happy 2nd birthday!

laughing at aunt stacie

today is my sweet niece's 2nd birthday! it is hard to believe that she has been in this world for 2 years. i feel like i was just writing a post about her 1st birthday. but she is now 2, and officially on her way (although i think she already got a head start), into toddlerhood. even though we are not close in proximity, i love having a niece and i enjoy seeing her as much as possible. her mommy has a blog (and is on facebook) so technology makes it easy to keep up with how she is growing and changing. happy birthday, courtney!

1st Christmas... growling at the camera!

this past Christmas (playing with elmo)


a table and a beauty tip

hello! i could have used the picture as a "wordless wednesday" but i have other things to say, so it is a wordy wednesday instead! we had a great weekend with larry and mitos coming to visit. they came down friday night and we made a quick trip to lowes for saturday's projects. larry and jay stayed busy on saturday adding some extra outlets/circuits in the garage, adding a light in our attic, and changing out the front porch fixture. mitos and i stayed busy with a little shopping and some rearranging in the dining room. and yes, our dining room has consisted of boxes and dog crates since we moved in. now it is truly a dining room because we have inherited their old table.

yes, there are still boxes in the dining room, however, the amount has diminished... AND only one dog crate. cotton has graduated to not needing a crate anymore. she does, however, love her crate and, i believe, misses it terribly. she has taken to the habit of laying on the couch, when not invited, so we have taken steps to prevent this while we are gone. so where does she lay now? why, on our bed, of course. if dogs were actually smart enough to think logically (or if we could prove that they can), i think it is her way of saying she is not "good enough" to be on her own and wants her crate back. of course, if i were her, i would lay on the couch or human's bed, too.

now, on to the beauty tip portion of this post. (if any guys read this post, i doubt it will apply to you, but you are more than welcome to read it.) so today, i had my brows waxed. i enjoy getting this done. i go to sensibilities day spa and it is always a relaxing experience. yes. getting my eye brows groomed with hot wax is relaxing. what i hate about getting it done is the redness and swelling that accompanies the procedure. for me, it is always immediate. (i did not inherit my mother's super skill of getting waxed with no redness, swelling, puffiness, etc. yes, you heard right. my mother can get her eye brows waxed and the world never knows- except for the perfectly shaped brows, of course.) so i read a tip somewhere, long ago, in a magazine. i have been doing this for many months now, and it works like a charm. ready? it is simple.
1. before you go, premedicate with some ibuprofen. if this is not an option, try to take some as soon as you can post waxing. it helps with the inflammation.
2. once you are done and hiding your red forehead behind your sunglasses (which i couldn't do today in the rain), apply a small dab of hydrocortisone cream to all reddened areas. i use the cheap cvs generic brand of 2%. (i do this in the car before i leave the parking lot.) reapply a small dab about 30 minutes later. within one hour, your redness and swelling should be about 80-90% diminished. it is that simple!
before learning about this little tip, my redness and swelling would decrease, but was still visible the next day. now, it lasts about 2-3 hours. happy waxing!


wordless wednesday


SNOW... and other random items

snow day

yes. it is true, we actually have snow in our yard! it is flurrying right now, but the sun is shining brightly and the frozen streets have melted, which is nice. last night the streets were coated with a thin sheet of ice. not so nice. but the dogs have had a great time playing in the snow. dave thought he wanted to play in it, too, but quickly changed his mind when his little furry feet got wet. we would have preferred a bit more snow than what we received, but we will take what we can get.

as it began... you couldn't see the mountains...

about an hour into the snow

the dogs were very excited to have snow in their own yard. they may not know it is snow, but they know what to do in snow... run and play!

about 2 hours into our snow... which is about all that really accumulated.

stopping for a picture (when one looked, the other turned away)

alicia and i had taken orion and the girls on a walk just as it started to flurry, and after a couple of hours of snowfall, she brought orion down to play with the girls. cotton enjoys playing with him, and now that she is bigger, it is no holds barred as far as she is concerned. barley, on the other hand, isn't his biggest fan, but is getting better.

dave... realizing it was wet outisde... trying deperately to get back inside.

the girls, obviously excited

orion and cotton about to play

barley joined in eventually

cotton was tired (she ran faster yesterday than she has in a long time) and gave up and made the younger pups play around her. :)
random items
on two separate notes, one which is a follow-up from a recent post (because i am sure you are all dying to know what has happened with dave's grass-eating habit) and the other is just a home decor update. i bought dave some cat grass yesterday at petsmart, in hopes of curbing his desire to go outside and eat dried up, crunchy grass. he is loving his personal green spot.

and, on a home decor note, i have hung up a few more pictures on our walls.

the "foyer"

over the couch (my grandmother painted this)

in the hall (cross-stitched by my mom)

also in the hall, opposite the guest bath (cross-stitched by pam welch)

in the kitchen (also painted by my grandmother)
and, today, the mountains have returned...


what day is today?

why, it's my mom's birthday!

