. Check out our freshly stained deck, compliments of Adam!


The Sweet Escape

I've been a No Doubt/Gwen Stefani fan since high school and have always wanted to go to a concert. I did see No Doubt open for The Smashing Pumpkins, but that was a long time ago and right at the time where they were coming into their own.

Mix 98.1, our local radio station in Defiance, is currently having a call-in contest to 'Sing Like Stefani'. If you are chosen as the best 'impersonator', they will give you 2 tickets to the June 2nd show in Indianapolis. Well...yesterday I became a star. If it was only for a minute, and only on a local station in Defiance, Ohio, it was well worth it. I decided to give it a whirl and sing a verse from Gwen Stefani's song 'Cool'. And sure enough, a few hours later they announced me as the winner out of every caller they had listened to! I was/am ecstatic!

There is one conflict. My brother-in-laws graduation party is that Saturday. It doesn't start until 5 and that is the time I would have to leave to drive to Indianapolis to make it to the concert on time. I've talked to Adam about it and he told me to do what I wanted to do, but I don't want to disappoint anyone. He is going to his brothers baseball game tonight and is going to say something to his parents about my opportunity. We will see how they react and if they say for me to go for it, then I'll be on my way to the 'Sweet Escape Tour 2007' next Saturday.

I'm crossing my fingers that I will get to go...
And I'll be happy for you...
If you can be happy for me...
Circles and triangles...
And now we're hanging out with your new girlfriend...
So far from where we've been...
I know we're cool...


Out and About

Today is predicted to be a rather warm one. 91 degrees to be exact, so I decided to head outside early this morning to see what was going on around the yard.

You see, I've been a little obsessed with gardening and landscaping recently. Thanks to my MoM and grandma, I love to indulge in the beauty that is nature.

I'm not quite as educated as they are, but I like to think the things that I grow are just as beautiful as the things that they grow.

I don't know the 'proper' names of flowers, but when they look this beautiful, who really cares?!

Rhododendron, Phlox, Lantana, and Pansy...


Say Cheese!

Last Sunday Adam and I were watching the ABC line-up that first consisted of an hour of Extreme Makeover Home Edition and then an hour of Desperate Housewives. On each episode there was a reference to the dairy product we call...cheese. Adam and I love cheese.

When my cousin Sarah took a trip to Wisconsin a few years ago, she came back bearing the gift of cheese curds. For those of you who have had the pleasure of indulging in these little bites of 'goodness', you know that I couldn't have had just one! Those things were delicious! We HAD to find out if we could purchase this cheese online!

Upon browsing the Wisconsin Cheese Mart via the world wide web we decided to purchase five pounds of the yellow cheddar curds.

They came today...

There's only one thing left to say...YUUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMMMMY!



My amaryllis made it!


Bad Kitties

I thought it was all a dream. Those words of horror that Adam spoke as I still laid in bed this morning. "Honey, the cats knocked over your amaryllis." As I lept from the comfort of my bed and ran into our back living room I then realized that this was no dream, this was reality at it's cruelest. Sure enough, the giant stalk that held 3 big buds of 'Christmas Gift' blossoms was left damaged in two places. I quickly got my bamboo sticks and plant ties and proceeded with 'surgery' on my 'patient'.

Luckily the blossoms weren't broken off, so I'm hoping that at least one will get to grace me with all of its beauty. And lucky for my little fur balls I love them like my own children.


A Good Day

Have you ever had one of those mornings where you wake up feeling so refreshed, almost like you have slept for days, without having woke up once throughout the night? I woke up with that feeling this morning and I just knew it was going to be a good day!

After a hot shower, Adam and I journeyed to Lowe's to check out their garden center. Upon arrival we drove past the outdoor sheds and our mouths instantly started watering. You see, we have a small garage that just isn't big enough to hold all of our 'necessities'. So we have been thinking about buying a shed to put in the corner of our lot. Lowe's must have just gotten in a couple of new models because there was one in particular that we hadn't seen before. And it...was...GORGEOUS! We both loved it and are now in the process of figuring out if we can afford it.

After Lowe's we ventured out to my parents house so that I could return mom's car that I had borrowed for a few days. It was great to see them since they had been gone a week in Florida. We didn't stay long though because the day was young, the sun was shining (65 degrees today...) and I wanted to get home and start cleaning up around the yard.

We returned home and decided that we couldn't wait another minute to have our New York strip steak and potatoes. We ate dinner at 4:00...

We also had a visitor upon our arrival home. We've had some cats lingering around our house lately, but have never been able to come close to any of them. Today, for some reason, the yellow one decided she wanted to take a chance and befriend us. She is so lovable and so soft and I want to keep her! If she's here through tomorrow night I think I'll call her Sophie...

After dinner we went back to Lowe's because I needed to get some bamboo stakes for my amaryllis. While I was there I picked up a stone wall hanging of a ladybug. I love ladybug motif and when I saw my mom had one, I had to get one too. I also purchased a seed starting tray along with some soil so that I could start some of my flower seeds a little early.

Adam also needed to pick up some things at Meijer. A pack of razor blades, bottle of shaving cream, deodorant, hair gel, and a pack of Cali's wet food later we thought we were done and on our way home. That is until I wanted to browse through their garden center...

