Monday, January 30, 2012

Christmas 2011

Yeah, again, I know the date...better late than never, right???  Moving on...
This past Christmas was the first Christmas that I did not leave the city of Louisville since I was in high school.  It made things really calm, which helped balance out the craziness that I was wrapping presents on Christmas morning (are we all noticing a theme here....again, better late than never, right?).  It definitely beat last Christmas when it felt as though we travelled the globe to see everyone at Christmastime!  Unexpectedly, Stephen's mom ended up staying in Louisville for Christmas because Stephen's sister had a baby.  Which meant that we celebrated with his family on Christmas Eve, my family on Christmas day, and then with his family again (when his dad returned from Pittsburgh) later on in the week.  We had a lot to celebrate, and celebrate a lot we did!

So, on Christmas Eve we went to church with Stephen's family (minus his pops) and then went back to his parents house to eat a yummy meal!
Christmas Eve:

On Christmas Day we woke up and headed over to my parents house to enjoy Christmas with my family...unfortunately, we're not good about taking pictures - here's the only picture that I have from Christmas day (I stole it from my sister):

Celebrating Christmas later on that week with Stephen's whole family (Pops included):
All the grandbabies

This picture makes me laugh - Nathan and Ashley are both still such attractive people, even in their outtakes!

Noni and her great grandbabies

4 generations

Jake, getting some loving!

Nona and Nunu with their grandbabies
The whole clan

Somebody (I'm not going to name any names...) got really hot from running around like a crazy woman. Her solution?  Strip.  Ah - the benefits of being a child!

A little late, but I hope you had the merriest Christmas!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I'm an Aunt...AGAIN!

Sweet Baby Sofia was born on December 20, 2011 after making us all wait about 2 weeks before she decided to make her debut!  This is my 4th time being an Aunt and my 2nd sweet little niece!  Sofia was born to my sister-in-law, Cali (Stephen's sister).  Talk about 1 good, early Christmas gift!

Aunt Kari loves you, sweet baby!  Even if she looks a bit overly excited to hold you...don't worry - she'll try reeeeeaaaallly hard not to squeeze you too tight!

I love everything about this picture - from the excitedness that he felt from getting to hold Sofia, to the awkwardness that is his hold - Stephen is one proud uncle!

Stephen, Cali and Sweet Baby

Sofia was telling them about her day

One last time, for good measure, and also for you to see that awesomely, big bow on Sofia's teeny-tiny head!

She might look like a teeny peanut, but teeny was one thing she was not.  Cali was ALL belly from the beginning of her pregnancy on - if you saw her from behind, you'd never even know she were pregnant. When Baby Sofia came into this world weighing a whoppin' 8lbs 15 oz, we all felt sympathy pain for Cali!
I have most definitely loved taking advantage of having a sweet little baby to hold!  My other sweet baby, is no longer a little baby, but a little man who doesn't so much like to snuggle anymore. 
There's Elliott-man, enjoying his big boy food!

Whelp, all that to say that our Christmas season was quite memorable and exciting!  Having a precious peanut come into this world always makes your heart go pitter-patter.  Anything smaller than normal size is always too cute.  If you don't believe me, listen to any woman's reaction when she sees a puppy, a kitten, oh for heaven's sake, even a smaller than normal size can of coke!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Salt Dough Ornaments 2011

So last year, I decided that I was going to try my hand at making salt dough ornaments every year to act as a gift tag for Christmas gifts for friends and family.  My 2010 salt dough ornament was a snowman's head and I decided that this year I was going to go for a Christmas tree.  I used a very simple recipe:

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water

1. Mix salt and flour.
2. Add in half the water, then gradually add the remaining water.
3. Knead until the dough is smooth
4.  Roll out the dough on baking paper or floured counter top
5. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters or design your own.

Bake at 250 for 1-1 1/2 hr Make sure you don't burn them.
Let cool completely & paint.

Here is a progression of my 2011 salt dough ornament:

It was super easy and a lot of fun to do.  I ended up throwing away dough because I just didn't need 9,999 Christmas tree salt dough ornaments!  My goal for my 2012 salt dough ornaments (I know, grow up Kari and stop making goals for your dumb salt dough ornaments) is to take advantage of my summer and get 'em done in July!  Haha.  Isn't that always how it goes...????

