Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bonnie's Latest Escapade

During a break from a covert operation under the deck, Bonnie came upstairs and found something else to occupy herself. After several minutes of hearing paper rustling, we assessed the situation and this is how we found her...

Covered in SpongeBob stickers.

You can't tell here, but there's a small pirate's eyeglass stuck to the side of her nose.

Moments like these make cleaning up dog pee worth it.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas SWAG

What a Christmas, what a Christmas! Brent and I loaded Bonnie the Barbarian into the car on Christmas Eve and went home to Hickory Hill Drive. Rob and Candace ate dinner with us and then we all played The Office dvd game that they gave Brent and I for Christmas. We enjoyed smoking Mom and Dad who occasionally watch the show but haven't turned it into an unhealthy obsession like the rest of us. Perhaps they're the real winners in the end. We went to the midnight service at Trinity per the usual and then came home to wait for Santa!
Christmas morning finally came and Mom opened up the beautiful, hardcover book entitled Bob and Big Lou - Livin' the Dream; Season One: September 2007 - September 2008. Yes, I turned her blog into a book. Blurb lets you import your blog into a template and then all you have to do is format and arrange the pictures. Really it's just a simple three month project. She loved it, there were tears, and Rob shot me this sideways "Great, thanks a lot for giving her a gift that evokes tears" look. The giving part of Christmas is so much better than the receiving.

BUT, speaking of receiving, I cleaned up. Santa has never had a problem finding me and this year was no exception. Both my husband and my parents bought me a pair of Ugg boots, so there will be no more whining about not having any. Now I have two pairs! One has to be returned because they won't zip up over my ripped calves, but that's neither here nor there. I also got a cute pink coat and a new black North Face. I am lucky!

Here I am in my Christmas SWAG (Stuff We All Get - you know, from The Office?).

Brent in his SWAG.

Rob and Candace came back for Christmas dinner which was SO GOOOOOOD and then we hung around the rest of the evening. Hanging out was a common theme of the whole trip, which means we watched the dogs play together a lot. Bonnie is so agressive and Maddie was a real trooper. Brent and I also spent some time planning our trip to Italy in March and making some hotel reservations. For the last month or so we've had plane tickets but no real plans. For those of you who know my husband, you probably can imagine this is killing him. We're going by ourselves without knowing any Italian or how to even find the train station, so this will be quite an adventure for us.

No, Bonnie is not humping the Amazing Barking Dog, just attempting to bite her back. Come on, what kind of pup do you think I'm raising here?

On Friday evening Brent and I met Ashley, Laura, Christa, Mel, Andy, and Justin for dinner at Casa Grille and drinks later. I sadly forgot to take pictures of this event. It's always good to see this crew!

Nice arrangement! Did you know that Crate and Barrel has those stems half off now? Don't plan on buying the red ones...they're sold out. :(

Although it's always sad to go back to work after Christmas, I am grateful to have had such a relaxing three days at home with my family. PLUS, it's only a three-day work week, so who can complain about that?

Feliz Navidad, Bloggers.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

An Effingham Christmas

My mom's side of the family held their Christmas this Sunday and we had dinner with my dad's parents on Saturday night. Lori, Baleigh and I slept in the living room at Maw-Maw's like old times and we enjoyed the musings of the Toddler Formerly Known as the Cutest Baby in Springfield. Landon is too sweet. On Saturday night I was snuggling with him about the time Megan was trying to load him in the car, and he said that he wanted "this guy" to go too. Just call me ol' Cousin This Guy....hahaha.

Lighting the candles for caroling

Other higlights: meeting Baby Layla for the first time, caroling half-heartedly in less than perfect conditions, and singing another rousing rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas as performed by the Cash Clan - also a new tradition going on year #2. Megan might have video to post of this get excited!

Twelve Days of Christmas action shot

Artsy shots at church require a better camera

2nd Annual Gift Exchange at Christi's

Okay, so we don't have a snazzy title for this event, but the gift exchange is also now an established Christmas tradition. The ex-BKD girls gathered for lasagna at Christi's last Friday night. Our tradition is for everyone to bring something to complete the meal, and the dessert is my assignment. Last year I experienced a carrot cake disaster and was forced to stop at Panera after work and beg for any pastries that remained after the morning rush. Sad. This year I made the Cinammon-Scented Devil's Food cupcakes that we enjoyed at Baby Peyton's shower. Much better this year!

I got Candy's gift, which was a purse by Le Sportsac with a plastic wrench hanging off of it. Here I am trying to open the purse with the wrench.

