Wednesday, December 28, 2005

New Year's Resolutions?

Do you have any New Year's Resolutions?  I know some of the most popular resolutions relate to money and/or health. 
Do I have any?  Now now... I am debating if I should try to set some goals for the year 2006.  I mean I know I have my problems and issues... and I know there are things to work on...

So if you do have any general or specific resolutions you care to share, please drop me a comment.  Also include if you were successful with any of your 2005 resolutions and why you were successful.


Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Ok... here is the surprise we have been planning for about a month.
Last Tuesday Nick picked up our new "tiny puppy" Maggie!!

To make a short story long.. we did not plan to have two new puppies in 2 weeks. Initially we put down a deposit at a place that sells mixed breeds... we did not have a specific kind in mind... though we wanted it to be small and most likely a mix with poodle (yes, I know some of you don't agree with designer dogs... but this is what we wanted). So when we put down the deposit we thought the earliest we would get a puppy was January. At the same time Nick and his Dad were talking with the trainer for our hunting dogs about replacing Mandi. He said we needed one no later then March to really be ready to go hunting.. so then the whole thing with getting Max the Lab came about and we got him, thinking we would not be getting our other puppy right away.
Well, the weekend before Christmas the mixed breed place called us and asked if we wanted a shih poo. Nick initially said no because he did not know what it was... but we both checked out the pictures and found out they had this one girl available. Well we sprung at it and a couple days later Nick was getting Maggie. Turns out Maggie was born on October 20 and Max was born October 17... so they are almost "twins".
So now we are the proud dog parents of three... Mollie, Max and Maggie. And no... I did not want all of our dogs to have M names... especially since mine is an M name as well... but Nick looked at both of them and came up with the names.
Here is the pic of Maggie when Nick brought her by my work so I could see her first. And here is a pic of Jeffrey and Maggie.

Jeffrey certainly took a liking to her... he loves that he got his tiny puppy and sometimes walks around with her like a stuffed toy.
Here is me with Max and Maggie. And also one of Nick and the two puppies.

And one more photo... Samantha and Jeffrey with Maggie on Christmas.

So, yes... life has been crazy... we have both had to get up overnight with one or both dogs. And they do fight like dogs at times. But we do have some cutie pie dogs!!


Christmas in a nutshell!

Well.. another Christmas has come and gone... back to the real world... well kind of...
Work gave me Monday, next Friday and next Monday off and I have today off for my last day of vacation... so I am still "on vacation"!! And I am enjoying that fact.
Like I thought, the kids loved Christmas. The play kitchen Santa brought was a HIT... they have spent so much time with it. Plus Jeffrey got a farm set and Samantha got a play stroller for her dollys.. and of course more toys and books and clothes (all were cute too!).
The only bad part was that Samantha has a cold and has been teething.. so she had times were she was just miserable. Luckily Grandma was here on Christmas Day and tried to make her feel better. Jeffrey is starting to act like he is feeling better and has been generally a great kid lately.
Here is a pic of us on Christmas Eve:

And here is a pic of the kids and I and the kids and "Bapa" (Nick's Dad) then too:

More coming up on the big surprise from last week.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy Holidays!!

Happy Holidays to all.
Some of you received our Christmas Card and came here; some of you I unfortunately could not get a card to. Especially my SS/Internet friends.
So here is my card to you (I took out a couple things for privacy):

Happy Holidays to all!

Nick is still busy running XXX XXX Lawn & Landscape and had the opportunity to spotlight our yard on the Parade of Ponds tour this summer. Melissa is still at XXX and a Creative Memories Consultant.
Jeffrey turned 3 in May. Samantha turned 2 in October.
In June we had to put to sleep our beloved Lab, Mandi. Mollie did well at hunting this fall. This December we adopted a new Yellow Lab, Max!
We all went up to Northern Minnesota in May for Melissa's cousin's high school graduation - and the kids had their first dip in a big pool. In June, Nick went back up to go fishing. He also made two journeys to South Dakota to hunt. Melissa flew to Maryland/Pennsylvania in November to scrapbook with Internet friends.
Jeffrey started preschool in September and has been told he is the best at cleaning up! Samantha then started day care part time and fit right in. They both have made great
strides in their talking.

Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah and a healthy New Year.
Nick, Melissa, Jeffrey & Samantha, Mollie & Max


Friday, December 23, 2005

How Naughty (or Nice) were you this year?

You Were Nice This Year

You Were 30% Naughty, 70% Nice

Okay, so you weren't *entirely* nice this year
But Santa doesn't expect a modern girl to be perfect
You were good enough - and you'll be rewarded for it

Just a fun quiz with Christmas around the corner.


Ok... a bunch of others I know that blog have been doing this list.. so I thought I would do my own.  And if you come upon this TAG.. go and add yours to your blog!

1 MINUTE AGO: Helping a co-worker
1 HOUR AGO: Eating a snack
1 DAY AGO: Working my butt off waiting for pizza to come
1 WEEK AGO: Tired from my work Christmas party and hoping to leave work really early.
1 MONTH AGO: Wrapping things up for Thanksgiving to leave work early.
1 YEAR AGO: Again... trying to wrap things up to get out of work early (see a theme?)
1 DECADE AGO: Probably enjoying winter break.  I was a Junior in High School so I may have had some cheerleading practice or a game to cheer at.
1 SCORE AGO: Winter break?  I was 6... so... no clue.
1 QUARTER CENTURY AGO: Driving my parents crazy walking around the house and getting into everything I assume.

Hmmm... I see a theme... either I have no clue or it has to do with work.  Maybe I should at least do this on a day I am home?  :)


Christmas Eve Eve

It is funny how long we drag out holidays these days. First off all the stores normally have their holiday displays/items out as much as two months ahead of time. Then, depending on the holiday, there are holiday events for weeks or even a month before hand. Then the week before is filled with holiday this and holiday that. And when it comes to vacations or days off at work we try harder and harder to not be there. Ah well... I cannot complain... though thankfully I can just go home instead of being in that hustle and bustle. Either way, it is 2 days till Christmas. Work has been especially crazy.. I am hoping it is not today. Today at work should be about not slacking off, but not busting our butts!! I think the Christmas shopping is finished. So tonight should be about wrapping presents. Tomorrow with it being Christmas Eve, the only thing really planned is Midnight (at midnight) mass. It is my first Christmas in the choir, so I am excited about singing all those traditional carols. And hopefully it will be nice enough and the kids will feel well enough to maybe go sledding (though the way it is going here it may all be melted - and I wouldn't complain). Christmas will be another mass (probably just me) and then opening gifts. Later on my parents are coming over for even more gifts. Should be a fun day. Funny thing, when Nick and I were engaged or just married, one Christmas we had nothing to do, so we went to the Mall of America and saw a movie.. and it was fun.

It looks like the latest email subscription service for my blog will work. So I added it to my sidebar. Let me know if you have any difficulties if you do subscribe.

So I treated myself to an early Christmas present. was on sale for like 1/2 off at Target.. and I have wanted one of their CDs... so I bought it for myself, since I was using a gift card given to me at work. Right now I am jamming to it!!

Well... again, if I don't "see" you, Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah. For those that don't know.. the first night of Hannukah is Christmas Eve this year.


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Kids, books and pizza.

Warning: Cute kid story!
Talked to Nick while I was at work. Samantha has been sick on the couch all morning with a cold. Well Jeffrey came home from preschool and went over to her and said "you not feeling good?" and hugged her and kissed her and was petting her head. I guess they now are sitting on opposite ends of the couch watching cartoons. They can be so nice to each other.
I have always wanted to be part of a book club. Well my online SS friends are trying to do one. The first book we have choosen is:
Has anyone here read it? I am wondering if I should join in this round because life can get busy, though I could try to read it on the bus and at lunch. Let me know, thanks.
Today the managers bought us pizza for lunch - yummy! I have great co-workers/managers!

