Thursday, December 31, 2009

Auf Wiedersehen 2009!

What a year it has been. Instead of writing an insanely long post about all the fun, exciting, and amazing things that I have done this year I decided to post 12 pictures of the highlights of the year. Except I couldn't cut it down to 12, so here are 16 pictures of all the fun things I did in 2009, in no particular order.

1. and 2. Ski trip at Loon. 3. Shannon's Baby Shower. 4. Charlie's Work Christmas Party.
5. The Grand Canyon/ Road Trip. 6. Hiking with Charlie. 7. Adventure with Mum. 8. Hanging out with Shannon and Zeke.
9. Halloween. 10. North Carolina Trip with Lorelei. 11. Welcome Dylan. 12. Braid Gang.

13. Half Marathon Runners. 14. Apple Fest Prize. 15. Turkey Trot. 16. Las Vegas Half Marathon Runners.

Here's to many more great experiences and a fantastic 2010!! Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Christmas Wrap Up

Why Hello everyone! I have had two wonderful Christmas celebrations. And got many excellent gifts! Two of those gifts I would like to share with you.

The first was from my dad; he bought Charlie and I a canoe!!!! How exciting. It is green and holds two people, or maybe more, and has 2 *paddles. I was so excited, and still am very excited about it. I wish the snow and ice would melt so I could go cruising in my new canoe. Charlie and I just need to buy life jackets because even though New Hampshire is the Live Free or Die state we still need life jackets. We also need to think of a name for the canoe, because it's bad luck to have a boat without a name, and sadly Jenny is already taken, perhaps Jenny 2 will work. Oh and we also need to learn how to steer a canoe, since neither of us know how. It would be quite typical for Charles and I to set out on our first canoeing adventure on Great Bay with no clue how to steer and then ending up in Venezuela 10 days later. So although it goes against my genetic make-up to read directions or ask for help I will be learning to steer the canoe before I do anything drastic or stupid.

After my dad showed my the canoe on Christmas day he pulled out this picture:
It is him exactly 30 years ago on Christmas day 1979. His parents bought him a canoe. And there is some long story about that stuffed person in the canoe with him who he named Mr. Lupiner, but I won't get into that.

Anyways, we decided to attempt to re-create the picture 30 years later. Here is it:

We didn't have a stuffed man hanging around because Mr. Lupiner died when he was shot with a flaming arrow so Garrett had to do.

Afterwards we figured that since it was winter and we couldn't go for a canoe ride we might as well put the canoe to good use and sled down our hill. Here's Garrett and Dad on one trip down.
And here is a video of Garrett and I on one trip down. It was quite exhilarating.

Now on to my other great present. I can hardly contain my excitement so here it is:

A serger!!!!!!!!!!!! Hurray. For those of you who don't know what a serger is look at the seam on the shirt you are wearing at this very second; that my friend was made with a serger.

I was extremely excited when I opened this gift from my Mum. When she told me the big gift was for me and told me to guess what is was I said "A toaster oven?" and she said "Oh no, how did you guess?" and had a really sad look upon her face which made me believe that it was a toaster oven. Then it was a serger instead, my Mum is such a good fibber/actress.

The next day I set it up on the kitchen table and without reading the directions began to serge and proceeded to mess up the serger instantaneously. I then spent the next hour and a half re-threading the entire thing and reading the entire manual in the process.

I suppose the Christmas lesson I learned this year is to read the manual/know what you are doing before you start, and I am glad that I learned that lesson on the serger and not in a canoe on my way to Venezuela.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Signs of Christmas

More than ever this year I have been thinking about traditions and things I want to do around Christmas time when I have my own house and family. I made a mental list and even talked to Charlie about what he show that I sometimes care. Then I came home and realized that all the things I want to do are things that I have been seeing every Christmas all my life.

Candles in every window of the house.

Homemade stockings for family members hung on the mantel, thank you Frank (that's my grandfather, he is a skilled embroider-er. He made these for my brother and I.)

A beautiful tree with big retro Christmas lights and a medley of homemade and sentimental ornaments.

My future traditions have an origin; and now I am off to enjoy being home for the holidays.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!

Working in the Cellar

I'm at home in Hancock which means I can sit by a warm fireplace, read all I want, bake cookies, surf the internet with my brother finding hilarious websites, and also hang out in the cellar with all the tools.

I like making things, in case you hadn't noticed. I was trying to make 2 things for the holidays with Dad and Garrett's help and then there was this piece of wood just sitting in front of me and all of a sudden it told me that it wanted to be a candle holder and I needed to drop everything and make it into one. And I did.

Here it is. It was quite simple indeed, I cut the two ends with a saw (surprise surprise Garrett and Daddy let me use the saw....with their supervision). And then I drilled holes in it with the drill press, my favorite piece of machinery of all time. And then I was done.

Now I just have to move to an apartment/house that allows candles so I can use it.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

More Ornaments!

I found a free pattern online today to make these cute little birds. I hit print and quickly dug through my scrap box and started working.

Aren't they adorable? This one is made from some scraps of my advent calendar.

