Wednesday, December 31, 2008

new year's eve!

we're getting prepared for the new year around here. i've got appetizer meatballs ready to go in the crock pot, spumante champagne (the kind we used for our rehearsal dinner) chilling in the fridge, and plans to hang out with several friends to ring in the new year.

with 2009 rolling in, i think we're going to check out some dog obedience schools. obviously petsmart has several classes, but i've heard great things about top dog and want to see what they have to offer. anyone have any experience with them? it's not that pepper is behaving horribly, but i just have a feeling she could be better, and i don't want it to get any worse. today i'm trying out her having a "lead line" while she's loose in the house to make it easier to correct her and ending the frustrating chases when she has something she shouldn't or gets under the bed and destroys whatever she can find. it's a suggestion in our "puppies for dummies" book, and it makes sense as long as she doesn't get it wrapped around something.

i'm also trying to finish up our "2008" yearbook that we make annually. since 2005, we've created a book to document our year in pictures. i don't scrapbook, and i rarely make prints of my photos. this is the way that we organize, and i love it! the first year was a present from justin, but since then i've taken over. we typically use iphoto on the mac to create the book, though i've heard many people enjoy kodak gallery as well, and i just saw a great one that my aunt did on shutterfly. this year, i'm testing out the endless possibilities in adobe aperture. this program allows me to create my own layouts and move photos around much more easily than other programs i've used. i'm excited to see how it turns out when it's finally printed and sent to us!

i suppose i could do some sort of "year in review" post, and maybe tomorrow i'll be bored and work on one. i've already relived many of my memories creating the yearbook, and though it has certainly been a year of ups and downs, it seems like 2008 will end on a positive note. i want to wish everyone a safe and happy new year's eve!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

christmas morning recap

i am sad to say that i don't have any pictures from the christmas breakfast at scott and melissa's house. i think it was still early in the morning and i was in pjs. even though these were specifically chosen pjs, i may have subconsciously not wanted to document it.

so these are a few pictures from the fayetteville christmas. my viewpoint and justin's viewpoint.

alan's big gift--a disc golf practice "hole," though i think cage is also an appropriate term here. he has gotten into disc golf over the past few months and wanted a way to practice until he finds the disc golf courses near raleigh.

justin received a steelers blanket that will make its home in the game room. it is incredibly soft, though.
the biggest gifts? the GPS systems grandma got us. this is so incredibly exciting, especially considering how awful my sense of direction can be in big cities.

a new "life is good" mug!
and a new camera bag! i've outgrown my current one and needed something that had separate compartments for my growing collection of's tanya and nancy checking out the gifts that i gave them. i bought a couple of cool bags and ornaments from that were all free trade items. i also saved over 4,000 sq. ft of rainforest with my purchases! i want to encourage everyone to check out these stores for great gifts that give back!

alan and rachel got several seasons of "house" and "monk."
i got grandma a new bag for her knitting projects, as well as a knitting needle pouch.
the other big draw this year? "rock band" and "guitar hero world tour." carmen and maria had gotten guitar hero for christmas and brought it with them. by the time they left, we were out trying to find "rock band 2" for justin. we had planned on getting it after christmas and found the last one at wal-mart in fayetteville. justin set it up last night and is loving the drum kit.
so here are all of our gifts under the tree after we got back home last night. we are so blessed and are also thankful for the time we spent with our families!
that's all for now. i'll be heading back to work tomorrow and justin has a couple more days off before he goes back. we are already lining up our new year's eve plans and looking forward to having new year's day off AND watching the liberty bowl game on friday afternoon! we hope everyone enjoys the remainder of their holidays :)

Friday, December 26, 2008

and we'll never get lost again

the big news from fayetteville christmas?

we never have a reason to get lost again. the entire family got tomtom GPSs, courtesy of my grandma (who already supplies us with AAA--she's very concerned about road safety and whatnot.)

after our harrowing experience in raleigh last weekend, and the memories of getting lost in durham on the way to duke chapel for ashley's rehearsal--and the fact that we regularly do 9 to 10 hour car rides to WV--this is fabulous.

also received....a NEW VACUUM CLEANER! sorry, kirby dude. no purchase this year (or ever.)

and a camera battery grip that should help my battery and flash last longer for the multi-hour jobs. nice :)

we've had a great time visiting with family, pepper is loving the attention, and we scored some awesome deals doing post-holiday shopping today.

