Sunday, December 31, 2006

a winter wedding

After dropping Kate off yesterday, Jon and I headed to Kalamazoo for Emily and David's wedding. We were so nervous and excited for their big day...the four of us hit it off on our vacation to California two summers ago and we have been hanging out and laughing with each other ever since then. Emily and I never thought our husbands would get along, but they have proved us wrong as both Jon and David have a pretty quirky and off beat sense of humor. We arrived early so that Jon could set up his video camera to tape the wedding and then we got to spend some time with them before the wedding and visit with some of their family and friends that had already arrived. The wedding and reception were gorgeous - tons of beautiful poinsettias and flowers. We're so excited and happy for them - they are so perfect for each other!



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kate the rocker

One of my former college roommate's, Kate, is back in town for a few weeks and she spent the night (our first house guest) on Friday night. She's a teacher and has been teaching K-12 art and living in Nicaragua since August. It was so nice to see her and catch up things.



I may have scared her off with my cooking - way too limey chicken and lumpy raspberry pancakes. I'm not sure she believes me when I say that my cooking doesn't usually taste that bad. We made some scallion LIME chicken together...which had a bit too much lime for our taste (that new lime squeezer my mom got me for Christmas works incredibly well!). In true Kate fashion, she picked the best time to describe the gory details of a parasite that she picked up while in Nicaragua...at breakfast, of course! The already gross raspberry pancakes just got a little grosser...eww.



The highlight of her visit had to have been all of the guitar hero that we played. Jon borrowed the game and two guitars from his friend, Tim, and we spent the evening rocking it out. Kate wowed us with her mad video game skills and was able to pass a lot of the songs in the game. This game is hilarious and a ton of fun! I think I will have the song "Take me out" by Franz Ferdinand stuck in my head for the next week!



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our first christmas

well, our first Christmas was quite eventful. We started the festivities by cooking a Christmas dinner (ham and all) for Jon's grandma and grandpa, and his mom and her boyfriend. Everything went off without a hitch although we now have a new appreciation for all the hard works our mom have to go through to prepare a meal for a large group of people. Cooking for two is definitely easier. Jon's mom, among other things, got us this inflatable snowman, with fiber optics, motion sensors and a recordable voice option. We've been having fun recording weird messages for people who drop by the house. The cats aren't quite sure what to think of it yet.



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We spent the night at my parent's house on Christmas eve. Jon and my mom and sisters painted Christmas cookies together using food coloring.



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Jon, ever the animal lover, was able to pile two out of three of my family's cats into our bed for the night to sleep with us. We've been debating whether or not we should adopt another kitty but are leaning away from it. At one point I heard Jon talking to the cat, Isabella, asking her to "blink twice if you want to come and live with us." Fortunately for me, she only blinked once.



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Our family had the traditional breakfast pizza (crescent rolls, eggs, sausage, cheese and peppers) for breakfast while we opened presents. Afterward, we headed over to my grandparent's house for the big extended family get together...it was a nice relaxing day with lots of good food.



We got some really cool gifts this year...slippers for Jon, a carbon monoxide detector for the house, some cooking utensils, a Japan guide book, pinking shears, target gift cards, and some cookbooks. Jon gave me a paper shredder (I've been wanting one of these for quite a while!). And I gave him the Yale Book of Quotations...he's been leaving people with words of wisdom from the book as they leave our house...some of them are pretty funny.



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christmas quilts

This year was mostly a handmade Christmas for me...I came up with the idea to make small lap quilts for my mom, Jon's mom, and my grandma. I started them all in September with the intention of finishing them all before we moved. I finished everything but the top stitching on my mom's quilt before we moved. And, of course, I didn't manage to finishing that until a few days before Christmas. They were all so well received (and it was nice to give myself an excuse to buy fabric and practice my technique).



For Jon's mom, a flannel quilt with squares of nature prints...it will be perfect for cuddling under in front of her fireplace that is always burning.

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For my mom...a french country quilt to match the decor in her house.



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And for my grandma, a Christmas quilt, because she loves all things Chrismas...you should see her santa collection!



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stockings

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I purchased materials to make our stockings a couple of months ago and finally got around to finishing them a few days before Christmas. I had no problem adding the trim on the cuff, but when it finally came time to sewing everything together it was a nightmare. I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to sew the cuff on correctly so that it would fold over with the right side out. Let's just say that I put my seam ripper to good use on this one!



But, it's nice to cross another project off my list of things to do and to have some more green stuff to hang around our house!



Friday, December 22, 2006

happy birthday joel!

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Joel called us as we were falling asleep last night and we ended up having a two hour online chat - he even turned on his webcam near the end so he could show us his mad shamisen skills.



We emailed him this birthday "poster" so that we could hear his expression when he opened it...he responded in true Joru form.



Tuesday, December 19, 2006

work in progress

Jon is almost officially settled into his new edit suite in our basement. When we moved in it was just a framed room with some poorly adhered dry wall. With lots of help from my dad and lots of blood, sweat, and tears...Jon finished it up and moved in all of the final furniture last night.



The Moral of the Story: hire some to do the drywalling! Why did everyone else tell us this after the fact?



Here are the before during and after pictures...if only the room came together as quickly as these pictures suggest.



Step One: prepping the walls and re-fitting the drywall

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Step Two: Applying tape and joint compound. Repeat two times. Then sand all joints and spots.

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Step Three: Apply Primer. Paint Ceiling. Paint Walls (Stem Green by Benjamin Moore)

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Step Four: Measure, cut and install carpet (I am absolutely 100% sure that professionals do not do this by measuring angles of a 10 ft square and using scotch tape, wrapping paper, yarn, shoes and sharpies to lay out and cut an exact replica of the room on the piece of carpet...a true character building experience! And we thought it would be a 15 minute job...HA!)

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Step Five: Install baseboard molding and track lighting



Step Six: Move in furniture and equipment

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Jon still has some tweaking to do and boxes to empty before he is officially settled, but I'm so excited for him to finally have his own creative space...he's been wanting this for quite a while!



oh no...not another hobby

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I've found yet another hobby to occupy my time...knitting. There is just something so relaxing and wintery about it...truly the perfect hobby for the winter months. Not to mention, it's a great way to catch up on all of the cable tv I've been missing out on for the past 25 years! With the help of my friend Joli, and this great online knitting how-to website, I've been working on knitting a few different scarves.



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I just finished up this orange scarf for my sister, Rachel, for Christmas and I've got some more in the works for the coming weeks.



And who knew they had stores dedicated to selling only yarn and knitting/crocheting supplies?!? I've checked out City Knits in Detroit where I picked up some Manos del Uruguay yarn and Ewenique Knits in Royal Oak, where Jon picked out some yarn for me to make a scarf for him (thought he'd keep me from spending money, but it was the other way around - what a perfect match we are)



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