Thursday, December 31, 2009

To the Other Side of the Mississippi and 2009 summary

Yes that's right friends...we're headed to St. Louis (or Edwardsville, IL really....) tonight to ring in the new year at the Calcara's new house!!!  I obviously stole the name of this post from Vanessa's sweet blog title :)  Check out her blog about their life HERE (not to mention a pretty sweet post about our arrival!)

I can't wait to see them in just a few short hours!  In the mean time, Emily and I will be partying in the back of Jimmy's mommy mobile watching DVD's in the back while he and Jeff navigate across I-70.  I can't think of a better way to ring in the new year!!!

Speaking of, I can't believe 2009 is already over.  A few things about this year that I don't want to forget:

- All the wonderful weddings we got the pleasure of attending to see our friends tie the knot!  So happy for all of you!

- Moving from city life in a condo to a house in the suburbs

- Getting engaged....and planning a wedding of course

- One full year with Milly & Willy as my favorite little puppies....and don't forget, Toby too!!

- Another full year of work at Hallmark

- Fun times with family, friends, co-workers, etc.  All the great parties, get togethers, celebrations!!

- Good health, for the most part, for family and friends.  With my dad having a health scare towards the end of 2009 and grandparents that are still around, this is something I will be thankful for each day

- The energy, drive, smile and life that God gives me at the start of each day


2009 was a great year, one for the record books :)  Here's to 2010.....full of more weddings, dogs, good times with family and friends, a stable job, good health, and God's grace.

Everyone have a safe and fun evening!  Love you!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Apparently I'm a thief

So Monday night after our work out class, Lauren and I went to Price Chopper on the way home to pick up some must have items.  We went in together then went our separate ways, meeting at the check out counter around the same time.  We go to separate check out lines.  I check out first, then wait for her as she checks out.  We grab our bags, head out the door, get in her car.  As we are driving away, I note that the lady that checked me out is standing outside the store (in a t-shirt, I might add, and it was like 12 degrees) and say "it looks like she's looking for someone...." to Lauren.  Then we drive off romantically into the sunset and that's it.

Or so I thought.  (I think this is a theme of my recent posts)

After my elevator incident (see post below), I get in my car and check my cell phone. 

5 missed calls from Jimmy 
1 voicemail from Jimmy (saying....Call me back.  Are you stuck in the elevator?)
1 text message from my mom

The text message says "Call Price Chopper @ XXX-XXXX.  Something about your transaction last night." Um, ok, that's weird.

So I call my mom and ask for more details.  She said that she asked them, but they wouldn't say.  Lots of things start running through my mind.  Did I will a prize?  Did I leave my debit card?  Why would they be calling me? 

I call them back.  Tell the girl that answers my name and why I'm calling.  She puts me on hold.  For 10 minutes.  With the most terrible hold music.  Like come on.  Hold music sucks in general, so if you are going to try to make it cool but it really sucks, just don't use it at all.  Anyways, this lady answers finally and I tell her my name and that I was returning a call about my transaction last night and just wanted to see what they needed. 

Her response: "Yes.  You didn't pay for your groceries."

Mine: semi-panic in my voice "I'm confused.  How does that happen?"

Her response: "I'm not sure. You didn't get a receipt and you just didn't pay."

Thoughts running through my head.  How did the cashier let me walk off with my groceries?  I even stood there and waited for Lauren for like 5 minutes....how did she not realize it then!?  Then it hits me.  I bought some blackberries and when she scanned them they didn't come up in the system.  She asked me how much they were, I tell her the correct price and then another lady comes up and tells her to write down the UPC so she can get it entered into the system.  The cashier apparently can read the small UPC without her glasses, so I read it to her and she wrote it down, handed it to the other lady and then handed me my groceries.  Wait...I didn't ever pay.  I handed her my Chopper Shopper card and that is it.  AND the cashier that I commented on waiting outside was in fact looking for me.

As I have this realization I feel horrible!!  It's not like I meant not to pay.  I would never steal.  Groceries especially.  I start explaining this to the lady on the phone going step by step through the story.  She is not amused.

Her response (coldly): "Yes, I figured it was something of that sort.  Please hold so I get someone to get your information."  Um ok, lets be rude.  It's not like I meant to and I just told her how sorry I was and that I would give you my debit card information.

So then I get on the phone and explain the whole thing to the original girl I was talking to.  She laughs and says that she's sure it was a misunderstanding and takes my info and done.  But seriously, I know it was partly my fault....but it's not like a grabbed my groceries and RAN out of the store purposely stealing them.  I mean what true thief hangs around waiting and then casually strolls out.

Anyways, I'm not a thief.  It was a mistake.  I'm sorry Price Chopper.  I will never do it again.  But the lady that got angry with me, I suggest you learn some customer service skills from the lady that first answered the phone.

Again though, how does this stuff always seem to happen to me??  Guess it does make for good blog posts.

