Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It all happens so quickly!

There's so much build up to Christmas and seeing family and opening presents. What a rush! The excitement of just opening 1 gift for Christmas Eve...leading into Christmas morning that's filled with yummy food, family, and a TON of gift opening.

To truly appreciate Christmas with the must know that Mom Shoebox is NUTS about Christmas - she loves everything Christmas. Lights, shopping, crowds, family, food...I think she even secretly likes cleaning up the mess of 3 days that we leave with her for some odd reason. Christmas just can't be matched in Michigan. This year's proposal might have threatened the crazy gift pile we are used to seeing when over for Christmas. You see - generally when you enter the house you are greeted by the most beautiful Christmas tree you possibly have ever seen (only rivaled by Brian's sister who has an equally beautiful, yet sophisticated tree). White lights, colorful lights mixed with blinking lights and ribbon cascading from the top of the tree where the watchful angel sits. Yes - of course this angel moves its arms wide open and shut again to welcome you into this joyous occasion that we are about to celebrate.
There are enough presents under the tree to make you smile...but only " the adult presents" as grandma would say. "Santa has not come yet - so all the childrens' present are not there yet"

Christmas morning: CHAOS. You wake up and saunter downstairs to find an endless mountain of presents. Soon the kids arrive and present opening begins! No time for breakfast - we've got presents to open! One by one the presents are handed out and opened...this is a good 2 hour process! No one has ever seen anything like it, I'm sure. Everyone buys everyone else gifts. VERY FUN to open...however difficult to budget for!

Christmas at the Shoebox's is wonderful and will continue to be wonderful no matter what gift-giving alternative scheme we come up with! Next year there's talk of drawing names and having less gifts...we will see how it goes...

Christmas at my family's was exciting as well! We will have a new family member soon! Welcome to Jess! My brother proposed, ever so cleverly, to his girlfriend for Christmas! She said yes and our family is thrilled! She is indeed a wonderful addition to the family!

Brian and I are glad to back in Chicago. Despite a gross run in with a drain that backed up (again) in our house we are happy to be home and almost back to our routine.

Our new year plans are to spend a relaxing evening together with a good beer and a glass of wine along with a delicious steak on the grill. YUM!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Just one thing after another...

Ahhh - home ownership...I love it and I hate it...mostly hate it though. The great side of having a home is just that...having home. Decorating it, throwing parties, calling a place "your own" is wonderful...


There's the other side of it. Backed up drains, DIY project hiccups, and random unforeseen debacles that end up whisking away your hard earned savings! {{sigh}}}

The latest in the saga was this morning. I decided that I was going to work from home I got up to Brian's alarm and chatted with him while he was in the shower...upon getting out he asked if I knew where his red tie was...I began the search for the red tie. As I went from room to room...he did as well...he had gone all the way downstairs to our basement/laundry room where he yelled for me. So I trotted down the stairs to find him moving things quickly around the basement.
"I found the tie. He said, "'s soaked" As he moved the trunk that was in the corner next to our water heater and furnace it exposed the now greenish colored soaking carpet. "The carpet is soaked...all along the wall" A flood of thoughts raced around competing for attention in my head. MOLD!! YUK! DANGER! GET IT OUT!! It's never going to dry etc....
Before I knew it Brian was running out the door for work.

So there I was. Me VS The Mold. I had to do something...I went upstairs and got the fan - plugged it in and pointed it at the wet carpet. I took a step back and stared...'this is not going to dry' I thought to myself. So - I had to take action! I ran upstairs and grabbed Brian's utility knife and decided that this mold was coming out RIGHT NOW! I stabbed it into the sopping floor and before long I had a 3x3 piece of carpet and carpet padding being thrown out on the front walk. It HAD to go...I walked back and pointed the fan at the newly revealed wet cement slab...and stared again. SCORE: Rachael 1 Mold 0 I win.

But then another thought hit me..."Rachael! you just cut a square out of your carpet!" It was not a tidy square either...I do not have precision surgical hands....and clearly I was NOT made to do carpet. Ya - it looks awful. I have a giant hole that I cut in my carpet...

I told Brian through sniffs and tears what I had "accomplished" and he took it rather well...saying that we should have something else down on the floor anyway. He then went on to let me know that he won't get a lunch today and I won't see him until 8pm this evening...the tears started again. By this time his boss has not only robbed my husband of the Christmas spirit, but now I can't even get a little glimpse of him at lunch during my work from home day. Official meltdown had set in.

