Archive | December, 2012

(20)13 Resolutions

30 Dec

It’s amazing how much can change in a year… This time in 2011 we were living in a shoe box of a house, Logan had yet to take his first steps, and I had no intention of blogging. 2012 turned out to be a great year for us and I can’t wait to see what the new year has in store for me/us, terrible two’s and all! In honor of (20)13, here are 13 resolutions of mine as well as a few pictures of me with Mr. Logan from the 23rd through the 25th, hehe. Dec 23rd

1. It’s a recurring resolution, but to be a better wife and mother.

2. To continue blogging on the 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, and 30th of each month. Speaking of, what blogs would you like to see in the new year?

3. Start a Pen Pal of the Month series.

4. Use up stationery I don’t use much anymore via Stationery of the Month. 

5. Send a random postcard to a random pen pal every month. Dec 24

6. Reward those I’ve heard from every month at the end of the year.

7. To meet at least one pen pal (Kära &/or Jody from Ohio perhaps?)

8. Have another photo shoot with the boys and Katelyn Revill.

9. Send both family and pen pals pictures from #8.

10. Finish the %#@&!%& basement and hang up all the postcrossing cards down there. Dec 25

11. Read more than just mail, Facebook posts, and text messages.

12. Try at least one new recipe a month (and from meggoesnomnom, perhaps?)

13. SAVE MONEY!

All the best in 2013!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Tis the Season

25 Dec

Christmas

Number of Hot Cocoas consumed: 2. We’re slacking!

Number of times the cat(s) knocked over our tree since putting it up on the 22nd: 2. But “slacking” is not the word I’d use here…

Number of cards received: 20 (8 were from pen pals). Despite buying a box of 32 cards I sent less than 10.

Number of packages sent to pen pals: 7. 8 if you count Nicole’s. These included penguin pens, Christmas character keychains, and mailmen rubber ducks, hehe.

Number of days until my next blog: 5. Hope to see you then!

 Originally this blog was going to end here and be called “Merry Christmas” -it’s Christmas day after all and I know I’m not the only person with a little one to spoil. But! As you read on you’ll see why that changed…

How to Survive a 30 Hour Power Outage.
Kate and Gabe Style.

Step One: Act as normal as possible. My father-in-law was already planning on getting Logan so when he offered to get us both I stayed home so I could still go about my day instead of hanging out at my in-laws’ just because they have a generator. I picked up toys, swept, wrapped presents, and wrote for a while until Gabe came home from work.

Step Two: Sleep away the afternoon. In the hopes of waking up to power being restored we took a nap.

Step Three: Get supplies. Since the dark time was approaching my husband and I decided to brave the weather and head to the nearby city of Caro, charging my phone along the way. We gathered around the good stuff at Pizza Hut to acquire some warmth for our bellies and then stopped at WalMart (sorry, mom) for snacks, a battery-powered lantern, and batteries. Normally a trip to Caro takes us 20 minutes but on Friday it took us around 40- blech!

Step Four: Hibernate. We took all of our supplies into the bedroom and set up camp. We watched as much Despicable Me as our portable DVD player would let us as we cuddled all bundled.

Step Five: Sleep the night away. See 2nd step.

Step Six: Junk food for breakfast. I had a leftover piece of pizza and Gabe indulged in two cheese danishes, a handful of honey mustard pringles, and some beef jerky.

Step Seven: Assess the situation. Gabe discovered water in our basement (bah humbug!) so he spent the morning tending to that while I tried making the best of things upstairs, writing these steps down in a notebook since I thought they’d make a good addition to this blog. Yeah, things sucked at this point but they could have been a lot worse. Special thanks to my brother Erik who sent a big box our way, distracting me from the cold and the chaos, if only for a few minutes.