Yes I did get stuck on an elevator

Tuesday.  I had the day off work.  I was busy with our wedding invites.  I haven't ever been to Jimmy's work, so this was the perfect day to grab lunch with him and see his office.  Simple, nice, fun.  Or so I thought.

It is that simple.  I go pick him up, we grab lunch at Tequila Harry's, we go up to his office and I meet all these people he works with, check out his cube (that has pictures of us from like 4 years ago......hmmmm), and then we walks me to the elevator and I'm off to meet my mom and sister at our house.

Or so I thought :)

I get in the elevator and push 1.  I wait.  Nothing happens.  I push 2, thinking that if I get it to move I should be ok.  Nothing happens.  I push open door.  Nothing happens.  Ok so then I have a mini-freak out and push every button in the elevator.  Nothing happens.  Then I push the "call for emergency" button and a lady answers.

Elevator Operator (EO): "Can I help you?"

Me: "Yes, I'm stuck on the elevator"

EO: "Did you push the Open Door button?"

Me: Does she think I'm a complete moron? "Yes I did.  And it didn't open."

EO: "Oh, ok.  Did you try to push another floor?"

Me: Ok wow, she must think I'm like 4 years old or doesn't usually talk to semi-coherent people. "Yes ma'am.  I have tried everything."

EO: "Ok, it sounds like you are stuck" (Me: DUH) "Hold on a second please" (Me: Ummm...I'm not going anywhere.  You yourself just stated I'm stuck on an elevator) "Ok I just talked to Amy from the building and she is sending someone over.  Please let me know if you need anything else."

And then I sit.  And sit.  Oh, did I forget to mention that I bring my cell phone with me everywhere.  Except this time.  Left it in the car.  Because why oh why would I ever need a cell phone to go quickly into see Jimmy's office and leave? :) 
Someone calls my name.  I kind of feel like I'm in a movie.  I answer to them that yes, I am in fact still here.  It's a manager in Jimmy's office that I just met 10 minutes ago.   He explains to me that he, Jimmy and Jeff were on their way down the elevator and they heard us talking on the intercom.  And that Jimmy is trying to call me on my cell phone now to see if I'm stuck.  Hmmmm....

So then I just sit....and sit....and sit.  I hear some building guys come but tell someone on their walkie talkie that they in fact don't have the elevator key to open the elevator so they have to wait for the elevator company representative.  That's makes total sense (do you sense sarcasm).

I sit and sit and sit.

Then I hear Jimmy laughing.  I call out "Jimmy, I hear you. This is not funny."

Then the door opens.  And I get out and walk down the stairs. 

And now I will forever be known in Jimmy's office not as his fiance, but as the girl that got stuck on the elevator :)  But this in fact my friends, is precisely the reason why I started this blog. Because for some reason in this strange and twisted universe, things like this just always seem to happen to me.  See the next post for more. 

HUGE check off the to-do list

And a huge sigh of relief :)  Wedding invitiations are finished. Completely compiled and sitting in a box.  I. CANNOT. BELIEVE. IT.

When decided I wanted to take on designing our wedding invitiations a fun DIY task to make them personalized, but save some $$ of course, I had no idea what an undertaking it would be.  I seriously started designing these on October 31.  I remember that because we went to Mallorie and Jeremy's halloween party and we left because I was exhausted---from all the mental power I had exerted that day designing our invitations.  Whew.  Who knew I was A) That lame and B) DIY stuff took so much energy?!

Anyways, so fast forward to Monday and Tuesday this week.  My "vacation" days were consumed with printing, cutting, punching, gluing and some major back aches from all the standing and precision it entailed.  So once I was ready for assembly, I called my troops into action.  Aka MOH (sister, Lyndsay) and MOB (mom, Barb) (PS these new abbreviations if you are not familiar are due to my excessive reading of wedding websites where soon to be brides have an obsession with abbreviating everything and everyone involved in their wedding day.  I mean it saves typing time I guess, but seriously they abbreviate everything.  There are some I have no clue what they are supposed to be.  I should developed a glossary and abbreviation handbook for newly engaged people.  It would be so helpful)

MOH and MOB were put to work.  In the midst of it, I realized what a complete moron I was because I was using a Xyron adhesive roller to glue stuff and when it ran out, I thought it was broken, sent my mom to Michael's to complain, she did, we got free refills, then to come home and realize we are really just not that smart with crafy stuff and it was out of glue.  Sweet.  Then I realized that I was going to blow through these in no time with so many invites to glue in the pocketfolds.  That's when the Groom comes in (aka Jimmy).  I call him as he's on his way home from work begging him to stop @ Michael's to buy some glue.  He grunts a little, but does it of course.  As he arrives home, MOH and MOB are headed out as their stuffing job is complete.  Then Jim sprays adhesive and I affix it.  Besides the fact our hands/wood floors/hair/face/nails were covered with spray glue, I would say it was successful.

Then onto the final touch.  The belly band and and circle monogram to finish off the invitation.  Enter bridesmaid/roommate Lauren. She and I folded, glued, straightened, and pretty much kicked butt because we knocked them out in no time.  Even though she didn't think she was up to the task, I have to say she did a wonderful job :)  And I much appreciated her help as well as my mom, sister, and Jimmy's!  Best part is, we got it done just in the nick of time to go to the Cashew to help celebrate Courtney and Emily's birthdays.

