Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas at our house!

Well, Santa went a little over the top at our house this Christmas!! Kevin & I had discussed with the entire family that we wanted to cut back this year and keep Christmas as simple as possible, but neither Kevin or I kept to that plan. I went crazy with dvd's (as usual) for Kevin and he got me some new ones as well, so our huge collection continues to grow, Kevin also got me the American Idol game for his XBOX360 and it was a HUGE hit!! The whole family was over at our house for Christmas day and we were up until 2AM playing it!! (Then, when we had some friends over on Saturday we did the same thing-the game is addictive!!) Kevin also gave me both pieces of jewelry that he had purchased at a jewelry store that was going out of business around Thanksgiving-I guess he didn't want to have to keep it somewhere else until the next holiday, so he just gave them both to me. A beautiful green amethyst necklace and a sapphire ring that I call my fly-eye ring. I will have to get pictures of them to post, I LOVE them!!!

The big surprises were from Santa-he dropped off my nearly finished bookshelves (Kevin started these shelves 5 years ago with his Grandfather, but soon after starting the project his grandfather passed away and he didn't ever want to work on them after that, I had finally given up on the idea of them ever being completed so I had told him that is what I wanted for Christmas, or just buy me new ones so that I would have a place to keep all our dvd's, he had basically laughed in my face about the idea of completing them, so I was already scouting bookshelves online, glad I didn't order any!) and there was also a starter embroidery machine under the tree from Santa!! What a huge surprise! I had told Kevin that is what I wanted, but didn't think he would actually get it for me!!! Of course when I ran upstairs to say thanks (Kevin slept in since the family wasn't coming over until lunch, but I got up because I was trying to finish (start & finish actually) the Christmas aprons I was making for everyone-which I didn't get mom and Mary's done until the day after Christmas, so sorry about that girls!) he was like, "What are you talking about, was there a tag on it?" so when I went back downstairs I saw that it said "from Santa" on the tag, so that was fun. This is also when I noticed the embroidery machine under the tree, but I had already woken Kevin up once, so I waited to tell him thank you for that until he woke up later. The big present I got for Kevin was the new 32G Apple Ipod Touch that he has been talking about non-stop! It was supposed to be a surprise, but sadly he found out about it. I used my credit card (should have used mom & dad's) and he was checking to be sure his present for me had gone through on Christmas eve when he saw the charge and figured it out, oh well, even if it wasn't a surprise, he loves it and that's what matters!!! Betsy & Mary both got me photo gifts that I love (a little book& a dvd of sister/family pictures) & Kelsey had sent home a basket from Africa with mom & dad when they had been there for a visit, but the best gift from Kelsey was her phone call. I got to talk to her for a little while on Christmas day, so since she couldn't be there with us it was great to be able to talk to her on the phone!!! (I still didn't even mention the gifts from all the rest of the family so as you can tell, this Christmas ended up being a HUGE Christmas & I absolutely LOVED every one of my gifts!!)

My big present to myself was that I took Friday off of work so that I would have a long weekend to get to feeling better because I ate yummy food for Christmas!! Kevin brought me home a peppermint & chocolate chip milkshake from CFA on Christmas Eve. (Which I ate at home after we spent the evening with Barbara, Larry & Micki.) On Christmas day I planned out the meals that I wanted most and here is what was decided on: I ate a blueberry bagel with cream cheese for breakfast, a homemade taco & some tortilla chips with cheese sauce for lunch, homemade potato soup with yummy bread for dinner and homemade Indiana sugar cream pie for dessert! (And of course I snacked on Christmas cookies & M&M's throughout the day) It was basically the best Christmas ever!! I drank a TON of water all day and I think that helped because it really wasn't that bad over the weekend, I just tried not to go anywhere and really only felt really bad one day, so that was great! I don't know if that was a Christmas miracle or if maybe I could start adding more foods back into my diet, either way it was a great Christmas gift from God and I feel so blessed!!

It was really fun having everyone over to our house for Christmas this year. We hadn't done that before, we always go to mom & dad's, but since I was eating this year we did it at our house!! It was so much fun! (Sorry if it was a hassle everyone, but I really appreciate it!!) The only thing that could have made Christmas better was if I was pregnant, but really, I don't think I can complain. It was a wonderful Christmas and I really am so thankful for my wonderful family and the great Christmas that we had together. Actually, our entire Christmas season was great, from the Reynolds Family Christmas get together, Caroling in our neighborhood, Christmas Eve at Barb's-it was all wonderful!! I will have to get some pictures posted. I don't have a ton, but I have some. (Or you can always check out the ones Betsy & Mare have on their facebook pages as well, they are way better at taking & posting pictures!)

