Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I should know better by now...

When I was a little girl, around 8 or 9, I scrimped and saved my own money and bought my daddy a new wallet for Christmas. I saw how his wallet was old and worn and I just knew this would be the perfect gift!
I was so excited and so proud of myself for thinking of such a wonderful gift all on my own. Christmas morning finally came and daddy opened my gift, my beautiful new leather wallet that I had bought with my own money, and the disappointment, and start of my issues with buying a gift for my father, began.
He took my gift back!
The beautiful new wallet I had purchased, with my own money, was a tri-fold instead of a bi-Italicfold...the wrong wallet for my daddy.
He didn't even let me help him take it back and pick out a new bi-fold, he just kept using his old one until he eventually bought a new one. I am not sure when that happened, but the point is that at a young and tender age, my heart had been broken by my daddy when he didn't love my gift that I had thought was going to be so perfect for him!
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About 15 or so years later,
it took a long time before I even tried to find a perfect gift for my daddy, I just took the easy way out and bought a jar of Planter peanuts, or hand stiched a B on a hankie for him and called Christmas for daddy done,
I did it again, I found the perfect gift for my daddy!
A collection of c.d.'s of the illustrate version of the New Testament (voices were of some famous actors).
I just knew this gift would be perfect!
My daddy has a long commute to work and loves to listen to the Bible on tape.
He keeps an old portable tape player in his car (since cars don't even come with tape players anymore) and listens to the bible on his way to and from work. I was so excited to have found a great new gift that would be perfect for him. He would now be able to use his car's cd player to listen to the bible, and in some new voices instead of the monotone male's voice that his tapes were in.
Christmas morning came and dad opened his gift.
Without going through it all again...
lets just say,
he still listens to his bible on tape.
The King James version, one man's monotone voice, use the portable tape player on my car seat bible on tape!
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Another 4-5 years later,
I was going to really get it right this year.
It had been long enough that I had forgotten the pain and heartbreak of finding the perfect gift, only to be notified that it was all wrong.
I thought I was really on top of things, and beating the odds and making up for the past this time. I was going to get my daddy the perfect gift, and he was going to love it so much I could forget about the past and that little girl with the broken heart...but that was a dream I should have known was going to stay that way, a dream.
A couple weeks before Christmas Kev & I were at one of our favorite stores while visiting with Kelsey and Travis on a Sunday evening and I found it.
The perfect gift for my daddy.
It was a King James Version full Bible on cd with the old testament read by one man and the new testament read by James Earl Jones!
I just knew I couldn't find a more perfect gift!
I was giddy with exitment and jumping out of my skin with joy at knowing I had finally done it!
I had a wonderful gift for my daddy that he was truly going to love!
But, just to be sure, before I purchased it, I called my daddy and made sure he hadn't already purchased a bible on cd set. (Last time I had ridden in his car I thought it was still there, the portable tape player for his bible on tape, but I wanted to be sure!)
Christmas morning came and daddy opened his gift and I didn't get much of a reaction (he did know about it) but I was so pleased with how well I had finally done!
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Then....
a couple days after Christmas
I get a voicemail on my phone from who other than daddy dearest
asking if I had the receipt for the bible on cd I bought
and if I happened to notice when shopping if there was a version that a certain guy had narrated.
All the pain and heartbreak came crashing back down upon me...
but of coarse I just call him back and say
"Sure I have the receipt, just bring in the gift and I can take it back and we will look up that certain bible on cd and find the one you want."
So today that is exactly what we did.
I found and ordered the correct bible on cd set on Amazon and now have in my possession what I had thought was finally the perfect gift, that will be going back to Borders as soon as I have a chance. (Too bad, because I had bought it with a 30% off coupon, so had done really well with that Christmas purchase...oh well, as I said before, I should have known better!!)

