Monday, November 29, 2010


Our first and largest batch of save-the-dates and holiday cards went out in the mail today. Now, it is just a matter of collecting a few more addresses to get the rest out. We're so excited!!!!

Also, Joshua asked a friend's husband to be our officiant and it looks as if he is free. He is a Reverend at a Phoenix church. His wife worked with Joshua at CASS. Although I haven't gotten a chance to meet them in person, I've heard such wonderful things about them for many years. We hope to get a chance to meet with them in person soon.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A new dishwasher!

Joshua and I toyed around with the idea of a dishwasher for Christmas instead of traditional gifts to each other. So, he started researching options. After figuring out which model would work best for us in our price range, he realized that Sears had it on sale for more than 1/2 off, ending tomorrow. So we decided to go for it. Unfortunately, our current kitchen configuration does not have a slot for a dishwasher. Sooooooo, it might still be awhile before we actually get it into the kitchen. I'm a little nervous about the change but Joshua seems quite confident that we can do it.

In other news, we have a leak in our kitchen. After we finally got the drain unclogged, we discovered that something is leaking. When I do dishes, water puddles at the edge of the cabinet. So, I have to look over our warranty and insurance paper work to see what I am supposed to do about it. Josh mentioned a few times that they may have to tear out the cabinets to get to it. This just totally freaks me out, so I have been trying to not think about it too much. I finally got the kitchen reasonably set up. I can't help but feel as if every time we move a step forward, we are forced 3 steps backward.

After my morning compost endeavor, we decided that it was a great day to go the dump and get rid of all of that yucky wood paneling, old molding, drapes, etc that have been sitting piled in our garage. It felt quite freeing to get that stuff out the way. I think that we probably need one more trip out to the dump and then we can dispose of everything else in our regular garbage and recycling bins.

I'm so thankful for 4 day weekends. It is so nice to have the extra time to not only rest but also to work on our home. Tomorrow, I hope to clean out the storage room so that the office can be worked on again. Right now, it is sort of a catch all for tools and supplies. Once we get everything out of there Josh can get back to scraping and fixing the walls. The yard and plants could use some TLC too. We don't have Winter grass, thankfully. So keeping up with the yard over the Winter months should be fairly easy.

Garden of Hope

I have been so busy with our new home that I haven't had a chance to volunteer in quite some time. I decided that I'd better get back into the swing of things by signing up for a few upcoming events on the calendar. I love the variety of work that the Phoenix Philanthropist Group offers. Today, I volunteered at the Garden of Hope. It is in South Phoenix, 18th St. and Broadway in a poor neighborhood. Tiger Mountain Foundation establishes and nurtures garden projects in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Basically, they turn sections of abandoned land into a garden where people - kids, adults and seniors, rich and poor, any ethnicity, any religion come together and work as a community to grow vegetation. They make their own compost, which is what I did today. They also teach the community about healthy eating, exercising and taking ownership of the neighborhood to make it a better place. Erin and I had a blast. Building compost was hard work but it was actually a lot of fun.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have so many things to be thankful for this year. Everyday is a gift. I am thankful for each and every day. Although things may not turn out the way that I imagined them, there is a possibility that they may turn out better than I imagined. I am thankful for possibilities unknown, including our new home. It was an unexpected but beautiful gift. This year I pledged to grow old and raise a family with a wonderful man. I am thankful for his unconditional love and support. Finally, we have the world's best dog. I am thankful for the lovable and loyal Honey-the-dog.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Preparation

We are so excited to spend our first Thanksgiving in our new home. It is a little sad to not share it with family, but we will make the best of it. I am hoping that we can swing by and visit Josh's Grandma who just had knee surgery and his Great Aunt Eileen who lives in a retirement community, once I get the turkey in the oven tomorrow.

Speaking of turkey, I'm a little nervous. This is my first year making my own turkey. I purchased it yesterday and quickly realized that I had better figure out how to thaw it before the big day. After soliciting advice from my mom as well as some helpful friends on facebook, and of course my bosses Scott and Mike, I learned to put it in cold water and change out the water frequently. Scott was quite helpful. He taught me that 1/2 hr in cold water = 1lb of turkey thawed. Aha! So I now know that it should take about 6 hours. Here is the recipe that I am going to try. This will also be my first year making stuffing, and I decided on this recipe.

Otherwise, our dinner plates will have all of the typical fixings: garlic mashed potatoes, which I know how to make quite well, sweet corn, cranberries, green bean casserole and rolls. And of course, no Thanksgiving is complete without Sparkling Cider and Egg Nog.

For dessert, we will have an apple pie. Pictured above is my apple pie from last Thanksgiving. It was so good, if I do say so myself...and I do!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sonoma for the Soft Flex Gallery Holiday Open House

I spent the tail end of last week as well as the entire weekend in Northern California for business. We were just in time to see the vines change from bright yellow to a deep orange color. It was gorgeous!