all in all, an excellent christmas.

how were your holidays?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

the christmas post

the past few days have flown by. typical of the holiday season, we have been traveling, experiencing some wonderful christmas traditions, and preparing for our (now in progress) vacation.

on sunday afternoon, we headed out to raleigh immediately after church for a raleigh ringers concert. the raleigh ringers handbell choir is made up of volunteers who audition for spots in this amazing group. they take on some of the most difficult pieces imaginable, and they actually have many pieces commissioned for them. their annual holiday and spring concerts are held in raleigh each year, and this was actually the first time i had seen them live. click here to see a video from their website of the transiberian orchestra's "christmas eve sarajevo."

highlights of the show--they played three vince guaraldi pieces from "a charlie brown christmas," debuted their latest rock song (journey's "don't stop believing") and played "flight of the bumblebee" complete with yellow and black striped gloves. amazing! as someone who played bells for six years (and whenever needed when i was at home) i was in awe of the musicality and skill of this group.

we met mom, grandma, alan and rachel there, and alan's thinking about going to the annual auditions just to see what the process is like. he played in the handbell choir at ecu as well, and now that they're closer to raleigh (only about 20 minutes away from the concert site) he figured it would be interesting to see what the requirements are.

a quick picture outside of meymandi concert hall. (i was cold.)
and a blurry snapshot of raleigh all lit up for christmas. we had quite a time trying to find our way around downtown raleigh. the steelers were playing a 1 pm game, so we wanted to find a spot to eat and watch the game before the 3 pm concert (justin was given permission to keep his cell phone up during the concert for updates on the game--i actually felt bad that we were taking him away from such an important game, but it ended up being better that he wasn't watching it anyways.)

we arrived in raleigh around 1:30 or so and spent about 30 minutes going the wrong way and turning around as we tried to make our way to woody's, a sports bar and restaurant that i had found on a previous trip to the city market area. we ate there when my bridesmaids and i painted pottery at "amazing glaze" as a "getting to know you" event. justin wrote down the directions the night before, so we figured it would be pretty easy to find. but a few one way streets and street-name changes, and we got lost and were heading out of downtown. we managed to make it back to the city and finally found it 30 minutes later. at the same time, we were listening to the game on the radio and the steelers were fumbling the ball and in general, not playing very well. the combination of being lost and listening to a crappy game did not make a happy justin. however, we got inside and were able to watch the game (and eat! i was starving) and all was right in the world again. the service was incredibly fast, the food was perfect, and we were out of there and on our way to the concert by 2:45.

after the concert, we headed back to clayton to eat dinner and see alan and rachel's new place. we had some delicious barbeque at mccall's and came on back to get ready for the abbreviated--but busy--work week. justin and i both worked monday and tuesday, with full days to make up for taking the rest of the week off. my team at work did a great job of trying to see all of our clients in the two days, making two or three visits each during the day! i also was able to take care of all of the shopping and wrapping so that last night, we could just enjoy the evening and watch a couple of holiday specials ("rudolph" and "mickey's christmas carol" last night--we did the grinch and frosty earlier this month.)

so it'll probably be a couple of days until i post again. we're going to the candlelight service at church tonight and having family over for dessert and games. we'll enjoy my sister-in-law's christmas breakfast tomorrow morning, and then head on to fayetteville for a couple of days with my family. we'll also head over to dad's on saturday to watch the UNC/WVU bowl game--i think justin will be outnumbered there!

we leave you with these "oh so cute" pictures of pepper in her latest holiday outfit. what can i say--i could not resist the glitter and maribou trim. we wish you a very merry christmas from our household to yours!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

my thoughts on vacuuming

on friday afternoon, about 20 minutes before i was heading out to see a client, our doorbell rang.

i opened the door, and there was a gentleman there with a large box and a roll of wrapping paper. he said something to the effect of, "oh good! you're home. let me tell my boss and i'll be right back." he hands me the wrapping paper (i still haven't figured out where that came from) and while i'm still trying to make sense of what he's saying, he is in the house, unpacking a kirby vacuum cleaner. a woman accompanies him and comments on our christmas tree, the furniture, the dog, anything to be socialable.

let me add here that justin was home. otherwise, they would not have stepped one foot in my house.