**I just want to add a note here, that I understand the importance of having a gift you will actually use and love, so if I get you something you don't like, don't hesitate to ask me for the receipt, it doesn't bother me...except when it comes to my daddy, although I am glad he will now be getting the gift he actually wants I am still a bit heartbroken I didn't get it right the first time. I guess you could say I have a bit of a daddy-gift complex...it brings back that heartbreak from when I was a little girl!**

Monday, December 28, 2009

A reading challenge or two


I love all things Bronte. If you know me, or have read my blog before, you most likely know about my obsession with all things Austen or Bronte. I love all three of the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen more than I can express. I also love many other authors, but these four super talented women take the top of the list for sure!! I found out about a challenge to read or watch 3-6 Bronte related books/movies between January-June 2010 and I am in!! I will have to get home and decide for sure what I want to put on the list, because that time will fly by, as I know, but I am really excited to put myself to the challenge and get some Bronte reading done!! If you want to join me, you can read more about the challenge here.

1. & 2. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall -Anne Bronte (and the movie)
3. Jane Eyre's Daughter -Elizabeth Newark
4. & 5. Wuthering Heights -Emily Bronte (and the movie) (not sure if I could really get these also, but I will put it on the list as the optimal goal, I will be happy to read the other two and watch the first movie-which was one of my christmas presents!)


I also read about a Victorian Reading Challenge here. (And of course I signed up for that as well!! I must be insane!!) This one is for all year, so I think I do have a really good chance of completing this one too!! (Depending on what level I go with!!)

1. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall -Anne Bronte

2. Wuthering Heights -Emily Bronte

3. Treasure Island -Robert Louis Stevenson

4. Around the World in Eighty Days -Jules Verne

(Now I know some of those are doubled up, but lets be honest with ourselves, THANK THE LORD FOR THAT!! Like it would even be in any way shape or form feasable for me to read much more than that within the time frame we have....but if there is time, I will add more from that era in, because I have a ton I would love to read!!)

Also for the Movie Mini Challenge:

1. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

2. Northanger Abbey

3. Persuasion

4. Emma (I read about a new version of Emma that will be premiering on PBS Masterpiece in January!! I am soooooo excited to see this one-must remember to set dvr!!)

5. Sherlock Holmes (Hopefully the new one in Theaters now-that is one my hubby wants to see anyhow so sounds like a perfect date night to me!)

6. ?

(Now hopefully I haven't set myself up for failure here...I also have a TON of other books I really NEED to read ASAP, as well as all my sewing and other obligations....I tend to overextend myself! I am really excited to see if I can do it!!)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I found out the lovely people at The Fat Quarter Shop were working a special deal with fabric lovers, like myself, and the wonderful jolly old elf yourself to be sure that our Christmas Wish List was delivered to you in a timely fashion in hopes that it would help with a wonderful Christmas morning full of exactly what we hoped for!
(Wow that is quite a run on sentence! Can you get put on the naughty list for grammatical errors? I will try working on that Santa, promise!)


I couldn't miss out on the opportunity to give you that extra note, full of my every desire. (Well, fabric desire that is!) I know you are busy and you already have a ton on your plate, so I have made this easy for you by including pictures, and a link to the lovely little Fat Quarter Shop where you could order any of these little wishes of mine with no problem! (And free shipping with orders over $50, just in case that helps push you in one direction or another when you are deciding what to get for me!!)

I am not sure how much extra time or effort you are wanting to put into my present this year, although I feel I have been good, I know I am probably also good at forgetting any of those moments throughout the year when I might not have been at my best!! Therefore I am giving you a couple of options, depending on how good you think I might have been!!

If you think I was alright, maybe not quite as good as last year, but pretty good, then I would really love to see a nice fat quarter bundle like one of these on Christmas morning:If you think I was equally as good as last year, not really any worse, but also not really any better then I would be ecstatic to discover one of these beautiful fat quarter bundles when I open my eyes on December 25th!!But, if you feel I really outdid myself this year. If you feel I was even better than I was last year, which if you remember correctly I was pretty good (and you showed me how pleased you were with some very lovely gifts I might add) then I would truly be overjoyed to have this lov-er-ly little bit of fabric heaven welcome me to a wonderful Christmas day!And just in case, although I know this is an unnecessary step, if you feel I have been naughty, and you really think that all I deserve is a lump of coal, could you please wrap it up with a little bit of this ribbon.
It would make the blow of being on the naughty list a bit easier for me to handle! (Also could you make sure my hubby has a happy Christmas, because I don't want him to be too mad at me when he see's how much I will be spending on fabric this next year!?!)


