Sunday, December 27, 2009

~A Family Christmas~

Michael and I continued our tradition of a family filled Christmas again this year. We kicked it off with a Read extended family Christmas Eve at Maryanne's and Ernie's. I neglected to bring my camera so unfortunately I have no photos, but almost everyone was able to come, minus Elsa who was dutifully working, as Nurses do. The best part of the night was when Mike Sr. got one of our secret santa gifts and opened a Snuggie. Sharon's face was priceless. He was good enough to try it on for us! :)
The next day Mike and I woke up semi early and did our Christmas with Charlie. Mike got some new clothes from his favorite store Banana Republic while I got to open a new flash for my camera! Charlie even lucked out in getting a micro-fiber towel for after his baths.
After the presents and stockings were unwrapped, we headed over to the Schillinger's. There was yummy breakfast food, mimosas, and more presents. We were truely spoiled.

About 2pm Michael and I drove over to meet Mandy and Philip at Mom's. Here we opened even more presents and ate yummy chilli and salad for dinner. The dogs had a good time playing and it was funny to watch my very pregnant sister crawl around on the floor handing out gifts. Thank goodness she only has about a month left! Of course little "Clark" received a bunch of clothes, along with the Mariner's outfit I got him!

All in all we had a great Christmas. Family, food, and pretty decorations. What could be better?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Early December Moments!

Well looks like I am slacking again! No new blogs in almost a month! So to catch you up, I will run through the highlights.

There were three main birthday's this month. First was my Bestie's, Kerry. Then, Michael's was on the 7th, which makes him a whopping 27! Which still makes me two years older, arrgggh. Then Mike Sr.'s birthday was the 12th. Luckily, with most of the Schillinger family's Birthday's a week apart, we decided to do a big birthday dinner at Sharon and Mike's in late November. This took care of Amy, Sharon, Michael and Mike's celebrations. It was a good time all around.

Then, I geared up for Mandy's Baby shower. This was a lot of fun and all had a good time! There was good food, pretty decorations, fun games and lots of wonderful friends. We all teared up a bit when Nichole offered to read the message to mandy from our mom out of Mandy's baby book. It couldn't have gone more smoothly thanks to the wonderful party planning of Mandy's sis-in-law, Nichole. Mandy closed out her Shower with lots of goodies, having seen some old and new friends and a general excitment about the upcoming due date of little "Clark". Here are a couple of cute pictures my mom managed to get.

Let's see...
Mike and I joined the Issaquah Community Center to get back in shape. It's freezing in our garage where our work-out equipment is stored, so we broke down and decided to buy our way into a heated facility. Had my first 'go' at it today and my legs will be complaining tomorrow, I can tell you that!

Went to Mike's work Holiday Party for Comcast at Emerald Downs after the the Baby shower last Saturday. It was nice to meet some of his coworkers and meet his boss. It was a typical work party with little booze and lots of food.
Then Sunday, I met up with my monthly movie girls to watch a Holiday flick. We (me, Mindy, Megan and Breann) met over at Megan's new place and threw on "Scrooged" while eating home-made cookies. Mmmmmm....
I have always loved that movie and Bill Murry cracks me up, so we had a great time. Then to end the evening, we watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, an old clay-mation show from the 60's. Good memories and a good message about getting past discrimination. "Silver and Gold...Silver and Gold..."

As for the Holidays...we are right on track. Cards in the mail, tree and decorating done, and shopping done (for the most part). I am feeling pretty accomplished right now. There is just something about having a Christmas tree in my living room all light up and shining that makes me happy. I sorta wish we had one year round. I will be keeping it up until it's totally inappropriate. :)

Well, that's about it. Hopefully I will be better at this whole blogging thing after the new year. Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Moon Premier!

November 19th 2009

My dear friend Katie Doll happened upon 4 passes to the Pre-screening of New Moon, the 2nd movie/book in the Twilight Saga, when shopping at Nordstroms one fine day. Since I was the one to introduce the 1st movie to her, she immediately thought of me and invited me and a buddy of my choice to go with her and her gal-pal Kalie.
Needless to say, I was excited as a teen girl at a Jonas Brothers concert. The four of us headed out to Dick's burgers for a quick bite and then onto Pacific Place in Seattle to hunker down and wait the 2.5 hours until the 9:20 show. Luckliy, since we had passes and Pacific Place theaters were armed and ready, we went straight into the theater of our choice and grabbed our seats. Until the show we ate, drank in the small "beer garden" and had some fun chats. All around us were girls just itching to catch the first glimpse of "Jacob" and his new bod. Among them, luckily for us, were the other movie goers of all ages and genders - ready like us to enjoy the movie and perhaps have a few laughs over the swooning/screeching young ladies.
The Romeo and Juliet story began and we all had a fun two hours of romance, drama, thrills, and heartbreak. I won't go into detail about the good and bad parts, the left-out parts or the added-in parts. I will just say that it was better than the first movie and I enjoyed it.
Here are some fun pictures of me and my two Katie's. And yes, I made the shirts. I know, very nerdy.

