Thursday was our (First Annual??) Wrap Party and it was a success!
So much so, in fact, that I didn't take a single picture the entire evening.
We sent our invitations in early December so that folks would know to hold
their presents and not have to worry about the wrapping until the night of the party.
We had seven folks wrapping (and two husbands for a little while) and it was a flurry
of wrapping paper, bows, boxes, and sweet treats.
Things went pretty quickly and as people finished up with their own gifts, we moved
on to those that had more to wrap. Leslie mentioned how great it was going to be that
she didn't have to be up till 3 am on Christmas Eve finishing up the wrapping!
This was such a low-key, easy party to throw that I think we'll do the same thing again next year.
Chad suggested maybe even inviting couples and having the girls upstairs and the guys
downstairs with the kitchen as a neutral zone, so we may do it that way to switch it up...
Wednesday night was a storm of baking in preparation for tomorrow night's Wrap Party!
We have plenty of ginger molasses cookies, wassail, candy cane brownies, candied popcorn,
rice krispy treats, and cream puffs (not homemade). Let the wrapping begin!
Pic from here
Tonight we ran to the Wal-Marts to pick up some baking supplies -
tomorrow night is our treat baking night and we're getting ready!
(An added bonus? Some friends stopped by to say hello and brought us each
an early Christmas present - a rope bag for him and an apron for me - perfect timing!)
Pic from here
do you feel like this is a stretch to call this our christmas activity?
probably, but it works for me
We had tickets to the annual Christmas Concert at the LDS
Conference center, so we decided to make a weekend out of it.
On the way up, we stopped and saw the reindeer at
Thanksgiving Point! They must know the Big Night is coming
up soon because they didn't do a whole lot except lay around
(and look really bored!)
Friday night was our annual work party. This year I was involved in helping to plan it,
and it turned out to be a complete success! I think what really made the evening fun
were the incentives that we used to get people to dress using Christmas colors
and Christmas "bling". All of the red and green and Santa hats felt so festive
and as cheesy as it sounds, I think it really put everyone in the Christmas spirit.
(turns out, we don't own any Christmas bling, so we used all the red we could find!)
nativity, one of our very favorite Christmas traditions. When we got
out there, though, it was all dark and quiet, and no one was around.
Turns out, they only do the nativity on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
now. Instead, we took some pictures by the lit Christmas tree, and headed
home with our hot chocolate. I hope we make it back before Christmas!
Tonight we decorated the tree that we brought home last night.
It's so little and perfect, we just love it!
As has become our tradition, I put on the lights and Chad helped put on the ornaments.
It takes so much less time to decorate a little five footer!
We went with a much smaller size this year.
This guy is about five feet tall but he's just perfect for what we wanted.
We'll let him spread his branches and settle in a little bit and then maybe tomorrow...
Chad took a break from his studies to do a little Christmas shopping with me.
We picked out some good things that I think those girls will like!
And then... dinner with friends to close out the evening.
I love Christmas weekends.
Friday night was the quarterly Art Walk in our town.
There's several galleries downtown, so everything was close enough for us to walk to.
It was such a fun evening to spend walking from gallery to gallery,
enjoying our local artists,
and listening to different musicians playing Christmas music
in each gallery.
I'm thinking this may be a new Christmas tradition!?!
Chad has to spend the night up at work again tonight,
so we stopped at Starbucks on the way up to work to enjoy a moment together.
Instead of hot chocolate, I got a Spiced Caramel Apple Cider. Mmmm!
Instead of hot chocolate, Chad got a Spiced Chai Latte.
Does that still count as a hot chocolate date?!?
our Christmas moment - we walked around the "old money" part of STG and saw lots of
mid century mod houses with Christmas lights!
pic from here
This has been a long week at work, and Chad's working on his final papers,
so we're taking our Christmas moments while we can.
Wednesday night, we bought cupcakes and brought them home to eat.
I read through a couple of favorite Christmas books, and
as we fell asleep, we started watching my new favorite Christmas movie,
so we didn't have much time together.
To make the most of our drive up to work,
we listened to Christmas music and each tried to guess the song title first.
Chad won; it seems that artists feel a need to do something a little different
in Christmas song intros. They can be tough to figure out.
What better Sunday activity than Handels Messiah?
For the fourth day of December, we went to the Southwest Symphony and Southwest Orchestra's performance of the Messiah. They told us that it has been performed in St. George for something like 150 years?!? It was beautiful, as always. My favorite part? Of course, the trumpet.
Barb gave such a cute talk with all of the kids enthralled,
and then we went back to Cami and Ryan's for an amazing spread of food,
and spent the rest of the day hanging out together.
We're especially glad we had this chance to be together since we ended up
missing Thanksgiving with these guys.
