Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas pictures

Just some pictures from our Christmas celebration:

Our dinner table

Our Christmas tree. See how close it is to our door? Our living room is very small, and this was the only place our tree could go. We kept the decorations simple because we were constantly knocking the tree.

This little green guy is Harold. Husband got him during his Lego phase and we recently found him in a box. Since his discovery, we have taken turns hiding Harold in places for the other to find him. Husband won the prize for best hiding place when he wrapped Harold up and gave him to me as one of my Christmas gifts!

It's not Christmas in our house unless Husband is using a knife to open a gift!

Even my "Let it snow" blocks couldn't bring the snow. Oh well. I guess there is always next year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Birthday adventure

Along with Christmas, we also celebrated my birthday this week. The weather was beautiful (no white Christmas for me, again. Sigh.). We decided to spend some time outside at a local nature trail. We feel so lucky to live in place with numerous nature trails and lucky the weather is nice enough so we can get outside.

Such a beautiful day to spend in a beautiful place

Just imagine he's wearing a cape...

Rickety old bridge.

Me reflecting on being another year older

Monday, December 26, 2011

My little secret

Now that Christmas is over, I can let you all in a little secret that very few people have known about. I'm very proud of myself for keeping this secret for so long (since about September). There were some days I thought I would burst if I didn't tell people, and I had to stop myself a time or two from posting on this blog. Before you get all excited, let me remind you of what I said in my last post: This is NOT an announcement! We do not, nor will we in the near future, have kids. Stop reading babies into everything! (Okay so I can see how what I just wrote could lead you to believe that babies are involved and for that I am sorry. No babies here.) I have been dying to tell everyone about the present I got Husband! I don't want to brag or sound all "Look at me! Look at me!", but I gave Husband THE perfect gift this Christmas. Have you ever given someone THE perfect gift? If you have then you know the excitement I've been feeling over the last few months. And I want to share that excitement with you!

In September, I got this brilliant idea that I would try to find Husband's ancestors. I knew that a few years ago he had made an attempt to figure out where he came from, but he didn't get very far and gave up. I knew that it would be a lot of work and that I might not get very far either, but I wanted to try it anyway. So, I emailed one of his aunts and got basic information (names of grandparents, birth dates etc). The project took off from there, thanks to the Family Search website and Google. I have no idea how much time I spent on this gift, but I can tell you it was hours and hours! It was pretty difficult to find time to do it because Husband was always home! A few times, I thought he was on to me despite my best efforts to keep it a secret. One day, I wanted to go to my church's family history centre so I told him I had some errands to run. Husband never wants to come with me when I run errands but for some reason he offered to go that day. I had to make up some story about taking a long time and doing a bunch of stuff so he would take back his offer. Another time, I accidentally left one of the charts on our photocopier and he found it. I told him it was something for church and quickly ran away! Despite the close calls and his always being home, I was able to find a lot of information and thankfully he had no idea. On some of his lines, I made it to the 1400s before I hit dead ends and I got one line back to the 1300s! I was also able to find some wikipedia articles and cool stories about some of his ancestors so I put those in the book as well.

As with all great ideas, I didn't do this alone and I want to thank a few people in particular. Thanks to Husband's aunt for providing me with enough names and dates to start the search. Thanks to Husband's sister who was sneaky-sneaky about getting information from their mom. Thanks to my mom for answering my never-ending questions about how to verify names and dates, how to organise the information and how not to lose my mind when I came to a dead end! Thanks to Husband's friend who kept him out for 4 hours just days before Christmas so I could try to get as much information onto charts as possible. And lastly, thanks to my dear friend Alicia for assuring me that it is was definitely okay to lie to Husband about what I was up to, because it was for a Christmas gift! *Disclaimer, Neither Alicia nor I condone lying to your spouse, however there are some exceptions and this definitely counts!*

Husband sat for over 30 minutes just reading over the information I had collected. I really should have given this gift to him last, because I still had a gift to open and I had remind him about it. My gift definitely derailed our gift opening! Husband says we shouldn't exchange gifts anymore because nothing I give him will top this present. I say "Challenge accepted!"

