Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

"Love is what's in the room if you stop opening presents and listen."
- Author Unknown, attributed to a 7-year-old named Bobby

There are ony a few Christmases that I can actually remember what I received from Santa, my family or my friends. I like it that way too because what I do remember are the stories we shared, the memories we made and the laughter that brought us all a little closer.

"Even as an adult I find it difficult to sleep on Christmas Eve. Yuletide excitement is a potent caffiene no matter what your age." - Carrie Latet

When my brother Josh, my sister Laura and I were little we would all pile in my brother's queen size waterbed and fall asleep, for only a couple of hours, until Josh would wake us up to go downstairs and see what Santa left for us while we were snuggled in bed. Josh would ALWAYS be the one who would wake us up. Once I was awake I was just as excited as him and Laura, being older and knowing at that time that there wasn't a Santa, would still wake up and come downstairs with us, see what we all got and then head back upstairs for bed. She was a true tropper and the best big sister for "playing along" on Christmas morning.

Joshua and I would stay up from 1 or 2 am until my parents and Laura woke back up to join us downstairs. We'd play with our toys, run around downstairs un-attended and really had the time of our life. It was so magical. It was almost like we were fitted with batteries that never died. I don't ever remember being tired or wanting to go back to bed. Our family tradition was that Santa would leave all of our presents out, un-wrapped, in each of our respective spots. Laura half of the large couch and the floor in front of her section for larger items, Joshua got the other half of the couch and floor in front of his spot, and I got the love seat. I believe Santa did this so "they" could sleep a little longer and we could go ahead and play with our gifts.

When mom and dad would wake up we'd all pile in the living room and get to open the presents that were wrapped from them, from aunts and uncles and friends. I loved the fact that Santa's gifts weren't wrapped. He laid the gifts so lovingly out in our spots. Clothes and shoes would be on one side, toys and what-nots were on the other side of our spots. He did a very good job of making everything look nice and neat. I mean, he has a lot of kiddos to visit so it was nice that he took the extra time at our house to set everything out for us. Now, Laura and her husband Chris follow the same tradition and Joshua and his wife Laura also do the same.

"The best of all gifts around the Christmas Tree: the presence family all wrapped up in each other."
Burton Hillis

Another memory that I fondly remember is when my brother and sister and I would put on a Christmas "Show" for my parents on Christmas Eve. Laura would direct us and we'd practice all day. Sometimes we'd dress up as Mary, Joseph, an angel and use one of my baby dolls are Jesus. Sometimes we'd sing. When Laura was in middle school and in the band she let me play her flute and Josh would play his violin. Sometimes it would be skits and just us being plain silly. Those were some fun times and it warms my heart when I look back and think about it. I can still see us in the living room, mom and dad on the couch, and us taking direction from Laura on what to do next.

"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, becoming a child again at Christmas time."
-Laura Ingalls Wilder

Christmas is such a wonderful time of year that brings family together. I love it. Now that we are all grown and have in-laws that we have to visit and create memories and new traditions with, we all don't get together for Christmas. We also have the joy of added family. 6 kiddos have been added to our family and it's so much fun to see them create memories. I hope, and I know deep down, that when they are "old" they'll look back on Christmases past and smile.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

swagbucks.com - Sign up!

What's up with the "Search. Earn. Redeem." logos on my page you ask?! Well, it's swagbucks.com. It's pretty clever. I google all the tiem but if you use swagbucks.com instead you win points which you can redeem for gift cards, electronics, clothing, music, books. dvds, etc...

So, if you wanna sign up then use my link below and we both get points. Then, invite your friends and you'll get points and they'll get points and everyone will keep getting points...brilliant!

Register Here!!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sew Excited

Sewing Machine finally fixed, up and running!


