Sunday, December 20, 2009

The joys of moving

I have forgotten how much fun it is to pack boxes.......NOT!  Myabe it is just my attitude today, but I can't stand the thought of packing another box right now.  We did pack most of the boxes last weekend, so it really shouldn't be that bad, but for some reason the thought of it today is.   As of right now I have packed two full boxes, put things that need to be carefully wrapped in another, and am currently contemplating packing one to two more before calling it a day.  It is so exciting to have a house to be moving to, but some of the pains that come along with it are starting to catch up with me.

Yesterday the rest of our major appliances were delivered.  I cannot wait to have them all in there places and put to good use.  In addition to appliances we went to pick up our new couch and my Christmas present, a Snuggie!  I never thought I would want one until I tried out my friend Amber's.  I became a Snuggie convert within minutes of putting it on.  I am so happy to have one of my own now!  It is one of the warmest things that I own and I know I will use it for many, many years!

This week we have found ourselves a bit frustrated in the whole remodel process.  It seems that things we were told we be done, have not yet been completed.  While we know this is normal, we still feel frustrated because we just want to get into the house.  The delays have only pushed moving in back a week or so, but to us it is a week too long!  This being our first house together, we are marking off the days until we can move in. 

Inspite of the frustration. it was amazing to see our colors up on the walls!  The pictures don't quite capture the fullness of the colors, but maybe one day you will make a trip to see and get to expierence them in person!
Our Bedroom Walls- The blue is the same color as the bathroom

Guest Bedroom

Laundry room

Me with my blue wall!  I love it!

Stinson with the tile he picked out to match the backsplash in the kitchen.  The kitchen wall color is behind him

In the aniticipation of moving we packed a million boxes last weekend.  This past week when I was going to make dinenr and treats for my class, I realized we may have been a little over zealous because many things I need were already boxed up and waiting to be unpacked in the garage of the new house.  It is nice to glace around the house and see the barren walls and empty places that mean we are embraking on new part of our journey as a married couple.  We both know it is one that has been given to us by our Heavenly Father, one that we are greatful for, and one we know will bring much joy!

Tuesday we will be taking off for New Jersey to spend Christmas with Stinson's family.  We are looking forward to spening time with them at Brantley and Caroline's home as well as some time in the city.  Neither of us have been to New York City before and we are both looking forwar to all of the things the Big Apple is known for.  We are excited to get a glimpse into Brantley and Caroline's lives and home.

I am not sure when I will be back to blog again, but I am wishing all of you a Christmas season full of Christ, family, love, peace and joy!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here now that it finally snowed!  I cannot believe how quickly the Christmas season has come.  For some reason this year it hasn't felt as much like Christmas this year like it has in years past!  I think due to busyness with the house the usual holiday things have gotten lost in the mix.  We are busy packing instead of decorating, and that could be part of it too.

I have like a million pictures to put up.  I am just going to put them up and share a few thoughts that go along with each.  Hope you enjoy this long post!

I almost forgot to tell you something amazing!  My sister-in-law Sara designed this new layout for me!  Isn't it adorable?!  I love it and just have to brag about her a little bit. She is becoming quite the web-page designing queen!!!

House Update
Here are just a few pictures of what has gone on in the house lately.  A little more tearing out, new windows, and new dry wall!

Wall in the "Master" Bedroom with the new window and fresh dry wall

The Laundry with no more wood paneling!

The Kitchen wall with its new face lift!

My husband and his beard, which I don't think is going anywhere anytime soon!  I think he is the best part of the new house!  He has been quite the bargain shopper for the things we need for the house!

Our first piece of art!  This will hang somewhere in the living room once the house is finished.  I love this picture and it reminds me of one of my favorite places, and all of the wonderful memories I have of Seattle and my family!  The colors are a lot brighter, but I had to turn my flash off to get a good picture, so you can't get the full affect of it.

Thanksgiving Pictures--Finally!
 The yummy apple pie we made!  It was finger-lickin' good!

The Thanksgiving table, silverware and napkin styling inspired by a picture I found in a Pottery Barn book.

We had a fun afternoon in downtown Seattle.  Each time I am down there I remember just how much I love it!  We took a tour of the Smith Tower.  This is one of the views from the observation deck.

Here is the view with the Spaceneedle in it!

My adorable parents!!!!

The four of us, just missing Ryan and our significant others.  We love each other and have so much fun together.  I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful, loving and supportive family!  I treasure each of the memories we have and I cannot wait for the memories to come!

I am convinced that one of God's greatest gifts to us are sisters!  I love that as we grow older my sister and I seem to become better and better friends!  If only we lived closer so that we could spend more time together!  Here we are helping this nutcracker out!

We are happy to be spending time together!

The crazy things that happen in fourth grade!
We got a little carried away this year in fourth grade.  We love our master piece!  The students love it and it has brought home the holidays to our 4th grade hallway!

The sign hanging above the fireplace 

The crowning center piece that will hang, framed, above the fireplace.  You would not believe how much fun we had taking this photo.  Let me tell you, we had a very difficult time NOT laughing!  I think the children have turned us a little crazy!

As the holiday season comes into full swing I am reminded of the gift that truly matters the most, the birth of my savior!   He was born to bring me salvation.  He was born a tiny, vulnerable babe, just like me, and through Him God brought hope, love, peace, and grace.   This season I am going to do my best to keep my eyes fixed on Him, and the splendor that He brings to the season.

I have been blessed beyond measure with friends, family, and opportunities.  I hope that this season I can be a blessing to those around me in the small ways!  Until next time, stay warm, and I pray God finds a way to bring many blessings to you this holiday season!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holiday Recipe Exchange

My best friend Courtney and her sisters are having a holidy recipe exchange, so I thought I should be a good friend and share a recipe I love!  This recipe is one that I learned at a cooking class Stinson took me to last spring.  The recipe is long, and I promise that it is not as hard as it sounds.  Mine turned out the first time, which means that anyone can do it!  I hope you enjoy and thinking about trying out this tasty treat!

