Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Craziness

Now that I'm starting to recover from Christmas preparations, I have some time to actually post something here. My older sister, Laura, is up visiting from Florida so its nice to have almost the entire family together for the holidays.

Christmas day was pretty busy around here as we hosted Rich's family for Christmas. We don't have a large house, so it was a little tight with 7 people and a puppy here. We did have a good time though. It was my neice's first Christmas and while she's too young to really understand what was going on, she was cute and she could kind of unwrap her own gifts. I don't have any pictures right now, but I plan to have some in a few days.

Currently, we're at my parents' place and having "Christmas" with them. We exchanged gifts yesterday since one of my older brothers was here yesterday, but he had to leave last night to drive to his girlfriend's family in Pennsylvania. Its a little crazy here, as it always is, but at least its quiet for the moment.

My Dad's treatments are progressing and he has about 35 treatments left now. He has to go 5 days a week until sometime in February, but at least they are doing something for it at this point. He's in decent spirits since he doesn't seem to have any side effects from the actual treatments. They treatments themselves are going much better than the pre-treatment stuff, so its getting better.

I hope everyone had a good Christmas. I know I did and I now have even more ideas for quilts and I have lots of patterns to choose from! ;-)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Hope

Ever since I was a kid, I always saw Christmas as a hopeful time of year. As a child, I'm sure it was because I was looking forward to the new toys and games that came on Christmas morning. Now that I'm older, I look forward to it because its a time that my entire family is able to get together and share some good laughs. Some traditions we still do, even though we don't have to, but we do them just because.

When we were all younger, my Mom used to cook a big meal on Christmas Eve and drove herself nuts trying to do it while getting all the presents wrapped, rolls made for the following day and all of us off to Christmas mass. So one year she just said she was done with the dinner and we were getting pizza. We all love it and it was incredibly simple and was ready for pickup right when mass was done. We still have the "Christmas pizza" despite the fact that we could easily make the meal now and my Mom is able to get rolls done days before.

While Rich and I don't decorate much for Christmas, I do insist that we do a tree and decorate the mantle. I'm not all into the outdoor lights because, frankly, its stupid cold out when you have to put them up and take them down. I'm all for enjoying my lights in the comfort of my warm house. ;-) So here's some pics of the tree and the mantle from last year (my husband has the camera up in VT right now, so I can't take any current pictures).

Quilty Stuff

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.... yet! Sometimes I wonder if anyone actually reads my blog or if its just taking up random space in the void of the internet. Feel free to leave comments once in a while! ;-)

We survived the 1st winter storm of the season with very little trouble. Our power was out for about 3 hours during the ice storm, but that's a heck of a lot better than most people. There are still people without power today and its been 3 full days since the storm. Thankfully the power lines in our development are underground so as long as power gets to the start of the development, we'll have power.

I did get some quilting done this weekend. I finished up the quilt top for "Irish Rails" but unfortunately I don't have any pictures of it yet and I won't until next weekend. Rich is going snowboarding this week up in Stowe, VT and taking the camera with him. Hopefully he'll come back with some awesome pictures and no injuries. ;-)

My Christmas shopping is all done at this point and I just need to wrap the gifts that we ordered on Saturday. Everything else is already wrapped and under the tree. Now its just a matter of cleaning up the house for when company starts to arrive. My older sister is staying with us for most of the Holidays, but she's spending Christmas day with my parents while we entertain Rich's family for Christmas. So she'll be at our from 12/20 until 12/22 or 12/23, then on 12/24 Rich's uncle will be staying with us through 12/26. Late on the 26th or possibly on the 27th, we'll be driving out to my parents and staying there until the 30th. On the 30th, we'll drive back home with my older sister with us and she'll be at our place until Jan 3rd. Then on the 5th its back to work. Its going to be a crazy two weeks and there's a lot to be done. I just have to try not to get too stressed out about so many people coming in and out of the house and having to go everywhere.

Anyway - hopefully I'll get some quilting done and I need to practice free motion quilting with the BSR foot. If anyone has some tips for a beginner, I'd definitely appreciate them. I'm not very good right now with loops and changing direction, but I think that will come with practice.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Quilting and Snow

Once again, Judy over at PatchworkTimes is holding a quiltathon this weekend. This is actually the first time that I'm able to participate. Yay! I was able to get a few things quilty done yesterday along with putting up our Christmas tree.

Here's a quilt I've been working on for the past few days. I have the blocks sewn into rows at this point, but just didn't have a picture of them, but I have this one when I had laid them all out into the pattern.

And look what I woke up to this morning! Its finally snowing here! We had a few cases of snow flakes in the air a few times over the past two weeks, but this is the first time that its actually staying. The grass is still visible, but at least its starting to look white. There's a few pictures of outside the front of the house (of course from the comfy warmth of being inside) and one from the backyard. Its finally starting to look like Christmas!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Turkey Day

Now that I've recovered from stuffing myself silly on Thanksgiving... :-)

Thanksgiving was a busy and somewhat hectic day. We went to my parents (out near Syracuse) for Thanksgiving on Wednesday night after work. The traffic was horrendous! It was the worst we've ever seen on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. At times, we were only going about 40 mph when the freeway speed limit was 65. It was a little weird because we thought the trip would be quick since when we got on the Thruway, traffic in the "slow" lane was travelling at 80 mph. However, shortly after passing Amsterdam, it dropped down to about 70-75, then towards Utica it really bogged down and that's when we were travelling at 40 mph for far too long!

Thanksgiving day itself we spent at my Aunt's house with the extended family. There were about 35 people crammed into the house, but thankfully there were a few quieter places to hang out. I ended up making some hot apple cider to take with us and I carved the turkey when we got there. Somehow I ended up doing it one year and I did a good job. I've had to do it every year since then. We had a good time visiting with people we hadn't since in a year and stuffing our faces. Hahaha!

We spent all of Friday and about half of Saturday also at my parents. I helped put up the small Christmas tree in the living room and its fully decorated. Rich and I both helped put up the big tree in the family room (its about 12 feet tall), but that one didn't get decorated while we were there.

The rest of the weekend was spent watching NCIS and doing just about nothing. ;-) It was perfect! I didn't do any quilting, which is a little sad, but the time spent doing nothing and just relaxing was definitely needed. I've been pretty stressed out lately due to a lot of things and the down-time was necessary. I feel a bit recharged now, but not quite. Hopefully I'll be able to hang on another 3-1/2 weeks until I have Christmas break. That will be a busy time, too, but I won't have to go to work for almost 2 weeks. Yippee!