Manda's Maternity Photos - Part One

November 17th 2009

A few days ago I met up with my dear pregnant sister to do some Maternity photos for her. We braved it out in the rain to see what we could get. It's oh so hard to avoid bad weather during the month of November and we decided it was best to at least shoot a few. Mandy was a trooper! She not only was fun to work with, but she didn't complain while dealing with wind and heels! I have attached a couple to represent her first official "baby bump" pictures and will post more when we are able to get some with her hubby. Hopefully this weekend if all goes well!
Here is Mandy at about 30 weeks.

Meet Me In St. Louis

November 14th 2009

"Clang, clang, clang went the trolley..." Based on the classic movie musical with Judy Garland, this nostalgic stage version mounted by the Village Theatre focuses on four sisters in St. Louis during the 1904 World's Fair. There were many great songs in this holiday musical with some really fun dancing. Mike and I went to the second play in our season line-up and had a great time. Not as funny or original as a couple others I have seen, but it's a nice change of pace none the less. I had a cold going into this one, so it was a little harder to concentrate and I had to leave once before I had a coughing attack, but I still enjoyed this musical treat. It was great to get a bit more into the holiday spirit and "Meet Me.." had some sweet family moments that really made you greatful for the family you have.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Nephew!

I had to make a quick post about how excited I am to be getting a nephew soon! Okay, so there are still like 3 months left, but I am stoked. The bigger my sister's belly gets, the more real it is to me that there is a little person in there! She let me probe around her belly last night and I actually felt him in there! Hard spots that made it obvious there was something growing and thriving inside my sister. The best part was when "Clark" decided to get pushy and kicked my hand! It was such an amazing words. Anyhow, I can see his world coming together with every ultrisound and every new addition to his nursery and it's overwhelming. I am so happy and excited for our family!!!
Here's a cute picture of my glowing sis at 26 weeks!

Rob Thomas Concert!

October 15, 2009

For my birthday my momma got me tickets to see Rob Thomas. I love concerts, so this was a great present AND I love Rob T! The venue was so-so (Wamu Theater), but there was good music and great energy from the crowd. There were two opening bands so we were there a good 5 hours. They were Carolina Liar (whom I hadn't heard of) and OneRepublic (of which I really enjoy!) Mike had never seen Rob so it was a new experience for him and one that I am happy to share. I got an awesomely comfy T-shirt for a whopping $40 and a poster for my office! I had a great time and had fun dancing along with all the other women situated in the back. Good times for all!

Congratulations Elsa & Doug!

October 6th, 2009

Sister-in-law #2, Elsa, is also getting hitched to the ever tall and awesome Doug. I was happy to be able to take some Engagement photos for them as well to document the memorable moment. I was really pleased with the location's water setting and the good company. I am so blessed to have three amazing sisters in my life. And thankfully all of them are now giving me brothers as well! I am also excited to announce I won't be attending two weddings, but ONE DOUBLE wedding!!! I have never been to one and am eager to see the shin-dig go down. Congratulations to Elsa & Doug. May you have as happy a marriage as I have been blessed with.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Congratulations Amy & William

September 20th

In celebration of my sister-in-law getting engaged, I took the opportunity to finally give them some nice photos for their walls. I met the couple in my own Issaquah backyard and found some pretty places to take their engagement photos. They were complete pros at taking direction and seemed so wrapped up in each other at times I had no trouble getting some candid and sweet moments. I am so lucky to have the second family that I do and I welcome William to the fold.
Congratulations to Amy and William!!!

Chasing Nicolette

September 19th

Earlier this summer I decided to purchase season tickets to the Village Theater in Issaquah. I was looking to find some entertainment in the arts, in something other than my standard movies, tv and reading. I ended up getting quite a steal after barganing with an elderly woman on the phone and wa-la! Mike and I end up with tickets to 6 shows for the 2009/2010 season! Last saturday we saw our third Village Theater show called Chasing Nicolette.