Ugly Sweater Party - Part Deux

We hosted the 2nd Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party the first weekend in December. Last year's bash was dampered by a raging blizzard, but this year the weather was good enough for almost 30 people to attend! We had meatballs, mini quiche, mini corndogs, spinach artichoke dip, and sugar and peanut butter cup cookies. I also made a hot drink called Warm Apple Pie that will definitely be enjoyed again. You mix 2 gallons apple cider, 1 bottle of Everclear, and 1/2 bottle of Hot Damn and heat in a large stock pot. Serve with whipped cream. Yummmm.

Bonnie makes herself right at home on Brian's lap.

BKD Financial Services Christmas Card 2009??

Manchester friends!!

A highlight of the evening was the surprise appearance of Emma and Greg! It was very unexpected because Emma had her work Christmas party that night in Wabash, but they pulled it off anyway.

Our Bonnie is quite the mixer at parties.

We collected lots of cash and goodies for our Christmas family at the party as well. Some of our co-workers also chipped in, and this is what we were able to deliver to our family this afternoon. Thank you everyone for giving this very nice family a very nice Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Siiimmply, Haavving, A Wonderful Christmas Time"

I have this song in my head now after reading Big Lou's post about the five worst Christmas songs ever. Thanks. Better than "Daddy, Please Don't Get Drunk This Christmas". Can't say I can pull the lyrics to that one out of my mental rolodex of bad songs.
Sorry it's been so long with no post. It's a shame really, because I've got some good stuff to write about! You'll just have to keep waiting for a few more days. For now, I'll leave you with images of the sweet, 8 lb. 6 oz. Baby Bonnie helping decorate for Christmas.

The dog gets more and more cat-like each day.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Happy Birthday, Brent!

Brent turned 27 last Saturday (the 29th)! We met his parents for lunch and later celebrated with Pacific Rim cuisine at Kona Grill and drinks at Muldoon's in Carmel. Oh, and he also raked some leaves, helped me put up the Christmas star and posed for our Christmas card picture...pretty exciting birthday stuff. He got a Garmin Forerunner GPS watch to help him train for the mini. It looks pretty cool and I'm hoping he'll let me borrow it... :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

A New Thanksgiving Tradition?

We had a great Thanksgiving! My parents, brother, and Aunt Lori and Baleigh joined us in Indy on Thursday and stayed overnight to enjoy Black Friday shopping fun. Mom made the turkey and stuffing (and Dad helped, not me - as predicted) and I took care of the rest of the sides. Rob brought Roxie along and Maddie, the Amazing Barking Dog was there as well. Our dogs almost outnumbered our people!

Excited about my gravy boat. I am sad to report a Thanksgiving Day fatality, however...the handle of the china creamer. I was putting away the platter and there was a freak slip and then the sound of porcelain breaking. The only tarnish on an otherwise perfect Thanksgiving.

Turkey table runner. It is now to be known as the Traveling Turkey Runner, and wherever I go for Thanksgiving, so the runner will cometh.

A green bean snapping contest. What? Lori, turn something into a contest? Nah. Brent and Baleigh had a Roll-Off to see who could eat the most dinner rolls. Baleigh won.

Here is our aggressive, "pawsy" Westie trying to man-handle the precious Miss Roxie.

We Pounced the rest of the night away after dinner and went to bed way too late considering we planned to be at Sears at 5:00 a.m. We were able to score several great doorbusters at Sears for Christmas presents, and I pretty much shopped for myself the rest of the day. Merry Christmas to me?

Sifting through Black Friday ads as a tired pup looks on.

We had so much fun with our family and I hope this might become a new Thanksgiving tradition. We are thankful for our loved ones, our good health, and our comfortable lifestyles. I got some news of a little something extra to celebrate this year - on Wednesday I checked my Financial (CPA section) scores and found out that I squeaked by with a passing score of 75!!! I may just have one more to take depending on how my next scores come back. When I found out on Wednesday morning I started hopping up and down in my cube shrieking, "I passed, I passed, I passed!" Then I shed a few tears of joy. It's coworkers/employees know me well enough by now to not be disturbed by such an outburst.