And now.........I can sigh a big sigh of relief.  All that's left is to send the envelopes off to be addressed and then come February they are going out in the mail!  Wahoo. 

Now I just walk into my living room every morning, look at this box, and smile.  A smile of relief, pride, and happiness that I A) Actually did what I set out to accomplish and B) Am freaking getting married......ahhhh!!

PS Mom I know you hate when I show people stuff for the wedding before....so this is just a "sneak peak" :)  They will have to wait to get them in the mail to see the awesomeness inside!!!! 


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"I can't breathe it smells so bad"

When was that sentence muttered?  Last night in my bedroom.  Willy, my 23 lb wiener dog had the worst farts I could barely breathe.  My stomach even started to hurt from the smell.  What is WRONG with him? How could that horrible of a smell come from that cute of a dog in unbeknownst to me.....

Like I'm not kidding.

I'm laying there and get a whiff of it.  Then Jimmy does.  He blames me, I blame him.  Then it smells so horrible we can't even talk, let alone breathe.  It was Willy.

So after laughing and trying to wave the smell away, it comes again!!  Holy cow Willy.  Like I'm not even kidding, my stomach is starting to hurt just writing this it smelled THAT bad.

At this point I cannot stop laughing.  Which it turn means that I get blamed for it.  But seriously, that could not come out of me.

Ok, it dies down again.  But then wait......one more.

Can you give dogs Beano or Gas-X?  Like it was literally the most disgusting thing I've ever smelled.  I wanted to put him in his kennel for the rest of the night.  But then I looked at him (with my nose plugged) and he was so cute.  So I let him stay in the bed with me :)  But still gross.

Happy birthday to......TAYLOR

(AKA Emily Mc)

Happy 25th my dear bestie.  Keep writing those killer songs and inviting me to tour with you.

Love, Kellie P

(AKA Brittany)





Look at how hot they look in this pic!!




White Christmas here and gone....

...not so much. Christmas is here and gone, yes, but the white part?! When will that go away!!?? This snow was crazy and because there was so much of it, it continues to linger around everywhere! I do have some great pictures of Jimmy shoveling outside and throwing the football with Toby and Toby's new found love of frolicking in the snow, but my camera was left at the Carters in the midst of Christmas family fun so I can't post them!!

Anyways, I think like most people in the Kansas City/midwest area, our Christmas did not go as planned. Here's how it did go:

Christmas Eve:
- Mass with the Carters
- Dinner @ Capital Grille- but Bobby and Hillary couldn't make it because of the weather so that was sad!!
- Supposed to go to 11PM service with my family at my church- scratch that because you cannot see the roads
- Instead Jimmy insists we physically see my family so we trek through the blizzard and arrive in Lenexa for a 30 min stay
- Start driving back to our house, almost get stuck on the side of the road when one of Jimmy's tires dips into a ditch (yes, I freaked out. Yelled and he claims almost started crying (not true) but 5 seconds later we were out and I was fine)


Christmas:
- Milly of course was the first to arise and insisted on skipping breakfast because she wanted her dingos from Aunt Lauren
- Jimmy gets his awesome fogless shower mirror with Ipod/radio speakers and sets that up
- I go up and look in the cabinet at my new, beautiful, wonderful cookware he got me. I'm in love
- Decide that we want to go visit Chris and Vanessa at their new house outside of STL for NYE- email her and invite ourselves :)
- I whip up some spinach and artichoke dip and a cheeseball (staple) and we head to my parents, gifts in hand and dogs too
- Exchange Bruns gifts- I got in trouble because I "broke" the no gift rule
- Stuff ourselves full of non-breakfasts appetizers @ 10AM...yum!
- Head to see "It's Complicated" at WestGlen...it was funny, ok movie
- Back to my parents, decide we need to take my dogs over to the Carters so we don't have to come back to my parents
- Head to the Carters. One second after we arrive, Milly poops in the kitchen, Willy pees in the office and poops in the family room. Sweet life. That's not embarrassing
- Carter family gift exchange! Which included Tonka trucks, a really cute princess outfit, Toy Story stuff, cute doll and girl matching PJs and wonderful gift cards!! Cousin Louie came over and apparently Willy and Milly did not warm up to him as fast as I thought they would. So Milly and Willy went in the kennel
- Do get stuck trying to plow through our enormous driveway to the garage. Jimmy has to shovel around his SUV so we don't have to leave his car there
- Pass out

