my new adventure

Jane Austen is a well known author of colorful inspiring novels. With her first novel published in 1811, and she has been amazing her readers ever since then. She has written a total of 6 completed novels {they are the ones pictured above}. I have always wanted to read her collection of books, but it wasn't until I saw the movie 'The Jane Austen Book Club' that I became determined to read them. The movie is about 6 Californians who start a book club discussing the works of Jane Austen. They start with Emma, so that is where my adventure will begin. As I read each novel I will share with you my thoughts and ideas about the characters and the colorful picture that Jane Austen has painted for them.

a quiet Christmas

This year seemed to be a quiet Christmas season. In years past we have had an abundant of family in town, but with our family members spread out a little more than normal this year it was a less crowded family gathering. This year felt different to me, but I realized that it wasn't Christmas that had changed it was me. No matter how many people are in your midst, Christmas is the same, and it's us who are changing.

I know it's true

time doesn't stand still
many things can change
but we know some things never will
the memories we share
the songs we always sing
the mystery of life
the hopefulness this season brings
-Amy Grant

Our kitty Jackson found a new favorite spot to sleep, and with the presents gone he can claim his spot under the tree. I hope everyone had a splendid Christmas and are enjoying the precious time spent with family and friends!


all it takes

All it takes is a little giggly bouncing girl {Katy} and you have:
-smiles that light up the room

-the attention of my whole family {even the dog and cat}

-squishy dippers that can stink up a room
-a sleepy baby taking a cat-nap on your lap
-the discover of tupperware as so much more than just a container,
but now a play toy
-little hands restyling our hair
-new toys that Heidi was disappointed to discover were not for her
-little eyes that lit up to discover the wonders of our Christmas tree
-a contagious laugh that kept us in a blissful mood all night


21 years later

She has arived at the big 21st birthday, and she did it with style. She had a well deserved night out even though it was in the middle of finals week, and didn't complain the next morning about the few hours of sleep! That lovely girl is Noelle. It was her 21st birthday on Tuesday, and even though she had 2 finals to complete she still managed to have a bit of tasteful fun, on her new year of being 21!


the week of dread

This week is inching by with it's stress, restless nights, and ampule supplies of caffeine. It's a week filled with large tests and projects due. It's a week filled with anticipation and frustration. For those of you who guessed finals week, you would be right. I have 2 more finals to go, but it seems as though time is moving along extra slow on a week like this.


'nobody does it like she does'

While the song "Nobody Does It Like She Does" by the band Locksley, is describing their girl, I'm using the title to describe my girl, my mom! Ever since I was a little girl my mom has always thrown the best parties. Whether it's a Pampered Chef get together, a dinner party, or an elaborate Christmas celebration, she always does it with flair and adds her own creative ideas. Last night my mom put on a great bash for her Garden Club. She filled the room with about 30 of her friends, kept them well fed with yummy treats and entertained with a creative gift exchange. I made my signature Enchilada Ring and it was eaten up pretty fast. I've served it at the last few get together, so some might recognize it. The smell of cinnamon apple cider and Christmas cooking filled our home all night.


looking out my bedroom window

I wake to see snow falling outside my window,
it's waiting for us as we enter the cold abyss,
bundle up with you favorite scarf and mittens,
and enjoy the picture perfect moments that await.


a historic day in Eau Claire

It is a historic day here in Eau Claire, and even in Wisconsin. The Governor has declared the state of Wisconsin in a state of EMERGENCY! With almost 2 feet of snow and winds up to 40 miles an hour, we are in the midst of a blizzard.

This morning I bundled up in a hat, 4 layers, 2 pairs of sicks and my snow boots, trudged through 2 feet of unplowed snow to get to ILC {thinking it was still open} only to discover that it was CLOSED!! Speaking to the neighbors along the way shoveling and trying to displace the feet of snow, they made comments like this, "I have never seen a blizzard like this since I've lived here!" or "Anybody's crazy to try to drive in this weather." They are all right! Our Governor has declared it unsafe to travel in the snow, and to stay home unless of an emergency! For the first time in about 30 years, both ILC and UWEC are closed!! I'm not sure that the kids at ILC really know what to do, but the excitement in the air is tangible! Josh told my this morning, "Snow day snow day snow day!!!! The whole dorm was yelling and screaming when we found out school was canceled!!!!!" This will be a day to be remembered in our history books!! And for those who have no choice but to drive, please be carful and drive with causion! Happy Snow Day!!!


a very special tree

Our house is now full decorated with the new addition of a very special tree in our family room. On Sunday my parents, Josh and I cut down our own tree for the best price in town. It has a few holes and gaps, but in my opinion the imperfections only add character. Last year one of my wonderful cousins discovered a local place to cut down your own Christmas trees without paying the larger amounts that so many places charge. There is a family with an extended piece of land filled with what will be Christmas trees. They tend to be on the tall side, maybe 30 feet or so, so we just cut down the one of our choosing and take however much of the top we would like. Only in the Midwest would there be a sign that says:
"Cut down which one you like, and please leave your $10 in the box. Have a Merry Christmas!"

We are prepared and awaiting Christmas with nothing but joy and excitement. As the days decrease toward Christmas, the excitement only increases!

Not really sure what it is about this well, but for one reason or another, it captured my attention and the attention of my camera.


Thanksgiving gone with a blink

It seemed like weeks that we were all waiting for the Thanksgiving break, but in a few days it was gone along with all the leftovers. I know it's been a few weeks, but I haven't even shared anything since then! I got to spend Thanksgiving break with Josh and my family. It wasn't the most leisurely extended weekend with working 3 out of the 5 days, but a break from school and spending time with family and Josh is leisure enough for me. Here were just a few of our endeavours:

: walking the turkey trot on brisk Thanksgiving morning
: trying new recipes and experimenting around the kitchen
: watching Josh stuff the turkey while I stood back trying not to be sick {I don't do too well with raw meet, especially with a 24 pound turkey, yes 24 pounds!}

: watching the Macy's Parade while cooking in the fragrant kitchen
: teaching Josh a few of our Ryan Thanksgiving traditions
: venturing out early on Black Friday {for the 1st time} with caution for the enthusiastic shoppers
: watching movies and relaxing with full tummies and sleepy eyes
: being thankful for the many gifts that God has blessed us with

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