My little, annoying Westie is walking on my computer and putting her wet snow-paws on the screen, so I'm going to go. Hope your Thanksgiving was as relaxing as ours. Bring on Christmas!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Oaken Bucket Game...and More

Last week was busy, but there's rarely a non-eventful five day stretch at our house. We test drove cars on Wednesday night since my lease is ending soon. We were just about to hop into a Highlander when Brent realized that it was getting late and we needed to get to Costco before they closed. Our car guy, John, was not interested in us leaving, so I said, "John, unless you're willing to go to Costco with us, we've gotta go." So drive to Costco is exactly what we did. I hurried in and sprinted back to the dinner rolls so Brent wasn't trapped inside a small space with a car salesman for too long. I came running out with bags filled with 72 dinner rolls for our Thanksgiving feast at work and hopped back into the Highlander for the return trip to the dealership. Hilarious.
Our Thanksgiving feast at work was amazing. I don't throw that word around a lot (I think it's over-used), but this truly was amazing. We had several eight-foot tables filled with dish after dish. There were about six different dressings to choose from, five macaroni and cheeses, eight variations of green bean casserole, etc. It was a great time to share with our coworkers and be thankful for all we've been given.

On Saturday we tailgated at Purdue but didn't end up going into the game to see the massacre. It was freezing! After the game Laura, Chris, Brent and I went to Scotty's back in Indy and then watched Entourage in Chris's sweet apartment in Carmel. We had a great Saturday!

Laura joined us for the best tailgate we've had to date. I'm glad we didn't disappoint since she woke up at 5 to get down to West Lafayette!

DFAS employees love Purdue.

Laura and I befriended some strange men with a fire and single-handly prevented us all from freezing to death. They kept inviting us into their "Office", which was a large white van with no windows. I like to refer to these as Kidnapper Vans, and not something I want to experience. No thanks, the fire is all we're interested in. And the champagne toast...yeah, we'll drink to that to. But we want no part of the van!

I must get off here and keep cleaning and preparing for Thanksgiving dinner. Brent and I are hosting this year and I can't wait! Big Lou's doing the turkey. She thinks she's just "helping" me with the turkey, but I think I'm the one helping her with it. I'm only 25 - a mere child - for crying out loud!

Happy Thanksgiving, Bloggers! I hope you all share the holiday with loved ones, and if you can't, come to our house!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Status Quo

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Not much going on around here - just work, class, household chores. Lather, rinse, repeat. Brent went to the Purdue basketball game in Lafayette tonight while I had class and held down the fort. The only other excitement of the day was the news that Laura has officially passed all four parts of the CPA exam, and Rachel passed another section and is now halfway done (or more depending on scores in the queue)! Congratulations to you both! No scores for me yet on the two tests I'm waiting for...but if it's good news I'll be sure to share it with you!

Bonnie and I are tired. She's had a long day of sitting in her crate waiting for us to come home and an evening filled with jumping on things. She nearly made it up on the coffee table today...awesome. She is excited about her Christmas sweater that I ordered for her today. She will be sporting it at our 2nd Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater party. Here's a link for a sneak peek...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

See you in Chicago!

This past weekend was Ashley and Becca's birthday trip to Chicago to celebrate Becca's birthday, and Laura and I tagged along as a surprise that Ashley schemed up! You see, the girls always take a road trip to celebrate their birthdays. Laura and I popped into Lou Manalties where the girls were eating dinner last Friday night and Becca was very surprised! It was so fun to stroll into the restaurant, plop down in their booth, and say, "Fancy seeing you here!" She loved it. :)
Becca had a list of items to do on Saturday, and we may have hit...a quarter of them? It is possible that Laura and I were distracted by a huge sale at Banana and spent a large chunk of time sifting through the sale racks....yeah, that may have happened...

The things we were able to check off the list were: Navy Pier, Hancock Observatory (okay, so we actually didn't go up because it was $15 and we've seen it, but we were check!), and riding the Brown Loop. Even though we didn't get to everything, we ate some great food, got to see the Macy's Christmas windows, saw the Blue Man Group, and had a blast being together in the Windy City.

Car snack carnage.

It took Laura and I more than 5 hours to get from Indy to Chicago due to traffic problems and other general ridiculousness....but we made it!

Breakfast at South Water Kitchen - yum! Zagat rated...haha

Matching Banana outfits...

The wine tower at Socca's bar. If you want good French-meets-Italian cuisine, go to Socca near Belmont and Halsted. If you want a jerk waiter, sit in Mark's section.

On Sunday morning we headed down to the Union Station area to eat breakfast at Lou Mitchell's. We were sold once we heard that you get donut holes and Milk Duds while you wait for a table.

The line at Lou Mitchell's...
Keep in mind that it was cold, very cold. We waited in that line for an hour and squealed with delight when the donut hole lady came back out with her basket to walk through the line periodically. We loved you, donut hole lady.