Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 wrap up

have not had anything interesting to post by way of photos, i had the entire week following Christmas off from work, and it pretty much entailed walking (tending to) sophie, packing up and organizing Christmas decorations (photo below), boxes are labeled and now put away.  the 2 trees are still up waiting for steve to have a chance to take them down.  am leaving poinsettas on the front porch and in the foyer just to brighten the place up.  have set aside a box for each of the boys for their ornaments, and plan to add again next year.  this was one big project that i really wanted to get done. the weather has been rather nice, a couple cold wet days, but overall plenty of sunshine.  looking forward to 2012 and what it entails-whether good or bad, but hoping and praying for LOTS of good, and strength in case of any bad.  am also thinking of signing up for a couple year long photo projects suggested by ali edwards.  really don't want to overwhelm myself in 2012-i believe that FOCUS will be my word for 2012. so many areas i can apply this to-we'll see.

today's saturday strolling- just me-needed a power walk so sophie stayed home with christopher (my sometimes son-actually the son of our pastor who hangs out with us).  this is an area on jim owens that was pretty much underwater during the floods of 2009.  i loved how the mist was rising above the grass in the distance-earlier this week after we'd had some rain this creek was really flowing-such a lovely sight AND i saw a heron who flew off before i could get a photo.
here's to wishing everyone a very happy, prosperous and richly blessed 2012

Monday, December 26, 2011

dec 26. a time of quiet

can't believe christmas is all over. enjoying some quiet time while sophie plays, while everyone else is asleep. love this time of the morning.  looking forward to mexican with karen and ron later today.  while the rain has gone, it's a little chilly.  the weather is much different from last year!
today- 49 degrees

2010-probably 34 degrees

dec. 25. santa visits

i can't believe i didn't get better photos on christmas day. could be because we did things differently yesterday and we opened gifts before the candelight service at church.  christmas day we attended church again, and i'm glad i didn't miss it-what a blessing.  the day was rainy and dreary-could be why there are no photos.  sophie had a great time-santa was good, she got some awesome toys that she LOVES and money to buy some more.  it was a great day of just hanging out, watching tv. looking forward to a whole week off-MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

sophie gets the paper.

what a smart girl.

saturday strolling.

i see a theme emerging-today steve and i both walked sophie. a nice long walk-not my normal saturday pace (they're a bit slow!)  it was a great morning to be out. sunny-cold and DRY! i happened to look up and see something very cool in the tree-can you guess?
how about now?

dec. 23.sophie-ism #2

until we got sophie, i didn't venture out to the back yard much during the winter-the first day we had her i spotted this bird nest in the shrubs, i spotted another today not far from this one as well-SO the lesson is take the time to look around you and be amazed by what you discover.
i had to officially post this picutre-probably the best one i've gotten of sophie that shows her face-ahhhhhh!
also, we've discovered that having a puppy in the house (like all the time) is much like having a 2 year old! here's one way that we've "sophie-proofed" the house. she loves the boys shoes (why i do not know).
am looking forward to our traditional christmas eve dinner, candlelight service and one service on christmas day, along with our traditional christmas day brunch and spending time with the boys-interesting how my favorite things center around food! i'm also pretty excited about the major clean up, organizing, refreshing, updating, etc of the house and computer i have planned during my stay-cation. weird i know, but it feels like starting the new year with a very fresh start.

Friday, December 23, 2011

dec. 22. christmas music

the fish radio station plays christmas music beginning the day after thanksgiving through christmas day.  this year they've played some of the best music i've heard in a while.  i began a couple weeks ago making a list of songs i wanted to add to my collection.  christmas music is speaking to me in a different way this year, and i'm really listening to it rather than just hearing it.  i was going to pick and choose from i-tunes until i discovered that the majority of what i was looking for was found on this year's WOW Christmas CD. i searched the barnes and noble website and found ONE store in atlanta that still had a copy in stock-so armed with a 25% off coupon and a gift card to barnes and noble (and an umbrella) off i went. i listen to it on the way home while driving through torrential rain-it was awesome.  i'm also going to add jim brickman's the hymns and carols of christmas and a couple other singles over the next couple days.  now i just need to update my video collection!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

dec 21. 1st day of winter?

to bad my car doesn't come with a calendar. first day of winter in atlanta and it's 68! no bing crosby, it's not looking much like christmas. i really shouldn't complain cause the evening walks with sophie are quite pleasant right now, but a little nip in the air would make it feel a little more christmas-y right? i'm sure it's around the corner waiting to pounce-and when it does i'll have woolies and my rain boots at the ready.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

dec. 20-the PERFECT gift

i LOVE getting gift cards and certificates. steve on the other hand does not-he thinks it's impersonal and like giving cash (like that's a bad thing)-i so disagree.  when someone gives me one of these it tells me that they know enough about me to know what i like (or stores where i love to shop), and they want to give me something i'll REALLY enjoy.  clark griswold gets the jelly of the month club, but for me-this is "the gift that keeps on giving the whole year long".  thanks skip for the generous gift.