Emailing my blog - part 2

Ok... I decided I was not comfortable with the last emailing service...
So I am going to try this service to email my blog (sorry Heidi)...
Try this one out if you like.. again, if it works well I will add it to my sidebar.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005


We got our big holiday gift yesterday.  It is a great one.  Will reveal more later.
I cannot wait to have some time off for the holidays. 
I am tired.

I realize I don't quote a lot of things... few strike me in a way that I want to share them.  But I did write one quote myself.

You can live in hope, but you cannot live on hope
Basically, you can hope and dream all you want, but when it comes down to it, action is what counts.  Sad thing is I want to live my life this way, I just don't.  No use making a New Year's Resolution to change... I never go through with them anyways!!  How can I motivate myself to try to live like this?  I really don't know... I am not good with rewards.  Ah well... maybe it is a gradual change I can slowly make.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Emailing my blog..

Ok... I am trying a site (per agent713's request) that will email my blog when I update it or daily or something...
I am putting it here.. if it works then I will post it on the sidebar.

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What City Do You Belong In?

You Belong in Rome

You're a big city girl with a small town heart
Which is why you're attracted to the romance of Rome
Strolling down picture perfect streets, cappuccino in hand
And gorgeous Italian men - could life get any better?

Yep, I am a romantic at heart. And Rome sounds like fun. They don't normally have snow, right??


Random musings..

Well turns out Heidi/agent713 is now hooked on blogging (she was already hooked on SS)... she blames me... sorry! :-)
Today we may get the big family gift... can't say what it is yet... but I am excited!  Yay!
Nick and I are really getting involved in our church.  He was involved at our last church (I just a little bit).  We became official members just over a year and a half ago at this church.. though we had started to go off and on when we moved to Mound (we still tried to get to our old church).  I joined in first when I joined the church choir last Easter time.. and when the time and talent forms came around I also signed up to help with the centennial celebration.  Nick signed up to teach religious ed, landscape committee and decorating committee.  This means that one of us will be there most nights this week.

Shout out to those that responded to my post below called "check in".  I do know I have some faithful readers (faithful=reading once a week or more) and I am glad I am interesting enough for you.

My SS friend Veronica posted in her blog yesterday about the country.  She has lived in the country in Australia most of her life and cannot imagine it any other way.  I am the complete opposite.  I love the city.  Not necessarily the heart of the city.  But I like neighbors living close and access to stores.  Nick wants to live in the country on a bunch of land with a house in the middle.... I am afraid that would drive me nuts.  Of course because I work in downtown there is no way we can find "country" close enough - phew!  Though maybe some day it would be fun to have a horse...

So Max the Puppy is starting to really grow.  I know he gained over 3 pounds in a week.  Still working on "potty training".. though he is starting to let us know a little bit when he wants to go out... and we can tell a little better.  Cannot give that dog much water though.. he is like a leaky toilet.  He loves to go outside and play in the snow.. and him and Mollie have gotten along pretty well when they have spent time together.

Well, since it is ok to post 2 or more times in a day.. I will close for now.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The rush of the holidays.

I tell people we are lucky.  Most of our relatives live in the cities here.. this means no traveling for the holidays.  And now, usually my parents come over Christmas Day.. so we really only have to go 5 minutes to church.  I also don't have too many people to shop for.  So I can avoid the rush of the holidays.  There is an article (former semon) that someone on scrapshare told me about... that is supposed to talk about this.  I have not read it yet, but others have and liked the message.

I did not know if the kids were getting anything for Christmas.  Yes, they were generally good (well they are 3 1/2 and 2).. but it did not look like their gift would be here in time.  Well the big family gift will be here now.. and Nick decided to get them something else I KNOW they will like.  So now they will be spoiled for Christmas.  Ah well... like I said.. they are great kids.

To all of those out there, if I don't "see" you before the end of the week, Happy Holidays - Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah and Happy New Year!!