Today I am back at work, but already starting on the plans for Mom & my trip to Brazil!! I have to go to the Brazilian Consulate tomorrow so we can get our Visa's!! I am SOOOOOO excited about that...but more on that later, really I just have too much to say, and this post is already WAY to long!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Overview of 2008

(my Christmas letter for this year)
What a full year 2008 has been. We celebrated our 5th anniversary in June & Kevin got his baby, a 2002 blue corvette. (I was happy because he finally felt the energy to clean out the garage!!) We stayed busy with work, neighborhood happenings (Kevin enjoyed participating in our neighborhood Trail of Terror on Halloween & I am the chair of the social committee) & we even survived infertility treatments. This was what took up most of my life this year and although we didn’t get pregnant, we grew closer together, learned a lot about waiting on God & I made a great new friend along the way.
Our biggest adventure of the year was when Kevin & I went to South Africa with my sister Kelsey. Her boyfriend was living in Africa & she wanted to visit him, so we were happy to volunteer as chaperones & he met us down in SA for an adventure! I have always wanted to go to Africa, & not just because I love Elephants, so we made the trip affordable by staying at backpackers & using our sky miles for one of the tickets & viola-South Africa here we come!! I think I saw some of the most breathtaking scenery that I have ever seen in my life on this trip! We also met some cool people from all over the world, staying in backpackers is the way to go when traveling in SA, everyone is so friendly!
A quick overview of the trip: *Staying up all night at the Johannesburg airport waiting for a flight. *Visiting Addo Elephant Park, were we saw zebras, elephants, ostriches, monkeys & warthogs galore! *Surfing in the Indian Ocean in Jeffrey’s Bay. (Surfers come from all over the world to surf in J-Bay, how neat that we were able to do that there! Although, later we found out the place we were at is known for Shark attacks, what was I doing in that water!!!! Also, I don’t think surfing is for me, I drank half the Indian Ocean through my nose!) *Meeting a childhood friend of Travis’ who lives in J-Bay with his wife, it really is a small world after all!! (Also the backpackers we stayed at was run by Christians!) *Hiking the Otter Trail at Tsitsikamma National Park (you hike through the rainforest & along these huge boulders lining the ocean until you get to a waterfall. Words cannot describe the beauty of this place, and even pictures don’t do it justice. If you ever find yourself in SA, be sure to hike the Otter Trail to the waterfall in Tsitsikamma!! This is actually were Travis and Kelsey got engaged & Kevin was there to catch photos of the event!!) *Riding an Elephant!!! (We stopped at an elephant park that works with rescued, wounded & abused elephants.) *Zooming through the air (Kelsey & Travis did a cable slide at the tallest bridge in Africa-he really wanted to bungee jump-but I think she talked him out of it!) *Begging for water (While staying in Cape Town, Kevin & I hiked up Lion’s Head (a smaller Mountain next to Table Mountain) without water!!! Thankfully there was a nice local who gave us some of his!! I really felt proud after making it to the top-Kevin just thought I was crazy-but it was worth it for the incredible views of Cape Town and the Atlantic Ocean.) There is so much more to say about our trip, but I have taken up too much space already so on to what happened with the rest of our year.
2008 was a year full of weddings. From January to December there were friends & family getting married. Kelsey & Travis actually got married in May. I was able to be the coordinator at a few of the weddings & loved every second of it. I really would love to be able to do that full time. What an awesome job that would be!
Now the holiday’s are here again & we’re excited to spend the time with family & friends. Life is good, God is faithful and we are looking forward to all that 2009 has in store for us! Hope that you are able to take some time to enjoy the people you love this season & that you have a blessed 2009 as well! -Emilee & Kevin

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Crazy busy times

I can't believe how fast the time is going by lately! I don't really even know what we have been doing, but we have been busy. I guess it is just like that this time of year! Monday night Kev & I watch the people version of "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" and played Canasta (Note: don't really like it with only two people, playing with four is much better!!) Then I actually took the day off work yesterday (Tuesday) so that we (Mom & I) could make Christmas cookies! As we were chatting on Monday we realized that we didn't have time to make Christmas cookies before Christmas unless we did it now!! I was needing to get off work early anyhow because the last of Kevin's work Christmas parties was last night (at 6PM in Stone Mountain) and mom doesn't work on Tuesdays so it seemed like a perfect time to do it. I asked the boss and was able to get off so that was perfect-I think the fact that one of the main reasons we make cookies every Christmas is as our present to everyone at work helped!! (It was also due to fact that we have been really slow lately, and this is normally our busy season, we are feeling the effects of the economic squeeze that's for sure!)
Mom came over around 10:30 or so (she has a water aerobics class in the mornings on Tuesdays in Cartersville, so she came on over to my house after her class) and we baked all day. It was such a blast. I don't bake often, so we really enjoyed ourselves. We decided not to do the Christmas Sugar cookies (We will try to fit those and Grandpa's Peanut Butter Logs in the week of Christmas, which means, we might be doing them on Christmas, but that would be fine with me, our plan for Christmas day is really different this year anyhow!) and instead did all our other favorites and some spice cake as well.
After a full day of baking and visiting with mom she helped me get ready for the Christmas party. I decided to wear makeup and everything, Kevin and I don't go out often, so I had fun dressing up-then changing because Kevin said it was a casual event-and fixing my hair and putting on makeup. I don't think you ever out-grow the fun of playing dress up!! (Or at least I haven't!!)
Oh yeah, side note: A sprinkler pipe busted on Saturday at work and flooded half the office-my office included-so we have been playing rotating desks and trying to get work done in half the office while the other half is in upheaval. Furniture is everywhere, the carpet is pulled up and until this morning there were tons of these loud dehumidifiers going trying to dry everything out! It's a mess and really hot. (It kinda feels like a sauna in my office, so I don't spend much time in here if possible!!)
Well, try not to get too stressed out when I say this but, Christmas Eve is ONE WEEK AWAY!!! Enjoy yourself and I hope you all get to spend plenty of time doing what you love, with the people you love this holiday season!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Fun with family! (Part 2)

