Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy 2011! I hope you all had a great time ringing in the new year with friends and family!

We had a really fun night celebrating with my siblings and their significant others (minus Kelly who went to a wedding - we sure missed her!). Me, Dave, Curtis, Daché, Erin and Zach headed to downtown Denver to spend some quality time together and ring in the New Year!

We started out by having dinner at P.F. Chang - which turns out to be a favorite for all of us! We enjoyed being able to chat and to get to know one another better.


After dinner we headed to the Cheesecake Factory to pick up some yummy cheesecake to take home. We then headed outside to catch the 9:00 downtown fireworks in the -5 degree cold. Yes, -5 degrees. It was COLD! But worth it for the fireworks! I tried to take a few pictures of the fireworks but since it was so cold my hands were shaking and the pictures aren’t that great. Sorry!


After the trek to the Light rail station and the ride home we got into our pajamas and watched Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve until after midnight. Did you see New Kids On The Block perform? Ah! It brought back so many memories! It was definitely my favorite performance of the night. My family thinks I’m crazy since I sang along with all of the words, but that’s ok with me.

We rang in 2011 with champagne and sparkling white grape juice and festive party hats and leis and noisemakers. Some people fell asleep before midnight... eh hem, Curt and Daché… but that’s ok, we forgive them because they live in Texas.

I hope you had a great New Year’s Eve and I hope that God blesses you all in 2011. Happy New Year!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve Day!

To continue on the video theme...

This may be one of the cutest and most creative things I've seen retelling the Christmas Story. So on this Christmas Eve day enjoy this video and remember why we are celebrating this week. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Digital Christmas

I saw this fun video on You Tube telling the Christmas Story in a fun and social 21st century way. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Today's #reverb10 prompt: Try. What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn't go for it?

I've always wanted to try being a DJ and spinning and mixing music. Unfortunately I know absolutely nothing about it, the equipment to try it out is expensive, and the opportunity to learn from someone else has never presented itself. The best I can do for now is play DJ Hero 2 on Xbox. So come on over and see if you can beat me at pushing buttons and turning knobs on a plastic turntable.  Ha!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Today's #reverb10 prompt: Appreciate. What's the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

I truly appreciate having a job and all of the things it affords me - a roof over my head, food on the table, clothes on my back, a car to get me where I need to go, and the list goes on and on.

Every day through my job I see people who have nothing. No job, no home, no health care, no food, no support and nowhere to turn. These people are so desperate for someone to just listen to them and try to help them. I see people who were hard-working and successful but were then laid off over a year ago and have still not found work - and they want to work. The have lost unemployment benefits and the lifestyle they used to live. They are now sleeping on couches at friends and family's houses or sleeping in shelters or in parks. They are having to utilize the food bank and local missions who provide meals. They may be in pain due to a medical issue that they can no longer afford (or can't afford insurance) to treat.

Every day I am grateful I don't have to go through the things our clients go through.

I am grateful for a job, and even more so, a job that allows me to help other people. We may not have much, but praise God because we have what we need and even a little extra. Unfortunately, not everyone can say that.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Today’s #reverb10 prompt: Action. When it comes to aspirations, its not about ideas. It's about making ideas happen. What's your next step?

My next step is to wait. I know, it doesn’t sound exciting and it certainly isn’t moving me forward but it is what I need to do. Before I can take any action towards settling somewhere, buying a home or having kids I need to wait for Dave to graduate and be offered a job.

Sure, Dave doesn’t need to graduate for us to have kids, but on a grad student’s income it would be very difficult for us to do. More difficult than it needs to be. So we we are patient and just have to wait a little longer. We could also start the process of buying a house, but there’s always a chance that with Dave being so specialized in what he does that he could be offered a job in another city or even another state. With the housing market the way it is it just isn’t practical to buy a home and turn around and sell it in a year.

We’re in a sort of holding pattern right now. But believe me when I say we will spring into action the minute a job offer is on the table and Dave’s doctorate degree is in his hand. It will certainly be exciting to see how all of this plays out in the next few years. We can’t wait!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Novembeard - Day 31

Sadly, this will be the last Novembeard picture. The 30 days are up and after this picture was taken Dave trimmed up his shaggy beard.