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas from our house to yours

Merry Christmas to all our family and friends! I heard this song on pandora today and thought that it nicely sums up what I wish for all of you this holiday season. It is a country song from 1968, so if you don't like country, or old country, sorry. Also, for the record and before you all get crazy, the second line says "from our kids to your kids". This is NOT an announcement! We do not, nor will we in the near future, have kids. It's a just a song with a sweet Christmas message that I wanted to share. Stop reading babies into everything!

Find the song here

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Was that even a hockey game?

Over the (American) Thanksgiving break, we went to an NHL game. We watched the Carolina Hurricanes take on the new Winnipeg Jets. It was Husband's first NHL game (and part of my evil plan to turn him into a Canadian). We had seats way up in the nose bleeds, but it was perfect because we could see the entire ice, no problem. The seats were great! We even sat behind a fellow Canadian. The girl who sang the national anthems did a stellar job; she got the words AND the tunes right! I was impressed with the announcer who asked everyone to respect both national anthems and invited the crowd to sing along (from my experience it was rare to hear the crowd be invited to sing along to the anthem here in the States). They even had the words to each anthem on the jumbo-tron.

The game was exciting to watch. But I must confess I am not even sure it can count as a hockey game. There were no fights. Not one. Nope. Nada. Zilch. I didn't even know that could happen in hockey. Sure, there were a couple dust ups here and there; an exchange of pleasantries if you will. And there were a couple pretty good hits. But punches? Nope. Don Cherry would get nothing from this game for his Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em highlight reel.

In the end, Winnipeg won 3 to 1, which was good because that's who we were cheering for. I was actually surprised to see quite a few Jets fans in the stands. There were some die hard Atlanta Thrashers fans who made the trek to see their former team play (it's about a 7 hour drive from Atlanta to Raleigh). That's dedication.

I was hoping this would turn into a fight, but no such luck

Warm up time

I think Husband has a little man crush on this guy Dustin Byfuglien. He took a few too many pictures of him! He used to play for the Blackhawks, Husband's favourite team.

An action shot

For those of you who didn't see this on Facebook, I have posted it here. These two sat next to each other for almost the entire 3rd period. It amused me greatly. If you don't know why this is amusing, check this link.

He looks more and more Canadian every day!

Another action shot (it's my blog, and I will put whatever I want on here!)

Husband took this pic during warm ups. Notice the puck that has just bounced off of the stick? Husband wins for best picture of the night.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

They're starting to add up!

You may remember this post in May of 2010 about my sister and sister-in-law both giving birth just days apart. Well, they've done it again, but instead of a few days apart, it was a few weeks apart. My sister had a baby at the end of September and Husband's sister gave birth to this beautiful baby girl yesterday.

Ava Taylon 7lbs 13oz of adorable pinkness

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Who goes to a football game in November? Crazy people that's who! This weekend we attended a football game at Husband's university. Our good friends were brave enough to join us. Despite the cold, the game was a lot of fun. It was military appreciation day at the stadium and I have to say I was very impressed. The half-time show was dedicated to saluting those men and women who bravely fought and continue to fight for freedom. It was a nice way to honour those have served in the military.

On a side note, I think this is proof that I have become a wimp since moving to the States. I remember going to football games at the Canada and not freezing as much as I did at this game. Maybe I've become a wimp or maybe I am just getting old (I don't think my age is a factor because I am only 23!).

We cheered for the team in red (and they won!)

At the end of the half-time presentation, they had these people recreate the famous picture from the Battle of Iwo Jima

Colour Guard

The half-time show included a 21 gun salute

We don't look that cold, do we? Actually, it wasn't until about half way through the 4th quarter that I really started feeling the cold. I'd say I held up pretty well!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

You ruined Halloween, Charlie Brown!