Thanks a bunch,
Emilee Hope

P.S. Hope you are getting plenty of rest as you prepare for your big night...it is less than a week away now!! (Oops, you probably don't want any reminders! Go ahead and drink a nice cup of some cocoa and relax, I know you will do a wonderful job, as alwasy!)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Nativity Giveaway!


My sister is trying to win this beautiful nativity set, so I thought I would post about this giveaway as well, and get an extra entry so we can try to get this for her!!

My sister absolutely LOVES nativity sets. I think our whole family does really. growing up we had this adorable little painted wooden one that we would play with and each day make the wise men get closer and closer as we counted down to Christmas! (Hey, where is that anyhow? I loved that thing!!) There are so many memories with that wonderful nativity set.

We also had a big table top stable that we would set up as well with a nativity set. One year we didn't do a tree, we just set up the nativity on a table and just used that. (Personally, I like having a tree-but since we don't have one at our house this year maybe I should see if I can borrow the stable and nativity from mom!!)

Not in the sewing mood...

I have been keeping busy, doing a lot of nothing lately!!

Well, not all of it is nothing...it is just not what I should be doing, like sewing and reading! (I still haven't even finished the first Twilight book, there is no way I am going to get them all read before Christmas!)

I am not sure what my issue is, because I really want to sew and I want to read, but once I get home all I do is zone out in front of the tube and call it a day!! Of course, this could have something to do with the fact that I am exhausted once I get home because I have been out shopping every evening after work!!

I think I have a serious problem!!

I cannot stop shopping!!

All kinds of shopping...online, at the mall, in antique stores, etc. I don't buy everything I see, but I have been buying a ton...just doing my part to help the economy!!!

I found a book for Betsy (since I am going to be borrowing her Christmas present as soon as I give it to her-I'd post a picture-but I want it to be a surprise!) and I bought some adorable new fabric!! (And spent more than I normally would, but still most of it was on sale at least a little bit!!)I am so excited about cutting into that scrumpciousness (is that even a word, and if it is did I spell it anywhere close to right?) sometime in the new year...but it must go on the back burner for now, because I haven't been in my sewing room (except when I was using it to wrap presents this weekend) and I have a ton of unfinished projects in there. Which is actually normal for my sewing room...unfinished projects...but I really was doing good at getting some of them done for the Joy in the New Year Challenge, and I hope to get my sewing mojo back and get some more done before the end of the year...but there is so many other things to do right now...

This weekend is the Reynolds Family Christmas party at Kevin's Aunt & Uncle's house-so I will need to get some rolls made! (And hopefully find a way to cover the mountain of a pimple that is taking over the left side of my nose...really, I am 28 years old, why do I still get ginormous-take-over-your-face-scary stress zits like a teenager right before prom!!)

Todd is in town this week and I MUST see him while he is home!!

Kels & Mare are in the Nativity Ballet this weekend and I really want to go see them in that

Then I have a ton of work that I need to do (including clean my house-yikes!!) for Mary's 22nd Birthday Party (She is 22 on the 22nd-a big birthday this year!!) and the Neighborhood Caroling Event on Monday evening! I love party's, but since everyone knows I love them, and love planning them, the pressure is on to make this one great because everyone will be expecting it...I can't have an OK party...that would ruin my street cred as the go to party planning girl in the family!!

Find the time for our Annual Christmas Cookie Baking Day! (Seriously, when are we doing this girls, Christmas is almost here!!)