He still has the beard, just a shorter and more trimmed version. He’s debating whether to keep the beard or go back to the goatee. Thoughts? I vote for goatee…

Well, it has been fun doing Novembeard with you all this year. Maybe Dave will participate again next year or maybe he’ll switch over to Movember and put his facial hair growth to use and raise money for prostate cancer and the Livestrong foundation. We didn’t know about it before we started Novembeard but I think it is a great idea because, you know, charity is kind of my thing. So long, shaggy beard!


Today’s #reverb10 prompt: Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

The wisest decision I made this year was to leave the only job I had known since I graduated from college and seek something new, different and unfamiliar to me. It was scary to think that I would be working for an organization I wasn’t as familiar with and in an environment so unfamiliar, but it was all worth it! I now have a job I love at an organization I love and with people who are so wonderful, caring and uplifting - a welcome change from where I was working before!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Today’s #reverb10 prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.

My favorite party of the year was our OH! Canada Olympic Opening Ceremonies party. It wasn’t wild or crazy but rather fun and, I think, well planned and themed.

Since the Olympics were in Canada this year we wanted to hold a Canada-themed party and invite people over to watch the opening ceremonies. We put up paper Olympic rings and torches all over the apartment and even had red, black, blue, green and yellow streamers. It is kind of hard to have food and drink with a Canada theme, but we did our best. From Canada we ordered Old Dutch potato chips in Ketchup, Salt & Vinegar, All Dressed and Dill Pickle, Coffee Crisp candy bars and Smarties chocolate candies - on a side note my mom lived in Canada during her junior high years and so she helped us pick out some yummy stuff to get, and her help only cost us a few Coffee Crisp bars. Ha! To supplement the Canadian food we had a veggie tray and ordered Canadian Bacon pizza. Yum!

We also had Canadian-themed drinks at the party. For beer we offered Molson and Moose Drool. We also offered some mixed drinks which I got recipes for on the Internet but renamed to be more Canadian.

One the food and drinks were ready we turned on the TV and watched the opening ceremonies in HD! Everyone seemed to have a good time and also seemed to appreciate the Canadian-themed food and drink, as well as the decorations.

We hope to make these Olympic opening ceremonies parties a tradition in our household and will try to theme the food and drink to the host country. I’m thinking tea and crumpets for the Summer 2012 Olympics in London…

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Beautifully different

Today’s #reverb10 prompt: Beautifully different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different - you'll find they're what make you beautiful.

This one was hard for me… I’m not so good at this, so I asked my lovely husband what makes me different. He said, “I am considerate of others and am always thinking of others’ needs and trying to make people comfortable.” What a sweet guy! I think I’ll keep him around.

I really hope that others would also describe me as considerate. I do try to think of what others needs are and what others would want, and I really hope others see that too. I know that sometimes I do things with good intent and then it backfires on me and I look like a total goof. Things like this happen to me all of the time; I really do have the best intentions with things and somehow it backfires on me. Everyone else may not see or know what my good intent was, but at least God does - he knows what is in my heart. This is where my blog title comes from, the song “Dandelions” by Five Iron Frenzy. It is my favorite song ever. EVER! Check it out:

OK, so it’s not a real music video but it has the lyrics.

The line “Dandelions, you see flowers in these weeds” is what I interpret as seeing the good (or good intent) when something looks bad. It’s the theme song for my life and, therefore, my blog title.

I don’t know if all of this makes me different or even beautiful, but it is what makes me who and what I am. I will always continue to try and be as considerate as I can and hopefully I can learn from the mistakes I make. I love knowing that no matter how many times I mess up in life, have good intentions backfire or make a goof of myself God knows what is really going on inside of me, sees the good and forgives the not so good. It’s an amazing gift that I am happy to accept.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Today’s #reverb10 prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

The best thing that happened to me this year was finding new community with my co-workers at the job I started in May. These women are absolutely amazing, and they welcomed me into their world with open arms. The work hard, love fiercely and would do almost anything for each other, and now, I’m in the club, too. Recently we hired a man (the first ever) for an open position in the organization. It’s interesting adding testosterone to our mix, but he’s fitting in well and even puts up with our mood swings and hormonal episodes. It’s a great group to be a part of and I am so happy that they all (even the guy) love and accept me for who I am and all encourage me in work and personal life. It certainly makes going to work that much better! I couldn’t be happier!