Day after Christmas:
- We are supposed to go to Iowa to visit the Bruns side of the family and see my grandparents new apartment!!  We didn't get to go last year because of the bad weather, and guess what??  We didn't get to go this year either.  I guess I-29 through Omaha was shut down for a while and then when it opened back up, travel was not advised and towing prohibited.  Why did you open it up then?  Anyways, that sucks because we didn't get to see our family :(  Again....BOOOOOO
- Wake up pouting and go to Village Inn to use a coupon I had
- Go to Target to just walk around and get out of the house.  Jimmy tried to convince me why we needed to spend $30 on Monopoly City version.  Even though we already have normal Monopoly.  "But this is so much better, you can build sky scrapers".  Haha, it will take a lot more convincing me than that
- Get 2 Red Box DVDs....the snow continues and we are snowed in our driveway
- Around dinner time I decide we need to clean the whole house because I'm so stir crazy
- We clean the wood floors, mop the kitchen, clean the kitchen/oven/stove, clean all the bathrooms, vacuum everywhere, organize our mess of a guest room and all the crazy wedding stuff I have accumulated, finish doing laundry
- Sit down to watch another movie.  Ready for the next day...bored bored bored

2 days after Christmas:
- Get up and go downtown to clean
- Cannot get into Carter Glass, so we go to Nebraska Furniture Mart
- Decide we want to register here really bad.  So we do it.  However, their scanners don't work so I now have to do it entirely online.  As well as making sure we don't double register for stuff.  Who the heck knew this part of getting married was so stressful??
- Go pick up my mom while Jimmy cleans all of our carpets.  We go to print off all our invitations.  Holy crap.  Lots of paper, but so glad it was done.  Now to cut all them.  Holy crap.  Another post maybe about that.  Lots and lots of cutting.
- Out to dinner with the Calcara's!!  Yeah so fun!
- Then met a few other Pi Phi's (Liz, Courtney) out for drinks at Tom Fooleries....so happy we got to hang out!

Monday:
- Back to work in the morning then cutting, cutting, cutting in the afternoon


Hope the weather didn't ruin your holiday plans too much!  It's so sad when you don't get to see family in general, but especially at this time of the year.  Next....ready to say good bye to 2009 and hello to 2010!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

She cannot wait for Christmas morning....

Lauren and I put Milly, Willy and Toby's presents in their stockings and Milly won't leave them alone!!! She's dying for Christmas morning when she gets spoiled!!!

PS Bad video quality again. Maybe we should invest in a video camera if our new obsession is video taping our dogs...


video

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sick?! On Christmas?!

Yep- it happened. Jimmy is sick.  With what exactly we are not sure...the flu??

Symptoms include:
- 101.5 degree fever
- Chills/hot flashes (which includes regularly adjusting the thermostat)
- Nausea - he apparently hasn't puked since 4th grade from being "real sick" (aka not drunk) and is not willing to give up this streak just yet.  Let's hope so...
- Aches/Pains

Poor guy.  Last time this happened to him was right after the Moore's wedding, but I was hit with it too so we could be sick together.  Now I just walk around our house doing my normal things and feeling bad that he is stuck on the couch/bed.

And what horrible timing!! With Christmas coming up there are so many fun family things we have planned to do I just hope that he can join in the fun!  Otherwise I'll be going solo to the Carter Christmas Eve dinner @ Capital Grille....wait that would be really mean of me.  Ok so we'll BOTH be missing out on Christmas family fun...so he needs to get better ASAP!

Lucky for him, Milly and Willy are the best snuggle buddies and will hopefully make him feel better.  He left work early yesterday because he was feeling horrible and didn't move all day.  Not going in today because he still has a fever!!  Poor guy.  All I know is that after this I am going to DEEP CLEAN the house because I don't want what he has!!

Get better Jimmy!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mantle up, stockings up...right in time for Christmas!


So the man cave has been very man cavish ever since we moved in, but I just wasn't sure exactly what I wanted so I didn't want to move forward.  One thing I did want for sure was a fireplace mantle, a working fireplace and my fabulous circle mirror hanging over the fireplace.

Enter this past weekend and last night and TA DA!  I got all that, plus some personalized stockings :)

Documentation of the work in progress.



Jimmy and my dad hard at work taking the 1970s mirror down.  (Notice the pendants....Jimmy hung these up- obviously- but also please notice as the pictures progress these magically disappear.  It's amazing how magic works.....)



I had to get one of Willy.  He wanted to help the boys so bad!



Hahahaha I caught Jim in the act.   Sweet eye brow move. The mantle and side panels are up :)




And the poor mirror that has spent all of it's time at this house wrapped up because there was no where to put it!




Pretty mirror!!  Then my dad did get the gas thingy to work and I rearranged the logs just right so the fire glows.  Worth EVERY ounce of energy I put in fighting with the previous owner to ensure that the fireplace was fully operating.  I say that now.... but seriously, it was worth it!



I made a little trip to Michael's last night.   Since we are like 3 days away from Christmas and most normal people have their stockings up well before now, I snagged up these for on 99 Cents/each.  Then to personalize them, I put my "sewing" skills to work and stitched in everyone's name!!  How precious :)






Milly, Willy and Lauren...Lauren was upset that she was the only name that didn't end in Y.  However, the first letter of her last name does, so that counts!



