Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Here we come 2009!

Do you make resolutions? I am trying to this year. I have started a list, at least in my head. So to make them real commitments I am posting them here for all to see, and for all to keep track of progress though out the year. I will be posting a link on the side bar where you can come back to see all the updates! So here goes...

1. Move across 2009 miles. 1004.5 by foot (running) and 1004.5 by wheels (biking)
2. Blog more... at least 2 posts a week
3. Cook dinner more. Try at least 2 new recipes a month
4. Complete (not just start) at least 2 'craft' projects a month
5. Take photography classes. It is about time (3 years later) I learn how to take good pics with my fancy camera. And take at least 1 picture a day for 1 year.
6. Practice Yoga at least once a week
7. Read 12 books. I know that doesn't sound like much but given I have no time this my be the hardest one on the list for me.
8. Have some great family pictures taken. We have NONE and the kids are 6 and 8!
9. Paint Jorden's room.
10. Send out Christmas cards this year. (They have been a "not happening" item for 3 years now.)
11. Learn how to golf well enough so Bart will actually take me to a course.
12. Send more thank you notes. (even sending 1 would be more)
13. Play more with my kids. Remember to puddle jump in the rain with them at least 6 times this year.
14.  Seriously clean and purge 2 rooms a month. 
15.  Have date night at least once a month... every month!
16.  Drink more water... and make way less Sonic stops.
17.  Become a knowledgeable coupon user (Megan I might need help)
18.  Climb a mountain
19.  Buy less shoes... but purchase 1 pair of crazy beautiful shoes 
20.  Get back to lifting weights and get my strength back.
21.  Run a marathon with a finish time that starts with a 4 (so a 4:59:59 would be ok with me)
22.   Keep my books for work caught up within 2 weeks - all year!
23.  Finish an Olympic distance triathlon
24.  Get the video camera out and use it more.
25.  Learn how to use the really cool features of my computer that I know it has.
26.  Give very thoughtful gifts, not in a hurry gifts
27.  Throw more creative birthday parties for my kids this year instead of the standard kind of parties.
28.  Take a dance class
29.  Spend a weekend with just my mom and all my sisters.  
30.  Find my own personal way to honor my brother.
31.  Remember my word for 2009 daily: BE ... be positive... be still... be involved... be grateful... be smart... be clean... be true... be humble... be prayerful!  

Do you see thing I have forgotten?  What is on your list?  What should be on my list?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

'Twas the week before Christmas...

In my head every year I have big plans of a perfect December filled with kids crafts, loads of baking, advent calenders that we actually remember to do, a clean and organized house, gifts wrapped long before Christmas eve.... You can see I live in lala land in my dreams!

How this actually went.....

The week before Christmas started with the winter piano recital. This was a small miracle this year since we had a little hiatus from piano lessons due to the last couple of months activities. They did great. Jorden played three songs for her first debut and Hunter did one solo and his first duet with Madison. They did great (but only after a very serious 24 hour practice session with me)!

The Friday before Christmas my present got installed! Yay for me... not so yay for the organized state of my house! I got new carpet... like really good new carpet downstairs.... new carpet means though that ALL objects must be removed from the rooms! Those items for us include the standard bed (king size and heavy), nightstands (times 2), a dresser that is almost as tall as me (save your short jokes I have all ready heard them all), a big leather chair and ottoman (barley fits through the door if you sort of turn while pushing and you don't need a couple of fingers that are getting smashed in the door frame), a wall of book shelves....

....oh but wait.... that's not all!

Let's not forget the 1200 pound safe!!!!!! Yes Bart and I got that lovely object moved into the bathroom just past the edge of where the carpet was going and that is as far as that thing on golf balls was going! And then there was the piano that had a temporary home in the kitchen so we could be serenaded by 1 miss Jorden with no walls to buffer the noise through all meals of the day and a half that it resided there! And then there was the thousands and thousands of yards of ribbon that live on the previously mentioned book shelves. That was fun!

Carpet installed... front room repainted.... New light fixture installed... furniture and things replaced to their proper locations and we are finally almost (2 weeks later) back to our starting state of chaos!

Ok we can get back on track to my delusional thoughts of sugar plum fairies dancing through my house.....

