Thursday, October 30, 2008

Welcome Mia Grace!

Big Brother Jake is thinking ..... hmm this may not be be so bad as long as she doesn't play with my toys and I'm sure I can get her to love the Cubbies as much as I do.
Here's Mia getting ready to go home for the first time.

My friend Rochelle and her husband Ross welcomed a little girl, Mia Grace, to the world on October 25th. She is healthy and mom is doing great as well. As you can see big brother Jake is very excited about the new addition to his family and I'm sure he will be a big help for mommy and daddy - once he adjusts to all the changes that are soon to come for him. Rochelle and Ross are such great parents that I have no doubt that they will help him through this exciting change at home. We miss you Rochelle!
P.S. Everyone knows how much I love the name Grace and someday I hope to have a little girl as cute as Mia who we will name Grace or Gracie!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Our last trip to the Lake

Here's Tanner and David taking a stroll down to the beach - one last time this year. It's only taken us 4 years to finally learn how to walk the dog instead of him walking us....

Oh my goodness - looks like this one didn't make it back from his last boat trip. Just kidding, it looks like everyone in the neighborhood is getting into the Halloween spirit!

Here I am with my baby Tanner, isn't he the most adorable dog ever?

OK, Dave must have mistaken the dog for a child, wait we thought he was our baby but he didn't like the ride on the lion to much. Yes, I know we are little crazy when it comes to our dog but hey you only live once so you might as well make it fun. He brings so much enjoyment to our lives.
We love you Tanner!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My Talented Mother Does it Again...

It's a Tanner - sized Quilt!
I saw this gorgeous quilt on flickr and I asked my mom to make it for me

little did I know that she would have it done and in our mailbox 3 days later!

I love the orange fabrics and the owl with the button eyes. It reminds me of a scrapbook page which I plan on doing shortly once I have some pictures from Halloween in hand. Yes, Tanner and I will be dressing up, and I'll post pictures next weekend. We'll be dressed up for the kids that come to our house but I'm sure we'll go for a stroll around the neighborhood as well and who knows - maybe Tanner will get a dog bone or two. Our mail lady leaves treats for Tanner all the time which he absolutely loves. With a face like that how can you resist not giving him some treats. Thanks mom for the beautiful wall hanging - we love it!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Two Pumpkins at our Pumpkin Patch

Here's my little helper Michael!
What a great big brother he was today.
Here's Alex working really hard to sit up.
Look at those brothers and those smiles.

Oh my... the smiles are getting bigger

and here's Alex saying "BOO!"

Today our friends Josh and Michelle and their kids came over for some camera fun. I offered to help Michelle get some pictures of her kids for a Halloween card that they are sending out soon. Michelle knows how much I love being behind the camera but it sure takes a lot to get two kids smiling at the same time while both looking at the camera! We took about 75 pictures and there were so many to choose from and the process was really a lot of fun. I love tinkering with my camera because secretly I would love to be a photographer but boy do I still have a lot to learn. Hopefully Santa will bring me a new camera lens that I have wanted for quite some time because that would really allow me to go to the next level because a photographer needs good equipment and as you can see I already have adorable subjects to take pictures of.

Sock Monkeys and 1 year olds are so Cute!

Happy 1st Birthday Dylan!

Our friends Brooke and Dave have 2 adorable little boys and their youngest turned 1 on Wednesday. Brooke and I go scrapbooking together often and so I had to really rack my brain to come up with an original gift with an adorable card to go with it for his birthday party. The other day I was walking through Target by the toy aisle and when I saw the sock monkey I knew exactly the perfect gift for Dylan but also a card that his mother would definitely appreciate. I decided instead of putting the card in an envelope that I would just hang it from the monkey because as we all know - monkeys love hanging out...! Dylan, I hope you enjoy your new toy as much as I enjoyed putting it all together for you.

To see some pictures from Dylan's birthday and to read my friend Brooke's blog please click here:
Brooke is a great writer and if your a mom you'll definitely appreciate her stories!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Girls and their Dolls are so Precious

I got to spend the afternoon with my family in Freeport today and I got to see how much my niece Katie has changed since last time I saw her in August. She truly is growing up fast and is a very smart and adorable little girl (as you can see above). Lately she hasn't been sleeping through the night very well so it's been a tough go for Nick and Kelly because they aren't sleeping either. The last few nights have been much better but the week before she would cry for hours and hours before she would fall asleep. She got a 2 hour nap in today before we all got together and then she had lots of fun playing afterwards with my cousin Bailee who is so good with her. After playing with Bailee for a while it appears that she got tired and walked over by this rug next to the sliding glass door and just laid down. Hmmm.....I wonder if she wanted to nap again or just give her Auntie M a photo opportunity? I think you'll agree she is a great subject to photograph and I think these photos capture all the qualities that make her one of the most adorable little girls ever. I love you Katie!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fall Decorations Everywhere