I'm SO excited.  I cannot wait for Santa to slide down the chimney and fill these stockings with fun presents.  Merry Christmas (early of course--I'm just in the spirit and cannot contain myself I guess)!

Friday, December 18, 2009

"I think she just called me a teenager"

When: Last night around 8:30PM. Jimmy & I were downstairs enjoying the new release The Hangover

What: Our doorbell rings...we aren't expecting anyone

And here goes the story....

I answer the door and of course my dogs are trying to pry their way outside, so I kind of smush myself between the cracked door and the wall while the lady outside, with a handful of presents, swings open the glass storm door.

Me: "Hi- can I help you?"

Lady with presents: "Yes, can I come in and drop these presents off?"

Me: Very confused look on my face "Um...sure, but I think you might have the wrong house...we're not expecting anyone to drop off presents"

Lady with presents: Starts hysterically laughing

**At this point I start sniffing for alcohol wondering if she's really drunk and then start looking for hidden cameras to pop out thinking we're on this reality TV show**

Me: "Maybe you are looking for that house?" Pointing to the East

Lady with presents: "Oh...no I think I want the house on the other side of you. So so sorry. They have teenagers living with them too and I don't know what they look like. I just thought you were them! Thanks and happy holidays!" Still hysterically laughing.

So I close the door and walk back downstairs to curl up in the throne chair. As I replay our conversation in my head I realize...wait...she thought I was a teenage living at my parents house. I immediately blurt out to Jimmy "OMG, she thought I was the teenager!! I think she just called me a teenager". He of course is confused but give me a weird look, then ignores me, like usual...so I continue the thoughts in my head. And that this was my parents house and I was the teenager. A part of me wished I would have realized that at the time, then corrected her because obviously I'm not a teenager and this is me and my soon-to-be husband's house...but then I look at my outfit and what I look like. No make up, hair pulled back, baggy pi phi sweat pants on, and a fashion careers 2 sweatshirt on from senior year of high school. Haha. Well there you go.

Anyways, I still am not sure whether I'm annoyed or flattered that she thought I was a teenager, but after my personal pondering I proceeded to tell Jimmy the story, then Lauren...and the list goes on until it finally makes it to blog world :) Here's to random people ringing the doorbell!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Milly's Party in the USA

All right- I promised this a long time ago...but here it finally is!! This is Milly doing her Party in the USA dance and nodding her head like the sexy mama she is :)

It's kind of grainy and bad quality, but we did it on Jimmy's blackberry. Maybe we'll try it on our MacBook computer sometime soon. But you get the point. Check out those hips. Dang girl.

PS Please disregard me in the video. Jimmy said it best- I am a complete idiot. I agree.


video

Don't worry, we haven't stopped

Now with the lack of house remodel/project posts that I have been putting up...you probably think that we've stopped.  Oh no, we haven't.  These are now just side projects that we squeeze in when we can and Roger helps out when he's available, and the long list keeps growing :)

Just to cover the current in progress ones:
- Backyard patio (currently on hold due to the frigid weather)

- Guest room re-do (I hated the Wal-Mart comforter (yes, because it's from Wal-Mart you would think I might have figured that out prior to the purchase but I didn't.  Pink stripes went awful with the "flow" of the colors in the house.  I found a great black and white flowered comforter with yellow accents...and guess what, that's the new theme of the room!  Since the walls are a beige/yellowish...I'm going with black curtains, stylish black curtain rod, black decor, and LOTS of black picture frames filled with black & white pictures only.  I'm not going to lie, I'm incredibly excited!)

- Family mantle...which is really the focus of this post!  I'm so excited about the mantle it's sick.  I'm just dying to get some stockings up for Christmas and hang my gorgeous circle mirror above it and trash the 1970s mirror.

***Quick update on man-cave decor that I do not think I ever shared with blog world.  Maybe it's because I struggled with this decision and am not afraid to admit "defeat" aka "compromise".  After my post begging to paint the man cave wood paneling and Jimmy & I had our first blog comment fight for everyone to see (seriously, it was real.  Check it out), Jimmy did finally agree to let me paint it.  I was thrilled.  But then I was left with the decision on what to paint it.  I did agree with him that the YHL redo of their den didn't give off the "man cavey" look we were going for.  This is a comfy room where we curl up to a fire & watch movies or Jimmy and  his dudebros watch games.  So the white-ish colors were out.  I wanted a beige, but our furniture is all beige and that would just blend in.  Cheryl, my aunts friend who came to our Thanksgiving is an interior designer, so I asked her to weigh in.  Her thoughts: "It's honestly a really nice wood paneling and if you tried to paint it I think you would regret it and you could never get the wood back.  If you do want to paint it, maybe a green?".  Ok, so based on her advice...I have now accepted that we can leave it as is. That is until we finish off the basement and that becomes the true man cave.