so then begins the hard sell of this "once in a lifetime" opportunity to purchase a kirby vacuum. i explain to the dude that i have asked for a new vacuum for christmas because i know my current vacuum is awful. i have three animals now, and they shed. the carpet is dirty. i'm well aware of this. vacuuming the same spot 50 times and showing me what your more powerful vacuum pulls out is not an eye-opening experience for me.

to top it all off, this poor guy is sweating like crazy and sneezing up a storm. it almost seems like he's allergic to all the dust, dirt and pet hair that his kirby vacuum is getting out of my carpet. he excuses himself to the restroom twice and also has to use my phone to call his boss and tell them that he's making a pitch (and when to be picked up.) why don't they carry their own phones? and paper towels (also requested from our kitchen for the pitch.) and this guy had even run out of the salt that they pour onto the carpet to show just how powerful their machine is (and how crappy your current vacuum is.) he gave me an empty water bottle and asked for salt. i looked at him like he was crazy and gave him a teaspoon's worth of salt. the whole time justin is in the kitchen, cleaning up, just smiling at the fact that i had gotten myself into this.

at about 3:30 i tell the guy that i really need to leave in about 10 minutes for an appointment, and if he really wants to leave some information, we'll take it into consideration after the holidays. he calls his supervisor (who's also on the street at another house) and then goes on to demonstrate what horrible dry skin cells are on my couch. he then asks, "can i show you how this can clean your mattress?"

this is the point where i say, "no. sorry. i need to leave in five minutes and you are not going in my bedroom."

the supervisor arrives and i explain once more that i am leaving and if they want to leave information, that's fine, but I NEED TO GO. he starts helping the dude pack up the vacuum (who has gone to the bathroom for the third time) and sees justin's steelers stocking hanging on the mantle.

'TERRIBLE TOWEL! we got a TERRIBLE TOWEL in here! we're going to get the titans this weekend!"

justin now pops his head out of the kitchen and says, "yeah, man! go steelers!"

this proceeds to turn into a 20 minute conversation about football, where they get to see the steelers-themed game room. the michael jordan poster prompts another 10 minute conversation about the NBA, and after 30 minutes of talking sports with justin, they leave. without selling us a kirby vacuum.

i scooted out at the first terrible towel comment and made it to my appointment just a few minutes late. i also promptly borrowed my friend jennifer's rainbow vacuum cleaner, with which we sucked up about 5 lbs of pet hair and other gross stuff on saturday morning. why buy one when you can borrow it on a convenient basis?

i'm not quite sure what the moral of the story is. i know i will be much more careful about opening the door on random afternoons. i also believe that it is not effective salesmanship to invite yourself into someone's bedroom. you just don't do that.

anyone else have good door-to-door salesman stories?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

lazy saturday

it's our first lazy saturday in over a month.
we're having a big breakfast, staying in our pajamas til noon, and have no intentions of venturing out to do shopping. cause that's just crazy.

we might go to the dog park. i think i'm going to borrow my friend's rainbow vacuum since i was informed yesterday that my vacuum sucks and my carpet is dirty (fun story of vacuum salesman coming soon.)

but that's later. we're just enjoying our lazy saturday morning.

Friday, December 19, 2008

the gate is up!

she may not be happy about it...

but we are!

plus it has a door for the humans, and a "small pet" door. but considering she's the smallest pet, i'm not sure we'll be using that a whole lot.

i'm thrilled with this. i feel like i have my kitchen back, and it actually fits into the decor. it also folds up when we don't need it. yay!

holiday week

it's been a fairly festive week for us. seasonal events going on and everything, ya know?

tuesday night was the Christmas party for the youth group. we had over 40 people participating in the white elephant game, and it took over an hour to get everything settled. i feel like i came out well, snagging a cute wallet on its third steal. it was quite entertaining to see what was popular among all of the students. we took a picture at the end of the evening before everyone headed home.

we met again the next night to go caroling at a nursing home with the children's ministry group. after walking through the hallways, singing some traditional carols and some new favorites (we totally rocked out to "feliz navidad") we also got a chance to visit with some of the residents. can i say how awesome these kids are? most teenagers would be very uncomfortable walking around a nursing home and striking up conversations with the residents. these are amazing students and they did a great job making some new friends and visiting some of the people that they remembered from last year.

