December 23

Christmas No. 3

[All of Nate's extended family on his Dad's side]

We met for dinner over at Scott and Christie's house, which has a fabulous space for family gatherings. We hung out for awhile and chatted, ate dinner, and then moved into the living room to hear the Christmas story and open presents. It was a nice evening - we enjoyed ourselves!

Below are pictures of the dining room/kitchen, another fancy self-portrait, Rick and Karen enjoying their dinner, Richard squashed between Rick and Grandma Jo, Aidan hiding in the pantry, Jeff, Tara, and Dawson listening to Linda share the Christmas story, and, finally, Aidan adding his two-cents to how the story was being acted out.

We found out that night that two of Linda and Rudy's girls, Tara and Mendi, are both expecting - so if you guys ever check this, congratulations! We're excited for you!


Gettin' it done.

I can't remember if I mentioned this before...

Nate moved his office from the loft to the guest bedroom, which forced the guest bedroom into my office. My once-office now has three purposes: MK storage, guest bedroom, general office.

The transition was ridiculous. Nate made quick work of painting the guest bedroom, though! He picked a nice, neutral color - he has an eye for colors, I must say! So here are a few pictures from when Jeff and Necia Davis were over. They were roped into helping us move some furniture upstairs: Nate's desk and one of our dinning room tables, both ridiculously heavy items.

In case you were wondering, the loft is now what I call a general work space. The table fits nicely and it provides a wonderful area to sit and edit or scrapbook or pay bills...whatever. I keep the table cleared off so that whoever wants to use the space can do so without shuffling a bunch of stuff around. It's nice!

This is a picture of the chaos that is our hallway. When Nate moved the stuff from the guest room into the hallway to make space for his loft stuff to go into the old guest room, it all left a trail. It's improved slightly over the last week or so (as I've crammed some of it into random closets), but it's still pretty ugly. The staircase and upstairs hallway are the last to be painted...I can hardly wait!!!


December 22

Christmas No. 2:

Mom & Dad/Sister, Bro-in-Law, & Their Kids/Us

[Christmas No. 1 was at Granny Ruth's on December 14th]

We met up at Mom and Dad's for brunch in the morning - Dad always makes the tastiest breakfasts. I love his "pastries"...One year I asked him how he made them and, I have to say, they're so simple to make I was a little disappointed! But when I tried to make them, they did NOT turn out nearly as good as Dad's!

So we sat down to eat around 11am, or so. We wrapped up the meal with Dad reading the Christmas story from the inn keeper's perspective - the story was a whole lot more interesting with two little girls who were all ears as he read. When Rae Ann and I were little, we'd get together with our cousins to "perform" the story for our parents, but listening along with Stella and Ivy, the story became brand new!

Following breakfast, we opened presents. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from present time:

After presents we sat around for awhile before putting the girlies down for their naps and then eating even more food. Nate and I gave Dad some sudoku books in his stocking (mostly to torture him), so I began playing some of the games while Nate, Tom, and Dad played Halo 3. The afternoon meal was HUGE. All I contributed was a green salad, so when I walked into the dining room and saw Mom and Rae Ann's spread, I was little shocked! But it was all so tasty!

The next set of pictures are just a few that I snapped that make me think happy thoughts:

Okay, so that's the Breckenridge Christmas. It was really nice to spend some time with family! Tis the season, eh?


Never had this happen before.

So tonight I was making corn pudding for the Banks' family Christmas over at Scott and Christie's house. Corn pudding is baked in the oven with it's dish sitting in a pan of water.

When I cracked open the oven to check on it's progress, I was met by a hot, humid heat wave. I closed my eyes tightly against the heat, but when I went to open them again, I couldn't! I began thinking to myself, "I'm blind!" I put all my energy into opening my eyes...

Finally I got them open, but my lids were so heavy and everything felt really weird. It felt as though I was wearing fake eyelashes, as though I was in another ballet recital. I started yelling at Nate, "There's something wrong with my face!"

I touched my eyelashes and they felt really strange. And then I realized.

When I had opened the oven, the steam hit my eyes and melted my mascara. When I closed my eyes, it all melted together and started to cool again, which made it difficult to open my eyes back up. When I checked the mirror, I saw my eyelashes pointing straight up and clumped together.

Nate just sat on the couch and laughed.



Today has been a great day.

I started work at 4:15 this morning at Starbucks, and everyone and their mother came by for coffee. It was chaos. I was jogging back and forth from one end of the counter to the bar, taking drink orders, writing cups, and prepping drinks for Erin (assistant manager), who was working the milk side of the bar. At one point I realized I had pulled the wrong shots for a drink, so in my haste to make a quick cup switch, I dropped the mocha. The cup hit the counter and shot the mocha syrup and milk all over the top half of me, and then it hit the floor upside down and splashed the bottom half of me. All I could do was stand there, dripping.

It was lovely! I had mocha from my nose to my toes...literally. My work clothes are going through the wash right now.

After my shift was over, Nate met me at Starbucks and we followed each other to the Nordstrom's side of the mall to meet Grandma and Grandpa Mac for lunch...they were taking us out for my 25th b-day. Since I was at the mall, I thought I'd finish up a few odd errands I had been wanting to get done before Christmas (which, technically, begins for us on Saturday, Dec. 22, and doesn't end until the 26th, I think - I know I've lost my mind). The drive home was r.i.d.i.c.u.l.o.u.s. I hate the mall. More than that, I hate the traffic.