Anyways, so with no painting projects in the near future (oh darn....) I had to find something to spice up the room.  I wanted a mantle oh so badly, so I found one that was a perfect fit at a reasonable price at your neighborhood Lowes.  I was sold- went and picked it up in my Honda.  Then I became stain color obsessed.  Going to the hardware store daily to pick up samples and compare them.  I finally settled on one and was off to stain it.  First time I did it, I did it in the garage with the door closed.  I had a headache for 3 days because of the fumes.  The second coat I did with the garage opened :)  Fast learner I guess.....

Here is the result (still on the floor, after 2 coats of polyurathane):



Roger helped pry off the old trim that surrounded the fireplace. This was there instead of an actual mantle.



And the innocent little fireplace all ready to get a makeover.  Bricks will be painted off white and then the mantle and side panels will go up.  Cannot wait!!!



As it is the holidays, the weekends have been really busy and this weekend is no exception with holiday brunches, parties, and dinners- let alone some last minute shopping that will inevitably take place.  So who knows what we will get done this weekend....but I do have some vacation coming up so I think that will be the perfect time for that!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

And winter has arrived....

So last Tuesday night, while Lauren and I were sitting in the man cave watching TV....it started snowing. And it was snowing hard!  We didn't realize it was happening until Willy wanted to go outside and when I got up to let him out I opened the door to a snow covered backyard.  It was very pretty, but in even better news M&W both seem to like the snow.  The Kansas City Metro area however didn't like the aftermath too much as lots of schools were canceled.

I would also like to insert a quick note to Kansas City, Missouri just for my sanity.

Me: "KCMO, what do you do with all the tax money that people pay....including me because I'm forced to pay a stupid city tax due to the fact that I work in KCMO...because your road are NEVER cleared when it snows, but Kansas seems to have no problem getting them cleared?"

KCMO: "Brittany, thanks for your question.  Unfortunately everyone who is important at city hall is not available to answer that question because they are busy fielding questions from the media regarding the on-going saga with the mayor's wife that was accused of make racist remarks and making the mayor's office an uncomfortable working environment for everyone."

Me: "Yes, if they do ever see my question- please let them know as a former resident of KCMO and now someone who still watches news stations that cover that stupid stuff....everyone is sick of that and please make it stop.  But can you just enlighten me as to why you cannot clear the roads in a timely manner?"

KCMO: "KCMO is a BIG city.  Our resources do not enable us to clear all the roads in a timely manner with the funds we have."

Me: "Because you are a bigger city, it would seem to me that your city income is higher and therefore your city would be a better position than some of the smaller Kansas city's (Prairie Village, Fairway, Mission, etc) to have resources and time to clear all the roads.  In addition, everyone sees the news and is aware when they say snow is potentially coming....so get out there like Kansas does and salt the roads."

KCMO: "You are correct.  Missouri is not smart enough to figure anything like that out.  Thanks for your complaint regarding this.  You are complaint number 45,690"

**This is all to get the point across that I'm not a fan of Missouri in the winter at any time.

Ok back to the fun winter post!!!

The snow, the Christmas parties, the shopping, the giving....what fun this season brings :)  Jimmy's annual Christmas party was last night at Tanners and it was a great turnout and so much fun!!  Thanks to everyone who stopped by---it was so great to see you!!  Yeah for holiday get togethers.  And finally...winter pics.  That's all for me for now!











This one is my favorite.  Willy looks so happy!




Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Goodnight from Willy





Willy says night night and hope everyone had as much fun in the snow today as he did!  :)

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FYI- this morning I woke up to find dog throw up in my bed.  I noticed it because I moved my leg over to the other side of the bed.  Not a fun way to find it.  Not sure which one it was (either Milly or Willy) because when I lifted up the covers...they were both awake just staring at the leftovers.  Either way, I think Willy was secretly offended that I put an "extra-large" picture of him on the blog before I went to sleep.  So this was his way of getting back at me.  It was disgusting.  Thank god for the 1 hour and 50 min sanitary wash that my new washer is equipped with.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Spend less...Give more

During the holiday season, the words in the title don't seem to ever go together do they?  Buying gift after gift for those that you love so dearly to make sure they know how much you love them and understand the time and effort you put into buying them the perfect present...it adds up...financially and also time consuming.  But what about those that don't have everything they need to live (i.e. clothes on their back, a nice bed to sleep in, etc)?  What about them during this holiday season?

The sermon series in our church this advent season is called "The Advent Conspiracy".  We are just 2 weeks into it...but every week it makes me re-think what this season is all about.  Does my mom really need a new ginger spice candle?  I know she probably really wants one...but don't you think if I told her that instead of spending $25 on buying her a candle I donated it to the Christmas Eve offering at church that goes to kids in Africa? I'm sure my sister wants the Taylor Swift holiday CD...but she can easily download the few songs she loves from Itunes and I can use that money to donate to a child in need just down the street in KCMO.   Only a $20 donation feeds a kid for ONE YEAR in Africa (they listed little things like that in the bulletin last week).  A whole year one child could eat....a child that would otherwise go hungry...with a mere $20.  I hardly think before I spend $20.  Heck, I went to the grocery store tonight and spent $20 on dip for a party I'm co-hosting tomorrow night.  I think that my $20 would be much better spent for a hungry child's meals.  Half of the Christmas Eve offering goes to those children in Africa and half goes to kids/schools in need in Kansas City, MO.  With that money, our church provides students with weekend backpacks of food every weekend, new supplies, and has even built playgrounds.  Brand new, great and wonderful playgrounds!!  Actually, I played on one of them last week with my Youthfriend at Longfellow Elementary School.  And she loved it--she talked about how they used to not have one.  Can you imagine going to elementary school and having recess and not having a playground to play on?  Like I said, my $20 that I spent at the grocery store tonight would be much better spent on that.

