Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Luke 2 

 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
   and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

A Merry Christmas to you all! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

merry little updates

I decided I really ought to blog, even though I haven't done all too much house updating. However, I did manage to get the attic ceiling trim painted. Here are a few "before shots". Notice the mismatch between the window trim and the ceiling trim.

And to the very exciting after shots. It really doesn't seem like a huge update because it is not. The hardest part (as it always is when you are painting the ceiling) was keeping my balance. Overall, I am glad that the trim work in here is finally done and all matching and pretty. It is definitely a big update from the un-trimmed version we had when we moved in. Unfortunately, I never took a true before photo.

I also decided that our front door should be painted, now that the stained glass was removed.

This is a close-up of the problem. The caulk around the windows was all junky looking. So, I sanded them down a little and got to painting.

At the time of this post, I have only managed to get one coat on. I plan on finishing her up and showing the final result. I also am planning on tackling the bay window trim after Christmas (when the tree is no longer in the window). More de-beige-ifying to come!

Here you can see the difference in the trim color with just one coat. It is going to look so clean and polished when all is said and done. So, more on that to come... I am also planning on painting the entry closet door, in case you were concerned about that.

In other news, I made salmon this evening for dinner, which was really yummy and thus picture worthy (though J did ask me why I was photographing our dinner). I always have trouble getting the timing right with salmon fillets in the oven. And so, for my own memory's sake, I baked the fillets at 400 for 20 minutes. I used a basil pesto sauce on top of them.

And for those that didn't realize this.. which is also the reason I haven't been posting recently, J finished his masters last week! Woohoo!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

deck the halls

Since my facebook has literally been lighting up with photos of everyone's Christmas decorations, I thought it was time to share some pictures too. This past week, I have been assembling our Christmas decorations. None of this was done all at once, just little bits and pieces. Last Sunday (11/27), J and I got our Christmas tree. We had thought we would try a real tree this year. But, after we got to the store, we ended up deciding on a really pretty 4.5 ft pre-lit tree that would fit in our bay window. This meant that our Christmas lights were free for other uses. And thus, they were strung outside. I have always wanted to have outdoor Christmas lights, so I am super excited to finally be able to do so. The wreath is real, and I really enjoy it. 

And I purchased an on/off timer so that the lights would automatically turn on at dusk and off at dawn. This makes things super easy. 

Indoors, here is a shot of our tree and stockings. I have since decorated the tree (pictures later).

And the chalk message was changed on our plant.

We also picked up some garland from the garden center where we got our tree. And yes, this garland is a bit more intense than we had originally anticipated. It sort of looks like a tree is eating our staircase. haha. But, it is staying for now. 

And here is the tree with decorations!

Some of my favorite ornaments: 
The delft ornament J and I bought in Amsterdam 3 year ago. 

J's favorite (not sure an explanation is needed). By the way, this was J's sole contribution to the Christmas decorations.


Ballerina ornament that I have had since I was young.

This one is just really pretty.

I also put up our nativity scene, which is resting on our sideboard.

So, there you go! Christmas has arrived at our house! One of our neighbors has actually complemented me on the tree in the window. It really is a perfect size for that window and doesn't take up floor space on the main floor. I think we would have had to put a bigger tree downstairs in the basement if we had one.

In other news, I ran the Hot Chocolate 5k in DC this weekend with my friend, Stevie. The chocolate was good, but that was a pretty pitifully run race. Since it was in the National Harbor, traffic backed up everywhere getting in and they had to delay the start for 45 minutes. Then, the course was far too narrow meaning that everyone pretty much had to walk for half of it. People actually got out their cell phones and started calling people ... in the middle of the "race." Oh well, we still had fun, regardless.

Hope everyone else is getting excited for Christmas. I really do love this time of year, celebrating the birth of Jesus!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

First of all, I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving! We hosted Thanksgiving for the first time. Both of our parents came down to celebrate with us. Here is some shots of our table all ready to go. The centerpiece was a gift from our in-laws and was beautiful!

 And here my mom and I are cooking away!

And here is a shot of everyone (without me).

With the help of our parents, we pulled it off without a hitch! For appetizers, J's mom brought crab dip and my mom brought cheese she had gotten in Vermont. For dinner, we had turkey, sweet potatoes, 3 bean casserole, rolls, stuffed celery, German coleslaw, stuffing and gravy! It was all very yummy! For dessert, we had pumpkin pie. We had a great time with both of our parents. It was really nice to have all of our family together.

Before Thanksgiving, my mom helped me to re-upholster the rocking chair I mentioned previously. We cut the fabric about 2 inches around the seat.

Folded it in and stapled it to the frame.

And put it back in the chair.

And moved it to its place in the guest bedroom! Doesn't it look pretty in its new location? By the way, I got the fabric from I couldn't find anything in Joann fabrics, Calico Corners or G Street that I really liked. But the purple in the seat matches perfectly in the room.

After Thanksgiving, we went out to the Shenandoah to take a hike on the Appalachian Trail (to work off some of that food). It was an absolutely gorgeous day for it too. (And much better than Black Friday shopping). In total, we went about 3.4 miles (and stopped for some photos on Skyline Drive).

On Saturday, my dad put in the last piece of the trim around the attic stairs. This project was actually started months ago. Three trim pieces were already installed, but the last piece needed to be cut so that it would fit in its space. Since we do not have a circular saw (or other way of getting the cut we needed), my dad had to take it home and make the cut. I will still need to paint the trim to the same color used for the trim in the rest of the bedroom.

After my parents left and I cleaned the house, I did one more project this weekend. I took down the stained glass on our front door. J and I had never liked it, and we figured out that the pieces were actually installed and caulked in on top of the existing glass. So, all I had to do was cut off the caulk with an exacto knife and the pieces easily came out.

Ahh... so much better! And that wraps up our long Thanksgiving weekend. And now... on to Christmas!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A little Bahamas sunshine

This weekend, J and I went to the Bahamas! This event was in line with a tradition started when I was in grad school at Georgia Tech. Our group of friends decided to have a pizza party right before we all went home from Thanksgiving. This turned into a yearly activity. Of course, I missed years 3 and 4 after I had graduated. So, we got together with the Atlanta group again to have pizza in the Bahamas. Our friend, Peter, scored us these rooms at the Sheraton in Nassau. Isn't the water pretty?

And of course the poolside bar. :)

Good times with good friends! We definitely got some sun and relaxing. Oh yes - and we did get pizza from the only pizza place on the Island - Dominos! :) Happy Pizza Festival!