Saturday, December 17, 2005


One of our costing saving moves this winter is keeping heating bills low... so we try to keep the house at 67-68 and then use an electric heater and bundle up to stay warm. So far, generally, this plan has been ok. It is just that the house seems to drop about 5 degrees when the sun goes down (not really, just the way I feel)... so tonight it is 4 degrees Farenheit outside and I am freezing inside. Ick!
Why do I live in Minnesota??

On another note... most of our Christmas cards have gone out - yippee!! And I added in our Christmas note this address... so if you are just finding my blog.. WELCOME! Oh.. and Lanscape should have been Landscape, must have written it too fast!!


Friday, December 16, 2005

Welcome to the blogging world.

I have been told I have gotten some of my internet friends to start blogging. Still can't get my friends IRL though.
Either way... I could not believe it... one of my internet friends (who I gladly got to meet in MD/PA) started a blog today!!
So I added her link to the side... go check her out
She said after 24 hours she is hooked and has posted three times today.
Welcome to the madness Heidi!!!



Last night was our work party at a place that serves drinks and has karoke... 2nd year in a row it has been there.  I heard all the stories from last year because I left fairly early.  This year I stayed.  About halfway through the night I stopped drinking due to having to drive home.. but yet, I still stayed... till midnight.  Needless to say.. I got about 5 hours of sleep last night and am tired today.  Very tired..  but at least not hung over. 

Others, I don't think they faired too well.  Though some at least took tomorrow off because they knew how much fun they were going to have.

Did I tell you I am tired?
Beyond that TGIF!!  and Rox.. I hope you are enjoying the new place!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Check In!

Hey all you out there... I was just wondering who has been reading my blog... are you a family member or friend, internet pal or somebody that randomly found my blog. If so, leave me a comment.. I would love to hear from you and how you found my humble abode!!


Info on my birthdate..

Found this on another website.. which led me to and it says about my birthdate...

You entered: 9/11/1979
Your date of conception was on or about 19 December 1978 which was a Tuesday.
You were born on a Tuesday under the astrological sign Virgo.

Your Life path number is 1.
The Julian calendar date of your birth is 2444127.5.
The golden number for 1979 is 4.
The epact number for 1979 is 2.
The year 1979 was not a leap year.
As of 12/14/2005 5:41:34 PM ESTYou are 26 years old.
You are 315 months old.
You are 1,370 weeks old.
You are 9,591 days old.
You are 230,201 hours old.
You are 13,812,101 minutes old.
You are 828,726,094 seconds old.
Your age is the equivalent of a dog that is 3.75381604696673 years old. (Life's just a big chewy bone for you!)
There are 271 days till your next birthday on which your cake will have 27 candles

Those 27 candles produce 27 BTUs,or 6,804 calories of heat (that's only 6.8040 food Calories!) .You can boil 3.09 US ounces of water with that many candles.
In 1979 there were approximately 3.1 million births in the US.

In 1979 the US population was approximately 203,302,031 people, 57.4 persons per square mile.
In 1979 in the US there were approximately 2,152,662 marriages (10.1%) and 1,036,000 divorces (4.9%)
In 1979 in the US there were approximately 1,921,000 deaths (9.5 per 1000)Your birthstone is Sapphire
The Mystical properties of Sapphire
Though not meant to replace traditional medical treatment, Sapphire is used for clear thinking. Some lists consider these stones to be your birthstone. (Birthstone lists come from Jewelers, Tibet, Ayurvedic Indian medicine, and other sources) Agate, Moonstone, Lapis Lazuli

Your birth tree is Weeping Willow, the Melancholy
Beautiful but full of melancholy, attractive, very empathic, loves anything beautiful and tasteful, loves to travel, dreamer, restless, capricious, honest, can be influenced but is not easy to live with, demanding, good intuition, suffers in love but finds sometimes an anchoring partner.

There are 11 days till Christmas 2005!
The moon's phase on the day you were born was waning gibbous.

Chew on that... C-Ya!

If I had a wish list..