Step Eight: Get warm. My in-laws had to go to a funeral that afternoon so we went over to their house to hang out with Mr. Logan. Unfortunately their house wasn’t much warmer than ours, but Logan cuddled with me so most of me was pretty comfortable. It wasn’t long after they returned that the power also returned. Which brings us to:

Step Nine: Celebrate. It wasn’t easy and I don’t recommend it, but we made it through over 30 hours without power (9am or so Dec. 21st- 3pm on the 22nd) and celebrated by putting up our tree, listening to Christmas music, and putting our hats and gloves away- I wore both to bed the night before.

We all have wishlists and I hope you get something wonderful, but never take for granted what you already have since the only guarantee we have in life is that nothing is ever guaranteed. Enjoy this time with your family, friends, and presents. Merry Christmas!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Letter to Santa

20 Dec

Dear Santa,

Hi! How are you? I hope you and the Mrs. are doing well. You’ll be happy to know I’ve been very good this year and I’d be very grateful if the elves could tackle some of these gifts for me:

  • Address Labels
  • A Word-of-the-Day Calendar (if Gabe hasn’t beaten you to it…)
  • A Necklace (with Logan’s birthstone, perhaps?)
  • An Ultrabook
  • A Black Lab Puppy

But what I’d really love though is the ultimate pen pal friendly trip, as crazy as that sounds. The majority of my pen pals live in Ohio, Maryland, and Pennsylvania so I’d love to go on a road trip with the boys (when the weather’s decent enough) where we meet them all, spending a few hours with each. We could go to the Toledo Zoo with Kära, join Kayla & Jeremy at Max & Erma’s, and so on and so on. I know this is a long shot, but that’s why they call it a wishlist, right?

Well Santa, I know you have lists to make that you got to check twice so take care and stay safe. Say hi to the reindeer for me!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Bonus- Kate’s favorite Christmas Song this year:
(Look out for the line right after about the Letter to Santa 😉 )
WIN/ WIN!

Tomfoolery

15 Dec

Tomfoolery. noun. [tom-foo-luh-ree]
1. foolish or silly behavior; tomfoolishness
2. a silly act, matter, or thing

I gave up on the term “best friend” a while ago, and sure enough it was around that time I connected with one of the best friends I ever had. Nicole and I had known each other for a while thanks to a mutual friend of ours, but the more we began to talk online and via text messages the more we had in common. And when I say “the more we had in common” it’s not just because it turns out we’re both anxiety-ridden, rather accident prone, and generous to a fault, but because she introduced me to Veronica MarsThe Vampire Diaries, and a large repertoire of music, and I got her into Glee, convinced her to try The Big Bang Theory, and got her into writing (even if it’s just to me). Nicole has become one of the people who knows me best regardless of us never meeting simply because our personalities are so similar, and if I had to use the term “best friend” I’d use it for her. Reason #487 I love that girl: she writes me letters just because she knows I love it so much. I’m sure it helps knowing that I’ll always respond, hehe.

Side note: My mom has been teaching in Taiwan for a few years now, and it was near the end of her first year at Ming Chuan University that I discovered I was pregnant. When she came home that summer she brought me several souvenirs including a couple thin notebooks, small enough to fit in my purse. Remember this, it’s kind of important.

At this point Nicole had become my confidant, and I the Kit Kat to her Nic Nac. After Gabe she was the first person I told when I found out I was pregnant and she was (and is!) the one person besides him I felt comfortable telling anything and everything to. I decided I would share one of my souvenirs with Nicole after using the notebook to share the events of my summer. I divulged my pregnancy experiences, vented about the matrimony madness when Gabe and I got married that July, and enclosed a bunch of other tomfoolery since I kept her notebook on me at all times.

A favorite quote of Nicole’s from that first notebook:

I sound like one of those people super-sizing my McDonalds meal and then ordering a diet coke!

Notebooks!Not that I expected her to hate it or anything, but Nicole loved that notebook as much as I enjoyed filling it out for her. With a little help from mother dearest I decided that I would start filling out a notebook for Nicole every summer, but I didn’t stop there; I sent Nicole another notebook for her 23RD birthday and included one in a care package I sent her after she banged up her leg last September. She has quite the collection right about now! (Note: one of the notebooks is not pictured)

More favorite quotes of mine of hers:

Lucky Charms for breakfast and leftover pizza for lunch. I am quite the gourmet chef.