Monday, December 19, 2011

dec. 17, 18 & 19-routines, no bows please and simplicity.

i like routines, i know what to expect and if i stick pretty close to my schedule, the bumps can be handled with ease (sometimes).  i love saturdays and try not to plan anything where i have to be showered, shampooed and dressed before 10:00. now with sophie i have added let the dog out, feed the dog, walk the dog then drink coffee. there is more walk and feeding the dog later on.  i make a final check through the week's emails to make sure i've not forgotten something. i keep emails that still require action in my "inbox", then it's either filed or deleted-i'm very visual so it helps me remember. i also go through mail, and any other papers that i might not have had a chance to sort through. i got lots done this week including baking 5 kinds of cookies and grilling burgers for dinner (yummm). of course, even though it's a week before christmas, i've been able stick to my routine, and balance the additional stuff without too much stress :-)

sunday was our family gift exchange-i should have gotten a photo since all 6 grandkids were in one spot, but there was too much going on.  we had a great time, as always, and plenty of yummy food.  i had hoped that sophie would be as willing to wear a red bow on her collar as she was to wear a jing-ly color, but ALAS no, she was having none of that, but i was able to get a photo anyway-maybe next year when she grows up?!

another house i pass on my lunchtime walk is this one

i love the simple string of lights, and i think it is in keeping with the time period of the house as i think most of the homes in this area are from the late 1930s or 1940s. Bonus is the location-right across from piedmont park.

Friday, December 16, 2011

dec. 16-twinkling lights

i took this photo on the way to work this morning, and it only show a small part of the yard decorations at this house.  while i really love the lights in the trees and in the shrubs, i'm not so sure about all the rest. it's almost a clark griswold yard.  they've been doing this for years, but i think last year was skipped for some reason.  it definitely lights up the late night/early morning sky.

dec. 15-party time

today was the annual christmas lunch at my office.  this year we deep fried our turkeys on sight and the smell was AMAZING. i didn't sit down between 8 am and 3:30 pm until i was driving home.  i managed to carve 3 turkeys and a ham, as well as, coordinate getting the food onto the table and ready to serve at noon.  i had set fire to something in the microwave so airing out the office was something i did not have planned, but it was all good in the end. i was totally exhausted by the end of the day, but it was worth it to have so many people come together to share a meal.  of course, sophie needed her daily walk, and because the weather was so amzing we played outside for about 10 minutes.  it was so much fun watching her pounch and retrieve her toy.  too bad it was too dark for photos-but here's one of a turkey

dec. 14 -it's the thought that counts

silly me thought i could actually get sophie to "pose" for a photo. i thought the front door would make a perfect back drop for a christmas photo.  sophie thought different-off the steps she bounds

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

dec. 13-merry and bright (sunshine)

a beautiful day to be out at lunchtime, am loving the warm temperature.  yesterday on my walk i notice a new color scheme for the gate and porch decorations of this house-here's the photo from last year.  i'm thinking they probably hired someone to take care of their decorations, or else they are interior decorators.  i'd love to be able to change out my entire home decor each year.  i love the different color combinations that people come up with-

the next few days are going to be C-R-A-Z-Y, and if i make it to monday morning without pulling my hair out i think i'll be okay. my "to do" list includes:
~purchase (today) and wrap 1 more gift to give on friday evening
~inject and prep one turkey by wednesday night for deep frying at our office thursday morning
~purchase (today) additional items for our christmas lunch on thursday
~measure out 4 kinds of cookies to be cooked on saturday-this year there will be spritz! i caved and bought a cookie press
~figure out what we're having for dinner on thursday and saturday that requires no cooking
~decide if i'm going to knit or sew at quilt club friday night
~make bark, rosemary cashews and brittle for gift giving
~make cookies mentioned above
~prepare for family gift exchange (as in figure out the food thing)
~ walk sophie a gazillion times between now and then
~ who knows what else!!!!, but i think that's enough right now
i had to include this photo-i got a bottle of wine today from one of my bosses, i love how he used a sheet of christmas paper as gift wrap-genius!