In 2011 I would love to dive deeper into the blogging community and make some online friends. The problem is, I don’t know where to start! There are so many blogs out there and I don’t know what to search for or who to follow that I may have some things in common with. Even if I find a blog I like to read, that person may or may not find my blog interesting, which is ok, but kind of kills the two way conversation. I’ll keep posting on my blog and try harder at looking for other bloggers with things in common with me and hopefully things will just click. I guess you never know what can happen!

Monday, December 6, 2010


Today’s #reverb10 prompt: Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

Lately I have been really crafty - and I don’t know where it is coming from.

The only time in my life when I would consider myself to have been crafty would be first grade. There was thing thing called “centers” time and my BFF, Kelly, and I would clean out the craft center by making all sorts of paper, pipe cleaner, glitter, felt, popsicle stick, etc. crafts. I remember the craft center being shut down for a week because we used up all of the supplies AND we still had to choose different centers the following week so other people could have a turn at the craft station. Lame.

Anyway, in the past few weeks I have made/designed countless holiday photo cards for friends and family, an advent wreath and, last night, I made my very own Christmas card holder. Every year we get a lot of Christmas cards from family and friends and I could never come up with a fun way of displaying them, outside of taping them on the wall (and re-taping them every time they fell off). Also, the card holders that you can buy are either really expensive or really bulky and hard to store the other 11 months of the year. So I needed a unique solution.

The other day I thought of displaying cards like laundry on a clothes line, except in a cuter way. I went to the craft store and bought holiday ribbon/rope, clothespins, decorative stickers and gel bumpers. I stuck the gel bumper on the gripping part of the clothespin (for a stronger hold), put a sticker on the top of the clothespin, hot glued the bumper and sticker on and hung the ribbon/rope on the wall using 3M clips and… voila! Custom and cute Christmas card holder! Now if only we would get some Christmas cards in the mail to display…

Christmas Card Display

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Let Go

Today’s #reverb10 prompt: Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

This year, I would like to think that I let go of control in some areas of my life. Yes, some. I (and many members of my family) are control freaks and it is really hard for me to feel like I don’t have a firm grasp on everything that is happening in my life. This lovely character trait has certainly contributed to my anxiety with Dave’s graduation.

I want to know when he will be done, what job Dave will get, where (geographically) Dave will get a job, when we will buy a house, when we will take our dream trips to Europe and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, when will we have kids, etc., etc.

But this year, I have relinquished the idea that I have any sort of control over these things.

I have no control over when Dave will graduate. I have no control over what job he will get whenever he will graduate. I have no control over any of these things. So I let it go… and gave it to God. I need to trust tat God has control and he won’t let me fall or give me anything I can’t handle. There is a plan for our lives, and I don’t get to have control over it. It’s hard for me to accept it, but I’m doing my best.

Dave will graduate. Dave will get a job. We will buy a house. We will go on an couple awesome vacations. We will have kids. But the details are up to the big guy, and it will be Ok that I don’t have control of any of it and that I let go of control of all of it.

"I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted." - Job 42:2 (NIV)

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Today’s #reverb10 prompt: Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

First, let’s define wonder: to be filled with admiration, amazement, or awe; marvel. I would say that we look at Gromit with admiration, amazement and awe, or rather, awwwwwwww. Instead of writing about how much we love and try to better understand Gromit or about how often we find ourselves watching him sleep or play with his toys, and we smile, here is a picture that gives you a glimpse of how Gromit cultivates a sense of wonder in us.

Yes, that is Gromit resting under our Christmas tree.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Today’s #reverb10 prompt: Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

Wow. One moment from this whole year when I felt most alive… This took a lot of thinking and looking back through the year. I realized that I have done a lot of really cool things this year. I left the only real job I have ever had since I graduated from college, started a new job, took a trip to California, went on many a fun camping trip, celebrated my third wedding anniversary, went ice blocking and was scared out of a haunted cemetery, among many, many other things. It is hard to rank all of the wonderful things we have done this year, but if I look at when I felt most alive, it is when I’m in a club listening to music I love.