So I am not planning on getting many gifts this year... we aren't exactly rolling in the money, don't really buy for a lot of people (therefore not receiving from those people) and plan on spending money on a big gift for the four of us...
This means I don't need to make a wish list... but I thought if I had one... what would I have on it... so with props to here is my "wishes":

  • Nick Kelsh book talked about below.
  • The following CDs:
  • Some Clothes
  • or other IPOD.

Otherwise I just want things that would make Nick and the kids happy!!

On another note... we have the holiday cards ready.. they just need to be sent out. Wohoo!!


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Kids Holiday Party.

Every year my work does a kids holiday party at the Mall of America. I have gone every year since I have had a kid and it has always been a blast!! This year Nick got to go because he is not working on Saturdays anymore!! This years party was a couple days ago.
The morning started out at breakfast with a visit from Santa and a chance to get our pictures taken by a co-worker.
This year was the first year the kids willingly sat on Santa's lap..

Afterwards we had unlimited rides at Knotts Camp Snoopy in the Mall of America..
Here is all of us on the kiddy train ride (notice the cramped conditions):

And us on the Ferris wheel.. what an excellent view!!

After a full and busy morning.. we all tiredly went home! What a fun afternoon!!


Monday, December 12, 2005


Now to reveal our little surprise:
We got a new puppy! A Yellow (White) Lab named Max!!!

Nick and my father-in-law and Jeffrey went down to Iowa on Thursday after finding out about a litter of 12 Labs with field champion blood lines. He met the Daddy, Bruno (& Mommy - not pictured) as well as some of his litter mates.

Well they got a great deal and found Max and brought him home!
Of course puppies are like children... we have had to deal with a lot of whining and potty training issues.. but every day it is getting better..
Nick and I love him...

Initially their was mixed reviews from the kids. Jeffrey has been asking for a tiny puppy the size of FIL's chiuahua Scooter.. and this dog is already bigger then that.. I also think he was jealous of all the attention. Though slowly he is getting more and more excited and only gets upset when Max tries to use him as a chew toy! Samantha has been super excited from the get go. All we here from her in a high squeeling voice is "puppy", "Max", "poop & pee"!!! Max really thinks they are litter mates and tries to use her as a chew toy even more, so far she is doing pretty good with him doing that (and of course we tell him NO).

Max has been introduced to Mollie. Initially she showed some jealousy... but she will play with Max.

So this is our new cutie pie!!

Misc Pics!

Ok... I spent sometime last night uploading/downloading/burning pictures... so I thought I would share a few...

First of all Thanksgiving.
We have a tradition of taking a picture of Samantha next to the turkey because her first Thanksgiving she was about a month old and the same size as the turkey, if not less.. of course Jeffrey wanted to be in the picture too... the other pic is the kids with their Great Grandpa (my Dad's Dad!)

Next are a couple misc photos of the kids being cute.. the second one is cute because I guess Jeffrey picked out both their outfits that day!

Here is a picture of the kids (and Daddy) picking out the tree at the tree lot!

Here is a pic of me and the kids.. and a pic of them looking at what St. Nick brought them...

More pics and news from the weekend to follow!! Also, if you are a friend or family member and want to see all my pics online, give me a buzz and I will send you the image hosting site address.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Tis and Tat!

As you can see... I have been writing quite a bunch lately.. and adding things some may deem as ads... yes they are... though I am just trying to find the right mix for my blog that others (especially those I know) would find interesting. I only talk about things I find interesting.
And on that vain... one more ad... I just wanted to add this because it is on my wish list of books. Nick Kelsh is a photographer who has done a lot of work with Creative Memories to help consultants and customers take better pictures. I was lucky enough to hear him talk at Showcase this summer. Unfortunately I did not take the time to buy this book and have it autographed. I still want it though.. he did have such great tips when I heard him talk. And the funny thing is, many of us that heard them implemented them right away. My favorite was he said take pictures from high up to get everyone.. and so we took pictures of us at the table while someone stood on a chair. He has written/photographed a lot of books besides this one too.

Update on the mouse.. it did not live the night... oh well...

