Monday, December 27, 2010

Catch Up

Things have been crazy with me lately.  Not just because of the holidays or wedding planning, but life has gotten pretty complicated in the last few months and it is just now catching up to me. 

This was the first holiday season without my parents being together.   Needless to say, its been a lot harder than I expected it to be.  I honestly didn't think I would be sad.  Truthfully, I've been really mad about it all since it happened, but sadness overwhelmed me this holiday season.  It was really hard being with one parent and realizing that the other was alone.  I'm still trying to come to grips with the concept that being alone is probably better than them being together...  *insert huge sigh here*
It is all especially hard since Danial and I are in the midst of planning a wedding.  (Truth: we haven't really made any wedding plans in months.)  I want to be excited about our wedding, but its hard to bring it up to my mom because of everything that has been going on.  Its hard to be excited about a new marriage when one is ending...

While I won't get into specifics, (because it isn't my place) there has been some pretty heavy stuff going on in Danial's family.  Its been hard.  Really hard.  I'll just say that it has been a really stressful and emotional ordeal that has rocked our world.  We are like a beach ball in a pool and a 350 lb person has just done a cannonball.  It has been a great testament to our relationship and our communication skills.  It is hard to not let family stuff affect relationship stuff.  We are doing our best.  (I know without a doubt I will be able to say "for better or worse" in our wedding vows and mean it.)

On to happier things...

Christmas was good.  Danial and I decided not to do gifts for each other.  Money has been tight (wedding plans) and aside from that, purchased gifts aren't really our style.  Last year Danial and I made gifts for each other, but this year because of everything that has been happening, it just wasn't in the cards.  We did get each other really sweet Christmas cards.  Besides, being together was all I needed.  Our families were really good to us though and we were able to take home some sweet stuff.  Some of our favorite gifts were a new light fixture for our kitchen (looks awesome with our stainless appliances), a CD player/Radio/MP3 player for the kitchen, OSU Yahtzee, and a new cooler for our canoing trips.  Fergus was also a pretty lucky guy this Christmas as he got tasty treats from the family and a new sheep and chicken toy.

Things I've been loving...
1) A Beautiful Mess
What isn't to love about Elsie's blog?!  Tattoos, vintage dresses, DIY, fashion, and wedding planning at her other blog, Le Wedding Party.  Did I mention that she is part owner of the cutest store ever?
2) Knitting hats with the Knifty Knitter Round Loom.
Super easy and no knitting or crocheting experience ever.
3) David Sedaris
When I am taking classes, it is really hard to read for pleasure.  After hearing David Sedaris on NPR I knew I needed to read this book.  Any book that make me laugh outlound while reading is worth recommending to others.  Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim was fantastic.  Before I read this book, I wasn't in to short story books, but this has totally changed my mind.  I really like that you can pick up when you have time and need a laugh.
4) Spiced Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
I combined multiple recipes I've found over the years and came up with this and they are the best cookies. 
1 cup shortening

2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup raisins
½ cup walnuts (if desired)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl, cream shortening, vanilla, and brown sugar.
Add eggs and milk; mix well. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, raisins, nuts, and cinnamon; add to the creamed mixture.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until done.
Once cooled spread cream cheese icing over tops.

5) Like an Onion
I've been addicted to layering this fall and winter.  At 26 I have finally found my style and it has been great to experiment and figure out what is really my style.  I've found it: LAYERS.  I really love mixing thrifted and new, expensive and super cheap. 

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