Another project that I altered was the candy jar in the first picture. I took a glass cookie jar and added some embellishments and stamped a tag for the top and filled it with candy. For some reason the candy keeps disappearing and we are 2 weeks away from Halloween. I guess we'll have to buy some more for the trick or treaters.
The other project was the "spooky spider" on the front door. This is one of the many cool wall rub-ons that are available from Stampin Up in their new decor elements collection. They are made of vinyl and easily can be rubbed onto walls, doors, and also placed in picture frames. I really want to put some stuff inside the house but thought the door was safe to get used to doing it first.

Get Crafty for Halloween

Many of you know that I am an avid scrapbooker, stamper, and now I'm branching into taking my creativity into projects at home for decoration. Knowing that fall is my favorite time of year, and Halloween is my favorite holiday, I thought I should share with you a simple project that you can hang on your wall. I had a picture frame that I loved but the picture didn't go with our decor in the new house so I took out the picture, added some cardstock and punched 1 inch squares of Halloween paper to make this fun project. I added some Jolee stickers as embelishments and I know how this cool picture to hang up. I also decided that I would change it for each of the holidays so soon I'll being working on a Christmas one since it hangs by my front door.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Things Aren't Like They Used to Be...

We DVR the Oprah show everyday because I love watching her shows so that I can remain "in the know" but I don't always agree with her opinions. I have been trying to get tickets for years with no luck but I'm bound to get them someday - hopefully not before the show is off the air! This week one of her shows was about how 80% of Americans think that rudeness is a serious national problem, but only 99% of the same people say that they themselves are not rude. So in watching the show we took the "so how rude are you?" quiz and I have to say that I was a bit surprised by my score. I scored a 6 out of 13, and I always have taken pride in my manners because my mother taught me well.
Let's see how rude you are and take the test for yourself below:
1. Are you chronically late?
Never, I absolutely hate being late and think it's disrespectful for people to leave you waiting all of the time. There are some friends of mine that are always late and I just don't get it.
2. Have you ever typed an email while talking on the phone?
All day long at work, I call it multi-tasking but I do type quietly.
3. Have you ever interrupted a face to face conversation to take a non-urgent cell phone call?
Not that I recall, I guess that would send a message that your not too important to me.
4. Have you gone through the supermarket 10-item express lane with more than 10 items?
No, everyone knows that I am a rule follower to a fault - which is why I'm in HR.
5. While among friends or co-workers, have you yawned without covering your mouth?
Not on purpose...I do yawn alot though because I can never get enough sleep.
6. Have you ever texted or talked on a cell phone in a movie theatre?
Umm....does emailing on the blackberry count? If so I do that all the time but before the movie starts so maybe this should only be 1/2 a point and not a full point. :)
7. Have you let your dog relieve himself on your neighbor's lawn?
Wow, I didn't know that was rude....he's gotta go when nature calls but I ALWAYS pick up after him because not doing so would be very rude.
8. Have you ever cut in front of a someone in line?
Uhh yeah I have but I'm more non-chalant about it and make it seem like I didn't see them but that's only if I know they will take forever to check out.
9. Have you ever stolen someone's parking spot?
NO but I had it happen to me at the mall right before Christmas and I really blew a gasket - not one of my proudest moments. I had waited about 2 minutes for the spot before this woman took it right under me from the other way. This is why I shop online because it's just not worth it. I think I lost a few years off my life for that near heart attack.
10. Have you ever let your child kick the back of the seat in front of you and not apologized to his victim?
Well no because I don't have kids but believe it or not, out of 42,000 people polled, only 2% said yes. Come on parents - your kids do it ALL THE TIME and I don't think I have ever gotten an apology. This will go on my things I'll never tolerate as a parent list.
11. Have you ever not RSVP's for an event by the date requested?
On a rare occasion and only because it slipped my mind. Sorry.
12. Have you ever gossiped?
No response necessary.
13. Have you ever taken someone else's food or drink from the office refrigerator?
No, I'm a germaphobe and I don't know who has had there hands in that food, I think it's completely disgusting.
Well there you have it, I am ruder than I thought, so I guess I have a few things to work on. I'd love to hear how you ranked on this test. I guess we have to be self aware of our flaws otherwise we'll never change them.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Amanda!