Monday, December 12, 2011

dec. 11 and 12. window shopping

no photo for sunday, it was a busy day, mostly filled with walking sophie. maybe i'll post a video next time.  i got in a brisk walk between church, lunch, and the youth christmas party.  all but one gift that's been purchased has been wrapped, but all the packages need tags and bows-hopefully tonight that'll be checked off.  i've begun my lunchtime walking again around midtown-the stationary bike isn't doing it for me anymore, and well, sophie wants to play while i'm trying to get my workout done! So, today i snapped this photo outside en paris which always displays their cool wares at the window. when i made it to the starbucks at 7th and p'tree i was too stunned by the lack of holiday cheer to snap a photo-maybe tomorrow. seriously?! they always have something holiday-ish on the windows- can you say-bah humbug?! anyway, i'm about halfway through a christmas gift hat for emmanuel, and will be starting my last christmas knitting gift by week's end.  i'd just wished i could have gotten my package to the podaire's before christmas, but that's just not going to happen.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

dec. 10. the grinch

mom and i ventured into roswell today, it was fun to try and remember the places that were on canton street when i was a kid-we love that all the old buildings are still there, just the shops have changed.  we happened upon the grinch on our way to pastis for lunch-the ann jackson gallery was featuing some dr seuss artwork.  we didn't have time to venture in and see what that was all about.  we did find don tolbert's "bench" he and his family owned many businesses in roswell when i was growing up.  one of our memories is that he told me i couldn't wear cowboy boots because of my feet-well if he could see me now! i did pitch a fit cause i really wanted those boots.
couldn't resist the beautiful store front-canton street certainly felt christmas-y. it was cool, but a beautiful day to be out shopping.

dec 9. sophisms

i hope to capture more moments like this-

Thursday, December 8, 2011

dec 8. lists.

i think i have more lists than santa! i'm a list maker anyway, but when the holidays come around-they seem to get a bit out of control. i've got a list for sophie's vet visit, a list for our office party, 2 shopping lists, thing to do, a list of what i need/want to do during my staycation after christmas. i'm on the verge of needing a list for my lists-i'll use my iphone for that one-which also has a list of yarn i need to get today!
what's on your list?

dec 6 & 7. dashing

on tuesday i had to go to lenox square mall for a christmas gift. i drove there-got my gift-got a cookie-snapped this photo-drove back to my office in 68 minutes-whew!-no speeding at all i swear!

on wednesday i was still dashing-the morning rain, walking sophie, and having to make a stop at publix before work made for more dashing,and i never took the time to take a photo. i managed to run some errands after work, wrap some gifts, and play with sophie. maybe i'll come back and post a photo of the wrapped gifts-am sure that'll be totally okay. what has you dashing?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

dec. 5-play date

sophie had her first play date with anna. silly me thought i'd get some great photos, except i forgot that at 7 pm it's dark! we met at swift-cantrell park, and did 2 miles-quite a bit for a puppy.  she did great and enjoyed greeting strangers and playing with anna.  she was a very tired girl when we got home. it's amazing
how quickly she's gotten used to being in a harness and using a leash.

we can learn a lot from dogs-take time to greet strangers-enjoy the smells and sights around us-and spend time with friends-no matter how busy.
you know that decorating elf didn't show up like i'd hoped-

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dec 3 & 4. celebrations and additions

i'm already playing catch up with the December daily in the first week!, but that's totally okay. one of our favorite traditions is to celebrate the adult family member's birthday with a late lunch at a local mexican restaurant. lots of laughs and good food-ALWAYS. saturday we celebrated ron and mary's birthday AND we also got to celebrate katie and rob's engagement-this could explain mary's big smile (then again, she always has a big smile!).

on sunday, we added a furry member to our family- sophie simone louisette-she's such a love-she's 13 pounds and about 12" from shoulder to the floor, and has very big paws. standard poodles typically range in weight +/- 45-55 pounds and 21-27" at the shoulder-she's gonna be a big girl!  her name is a compromise-steve and andrew thought simone was too long. since poodles are #2 on the smart dog list andrew thought sophie was appropriate as it's greek for wisdom, a co-worker's last name is simone and it sounded like a good girl name that wasn't priss-y and not too french-y, louisette is the name of one of julia child's co-authors of her first book and just seemed to fit with simone, so there you go. she had a bath last night and her fur is so curly-swirly and soft. she's adjusting well to our home and loves company. i can't wait for the rest of the family-including holly to meet her on the 18th.

it was a wonderful weekend, celebrating birthdays and engagements AND adding a nephew in-law (sometime soon) and a furry friend. although my house is still a mess with sorting christmas decorations-anyone know a decorating elf who's not too busy right now?!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Dec. 2-decking the halls

i had hoped to do more today than i did, but at least the boxes are at the ready. we have one large and one small tree decorated, and the nativity set up. hope to do more tomorrow. . .

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dec. 1-sunshine

yep! first day of december and it's a gorgeous 55 degrees. a rare lunch out and a chance to soak up some sunshine. still not quite in the christmas spirit. trying to look forward to all that will be going on without feeling overwhelmed. i hope to blog each of the daily december entries, but we shall see!