Chasing Nicolette is set in 1224 and deals with overcoming prejudice and meddling parents. I was amused that this was a musical romantic comedy set in midevil times. The show was both sweet and hilarious. I found myself giggling over most of the songs and smiling the whole way through.
The story is about the enduring love between a Christian Count and a Muslim Princess who fall for each other and vow to be together "come what may". But they first have to get out of their arranged marriages, escape a convent, and win a duel to prevent war.
This play was different in that the whole thing was spoken and sung in rhymed couplets. When I first read this I thought I might be annoyed with the choice in writing, but my love for poetry and shakespeare won out and I loved it! The show was witty, fun, and had some wonderfully romantic and funny songs throughout. But the show stealer was most definately Valere, the loyal and quirky servant.
If anyone is ever looking for something fun and different to do, I would recommend seeing this show. It will continue to play through the end of October.
Next on the calendar: Meet Me in St. Louis.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Love for ~ Keith Urban

September 12th, 2009

So for Manda's birthday last May I couldn't think of anything to get her, so I happened upon a Ticketmaster junk-mail and there it was! My present! A ticket to the upcoming, and now past, Keith Urban - Escape Together World Tour. Perfect, I said to myself. And a second ticket for myself while I'm at it! Not the cheapest concert in the world, but WELL worth it! We just love going to concerts, but don't splurge on them nearly enough.

So last night, my preggo sister and I headed off to the Tacome stinky Tacoma. After a treak up a hill from cheaper $10 parking, we arrived and the tidal wave of excitement passed over us. There is just something about a big crowd and live music! And well, a cute guitar toting Aussie just adds to the wow facor. We upgraded/downgraded ourselves to the makeshift back row, where the cushioned chairs sat (only 3 rows behind our bleacher seats) and settled in for a sweet set list. Keith always does a bang-up job in chosing his songs. A good mix of the new and the old to keep us guessing. Then he sticks in these awesome guitar solos and makes his way through the crowd to play amongst the fans.

Needless to say the concert was REALLY good. It was the second time we've seen him and he didn't let us down. Fortunately I have a pretty decent point-and-shoot camera with a great zoom and video capabilities, so I got some great pics. from the back row! I will definately be seeing him again.

Ohio Bound

September 3rd-8th 2009

Mike and I decided to take a trip back to Ohio to visit my family who I hadn't been able to see since 2006. It was a long awaited trip and I was happy to be able to bring my husband with me this time. My aunt Kathy and uncle Brent were gracious enough to have us at their house for the 5 days we were there. I was anxious to meet my new 2nd cousin Noah, who now was going on 8.5 months old. He was a joy and so much fun to watch as he demanded to be walked all over the house and yard.

I was able to see almost all of my Aunts (Millie,Karen,Kathy) and my Uncle Phil along with their kids, all of which are very grown by now. I almost didn't recognize a few of them! We had a huge (40 person) BBQ/reunion on Sunday and Mike did a fantastic job of entertaining us with his guitar playing and we managed to have multiple games going on at once. Two of the favorites being Corn Hole and Ladder Golf (or Snake, as they call it back there).

Brent cooked up some mean hamburgers and Brats and everyone brought something yummy to eat. I even managed to make Apple Candybar "salad" and Lemonade Pies for the shin-dig. There was a lot of catching up, singing, and general merriment to be had. I spent lots of time with Grandma Edith and watched as the cousins caught fish from the pond out back.
In the evenings Kathy and I would stay up well into the night talking about all kinds of things and have to eventually make our tired selves go to bed so we could get up and start the next days fun. Which, a couple of times, simply meant driving to get lunch at the Made-Right. Tiny, yummy, loose meat burgers that are exclusive to Greenville. SO good. I think Mike ate five!
We went to see Lindsay and Greg's new home in Beaver Creen, which I might add is rediculously awesome! We spent an afternoon at the park and an evening playing mini golf. And everywhere we went there seemed to be ice cream! Which was alright by me!
After all was said and done, we had a great time with lots of great people. I know I will miss the closeness of a big family and sometimes wish I could just up and move to good ol' Ohio. For not having been raised around them, I sure feel like I am one of them and am so greatful to have such wonderful and caring people as my family. This trip has made me realize that I can't keep going as long as I have been without seeing them. Some people don't have the type of family I do and I won't take it for grated again.
With this, I will part with some more fun pics.!

Ocean Shores w/ Lindsay and Read!

August 14th-16th
Mike and I took a little weekend trip with two of our good friends Lindsay and Read to a beach house in Ocean Shores. We have been to Ocean Shores a bunch of times but we still find that going there proves to be relaxing and enjoyable. The four of us walked around town, spent time down by the jetty, and played games after yummy BBQ dinners. It was fun to get away from the monotony of work and responsibilities and simply enjoy good company, the ocean, and occasional kite flying. In between activities we managed to get in a couple good ol' VSH movies, including Pulp Fiction and Jurassic Park. But most of our time was spent keeping an eye out for Whales and Seals down by the jetty. The four of us got lucky enough to spot a few of them, which was very exciting!!! Lindsay has a newfound love of Pelicans or "peliculas" as Read called them (which actually is the spanish word for "movies") and we heard our fair share of seagulls each morning, noon, and night.

Our stay at "Gull Cottage" was as much fun as one could have in a small town on the Pacific and we would do it again in an instant.

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