Today is our niece, Amanda's birthday, and she recently moved to Vermont with her Dad so we are unable to celebrate with her. We all miss her very much, she is a very energetic little girl that is growing up way to quickly but she sure has a sparking personality!

Amanda spent a weekend with us in July before she moved and we had lots of fun including during our little "photo shoot" in the backyard. She is very photogenic as you can tell and she has the best fashion style of anyone I know. Of course she wants to grow up to be a fashion designer or something related to fashion. I can tell you that I would love to take her shopping with me because she probably would add a little bit a trendy twist to my more conservative style of dress. She told her grandma that she wanted Ugg boots for her birthday and I must say I was a bit jealous because I want a pair of those boots!

I have known Amanda since she was two years old and I remember how excited she would become when I pulled up to her grandma's house in my red car because she would yell "Pissy's car, Pissy's car" because she couldn't enunciate her M's at that point. Luckily she calls me Aunt Missy now and I have luckily dropped her other nickname she had for me. I also remember her love for pizza and her uncle David would bring home pizza for her on Monday's because he worked late on Monday's. She would pick of the cheese and eat just that. She also loved ketchup so much that she would dip her fries in ketchup but forget to eat the fries. She sure was a funny little girl and continues to be so even though she is growing up to be quite the young lady.

We miss you Amanda and hope you had a great birthday!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Yes - I'm obsessed with Tanner!

One of the things that I love about Tanner (and there are many), is that he absolutely loves to cuddle with me constantly. We are two peas in a pod and love to spend time together. David is very jealous of our relationship and when David calls Tanner he comes running to me and hides from him. It's funny when I think back and how much I disliked dogs before - now I've turned a corner and I'm at the opposite extreme now. I was at a baby shower about 4 1/2 years ago and the person hosting the party had just gotten a Yorkie Poo the day before and it was about two pounds and fit into the palm of my hand. I feel in love with that dog and became obsessed with researching dogs that are better for people like me with dog allergies. I am highly allergic to dogs but after months and months of research we went to Sycamore to "just look" at the puppies. You guessed it, we came home with Tanner who is a Yorkie Maltese mix. David picked him out because he was cuddling with him and he also named Tanner because he had to have a name for his first vet visit the next day. Luckily I love the name so it all worked out in the end. However on the ride home Tanner threw up all over my lap and this was only the beginning of our journey as pet owners.

I should caution you though, I wasn't always head over heels with Tanner. By day two of having him, I wanted to return him even though they had a no return policy. I cried a lot because I was clueless of what to do with him and he wasn't eating or drinking water which was really worrying me. At one point we had to force-feed him which was no fun. He didn't sleep at all and kept us up all night long. I needed a break from being a new mommy to this puppy and we went out to eat for dinner and I was so upset to my stomach that I barely ate a bite of food.

The next day was Father's day so I ended up leaving Tanner with David for the day while I went to my aunt and uncle's house for our Father's Day dinner. It was a great break but the sleepless nights continued for sometime until I returned from a business trip to find Tanner sleeping in our bed! I was really upset by this because David caved so quickly but now I wouldn't have it any other way. He is a cuddler and keeps me warm on those bitter cold nights.

Tanner is a big part of our lives and we love him more than we ever thought that we could. He is a great dog and I only wish that every family could experience the love of having a dog in their family too.

Our Fall Outdoor Display

On Friday afternoon, David and I made a trip to the Didier Farms Pumpkin Patch and it was a beautiful day to be outside and it looks like all of the schools in the area thought the same thing because there were a ton of buses. We didn't let this deter us from having some fun and we were able to get lots of pumpkins, mums, and even a bale of hay (what a mess that was in my car). We just love fall and enjoy doing lots of the fall activities even though yes we don't have kids. We really are kids at heart and we figure why not go out and enjoy all that fall has to offer.
When we got back from our trip we spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning out my car, doing yard work and putting together our fall display. It was a lot of fun despite the hay in the back of my car that took an hour to clean up! Tanner enjoyed spending sometime outdoors as well and the twins that live next door watched us through the window as we worked on our display and it seems we are very entertaining to them. They love watching Tanner run around the yard like a wild man especially when he saw a rabbit in their bushes - he went crazy!
If you haven't been to a pumpkin patch yet this year, I highly recommend that you do so - it was an absolute blast!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

I had these for the first time a week ago and honestly they are the best pumpkin dessert ever! Thanks to Rachel Ray and a friend Megan who introduced us to these delicious fall treats, I thought I should share the best recipe ever with you.

