Happy Christmas!

Family dinner at Christmas

From the T family! We’ve had a scrumptious time eating delicious food and enjoying each other’s company and thoughtful gifts. Lots of creativity-enabling gifts all around this season, so it’s sure to be a crafty year for all of us!


Random Photo Tuesday #1

Felt like randomly pulling a photo from our collection today. My mouse landed on a photo from March this year, when we were up at Chris’ parent’s house for his mom’s birthday. We were yard sale-ing it up that particular morning, when Chris’ mom decided to bust out the baby blanket she’d been working on. For our first child. Whenever that may be.
(This was about five months into our marriage, in case you were wondering. Also, four years and seven months before the time Chris keeps his fingers crossed that we’ll actually be having our first child. In case anyone was wondering that, too.)

(Don’t worry, though, I think I’m worn him down to just three years. Wink.) 
Surprisingly, Chris was not too perturbed by this nearly finished baby blanket. He even posed for pictures. For about a second. Then he was over it, and we were no longer allowed to talk about babies for the remainder of the trip.

Isn’t that blanket adorable?!

And this commences the first installment of Random Photo Tuesday.

Weekend in Redlands

We traveled back to Chris’ homeland this weekend. Our main reason for going was for Sarah’s birthday celebration. Our secondary reason was to get our taxes done by the most amazing tax guy ever, according to Chris’ parents and Kris and Becky Cowen. They were all correct, as Mr. Most Amazing Tax Guy Ever scored us the biggest tax refund either of us has ever seen (or expected). Getting married and buying a house did us good this tax year. I won’t reveal our big number, but let’s just say we’ll be able to pay off my car, get Chris new tires for his, buy a new camera lens (105 macro, holler!), and still have quite a bit left over.

We are happy campers this Sunday evening.

Chris is currently in the office purchasing our website domain, which means we are getting ever closer to being able to reveal our photography name and send people to our website! He’s also trying to figure out Quickbooks, since we’ll be needing to keep track of a whole lot of stuff now. Mr. Tax Guy gave us some good tips on what to track (pretty much anything and everything), so we are taking this very seriously. (We have a number to beat come next tax season, after all.)

I’m sprawled on the bed, watching How I Met Your Mother (Season 2, Disc 3), finishing up my lesson plans, and gathering the things I need to print tomorrow morning. Another week, another Monday. Another plan for a new chapter. We’ll see if this one works any more than the other plans did. I try not to discourage myself, and as I told Chris yesterday, I have to constantly remind myself that if I wasn’t doing the class, the kids would be doing it on their own and failing everything, so at least they’re doing better than they would be. Even if it is taking a long time to get them motivated enough to work.

While we were up in Redlands/Yucaipa, we took the D90 to get pictures of Sarah’s celebration. And since I’m so incredibly on top of things tonight, I’ve already got them downloaded to my laptop and ready to show the world.

(Farah is Sarah’s code name, for when Chris and Sarah make up hypothetical stories about themselves, most of which involve an argument of some sort that they are trying to win people over to. I think the first one ever had to do with parsley vs. cilantro as the go-to herb or choice.)

This cat is the queen.

We’re laughing, because we just knocked our heads together getting in close for the photo.

This time I’m laughing because Sarah packed as many things as she possibly could into that purse, including all her other gifts and a pillow.

I just like his shoes. 🙂

Oh my gosh, I freaking love our new camera, especially for birthday candle pictures!

Chris teaches his parents the ways of the iphone.

Also? We got our daylight back this weekend! Woot!

Dear little brother, on your 22nd birthday:

So, we don’t really hang out or anything anymore.

But I remember when we used to be best friends. Rollerblading up and down the sidewalk, biking around the block to see if we could get away with it. Panning for gold in the driveway. (Boy was that stupid.) Watching Dad build us a two story playhouse, and then spending all day every day playing house in it. I would make you go fetch berries and leaves for our dinner while I swept the floor and “washed” the dishes. Playing countless games of Marco Polo in the pool, or throwing the sinking sticks closer and closer to the 9 foot mark to see who was gutsy enough to dive down that far. Throwing things over the fence into the neighbor’s yard and then hiding when their stupid dog started barking. Going over to Melissa and Eric’s every night they were visiting their grandmother across the street, and playing our made-up hide and seek version… complete with Eric’s stupid poking stick that he’d jab into suspicious hiding spots until we yelled.