This is my mom's sewing machine that she passed down to me. Granny said she got it for her right after my parents got married...so it's almost 30 years old and it's still in great condition. I thought that the tension was broken but I just didn't know how to thread it properly! :) Haha! My mom has made plenty of Halloween costumes, Christmas Pagent out church, Easter dresses and more on this machine. I hope I can get another 30 or so years out of it! This past week I went to visit my grandmother for a few days and took it so she could show me some basics but we were busy with other stuff and it ended up being my Aunt Nancy, another awesome seamstress in the family, who showed me some different techiniques. Most importantly how to thread the needle and bobbin! :) I took the thread of my grandmother's because I was afraid I'd forget on my way home so a lot of my practice today is with thread that doesn't match!! But, I ventured out and took teh thread out and re-threaded the machine and bobbin just to make sure and keep my mind sharp!

Here's my very first "sewing kit"

This is an old cigar box that was my Lulu's, my dad' mother. She even put stips of wood with nails to hold up her thread spools. The three thread spools are pictured are also her's and the rose cards are old needles that were also my Lulu's. The new tools and needles are gifts from my Aunt Nancy, my mom's sister, who went to Wal-Mart and got me a "starter kit" for my machine in case I ever need to make repairs. I have a feeling though I'll be calling her or making another special trip to see if she can fix it!! :)
Here's a close up of the needle package. :) Everything was so pretty.





























My very first project: A sewing machine cover.





























Sorry for the blurry pictures, it was taken with my phone. Also, it's sitting on it's very own shelf in my garage which is one reason I wanted this to be my first project since it can get dusty in there. The fabric was given to me by my Granny, she has a vest made out of this material and this was left over. She has a huge trunk filled with left over fabric so I grabbed a few stacks. It was rainy and dreaery today so it was a good day to stay inside and teach myself to sew!

This was more or less "practice," obviously :), but I want to get some fabric that is heavier weight and quilt it as well and make a new one. Everything like the hems are are "on the inside" except for one section of sewing on the top. It's funny! But, for not having a pattern (not like it's super hard) and for this being my very first project all alone I though it wasn't too bad. At least to just cover up my machine while it's in the garage.

I have a pattern my Ganny gave me for an apron and have some fabric she gave to me so that's another project I want to tackle. I also hope to make some curtains, shower curtain for our guest bathroom, pillow covers and shams, a baby blanket just to see if I can do it; maybe it'll be a gift if anyone of my friends gets pregnant soon. I also want to make a tote bag. Lots of projects I hope to tackle and hopefully I'll find the time to set aside for my new hobby.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to us!


Tomorrow, November 10th, is our 2nd anniversary as a happily married couple! It seems like yesterday but also like it was forever ago when we tied the knot. We still talk about our wedding day and how much fun we had. How nice it was to spend time with family and friends and what a great day it was to start our new family.

Over the past two years we have seen our family grow by welcoming two new neices, Trinity and Brinley. We have watched our neieces and nephews grow and learn new things. We've travelled and had fun with other married couples...laughing about being married, learning from their similarties and differences as married couples. We've also lost loved one's over the past two years but having your spouse there to lean on and for support has been a blessing. We've been there for friends who have married, found out they were expecting and for when their little one's have arrived. And, we've expanded our own little family by adopting Claireabelle, our third, and last (for now) dachshund. Basically, we have just throughly enjoyed these two years together. Learning from each other, laughing with and at each other, and discovering new talents, similarities and differences in each other. It's been a great two years and I can't wait to see what our future together holds!

Here's a recap in photos of a little bit of our life together.
                                                             





Mr. and Mrs. Richard Blake Kallemyn













Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thankful



The other night Blake and I had gone out with some friends and once we got home and to the front door I held Blake back from entering the house. I pointed to the decorative pumpkin sign hanging on the door and jokingly said, "before you can go in you have to tell me something you are thankful for." Normally, Blake goesalong with my silliness and will say something funny to get me to stop being silly. But, instead he grabbed my hand and told me how happy his life was because of me sharing it with him. How much he loves me and never imagined loving anyone so much. He was so sweet and honest and totally blew me away. Not because he doesn't tell me he loves me daily or tell me how great I am (haha! more silliness!!) but it's always when I'm being stupid and funny that he surprises me with his honesty and sweetness. Of course I dropped the funny act and told him that I loved him, was thankful he was in my life and means the world to me. I love and amankful for the way he can calm me down and he can cheer me up in a second when I've had a long day. He has such a sweet, calm and caring way with me and I love him for it.