I LOVE clubs. Although, I could do without the all of the other people there. Ha! I love electronic music/techno/trance/house or whatever you want to call it and to go to a club to watch it performed live is just one of the best thrills of my life. The only time that Dave and I have been able to go clubbing this year was in March to see BT when he was at Club Beta. Ahhhh… so amazing! Here’s the scrapbook page I made from that night.


More than anything else about clubs, I love feeling the connection to the music being played. I love to feel the music through the loud bass and speakers - how it almost becomes the beat of my heart. I love to watch as the performer flips a switch, turns a dial or hits a button and then hear how the music changes - and then watch them rock out to the changes they just made. I love to close my eyes, throw my head back and sway to the music; taking in the feeling of the music through my body, the smell of fog machines and sweaty bodies (Ew! But it’s all a part of the experience, I guess) and experiencing the feeling of the world slowing around me and there being nothing else but me and the music. No, no I have never done any sort of drug. It’s just a fantastic feeling I get being in the club, listening to music I love. We really need to make it a point to do this more often…

The only thing that could make a club better? A pass into the DJ booth to really watch how the music is being put together. Maybe one day I’ll be lucky enough to experience that! Perhaps in 2011? We’ll see.

Novembeard - Day 24

I know, it’s December. But since Dave started Novembeard late, we’re still going!

Dave’s neck got a little itchy so we allowed him to shave his neck area. His beard hairs are about 6 millimeters long. I’m not sure if that a good or bad thing… Anyway, Dave is going to keep this going for a little while so we’ll see how long he can stand it. He did say it was nice to have a beard after he biked to work in the 50 degree December weather so I wonder how long he will actually keep this going. I guess we’ll see!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Today’s #reverb10 prompt: Writing. What do you do each day that doesn't contribute to your writing -- and can you eliminate it?

I don't blog professionally (as a part of my job or as a way to promote myself in the business world) and I mostly talk about my life, what we do in life (activities, fun, family, etc.) and weird stuff that happens to us. So really, what doesn't contribute to my writing about my life? Work. Ha! Guess I can't eliminate that!

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my job, the organization I work for, the people I work with and what I do here. And for that, I'm really thankful. 

You could argue that work is a part of my life and I could write about that, but really my work life activities are not nearly as interesting as my personal life activities (not that what I do is that interesting to some people anyway). Plus, working for a nonprofit organization that serves low-income clients limits me to what I can talk about due to privacy issues.

So, until we strike it rich and retire at an early age, I’ll still be going to work and writing (mostly) about what I do and think about in my life outside of work. Lucky you ;-)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

One Word

This month I am attempting to participate in the #reverb10 - “an open online initiative that encourages participants to reflect on this year and manifest what’s next. It’s an opportunity to retreat and consider the reverberations of your year past, and those that you’d like to create in the year ahead”. So, I’m going to give it a whirl…

Today’s prompt is to encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

My word to encapsulate 2010 for me would be acceptance.

The last few years have been crazy waiting for Dave to graduate with his PhD. Each new semester brings new hope of graduation and moving forward with life - buying a home, having kids, having enough money to start my Master’s degree… but each semester has ended in disappointment and an extended timeline. This cycle got really old after three years. In the past year I began to dig deeper to understand the graduation process and to better understand what Dave was going through trying to finish school. It turned out that this process really sucks for him, too, and I certainly wasn’t helping his stress by constantly asking when he was going to be done.

In my learning adventure I discovered that getting a PhD through research has no definitive timeline. Experiments don’t go as planned, equipment breaks, other people in the research group are using the same equipment to do different projects and all of these things contribute to the delay of graduation. There is no step 1, 2, and 3 to being done. It is all about getting the results you said you would, contributing to scientific knowledge (as evaluated by a committee of highly esteemed faculty), and getting other scientists to accept your research. This takes time - an indefinite amount of time.

So this year, through better understanding, I have come to accept that there is no certain finish line for this PhD and that I need to get comfy where I am, because I could be here for a while, and that is OK. I accept that every day is one step closer to the unknown finish line and that my husband is doing all he can (within his power) to be done as soon as possible. I have stopped feeling sorry for myself, stopped asking when this will all be over and have tried to encourage my extended family (also anxious for Dave’s graduation) to also stop asking about when this will be over - Dave doesn’t need the stress or pressure from any of this, because this is hard enough on him already. I accept that this is my life right now and I’m OK with it.