So that brings me back to the ultimate point.....as this holiday season is now officially in full swing, can you live out the "spend less...give more" mantra this year?  My family and I have talked lots and do not think it's necessary to buy each other gifts this year.  I think we should instead go somewhere to distribute presents or serve a Christmas dinner.  I can tell you from personal experience, the feeling one gets serving others in any way shape or form, is much more gratifying then opening another present.  It's not like I don't like presents :)  But if it's a trade off, I would rather take that feeling that makes me feel good inside by helping others.  Last year, instead of trading names and buying people gifts in the Carter family...we adopted a family.  We split up the family members between the brothers and their wives/significant others and went shopping.  Bobby, Hillary, Jimmy & I went to Old Navy to shop for a little boy.  With only $100 we bought this little boy 2-3 pairs of pants, many shirts, a coat, etc.  All that....for $100!  And to think that these are clothes that he will wear to school, wear to play with his friends, wear to go to church and live his life...clothes that he will feel good in!  When we all go together with our presents to wrap all of them, we had a great time showing everyone else what we bought those family members we were assigned!  In my opinion, that was the best Carter Christmas ever!  The kids, of course, still opened their gifts on Christmas night like normal...but they also got to participate in the buying and wrapping of the gifts for the family we adopted and loved it!  What a great way to help a family in need and show the kids the spirit of giving :)  We are doing it this year as well and will hopefully make it an annual tradition!

It's much easier to be in this mindset when your family and friends are because no one is buying you presents and you feel bad because you didn't buy them one...however, if you really think about where you want your time or money to go this season and encourage others to participate I bet they will want to!!  Don't you?

Anyways......just something to think about as this season of giving begins!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas card preview shot and more

Jimmy bought the pups a fun winter present---sweaters!!  As you probably guessed, these of course will be incorporated to the family Christmas card :)  But here's a preview to hold you over haha!



AND in really super fun exciting news....my wedding dressed that I ordered all the way back in July/August arrived last week!  I get to try it on for the first time tomorrow after work.  This is getting too real......but so fun!  Can't wait to see it on!

Hope everyone had a great weekend and decent Monday.  STAY WARM!

Organization at it's finest

Upon Lauren and I's surprise Saturday morning arrival back to Kansas City...we arrived right in time to witness some male bonding time between Roger and Jimmy.  Their task for the day: Reorganize the garage.

Unfortunately I didn't get any "before" pictures- but I can tell you this...there was crap everywhere, no shelves, stuff lining the sides of the garage (made it hard to get in & out of the car), and tools everywhere.  Jimmy built the tool bench which is pretty fancy!  Roger did what he does best and reorganized like a crazy man!!!

And ta-da....here it is!  Spic and span.  Great job guys---I have to say it puts a little smile on my face every time I walk in the garage.





Wahoo for clean garages.

PS As you can tell...Jimmy's decorating sense graced the garage's presence.

And...Barb did some great work at our house this weekend too!  I found some fabulous fabric that matched the decor in the living room/dining room perfectly for practically a steal.  So that means it was time to finally re-cover the hideous green chair cushions.  And she was up for the task.  I took all the covers off, got the fabric, and helped her when needed...but she did all the real work!  I will give credit when credit is due....and the chairs look awesome!!!

Thanks Mom and Dad for all your help this weekend!!!




PPS I cannot figure out for the life of me why this picture is coming in sideways.  I give up!  You get the picture....

Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday= 5 day weekend!

There was LOTS going on this past weekend.  I need to break it out by day!

Tuesday (kind of the weekend, right?):

  • Booked rehearsal dinner location (wahoo!!)
  • Went to Hallmark Happy Hour
  • Katie arrived in KC and came over- we all stayed up way past my bedtime catching up!  While we chatted I made some awesome sugar cookies that looked like turkeys!


Wednesday:
  • Carter family Thanksgiving!  Very fun and delicious as always.  I also FINALLY got to see the infamous video of Jimmy singing at the mere age of 2 and a half in front of his whole family at Christmas time.  It was pretty amusing.  I plan to use that as the promo video to entice our wedding guests to participate in karaoke...
  • I spent 5 hours working on our wedding invitations....while Jimmy went out.  Rough life he has.  
Thursday:
  • Actual Thanksgiving day!  Had a bit of an incident before our departure to my parents house.  Willy & Toby got in a fight in the back yard.  Neither Jimmy nor I know who started it...and no one will fess up.  All we know is that Toby ended up biting Willy on the shoulder and making him bleed.  That meant that Toby spent the day in the kennel and Willy (along with Milly of course) got to go over to my parents for the day to enjoy Thanksgiving.  He did however have to wear a bandaid.  It was sad.  I was sad.