last night, justin surprised me by coming home with roses and chocolates. it was the fourth anniversary of our first "date" at starbucks. i had completely forgotten about it, but he remembered and got some major brownie points with the flowers and candy. every year, we've tried to go back to starbucks and get something to drink, since we didn't go in for coffee that first day. i MUST recommend the salted caramel hot chocolate. sounds weird, but the combination of flavors was amazing! i enjoyed every drop of it. then, we drove around and looked at christmas lights, now an annual tradition for us. we headed to the east side of town this year and were somewhat frustrated by the lack of holiday displays. we ended up having better luck with the neighborhoods near us as we came back home!
and tonight, we have our Bible study small group party. should be a good time!

hope everyone enjoys their last full weekend before Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

the end of an era

four and a half years ago, my brother came to ecu. it was my grad school year, and he was newly off of tour with crown. it had been over three years since i had resided within the same zip code as my brother, and we weren't quite sure how this was going to work. it did make visits a bit easier with mom and grandma, as they were able to see us both in one trip!

alan fell into the typical role of most music majors i've known--tons of classes that are worth only one credit, hours and hours of practice, and induction into one of the music fraternities or sororities. though he sometimes learned the hard way (like how to drop a class--or that when you get a parking ticket using MY parking pass, it makes it impossible for ME to register for spring classes...) he found his niche and eventually...
his girl. he met rachel in their freshman dorm. appropriately, they met because he was watching DCI performances and she heard it out in the hallway, recognizing the recordings. it was a match made in heaven. ironically enough, they were also one of my first family members to meet justin, after we ran into each other at logan's roadhouse, both on dates.

there were numerous concerts, games, coordinating of plans. more trips to goldsboro or clinton to meet dad than we can count. rides from the dorm to his car, and back, as well as those moments when he'd call and say, "i can see a car dealership and a gas station. how do i get to the grocery store from here?"

i don't know that we ever planned on attending the same school. we knew there was the possibility of it and that with ecu's social work and music programs, it was particularly likely. even though most of our shared year of high school went fine (i was a senior and he was a freshman), i didn't want it to be another situation of "lauren's little brother." it wasn't--he made it on his own and was quite successful in the music program, becoming a leader in phi mu alpha and taking on a crucial role with the east carteret band.

and school continued on and life continued on. we both got engaged.

and were in each other's weddings.and attended graduations.
and more weddings.

and now, after four and a half years, my brother and his wife are moving out of the zip code to their new home, a spot perfectly between alan's band job and rachel's new accounting career. i helped load a VERY full truck this morning.

they are fabulous pet sitters, wonderful entertainment for long car rides, admirable young adults, and above all, very dear friends. justin and i just wanted to let them know that we will miss them.

and the guest room is available should you want to come visit :)

our christmas card

from sam's club (done in an hour! and i loved the multi-photo design.)

and i'm addressing them as we speak. (or type. ya know.)

does this make us crazy pet parents?

Monday, December 15, 2008

because you probably need to see it to completely understand...

we figured that in order to completely understand the lengths to which we have gone to keep this dog in her confined space... you had to see it.

this is her view. note the kitchen table pushed way over to cover up the corner spot, and i'm told the bottled teas are also crucial to the confinement of the dog. she got out when it was just the chairs, so we added the box lids for good measure.

and (she's getting some help from justin here) the view from the living room. we went out tonight to check out some potential gates at petsmart and babies 'r us. we think we have a winner, and it should be ordered and on the way very soon. until then, we're dealing with our creative set-up.

i just hate the idea of locking her in the laundry room all during the day and all night. is this silly?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

another busy holiday weekend

it's been another crazy holiday weekend around our house. after a full week of rehearsals, conferences, and more christmas parties, we celebrated rachel's graduation from the masters of accounting program. mom and grandma came in town and stayed with us, and we all made it to her graduation on friday evening for the college of business, and then the big graduation on saturday at minges. i worked that one, so please check out the pics at! i had a great time capturing all the expressions through out the ceremony, and of course--the school of nursing never dissapoints!

we had a lunch back at our house afterwards for rachel and her family. pepper entertained everyone, and it was an awesome opportunity to catch up with everyone, especially since we hadn't really seen them since the wedding in may.

one of the coolest things about friday night's graduation was the invitation for family and friends to come down to the floor to take pictures as their graduates walked across the stage. i had thought about flashing the press pass, but no need to! we were welcomed for stage-side access to the ceremony. very cool!
i also had the pleasure of officially meeting my photography twin, jenni farrow. jenni is a staff photographer at the reflector and does awesome work. we apparently look very similar, because i am always mistaken for her when i'm out on assignment. she was shooting the graduation on saturday, and i introduced myself and told her about people always thinking i was her. she said she gets the same thing! people are asking if she is the "scene around" girl.