Gabe and Logan are lounging on the floor with a bag of pretzels and Logan started feeding his daddy the pretzel sticks. At first it was just one at a time, but then he started feeding him by the handful.

3 souffles? Holy batter, batman.”

Apparently I write about food a lot, but she likes it and says we’re on the same napkin page. Reason #833 I love that girl: I just received a notebook from her. Reading it clearly makes me believe we have developed a language all our own, and proves to me that she’s just frickin’ awesome. She gave me permission to share some of her quotes as well:

  • “Crocodiles like candy canes so they seem all right to me!”
  • “I shall face the true death if I don’t leave in time to get coffee before work.”
  • “Happy Thanksgiving. I hope other than discussion of goat poop it’s been a good one.”
  • “Vampires shouldn’t sparkle, someone should tell the Cullens.”
  • “Silly 19-year-old, I’ve been playing games longer and better, elol.”
  • “Just as players gonna play, crazy bitches gonna be crazy!”

You may not understand what half of this stuff means, but at least now you know what tomfoolery is, right? Right!

I recently sent Nicole a postcard with this diabolical snowman below on it- he’s from the Pixar short “Knick Knack“… Knick Knack

…and when she got it she found the video and now I have even more reason to forever call her “Nic Nac”. 

Yeah, I may not use the term “best friend” anymore, but I think it’s safe to say I definitely have one anyway. Never underestimate the power of writing! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have another notebook to start working on for Nicole. Ciao!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

The Catalog Blog

10 Dec

Tis the season for lots of catalogs, fa la la la la… I started keeping track of the variety of catalogs I got after there were two days in October where I got at least four of them. Here’s that list in alphabetical order:

  • American Girl
  • Betty’s Attic
  • Bits and Pieces
  • Catalog Favorites
  • Collections Etc.
  • CP Toys
  • Current Catalogue
  • Figi’s
  • Hearth Song
  • L.L.Bean
  • Magic Cabin
  • Mindworks
  • Oriental Trading
  • PersonalCreations.com
  • Terry’s Village
  • The Lakeside Collection
  • The Lighter Side Co.
  • The Vermont Country Store
  • Victorian Trading Co.
  • Whatever Works
  • Wishcraft
  • Young Explorers

Rather remarkable, isn’t it? And 17 of them were in October alone! I’m sure it’s safe to say that the chaos started with Oriental Trading, and that one called Victorian Trading is just ridiculous 😛

If you omit the spaces and add “.com” to most of the titles above you can find their websites if you’d like to see what all they have to offer. Be warned though, should you order anything you may have quite the catalog collection yourself this time next year. (Allison, my September Sweeps winner, I hope me sending your prize directly from The Lakeside Collection’s website hasn’t resulted in any unwanted mail for you!)

You may be wondering if I’m annoyed by the abundance of glossy paper enticing me to buy stuff, but I’m not. On days where I don’t get any letters they’re a welcome distraction, and I often find something that catches my attention whether it’s the eyeball notepads I got for my pen pals, a remote control firetruck “Santa” could get for the Loganator, or a gnome nativity set I wouldn’t mind ordering for myself. A couple weeks ago my good friend Krista requested some gift ideas for me and when I couldn’t think of anything off-hand other than Home Depot gift cards, it was nice to be able to resort to my catalog of catalogs.

Yes, I’d much rather window shop via catalogs in the comfort of my pajamas than go store to store; just look at this holiday friendly gnome we found via Terry’s Village last year, hehe. Gnome Sweet Gnome

I hope this blog of mine finds you well, that your Christmas shopping has been going smoothly whether you go to stores or use catalogs and the internet like me, and that your holidays are happy ones.

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Jekyll and Hyde

5 Dec

Guess who saw Jekyll & Hyde at the Fisher Theater in Detroit on December 1st?

Us, that's who!

Us, that’s who!