And this one is made from some AB scraps left over from a present I made for a friend (but I can't tell yet!)
I took a break to take these pictures and post but now I am going to get back to work and make some more! The only problem is that the ones I decide to keep will have to wait until next year to go on a tree because our 2 foot tall tree is too small and full for anymore ornaments!
Enjoy the snow!

EDIT: I just added this to the Homespun Holiday Sew N Tell, check it out

Wreath Ornament: How To

I've been on an ornament making spree ever since finals ended. I got an idea to make these wreaths with some green felt I had. It was very easy and here is how I did it in case you want to make one for your tree.
  • Green Felt.
  • Scissors and wire cutters or a Leatherman.
  • Green wire, I don't know what gauge, but it's thin.
  • Ribbon (red).
1. Cut the felt into one inch strips:
2: Cut those strips into squares. They don't need to be perfect, the less perfect the better.
3. Take the wire and poke the tip though the center of the squares. I did it one at a time. Do that until you have enough squares to make a circle. (Charlie said this step was boring, but I find it relaxing.) I didn't use all of the squares, but Charlie did, it just depends on how big or small you want the wreath to be.
4. Make a circle, twist the wire tightly then cut the ends and tuck them down to hide between the squares.
5. Make a bow out of ribbon and sew it onto the wreath. Add a wire ornament hanger and put it on your tree!
I took a break from shoveling snow to do a little photo shoot with the wreaths that Charlie and I have made:
I can't help by sing "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" when I look a these ornaments.
Merry merry

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Things to do after Christmas:

  1. Make a doll quilt. I don't have any dolls and I don't know who I want to make it for, I just want to.
  2. Make the Sorbet quilt that has been sitting cut into squares in a corner for 5 months now.
  3. Finish knitting scarf that was started in August.
  4. Work on cross stitch that was started in August (2008.. {notice I said work on, not "finish". At least I am being realistic.})
  5. Read a book for fun, and finish it before it is due back at the library.
  6. Organize sewing area and sewing supplies storage area (which happens to be the space under the end table.)
  7. Make an apron from the "A is for Apron" book. There is one called the "Lorelei" and it is calling my name.... I wonder why?
  8. Relax. Which is something I have been wanting to do for a while now and whenever I decide to take a few minutes to myself I remember all the things I have to do and start getting heart palpitations.
And now to finish this random post here are some pictures from our trip to Las Vegas:
Polar Bears on display in the Belagio, made completely out of flowers.

Charlie and I with a snowman made out of flowers and seeds and beans.

Now I am off to Charlie's work Christmas Party. Oh what to wear!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Half Marathon Recap

Me, Charlie, Danielle, Jay and Meera
Well I don't know where exactly to start so I will just start. Whenever I go anywhere Jaclyn always asks me to tell her the top 5 best and worst of the trip so that's how I will organize this post about the half.

I feel somewhat negative at the moment, it might be the extreme amount of lactic acid in my legs and my sore back and the fact that one of my ears hasn't "popped" back to normal since the flight home but I'll begin with top 5 worst of the race.

1. There were a lot of people. It was a half and a full so total there were about 25,000 people. I am a country gal and I get agitated/ nervous when there are a lot of people around. During the race it wasn't so bad, there was always enough room for me to run it was the post race amount of people that scared me. I didn't run with a cell phone or a room key so once I finished and couldn't find Charlie at the designated area I began to panic a bit, and then once I did find him I decided to cry loudly in front of all those people (but that wasn't the first time I cried, read on...)

2. The finish line was at Mandalay Bay hotel/casino. The problem was that you could see said hotel from about
two miles away. I felt like Mandalay Bay was taunting me and wanted me to give up. Mandalay Bay was like a mirage on the Las Vegas desert horizon, I thought I would never reach it. By about mile 12 I decided that I would never get there and I would be stuck running forever, that was when the tears started welling up in my eyes. All along the course there were people taking pictures to post on the site so you can buy them later and show your friends. For the first half I would see the photographers and smile or try to look like I was all that and then some; let's just say I won't be purchasing any pictures from mile 12.

3. There was staggered starts. So all 25,000 people didn't start at the same time, which is good because I would have probably gotten stomped to death if that were true. However, when there are staggered starts you have no idea who started before or after you. In a race when everyone starts at the same time if someone passes me then that means they are beating me and I get angry and try to pass them (or at least hope they get a severe cramp). Yet in this situation whenever someone passed me I justified it in my head by saying "oh it's okay, that person started sooner than I did, they aren't beating me"....when they very well could have been beating me.)

4. No one cheered for me. I tried to be happy with strangers cheering for me and standing on the side giving me high fives, (which is very nice by the way, thanks all you nice strangers) but it didn't cut it for me. Everyone I knew in Las Vegas was running the race so I had no one on the sides cheering for me. I guess I am not very intrinsically motivated when it comes to sports (I always dove best when my Mum or Dad was watching me). It feels good to have someone you know up ahead who will yell to you and say nice things and be at the finish line waiting for you. That was depressing; finishing and having no one there to say "hurray you did it!" I think that just means I should only run races where I can force my parents to come see me.