Oh and here are some pictures from the Christmas luncheon mom and I went to with Kelsey at her church last Saturday. It was a great event, and I enjoyed the speaker (who is a fitness trainer and speaker) and visiting with Mom, Kels, and the other ladies at the table. The table was 3 mother/daughter sets plus me-the extra daughter at the table!! (I really loved singing with Kelsey-but we didn't end up with a picture of us when I was playing the guitar-and only two bad pictures of us singing "Breathe of Heaven" the other pictures are from afterwards, but they're not great either, two of them are from Hannah's camera that I took from her facebook album that she posted because I didn't get very many pictures!) After the luncheon we did some shopping (of course-that is what I am good at right now apparently!!) and I ended up spending a wonderful afternoon/evening with Mom and Kels on Saturday. Sunday evening Kev & I met Kels & Travis in town for some shopping and dinner. It is so nice to have one of my sisters living close by!!(Kelsey was wearing high heels and is super tall in these pictures!!)(our table of mother/daughters)(My $15 boots from Old Navy that I bought the weekend before!!)
(we decided to try some move the speaker (who is also a fitness trainer) was teaching us to help with our Binkley Arms!!)

The weather was rainy all weekend and so we didn't get a tree...so I think we have decided to not do a tree this year. I got my Bethleham Village out and set up on the piano and added some more decorations to the mantle, then put the presents on the fireplace hearth and called the Christmas decorations done! I am not sure if I am really pleased with the idea of not having a Christmas tree, but it will be a lot less hassle to have to deal with putting up and taking down a tree this year...plus I have already spent the money we would have spent on the tree elsewhere!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Surprise Date Night with Hubby!

O.K. I think I have put you through

enough waiting...

now to the reveal of what a wonderful job hubby did with his surprise date night last Friday.

A little back story first....just in case you forgot!!

Several months ago, hubby came home with an envelope that said:

"Do Not Open Until December 11th"

I had to put said envelope in a stack of paperwork so that 1) I wouldn't lose my patience and just open it and 2) I wouldn't lose the envelope and then be without a surprise date night altogether! (I have a problem with losing papers very easily-not sure why that is-I am a fairly organized person!)

It was finally close enough two weekends ago that we pulled the envelope to the top of the pile and I started thinking about it quite often, and getting REALLY excited. Now, I was careful how I thought about it, because I didn't want to figure it out and ruin the surprise, but of course I had to do some thinking/guessing as to what I thought it would be.

Here is what I had deducted from what I knew:
1) It had to be somewhat in the area, because I had plans for Saturday and he didn't ask me to cancel or change them-we only needed Friday night
2) I figured on it being tickets of some sort-since it was in an envelope and fit just fine (unless he was doing what Kelsey had thought and just tricking me with a "gotcha" note inside...he would have been in major trouble had that been the case!!)
3) It was something that I would want to do (I had a panic attack for a moment, when I teasingly told a friend "Watch it be a tractor pull or something"...Oh My Gosh...what if it is a wrestling match or monster truck rally tickets...would he do that to me, just for a laugh!?!?)

Friday evening we got home early from work (he had told me I needed to be home early) and I was finally able to open the envelope!!
It turned out even better than I expected, because it was something that I really would enjoy...and he wouldn't really enjoy-yet he bought them anyhow and surprised me with it!! I didn't have to ask and beg him to buy the tickets and then drag him there kicking and screaming.




Wait!! (You say)





Emilee...you still haven't told us what it was yet!!





Where/what were the tickets for?





What was the big surprise?!?





Here is some of what I saw as we were driving there...


















Tickets to the opening night at the Fox Theatre (and not in the nosebleed section...like I usually have to buy tickets for!) for the Atlanta Ballet's 50th Anniversary Nutcracker!


Wow!!


What an amazing guy!!

A music and dance filled performance (he is not a fan of music or dance anything really),
and it was in Atlanta (he hates to go downtown, I LOVE it, he hates it!!),
all a surprise just for me!!


I sure do love my guy!!And that wasn't all...


What?


There is more?



How could there be more? (you ask)


Oh yes!! There is more!! He came home with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and then bought me two nutcracker dolls (I collect them) while we were there!Oops, I don't have a picture on my camera of the other one...it is the mouse king! So cute and says Atlanta Ballet on it!! Sadly, a good amount of the pictures I took were on his camera (which I am in love with...but that is another story for another day!!) but the pictures above are a few from our night that I took on my little Kodak Easy Share-throw in my purse and take everywhere with me-camera.


**Added some pictures from Kevin's camera**