No wait, not that easy! Sunday night at 11:23 pm the dryer decided to die! Those who know me at all know I am kind of the laundry nazi! I can't have a broken dryer.... I have to many loads of laundry to count. Bart knowing this is going to be a problem ok's the purchase of a new dryer and in a hurry! But wait, again you didn't think it was going to be that easy did you? He was on his way out of town to Colorado for the night (yes we are talking 3 days before Christmas business trip) the next day so he couldn't help with the acquiring, removing, and replacing of the new solution to a problem. So me being the resourceful girl I am went to Costco, got a new dryer, got it in my car, got it home, out of my car and into the garage. While pulling everything out of the laundry room I decided that I wasn't going to have everything pulled out and not finishing painting. So I taped, painted, untaped and moved in the new dryer. Little known fact - did you know that you have to install the power cord on a dryer? I didn't. Needless to say that is where I know I can't finish this by myself. We pick up Bart at the airport Tuesday night around 9:30, get home and get little people off to bed and he begins to install my power cord. We get it installed and everything pushed back to it's homes and load it up, press the start button.....

AND NOTHING!!!!! Did you know your dryer has it's own - very own not even shared with the washing machine and the light in the same room - circuit braker? We do now! So out went the new dryer, but not before taking the power cord back off, to it's box old dryer back in, and we are back to the laundry nazi phase. :) The new dryer went back to Costco the day after Christmas and them being the great retailer they are didn't even ask any questions and gave us a refund!

Whhhheeewwww... we made it to Christmas Eve. Bart got his shopping done as always :) I frantically spent the day in my closet wrapping emerging on occasion to keep the crazy people from hurting each other. Dinner happened later than planed but at least still happened. Once we were all home and at the table it was a peaceful calm night. We ate and then headed out for our yearly tradition of looking at Christmas lights in our PJ's on Christmas Eve. Upon arrival home we tucked the little people in bed and read their new books, and then threatened to take all presents away if anyone took that first step down the steps before 8! (mostly directed at one very clever 8 year old)

This year was no different... I got my midnight mass in via the TV while finishing up loose ends and slipped into bed at 2 am. (now you understand the 8 am threat)

Santa did not disappoint the wild people here! To one little girl he brought a pink DS and quite a few games (girly ones of course) and way too much makeup. For my large boy he brought a football and an ELECTRIC GUITAR! This was a bit of a shock as I have been using my veto power on this item for quite a while now. But we all know Santa knows! Enough said! This year I really wanted to get each of them something that was important to me at their age. For Jorden it was the box set of Anne of Green Gables DVD's and Hunter got a pair of stilts. At his age I could walk forever on stilts, and he has apparently taken after his mom a little bit. He has all ready moved up to the highest setting and is getting quite good at them. And mom... they even have little wooden shoes complete with real shoe laces.

This was a very emotionally charged season this year for all of us. But we have survived and look forward to the upcoming new year that will be full of new adventures I'm sure.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Our 10 Year anniversary cruise....

The pier in San Juan Sunday night

What we woke up to outside our window on Monday morning!  
Welcome to St. Thomas!

These beauties were getting ready to go out.  Pretty sure Bart wants one of these one day...

Good bye St. Thomas.  See you again soon!

Our second port was Dominica.  We just got off and wandered around the streets.  So lush and green....

On Wednesday we were in Barbados.  We went to the rum factory Four Squares.  It used to be a sugar plantation when sugar was the industry of the island...

Then we went to a plantation house....

They even had good shoes back in the day!

Mom those ones were for you!  :)

Then we went to Billy's craft world.  He crafts in mahogany.  That is him in the background.

Zip lines in St. Lucia!  Can you see me freaking out? 
zip lines+Scared of heights Erin=freaking out!

I survived... and I loved it!  Can't wait to go again!

All you movie buffs..... what movie is this scene from?  I know... but do you?

Good bye St Lucia.  We really enjoyed seeing all of your amazing plants and fruits!  And your tree tops!

In Antique we wandered again.  But not until after we had a couples massage in the spa!  Oh my... perfection!  So relaxing and any of you that know me well know I am not normally a relaxed person... there is always something on the go, so this was great! 

Can you see what we saw in this picture from St. Kitts?  (hint:  look for wildlife)

These were in the trees at one of the plantation houses.  They are monarch butterflies.  They were exquisite!

This is an abandoned sugar factory.  This tour we took was incredable!

This is in the oldest church on the island of St. Kitts.  There was a sweet reverence in this building.  It may have had something to do with my emotions being so close to the surface right now, but it was a wonderful way to end our tour and bring our cruise to a close.  As we stood outside this building looking into the cematary my emotions getting the better of me, I thought back on the last 10 years that got us here and it made me really look forward to the next 10!