After a couple minutes of talking through everything I felt better. I got off the phone with Brian (who was very calm about the giant hole in our carpet) and had a little glass of eggnog and a peach muffin from Mariano's. I love peach muffins from Mariano's...especially warmed in the makes me feel like they're just freshly baked.

Now - I really need to pull myself together get out there and go pick up Brian's snow board boots! He's going to be so thrilled! Just in time for Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Rush!

Ok I think I've mentioned that I love Christmas! I love Christmas! I love giving gifts and getting gifts...I love opening them and shopping for them! I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

Today is an awesome day! I got my 1st Christmas present in the mail yesterday - I must admit...I opened it. It's SO hard to wait! It was a cute set from Bath and Body works and a Starbucks card. YES! Thank you to my boss, Mary!

This morning I came in to a wonderful present from my amazing friend Kristin! She is SO sweet and bought me real life fashionable grown up gloves! I have leather gloves YES! They're so incredibly soft and lovely. I want to be typing with them on right now! I'm actually anxious to go outside and wear them while driving!

I have nearly completed my shopping for gifts (well for Brian's family) and will probably wrap up sewing a couple gifts this weekend. I will post pictures when completely finished! AND will probably post pics of when they are opened and used/worn.

Brian has been in good spirits for how much he is working. He even got up super early to go to his Bible Study on Wednesday morning - I was pretty impressed.

Ok well - this one is going to be brief because I have a happy hour to run to and I still need to get some work done before I leave!!!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Get Focused!

I really need to get focused! My little Santa calendar is counting down the days 'till Christmas and it's making me a little nervous. Rather than panic on my blog about how little time I have...I really should be working on finishing my Christmas projects...

1 quilt to finish
2 chef hats to start and finish
2 chef mits to start and finish

Think I can get those done?? We will see! The quilt is priority! I can't wait to have it complete. I will even post pictures! How fun! It has been quite the project and I have learned quite a bit! I would prefer to take a class on quilting now, but those are a little pricey. The up side of taking a class is that you have a mentor every step of the way! The down side is that it costs $$ and with it being Christmas and all...things are a little tight!

Brian has been working a lot of extra hours this week. Thankfully he has been able to go in later a couple days this week and I think it has really helped him out. Next week will be rough...with him not getting any days off and working even more hours...but a week from today it will all be over! That will be wonderful! A week from tomorrow we will be exchanging gifts in delightful!

I am just getting into this whole blog thing, so hopefully I will be able to post pictures and make it a little more interesting as time moves on. This is all you get before Christmas though - I have my priorities you know...

Well off to work on my quilt!

Monday, December 6, 2010

19 days till Christmas!

Yes...I'm one of "those" I love Christmas. I wish I could say I love it for nothing other than the celebration of the birth of Jesus...but really...truly...I pretty much love everything else as well. Shopping with 1000's of others, masterfully figuring out what everyone wants, wrapping, decorating, and opening gifts!! Being with family (which I wish that my family and Brian's family could all combine one day) is so wonderful. Christmas carrols, yummy food, cookies and treats! Baking, candles...even snow (when I can stay home and drink hot chocolate).

I get in this uber-craft mode! I must scrapbook, sew, quilt...learn something new! Jewelry? Crochet? What will be next? It's hard for me to come down on the busy time of the year - because I love all the business!!! So much fun!

This weekend I spent the better part of Saturday working on a scrapbook for my boss, Mary. She's so excited about it! I am excited as well because someone is actually purchasing my work! I have a website on ( that is very limited. I hope to be doing craft fairs next year...but who even knows? I like the concept of Etsy...I just wish I could be more interactive with potential buyers. Someday maybe I will embrace it more and do some marketing and such...

I have nearly no Christmas shopping done! Oops! For the last 2 years now I have purchased so few things on Black Friday that I'm questioning whether it is worth the early morning wake up! This year I didn't even get up early...well that's because my husband agreed to take me shopping...and the last thing I want is a sleepy husband shopping with me! For our marriage sake...I let him sleep in! ha! I still got super deals...just not very many of them.

December 11th is my day to get my shopping done!