Wednesday, December 31, 2008


So many things have changed this year. SOOO many huge things have changed, I can hardly believe it. I'll try to keep it as chronological as possible. For the photo heavy post that is about to follow I apologize, I will try to limit them as much as possible.

1. I got a puppy. I don't think I even told you Jaco's story. I got him as a surprise present for Matt and I. Our first real tie as a couple and all that jazz. He was the tiniest, sweetest, smelliest puppy I have ever seen. I think he may not have been a full 8 weeks old when we took him home, he was minute! Check it out! He is the little brown speck on the end of that leash.

2. I started a blog - something I would never in a hundred years have seen myself doing, and you know what...I am SO glad I did. Chronicling my failures, insecurities, neurosis, and happiest moments with all of you has been such a blessing to me. I am shocked at the amazing relationships I have found among you all.

3. My big sister got married. This was hard for me, she has always been my constant, and she will always be my dearest friend. I am happy for the changes in her life, and for as much as I talk smack on her husband, there is no better man for her in this world, I know this. Also...I like his tattoos. Don't you dare tell him!

4. My big sister got pregnant. more giggly wine tastings for us! She was two months pregnant and my wedding, and despite the fact that I was bursting at the seams to tell everyone that I was going to be an Aunt, she wanted to keep in a secret so she didn't "steal my thunder" sweet (if unnecessary) is that? I can't wait to meet the little person that has been somersaulting inside of my sister, bruising her ribs, and giving her gas. Way to go little one, you will do me proud!

5. Matt moved to be closer to me. No more two and half hour road trips with Jaco. No more bedtime phone calls, no more lonely nights at an empty apartment. Honey? I'm glad you're here.

6. I GOT MARRIED. Holy Crap. I thought I would probably never get married, and on my 23rd birthday I told my mom to just start buying me cat food in bulk, since I figured I was destined to become a crazy, single cat-lady despite my allergy to all things cat dander. Matt has rocked my world and changed my life and well...I think he's pretty cool.

7. I went to Europe with an attractive man. Ole!

8. I moved in with a boy...they kind of smell, but don't tell him I told you that. I like him anyway.

9. My sister-in-law got pregnant....babies all around!

9. We bought a house...kind of. Scroll down for more info. Hopefully we will close on the house soon and get some of these boxes unpacked.

I can't wait to see what 2009 dishes up! DO YOUR WORST NEW YEAR! I can handle it! blog readers can handle it, I may break under's been known to happen.

I'm just sayin'.

What changes did 2008 bring to YOU dear reader? What changes would you like to see come your way in 2009?

Oh and...HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Photo of the Day/House Rant

We received a phone call this afternoon to inform us that due to the governments inability to do anything on time, our closing date is being pushed back for as long as TWO WEEKS. I might go insane...more so than I already am that is. They are questioning whether or not the house is in a flood zone, and apparently checking FEMA's website and seeing the actual flood map is not good enough. Matt offered to e-mail it to them...but NOOOOO...we have to send the same gosh-darn appraiser that was there last week and DIDN'T CHECK. Ugh.

We did what any normal red-blooded American would do in a similar situation....we went to Chili's and drowned our sorrows in a bottomless dish of chips and salsa.

Rest assured...we will be moving. Eventually. Until then I will be rotating the same two outfits, since those are the only ones that are not packed in a box piled in my living room.

Now....where did I pack that wine....


When the men in my family are left to their own devices for several hours, as they were on Sunday, we women prepare ourselves for the worst. We rarely find out the full extent of what they have done, but this time was different.

This time, there was proof. I found it on my husbands phone.

A quick breakdown of what you are about to see...Everett (my brother) is the one with the basketball. Brandon (my brother-in-law) is step one. Matt (my husband) is step two. Tim (my step-dad) is behind the camera.

Good Lord Almighty. And this morning Matt said he isn't sure why his back is sore! Don't you dare mister. I KNOW.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Photo of the Day

This is Noel, my mom and step-dad's dog. She is a Chow/Shepard mix and may be one of the most well behaved dogs I have ever seen. We have tried exposing Jaco to her to learn more of her good behavior, but recently Noel began jumping on the furniture despite the fact that she knows better.

I'm gonna go ahead and say my dog taught her that.

Suffocating Under the Box Monster

I know I said I would have a holiday recap post for you by this morning, and I'm sorry. I'M SORRY. I stayed up way too late playing Guitar Hero with my brother and husband. Let me tell ya folks, I CAN ROCK.

Okay, that's not true. My hand/eye coordination is less than stellar apparently, as is my ability to find a beat in any song by 'Rage Against the Machine'. I guess I just don't have the appropriate amount of rage! It was fun though, even if I did spend most of the time yelling at the television to slow down so I could figure out which of my fingers to use.

