Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays Slideshow

Merry Christmas! Every year I'm humbled and thankful when the frenzied holiday season comes to a close. This year is no different. I think it's just the prospect of rest and relaxation that the new year rings in each year. January through March is always bitterly cold, but also slow and uneventful, which will be welcome with open arms around here.

But, this holiday season was especially fun. We spent Thanksgiving at home with Mimi, Aunt Kimmy, Ellie & Cole and participated with enthusiasm in the Black Friday shopping craze. D.J. and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary on Dec 11th and spent lots of nights out with each other and friends this holiday season. A big thanks to our wonderful sitters (and the year isn't over quite yet...see you tomorrow Nikki)! We had our Hartman Christmas here in Chicago the Sunday before and spent Christmas Eve at Molly's house with Katie & Jack...Thank you Kay & Big Jack for always making us feel like family. Anna & Josie slept in their own beds on Christmas Eve (I'm sure with sugarplums dancing in their heads) and had so much fun Christmas morning. We only had a couple minor fits of jealous rage with present envy! :-) Then we packed up the next day and headed to Cincinnati to see Nana, Papa and the rest of the Hartman/Buening family.

So, I literally have over 1,000 I put together a very condensed slideshow:

CLICK HERE for slideshow

and just a couple for fun below...

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I'm a reader. I love to read. I also like to watch tv, don't get me wrong, but most nights it's some book that has me entranced until I can no longer keep my eyelids pried open. So I'm not sure why I protested against the Twilight series for so long, but, I finally gave in. I read Twilight. I would put myself into the category of really liking it, but not obsessed with it. I read it in a normal amount of time, 7-10 days. If I'm totally in love with a book, I'll read it in one sitting. If I'm not crazy about it, it may take me a few weeks.

When I was a little girl I used to speed read with my neighbor. It was always a little bit of a competition to see who could read a book the fastest, so somehow I mastered the art of reading a book without really reading, but just skimming. So knowing that Jacob the werewolf becomes a bigger part of the story in New Moon, I picked up the book, but just skimmed it. Over the course of an hour, I basically had the main story line and I'm not crazy about it. I don't like that Edward was gone for most of the story and that Jacob became such a big part of the plot. So, I don't think I'm going to really read it, but instead skip to the 3rd book. I read the end, so I know Edward ends up alive and back with Bella and I'm more interested in what happens to them.

Which led me to whether or not I was going to keep reading at all. If you haven't read the entire series you may want to stop reading, this may be a spoiler. But, I just couldn't bring myself to keep reading unless I knew that Bella would eventually get what she wanted, to become a vampire and truly be with Edward forever. Her getting older as Edward stayed a yound svelte 17 just seemed so cruel to me and nothing I was really interested in reading about. I also don't know if I could keep reading repeatedly about all of Edward's efforts to simply keep Bella alive. Not to mention her human mortality that, even if Edward did keep Bella alive to live a nice long life, would eventually leave Edward alone and broken hearted....causing, I'm sure, for him to eventually take his own haunted life. So I confimed today from one of my nieces (thanks Claire) that Bella's wish does in fact come true and that was all I needed to know. So at some point, I will pick up the next book in the series with hopes that it's better than the 2nd.

Because in my mind, if Bella isn't with Edward, then what's the whole point of Twilight?

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mommy Blunder Of The Week

Today at school Anna made bird feed and of course, this was something we needed to take home with us. It was packaged all flimsy with no lid, so on the way home when it spilled in the front seat, I mumbled "ugh, damn bird seed".

A nanosecond later I heard innocently from the back seat, "Mommy, the damn bird feed falled?"

I laughed all the way home.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Kate's Crazy Cool Christmas

Everytime I think of Kate McRae I sob my eyes out. The first time I heard her story was from my favorite on-line party planner Kim when she started posting about little Kate. Kate is a 5 yr old little girl from Arizona who mid-summer was diagnosed with a very large, very aggressive, very malignant brain tumor. She immediately went into surgery, but unfortunately the surgeon was only able to remove 1/2 of the tumor. This family's world was turned upsidedown in a matter of just hours...who knows what the future holds for Kate, but please pray for her! And click HERE if you want to follow Kate's website.

Kate's Crazy Cool Christmas is a holiday toy drive for all of the children at the hospital treating Kate. So last week I went out, gathered up a bunch of toys and shipped them off to:

2211 E Pecos Rd. Suite 2
Chandler, AZ 85225

I know handing out all of these toys is making Kate and her family very happy! Won't you join me?

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Talk To The Moose

Anna loves this!!

I love my comfy sweater, I love my comfy cute are these boots? How cute are these boots?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

O Tannenbaum O Tannenbaum

While we're on the topic of traditions, a family tradition that I have always loved and each year look forward to the most is the act and art of picking out our seasonal Christmas tree. And yes, I believe it's a bit of an art...something that needs to be practiced each year and mature over time. Seriously, call me tree crazy, but I'm not kidding. What kind of tall, how wide, too skinny, too round, strong branches, bare spots, straight trunk, scent...etc. So, yea, an art form per se. Thankfully I learned from the best...I can remember as a kid wandering through the fields of some random Christmas tree farm in Michigan, my mom with an eager look in her eye and a saw in her hand just waiting to cut down that perfect tree. Come hell our high water, we were getting the best da*n tree there. I seriously don't think I've ever in my life decorated a fake tree.

Ok, so this tree craziness has carried over into my adult life....I always have to have a Frasier Fir, every year, no exceptions. They are the best! The second I step foot out of the car at the x-mas tree farm I make a b-line for the Frasier Firs without even the slightest glance at the rest. It's just a personal preference. To me, they look the best, have the strongest branches and smell the yummiest. So each year D.J. and I pile in the car and head West about 20 min to this cute little Christmas tree farm to get our Frasier Fir. Ok, I'll admit there is no traipsing through the middle of the fields with a saw (picture Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation here)..Thank God, BUT I am still just as particular. We wander through the rows of freshly cut trees till we find the ONE, then we warm up inside with some hot chocolate and cookies while browsing the cute little store. I LOVE it, but I gotta be honest, I'm glad we only do it once a is some serious work.

Big, small, real, fake, red, green or purple, I hope you are all loving your Christmas tree as much as we are!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Elf On The Shelf

So today is St. Nick's day and this year St. Nick brought us "Buddy", our Elf On The Shelf. He was given the moniker "Buddy" after the main character in the movie Elf...seemed like a good Elf name I guess. Anyway, Buddy came today and will stay with us until Christmas. All day long he watches over the girls to see if they are naughty or nice and each evening he retreats back to the North Pole to give Santa a daily update. Before the girls awake the next morning, Buddy will be back at our house, but perched in a different location. Hopefully the girls will have fun finding him each morning!

If you haven't heard of Elf On The Shelf, check it out...the kit comes with the Elf plus a cute book you can read each year to your kids explaining his/her role. Everyone is talking about it this hopefully with Buddy here, the girls will be on their best behavior!

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Jimmy & Janie

American Girl Place: Heaven for girls (big and small)...torture for boys (small...see pic below). But apparently the big boys like American Girl 'cause D.J. helped the girls campaign for 2 new babies and they won.

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