Saturday, January 1, 2011

December Happenings

Well December has been eventful if nothing else. In early December I fainted due to severe abdominal pain had to have abdominal surgery and was awarded an extra long Christmas break, as I was unable to exercise (thus unable to do my job) for 2 weeks. At the end of the two weeks Christmas break started. Thomas was a great care taker and would not let me do anything. He had to escort me everywhere, I was unable to drive and was scolded every time I tried to get off the couch to help out with the housework (it was great).

Regardless of the surgery, I still had my planned first annual Tea Party just 6 days after surgery. Thomas again was great as he assisted me in cleaning the house and baking cookies. Thomas' mom was also great as she offered to help out a lot with the food and tea's I was serving. It was a small get together but I really enjoyed it and I am looking forward to having it again next year.

Due to my surgery Thomas needed to take the first week off with me and I put him to good use. Since we moved into our house I have despised the look of our kitchen cabinets and have dreamed of replacing them. However, replacing them is out of the question at this time in our lives, so we decided to update them through paint. The cabinets themselves, I am told are very nice as the doors are oak, but they were that natural horrid wood color. I remember my mom always had to have a white kitchen, and I thought that that was ridiculous but now as a homeowner that is the only color of cabinets I can imagine having to make the kitchen look light and bright and clean. So, Thomas went to work removing the doors, sanding and painting all the cabinets a nice soft clean white. We then went to Target and got nice simple stainless toned hardware and I was able to help Thomas actually put those on the cabinet drawers and doors (success!) The kitchen looks so much better than I could have imagined when we first purchased our home, I can say that the more work we do on the house the more proud I am to own it. All we need to finish off the kitchen are new appliances to match the new dishwasher, a new sink, and new counter tops!

We have done quite a bit of updating our home since we first bought it. However, like most houses there is still a list of improvements that I would still like to do to the house. Our home is 20 years old and still had builders white paint in every single room when we bought it, this is crazy since it has had two previous owners, so we have painted every room except the laundry. All of the woodwork inside is that cheap wood color (I prefer white, Thanks Momma!) so in our main living area we have painted the windowsills and fireplace mantel white we also removed the disgusting brass fireplace screen and are on the lookout for a new one. We covered up the 20 year old linoleum in the kitchen with wood laminate, and thanks to Sakari, we were able to put in new tile in the guest bathroom and new doors in both bathrooms. We have replaced several of the light fixtures and even added a chandelier in the dinning area. The to-do improvement list continues and we have hopes of replacing the carpet and baseboard sometime in the next couple of years!

Ok lets get back on track. During my second week of recovery, my Momma went into the hospital with a tumor, 6 days later she had surgery and is in recovery now. We are praying for her to heal quickly and fully, for her to become free of pain (from sciatic surgery a few years ago and this new one) and that her vision return, we also are praying for acceptance, love and healing for our entire family. We all love our Momma and she is a strong warrior.

Unfortunately just before Christmas our dear little bird, Gus, passed away. We buried him in our front yard, so the dogs couldn't dig him up and will plant flowers around his grave in the spring. He was a good bird and brought a lot of wonderful sounds and music to our home, he will be greatly missed.

Christmas Eve was at our house with Thomas' family. I must say that the table looked beautiful and the poinsettias that I placed on Gus' shelf are a nice tribute to him inside. We had fondue for an appetizer and for the meal we had prime rib, roasted veggies, rolls and green bean casserole. We had a wonderful time and had many presents to open afterward. We then went to our church for Christmas Eve service for the first time (previously we have gone to our parent's churches) and it was a wonderful service with some of my favorite hymns.

We were able to have a small quiet Christmas morning at our house just the two of us and the puppies, drinking coffee and opening our stockings that Santa filled and we exchanged our presents to each other. Then off to my parents house for Christmas. It was the best Christmas we have all had in a long time and it was so fun to have a holiday where my whole family was together, my brother and his wife, my sister and her husband and my parents. It was great spending the day with them and I think that we took more pictures that day than any other year. We enjoyed a "polish" dinner with sausage, sauerkraut, borscht, rye bread, and gwumpkie (cabbage rolls).

Since Christmas, we have been enjoying our break with some light dusting's of snow and spending time together and with our animals.

We have been truly blessed this year by God and we are so thankful for everything he has provided for us. We are thankful for our families, our jobs, our animals, and our home, but most of all we are thankful for the LORD bringing us together and creating the wonderful bond we have with each other and our growing walk with God.

"May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow and may trouble avoid you wherever you go."

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♥ Ashley