One year from now I would love for the word to encapsulate 2011 to be progress. I would love for Dave to graduate, for Dave get a job that he will love, for us to buy a house and start planning for a family. If we’re not there by this time next year, it will be all right. Our time is coming. But for now, we accept where we are and are excited for progress… eventually.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Novembeard - Day 15

Take a look ay my hairy husband.

Dave is starting to complain that his neck is itching and bothering him. So do you think we should allow him to shave just his neck area? I mean, his beard would still be there, it would just be more comfortable for him - and he would look a little less like a mountain man. Thoughts? Leave your comment below!

Monday, November 22, 2010


Ok, I couldn’t stand it anymore - it is time for my Christmas blog design! I had a lot of fun designing it and couldn’t wait to put it up - so here it is!

On Sunday we did something that we haven’t done before. We hosted our inaugural Friendsgiving! We invited some friends over to our tiny and crowded apartment and we prepared a turkey, gravy, stuffing, rolls and mashed potatoes and our friends brought over some other side dishes including green bean casserole - my favorite! We also hand pumpkin and apple pie with optional ice cream for dessert. What a feast we had!


I think the hit of the party was the White Cranberry Peach Party Punch I made. It was so good and gone before I got a refill! It is really easy to make and you can find the recipe for it right here. Yum!

The turkey turned out great, especially considering it was only my second attempt at baking one. Dave and Mike were trying to figure out how to best carve the turkey by looking up some how-to instructions on their smart phones. Leave it to the techie guys to use their phones in such a… uh… useful way.

We all were able to eat and spend time together before the busy holiday season when we are all scooting around to our own relatives’ homes. It was so nice to be able to spend some quality time together and to enjoy each others company. Unfortunately we didn’t get a picture of Bryan & Suz who joined the party a little later and we also didn’t get a picture of ourselves! Oh well. Sorry! We also missed the friends who were unable to join us or lived too far away, but you were with us in spirit! We hope to have you join us next year.


We are so thankful for our wonderful friends, whether they have known us since Kindergarten or if we have just connected recently. Thank you to everyone who fills our lives with your love, kindness and friendship - we love and appreciate you!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Novembeard - Day 12

We have a beard! It’s not a very long beard, but still a beard!

It no longer looks like Dave forgot to shave for a few days, there is definitely a defined beard there. We’ll see how long it gets!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Novembeard - Day 9


Dave says that on the ninth day of Novembeard, his beard is not itching and this experience isn’t as uncomfortable as he thought it would be… yet. We’ll see how the next few weeks go!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

She said YES!

Sorry ladies. My little brother is officially off the market. The woman of his dreams has stolen his heart. Last night Curtis proposed to his wonderful girlfriend, Daché, on their six month anniversary - and she said yes!
Daché is such a wonderful woman and the perfect match for Curtis. We are so excited to have her join our family! And, of course, I can’t wait to give her all of the unsolicited wedding advice I have! Haha! But in all seriousness, I pray that God blesses their engagement, their growing relationship and the plans for their wedding. Congratulations Curtis and Daché!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Novembeard - Day 6

Its day 6 of Novembeard and Dave definitely looks like he hasn’t shaved in 6 days.



He’s looking pretty scruffy! At this point, kissing him is difficult because his growing facial hair is really poky. I hope this phase passes soon!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Novembeard - Day 4

Its day 4 of Novembeard and Dave hasn’t shaved since Wednesday morning.


You can see there is a little stubble growing and it is pretty dark and full. Since Dave grows facial hair pretty quickly it will be interesting to see how fast a beard will appear. Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Novembeard - Day 1

Yesterday was Dave’s first day of participation in Novembeard, a silly, crazy thing people do for amusement where a man shaves his face at the beginning of November and just lets his facial hair grow until he can’t stand it anymore. I know, I know, its kind of stupid, but we hope it amuses you just a bit during November.

Dave had to start a few days late because he gave a presentation at a conference on Tuesday and needed to look his best. Yesterday we took pictures of Dave with his usual facial hair before the shave (on the left) and after the full shave (on the right). He looks so young without the goatee!


We’ll be updating this blog with a new picture every few days to track Dave’s progress and see how much facial hair grows in before he can’t stand it anymore and decides to shave. Here we go!