Saturday, December 21, 2013

"Most" Posts of 2013 - linky

Joined with Amongst Lovely Things for her year end wrap up.

I was going to wait to the very end of the year but then thought, probably won't have much changes between now and then. 

1.Post with the most clicks

Safety without baby proofing was my top viewed post. I wrote it as part of the Carnival of Natural Parenting. It garnered 315 views.

2. Post with the most comments

It also  has the most comments (17).

3. Post with the best picture

7 Takes, 2013.32 

This picture of Hannabert makes me melt:

4. Post that was hardest to write
Commitment to each other - Week 2 (17) of Purposeful Blogging

5. Post that was your personal favorite

Guest Posting! Mommy's Milk : A Breastfeeding Series I was so excited to be a featured guest writer AND this post got mentioned on other blogs/facebook pages!

7 Takes - Nearly Christmas! 2013-37

Linking a day late to Jen at Conversion Diary

1. I am in a reporting year for my continuing legal credits (CLE). I am taking them online and multi-tasking. My screen saver keeps popping up with this:
approximately 2 hrs before we found out he had mono...1 wk before we found out he shared it with me.

2.  I am overly enjoying the course on FERPA and Public Records (aka Access to Students and Records: Custody, Divorce, Abuse and Neglect). This presentation didn't really talk too much about divorce and single parenting but really focused on rights of students and the public to request information. Very interesting. SIDE NOTE: I especially like the fact that the presenter just offered to let all the people who are watching the presentation to come to his new office to watch Red, White, and Boom.

3.  Yesterday was National College's annual Christmas Party for Faculty and Staff. I had numerous requests to bring Hannabert..and Horn (not teaching this term) but really Hannabert. Horn and I have been teaching at National since 2005. They saw us get engaged, married, and were with us when we had Hannabert. Students actually called us at the hospital to 1) see if there was still a final and 2) how we were doing. Hannabert adores the current campus director. It stresses me to think that at some point in time, my time there with my students might be limited.
Post-party exhaustion
4.  Nope, not done with Christmas shopping. Just realized that last night as Horn and I were congratulating ourselves on being done. I am thinking about doing flavored salts for my SIL and MIL. In the past, they have gotten me the sugar sampler and the salt sampler from The Colonel.

5. We have rain and flood warnings today. I much prefer the snow of last weekend. Hannabert picked out his own clothes for Mass. They consisted of "spooky pants" and I believe a polo shirt. I wasn't going to fight over skeleton pants.
Not really snowing but he was so very excited to play in the snow after Mass
6.  My brother and SIL are currently in China meeting their daughter. We haven't heard anything since they left and it has made me anxious. I am really excited for them and can't wait to meet their daughter. She is only 1 month younger than Hannabert so she will have a birthday soon!

7.  We tried out a new church. Their most recent fundraisers involved selling Christmas cards with the image of their Nativity window. Sold out. 
This is the reason.

They did a video of the windows!

Merry Christmas. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

7 Takes, 2013.36

Linking up for my week in review with Jen at Conversion Diary.

1. My morning travel companion has been a bit cranky in the mornings.
Don't talk to me. 

Don't say those words
2. Horn and I went to a Law Firm Party.

3. Then we ate out. I had parsnip gnocchi 5 years ago at a place called Jean Ro's Bistro, that has since closed (this is his new place). It was served in a browned butter sage sauce with toasted almonds. It became my love affair with browned butter. I even scramble my eggs in it. My grandmother is Italian and would make gnocchi from scratch so I love gnocchi that tastes like hers. Kaze had sweet potato gnocchi that was served Asian style.
tofu, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, shishito peppers, miso balsamic - from the PDF by the restuarant
Insane! I was expecting Italian, maybe with a basil or sage sauce or even a light alfredo or bechamel. It was Asian style and incredible but so different than my grandmother's or the French version I have loved so much for the last 5 years.

4.  If you haven't seen the Little Drummer Boy by Pentatonix, where have you been? BUT the bigger news is that they appeared at one of the local high schools as part of an accapella festival!

I also love the one below because it was the first YouTube video I ever saw of them

5.  My Brother and SIL will meet their little girl on 12/14/2013. Our excitement is overwhelming. Please pray that all goes well and that they start bonding as a family. Even more overwhelming is that Horn and I have been selected as guardians, what an incredible honor.

6.  I have been trying to explain Christmas to Hannabert. He doesn't believe me that it is Jesus's birthday.

Love the Fisher Price Nativity

7. On wards to Week Three of Advent.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Gift-Giving Link-up

Linking with Why, yes I AM crazy! for her first every link up (and what the heck, some of my links will be affiliate links but some of them won't)!

