Monday, December 31, 2007

Family Pictures

We didn't get to take any family pictures last week at the Christmas Dinner so we took of it at Alex's Birthday Party. Here are the only two pictures where my eyes are even slightly open.

The Cookie Jar

This is Alex and the Cookie Jar. It is possible you have noticed both of these characters on the blog in the past. Alex is our nephew and 2 years old. The Cookie Jar lives in our house, but was first Rick's when he lived in Muncie.

About three or four months ago Alex was visiting and woke up from a nap in a funk. While everyone else was eating dinner, Alex noticed the Cookie Jar above our kitchen shelves. He was hooked and mesmerized. Little did we know that the Cookie Jar would become so important. Rick used a funny voice and said "Hi Alex, I am the Cookie Jar". Alex was happy again.

On future visits to our house Alex would go directly to the kitchen to see the Cookie Jar. Eventually the Cookie Jar came off the shelf and Alex would carry him around our house. The only problem with this is that we have tile and wood floors in most of our upstairs. After some time the Cookie Jar would be put in the closet and we told Alex he had gone "night, night", but Alex learned to open the closet and find him.

This past week Jackie asked Alex who he loved. His first answer was Rick, followed by the Cookie Jar :) and when asked where he was going for his birthday party Alex said "Cookie Jar's house". It is evident that Rick and I know what is the most exciting part about visiting our house.

After the party was over and we were cleaning up last night Alex left the Cookie Jar in the middle of the kitchen floor. Jackie backed into it and knocked it over, breaking its hand off. Fortunately, we were able to super glue his hand back on and we should be good as new the next time Alex visits Cookie Jars house.

Happy 2nd Birthday Alex!!!

Today, Alex turns 2 years old! It is very hard to believe that he can be that old. He is so chatty now and has quite a personality. We are so lucky to be able to spend as much time with him as we do!

Yesterday we hosted his birthday party at our house. Here are some of the pictures from the day!

This is our Birthday Tree!! (Also our new tree!! Rick put it up earlier this week and looked great in the house)

The turtle cake came out even better this time and from the looks of it--Alex really enjoyed it!

This is just about the only picture of me from the day with my eyes open, but pretty cute if I do say so!

Alex and Sara--Sara is one of Alex's best friends--check out the pig tails :)

Alex and Mommy!

Rick and I got to meet "Baby Tay" at the party. Taylor is Holly and Quinn's new daughter. She is beautiful!

Here is Jackie opening the card from Rick and me. It was created by the Cricut. So were the tags below made by Cindy. If you aren't sure what the Cricut is watch for a blog update about it soon. It is a great tool for scrapbooking and card making!

The day wouldn't be complete without an appearance by the Cookie Jar.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The rest of our Beach Pictures

Between Rick and I we were able to find the remaining two of our Christmas Beach pictures.

Our First Christmas (2004) together at the Indiana Dunes or "the beach" as my family calls it.

2005 at Edisto Island in South Carolina. We left the island on Christmas morning to head back to Indiana, but got a shot by the Atlantic Ocean at sunrise before getting on the road.

2006 and 2007 pictures are in the post below!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Then and Now...

I was looking through my pictures and I thought I would share pictures from the first year Rick and I had a Christmas Tree.

Our first year with a Christmas tree was when I was living in Painter/Whitcraft Halls. We only had one snowman ornament and many snowflakes that we purchased at Target. Everyday I would tell Rick how beautiful our tree was. The snowman theme has grown and in 2008 the snowmen will have their own tree.

Here is our tree from this year. We have now inherited the Hurckes angel and tree skirt, as well as, many ornaments from our parents. Our tree is just as beautiful as the first year and I am sure I will continue to say so every year. I am a sucker for decorating and admiring our tree.

Also I have decided that I should keep each of our Christmas pictures together so that we can look back at them and smile and/or laugh one day. Our first Christmas together was at the "beach" in Indiana, our second Christmas was at Edisto Island in South Carolina, last year was at the "beach" again, and this year was in Lockport at the Canal. Who knows where else we might end up....

Here is last year pictures and this years picture again. Just a little bit of a temperature difference...



The Day after Christmas

Today felt like the first day I really had off from work. I got up early and went shopping. My first stop was Wal-Mart. I purchased a new Christmas Tree. I have been looking forward to this for quite some time, but didn't want to pay full price. We bought a 7 1/2 foot pre-lit tree. This tree will go upstairs next year and will be our snowman tree. The tree we have had for a couple of years will go downstairs and have all of our other ornaments. The tree was still expensive in my opinion, but I am so excited for next year.

Next was Target--I also hit up their 1/2 price Christmas decorations. I bought a wreath, an additional storage tub, a couple pairs of shoes, thank you notes, socks, and tights. I got some really good deals!

Best Buy was a quick stop to pick up Oceans' 13 and then to Factory Card and Party Outlet. I picked up some decorations for Alex's Birthday Party and ordered balloons for Sunday! One the way home I stopped for gas and to get stamps.

When I got home I took the decorations off the Christmas Tree--the transformation is beginning. We will see how long I can keep up the tree in 2008 :)

Holidays with the Hurckes'

As I mentioned yesterday, the past couple weeks have been crazy. I started tutoring after school a few days a week for a 6th grade student. So instead of going to Panera or running errands from 3-5pm I tutor in math and spelling. This has been great and I am enjoying it, but it makes for many more things that have to get done in the evening when we get home...taking the place of updating the blog.

