Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Calendar 2009!

Hope everyone's holiday season is great! I owe a big post but I don't have much time for it now. Just wanted to show my newest project! I listed it last night on etsy and I'm already sold out. I've placed another order and will have more listed as soon as I know they've shipped. Message me if you want dibs on one.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

Happy Birthday Dan! Hope your day is oodles of fun with some celebrating tonight. I have a feeling the Wii might come out to play. ;) And yes, having a birthday so close to Christmas does mean having presents wrapped in Christmas paper!
Friday night we went to Lisa's 80's Christmas Sweater party. We had so much fun with all the funky sweaters and great food. Here are my favorite goofy photos:
Saturday was Lynne's annual Christmas party. I took fewer pictures and even got the whole party to sit for a group photo. I'm still working on making it into a panoramic shot, so that's coming soon. Kristi stopped by to return my lens that she was borrowing because I got my camera fixed! I'll be saving for my future Nikon D300, so I thought it best.
I love this time of year because of the great parties and yummy food. I'm still editing away on a photo project, so I must get back to it!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

This week

Hey hey hey! This week has just flown by for me. Why is it that holiday seasons always seem to go faster than the rest of the year? I've been wrapping up a few photo projects and Christmas presents lately.

I got my top 200 photos from Europe up on Flickr. Check them out here!

So here's what I've been up to since Jenna returned home:

Got a Christmas tree with my parents.
Went to see my Mom's friend Lesly sing in the holiday choir.
Decorated my Grandma's Christmas tree and had a grand ole time with the fam.Got ornaments thrown at me. ;)
Hung out with Kristi at the Scrapbook Depot during my lunch break. This is back at my work looking at my December Daily.Put lights on my Christmas tree. Not my favorite thing to do considering how often I do this at the store. I can't let my expertise go to waste!
Went to a lecture for the Academy of Sciences with Dan and then to Pasta Pomodoro after.Set up Dan's Christmas tree and had way too much fun taking photos along the way. Dan took the photos of me. My technique for dealing with the extra lights while lighting the tree:Dan trying to fix a branch...I have plenty more to share in the upcoming days!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

London & Brugge

Its been a while since I posted about my trip, so here is where I left of in London...

Waking at 6am on Wednesday morning, I walked before dawn through the rain and took the tube for an hour ride to Heathrow airport. I was so excited to meet Dan after over a month of being apart! I walked through Terminal 3 to find that his flight did not arrive there and that he was in Terminal 1. I was so sad that I missed him walking out of customs but it was still wonderful to be with him again. I met his mom's pen pal, Brenda, and her husband Stephen.

We were so lucky to stay with them and have them drive us all over for two days. They took us to their very neat, old house in Walkern, just an hour North of London. We got the guest room in the part of the house from the 1800's. I was really excited to stay in such an authentic place. We took a bus to the gorgeous university city of Cambridge where we took a walking tour with a tour guide that had a French accent. It rained quite a bit during the tour so I enjoyed walking in King's College Chapel.

After the tour we window shopped, snacked, and looked around a bit more. We got to see the Round Church, from the 11th century, right as it was closing and then headed back to dinner in a little restaurant. We all ordered Steak& Kidney pie. I learned that herby dice is the way they cut potatoes. Talking constantly as I always do, I barely had eaten any of my dinner. I didn't realize that it was really kidney! Silly me. I was thrilled to have a place to get some laundry done as well.

Thursday we piled into Brenda & Stephen's car and drove to Windsor Castle. Dan had been there in 2005 during the tube tragedy. Unfortunately they did not get far into the Castle before having to leave for security reasons. It was a beautiful day and the lighting was quite nice for photographs. I was really impressed with how well the royal family handles themselves in the public eye.We had a traditional English tea & lunch in the Drury House which was just filled with character (built in 1645). It looked like it would fall over in the smallest storm. We snacked on cucumber & cream cheese sandwiches, salad, scones with clotted cream and jam, and chocolate cake. Saw a crooked house and took a lovely walk down the Thames river. The views were incredible with all the leaves turning. After a fairy tale afternoon, we headed back to the house to make reservations for Paris and then enjoyed a delicious, home cooked meal of chicken soup. Brenda was an incredible hostess. Stephen asked me to name prime ministers and I could come up with only two. He named 30 US presidents. I asked him if he knew what the California flag was or how they came up with it. He could not so I felt a little better. I have learned that Americans are not as educated as many of the Europeans that I met on my trip. I hope to continue learning about other cultures now that I have returned.