Thanksgiving Day!

So I started (and nearly completed) this post last week, then the internet cut off and I lost everything, so I was too sad to do it all over again! I was being all creative and putting in pictures and everything, so I hope I can get at least somewhat close to it!!

Thursday was a wonderful day! We were able to spend time with all of our family and it truly was a family-filled day. Kevin and I drove up to my parents separately so that I could spend the night (to go to the midnight shopping up at the outlets with Betsy) and so that I could get started on the rolls to be sure they were ready in time for lunch. (I had put the dough together on Wednesday night, but then you have to knead the dough, roll & cut it out and let it rise for about in hour in a buttered pan before you bake them. They are sooooo delicious!!) However, when I arrived at mom & dad's I realized I had brought everything I needed EXCEPT the dough (which was still in my fridge at home!!) So I called Kevin in a panic and luckily he hadn't left yet so he grabbed them on the way out, but then he didn't get to mom & dad's until we were sitting down to eat, so we had the rolls as an after dinner snack before dessert. Sorry everybody!!

Before we ate, we also got to talk to Kelsey on Skype for a little while so that was wonderful, it was a little weird not having her there, but since we had Kelli & Andy's (Betsy's husband) parents, brother and Grandma there it was still a nice full table and was great! (12 at the main table, and Canaan & Zion at their little table-one that we girls played at growing up!) After eating (which I actually had made some chicken and carrots that I brought with, and mom had made me a plain sweet potato and made sure the green beans were plain-sorry again everyone, you had to eat plain green beans because of me-but is was really cool to actually sit at the table with everyone and EAT!!!) After dinner we played dominoes and visited and went for a walk, or usual Thanksgiving day routine.

On Thanksgiving evening Kevin and I went over to his mom's for dessert. We took both cars down and I ended up just heading home after our visit that night since I had to work the early shift on Friday, I decided I would be crazy to stay up for the midnight sale! We had a great visit with Barb, Larry and Micki and learned how to play Canasta (which we had learned as Hand & Foot several years ago, but then had forgotten how to play!) So that was a blast to re-learn a game. We love card games in our family! In fact I love cards so much I pick up a deck everytime we travel somewhere new, as does my family, so I have 30 decks of cards or more I am sure in our game closet!! Now we will just have to be sure we don't forget how to play it this time!!!

Friday after work (which mom & I went shopping at lunch and got off early since it was so slow!) we did some more shopping and then had the whole family (Binkley side) over for dinner and a movie at our house. (We watch Kung Fu Panda since the nephews were there, it was so adorable, Kevin and I had watched it already when we first got it, but I didn't mind watching it again, I love Disney movies!!)

Saturday we did more shopping and visiting with the family at Town Center Mall. Kevin got my Christmas present at the jewelry store going out of business!! (I love nice jewelry, which you wouldn't guess looking at me on a regular basis, because I hardly ever where jewelry, but I really do love it, I keep thinking someday I will grow up and start caring and actually put on makeup and jewelry in the morning, but it still hasn't happened. I did finally start caring about my hair a few years ago, but I still don't fix it every day, but nearly every day so I am pretty proud of that!)

Sunday I did some sewing for my sister (I would say what I made, but I don't want to ruin it for Kelsey) I also had to take some knitting into work on Monday so I could finish it in time to put in the box mom was sending out on Tuesday, so I apologized in advance to David (my boss) and knitted away as I answered phones on Monday!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Fun with family! (Part 1)

I haven't written in forever so it will most likely take me a couple posts to catch up. Here are some pictures from our time shopping on the evening before Thanksgiving. Mare, Kelli, Mom, Betsy & the boys and I all went out (I met them after I got off work) and had a blast. I love shopping (by the way-I was so proud of myself in my last post for saying no to DVD's, but over the Holiday weekend I ended up buying a ton of movies because there are always great sells and so that whole idea of being good and having my addiction under control went out the water!!) After the fun shopping I put the roll dough together and watched some t.v. with Kev before heading to bed, so it was a pretty late night, but a wonderful day!!
I am horrible at getting these pictures to post on here how I want, so I will try, but who knows if it will work right! (As you can see, Mary was the one with a camera that evening!)