Boo for no pictures. I'll have to see if I can get some from Cami....
Friday night Chad had a Christmas party with an Aftercare Therapy that he's been working on.
You can't really tell since this whole picture is yellowish, but we kind of matched.
It wasn't planned, but it definitely wasn't discouraged!
We had a pretty delicious dinner potluck dinner.
The best part?
An am-azing smoked turkey...
I've never had turkey so good in my life.
It's Christmastime again...! My favorite time of year...
This year we're trying the advent thing again since it was so fun last year...
We kicked off the month with a little bit of Christmas shopping.
Our town doesn't have quite the display that NYC does, but it was still fun.
We have a new toy store in town that we explored, and then hit up some big box places.
ps. Doesn't this picture make you think of Silver Bells?
City sidewalks, busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style
In the air there's a feeling of Christmas
(that's me humming christmas music, specifically "it's beginning to feel a lot like christmas")
This year at work, we're getting a jump and getting our party planned early... I put together the announcements that went out this week and it sure is putting me in the holiday mood. Any holiday planning going on in your neck of the woods? Any snow? (Luckily, we've been hanging out in the 50s and 60s - just where I like it until the week before Christmas!) I'm getting so excited!
Chad spoiled me for my birthday. He hates weekday birthdays - kind of like they're a waste since you have to go to work, so he gave me a gift before we left for work, an amazing leather satchel that I've been eyeing for, oh, I don't know... about a year. When I got home from work, I took a tub in our neeeeeew bathtub and then got ready for dinner at Anasazi. We had some amazing fondue and I had chicken on a rock and Chad had a Flat Iron Steak on the rock. (Sound familiar? We did dinner for Chad's birthday there, too!) We ate entirely too much, so we skipped dessert and went home to open presents! I was so lucky and got several other presents to open, including this pillow below from Heather.
Isn't it the cutest? It's from the Etsy shop Red Bird Vintage and has the year we were married on it! I'm so in love with it - it's even cuter in real life than it was in the photo... now that I've seen the quality I've added her Merry Christmas pillow to my wish/dreamlist, too!
Thanks to everyone for all of the birthday phone calls, emails, texts, and facebook messages - it totally made my day!
Untile next year, Birthday.
We started our whole sanding fiasco while Bud and Barb were here visiting. Why a fiasco? oh sheesh. This post is the last time you'll see the steps numbered out because from here it gets a little fuzzy. We used more different types of sanders than I even knew existed.
With the drum sander we saw instant results. It's so heavy that if you stay in one spot while it's turned on, it will just gouge your floor right out, but the upside is that it works quickly. I tried my hand at it, but Chad was definitely the pro. The best part? It had a little bag attached to the machine that sucked the dust up, so it wasn't nearly as dusty as I'd dreaded. In the picture below, you can see the difference a machine makes. The floor in the top half of the picture was sanded first by the Lowe's machine and then by the drum sander. The floor in the bottom half of the picture has only been sanded by the Lowe's sander. See all the shiny (ish) spots?
We still had the Lowe's machine and sandpaper so we thought while we had extra people, we'd go ahead and use it. We got into a system with Chad going down the room with the drum sander, Bud following behind with the Lowe's machine and 80 grit, me following with 60 grit on the orbital along the edges and Barb sweeping up all of the sawdust.
We worked our way up through the grits 60-80-100 around the room until it felt smooth as a baby's bottom!
Although this sounds like a quick do-it-in-a-day process, it was a little bit of a nightmare. Ahern closed that day at noon and we ran out of sandpaper at about 3:00 for the drum sander, which kind of put us at a standstill for a while. Luckily, we were able to finish the front room before running out. We did keep checking back and when they finally restocked, they had sold it by the time we got there, so it seems like we waited for 3 weeks-ish to be able to finish the 60 grit sanding in the bedrooms.
We were pretty miffed at Lowe's and their false reviews (by people who had probably never used it) of their sander.
When we returned it, the salesgirl asked how it worked and we told her it didn't really work at all, that we had, in fact, rented a sander from another place to do the job. She went ahead and refunded our deposit, the rental price, and all of our unused sandpapers. We were pretty pleased with that, and Lowe's got a point back.
Thus concludes the story of how we sanded our living room and entryway.
(views of the entryway from the front room and the hallway)
So we changed our mind and decided to lay the oak in the entryway only. That way, the entry would feel more a part of the living room, and we would only have to put down one transition into the hallway. Since it was such a small area, Chad didn't bother renting a tool; instead, he did it the old fashioned way. Using a hammer and nails, he attached the oak floor to the fir underneath and then hammered it in with his nail set.
that's the same place the new floor starts; not a perfect match, but it looks pretty good!
on the right - see how pretty that green was? blech!)
