Monday, January 16, 2012

Christmas and a Wedding!

This year Shane and I were lucky enough to get to go to Tennessee for a whole week for Christmas. And you had better believe we were busy that whole time. So many people to see, so many things to do, so much delicious food to eat! We are so thankful that we got to spend that time with our families, it really wouldn't feel like Christmas without them.

Clockwise from top left: 
(1) Shannon testing out one of her gifts 
(2) Debbie and her beautiful necklace from Steve 
(3) Shane with his nieces, Stephanie and Heather 
(4) My mom, Tanya, tickled to death with her new top, in a much smaller size than she's been used to 
(5) Bella in her wedding dress! She kept saying "I'm so pretty" :) 
(6) Aunt Sandy with her new top 
(7) Me and my HELLO KITTY footie pajamas! Yay! Thanks Debbie and Steve! 
(8) Shannon with Shane's game gift, a hillbilly survival kit. It came complete with camo hat, slingshot, and moonshine!
(9) My dad. Can you see the resemblance? See photo #7 
(10) Lucky and his Angry Birds hat. That kid is Angry birds obsessed!
(11) Jason making some delicious scrambled eggs for Christmas breakfast
(12) Me and Hannah! 

It was a wonderful Christmas. I wish I had some more pictures to show you, but I was so busy enjoying time with family that I kept forgetting to take pictures.

Christmas wasn't the only reason why we went home. We also went to see our niece get married on New Year's Eve!
My mom has been taking a lot of wedding coordinating classes so she volunteered to do the decorations. I helped her out with that, and it was really fun. We got to use a lot of things from my wedding which was nice because they have just been sitting in a box in the garage for three years. I also did the flowers which I enjoyed. I took a floral arranging class in college and I kept joking that so far, that was the only thing I learned in college that I've used! 

Shane actually came *thisclose* to officiating the wedding. Both the  preacher and the back-up preacher had a death in the family the day before the wedding and said they wouldn't make it. The best thing we could think of was for Shane to perform the wedding and they could make it official with the real preacher the following Tuesday. Debbie rushed Shane to the mall to get a blazer and red tie, so he could look "official", then Shane spent all evening rehearsing the wedding ceremony out of the Methodist hymnal. Thankfully, the back-up preacher showed up and was able to stay long enough to perform the ceremony. Shane still did the unity sand ceremony since we  had spent all morning choosing the perfect speech for him to give during that part. He's thinking about becoming ordained for any future family emergencies ;)

Despite any problems that might have come up before the wedding, the whole day was perfect. Stephanie and Kevin were so happy to be married, and were surrounded by family and friends. Everyone had a great time, and I'm glad we got to be there. 

Congratulations you two :)

P.S. I just want to point out my favorite picture from the wedding (bottom left). I love the way Heather is going after that bouquet!  

I'm going to leave you with this adorable video of Stephanie's daughter Bella dancing with Shannon, my sister-in-law. Notice Lucky's army crawl under the chair haha!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Our day at the shooting range

Only one post later and I've already crossed off one of my life goals!

Unless you live under a rock, you've probably seen (or subscribe to) one of those "daily deal" type newsletters. You know, the ones with local things to do or food to eat on the cheap? And you only have 24 hours to "buy" the deal? I fell for it and subscribed to one, and never found anything worth buying. In fact, they wanted me to buy something so bad that they sent me a $10 off coupon to use on my first purchase. While this sounds like a good idea in theory, it actually made me more hesitant to buy something. I wanted to hoard that $10 off until I found the *perfect* deal. After months of half-price hamburgers and discounted disco lessons, each one making me wonder whether it was worthy of the coupon, I finally found something that seemed suitable... a day for two at the shooting range, including gun rental and ammo. 