Otherwise it is Friday!! We have a couple holiday things this weekend.. they should be fun.
And I have a little secret I cannot wait to share on here (some already know.. we are waiting to tell my parents.. and no, I am NOT pregnant).
Have a good day all!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

City Pages Blotter

I totally missed it but I was in the City Pages Blotter for MN Blog of the day on 10/11...

Here is what they said:
"Mel is a Creative Memories Consultant from Mound who's currently pounding Advil like they're going out of style. Read about her life at Empress4 - Journey to being multi-talented."

SO COOL!!!!!


Personalized Ornaments

Here is a site to buy Personalized Handcrafted Ornaments. I know the owner from and I have to say her ornaments are gorgeous.. take a look!

I also added her link to my sidebar.

Paid Survey

Just a little plug.. I found this on another blog.. it is a site where you can take surveys and get paid. Survey Savvy
I just signed up.. so we will see how it goes.

Little Mouse

No... this is not our "standby" gift to the kids... it is my father-in-law's idea of a pet...
Fil found a mouse in his room (in our basement) - ick!  And instead of throwing it out into the cold winter...he is trying to keep it... O.K.  So last night he had it in an ice cream pail in our laundry sink... all good till I needed to do laundry.  So I had to figure out what to do about that - because he couldn't.  So.. I got a lid.. poked holes in it and got one of those liquid medicine cups for water... and tucked the dang mouse in for the night!!  I swear, this is not mine to deal with.. Fil can deal with it.. and I told him if the laundry room smells like dead mouse, he better do something about it.

This from the guy that is almost deathly afraid of spiders!!!
Go figure.

Anyways.. otherwise today is an insanly busy day for the family.. more on that later..

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

This is Love..

Today Nick got up and got the newspaper... he noticed it was colder this morning then it was yesterday (around 0).. he drove me to the bus.. without me asking.

Yep... this is LOVE.


Christmas Carols

I decided today that it was ok to start listening to Christmas Carols. And here in the Twin Cities we have at least two "all Christmas" stations.. so here I go listening to "White Christmas," "Jingle Bell Rock," and "Do you Hear what I Hear." Maybe I will actually start feeling like it is the holiday season. Not that I don't feel like it... it is just that when you are an adult you have so many other things to worry about then what Santa will get you for Christmas!!! And with the thermometer outside hovering at 0 degrees Farenheit.. you really are just worried about staying warm.. again, why do I live in MN???

Anyways, we do plan to give the kids one big gift for Christmas.. but we probably wont have it by then. We do have another "standby" gift in the works that may come this week.. so.. you will have to wait and see... And (*disclaimer: I do agree it is the season for giving*) I am happy I don't have tons of people to shop for... it is just so hard to go out and shop this time of year between the amount of people out and the cold weather.

Kids get their first shot at seeing Santa this year Saturday at the work kids party!! I am grateful they do this every year for us.

ETA... I forgot to mention my favorite Carol... "Oh Come All Ye Faithful". I (with another girl) learned it in Latin when we were in grade school and think it is one of the prettiest holiday songs!!


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Ebbs and Flows?

There is some saying out there and I think it says life has its ebbs and flows... if not.. I just made that up.  Life has been kind of like that lately. 

It took me all last week to recover from Strep.  I think Sunday was the first day I felt "normal".  Glad that is done with and I hope the kids, Nick (and me, again) do not get it.  The last thing I need to get better is my taste buds.

We went and got a Christmas Tree on Saturday and put it up along with the Christmas decorations.  Nick set up the Christmas Village.. and of course Jeffrey wanted to help.  We created quite the neat setup for the tree and the village.  And it is great to have all the Christmas lights on at night.  We even have something in the bathroom and the kids' room.

And the kids got their first visit from St. Nick.. I decided to start back up the tradition we had growing up where St. Nick puts treats in the kids' boots.  Though I forgot to have them put theirs out... so we took care of it.. and they woke up this morning all perplexed to find a toothbrush, top and Christmas book in (near) their boot.

Otherwise, lots of stuff to do coming up.  Tis the season!