Ingredients: (makes 12 pies)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, 1 stick melted, 1/2 stick softened
1 c packed light brown sugar
2 lg eggs at room temp, lightly beaten
1 c canned pure pumpkin puree
1 T pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 t pure vanilla extract
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
3/4 t plus 2 pinches salt
1 2/3 c flour
4 ou cream cheese, chilled
1 c confectioners' sugar

1) Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2) In lg bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in the eggs, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, 1 t vanilla, the baking powder, the baking soda and 3/4 t salt. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour.
3) Using an ice cream scoop or tablespoon, drop 12 generous mounds of batter, spaced evenly, onto each baking sheet. Bake until springy to the touch, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
4) Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, cream the softened butter with the cream cheese. Add the confectioners' sugar and the remaining 2 pinches of salt and 1/2 t vanilla; mix on low speed until blended, then beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
5) Spread the flat side of 12 cakes with the cream cheese frosting. Top each with another cake.

Enjoy - I promise you that these will become one of your favorite treats too.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

6 Year Wedding Anniversary Trip

Last weekend for our 6 year wedding anniversary, we decided to spend it in the city and we had a blast. Even though we live fairly close to Chicago, we don't get to go down there as often as we would like. We ended up going on a dinner cruise on the Odyssey and beforehand we went on the huge ferris wheel at Navy Pier. This picture was taken as we were about 150 feet up in the air and the view was breathtaking despite my fear of heights! That night we got to see fireworks that were shot off from the Pier and it was a beautiful fireworks sure beats the fireworks that we saw on the 4th in Wauconda. After our cruise we headed back to our hotel so that Dave could watch the end of the Cubs game....he couldn't wait to see them lose but I made him promise to keep his cheers to himself since we were watching from the Big Bar at the Hyatt with a huge audience of Cubs fans.

David is a die-hard Cardinals fan and he absolutely hates the Cubs (sorry but he thinks many of the fans are obnoxious especially when they talk about "the curse"). Growing up I was always a Cubs fan but after living with David for 9 years, it's easier to cheer for his team than against them. However I will say that I have converted him to be a Bears fan now since he has recently given up on the Raiders. In fact he took my dad to his first Bears game a few weeks and they had a blast despite losing in OT.

Anyways after he watched the Cubs lose their 3rd game in the series we called it a night. The next morning we had some breakfast and we got to sleep in which was very nice. Then we headed down to the river for our Architectural Boat Tour which was awesome. We both have an appreciation for architecture and we loved learning more about the buildings and seeing it from a different perspective.

After our boat tour we had some lunch and did some window shopping on Michigan Ave. It was raining in the afternoon and we had to head back to pick up Tanner before the kennel closed. While our trip downtown was a short one, we really had a blast and loved doing something a bit different to celebrate our Anniversary.

I love fall!!!

Everyone knows how much I love fall especially because fall colors are my absolute favorite - I can't get enough of the browns, oranges, reds, and Burgundy's. If you've ever been to my house you know that every room reflects my love of fall colors and my love for leaves as well. I have leaves in every room and I just can't get enough.

We just finished our media room downstairs and it of course includes a leaf rug and leaf pillows on the sofas. Our living room upstairs, dining room, kitchen, and now the bedroom all have the leaf design going on as well.

During my "staycation" this week I spent lots of time decorating for Halloween and fall. In addition we took a trip to the Didier Farms pumpkin patch and what an awesome place it was especially with the 70 degree weather. We bought lots of pumpkins, mums, and even a hale bale for our fall decoration in front of our house.

Also I love baking especially when it comes to anything pumpkin! I was at my neighbor's brother in law's house last week and his fiance made some Pumpkin Whoopie Pies that were to die for. I love it so much that I'd be happy to share the recipe from Rachel Ray because it is probably even better than the carrot cake that I am known for making.

Friday, October 10, 2008

My First Blog!

Ok here it first blog post! Whoo hoo!

I have spent so much time reading other blogs which have mostly been related to scrapbooking or stamping or just anything crafty and I thought it's about time that I do my own. Thanks to my friend Brooke who just started one and I thought...what the heck I should do one too instead of just reading others. I was so surprised to see how easy it was to start one and I'm hoping this will help me to stay in touch more with my family and friends.

This week I was on a "staycation" and I loved every minute of it. I've got to indulge in many guilty pleasures this week including reading, taking naps, scrapbooking, making cards, sleeping in, decorating the house for Halloween (my favorite holiday), shopping and just enjoying time not spent worrying about something work related. I know that my hubby Dave and dog Tanner loved having me home too. I actually cooked and baked this week!

I have lots of fun pics to post shortly from our anniversary trip into the city and most recently our trip to the pumpkin patch. We really are kids at heart.