So, because of my pumpkin sign  we've started a new tradtion. Whenever we come to the front door we will say something we are thankful for. A roof over our head, our family, our friends, having jobs, no matter what it is. I love our new fall tradition!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Keepsake Bookmarks

I somehow got a subscription to Family Living or Family Circle or something and I'm not really sure how it happened but I'm glad it comes a couple times a month. I love cooking and dabbling into crafts and they have some good ideas...so I thought I share one with YOU.

I have tons of "keepsakes" from concerts, sporting events, airline tickets, etc... in a box that I keep telling myself I want to put in a scrapbook or something but of course they are still in the box. Well, a Family Circle reader sent in a suggestion to turn your momentos into bookmarks!

1. Laminate the ticket
2. Punch a hole in the top
3. Run a pretty ribbon through the hole and...PRESTO! You have a bookmark.

Each time you read you can open the book and briefly go back to your favorite vacation spot, concert or sporting event! Now, the hard part is that I  have to locate the box!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Purple Necklace





Here's a new necklace I made! I got the beads from a girl at work who is getting out of the jewelry making business and bought all of the purple beads she had and pearls and mother of pearl pendant. I don't have any purple jewelry so now I do! I love jewelry making! ;)


Happy Birthday Blake!!



Happy Birthday Blake!!

Here's a couple pictures of the home made apple pie I made him this afternoon. Now, I love to cook and bake but this pie I only make once a year!! I keep telling Blake how much I need a stand mixer so he can have it maybe twice a year. :)


Friday night we went to Luckenbach with some friends and hung out by the fire. The weather was PERFECT. Some thought it was a little too chilly but for a fall girl it was perfect. We had fun catching up with some of Blake's friends he doesn't get to see that often and his brother and sister-in-law who we don't get to see too often either...even though we all live in the same town. It always works out that way, doesn't it?!

So, a few weeks ago I was looking for Bed and Breakfasts near Luckenbach and there's only one, The Full Moon Inn. They were booked. Then, I started looking in Fredericksburg and I didn't want to drive late at night and try to track down the place so the last resort was an RV park with "cabins" right next door to Luckenbach. I knew it wasn't going to be super nice but what we got I wasn't expecting. And, I didn't get a single picture of the place! But, I'll try to explain it's rustic-ness...

First of all, everytime I drive by I think, "Man, that place is always packed." Because there are RV's there constantly. Well, turns out that they are permanent RV's that you rent. Yes, you can rent them for teh night or weekend. Then, there are "cabins." Ok, some are realy cabins but when I called to rent a "cabin" she said she had one left, "The Tin Cabin." So, whatever, we'll take it.

We pulled up to The TIn Cabin and it was an RV that they covered in tin. Even the cieling and walls on the inside. The "Bathroom" was a toilet hidden behind a shower current, there was a tiny kitchen sink and an outdoor shower. Yeah. It was high class! I still can't believe I didn't get some pictures of it!! Oh well...

Tonight we are going to Maggiano's with Blake's family. And then out to his brother and sister-in-law's property where they are burning some brush and then we will probably end up camping out there but it's been raining all day. So, we will see.

Blake's had a good birthday so far and enjoying the whole weekend. :)

Happy Birthday Blake!!!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Astros Game


Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone with SprintSpeed

Wanted to see if this worked...blogging from my phone...and it does! Crazy. Anyway, the Blackberry has the worst camera imaginable but this is us, with blurred out faces, in front of Minute Maid Park after the Astros beat the Phillies!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Places I want to go...

The Mystery Road Trip got me thinking about other places I've always wanted to visit in Texas. So, here's my list of places I've always wanted to go and have never been and some places that I have been to but I was too young to remember...

My idea for our Mystery Road Trip was to visit Marfa, TX made famous for the Marfa lights, Balmorhea made famous for the huge "pool" and also it's referenced in a song by Charlie Robison one of my favorite Texas Country singers, and last but not least a visit to the McDonald Observatory. So, I'll start with these places first...