Gabe and I left our humble abode Saturday morning in time to go to Chipotle and a couple other shops before the matinee performance- one store may have sold Detroit postcards, hehe. The show was pretty good, and this former American Idol fan was psyched to see season four’s Constantine Maroulis as the leading man, however as he sang I had a hard time understanding what he was singing (though the last notes were always fantastic!) and I couldn’t help but think “this is why Carrie Underwood beat you!” The actresses who portrayed Emma and Lucy did an amazing job, although I wish the arrangement of the song “Bring on the Men” wouldn’t have been rearranged- blech! Basically the show could have been better, but like I said before, it was still pretty good.  But this show blog must go on!

The day before the show I got the idea to do a Jekyll & Hyde friendly blog that keeps with my ongoing pen pal theme. I’m going to have an assortment of categories (e.g. stationery, delivery service, this blog itself) and write something I love about it as well as something that I don’t. Since I can’t color-code this, the things I love will follow the bold letter J (for Jekyll) and the things I don’t love shall follow, well, you get the idea.

My delivery service

  • J I’m sure this is an obvious one, but I love that mail’s delivered 6 days a week, even in tiny towns like mine.
  • I don’t like that instead of bringing packages to our door our mail carrier just sits in her car and honks.

My post office

  • There’s never a line 😛
  • Not only do they carry a small variety of stamps, they don’t have very many in general. They only had 4 $1.05 ones last time.

“Sincerely Kate” the blog

  • J 304 views so far- BOO YAH!
  • Someone promised to give a shout-out to this blog on their page and they have yet to do so, even after I gave them one without being asked.

My pen pal group (also called “Sincerely Kate”)

  • I just started three new games this month: 12 Days of Sincerely Kate, A Christmas Story, and The Four Letter Game.
  • Given how many pen pals of mine also enjoy photography, I thought The Picture Challenge would have been way more active.

Potential new pen pals

  • I have gotten a letter from 3 of these in November 🙂
  • Four words: It Rhymes with Witch. PS: I lost touch hope with those two girls.

Postcrossing

  • Since my first postcard from Alaska I have received postcards from Germany, Taiwan, Malaysia, Finland, and Oregon.
  • Three postcards in and someone gave me an incorrect ID number- it’s all remedied now but it was disheartening to have issues so early in.

Packages

  • As soon as the last few things I ordered arrive my Christmas shopping is DONE!
  • The second to last time I got anything from Oriental Trading they sent it to our previous address although I provided our new shipping information.

Christmas cards &/or mail

  • Logan and I have been making Christmas artwork to send to family along with cards and photos, hehe.
  • Gabe and some woman by the name of “Kathy” got an invitation to his fire department’s Christmas party. *Rolls eyes*

Mail Art

  • My pen pal Justine is constantly sending me homemade envelopes, inspiring me to try making my own soon 😉
  • H The Glee calendar pages I have won’t work. Bah humbug.

Stationery

  • I have enough stationery to last me several years at least.
  • Less than 5% of my pen pal friendly paper is lined.

Pens

  • J Thanks to Nicole and a great Halloween package I have 3 Peanuts pens that I adore.
  • H Almost all the gel pens I have don’t work well after (and often during) one single letter.

Address Labels

  • Despite them calling me “Ms.” I recently got free labels from St. Jude’s.
  • H Prior to the whole moving to Fairgrove thing I ordered around 200 labels with super cute cartoon cats on them, only to use about 25 of them.

My binders

  • J Although I might have thrown letters away from most of my former pen pals, I love that at one point I had 6 binders full with another one well in progress.
  • H I hate the “not knowing” of what will become of these when I die; I don’t want anyone going through them but it’s not like I can do anything to stop them at that point. Morbid, I know.

I’m sure I could come up with more categories, but unfortunately the house hasn’t figured out how to clean itself so these 13 will have to do! While there may be things I don’t always love about this hobby of mine, I can’t help but love it anyway, much like how I can never stop loving the theater despite an imperfect performance this past weekend. And like the Jekyll and Hyde song says, “This is who I am, take me as I am.”

Sincerely, Kate ~!~