The green grass made the yellow and orange colors really pop off of the hills. It is always a challenge to not get distracted when driving through wine country. The scenery is often times breath taking!

Jenny and I tried to eat Broadway Market as often as possible (per usual). We were talked into trying another deli, called Angelo's Deli. I have to admit, that sandwich was as good as Broadway Market AND they offered samples of olives, jerkies and salsa while waiting. Ought oh! If you ever go to Sonoma, the sandwiches are ridiculously tasty.

My good friends David and Jessica stopped by for a visit. It was so nice to see them! Don't they look so happy and healthy? Love them!

It was really, really, really great to see my bosses, Mike and Scott. Mike has shown so much improvement since his accident. It was great to see him and Scott in person. I am so thankful for them.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tis the season

I'm so excited for the holidays this year. I don't know if it is that my Mom is coming to visit or that it is our first Christmas in our first home. If Josh let me, I'd probably put up a Christmas tree right now. Since it is a little too early for that, I decided I could use my joyous holiday spirit to think about holiday gifts for my friends and family.  As I posted on my other blog, SoftFlexGirl, I'm planning on a highly handmade holiday this year. Between buying the house and planning for our upcoming wedding, I really have to be more careful than usual this holiday season. I love the challenge though. I am always a huge fan of making presents. First and foremost, it's fun. Second, it can be tailored to the specific person. Third, time and thought is worth more to me than money spent.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Joshua is home safe and sound

Honey and I were ecstatic to pick Josh up at the airport last night. I was starting to feel like Tom Hanks on Castaway, Honey was my Wilson. She can listen but she doesn't really have a clue what I'm saying. I'm a talker and a few days of working at home with no fiancé at night is enough to make a girl go mad. Thank goodness we still had house guests on Sunday night and Erin came over on Tuesday night.

I raided the camera and chose some of my favorite pictures from Joshua's trip. I'm still jealous. Washington D.C. is such a nice place to visit. I used to do a bead show there twice a year, and I loved it. I haven't been back in years.

White House Garden

He was done early enough with his conference that he still had quite a few hours to walk around and take in a few more sights yesterday afternoon. He stopped by the Archives building to see The Constitution, Declaration of Independence, etc. 

All in all, it sounds as if he had a good trip but there really is no place like home. I know he missed Honey and I just as much as we missed him.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pictures from DC

Josh sent a few pictures tonight. I have to say, I'm feeling a little lonely and pretty jealous. I'd love to be there with him. Meanwhile, I spent the whole day working and the whole night doing homework. Yuck! Time to throw myself a pity party.

Life picks back up

Due to Grandpa Wally's passing and services, we had a string of unexpected house guests. I love having a full house - the more the merrier. Josh's parents have non-stop energy. They helped us to accomplish two big tasks during their visit. Josh and John attached a longer electrical cord to our drier so it doesn't have to sit on stilts. Then, they worked to unclog the kitchen sink. The sink wasn't just a little clogged, it was REALLY clogged. Josh had to rent a special tool from A to Z Equipment Rentals. It was a big and somewhat messy project, and I was very proud of him when the water easily drained out of the sink. After the sink was unclogged, I decided that I could finally scrub, line the cabinets and unpack the majority of our dishes. I only have 2 cabinets left. Did you know that 1 part vinegar + 1 part water = a magic elixir for ridding your cabinets of really old contact paper? It also smells terrible when you are up close and personal. But, the smell dissipated rather quickly once wiped up. I think that the new liner looks and feels so much better. It really helped to have our dishes unpacked for family meals all week long. Although our home really wasn't prepared for guests, everyone was very understanding. Having family visit and making memories is what truly turns a house into a home. It was a bummer that I had to fight off a cold/allergies at the tail end of the week...everyone seemed to be sick at some point or another. But, we all made the best of the situation.

In other news, Josh left bright and early (6am) Sunday morning for Washington D.C. He is attending a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Conference. It was hard to have him go so far away right after his Grandpa's funeral, but that is life. Yesterday, he visited the Ford's Theater. That was a big treat for him because he has been reading quite a bit about President Lincoln this year. Let's all hope that he's taking lots of fun pictures to share. He took the camera, so I assume that he's getting some good snap shots when he's not tied up in the conference. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A slice of heaven

"A happy family is but and earlier heaven."
-George Bernard Shaw

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Josh's Grandpa Lenberg

Josh's Grandpa passed away last night. I deliberated on whether to post about it on our blog. It seems like such a trivial place to discuss something so personal. So I'll keep it short and sweet.

Note from Joshua:
"I'm thankful to have been able to have spent so much time and learned so much from my Grandpa Lenberg. I will miss him forever. May he rest in peace."


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