Brenda & Stephen were so kind to wake at 5am and drive us to the local train station. We rode 30 minutes into King's Cross and then waited for our Eurostar train to Bruxelles (Brussels). I got my passport stamped and I was really excited (third stamp). Saw beautiful countryside in France & Belgium. It seemed to be a recurring theme that it was excellent weather on the days that I traveled to new destinations. Dan & I stored our backpacks at the Bruxelles train station and spent a good amount of time trying to figure out their public transportation since their Tourist Information office was closed for lunch. After getting help from a local, we took the underground to Grote Markt and walked around for a few hours. I was so excited to show Dan how incredible the Rathaus and Markt square were.While walking around the main square, we happened upon a beautiful glass covered mall. I love this picture of it. Then we went in search of the "perfect Belgian waffle." We found a waffle place and shared it in Grote Markt. Belgian waffles are so wonderful because they are eaten for lunch or dinner. They have nice sized, crunchy pieces of sugar in them and they can be covered in chocolate sauce, bananas, strawberries, whipped cream and more.

The train ride to Brugge was only an hour. We took the bus to Markt Square and walked to our nice hotel, just two blocks way. I had tried to get reservations for many different B&B's but they were all booked. Once we were settled in, Dan & I took a photo walk around the medieval town. It is an UNESCO World Heritage site and I happen to think its one of the most romantic places ever! Instead of having a regular meal, we decided to have a Belgian waffle for dinner in Markt Square. I liked this waffle better than the one in Bruxelles, this one was firm and had banana and chocolate drizzled all over it.

Saturday morning we ate a great breakfast that was included with the price of our room. First on our must see list was the bell tower. We got to climb the tower for free and the views were incredible. When we got back down, a huge line had formed. We had great timing. We took a canal boat tour of Brugge with a sweet older man that cracked jokes about losing his hair because he didn't duck his head for the lowest bridge on the canal.
Again, we had great timing. Huge lines had formed while we took the canal ride. Next we visited the Church of our Lady to see Michaelangelo's Madonna & Child. We happened upon an antique market and couldn't help but think of Rachel and all her cute finds.

We stopped in the Memling & Groeninge Museums as well. It turns out that we had the best timing because all of the sights were free that day! We walked through the tranquil Bejinghof, found the best Belgian waffle, and purchased some Belgian chocolates at Dumon's. Dan & I sat in the Markt Square and people watched while I savored a walnut shaped piece of chocolate. Mmmm! It got quite cold after the sun went down, so we went back to our hotel and took a nap. When we woke up it was over an hour later! I wrote some postcards, then we grabbed dinner in the Markt square. We had a very long day so we went back to the hotel and crashed.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Jenna arrives home in just a few minutes and I am really excited to have her back in the house. It has been very different without her home. I've missed my little sister terribly.

I have some more pictures to share that will be going into my December daily mini album. Sunday night we celebrated Yolanda's birthday and had a great big family party. We had a blast sharing our photos from Europe and telling all kinds of stories.
I did a big blog special last year where I posted pictures of decorated houses in the area. Here is Dan's father's house all decorated for the holidays:Monday was extra special for me since Zena took the day off to bake cookies with me. This was our first year to bake together. We make snickerdoodles and spritz cookies. I have to admit that I got really inspired and went a little overboard with some of the shapes. I do have an obsession for pretzels lately.Dan joined in the baking after he got off work. I love this shot inspired by Kelly's photography challenge over at scrap gal. I've been watching a lot of movies with the Netflix "Watch It Now" feature. They finally made it available for Mac users-but only with the intel processors. My new favorite movie is Pillow Talk with Doris Day & Roc Hudson! If you haven't seen it, you should, its funny.