And the finished product with a SINGLE transition to lay down.
We were able to pull up the old transition without damaging it, so we'll cut it down and re use it.
I just love the seamless entry into the front room.
The natural colored wood was really pretty -- but I love what we did instead!
Last weekend, one of my girlfriend's ended up with an extra ticket to Thriller out at Tuacahn and invited me along. During intermission, the "Thriller" zombies mingle with audience members and pose (strangely) with everyone...
You may remember Chad and I went in 2009 - but I didn't know whether to expect the same program, or a completely new one. Luckily for me, the Bride of Frankenstein was pretty much the same (amazing) number but the rest was mostly new to me, and it was so good! They didn't have near as much AudioVisual stuff up on the projectors, which I appreciated. (Seriously - a dance show should not be 50% stupid video). How did you/are you celebrating Halloween?
Bedroom 1 is the room we will sleep in (it has the biggest closet!)
Bedroom 2 will be my Project Room and
Bedroom 3 will be Chad's Office aka MANland
I just got home from a long break, so hopefully work will start picking up again this week in a whirlwind!
ps. I just got word we'll hopefully have our first "new house" visitors later this month! Yipppee!
(We've needed a little pressure to get us moving!)
So what do you think?
When I look at this picture, I'm equally giddy... and horrified.
(pictures from my project room)
So this is our third and final bedroom on the main level. Since we're losing a garage when we move over to the new house, this will become Chad's MAN-land. He's planning on using it as an office while he's still in school, and then we'll see what happens with it. No matter what he decides, though, my opinion is not welcome as far as decorating (or especially organizing!).
After it was all scraped off, we had to built the wall back up. Since the house is so old, there's years and years of paint and texture built up, so when we scraped it off, there was a significent difference in the level. Chad just smeared on some drywall mud until he got it to a decent thickness and then we use texture-in-a-can to match the texture.
Dude was originally thinking about a dark denim blue, or possibly a grey green, but hadn't chosen a definite color when it was time to paint. Instead, he walked into the front room where my color swatches were still painted and pointed at the color on the far left and said, "just do that one." It was a color I had kind of loved for the front room, but was afraid it would be too dark. Turns out, it's pretty much my favorite color in the house. The dark is just perfect. We color matched it to Sherwin Williams Pewter Tankard (SW0023) in Olympic Low VOC Flat paint.
Isn't it gorgeous? I was having some serious paint envy when I saw it on his walls.
Somehow, he has a knack at picking the perfect paint color in a very offhand way. Argh.
Our new house has three bedrooms upstairs and one down in the basement.
We've tried to figure as best as we can what the rooms will be used for,
and the middle one, shown below... well, it's mine!
This is the new craft room/bill pay/scrapbook (maybe?)/quiet/reading room.
I'm pretty excited about it in general, but I most especially love the closet.
I've got big plans...
If you were going to have a closet office, what color would you paint it?
I've debated about turquoise, orange, green, and would you believe pink?
I keep visiting this one in my mind...
Does the wall color look familiar? Well, just be quiet - it's not the same!
It's much lighter than either color that was put in the front room,
though it looks eerily similar on my computer screen.
This was actually a custom color - I went in to Lowe's and had the color in this room mixed,
brought it home and it just looked white. So I took it back, had them add a little more
color to it, and then kept it.
It's now in my room, the hallway upstairs, the dog/mud room, the stairs down, and all the basement rooms. It looks pretty and clean in my room, but looks
really great downstairs on the flat no-texture walls.
I wasn't completely sold on the color at first (surprised? no. i didn't think so.),
but after the living room fiasco, I wasn't going to change my mind. It's grown on me a lot
and now I couldn't be happier about my calm, clean, carpet-free room.
Yep, the yucky, smelly carpet bit the dust soon after the paint was done.
Sorry if I keep casually mentioning the new floors, but I JUST LOVE THEM!
If I'm talking to myself, that's okay - I don't blame you for leaving.
I can't wait to have time to share!
We did take some time off for a family reunion last week out in Wisconsin.
Pure bliss - total relaxation for a full four days - I just
had my pictures developed and will share more from Cherry Lake soon!
In the meantime, our house is getting close -
we actually moved a table over there and all of my sewing things.
Updates soon, I promise!
Jill came into town right before Chad left for his conference, so I picked her brain and she agreed that the first color was a little bit too blue in some lighting. So as soon as Chad left, we painted. Again. And again, I was worried it was still too blue. (Chad gets frustrated with my indecisive nature - I tell him to imagine what it's like to BE me!) ... so I vented to Jill and she had a brilliant idea. She told me to bring over some things from home that would be in the room and see how they looked with the wall as the background.