{Holidays} Thanksgiving

Although my life is stressful right now (can ya say PORTFOLIO?!, among other things), I wanted to focus on the positives right now...

1. My family. They are wonderful and I love being so close to my parents, brother and extended family. I couldn't imagine living far away from any of them. My family obviously also includes my great hubby and my beautiful daughter. This is her second Thanksgiving season and I'm sure she'll enjoy it much more than last year.

2. My friends. They know who they are and the majority of them are friends I've had for over 10 years (two are going on 25 years!). They help me relieve stress, have fun, and I can talk to them about anything and everything.

3. My pets. Yes, I am thankful for them. After waking up from my nap today, my three babies were all cuddled up in random spots on my bed. I love my pets and they are my babies no matter how many real children I have. Zoey was underneath Doug's blankets, Taz was right next to her but on top of the blankets, and Rocky was cuddled up by my feet with his paw around his face. All three of them were strays before I adopted them so I like to believe that they are also thankful for me. Rugby is my baby too and I'm thankful for him but more so my parents who have adopted him and let him live out at the farm because the boy is just SO big when you have a toddler running around.

4. The fact that I am THISCLOSE to finishing my certification. I will be more thankful if I had a job and the paycheck that goes along with it.

5. My house and belongings. In this time of our economy, I am thankful that we own a house and can afford the payments, even it means we can't buy clothes or go out to eat without stressing me out. We have a home, a roof over our heads, a bed to sleep in, and toys for Lily. A lot of this is also help to the family who helped buy some of our possessions and to help with our house, both financially and helping us remodel the rooms. There is a lot we'd like to continue working on, but everything is in working order.

I think that covers everything. For the few of you who read this, Happy Thanksgiving and I hope to see you all as we start the holiday season.

{40 Before 40} List

Yes, technically I could do a 30 before 30 but that's SO close that I don't want to risk not getting my list done. AND there are things on my 40 Before 40 list that I know will not (and I hope won't) happen until AFTER 30. So, in no particular order (except the first four), here is my list... or the beginnings of it anway...

1. Graduate with my Certificate. I passed! - December 2010

2. Get a job. 'Nough said. My bank account will appreciate this. - I start teaching in August! Got the job in April! :) Update 5/2012 - I have the job for the 2012-13 school year too. Woo hoo!

3.Get my masters in teaching. Done, shown here.

4. Get pregnant and have another baby.  Done, see Nate. 

5. Sell 10 items on Etsy. I'd like more, but I'm not pushing it.

6. Learn how to make hand made jewelry (see links on right for all the possibilities I'm interested in learning how to do). *UPDATE DEC. 2010* - my mom bought me a metal stamping kit so I can begin!

7. Have photography printed professionally either on paper or stretched canvas. *I should clarify that I have done this before (on paper) in college, but nothing came out of it except some pictures in a portfolio in my closet. I want them TO SELL.

8. Be a vendor at an art show/convention. 

9. Learn how to knit.

10. Learn how to crochet. (And honestly, learn the difference between 9 and 10).

11. Become really familiar with my sewing machine where I don't have to rely on others to help me all the time (hence the reason I don't sew as much as I wish I would).

12. Make an earring holder for my bedroom. DONE! See here. 

13. Make a necklace holder for my bedroom. DONE! See here. 

14. Go on a "honeymoon" with Doug. What would it be called if it was over 6 years later? "Adult only" sounds weird but that's what it would be. DONE! Seen here.

15. Find a physical activity that I enjoy long enough to lose weight and get in shape with. Swim aerobics? Kickboxing? Swimming with Lily? Hmmm...

16. Organize all my crafts into one spot. I have an armoire I'm thinking about so that I don't have any excuses not to use all the crap materials that I own are put to use instead of taking up space.

17. Plant a garden (besides flowers) and actually take care of it by weeding, watering, fertilizer/compost, etc. I really want some blueberry bushes, raspberries (we have three so hopefully they will grow next year!), cherry tomatoes, and a pear tree or something fun. - I'm marking this done, although we'd love to add some more plants as we continue living here. BUT things are surviving our really dry, hot summer!

18. Rescue our cactus garden and find some hardier varities that will live in Missouri through our winters. Or find a good spot to winter over the varities that can't and not let them die like we did two years ago (you know, when there was this little baby around here that took all of our time...). - DONE. Our cactus garden was turned into a vegetable garden!

19. Refinish a piece of furniture correctly (our one piece that we did for Lily's room needs some help).

20. Eat more fruits and vegetables.

21. Learn how to make lemon bars from scratch (that are actually yummy).

22. Create/find a buttercream recipe that holds up the Missouri heat AND tastes as good as my old boss's recipe does.

23. Make my Aunt Sue's recipe for potato rolls and have them be edible. (I also need to get the recipe, so Beth, if you're reading this, can I have it?)Attempt #1 - 2/1/11 - did not go well. Will try again as this goal needs to be EDIBLE! - UPDATE 4/12/11 - I did it! I think they could be a little better but they were edible and everyone enjoyed them! I'm going to try to make them again this weekend (I think). UPDATE Christmas 2011 - made 'em again. I think they need to be taller but they were good! Also made them for Thanksgiving too. I think this one is done!!!

24. Go on a family trip just for the fun of it (out of Missouri). - DONE! January 2012

25. Ride in a train.

26. Go to the beach (I don't care which one but a real beach on either the West or East coasts). - DONE! January 2012

27. Read at least 10 "classics." I've already read some of the books on this list so my 10 wouldn't include those previously read.

28. Read the original versions of the Grimm Brother's fairy tales. UPDATE - 4/12/11 - I'm about halfway done with their book.

29. Walk in a 5K marathon, such as the Susan B. Komen's Race.

30. Get my second tattoo. Still thinking about my third though.

31. Make THIS cake.

32. Have a backyard/house party for friends and family.

33. Make a family tree. (I have some ideas so we will see what happens).

34. Travel abroad with Doug (and possibly Lily and Nate).

35. Have professional portraits done as a family.

36. Buy a rug for our dining room. EDITED 6/17/12 - I'm going to move the living room rug into the dining room, so this will now be "buy a rug for our living room"

37. Build (or help build) a doll house for Lily. It may double as a book shelf like this one at Pottery Barn. (Can you believe the price of that?!) - Picked it out, my dad built it for a Christmas present

38. Make our house a home and remodel various rooms to better fit our needs/likes/dreams.

39. Have a savings account with at least $5000 in it or whatever is necessary to cover at least 3-6 months worth of bills.

40. Be able to BBQ by myself (without Doug, although he's great at it so I really don't have to know how, but it would be nice).

Here are some other lists of 40 before 40... - Random European Lady #1 - Random European Lady #2

{Holidays} Halloween

Enjoying her very first piece of candy! She realized she could take the paper off of what she must have originally thought was a toy and soon realized it was SWEET! And of course, in Lily fashion, it was BLUEBERRY. She LOVES blueberries!

Posing by the merigolds.

My little giraffe!

She now knows how to "drive" her little horse.

{Life Lately} Shelter Gardens

For those that don't know me or the area we live, we live about 25 minutes away from a beautiful garden area. It's a good size little park and has beautiful plants, walkways, benches, a fish pond, creek, etc. in it. It's a popular spot for photos for weddings, prom, and families. We took Lily there on our 8 year dating anniversary and took some GREAT photos!

A great family shot!

Showing that Daddy is the Devil!

Momma's good shot of the day! I want to get this printed and framed for when our bedroom is complete!

Daddy's good shot of the day! This will also be a good one to enlarge and hang in our bedroom.


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