 Before that day at the shooting range, I have to admit, I was pretty nervous around guns. Okay that's a lie, they scared the crap out of me. I was so nervous that I was going to somehow accidentally shoot myself in the foot or something. That might sound a little dramatic, but you have to realize that I've never really been around a gun before. Sure, my dad has a gun (which he never shoots and probably doesn't even have ammo for, it's more of an antique, passed down through family sort of thing), but he's always kept it so hidden and secretly locked away so that my sister and I would never be able to find it. I've only seen it once when he took it out recently to show it to Shane. Despite all the worry and the fear, I felt like this was something I really needed to try. Even if it was just once and I hated it, that would be the first and last time I would ever have to do it.

When the big day came, I had no idea what to expect, except maybe lots of blood and my big toe in a cooler on the way to the hospital. And if you've never been to a shooting range before, it can be a bit alarming when you walk in and hear all the "bang! bang! bang!"  It was a pretty busy day too, so the lobby was full of burly looking men cleaning their guns. The fact that there was a Girl Scout (in her vest and everything!) in the lobby helped to ease my worries a little, but not much. Then the nice people working there gave us a quick lesson on safety and how to use a gun. They taught us everything we needed to know about shooting a .22 semi-automatic handgun. That's when it started to get real. This was all happening too fast. There were all these things to worry about, like making sure the safety was turned on or off, or not accidentally squeezing the trigger, or having the correct thumb position to avoid serious injury. That was not what I pictured at all. 

As luck would have it, they ran out of semi-automatics and had us use a revolver instead. Turns out those are a lot easier (and a lot more fun, I'm assuming) to shoot. Shane has used a revolver before, so he went first to demonstrate. Yet another in the list of a million reasons why I am so glad to have him around.

With Shane's help, I was loading that revolver like a Wild West cowboy in no time. 

With a bit of practice, I even did pretty good actually shooting what I was aiming for. It's really satisfying to look at the target and see a lot of bullet holes around the big X in the middle. That target is now hanging in our entryway, so it can, as Shane said, "let intruders know what they've got coming."

The whole day was AWESOME. It was way way less scary than I imagined it to be (most things usually are) and I didn't even injure myself a tiny bit. And I'm ready to go back and do it all again!

Monday, January 2, 2012

My Life Goals

Each year for the New Year, I make a bunch of silly resolutions that I know I'll never keep, like going to the gym every single day or giving up Dr. Pepper (I think that one lasted 6 hours). This year was a bit different. I went back and forth on what I was going to give up, or what I was going to pledge to do. But really, promising all these things just sets us up for failure, don't you think? Eventually, that cookie is going to win the staring contest and you're going to be pissed you just broke your "only one cookie a day" rule.

I decided to go a different route this time and start a list of life goals. The list isn't definite, I'm sure I'll come back and add a million different things. And there is no due date. I feel like these are all fun things that I will enjoy doing and I want to really take my time, not rush to get them done by an arbitrary deadline.

So without further ado, I present, in no particular order...

My Life Goals

1. Build a birdhouse from scratch. 

2. Drive a manual transmission car on the interstate and in city traffic. 

3. Knit a sweater that is cute, actually fits, and wear it in public. 

4. Watch a French movie without subtitles. 

5. Change a tire. 

6. Wear a bikini to the beach and not worry about how I look. 

7. Make an awesome music video (like this one). 

8. Actually make the wedding scrapbook I promised on our first anniversary. 

9. Learn all the words to an epic rap song. Or just write my own. 

10. Make 100 hats to donate to charity. 

11. Have a YouTube video with 10,000+ views (and I don't even mind if I'm doing something embarrassing in it!)

12. Learn to speak with a convincing British accent. 

13. Be vegan for a month.

14. Get my scuba license. 

15. Shoot a gun. 

16. Perform something, anything, in front of an audience. 

17. Develop my own style of drawing. 

18. Start my own business.

19. Actually give up Dr. Pepper for a while. And no cheating. Seriously, that stuff is diabetes in a can.

20. Dye all of my hair pink.

21. Finally learn how to do a cartwheel. 

22. Run a 5k. And maybe a marathon. 

Now that you've seen my goals, what are some of yours?