It was such a beautiful afternoon when we went to pick out our tree...always one of my favorite days of the year.
I mentioned in the gift shop while we were waiting to pay for our Chrismtas tree that I liked this snowman. Brady insisted on buying it for our house. I tried to talk him out of it but he said it was his money and Christmas is about giving. It's one of those moments I will never forget....and will always be one of my favorite decorations.
It's one month today that we've had Steffi. She's such a sweet, loving, feisty dog! She's doing so well with potty training...other than not wanting to be outside when it's raining. I've only had one breakdown since we've had her where I may have gone to bed crying and asking Eric how long dogs usually live for? In my defense, it wasn't a good time of the month and we had had cold rainy weather for six straight days. And, although I complain that it feels like we have a 2 year old in the house and I'm not always ready to get up in the morning when she is ready...she is growing on us more than I could have ever imagined.
The only cookies we made this Christmas were oreo cookie truffles. They are Brady's favorite and he could make them all by himself if he wanted. I can't believe that's the only cookie/candy that we made. But, with working full time, Brady's crazy tennis schedule, and a new puppy...it's the best I could do. I will try and do better next year. :)
We had our annual Santa get together last Sunday with friends.
Brady told Santa he wants a lap top.
I've been practicing with my new camera. :) I think Eric was tired of me telling him I was the only one in the world without a dslr...and so he bought me one on Cyber Monday. I knew it was going to take some getting used to...but I feel clueless. I read things online to try and learn my camera...but I'm thinking I may need to take a very basic class. I'm excited though...and very thankful.
On December 15, 2011 Brady decided to give up soda for one year. It came out of the blue. We questioned him a couple of times as to why he wanted to do this but he never really had a clear answer. I think it was ultimately something he wanted to prove to himself that he could do. Maybe it had something to do with seeing me give up diet mountain dew for almost 2 years. I most certainly haven't been the best example to Brady this past year. After going so long without soda, I started that awful habit back up again in August. Eric and I are rarely without soda in our fridge and we make stops daily often when we are out and about to get a fountain soda. Brady never wavered in his decision though despite us, not once. He never even seemed tempted. And, let me just make it clear, he loves soda as much as the next guy. He never talked about it. When we were out to eat, he would order water or lemonade without hesitation. If he was at a birthday party where only soft drinks were offered, he went without a drink. I'm just so proud of him. He's been a great example to Eric and I.
Last week when I went grocery shopping, Brady asked if I would pick up a small pack of Dr. Pepper. He wanted to have one to celebrate his one year mark.
When I blogged about this last January, I said in my last senctence, "I have no doubt he will make it a year without."
I love his determination.
Congratulations Brady! You did it!
*To my readers- sorry I have been non existent over here. I'm just trying to do the best I can with keeping up in all areas...however, my blog is one of the areas I have let go. I would like to try and catch up with November and December before the New Year gets here! Life is good. Working, school, tennis, the holidays and a puppy are keeping us busy. I love looking back over all the memories I have in this little blog of mine and want to continue with it. Thanks to all of you who take the time to check in over here. I'm looking forward to catching up with everyone's blog over Christmas vacation!
Brady has been wanting a dog for a few years and this year he has been saying that it's the only thing he wants for Christmas. We explained to him that a dog just wasn't going to work for us...and that we were sorry. However, after months of thought, discussion and debate, Eric and I decided that we would make it work for our family.
We had planned to suprise Brady on Christmas morning with a dog. We had it all planned out. We would pick up the dog on Christmas Eve and our neighbor would keep it until Brady was asleep. We would then bring the new puppy home and put a bow on her for Christmas morning. But, as we all know, things don't always work out the way we plan for them to.
Brady spent the night at Eric's parents Thanksgiving night so that Eric and I could do a little Black Friday shopping. No one knew we were actually looking at dogs. We had appointments lined up all day Friday to see different puppies we had researched. (In order for me to not drive my family crazy, we needed to get a dog that didn't shed.) Steffi was our first stop...at an Amish farm not far from Brady's school. When we pulled in, they had her in a little fenced pen in the driveway for us to see her. She was chasing a leaf all around in a circle. When I picked her up, she laid her head on my shoulder. Our other two requirements- a dog that would be playful and chase Brady around, and a dog that would be able to sit and cuddle. Anyway, we both really liked this dog. We left there and went to see another dog and then headed to lunch. Eric and I weren't very excited to go see all the other dogs and felt in our heart that she was the one.
We had already asked the Amish lady when we were there if she would be able to keep the puppy until Chrismtas Eve. She said she could...although we would be missing out on prime housebreaking time. After lunch, I called the lady back and told her we wanted the puppy....today. We were not going to leave her there for another month.
We picked Brady up later that afternoon and told him we needed to go pick up the new fridge we bought....and headed out to the Amish farm. When we pulled into the farm, she was again in the driveway waiting to be picked up. Brady went right over to pet her....and that's when we told him the dog was his to keep. He laughed at first and thought we were joking. I think he was in shock most of the evening!
Brady named her Steffi....after Steffi Graf.
She's 14 weeks old.
Steffi follows Brady everywhere he goes and loves to be held.
She chases him in the backyard. She wants to be near someone at all times. And, she fetches tennis balls! :)
The colors on our trees are starting to fade...but it's beautiful just the same. I always thought spring was my favorite season...but I would like to officially change my mind for the record. I have always looked forward to spring because summer is right around the corner....but I enjoy everything about fall....the colors, the air, the breeze, and all the pumpkin goodness. :)
I made these cupcakes for a bake sale at school one night this week. They didn't turn out as nice as the ones on Pinterest...but I was told that they sold out quickly...so that's all that matters I guess! I didn't really feel like making them after working all day but I guess my need to not disappoint won out.
