Monday, December 31, 2007

Ring Out the Old, Ring In the New!

I hope you all look back on 2007 with fond memories. I know I will. Here are some of the hightlights:
  • Spending President's weekend on the coast with great friends
  • Visiting Patrick's family in CA and going to his nephew's wedding
  • A Memorial Day road trip with the DH out to the Peninsula
  • Great friends over for a birthday BBQ on the 4th of July
  • Our anniversary in Friday Harbor (and super fun moped rides)
  • Starting a new job (and the DH did too)
  • Fun in Boise after Christmas

It really was a wonderful year. Now we ring in the new and look forward to creating more great memories. It's also a time to reflect on what needs to be improved. I think I'm still working on the same old things. I looked at my goals for last year and I really didn't do so well. Here's to a better 2008. My goals are pretty consistent:

  • Improve my health by excersizing and eating a healthy diet
  • Improve my spirituality by studying the scriptures and attending the temple
  • Improve my mind by doing smart stuff (or taking a class, or doing sudoku every day)

The DH and I have new gym memberships to a gym that opened today, so I'll let you all know if he goes to the gym with me. This should be interesting.

Welcome to the Word, Baby Girl!

Our dear friends Mark and DeeDee had their baby girl on Christmas day. It was pretty tough on Mom, but baby Melody fared very well.

She's healthy and happy and just about as beautiful as a little baby girl can be (and that's pretty darned beautiful).

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Here's wishing every one of you a very merry Christmas day! The DH and I have opened presents and are on our way to brunch with friends before heading to the old Robertson homestead. We pray for safe travels for ourselves and everyone else making their way to and from festivities this week.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Seattle Christmas Tradition

Last year, the DH and I decided that we needed a Christmas tradition all our own. I gave him the task of thinking something up and he came across the idea of going on the Argosy Christmas Ship cruise on Lake Washington. I thought it was a great idea, too, so a tradition was born.

Last night we went on the Christmas ship cruise. It ended up being a lovely night (after much rain) and we ended up chatting with two delightful ladies while we were on the boat as well. The photo is of one of the boats that was along for the trip. I know it's a little hard to see in the picture, but it's the best we can get with the little camera we have. Maybe next year, we'll get some better pictures.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Bah Humbug

I've worked on very few projects, and not blogged much, because work has been cramping my style. Don't get me wrong -- it's a great job. It's just been a lot of work and really hard since I started two months ago. The icing on the cake was having to let someone go on Tuesday. Yes, exactly one week before Christmas. It made me very grumpy and it's part of a long list of things at work that have made it difficult to focus on the good stuff, like having a lot of Christmas cheer and enjoying the season.

Well, as of 5:00 today, I'm off work for exactly nine days. Nine glorious days to enjoy the season, my friends and family, and work up some good, old-fashioned, Christmas cheer. I'm ready for it, I tell you. I think that tonight, the DH and I may need to deliver some Christmas gifts to get me in the cheery mood.

I'm definitely looking forward to it.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Our Dishwasher -- Or, Another Project Finished

Look at my lovely dishwasher! It's displaying another project that I finished tonight. I actually made two of these to give to friends. I've already passed one on and will give this away soon.

The pattern was from my mother, who made these for all of her grandkids (or rather, one per family with grandkids). I thought they were super cute and it would be a fairly easy project. I really enjoyed coloring. It's one of the things I can do that I find really relaxing. Even better than Spider Solitaire on the computer.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Baby Blanket Success

I finally completed the baby blanket that I started ages ago. I was going to do some free-form machine quilting and it was a major fiasco. I can't even express how frustrating it was. The knots of thread on the under side of the blanket were no fun to pick out. And gone are the days of mom picking out the bad work for me. She really did pick out all my bad seams when I was sewing for 4-H. Isn't she a great mom?

Well, when I realized the free-form thing wasn't going to work, I had to figure something else out. I decided to simply take a washable marker and a big ruler and draw lines on one side. I did lines that were not parallel and a few of them even crossed near the edge of the blanket. Then I sewed along the lines to keep the two sides of fabric together. I sewed some binding on and the whole thing looked really good. I was so pleased! Seriously, I wasn't sure if I could do it, but in the end it turned out fine. I'm not sure if you can see the detail well, but this second picture shows the lines.

I'm going to give it to the couple accross the street who just had a baby. They're really nice and I would love to feel like I'm a good neighbor.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Christmas Rock and Roll

We started December in full Christmas spirit. First, it started snowing around 2:00 and blanketed the neighborhood with wet, white snow. It was really lovely.

In the evening, we went to our first Christmas concert, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. It's definitely not your Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Everything is electric with this group. The light and laser show was pretty astounding, at least for a girl who doesn't get out to that kind of rock concert very often--or ever.

They had amazing musicians and played great music to kick off the season in style. We had a great time, even if the snow did deter us from picking up a Christmas tree. We'll have to do that some time next week.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Please Join in a Christmas Tradition of Giving

This Christmas, I want to start a tridition that is bigger than myself. A few years ago, I heard about Heifer International, an amazing organization that helps families in third world countries start sustainable business endevors by giving them livestock and training.

Heifer International's mission is to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth and they do that by working with communities. Heifer provides families with training and a livestock gift. The family then has hope for a sustainable future and they in turn become donors by passing on the gift of the animal's offspring to another family in need. They are also rated by Forbes as one of the world's top 10 charities.

I also think this is right in line with the spirit of Christmas, since Christ was born among the livestock.

Would each of you who reads my blog think about what you could donate to this great cause. In the past, I've made donations in others' names as my Christmas gift to them. That's one idea. You could also talk together with your family about one thing you could forego this Christmas season and donate the monetary equivalent of that to Heifer International. My goal is for my friends, family, and I together to donate at least $1,000 -- enough for a “Milk Menagerie,” which includes several milk-bearing animals.

What can you do now?
Go to the Robertson Family Christmas Giving donation page and make as small or as large a donation as you are able. You can donate as little as $10, so any contribution helps. Also, spread the word and maybe together we can raise $5000 -- enough for an "Ark" instead of the "Milk Menagerie" for some deserving people.

My Fingers Hurt, or Why I Don't Sew Much

Thursday night, while the DH was out home teaching, I thought I would sew the blanket that I started a month ago. All intentions were good. I got out the machine and the fabric that I had already trimmed and taped together. That wash-away tape is brilliant -- seriously!

So, I started sewing the free-form sewing and it all went horribly wrong. The tension on the machine is a little finicky in the first place, and using the darning foot (or whatever it's called) wasn't helping at all. After sewing for about 15 minutes, I gave up. There were wads of thread on one side, angles that didn't work for a baby blanket, and one frustrated sewer.

It took me two hours and three DVR shows to pick out all the sewing. I'm now looking for a plan B.