And it was just my luck that it was 10 times better than the one at Lowe's. I have been wanting a Japanese Maple and a weeping cherry tree. They had them both. And I had $50 in Visa debit cards to spend... After trying to reach my mom to see which one she would go with if she were me, Adam and I decided to go with the weeping cherry. I was SO excited to get home and plant it! We did some research in a garden book that my mom just gave us and figured that it would do well at the end of our front sidewalk. So that's where it is and that's where I plan on digging out around it to plant some annuals once it gets warmer.

Definitely a good day. Now all I need is a big black horse.... (think KT Tunstall...)


The stuffy head, sore throat, coughing, aching, fever relief to help get you back to selling wireless phones medicine.

For the last three days or so I have been a little under the weather. Friday afternoon at work brought the start of a sore throat and by Sunday night I had fully diagnosed myself with a horrible cold/flu. I awoke at 4:30 AM Monday morning to my stomach yearning to 'clean itself out'. Needless to say I didn't go to work yesterday. I went to work today, but I don't think I was totally there in mind due to all the medication I was on. I'm feeling a little better tonight, but am coughing up a storm. I will probably be without a voice tomorrow.

Oreo must know when I'm not feeling well because he was by my side and aided in keeping me warm the last few days while I slept on the couch. (Adam took this picture while I was taking one of my 6 naps in the last few days.)

Speaking of being sick...Oreo seems to be having some issues with digestion. We have had to cut back on the amount of food he gets each day because he has a problem with over-eating. He has been getting sick after eating lately and we feel so bad for him. He'll let out this horrible moan just before he gets sick and dry heaves quite a bit. I did some research online and found a medication that should help him. It's called Laxatone and I actually think my parents used that for years with Mimi. (Our wonderful cat of 16 years.) It's supposed to break-up the hairballs that have built up in his stomach to allow for the food to digest properly. I sure hope it works!

Thanks to my sister Jenna and her fiance Joe, we have a wonderful carpet cleaner we use each time Oreo gets sick. (Heaven forbid he would do it on the linoleum!) It's the Dirt Devil SpotScrubber and works wonders on these little areas. I highly recommend investing in one of these little guys!

So both Oreo and myself are feeling much better I think. He and Cali are back to being side-by-side buddies again and I think I'll go back to sleeping with Adam after way too many nights of being on the couch.


Toledo Symphony

Last evening I had the pleasure of enjoying the classical sounds of the Toledo Symphony at Sauder Village in Archbold, Ohio with my co-workers. After a wonderful dinner at The Barn restaurant, we enjoyed everything from Mozart and Pachelbel to the contemporary Williams. (He writes mainly for the motion picture industry.) And yes, the Pachelbel piece WAS a rendition of Canon in D! I LOVE Canon in D. It's probably my all-time favorite classical song. Last night it brought back memories of me walking down the aisle at my wedding with my dad. Can you say emotional?!

If you ever have the opportunity to attend a Toledo Symphony event, take advantage of it! (www.toledosymphony.com) The music is so relaxing and makes you forget about life's hectic schedule for a couple of hours. I would go again in a heartbeat.


It's been a while...

It's been a little while since I've last posted on this thing, so I thought I'd post about some of the changes that have gone on in the past few days.

This weekend, Adam and I helped move our office to the much anticipated new location. It is so much bigger and nicer than the old. We have more parking and are conveniently located on the north side of town where everything seems to be booming. I put in about 9 hours of 'moving' time on Saturday with Adam helping out for about 6 and another 4 hours on Sunday. Needless to say I was pretty beat come Monday morning. We are up and running and can't wait for our non-stop traffic flow!

My indoor garden also seems to be coming along...

Adam called me at work today to let me know that the amaryllis my parents got me for Valentine's Day grew an inch overnight. I really couldn't believe it when I saw it with my own eyes. He was right! And thank goodness, because it's the first amaryllis I've ever cared for and I was a little nervous that it might not 'come to'.

I am also forcing some tulips and we have a couple that seem to be doing rather well.

My grandma gave me some tulip bulbs in a cute basket this past Christmas. I planted four of them in the basket and the remaining four in a bowl I had in my cupboard. The ones that are planted in the basket aren't doing very well at all, but there are two in the bowl that are going nuts! They were all planted at the same time and are all located in the same place. These two must just be starving for attention! I can't wait to see them open!

As much as I hate change in my life itself, I love changes like these. They just make you feel good inside. Oh yeah! And today is Adam's birthday! Another change! He turned the big 2-5 today. Happy Birthday honey!


Oh sweet Mother...Nature

Our Driveway

So OK, I've been wanting a snowstorm all winter and FINALLY, yesterday morning, I got one! The National Weather Service issued a Blizzard Warning on Monday evening for Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio.

By Tuesday afternoon Mother Nature was at her best. Our offices even closed at 4 to allow for everyone to make it home safely.

Being the meteorologists we should have actually been, Adam and I quickly logged on to intellicast.com, wtol.com (our local news station out of Toledo), weather.com, and 981mix.com (our local radio station). All of course in individual windows for quick access! We also turned on the TV to listen to the weather updates and warnings.

After receiving information from Toledo to Van Wert we decided it was time to get some shut-eye.

Upon waking up this morning we discovered not only 13 inches of snow, but the fact that I would not have to work! (Yes, Adam still had to go in...) I did happen to make it out to take some pictures to remember the Blizzard of '07 and although it wasn't quite what it was in '78, it sure was something.


Looking down Fales...

The intersection of Corwin and Fales (our house is on the left)