Chocolate Carmel Tarts with Sea Salt

Ingredients for tart dough:
1/2 C. unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
1/2 C. plus 1 Tbsp. confectioners' sugar
3/4 t. vanilla extract
1-1/4 C. all purpose flour
1/4 C. unsweetened cocoa powder

Ingredients for Carmel:
1/2 C. water
2 C. sugar
1/4 C. light corn syrup
1/2 C. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 C. heavy cream
2 T sour cream

Ingredients for the Chocolate Ganache:
1/2 C. heavy cream
3-1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped well
Sea Salt to serve

How to make them:
  1. To prepare the tart dough, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachement, cream the butter and confectioners' sugar until combined, about 1 minute. 
  2.  Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  3. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and beat on low speed until just combined.
  4. Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastice wrap and form it into a disk.  Wrap and chill until firm, about 1 hour, or up to 3 days.
  5. Preheat oven to 325.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll the tart dough out.  Using a small round cutter ( I use the top of a small toothpick dispenser), cut out dough.
  7. Press into a mini-muffin pan.  Push the edges of the dough up about 1/4 of an inch.
  8. Chill the tart shells for 20 minutes.
  9. Bake until set (will loose their shine), about 20 minutes.  Let cool.
  10. Place water in a large sauce pan.  Add the sugar and corn syrup and cook mixture over medium-high heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until you have a dark amber carmel, about 10 minutes. 
  11. Carefully whisk in the butter, cream, and sour cream (the mixture will hiss and bubble up, so stand back.), whisking until smooth.
  12. Divide carmel among the tart shells while still warm.  Let them sit utnil carmel is set, about 45 minutes.
  13. To make ganache glaze, in a saucepan, bring the cream to a boil.
  14. Place chocolate in a bowl.  Pour hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
  15. Pour some of the glaze over each of the tarts while still warm. 
  16. Let the glaze set at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving. 
  17. Sprinkle with sea salt before serving
I know it looks like a lot.  It does take a bit of time, but you can do some of it ahead of time.  I will make the tarts one night, the carmel the next, and then put them all together the day I make the chocolate ganache.  After you make them once you will be hooked because they melt in your mouth!

I promise to write about my truip to Seattle and give some house updates later this week.  I left my camera chord at school, making uploading picutres tough!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The before/beginning stages of our little beauty

I know that many of you have been dying to see pictures of our little beauty!  The flipping part of the house purchase began this week.  Some of the pictures are pre-flip, and some are from today.  So far the cabinets are out, the central air is in. 

As the remodel goes on we have been bargun hunting for appliances. We have found managed to snatch up an oven, dishwasher, fridge.   The exciting purchase of the week was our washer and dryer!  I am so excited to actually be able to do laundry whenever I want.  Who would have thought being able to do laundry would be a blessing?!!!   I will let the pictures do the rest of the talking.  Remember, it will be quite a gem when it is all done, but right now you may not believe me!

Living Room Before

What it looks like 1 week later!

View from the front door into the kitchen and back to the mud room.

All of the stuff that has been ripped out so far!

And here it is now:

The Bathroom

The Mud Room- right off the deck where the washer and dryer will go

The bedrooms

Thermostat!  We have central air and heat!


Monday, November 16, 2009

In this crazy life

Some of you may recognize this post title because they are some lyrics from a Michael Buble song (one of my favorite artists!), but they fit my life so perfectly right now. Life has been crazy buying a house, making decisions about remodel stuff for the house, and teaching on top of it all.  In the midst of life's rushing around, I managed to celebrate my birthday.  I am one year older, maybe wiser, and slightly more insane!!  

I am one of the lucky people who every few years celebrates a birthday on Friday the 13th! ( I turned 13 on Friday the 13th.  That is about as freaky as you can get!)    Unfortunately, nothing too freaky happened.  I don't know why, but I have always loved my birhtday.   Okay, that is a lie, I know why I love it.  I adore my birthday because it is all about me!!!!  I love being appreciated and knowing that I am thought of, so my birthday is a day that I feel those things ten-fold.  Yes I know you may be thinking that this is very self-centered and childish, but I don't care because it is simply true!

I could not have asked for a better birthday.  My day began with a message left at school for me by my husband wishing me a happy birthday.  He knew that I would appreciate a memo from him wishing me a happy day!  Then my students showered me in their love and a few presents.  I can't believe how thoughtful their gifts and notes were, each one made me feel like I am making a positive impact in their lives.  The teachers on my team treated me to a fabulous birthday lunch, complete with a table decorated in pink.  I was reminded of how lucky I am to be a part of their team.

Upon arriving home we signed the closing papers on the house!  (I don't think I could have asked for a better present!)   As soon as the papers were signed Stinson presented me with a adorable pink, black and grey coat, complete with a fur hood!!  I love that he has such a great sense of style.  After doning my new coat it was off to dinner at a secret location.  We pulled up to a quaint little Italian restaurant.  The first thing that came into view as we approached our table were these flowers!!!  Seriously,  my husband is awesome!  He sure does know me.  To top off the evening we enjoyed a Christmas Carol in IMAX 3-D, which was an experience in and of itself. 
My Beautiful Birthday flowers!

Me and my flowers

Whew..... what a birthday!  I feel so lucky to have been showered in so much love.  The house stuff will begin soon.  I know you are looking forward to the before pictures that will hopefully be posted by the end of the week!

Sweet 3-D Glasses (check out my new coat too!)

My Hunky Hubby

I don't know what to say about this one!

One more of the pretty flowers