Wednesday I got the itch to make some glass beads-lampworking to those of you who make them. It was only my second time doing it, first time on my own. It had been two years since I took the class so I had to look back at pictures I took to get everything set up right. I only had about 2 hours by the time everything was working properly. I ended up having to move to Dan's garage due to wind blowing the flame and the sun going down. I loved this perspective and had Dan photograph it for me. If anyone wants to learn how to make beads, let me know.And here are the finished products, Christmas colors and all:
I woke up yesterday and found snowflakes on our kitchen window. What a smile I had. Jenna & I made them when we were in elementary school and my mom got them laminated so they would last all these years.Jenna arrived and we're off to pick up our Christmas tree. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Two Days & Counting!

Jenna arrives home from her schooling in London on Friday afternoon! Can you believe that its been 3 & 1/2 months? We've been saving a lot of little special Christmas traditions for her arrival so we have tons to look forward to. I plan to take even more pictures than I have been this month already.

We caught up with Kelly on Monday, Dec. 1 and played some Wii. The last time we saw her, we fell asleep around 9pm due to jet lag. Don't I look so much more awake there?
We had our customer appreciation night at the Christmas store on Decmber 2nd. Got a bunch of postcards in return for discounts. What a pretty mix of colors!
Wednesday night I had the pleasure of going to my Grandmother's Photo Club Christmas party. She has been an active member for 30 years and this was really exciting for me since I've heard so much about it. Both my grandparents have many competitions many times! I was so impressed that they spelled my last name correctly.Rossmoor is always a great place for beautiful leaves. I saw this one on my way to my car. I drove home Thursday in time for work. Then I worked some on my mojo layout.
I didn't take any photos on Friday. I stayed inside and scrapped a bit. Made a big mess and loved cleaning it up. I love organizing! Saturday I worked at the store and got this cool shot:
Then Dan & I hung out at Kristi's house for some holiday fun. I won gift certificates at ScrapGal during their holiday crop. I had so much fun! We made cookies and I laughed a ton.

Monday, December 8, 2008

December Daily

I am playing along with Ali Edwards and creating my own December Daily album. For those of you who want to know more, check out her stuff here! I'm getting my photos printed weekly, but I journal for this daily. I'll be posting my pages when I get chances to photograph them. Thanks for looking!

Dani tagged me a few weeks back and I just never got around to posting this, so here goes:

1. go to your pictures
2. upload 4th picture of 4th folder
3. post
4. tag 4 of your friends

So this happens to be a photo I took back in February at Elsie's booth at CHA...

I tag:
1. Kristi
2. Lizee
3. Kelly
4. Chez

Friday, December 5, 2008

Mojo Challenge #27

I've taken advantage of the fact that I am in the Christmas spirit by scrapping a Christmas lo for Scrap Mojo's newest challenge. We challenge you to scrap your favorite holiday quote and include something sparkly. Due by December 31st. Here is my take on the challenge:

I'm working on something else that will be ready for show & tell on Monday. I had a fun time going to my Grandma's photo club Christmas party on Wednesday night. She has been an active member for 30 years, so I've heard quite a bit about it. It was really cool to be surrounded by so many photographers. Happy St. Nicholas Day! Hope you all have a great weekend.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

November recap

I've been so busy editing pictures and blogging my journey of Europe that I haven't had any time to look at pictures from the month of November, until now. I have been up to my usual things, and I wanted to share them before its the new year. Picture heavy post warning!

Took a long drive down the coast and appreciate our local beauty right here! We had lots of fun goofing around and taking pictures in the early hours of the day.Celebrated Kelley's Birthday that night...
Went to town on Taco Bell-trying to make Jenna a little jealous.Sent my baby to the Nikon Service Center (its still there).
Met Kristi and a bunch of people at Chili's. Also scrapped at her house twice. I think we saw her 4 times this month!
Chased Elizabeth around while testing Kristi's camera. Visited with Eva & Josiah as well. <3
Lisa dropped off the coolest camera and lens to play with for 1.5 days! I must have it...Saw Anders & Valerie. Its so much fun when he comes back for a visit.Spent Thanksgiving with 28 members of my father's family. Caught up with these fun girls:
Learned how to make Norwegian waffles with Zena:Celebrated my Grandma's birthday two days after Thanksgiving. I love being with my family.
There's a lot more but that's all I have time for right now. Thanks for stopping by!

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