I actually really stress about Christmas giving. It was with somewhat of a relief that my family stopped doing gifts a few years ago. My husband's family is HUGE into gift giving. My first Christmas (wasn't until after we were married despite the fact that we dated for about 6 years prior to marriage. My refusal to attend his families parties or stay in the area for Christmas was what turned the tides into an engagement) was really stressful for me as I wasn't sure what was expected...yadda yadda yadda.

I shop around. Lots and early. I try for unique items. Not gift cards unless they are specific restaurants.

So, my list includes for those that are near and with whom we will be exchanging gifts:

Less Unique gifts

Like I mentioned before, my family doesn't do gifts. This makes my husband upset so we send gifts anyway. The gifts need to be mailed so I am (lazy) a multi-tasker and look for a company than can ship for me.

  • Harry and David fruit baskets are our "go to" with my grandmother and parents. Their pears are truly exceptional (and very large). When my siblings and I were small, we used to get a pear or orange in our stockings so for me, this is an edible memory of Christmas. There are a number of similar companies:
  • Pay a bill anonymously (for an elderly relative) might be an idea 
  • I have sent flowers in the past, but I have been disappointed with the end results on occasion so I no longer do that.
  • Calendars. I like doing a year in review of our son and then send them to his grandparents/great grandparents. I have ordered from Shutterfly and Snapfish in the past. A few others are:
    • VistaPrint - fair warning that they try to get you to sign up for things on a monthly subscription
    • Minted
  • Donate to a charity (be advised that donations through Go Fund Me has a fairly large fee). My post last week had suggestions to make sure the charity is using the money in charitable endeavors and not wastefully. 

Friday, December 06, 2013

7 Takes, 2013.35

I have been off the radar but joining back with Jen at Conversion Diary

1.  I have a new part-time job. By February, I will have 3 part-time jobs. When new employment was my prayer for Immaculate Heart Novena, this wasn't what I was expecting...but I am thankful for the new opportunities this position presents.

2. We hosted Thanksgiving dinner for my sister, her husband (aka Adored Uncle of Hannabert), Emma (aka "Baby Emma", my niece), and Horn's parents and sister. My mom is still recovering from her knee surgery so my parents didn't travel and my brother and his wife were waiting for a call from their adoption agency.

3. Which they received! They thought that they would be traveling to China in the new year but it looks like they will have a daughter for Christmas! Their adoption process has been amazing! We are so excited for them and can't wait to meet their daughter! She is partially named after me which is hugely awesome. My SIL and brother had picked out a different name but my SIL kept feeling doubts. Someone in her bible group approached her and said that she was feeling like the name should be after a flower...turns out they were having the same calling for a name! God is amazing. Like you didn't know that already...

4. Hannabert became the family photographer at Thanksgiving Dinner (he wasn't feeling eating anything).
Gee, doesn't my husband look like his father?

5. I spatchcocked the turkey and it took LESS than 2 hrs to cook a fresh, 17lb turkey. Seriously awesome. You do need a good pair of kitchen shears to make it work though. I have Zyliss Kitchen Shears which completely come apart so I could run them through the dishwasher after being all Mortal Kombat on the turkey back.
Top shelf: sweet potato casserole, middle: turkey, bottom: roasted brussel sprouts
Carved up turkey

6. We did family pictures! Of course I scheduled it at worst time every since it was the only day during the week that Horn and I were both home to clean the house (we still haven't finished moving in even though we actually moved in July...). I found an incredibly reasonably priced photographer ($40 AND I got all the pictures on a CD!) and the shoot went pretty well despite the cool temperatures and the statement by the toddler, "You are done. Not more pictures." It is hard to have the paparazzi chase after you all the time I guess...

7. Cheers, blessings, and well wishes for you and yours this Advent Season! If you make donations during this time of year, make sure the charity you select is using the money wisely. Guidestar, Charity Navigator, and Great Non Profits are all places to check. All recognized charities should be happy to share their Form 990 (the form that lists their financials, operating expenses, salaries, board appreciations, etc). Seize the Day (Sirius/XM Catholic Channel) is featuring a number of charities this Advent Season, maybe that will lead you in the right direction. If you aren't concerned about the deductible aspect of a donation, just donate to someone (or anyone). Is there a family who is on hard time who could use a something special in the mail like a gift certificate to the grocery store or a special treat of pizza? Maybe you write a letter to a sister, brother, priest, or seminarian or a solider or simply pray for those that serve others. We all have experienced blessings in our life, lets share them with others.