Someone noticed though....I woke up the next morning and found this note in the kitchen from my husband....
It feels like he is my biggest fan....and that's a good feeling to have. :)
We got this fun package in the mail this week from my good friend Bonnie from back home. It sure does look scary cute hanging on Brady's bathroom door. Does this mean we got boo'd?
Brady had an amazing week of tennis.
I'm not going to go into great detail...I always feel like I am bragging. Brady is on cloud nine though and I want to have record of how things happened...you know, in case he writes a book someday. ;)
-he was in a four week team tennis thing and his team came in first.
-he played in a singles tournament with all of those team members and won the whole thing. He was the youngest player by four years.
-he played a senior who is the #1 player at our high school one evening this week. Brady won two out of three sets. Last spring Brady couldn't beat him.
-And the highlight of Brady's week didn't come from a win...it came from a tie. He is playing in a fun six week ladder tournament in which you have one hour only to play your match. Brady played a boy who just turned 13 and is so good. Brady met him in a final once last spring and even though Brady played great, the boy crushed him. Brady told me beforehand that even though he would probably lose...he was going to play his best. And, he sure did.
I don't think Brady's lost a match since August. He is definitely the talk of our tennis community. It drives me crazy when people say that he is so talented. Brady works his butt off...everyday. I'm just not sure talent has anything to do with it.
Do you like my new range? It was delivered on Saturday morning...and I just love it. It's the only appliance besides a dryer that we've ever had to buy. We plan to work on the kitchen a little at a time...but this new oven already makes the kitchen look better, I think. We also purchased a fridge, but it was 1/2 an inch too big for our space and so we had to cancel the order. Boy was I bummed! Eric reminded me though that I was still getting a stove. We are going to wait until black friday to see what kind of a deal we can get.
This afternoon I made THIS recipe for chicken marsala casserole. It might have been the BEST casserole I've ever made! It was so easy to put together and so tasty. It's a keeper for sure!
Not all recipes from Pinterest have been keepers. Yesterday I made this salad that I recently pinned....
You can see what's in it. It had a cilantro lime dressing.
I don't think I've ever not been able to finish a salad...but this one was the exception. The dressing with the avacado just didn't taste good to me....which is so weird because I'm not that picky. Oh well. You win some...you lose some.
We are all prepared this evening for hurricane Sandy that's headed our way. The electric company is saying we could be out of power for a week. We have extra candles and batteries, water and ice, and even took pictures of the outside of our house in case we have damage. (Thanks Toni for suggesting we do this!) Our schools have already cancelled for Monday and Tuesday. I'm kind of looking forward to spending some quiet time cooped up inside with my family. It should be interesting!
It was actually Brady's idea to go...I love when that happens.
He's not full of ideas and suggestions too often...so when it happens, we take full advantage!
This tree was in the parking lot...isn't it beautiful?
We picked...and sampled....
and took lots of pictures!
We tried kiwi berries for the first time....they are so good!
You just pop them into your mouth like grapes.
We picked a few and then bought some to go.
We also tried some other goodies. I had an apple cider donut
that might have been the best donut ever. I made pancakes for lunch today so I could try my pumpkin spice syrup. Boy was it good! I will be trying to find a recipe to make my own.
This afternoon I made apple crisp.
It was good....as you can see I have more ice cream on there than I do apple crisp! I've never been a big fan of warm apples....so I'm not a good judge, but Eric loved it. I need to google more apple recipes because we are never going to be able to eat all of the apples we picked!
Here's the recipe I used:
Such a great weekend...I hope your's was a good one too!
I am loving my work schedule...and come evening I am tired spending time with my family, catching up on things around here or running Brady to tennis practice.
I thought I would do a quick recap of a few things I want to remember about September...or, the only pictures I took the entire month is more like it!
Brady was was at every girls practice and all of the matches except for a couple of really far away on school night ones.
He kept stats, filled water bottles and helped with drills and did lots of chatting. He even coached the jv team during two matches when the jv coach couldn't be there. The girls loved it. The girls team finished the season with a 12-6 record.....Eric needs to check because he thinks it might have been one of their best records in a really long time. Today we are finishing up with playoffs.
Brady started team tennis last week, he attends a weekly clinic and gets a weekly lesson with a pro. Now that the girls season is over, he will get to start doing tournaments again. And, of course, he works with his dad on the side.. in his free time! :)
Now that I'm working full time, Brady's dentist decided to make Sunday appointments available. Ok, the two had nothing to do with one another....but I sure am happy that we can get in there on a Sunday. Also thankful for a good check-up.
Brady started playing the trumpet. This is new for Eric and I as we do not have any music talents at all. I'm not so sure Brady does either...but he is excited about his new instrument.
Brady: mom, the only day I want to ride the bus is when I have my lesson at school.
Me: why would you want to ride the bus with that big old heavy trumpet case?!
Brady: so everyone knows I play the trumpet.
We celebrated Brady's half birthday.
It kind of snuck up on us...and instead of the usual cake I make, I suprised him with donuts.
He was thrilled with the donuts and never mentioned the kit kat cake.
I guess sometimes I worry more about that little stuff...
And, the new racquet we ordered for him coincedentally arrived on his half birthday...so it worked out perfectly. :)
I think he likes it....when I went to wake him up for school the next morning it was in bed with him.
Brady and I go every year to this farm to pick out our carving pumpkins and get things to decorate the house and front porch. We both look forward to it. It's one of those things I hope he always remembers.