Have a holly, jolly Christmas!

Laura, Karl, Hobbes and Cooper


bright paper packages, tied up in string

...part 1...

I'm not sure why I do this every Christmas - put SO MUCH pressure on myself to give hand-made gifts, but then procrastinate like crazy until it's almost too late to get them done in time. Stress. Myself. Out.

A little over a month ago, I saw a place mat on a crafty blog and I decided that I could make some of those as Christmas gifts. I know it's still a few days away from the big day, but I think it's safe to share these photos because I don't think Karl's stepsisters read this blog. If they do....stop reading now!

The piecing of these place mat sets went very quickly and was loads of fun. I mean, seriously, what could be more fun than picking out coordinating fabrics and piecing them together in a fun patchwork? I love that part, and I'll stay up all night for that without hardly blinking an eye!

It's just the finishing that gets me, the quilting in straight lines and all (which, I'm told, could be much easier if I upgraded my machine), the hand-sewing up the tiny little hole where I turned these suckers right-side out. The figuring out which type of quilting was the preferred method - horizontal lines, vertical lines or diamonds (curse you, blue painters' tape!). Exhausting!

But in the end, I'm so happy with how these turned out! An important lesson I learned is that I should have written down my measurements after cutting out the first set (I didn't use a pattern, except for the one I liked online). Each set is slightly different in size, but luckily all 4 in each set are the same!

There are a total of 4 sets, but one of them is for someone who may possibly read this blog before Christmas...so that picture will come with the next post of Christmas goodness. :)

Sorry for the cruddy pictures...it's 11:00, and there isn't a whole lot of natural light to be had this late...

Off to finish one more project so we can mail off packages tomorrow....

Congratulations, Winnie!!

My dear friend from college, Winnie, has gotten engaged!! We haven't seen each other since she moved back to Hong Kong in 2002 (or was it 2001?), but we have kept in touch via email. I'm so happy for her!

And Mama Mia...check out the size of that bouquet! He really went all out!



Windy McWinderson

This has been a crazy weather season for us here in the Pacific NW! First we almost break a record for consecutive number of days with rain early in the year, then we get basically no rain all summer, then we break a record for rain during the month of November, then we have a freak snow storm that shut the city down, and NOW we had gale-force winds last night and I'm stuck at home because my office doesn't have any power! Whew...that was quite a run-on sentence!

So anyway, I drove through the obstacle course of our neighborhood this morning and headed to work.

But wait! There was a downed tree blocking the road into Renton (we are outside of the city limits), so I was doing a u-turn to go the other way when my boss called to say that we had no power and that we couldn't even get in the building because the key card swipe was out along with the rest of the electricity. So here I sit, calling in periodically to see if I get anything other than a busy signal (indicating that the power is back on).

Crazy stuff! We have a few big trees down in our neighborhood, but luckily it appears as if none of them hit any houses.

Alright, Karl just came back home because his office campus is out of power as well. At least we've got power at home....and I can hopefully get some more Christmas gifts finished up! :)



You break it you buy it, lady

I’ve finally gotten around to downloading and editing all of the photos from my trip to the Ixtapa/Zihautanejo area! Since there are so many photos to share, I won’t muck it up with too much commentary…

a great time was had with my dad and Barb (still a bit bummed that Karl couldn’t join us, though)

had a nice view from our small hotel room

spent 4 days and 3 nights shopping and relaxing

lots of walks, the best ones were on the beach

watched some fishermen….fishing

walked by this fountain every time we went into town

bought some fun souvenirs and gifts (but no photos to show of that…can’t ruin any Christmas surprises)

saw some pretty flowers…

…and trees

had a maid who created fun towel creatures

watched the sunset on day 1…

…and on day 2…

…and on day 3…

the hotel had a lovely infinity pool that almost completely blended in with the ocean

spent time each morning watching the dolphins play next door to our hotel – a much better bargain than paying $150 to swim in the pool with them!

enjoyed the 2-for-1 happy hour quite a bit!

and saw one final sunset before heading back to the “real” world

A great vacation, indeed!