So this is a picture of what I encountered on the home stretch. I was on my way from the freeway up Hwy. 212 toward our neighborhood, and this is where I sat for what felt like forever. Gag. I realize this post has been really lame, so I apologize. I wish I had taken a picture of the mocha madness - that would have cheered everyone up!

I wish you all the merriest of Christmases!


Just stuff.

So here are a few random pictures I took the other day...They're all of things I was wanting to mention on here at some point or another, so why not just make it a totally random blog :) This is Nathaniel's desk decorated for Christmas. I've struggled to find things for his desk that I think really fit, and I've come to realize that it'll just happen naturally over time. I'd love to rush into New Seasons and buy up some cute kiddie things for his desk, but, so far, I've resisted that urge. :) Ever since we moved into this house, I've really wanted to make it a home in the sense of comfort for everyone who walks through our door. My attention has been focused in the family room more than anywhere else. So, my name is Robin, like a bird. When I was in California in May 2005, we found out we were going to be able to move in here. I immediately starting thinking about how to make it comfortable and "nesty"...I found some eggs at an antique store in Visalia, CA, so I brought those home and framed a card of robins with their nest and put it all together in a little collection by my front door. Since then, the idea of birds (especially robins) and their nests has become trendy...and I kinda want to buy a bunch of the stuff I've seen up...Anyway, the point of saying all that is that it's a decorative idea I'm playing with for Nathaniel's desk. When we found out we were pregnant, I was hit pretty hard with the idea of creating a comfy nest for my kids.

This is our harvest decor! I did the same thing last year...I like the look of it! Of course, I didn't even get this up until Halloween night. I was way late in my decorating. I took it down probably two days after decorating for Christmas, too. It really wasn't up that long. But the neighborhood kids kicked me into gear to take it down. I had a huge, gorgeous pumpkin (can you see it in the picture?) and they stole it and smashed it on the sidewalk in front of my neighbor's house, three doors down. Fantastic. The kids in the neighborhood are becoming much bolder; my neighbor had about 50 DVDs stolen out of the glove compartment of her car, and we both think it's the kids around here. It's too bad, really. It's crazy how much the area has changed since we've moved in.

Here's my car! She's working well right now, which I'm happy about. I'll be sad to let her go when it comes time to sell her. Nate is working on selling his red Toyota 4x4 pickup. His brother Ricky was using it before he left for South Korea, so since August it's been sitting in Nate's parents' drive way. He finally got it home and is actively working on selling it. He still has his Toyota Tundra, so he's not truckless.

This is our family room decorated for Christmas! It's lovely and peaceful...Even Frankie (the cat in front of the fire) thinks so. I can't wait to post pictures of the work Nate's been doing around here. The family room looks nothing like this anymore. It's a little ridiculous! Although, I do like the new color...


As I Promised

Tree #1, 2006 era:
Now this tree was a true beauty! Many friends considered her sparse, but what do they know. :) Because of all the space between her branches, I could hang all my ornaments comfortably, knowing that each and every one of them was easily viewable. She had flare! I think she was 8.5 feet tall or so.

Tree #2, 2007 ear:
I couldn't use a picture that I took of the tree without a flash because you couldn't see the ornaments very well. Oh, well I guess you can't see them anyway, really, because there aren't very many of them. The tree is too full for many of my bigger ornaments. I don't like trees where you have to just lay the ornaments on the tree because it's too full for them to hang. This tree is right around 7/7.5 feet tall and she cost six times as much as last year's tree. Hmm.


Another Tree Cutting Adventure

If you know me at all, you know how much I love Christmas, but especially Christmas trees! And you probably know how far in advance I tend to plan on cutting the next one down - 364 days.

For all of the Christmases I can actually remember, my parents, Rae Ann, and I would chop our tree down under the power lines up on Mt. Hood. As Rae Ann and I have married, we've included our husbands (and her kids) in the tradition. But this year was a bit of a bust.

We made it up to the ranger station to buy our permits ($5!!!) and the promise of snow became a reality...it was beautiful! We headed up one of the logging roads to find our trees, but first we stopped and dropped off Tom and Rae Ann's Element so they and the girls could climb into Dad and Mom's truck with Nate and I.

I really wish I'd taken a picture of what came next. This is the first year (that I remember) where we weren't able to make it up the mountain. Like six cars had become stuck, all right together in a little pile-up, so we couldn't go high enough to cut trees. The permits for tree cutting have tree height and elevation limitations, so you need to drive up pretty high before you start chopping anything down.

So, we turned around and headed back to the Element. We had a grand snow ball fight, which included nearly everyone (little Ivy being the exception...for the most part! I nailed her bum once or twice). Check out Rae Ann's blog for some of her funny family details :)

We parted ways with Rae Ann and Tom (her blog explains why) and so Nate and I set out with Mom and Dad to find a tree farm. It made me sad! I got confused by all the sameness! This years Christmas tree, I regret to say, is quite cookie cutter. But that's okay. It's still pretty...It's just not the same! I'm going to post a picture of last year's tree in contrast with this years, just so you can see the differences for yourself!