Christmas Tree update:
As I was taking ornaments off of it, more and more lights continued to go out.  Are you kidding me?!?  No, no I'm not.  My tree is de-ornamented with 1/2 the lights working in the middle of the room.  Ugh.  Decorating for Christmas is SO much more fun than de-decorating.  Can I get an "Amen!"?

In other news, we made it through another Monday.  Congratulations to you on that great accomplishment!  Every Monday I live through reinforces the idea that my students aren't capable of killing me...yet ;).
May your Tuesday be great, swift and painless!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Christmas Ornaments 2011

Yeah, I know, it's January 22...I get it, Christmas is over.  My tree is still up in my family room (pathetic, I know), which I believe constitutes me being able to share with you our Christmas ornaments that adorned our tree this year :).  You can check out our 2010 ornaments here.
Introducing our 2011 Christmas tree!  
I'm all for pretty, color coordinated trees that look elegant and really bright up a room, but I'm even more for a tree that has fun, multicolored lights adorning it and filled with ornaments that hold special memories from loved ones or fun occasions.  Maybe one day, when I can convince Stephen that it's not frivolous, I can have both types of trees - until then, the one multicolored light tree is what we'll have!  Here are our special, 2011 ornaments that called our tree "home" for the first time this year:

In March, Stephen and I had a wonderful trip visiting friends and hitting the slopes in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The awesome ornament on the left is made out of salt from the great Salt Lake, and the ornament on the right is in honor of Stephen trying out his hand at Snowboarding and not dying - way to go Stephen! 

This ornament made it's way back from Alaska this year from when my mom and dad ventured there in July and August of this year.  It also reminds us of our great trip there back in 2010.  

 I picked up this great ornament to help me remember a FANTASTIC trip that I took to New York City last December with the besties and Steph-O.  I searched the city high and low for a more authentic New York ornament, only to be stuck buying this sucker at an ornament tent in Central Park...oh well, it does its job!
 Last Christmas I decided that I was going to make Salt Dough Ornaments to act as Gift Tags for friends and family.  This little guy was from my salt dough batch last Christmas. 

 Stephen and I have a Chicago ornament from our first two years of living in Chicago.  This Christmas marked our first year not in our beloved city, but I couldn't bring myself not to get a new Chicago ornament.  When we ventured back "home" in November, I made sure to pick one of these 'beauts up at Holiday Lane in Macys.  

"Santa" brought me this awesome UK ornament in my stocking last Christmas.  Evidently, I have an obsession with Christmas trees and hope to have ANOTHER tree one day in our basement that is adorned with all our sports themed ornaments.

"Santa" brought Stephen this IU ornament last year in his stocking.  The Troy Polamalu ornament was a gift to him from our sister-in-law in honor of his love for Troy.  These ornament would also find it's way onto our future said sports-themed tree that could potentially end up in my basement one day :).

Two years ago I picked up this ornament for my sister and brother-in-law in honor of their first year in their new house.  Since then, I couldn't wait to get my grubs on it!  As soon as I could I had one made for us in honor of our new home.  It has our new address written on the bottom of it.

Just like we picked up a Chicago ornament every Christmas we lived in Chicago, I thought it would be fun to do the same here in Louisville.  This year, I found this fun Flur de Leis at a local store and thought it was perfect to represent our first Christmas back in Kentucky!

So that's it, those are the ornaments that made their way on our tree this year...I know what you're thinking, it's time to go and take that tree down!  I think my tree would agree with you.  In fact, I believe that it's begun to protest that it is still working overtime at the end of January.  So much though, that about 1/3 of our lights have gone out on our tree leaving it to look even more pathetic than a regular tree would look still standing in January.  Here's a peek at our sad, sad tree:
What about you?  When did you get around to taking your tree down?  Anybody still rocking their tree like I am in the end of January?  Come on, speak up!  I know there's someone out there that's still in the same boat as myself!!!