Anyway, you’re 22 now and that’s pretty old. And I kind of feel bad that I really don’t have many memories of you from the last ten years or so. I kind of remember you were starting to get annoying around age 12. And I remember telling you that I wasn’t speaking to you ever again until you apologized for whatever you’d done to me. We went a whole two weeks like that, until you finally begged me to talk to you again. Sorry about that- I was kind of a brat back then. And I’m sure you were, too, but I should have been a better big sister about it.

Anyway, that’s really the last thing I remember about you being young. Because then you opted to go to public school, and for the first time we weren’t all together in one place every day. I kind of remember dropping you off at Granite Hills on my way to college classes, but they were pretty quiet four minute trips.

So it kind of sucks that we don’t have much of a relationship anymore. Hopefully we can change that in the years to come. I feel pretty optimistic after our little conversation texts today, since you usually ignore my texts or calls. Must have been a sucky birthday for you to keep texting with me for half an hour. But I’m kind of glad you had the time.

Now can you please just tell me what you would like as a present?

Love, your big sis.

(Oh, yeah. Rockin’ the highlighter colors in the late 80’s.)

A Series of Unfortunate Events, and One Lucky One

Well, our Ikea trip yesterday morning was a bust:

~ The cute duvet covers I saw online? The line wrapped through the store and outside for those.
~ Black sheets, with cute black patterned pillowcases and cool red accent colored pillows? They had ’em, but the red pillows would have cost around $20 for two, and the brilliant black spread I found ended up being a mix from three different sheet sets. Seriously, Ikea. What’s up with that?
~ The canvas square organizers ended up being $4.99 each, not 2 for $4.99 like it said online.

So I got nothing. Whatever. At least we had fun. And lunch at Subway always helps brighten any day.

Fortunately the day picked up, because Saturday was the day my dad was going to tackle my truck once and for all. In case I haven’t mentioned this much, my car keeps dying on me. Or refuses to start right up when I want to leave somewhere. This has made me develop a fear of driving on the freeway or any lane that isn’t the farthest right, in case I need to pull over before my truck stops on its own. I know, la-ame.

He’s taken out quite a few other parts in the last couple of months in his attempt to fix this problem. Finally it came down to the battery, which was the most expensive to replace. So dad and I set off for a little find-the-cheapest-but-best-battery outing. One trip to WalMart, two trips to Autozone, and two Jack in the Box milkshakes later, we had ourselves a battery.

A freaking $90 battery.

This battery better be really good.

So my dad got it in no problem, I started up my car, and holy jumper cables, Batman! I didn’t know that was what my car was supposed to sound like when it started up! It was powerful, and dependable, not this little weak baby cough that it usually makes. So my dad takes the old battery back to Autozone to see how bad this battery really was, because he thought the whole time it was just the connectors were loose. Or something. I don’t really know these things. Turns out when they tried to test the battery, it was so low it couldn’t even be tested. And apparently it was a miracle I’ve been able to drive it at all these last couple months.

Hooray for not dying in a fiery car wreck on the freeway!

So I might be getting back some of my $90 since my old battery had a 7 year warranty, and we were just starting year 4 with it. Just $20 or so, but still, anything’s better than paying a full $90.

Picture of the Day, of my awesome dad fixing my car, to come as soon as my sister sends me the pictures. Apparently I forgot to put the CF card back in my camera yesterday, and I had to use hers.

And now I’m off to the Super Bowl! Don’t know who I’m cheering for yet; it’s going to depend on the color of the teams’ uniforms and how awesome the names of their quarterbacks are.

(Because names like Jake Delhomme are just so fun to say.)

Thanksgiving 2008

Just some things I’m thankful for currently:

~Down blankets
~Dennison’s hot and chunky chili
~Ultimate frisbee on Thursday nights
~A job that challenges me in a field that I actually want to get into
~A holiday dinner with the family that went off perfectly (my family must be growing up!)
~Extra cash just in time for holiday shopping
~Old roommates who just today got engaged and are super excited… and due over here any minute now to tell the story
~A rad little sister that likes to hang out with me
~Awesome friends willing to be guinea pigs for the first annual Thanksgiving Overnighter and Subsequent Black Friday of Awesomeness.
~Stormy days that offer so much inspiration