Sunday, November 29, 2009

A weekend of thanks

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a wonderful, joyous Thanksgiving weekend. It started with our annual tradition of Turducken (that's a chicken inside of a duck inside of a turkey, for those of you not in the know!) hosted by one of our dear friends. Every year, it is so much fun to get together with all of our friends and (over)eat yummy food!

Getting hungry and very ready to eat!

Smile, Casey and Jessica!

Awww, Casey looks so pretty!

Getting VERY big from the side!

The next day was Thanksgiving, and we spent a fantastic day together. My mom came over for breakfast, and to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade as well as the dog show. As an added bonus, we also got to show off the basement - or, at least, how awesomely the basement it is coming along.

We spent Thanksgiving dinner with Casey's parents and an assortment of their friends, which was really nice and delicious.

My favorite part of the day was coming home to decorate the Christmas tree, another of our traditions. I love the magic of taking ornaments out of the box and remembering the special story behind each one.

Setting up the tree.

Getting closer!

I always love our Christmas tree!

The first Christmas Casey and I spent truly together was in 2004, just a few days shy of our 2 year anniversary. To celebrate our first Christmas, I bought a little ornament with two snowmen that reads "Christmas Together 2004." Not only did the tradition of buying an ornament every year stick, but fast forward five years, and we are married and expecting! My favorite ornament this year is this one (which, of course, we bought at BabiesRUs!):

By midnight on Thanksgiving, I was about done!

We capped off the weekend by going to an Avalanche game. It was awesome, even though we lost the game. I choose to think that Baby Girl loved all the noise and excitement; when we first got there, she was moving all around and in about five different directions! About halfway through the game, though, she fell asleep, completely oblivious to the commotion that was going on around her. I certainly hope that's a characteristic that will stay with her!

And, yes... I am aware that I wore the same sweater to every event this weekend. Other than that, though, we have so much to be thankful for! Casey and I are extremely grateful for the many blessings we have had this year. Chief among them, our amazing friends and family, and of course, that special little lady who is already enriching our lives, and who we can't wait to meet!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Doggie Days

I have been wondering a great deal about how our dogs will respond to having a baby in the house.

Brody is absolutely a sweetheart, and I have no doubt will be a wonderful, loyal playmate as Baby Girl gets older. He loves kids, and his biggest fault is that he wants to follow them around and lick them non-stop.

He may be a little rough for her when she's tiny, but I also think that he has a pretty innate sense of how to respond in most situations, so he may intrinsically know to be gentle with a baby... and then again, maybe not. He is kind of a brute; a gentle giant, to be sure, but still. We'll have to wait and see. But generally speaking, I don't worry about him too much!

Eva, however, is another story.

She is quite the little lady of the house. And by lady, I mean spoiled rotten princess. For example, since she's so little, she is the only dog allowed on the furniture. And she doesn't just like to sleep on the couch. She likes to sleep atop the tallest pile of pillows or the thickest blanket possible....

Eva was my very first baby... the first living thing I ever truly took care of besides myself. She's quite attached to me, and she doesn't willingly share her time.

Little puppy Eva on the first day I brought her home!

Puppy after her first haircut. So tired!

Okay, so she's kind of a spoiled brat. The epitome of cuteness, but she definitely knows it and uses it to her advantage. She doesn't like anyone getting more attention than her, so that could be a very awkward transition!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Today, I am reminded of how lucky I am to have such a wonderful husband.

We've been working on the basement for the past three weekends, and it has been a lot of work, but tons of fun! I genuinely enjoy working with Casey; it is always a welcome reminder of what an awesome team we make.

We did a lot of rennovating when we bought our house three years ago, and it was such a neat way to begin our lives together. It truly made us each appreciate the other one and the unique skills we bring to the table. Not to mention, it helped reinforce that we can really rely on one another when things get tough. It was an incredible gift to know that when I get stuck I can turn to Casey, and together, find a solution to the problem neither of us would ever have gotten to without the other.

Since the first year, though, we haven't really had much rennovating to do! A few things here and there - the yard, painting the master bedroom - but nothing as major as the many projects we undetook that first year.

So it has been really fun to have something to come together as a team to work on! As crazy as it sounds, I kind of missed working with my husband like this.

The first weekend, the basement needed a really thorough cleaning, and to have some lights taken down, re-routed and new ones put in.

The "before" picture of our basement. Lovely.

Last weekend, Casey rented a paint-sprayer and sprayed the entire thing with a hefty coat of Killz, since our dogs (and the previous owners' dogs) had pretty much always had the run of the basement. Casey cut drywall and built cabinets (along with the much-needed assistance of our friend Andrew, since I couldn't help with any of that) for a new entertainment center area. It turned out great!

Casey post-Killz. That paint sprayer really works!

Cut-outs for the new cabinets

Casey and his masterpiece

The newly-installed cabinets! Awesome!

This weekend, we had some much-needed drywall work done, which will be finished on Monday. Saturday, I painted the walls, edging around the drywall work, and gave all the doors and moldings a fresh coat of bright white paint. Casey took on the huge task of hanging wainscoting.

I love how it's turning out! I can't wait to see the finished project!

As much as I hate to admit it, I think I may have overdone it on Saturday, because I felt absolutely terrible today. I vascillated between nausea and just plain feeling like I was getting sick. I was dizzy when I stood up, and felt all around pretty yucky. I had wanted to help out with whatever I could today in hanging wainscoting, but instead, my wonderful husband worked absolutely all day so that I could lay on the sofa and feel gross. He didn't complain at all, and in fact encouraged me to lay down and focus on myself and the baby.

I felt horrible lying on the couch doing nothing when there was work to be done. But, I felt even more horrible when I got up and tried to move around. I am just so grateful to have this wonderful, talented and caring man in my life, who never fails to do everything he can to make all my dreams come true.

Ghost of Thanksgivings Past

I love Thanksgiving! Every year, I always forget just how much I love this holiday, which is often lost between the excitement of Halloween and Christmas, until about the week before Turkey day.

This year, though, I've managed to keep my enthusiasm for a day of giving thanks - perhaps because we have so much to be thankful for! As with so much in the fall and winter, we have holiday traditions that I have come to absolutely love.

Since we bought our house, the past two Thanksgivings have looked something like this:
*My mom comes over the night before and stays with us, so that she is there when we wake up Thanksgiving morning.

*I wake up ridiculously early Thanksgiving morning, not because I have to, but because I'm so excited I can't sleep. I turn on the TV and watch whatever is festive, make coffee, and get started on the stuffing.

...Sometimes Casey even gets up with me!

*Make "Awesome Breakfast" - a smorgasbord of hashbrowns, eggs, spicy sausage and cheese, which is Casey's favorite and which he asks about literally all year long. (No picture of this could be found, it just disappears too quickly!)

*Watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which makes me absurdly happy!

*Piece by piece, make all the wonderful, traditional food of Thanksgiving, while watching either a) the dog show, or b) football with my family lounging on the couch.

Hooray! The star of the show: Tom Turkey!

*About 2 or 3, Casey's parents come over, just in time for me to set the table.

*Eat, drink, and be merry with all the fam around the dinner table. I absolutely love having them all around! It's always a pleasure.

This year, I finally had to share the holiday... which, after two years of hosting, makes a lot of sense! Although we will have to run around a bit more this year in order to see everyone, I am still looking forward to getting to see all of my family at this wonderful time of year!

And I am still in awe, and increasingly aware of how much we have to be thankful for. This year, even more than in past years, Casey and I feel extremely blessed!

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