let it snow! let it snow! let it snow!

(*the caption is to quote my dad last night.  don't ask what i said in response!  or do.  i might tell you.)

all of those who wanted a white Christmas got their wish alright.  i think the snow may have finally stopped- for now.

i worked on Christmas (and Jay worked a few hours at his job, too) and was happy that the snow didn't start until after i drove in (Jay wasn't so lucky).  however, they activated our severe winter storm policy and those of us at work that were also scheduled today had to stay overnight.  those who weren't there yet and were scheduled to work today also had to come in last night if they didn't think they could make it this morning.  did you follow that?  but we did get paid to sleep overnight and we did get real beds to sleep in and a couple of free meals so the only complaint is that i/we didn't sleep well at all and it was Christmas.  and we didn't get to enjoy the snow except what it looked like through the windows (which i must admit is beautiful).  but we were able to send almost all of our Christmas Eve babies, and some a day or two older, home today and extra staff were allowed to leave too so after 34 hours i was able to come home.  just in time for sunset...

yes i took them from inside.  it's much too cold to stand outside for long!  and i didn't have any plans to go outside but the animals decided they needed to, ahem, "go" so we switched gears and went to the front of the house and they decided it was time to play so i quickly bundled up and snapped a few pictures of our blowing snow.  (yeah, who needs a snow blower when the winds are forecast to blow with gusts up to 50-60mph?)





cotton decided she needed to eat some snow!

jay and i had our Christmas on Christmas Eve.  he totally had me fooled about my gift.  i have been wanting a pandora bracelet and he had me going that no one had them in town and all the jewelry stores were sold out and made me make a new list just a few days ago of things that i might like.  little did i know my present was hiding in the Christmas tree!  jay got some things on his list he wanted and some things that weren't on his list that he also liked just as well.  cotton, barley, and dave each got a new stuffed and squeaky (or chirping!) toy and are quite pleased.  i have pictures of the pets and toys but our internet is running quite slowly so they will have to wait for later.  (the snow pics took an hour to upload.)

we hope you and yours had a lovely and white Christmas.  you know, if you like snow and all.  


a Christmas story.

Luke 2:8-20 (New International Version, ©2010)

 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
   and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.


wordless wednesday.



it's a girl!

Maggie Danielle Stooksbury
Born December 4th @ 8:12pm
7 lbs 8.4 oz    18 inches
Proud Parents:  Mark and Rachel

Please keep them in your prayers.  Rachel was re-hospitalized with a uterine infection and just got back home yesterday (Wednesday) and Maggie is allergic to lactose and Rachel is having to cut all dairy out of her diet.  (Thanks for the prayers in advance.)  I can't wait to meet this little sweetie!


it's coming on Christmas...

jay and i had a great time this year picking out our tree.  we have enjoyed a live tree every Christmas since being in our house.  this year we went to Boyd Mountain Tree Farm to pick out our tree.  we went last sunday on a lovely (freezing cold) snowy day.  when we got there Santa himself* informed us of the way it all works: should you be super adventurous, you can take a saw with you and find and chop down your own tree.  um, no thank you.  next option- you still venture up the hill to and find your "perfect" tree and then someone will come and cut it down for you.  then they take it down the hill/mountain for you and bundle it up.  you then head back down the hill/mountain and enjoy some hot chocolate or hot apple cider (while you pay) and some sweets and warm up under the heaters in the tent.  then,when you are ready, they will tie it onto your car.  it was muddy and cold but it was really fun to find our tree where it had been growing for the last few years.

they also have cabins on the farm that you can rent.  this is one we passed on our way.

jay up ahead...

if this is the view to the main house, imagine their view from it.

our "perfect" tree

we posed with the chain saw- we did not get to use it.

our tree being cut down... stay tuned to see it in our house.



after some malfunctions with the garland hanging of the garland, it finally is secured and up.  it still needs some finishing "fluffing" but our entry way is mostly completed.  (i added a little bit more hot glue to the C on our wreath.  you can never have too much hot glue when it comes to crafts!)


getting in the spirit

i thought the blog could use a little holly and jolly.  and i thought the picture was a delightful blast from the past.  (that is from the first Christmas we lived in NC.)  barley was only 10 months old!  enjoy!


planning the perfect picture.

you can very rarely get the perfect picture for your Christmas card without planning it.  i mean, really, how often does that happen?  i have a picture in mind for this year's card but i am planning to try to stage one as well.  and then i know i'll at least have a back up.  we have been sending out photo cards since we got married and especially since we moved.  i love the personalization of photo cards.  i love getting photo cards, too.  i love watching families grow and change year after year.

shutterfly has some great choices for holiday cards this year.  i really love all the Christmas card choices and i am having a hard time choosing what sort of card i want this year.  

we could do something fun and cute...

...or something a little more formal...