1. Marfa, Texas: Located between the Davis Mountains and Big Bend National Park, far out west, Marfa is really only known for it's "paranormal lights" that can be seen in the distance of the Mitchell Flat. Now, I am not really into "paranormal" things but I do believe that there are spirits or maybe things we may never figure out. God's little mysteries, maybe? Anyway, I think it'd be cool to go and check it out. I first remember hearing about these weird floating "orbs" and seeing pictures in a science text book the week we were learning about phenomenons that science or man haven't been able to "figure out." The only thing about travelling so far to see these lights is there is no guarantee you will see them. There's no special time each evening or night and it's only a maybe 10 to 20 times per year that they are seen. But, it'd still be a fun trip and I can only imagine that annoyed residents (there's only about 2000 Marfans) come up with some crazy stories to throw off the stupid tourists, me, but it'd still be interesting. Also, it's never a guarantee you'll even seen the floating, flickering, bobbing orbs but it'd be a fun trip!





2. Balmorhea, TX: This is a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. Perfect. The main, and really only attraction is a huge spring fed swimming pool!! When I say huge I mean 77,053 sq. ft., which is 1 3/4-acre size, 25-foot depth and it maintains a constant 72 to 76 degree temperature. Awesome! It looks beautiful and you know it has to feel so good on a hot Texas summer day. Balmorhea is also located near the Davis Mountains.




3. McDonald Observatory: Located near Ft. Davis, also in far West Texas. I think it was our first anniversary of dating when I surprised Blake by taking him to the observatory here in San Antonio. It was precious really. We went to dinner and then I told him I had a surprise for him. We drove around down-town, stopping a few times at gas stations so I could get directions as to where to go, and then finally we pulled up and I told him that a trip to the observatory was his surprise! Sounds stupid but it was fun and Blake was always pointing out constilations and things to me so I thought it'd be sweet. And it was. So, I want to go out to the wild west where the skies have no city lights polluting the darkness. I've been to the observatory before, in first and second garde and it was my favorite field trip out of them all. Think about adding some friends, the road and making a road trip out of it. Fun!






4. Bastrop, TX: I still can't believe I haven't been here. I drove through Bastrop multiple times going to and from College Station my first few years of school but I never stopped, unless you count getting a Route 44 Diet Dr. Pepper at Sonic. Sometimes adding a shot of vanilla. But, I'd love to float the Lower Colorado River. They have rafting too. Plus, it reminds me of visiting family in Mississippi with the huge pine trees.


OK....I'm not done but I need to get some other things done. I'll finish later...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mystery Road Trip

We've had a camping trip planned for a couple of weeks now to get away for a bit during the long Labor Day weekend. We went to Koyote Ranch back in July for the 4th but one of our "couple" friends couldn't make it because it was a pretty last minute trip. So, this was going to be a do-over so all three couples could go. However, Jennifer and Cayman couldn't go this time either. Jennifer has her Series 63 or 6 or one of those investment test coming up VERY SOON and she is the most responsible out of us :) and knew she needed to stay behind because she only had a few more days to hit the books. So, Friday came, the day before we were due to head out to Medina, and we went to dinner with the other "couple" friend, Billy and Stephanie. Towards the end of dinner I said, "I am not really feeling this camping idea anymore." And, one by one the other three at the table all said the same thing. But, we knew we wanted to do something!! Thus, the idea of Mystery Road Trip...
Someone came up with the idea of taking a road trip. But, to where? We all started talking about ideas and decided why not throw each of our ideas into a hat and head on out. Here were the Road Trip Rules we came up with:
1. It has to be within a 350 mile radius of Boerne/San Antonio
2. No complaining or whining if your idea doesn't get picked...there's always next year
That's it just two simple rules.
We decided we'd meet at 12 noon at Billy and Stepanie's house, with everything packed and ready to go. We threw our ideas into one of Billy's hats and Blake picked the "winner." Before I reveal who won, here are the ideas we came up with...