But then I came home and the reality that we are supposed to be moving in two days hit my like a ton of bricks as I stubbed my toes of the multitude of boxes crowding out cozy apartment.

I have nightmares about waking up with the boxes looming over me debating how to suffocate me.
We haven't even tried to get the television unblocked enough to watch it here in over a week. Such is life you know?

This is what my living room used to look like...Oh how I miss it...
Also...that was before Jaco took a bite out of the arm of the couch. Little punk.

We also haven't eaten a meal at our table in at least 2 weeks. Why? you ask, well because that is where I started stacking boxes back when I thought we didn't have a lot of stuff.
Apparently, we DO have a lot of stuff.

I miss this... heart feels peaceful when I look at this.

Oh, and you know how a bedroom is supposed to be your relaxation room/sanctuary and all that jazz?

Yeah...mine isn't.
Despite the fact that I feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to move into a house that is ours and will be ours for as long as we want to stay there, I think I am going to go check into a hotel. I'll leave Matt a note and tell him I'll come back when he has moved all of the boxes into the new house and has them all unpacked.

Do you think he will go for that?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

In A Cookie Coma

Hello all!! I hope you all had a wonderful, safe holiday! I spent most of the weekend up at my in-laws with (gasp) NO INTERNET at my disposal. I don't have a lot of time right now to write, my husband is almost dragging me out of my seat to go watch The Dark Knight.

The big news here was a surprise visit from my cousin James. James lives in West Palm Beach, Florida, but loves to visit Pennsylvania to see how the simple folk live.

I kid, he wanted to come up for the snow. HOWEVER, today it was 64 degrees farenheit. Jokes on you James! Mwahaha!

I will try to write a real Christmas recap post for you by tomorrow morning, I will also be back in action catching up on your news! Until then, have a great night, I hope you (like me) are still gorging yourselves on Christmas cookies and coffee. Boy am I wired!

PEACE OUT....I always wanted to say that. I'm sorry, thank you for tolerating my weirdness.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas...

...with every Christmas card I send out late.

Where the road slush glistens,

And Jaco listens,

To hear me open up the fridge.

What's that? You want me to stop singing? Oh...well, fine!

What's your favorite Holiday song? Mine? "I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" mostly because at one point the little girl calls the hippo her 'hippo hero" and really, how cute it that? REALLY CUTE.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Photo of the Day

Truth be told I didn't take this picture. Emily did, but I still really like it and think its totally worthy of a spot on 'photo of the day'.

It's the Holiday Season...

Yesterday was the annual holiday party for my step-dads family. We usually groan and moan about having to go, but by the end of the day we usually end massaging our cheeks after so much laughing.

As Matt and I prepared to leave for the party, I called my mom to double-check that I had the right directions. "How did you fruit salad turn out?" she asked me.

"FRUIT SALAD!" I yelled. 'I gotta go mom! See you there"

I had completely forgotten that I was supposed to bring fruit salad. Being the innovative woman that I am, I grabbed a bowl, a spoon, and we sped off to the grocery store. You may remember when I posted this recipe for super easy fruit salad that takes about..oh..three minutes to make. Five if you are in a truck. Not that I would know.

Matt documented it this time.

We finally arrived at the party(fruit salad in hand) only 15 minutes late. The party is thrown by my Uncle Rodd, and his partner Richard. Richard is without a doubt one of the coolest guys I know. He is from Trinidad, but moved here three years about after being kidnapped, yes KIDNAPPED, and held for ransom. Look, here is the article. See I wouldn't lie to you!

Every year the family expands by a few children and husbands. This year there were three babies, two pregnancy (not yet born), and two husbands.

I only got asked a FEW times when Matt and I would be the ones making the baby announcement. Uncle Rodd came to my rescue and said 'They are having a house!"

My sentiments EXACTLY Rodd. Although, I will say, there was a four month old boy there named Matthew that made my ovaries start kicking my uterus. But I told them to hush, we are having a house!

Unfortunately it's not THIS house...I could probably live in that kitchen. But on the other hand, I would never be able to get my husband out of the music room...

...where he is busy emulating Stevie Wonder. I know. So wrong.

This was Brett's first year that the Christmas party, he did pretty well. And see that other guy? The one with his arms crossed? That''s my sister Bethany's boyfriend, Tony. Last year was his first year there, and we all abandoned him with our step-grandmother. It was a hoot to watch I tell ya!

I was trying to take some cute pictures of Ashley and Brett, but Brandon had to stick his big dome in to mess things up AS USUAL.