after the lunch on saturday, i headed out to do a very quick family photo session. these three boys were absolutely perfect subjects, and they even hammed it up for some individual shots, too! i've included more on flickr, but i just loved these two pics from the session.

i'm doing a quick turn-around on these so that they can make christmas cards and some christmas presents for family. i took the majority of the pics with my 50 mm lens--love it! seriously considering upgrading my camera body to a d60, though, so i can use the auto focus part of the 50 mm. i also think it'd be worth it to have the extra 4 mp when some of these families request "large" prints. cause wouldn't you want a picture like this hanging over your mantle?

we had a fun christmas party on saturday night where i got hooked on rock band drums. such a good time!

and today was finally FINALLY the church christmas program. i was there from 11 until 7:15 with only a 45 minute break at home. it definitely came together at the last minute, but it turned out quite well and i think everyone enjoyed it. i do love acting and am so glad to have an outlet for it!

now, back to our issue with pepper and the gate. she is definitely a houdini dog, because no matter what kind of contraption we set up to keep her in the kitchen, she finds a way out! this isn't always an issue, but the past few times we've been out for a couple of hours, she's gotten into too many things (like strewing the contents of the bathroom trash can across the living room, or chewing up an eye pencil from my make-up bag.) she's also been "eliminating" in the game room (which is where the litter boxes are... i'm not sure if she's putting that together, or if it's just a coincidence.) at any rate, i've about reached my limit of destroyed items and we are finding a new gate pronto! until then, we've bungee-corded an extra few inches of height to the gate to hopefully deter her climbing.

this week should be a bit calmer, with a youth group party, maybe some christmas caroling and a small group party on friday. i guess that's calmer? it feels like it, atleast :) we'll also be finishing up our shopping and finalizing our plans for the holidays. we will be in fayetteville from thursday through the weekend, so let us know if you're in town and want to get together!

that's all for now. later, y'all!

Monday, December 08, 2008

busy weekend (again!)

it's been a busy weekend, and i'm not quite sure where the time went. justin and i headed to winston-salem on friday night and had the pleasure of staying with matt and patrice again. it had just been a few months since we last saw them, and we promise to get in a longer visit next time!

one of the main reasons i came to visit was to take some pregnancy pictures and family pictures for them. i was excited about being able to do this again and to include matt in more of the pictures as well. between a make-shift "studio" in their house and the gorgeous wake forest university campus, we got some awesome pictures. there are a few more up on flickr, so check 'em out!

(by the way, it's been a couple of years since i was on WFU campus, but man--can you find a prettier campus? not in my opinion. i fall in love with it every time i visit, and though i could never afford going there, i do remember being heavily swayed by the campus tour when i visited in high school so many years ago.)

i had a great time figuring out how to create a studio in their dining room. it wasn't a perfect setting, but with a little photoshop to help outlets and cable jacks dissapear, they turned out great. it also helped that they had a "sponged" wall treatment, so it was ten times easier to make them dissapear without too much change in the background.
and beyond photographing, it was just fun to spend time with them. i miss patrice dearly and can't wait for the little one to be here! if all works out, i will try to be there to document the birth sometime in late february.

(by the way, there was a better pic of me without half-closed eyes, but i went with the more flattering picture of patrice. just for her :) )

we left saturday afternoon for fayetteville just in time to make it to the 30th year of the singing christmas tree. this is a tradition for us in fayetteville, and i was glad to make it again. we were happy to visit with mom and grandma for a while, and made it back just in time for a few hours of rehearsal for our christmas program on sunday. it's going to be a crazy week with practice and holiday parties and rachel's graduation, but it'll be over soon!

for blogging fun: as promised, the sledding video. i am not responsible for justin's actions here. i'm just surprised we got finished with this activity without any broken bones or bruises.

and our most recent problem? pepper's smarter than her doggie gate. much smarter.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

fun new pictures up...

on flickr!

in case you were wondering, we finally put up our christmas tree. and i had fun getting creative with some potential christmas card photos.

isn't she adorable?

we're doing a whirlwind weekend--visiting matt and patrice in winston-salem for some family and pregnancy photos, then on to fayetteville for the annual singing christmas tree at snyder. back in time for play practice at church here (our program is dec. 14th at 6 pm--feel free to come!)

i'm tired. heading to bed soon.