Since Rick and I were hosting our families for a "holiday celebration" a lot of cleaning needed to take place. I started working on the scrapbooking room since we needed the extra table upstairs for food. This led me to finish my scrapbook of GLACURH so that I could move my laptop downstairs. This change has really been significant since I no longer have the laptop in the living room. We are spending more time downstairs, but ultimately less time on the computer which is a plus for both of us. Here I am finishing my scrapbook one day last week.

My last day of school for 2007 was Friday the 21st. On Saturday, we hosted our families for Christmas. I cooked my first turkey-which turned out very well. With both of our families there were 12 people at our house. It was a good number--probably our limit for a sit down meal though.

While I was cooking Rick spent most of the morning getting a video of a fireplace. It was a big hit and kept our house very warm! Alex was much more interested in presents this year than last year. Although he didn't care so much about what was in them, he did enjoy stacking and unwrapping them!

Alex and Carlo

Rick wishes all of you a very "Mary Christmas"

Jackie and Carlo

My mom and Gail

Alex and Jackie stayed the night after the party. On Sunday morning Alex and Rick played with Alex's new Mr. Potato head.

Alex and I are listening to some of his favorite songs on Youtube

Rick and I had plans to go to Aunt Maryanne and Uncle Jerry's for Christmas Eve after we had dinner with Jack and Anita. I said I would bring a dessert to their house. Luckily I got a new cookbook for Christmas from my mom (The Chocolate Cake Doctor). I made an excellent recipe and enjoyed watching them cook.

On Christmas Eve I dropped my parents off at the airport to go see Andrea and then Rick and I went to his dad's house. One of the highlights was when his dad was listening to Rick's I-pod. Never did we think we would see him with the white earpieces :)
We had a great evening with Jack, Anita, Megan, Jenna, Jerry, and Maryanne. Rick and I spent Christmas morning together. We opened our presents and really enjoyed being in our new home together on Christmas. Rick got me new earrings (I lost my other ones from him on our honeymoon), a new paper cutter, a sweater, and perfume. I am truly spoiled by him. I hope he liked his gifts as much as I liked mine. Even though he had guessed or found out about most of his, I was still excited to watch him open them. I got him a calendar of Alex and his family, a DMB DVD, Guitar Hero 80's songs, and a series of books about each place he has lived.

After opening presents we took a walk, played Guitar Hero, and cleaned up the house. We got ready to go to Aunt June's. However on the way we made a spot at the Canal. Each year my family goes to the "beach" (Lake Michigan) to take a family picture. Years when we are out of town we go to the nearest body of water. This year since my parents were gone, we thought it would be fitting for us to still take a picture. Here is our picture from the I&M Canal in Lockport. Can you believe it was at least 40 degrees on Christmas Day??

Like I said, we have been busy, but have had a great holiday. We thoroughly enjoyed our first Christmas and Hannukah being married and look forward to many more.

We are hosting another party next week. We are having Alex's 2nd birthday party at our house. Can you believe he is going to be 2 already??? Stay tuned for pictures and updates!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Holiday Posts coming soon!!

There have been a real lack of posts in the past couple weeks. Since Hannukah started things have been crazy. School has been wrapping up, I started tutoring, and we were getting ready for the rest of the holidays. There will be a few new posts coming soon with many updates from our holidays and our families.

Merry Christmas to everyone that reads the blog...all 5 of you! :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The first snow at our house

It snowed a little on Saturday, but it was mostly ice. Tonight we got our first REAL snow. There are a couple of inches as of 10pm. It is dark, but we wanted to capture tonight!

This is our new door hanger. I like it and it is an additional home security system for us as the bells will alert us of anyone entering our home. Rick thinks it looks like a dog collar so that is what it is affectionately called now!

Happy Hannukah!

Rick and I lit the menorah for the 1st night of Hannukah tonight. We were a little scared that the broken candle wouldn't make it, but of course it did!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Keeley and Clint's Visit!

Rick and I had visitors again this weekend! Clint had an interview in Chicago on Friday morning so they came to visit us afterwards. When I got home from work I found that Keeley and I were wearing the same fleece from Old Navy...what are the chances! Once Rick got home we cooked dinner and spent the rest of the evening playing games. While Keeley and I were cooking Rick and Clint were attempting the impossible. They were trying to remove a washer that had already been screwed into a tube (that probably doesn't make sense to anyone, but they were trying to do something that wasn't possible).

We didn't have any big plans while they were here and in fact that turned out to be alright because the weather was bad on Saturday. Snow and ice rolled in town in the early afternoon. The only time we ventured out was to go to Ikea. Keeley and Clint had never been there and obviously the size of the store is something all in itself. We didn't buy anything except I had some ice cream. Yes, it was snowing and there was freezing rain, but I love ice cream.

When we got home we watched a couple movies, had dinner, and played more games. Keeley and Clint left this morning to go back to Muncie. We had a very nice time visiting with them as we always do.

Keeley enjoys laying under Christmas Trees and looking at the lights this way!

Keeley and me at Ikea!