peaceful quiet

i normally don't enjoy giving up my weekends to work, but that is typically what happens every other week, so such is life. but i do like coming home on sunday mornings. the city isn't moving yet and everything is very "still" and it is nice to enjoy that peace. i feel like it is only mine (and every other night shift employees). today, i drove home while it was beginning to snow and the snow only seemed to enhance the peaceful quiet of the city, town, neighborhood that isn't quite awake and moving yet. i took a few pictures, but they cannot do the beautiful, cloudy, snowy morning any justice. but, because it hardly ever snows at our house, i will show you what we have gotten in the last hour of our flurry.

on an animal update (because, of course, you need one), dave has been needing some grass in his diet and has been sneaking out the door with the dogs and grabbing a bite off the "salad bar" that is our yard. so, this morning, he darted out again for a snack. i'm pretty sure the grass is frozen, but hey, he seemed satisfied.


happy day, barley!

sweet baby barley. today is a great day! it is barley's actual birthday. obviously, we did not meet her on this day, but she has been a delight in our home since we picked her out.


wordless wednesday

no, i'm not kidding.


barley's birthday party

well, we normally don't have people over when we do anything for our dogs birthdays, but when your friends have a 4-year-old who previously asked if he could come to their parties... well, then, a party it is. :) barley turns 2 on the 15th (thursday). i will be at work that night so i decided to celebrate a bit early. it's not like barley even knows what a birthday is, much less her own, right?! so we had our friends over and made grilled chicken sandwiches and fries. after dinner, harley (my favorite 4-year-old) and i made homemade peanut butter dog treats for the girls, with one big special one to serve as barley's "birthday cake." (she had to have a cake, too.)we had a great time, and while initially worried there would be flour all over the floor, there was nothing to worry about as barley and cotton licked every bit of flour spilled right up. here are some pictures of our evening of fun.

rolling and cutting out the first batch of cookies. harley enjoyed the flour, too.

if you look at the end of barley's nose, you can see a bit of flour. (harley, very sweetly, kept telling the girls we were making them treats and they would love them. it was very cute.)

i am showing you a picture of my rear just to show you how much fun harley had!

batch number two cooling off so we could put the "icing" in the middle and make sandwiches.

the first attempt to get a self shot of me and harley...

...success, although, you can still see cotton was trying to be in the shot.

look at those 3 sweet babies!



we had a great time and the girls are still enjoying their treats. we had plenty, so we sent some home with matt and alicia to share with orion, too. (and i'm sure i am not the only person who celebrates their dogs birthdays, either!)


new craft project

i have finally finished my latest craft project. it does include yarn, however, nothing is knit together. apparently, there are many ideas out there like this one, however, i found my idea here. in fact, after doing a bit of browsing today, i may have to copy the starbucks one for next christmas.

here is my take on the yarn ball wreath....


(my first official) "not me! monday"

so, what is "not me! monday?" it is many things... cheap therapy for one. as it states above, it is being brutally honest and living to tell about it. it is a way of admitting things you have done by saying you've never done them. this began with mckmama, and has spread through the blogging world like wild fire. so this is my first monday... let's see how it goes.

just a few minutes ago, i totally did not almost start this post instead of taking my dogs out to the bathroom. and it was not because my one dog had just started to whine, which meant she needed to go out and poop. and it totally did not mean she would still take at least 5 minutes to do her business outside. i could have finished this post and then taken her out and then the time from door to "business" would have been almost immediate. i never would think of making her wait. not me.

and, because everyone who knows me knows that i keep my house spotless 24/7, knows that i would never ever let dishes pile up in my sink. i would never leave clean dishes in the dishwasher instead of emptying it and letting the dirty ones sit in the sink for days while i work. and i would never think that my sweet husband might get the nice idea of emptying the dishwasher and reloading it so that the sink wouldn't be so full, since i was sleeping all day and working all night. i would never leave them in the sink on purpose, just to see if that would happen. never.

and i would never ever complain about having the worst work schedule between last week and this week. never. my schedule is so normal. now, yes, i do work nights, so that takes the normal out of it already, but this isn't the issue. the issue is that after working last thursday, friday, and saturday night, i was off sunday, had to swap days this week so i work tonight (monday), tuesday, then off wednesday, then have a mandatory recertification class thursday and then work thursday night. who would complain about that? not me. and who might get a bit snippy and grumpy with friends and loved ones? most certainly not me. (although i think i warned everyone that that might happen, and if not then i truly am sorry about that.)

see how that works? it is good therapy. try it sometime!



i am not a big resolution maker, but this year, my goal is to learn more technical stitches and knitting techniques.  i would love to be able to make more things... besides the scarves, hats, and dishrags that i have learned to make.  i need to find some classes, get some new books and magazines, join a knitting group, form a knitting group... something!  so that is my resolution.  if it takes the entire year, then so be it.  

did any of you make resolutions?  if so, what are some of them?  please feel free to share.


happy new year!!!

i am about to go to bed after a long new year's night at work (our floor is full, with a couple of people waiting for beds... lots and lots of babies!).  but, i wanted to wish everyone a very happy new year from jay and myself.  we hope that the new year treats you even better, or just better, than the last one.  and if it can't get any better than last year... well, surely it can.  :)