Monday, December 01, 2008

the thanksgiving trip post

so it's taken us a couple of days to recover from our trip. i don't know that we're even very caught up now, 24 hours after we returned home. there's still laundry to be done, the house is a wreck, and my christmas tree is still not up (and it's almost the second of december! the horrors!)

but i do feel the need to document our trip to west virginia, as we typically do.

it was a record setting trip up, especially considering we were traveling on the day before thanksgiving. a few more stops than usual, because of the dog, but overall, very very good time. we left by 7:30 and were pulling into the driveway at 4:30. before dark and after the snow had fallen (both imperative on this trip.) we started seeing snow a good two hours before we got there, and it was gorgeous. i've never been around that much snow not being on a ski slope (at least that i can remember.) i was very glad that justin had taken over driving at that point and i could just sit back and enjoy it.

by the way, i'm sure many of you are wondering how pepper did on the 8 hour trip up there. the truth is, she did incredibly well. she took it easy most of the time, taking turns laying on different people's laps. she didn't eat a whole lot, which made short bathroom breaks easier. all in all, a very well traveled dog.we were also glad that we got her groomed last week. you can see (as she models her Christmas outfit) she was getting quite scruffy. i especially was digging the spiky top hairs that had total mohawk potential.
we helped her deal with the cold weather by picking up a $5 dog sweater at wal-mart on the first night we were there. it was a completely gross, threadbare sweater by the end of the weekend, but it was worth it. we've since tossed it, but we're convinced it helped her deal with some of the chilly temps and the ton of snow! we made it snow ready by putting her regular pink winter coat over it for that charming ski lodge look.she had several dog buddies to play with up there, and definitely enjoyed sledding with us on thanksgiving morning. justin's dad's house is built on a "hill" that leads down to his grandfather's house. we walk up and down the hill to visit his grandfather, but it also makes an awesome sledding hill. thursday morning, we pulled out the sleds and justin and heather showed me the tricks to getting the best rides out of the hill. as each person would take off down the hill, pepper would run alongside them and then sprint back up the hill (as we huffed and puffed behind her--very steep!).
(we also have a video of this--it will have to be added later)

thanksgiving was spent with justin's family and step-family. we went into town to pick up his grandma (who has Alzheimer's) to spend the evening with us. we also had justin's stepsister and her boyfriend and his family come in, and his uncle and cousins dropped by later on. we played wii late into the night, and also tried out the new shaun white snowboarding game with the wii fit board.

(a thanksgiving sunset)
friday was pretty laid-back. justin and heather took their grandfather in to get some blood work done, and i got addicted to the "twilight" series. a coworker had loaned the first two books to me for the weekend, and i finished both of them in record time. i can totally see the appeal, to both preteens and those of us who are a little more removed from middle school days. i CANNOT wait to read the last two. and i might break down and see the movie. maybe. i've always been a "prefer the book over the movie" kinda girl.
also read the latest nicholas sparks, which was totally predictable in my opinion. but then again, it's nicholas sparks. that's what we expect.

on saturday, we went into morgantown to meet justin's grandma and john for lunch. it was great visiting with them, and i got to snap another gorgeous sunset on the way home.
it was the little camera, but i still think it captured the colors pretty well.

before we knew it, it was sunday and time to hit the road. we were anticipating the return trip to take longer since we'd be hitting i-95 later in the day. boy, were we right. it rained almost non-stop on the way home, and we easily tacked on an additional two hours to our original time because of traffic and the weather. between fredericksburg and richmond, i barely hit the speed limit. it was mostly 30 mph, with stop and go the whole way. that is one frustrating road to drive, and we had crappy windshield wipers to boot. we've never tried to make that drive on a major holiday, and i don't know that we'll be attempting it again anytime soon.

we got home and crashed. work hit me hard today, with lots to catch up on and a crazy busy holiday schedule staring me in the face. i know we'll make it through, but my calendar is filling up FAST. it is my most favorite time of the year, but it is stressful as well. i just have to learn that i can't please everyone or make it to all events. but i will try to make it to those important ones :)

one last photo for you. remember a few weeks back when pepper unzipped her bed? well, she did it again...still unzipped, folks. still unzipped.

that's all for now. hope you had a fabulous thanksgiving!