...or even something a bit more classic, with room for more than one perfectly planned picture.

there are so many options!  there are plenty to match everyone's personal style.  they even have great ideas for gifts, too, like these wall calendars.  

i don't know about you, but i plan to hop back over to shutterfly and start trying to decide on what our Christmas cards will be this year.  if you are a blogger too, check out how you can win 50 free cards this season.  http://bit.ly/sfly2010  they have "holiday" cards and cards to wish joy to those in the new year.  so if Christmas isn't quite your thing, follow the holiday card link above to see if there's something out there to fit your needs.  i can almost guarantee there is.  happy shopping!

breaking my own rule.

i hate when people decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving.  usually.  growing up, we would decorate Thanksgiving night or the days after but never before.  i have tried to do the same... i even complained earlier this month when i was driving home and passed a house with full lights and decor out.  it was the 3rd.  houses were still decorated for halloween.  seriously?

but this year my work schedule prevents me from having much time available for decorating this weekend.  we're taking a one day trip to knoxville for Thanksgiving and then i work the entire weekend.  i would rather be decorating.  or napping.  or, you know, not working!

so i started a little early this year.  just a day, really.  i made a new wreath today as last year's cute yarn wreath fell apart after the wind from one of our blizzards shook it all to pieces.  i knew there was no way to get it back together so i decided to start fresh.  i have also started getting the mantle decorated and even hung the stockings.  but there's still a lot of work to be done.

i did get this year's (and hopefully more to come) wreath idea from another blog.  you can see their picture here.
but here is what i came up with.  i even made the bow- i did not get any bow-making skills from my mother.  (it's most unfortunate.)

showering Maggie.

part of our most recent visit to franklin involved me helping to host a baby shower for my best friend, rachel.  rachel is the "original" best friend, though, i like to call 3 of my closest friends my bests.  i met rachel the summer before kindergarten.  26 years later, here we are, waiting to welcome her first baby, maggie, into this world.

we had a lovely turn out for maggie's shower and it also happened to be a beautiful, sunny fall day.  my cousin, angel, helped us again by providing us with pictures from our afternoon.  we enjoyed meeting sweet baby vince (who is also in another post from recent with his knitted hats on).  we enjoyed good food, fun games, good friends, and great gifts for maggie, rachel, and mark, to help make her arrival a little bit easier and a little bit sweeter.

diaper cake made by becca (rachel's sister, another best, and hannah grace's mama)

sweet petit fours

all the hostesses with the honorees

fun guessing games- how big is the belly? and how many qtips fit in the jar?

sweet gifts- i knitted the blanket in the above picture for sweet maggie

one sweet family

maggie danielle stooksbury is due november 28th.  she's seems to be happy where she is for now but i know everyone is ready for her arrival.  i'll be sure to let you know when this little bundle of joy makes her entrance into the world.  


you are my sunshine.

these fur babies love them some sunshine.  barley and dave, especially, have been so glad the seasons have changed because it means the sunlight filters in the windows again.  most afternoons you can find them soaking up the rays.  every now and then cotton will join in, but she mostly keeps herself to the shady parts of the room.  here, you can see for yourselves...

can you see dave's head by cotton's back foot?

enjoying some non-sunny relaxation.

dave loves his sunny corner of the living room.

barley will start here by the door and end up in the middle of the room as the sun moves today.


oh, this blog is about knitting...

so who knew life would get in the way of my knitting?  i have been knitting a lot this summer but i must say that i forget to take pictures of what i make.  so now when i give gifts i make sure that they send/post pictures of them in use.

my friend mandy recently had her 3rd baby boy.  i thought she might want a blanket, but she said she has more than enough blankets.  so she requested cute/crazy baby hats instead.  i made sweet baby vince 3 hats.  one is still too big for him (which was the plan since winter is on its way) but the other 2 fit.  i stole pictures from her facebook (with her permission, of course) so you could see super cute vince in his hats i made for him.

the baby jester hat

sweet little pumpkin

not loving the pumpkin patch.  i ♥ this picture!


fall beauty and land cruisers

yesterday was the annual Blue Ridge Parkway Cruise.  members of the upstate cruisers meet at mt. pisgah at the pisgah inn and then we drive/cruise from mt. pisgah to mt. mitchell on the brp and enjoy all of the fall colors.  saturday was a beautiful day and i am so glad i didn't sleep the day away (which still would have been fantastic) and joined jay and the others up on the parkway for the lovely day and drive.  the dogs came along, too, and we made it a "family" affair.  we couldn't have asked for better fall weather.  in fact, all we could have asked for were less people and traffic up on the parkway.  (we blame the local news channel for telling everyone to go to the parkway on saturday.  because they listened.)  anyway, here are some pictures, a little something for everyone- views and trucks- from our day.)

at Pisgah (pre-crowds)

 all the trucks together in one pic

 the view from mt. mitchell

 the view of mt. mitchell

 see the white dot in the center in the sky?  it's the moon.

sweet babies.  both looking at the camera, thanks to jay and a bribe.