That's really all I have in the way of pictures, oh, except for this one of course.
No we didn't try to coordinate our colors, and yes, I realized we clash. Sigh...such is life.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Photo of the Day

T minus 6 days 'til Christmas!!
What is your favorite part of the holidays?

Me? I love my stocking. My mom can fit the most amazing and unexpected things in there. One year when I was three, she put a can of mushrooms in there. For any other child that would be weird, to me, that was heaven. They have a picture of me the moment I pulled it out of the stocking. The awe and wonder on my face is apparent.

The more I tell these stories the more I realize what a weird kid I was. Also, I realize what great parents I have.

Thanks for the mushrooms Mom!

Philly Philly

On Wednesday my mom, sister, brother and I went to Philadelphia for the day. Mostly to hang out, and do a little something special for my older sisters birthday. The picture above is actually while we were pulled over on the turnpike trying to ascertain our route.

'Cause we are good navigators and all.

We did eventually make it, and our first order of business was to see the Liberty Bell. Aside from my mom, none of us had seen it before.

Did you know that the crack in the Liberty Bell wasn't actually that big until they tried to fix it? Men.

After that we set out to find lunch...we promptly got lost. Again.
We had to take a break in the park, my pregnant sister was falling behind. Did I mention it was cold? It was really cold.

After trekking about the city for about an hour, we finally found it. Jim's Steaks. We had been told they have the best Philly Cheese steaks in the city.

I wouldn't know, since I'm lactose intolerant and all. In some cases I will risk it and get a meal with some cheese, but the last thing I wanted was to be lost and urgently needing a bathroom, if ya know what I mean.

But ANWAY, I loved the place. It was warm and...shiny.

I did try a bite of my brother's sandwich, and boy-oh-boy were they ever delicious.

Even Ben Franklin eats there. Anywhere that is good enough for ol' Ben Franklin is good enough for me!

On our return to the cobbled (slightly confusing) streets of Philadelphia, we stumbled upon this manger.

Does anyone else see anything missing here?
Anyone? Anyone?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Photo of the Day

Can anybody guess where we were yesterday? Hint - click the photo, make it bigger.

Be Vewy Qwiet...

We are on the trail of a creature...
...a wild, dangerous creature...
...the likes of which this Country Mouse has never seen....
...getting closer...
Oh, Jaco, it's you! Are you out here alone?
Ooooh Hello Handsome!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Photo of the Day and a Question

I was told(not asked, TOLD) recently that I needed to bring back the photo of the day, so we will give it a go. I didn't really intend to stop it, I liked posting them, I guess I just got lazy! we go.
I took this while we were in Alexandria for the Scottish Walk. There was this little shop my mom had heard of called the Christmas Attic, and my-oh-my the ornaments they had there were just incredible. Matt confiscated my wallet so I wouldn't bankrupt us on Christmas decor. But I wanted to folks, I really did.

Okay, now for the question....if you have subscribed to my blog in a reader, is it updating correctly 'for you? I got a funny message from Google about being unable to 'fetch' my feed. And while I happen to think the use of the word 'fetch' was charming, I was confused. I didn't know there were any issues with my feed, so spill folks...if you are a subscriber, are you still getting updates at a normal time?

A Little Birdie Told Me...

Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday Dear Emily,
Happy Birthday to you!!!!

My dear big sister is celebrating her birthday today, how old is she you ask? A lady never tells! What's that? I'm not a lady you say? Oh, ok, she is 26.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Christmas Card Debacle

About a week ago, Matt and I set out to take a picture to put on our very first 'family' Christmas Card. Granted, that family is rather small with only two people, a naughty dog, and a fish that will not be making an appearance, but we are a family dammit!

However, I seriously overestimated Jaco's ability to sit still for a whopping 10 seconds.
Here he is biting me. Also, I appear to have a lazy eye, and Matt kind of looks like an old man in this picture, so this one is definitely OUT. Wow, reread that last sentence...what an attractive sounding family!

Here he is biting Matt. Look! Matt's face is getting red, that means he is frustrated. I know this from experience.

Here he is just thrashing because God forbid he have to sit still! Man, does that dog have a long neck or what?! Sheesh!
This one is actually kind of cute, he is trying in vain to give me his paw so I will let him go get the treat we are trying to bribe him with. Hence the licking of his lips.

Obviously, none of those pictures made the cut for out first official Christmas Card, this is where you come in. Which of the following pictures do you like better?

Or do you just hate them both? I like the picture, but I can't decide. Color? Black and White? Black and White? Color? Agggh!!!

If you would like to receive a 'family' Christmas Card from all of us here at Country Mouse (by all of us I mean me) email your name and address to me and I will gladly send one to you!! If you would like to send me a card in return that would be even better!

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