  • We went out as a family to the Velvet Dog.  Since my sister just turned 21- that was a reason to celebrate!  I however, was a horrible direction giver and it took my car like 35 minutes to drive there because we got stuck in the Plaza light traffic!  But the night turned out fun...I think my sister had a little too much fun.  And of course Susan did too :)  She is doing Thriller in one picture.  Of course, Brett made some friends as well.


Friday:
  • Granite estimate for our kitchen
  • Off to Home Depot & Kohls for Black Friday shopping
  • Realize the bridesmaid dresses that I want are on sale!!  Get sizes from all my bridesmaids and place the order :)  Big check on my to-do list!
  • Get menu prices back from caterer and finalize that!
  • Go to Burlington coat factory a long way away to get a size 8 flower girl dress...and I picked up a coat for myself as well
  • Jimmy runs off to the casinos for the day- comes back with a big $625 win.  I'm happy :)
  • Off to Gordon Biersch to eat dinner before Wicked!  The group- minus my mom & aunt!



  • Go see Wicked.........absolutely amazing
  • Every five seconds check facebook to see if Hillary & Bobby are officially engaged yet!!!
  • And they are!!!!!  Wahoo :)  Such a wonderful couple!  I'm so excited we get to be "official" sister in laws soon!  YEAH for great family!!!!!!

  • Went to O'Dowds to help celebrate with them after Wicked- very sad we could make it to the official after party, but SO happy we got to hang out with them!  What a great proposal Bob :)  Congrats you two!! I cannot wait for the big day!
Saturday:
  • Jimmy off to the KU/MU game
  • Brittany off to New Moon- AMAZING
  • Brittany off to Kate Swain's bachelorette party...which was great!  So fun to see all those girls again and help Kate celebrate her final night of "singleness"!  We had a blast.  Once someone posts a picture on facebook, I'll get it on here (that's my secret.  I really don't have all these pictures)
Sunday:
  • Sleep!!!  What a long weekend...
  • Day 1 of the install a fireplace mantle project.  This is replacing the paint the wood paneling project.  Long story, but I'm happy with the mantle for now!
  • Then time for the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie: A Dog Named Christmas.  In true Hallmarker spirit, my friend Jennifer had a watch party and it was great.  We had to leave 1/2 way through the movie because Jimmy thinks he's getting sick.  The second 1/2 was the best part!  There was a wiener dog (looked just like Willy but was a girl) and she had wiener dog puppies!  I was in love! Willy & Milly were watching it with me and loved it too!  It was a great plot that became real...in that what the little boy did in the movie (fostered a dog over the Christmas holiday to get them out of the full shelter)...which is now something that you can do too!!  Click HERE for more information on how to foster a dog this Christmas if you are interested :)
Monday.............

Christmas decorations: my favorite thing!

One of the many things that was accomplished this weekend...finished putting up the Christmas decorations around the house :)  We got a new big tree because my little baby condo tree wasn't going to cut it.  But luckily I way over bought on ornaments last year for my little baby tree because I had enough to go around for the big & little tree!!  Ta da!




Also, I got some garland with lights to put around the porch, which I really like!  And of course...Jimmy did a great job on the lights!!  I did do a post of him hanging the first side- the second side was too dangerous for me to attempt snapping pictures while holding this crazy ladder he was climbing up on.  Luckily, he's super brave and the house looks great!!






My favorite thing is that all the outside lights are set up on timers!  Not only is it super easy, but saves on electricity (because we turn them off around 10:30PM), and best of all I don't have to go and turn them on & off every day and night!  Yeah :)


Finally, here is a sweet rug that I picked up at Kohls for 55% off this weekend. What a steal!  We did have to wait in line for like an hour (yes it was Black Friday)...but when that $196 in savings rang up on the register, I was nothing but smiles!!  Hope you snagged some good deals too!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dress up your dogs

Now as I have been slowly getting out all my Christmas decorations to put up---I have inevitably found lots of silly things I bought for my dogs to wear during the wintertime.  Last night, I decided to dress them up.  These pictures are dedicated to Chris Dawson- your wife tells me you really like my dog posts---so here you go!!! :)  Look at how adorable (and so cooperative haha) they are!

Bundling up for a snowy day.  Now we just need to get them some little booties.  Willy hates when his feet get cold!!



And here they are as Santa and his reindeer.  They were a little annoyed at this point in the night if you cannot tell.  I just couldn't help it how cute they looked!!




Now as much as I love my dogs, I did realize when talking to Jimmy last night that people that probably don't know either me or him very well that got invited to our wedding and just got their save the date were probably like "Why do these people have pictures of their dogs on their save the dates?"  Well- because they are so freaking cute!!  Even Toby :)

Hope everyone is having a great short week!