So, if you are friends with me on Facebook and you happened to see my status on Sunday, you already know that we had a minor "incident" involving Husband's jack-o-lantern. We carved our pumpkins on Saturday and then, because our kitchen is rather small and space is limited, I decided to keep both pumpkins on a kitchen chair so they wouldn't be in the way. That night before bed, I thought it would be a good idea to move the pumpkins to the floor so they wouldn't get knocked off the chair. Well, in my attempt to move my pumpkin to the floor, I knocked the chair, and you guessed it, off fell Husband's pumpkin. Sigh. Try as I may, I could not get the pumpkin back together. It was late, and I was annoyed so I just left it. On Sunday I had the genius idea to use my glue gun to try and fix the pumpkin. I say "genius" idea because it worked! Who knew that hot glue would adhere to the inside of a pumpkin? If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate position of ruining a loved one's jack-o-lantern, just pull out your glue gun! You're welcome!

Husband's pumpkin after the "incident"

All glued up! If you look closely you can see some of the glue!

My pumpkin

Husband's pumpkin all lit up. It lost a tail in transition from the kitchen to the front porch, but overall I think the glue held up well. Also, you may notice that there is a light in the pumpkin rather than a candle. I was afraid the candle would melt the glue and destroy what was left of Husband's hard work!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Autumn Adventure

Today Husband and I went hiking at Crabtree Falls. It is the tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi River. We hiked about a mile up to the top. It was the perfect day to go; one of those crisp, bright autumn days. The trees aren't at peak yet for fall foliage, but they were still very pretty. The falls were beautiful as well. We are definitely looking forward to going again! I took a million pictures, but I decided to only post a few here. It was very difficult to decide which pictures to use (I may post more on Facebook, but I have to wonder who really wants to see 29 pictures of different parts of a waterfall?) You will noticed that there is only one picture of Husband and I together (or maybe you wouldn't have noticed, but since I mentioned it, you will notice). I really wanted to get a good picture to put in our Christmas cards. We took a number of pictures of us together, and I thought we had a winner. BUT when I loaded the pictures on to the computer, the one I thought we could use was no good. The angle of the picture made me look like I had 17,000 chins, which made me look like I was either pregnant or weighed 500 pounds (For the record I am NOT pregnant, nor do I weight 500 pounds). I probably shouldn't even be telling you this because I sent the picture to my sister Mandy to see if she could work some magic and get rid of some of the chins. If she is successful, we may still use the picture. So if you get a picture of us in front of a waterfall, you will know our little secret: I won't tell if you don't!

The last one....

On Wednesday, my brother William entered the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Provo to be trained for his mission to Quezon City, Philippines. He will be in the MTC for two months, then go to the Philippines for 22 months. He is the baby of my family, and to honest, I am surprised he lived long enough to make it on a mission, with all the torture and grief we gave him! Now that he is gone, I don't know who our family will pick on. It doesn't seem right to continue to harass him while he is on his mission. Maybe we will take a family poll to decide who should take his place!

Bye, Bill! See you in two years!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Good news; bad news

Good News

This past week our family has celebrated three wonderful events:

The wedding of a cousin (doesn't she look beautiful! Those good looks run in the family!)

The birth of a baby boy, Riley, 8 pounds 15 ounces, born to my sister Margaret. (See what I was saying about those good looks? How cute is he?)

And an engagement of another cousin wedding date set for February (congratulations Nicole!)

Bad news:

I live too far away to take part in any of the celebrations! So sad.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


While we were out and about in Appomattox Court House, we came across some nature trails behind Lee's headquarters. Of course we had to explore! We didn't last long though. I walked through three spider webs and Husband walked through one. After that, we were both ready to turn back. I am pretty sure I can still feel webs on me today! *Shudder*

Husband's amazing eyes spotted this little guy hidden in a log. Can you tell what it is?

It's a frog! Peek-a-boo!

Funnel spider web

There were spider webs everywhere!

This turtle was walking along on the path (Not sure what is hanging off his chin. It looks like a spider web, which wouldn't surprise me since there were about a million webs around)

Of course Husband had to pick it up because he is a boy and picking up reptiles is in his DNA. If he had been able to get to the frog, he probably would have picked that up too!

I think this might be a painted turtle, but since the only turtles I am familiar with are the Ninja turtles, I really don't have any idea. Anyone know what type of turtle this is?

This turtle was sunning himself in the trees just off the trail

Look! Autumn! This year I don't have to drive three hours to find it!