Holly: Marfa, TX. Labor day weekend is the annual Marfa Lights Festiva and we could also visit Balmorhea, TX (with a huge 2 acre pool, I've always wanted to see it) and the McDonald observatory (another place I've always wanted to visit) which are both only 45 minutes from Marfa.
Blake: College Station to eat at Cenare's (The best Italian restaurant...anywhere!) then cold beer at the Dixie Chicken, then on to Bastrop to the pine forrest.
Stephanie: Corpus Christi to visit the Lexington, Aquarium and beach
Billy: Houston to see an Astros game and a visit to the Johnson Space Center.

THE WINNING IDEA...

HOUSTON ASTROS GAME vs THE PHILLIE'S

It was a lot of fun. We got into Houston around 5:30, checked into the hotel, and then headed to the ballpark. Of course every road trip has it's ups and downs and the first "snag" was when we checked into the room and only saw it had one bed. When I made the reservation, right before we left Billy and Stephanie's house, I chose the "Standard Room" because the only other choice was "King Room" so I assumed a "Standard Room" was one with two beds. There wasn't a choice for a room with two Queens. Well, we got everything fixed at the front desk and got a room with two beds.

At the game Stephanie's friend who lives in Houston came to meet us and told us about the bars across the street. After the game we went and had some cold beers and celebrated the win!

The next morning we woke up ready to visit Johnson Space Center but started looking at maps and it was about 30 minutes from where we were at and also the price wasn't cheap and both of us couples spent way more than we had planned...we originally planned to go camping, remember?! :) So, we nixed that idea and headed to the next best place. IKEA! :) We had a fun time but now that Blake's been he is NEVER going again. I'm not sure if you've ever been to Ikea, but once you are in, you are in and you aren't leaving until you follow the arrows through the entire store! There's no turning back. You enter the store, go up the escalators and you literally have to see everything in the store to get out! But, it's all fun, pretty in-expensive home stuff. I want to go back but I'll probably just order out of the catalog or from online.

After our trip to Ikea we stopped into a Kountry Kitchen Buffet that was in the parking lot thinking it was going to be a Golden Corral type restaurant. But, when we went in it was actually a Mexican food buffet. What could be better?! Some of the food was different but it was a fun experience too.

Then, we headed home. :) It was a good weekend.

Enjoy the pics...Us, in our "rally caps" They must work! The Astros won!

Pictcher for the 'stros


Shot of the field




The cute train, filled with what else but, ORANGES (Minute Maid Stadium), that actually "drove" across the track up there at the beginning of the game.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ten Things Tuesday

I haven't blogged in forever so I thought I'd log in and it's Tuesday which means Ten Things Tuesday! So, here you go... and by the way, this is something I've been doing from a site i've found and enjoy. http://xboxwife.blogspot.com/search/label/Ten%20Things%20Tuesday

1. My brother and his family are in town visiting. I miss them and wished they lived closer! Here are some funny things from the mouths of babes that I've heard during their visit. Brady had to go to the bathroom and came out without his shorts or underwear. I asked him what he needed and he looked at me like I was crazy and said, "Someone needs to wipe my butt!!!" Ha-ha! I love those two boys.

2. We went camping over the 4th of July long holiday weekend. Cell phone service was no where to be found, it was hot but beautiful, we found a spring fed creek that was ice cold, and fun was had by all...so relaxing even with the hard work of setting up camp.

3. Let's see...what else. My sister had her baby in March and a day later our Papa passed away. It was so sad but also such a blessing to see family and family friends. It's said that weddings and funerals are the only times you see everyone and the older I get the more that's been proven to be true.

4. Speaking of babies...no, we aren't expecting but it seems everyone I know is! I can't believe my friends, all around my age, are old to be parents. It's crazy but so exciting!

5. I am thinking of applying for another position, within my company. Hope it works out

6. We have a girls trip planned to go to the coast but I'm not sure if it'll happen...we shall see. We want to do something but we don't have anything nailed down. We hope to do it every year.

and...that's all I've got for this Tuesday. Sorry. I'm sure there is more but 6 is all my little brain can think of today.
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