5. I didn't make friends with anyone in the race. In the last one I met a woman who was running the same pace as me and we talked for more than half the race, but not in Vegas. I just couldn't find someone who was nice and was running the same pace as me. In fact I don't even remember running in the same group of people for any length of time. I think this might be because of the staggered start and me not being in the place I should have been based on my time (I was in a slower start group than I actually should have been, so I ended up passing a lot of people, not really a way to make friends).

Now on to the good stuff.

1. Being able to run on a 4 lane road that is usually hustling and bustling 24/7 was pretty cool. Not to mention running past some of the most expensive hotels in the world. All the lights and signs were entertaining to see as well. Oh and some of the hotels had the race on their jumbo screens so you could see the fast people and the huge crowds in front of you and also behind.

2. The race went up the strip then back down, this means I got to see Charlie running twice and cheer for him and tell everyone around me "That's my boyfriend, he's wicked fast!!!!"

3. Las Vegas is flat so running there is easier than running in New Hampshire, where the hills are numerous.

4. There were fireworks at the beginning of the race. Nothing gets my blood pumping like the smell of sulfur at 6 am. (Must be the fact that I am the daughter of a fireman and a firework loving mom.)

5. The people in the race were certainly more entertaining than most people in races I have run. There were more people dressed up like Elvis than I could count. One man wore a speedo and bow tie, some people didn't wear shoes, I saw one man wearing a huge brimmed cowboy hat, and lots of couples ran the race and stopped along the way to get married. They were very cute, I liked the brides who wore veils. There were also people who pushed strollers, not filled with kids but with coolers of beer and boomboxes. (I hope none of these people beat me, but they very well might have).

Anyways I made you wait this long for the results so here they are:
  • Charlie ran 13.1 miles in 1:16:03 and was 38th overall and 36th for his gender, which means that 2 women kicked his butt (if I can't do it am am glad someone could).
  • I finished in 1:56:18 which is 4 minutes faster than my last one and I am pretty excited about it. I consider anything less than 2 hours a miracle. My place was 2630.
  • Charlie's dad, John finished in 2:16:20 and his brother Jay and his girlfriend Meera finished in 2:16:30 and 31 but because of the staggered start they finished 10 minutes before John (see that staggered start is very wacky and can play tricks with your mind)
  • And Charlies sister Danielle finished in 3:33:23. She was smart and had a cell phone and was able to call us and let us know she was going to finish soon so we could go cheer for her. I think that gave her the extra umph to sprint to the finish.
All and all it was a good race and I was glad to have had the opportunity to do it and I had a lot of fun with Charlie and his family and am very grateful to have been taken along for the ride, or run.

p.s. I'll post a picture tomorrow (I am too busy eating ice cream now.)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Lots to Say

Well I have been buzzing around like crazy lately and now at a time when I thought I would be doing more crazy buzzing I have some free time so I will catch everyone up on the details of life, since I know all 5 of you care a lot. Here goes:
1. Thanksgiving in Maine was great. It was fun spending time with all of my family. A bunch of us ran a 5 k on thanksgiving morning. Garrett ran with me for the first 2.5 miles then he left me in the dust. There were 6 runners in all and we had a cheering squad of 5 people, Macy cheered the loudest:

Here are all the finishers and supporters:

Garrett and I jumped in the lake after the race, but I have no pictures on my camera of the incident so I'll have to get pictures from my Mum to prove it!
2. My first Thanksgiving as a vegetarian was quite easy, much to my surprise.
3. Charlie and I have begun adventing. (I made that word up). It has been enjoyable thus far. Also I have been waiting to tell until it was safe; I made Lorelei an advent calendar as well....I know, I'm crazy. I send it to her in Iraq with specific instructions to not open it until the 1st, but she did, oh well. I am just glad she likes it! Here it is:

4. I sent my ornaments for the ornament exchange and then yesterday I got some from my swap partner! I am so excited she sent three tiny little scenes. I love them and they look super cute on our tiny fake tree. She also sent me a bar of soap from her company, it smells like candy canes, but should not be licked even if you really want to (yuck).

5. School is almost over, and I could not be more thrilled. (Although my joy has been pushing my desire to do school work onto the back burner).
6. And the biggest news of all is that in about 45 minutes Charlie and I are leaving to go to Las Vegas. We are running a half marathon with Charlie's whole family. I am very excited. I have been preparing for this half marathon since July (my initial thoughts about the matter are quite hilarious to look back on). I have actually enjoyed training for this race. Before July I had never run over 5 miles, and now I have run over 10 miles more times than I can count. Training forced me to take time to myself, and running 12 miles takes a lot of time. I have never liked listening to music when I run so I really am all by myself on these long runs with just my thoughts, and it has been very good for me to have those times during the week when I am free to think about whatever I want. I have also really enjoyed seeing the seasons change from back roads and trails. Charlie always talks about how much he loves running on trials and now I can say I understand his affections. It's also a good way to get to know a small town, the other day I saw about 6 families setting up Christmas decorations, it made me happy.
Alright we are off, wish me luck!
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