Monday, December 13, 2010

Preston the graduate

Today the doggies found a glass bottle somewhere in the yard. This is getting dangerous! No more bones have been found, but I am still holding on to the theory of a murder victim. Bill says I watch too much CSI.

However, the real reason for this post is to commend Preston on graduating from puppy class! He can sit, stay, lay down, "leave it," and "take it" most of the time. He only pees in the house about once or twice a week, and sometimes he will even "drop it." (I feel like I am writing Liz's monthly updates for sweet Trey!) He will even run into his cage when we say "kennel," as long as there's a treat visible :) I also measured him just for fun the other day, and his back isn't even 12 full inches off the ground! Such a short little guy.

Our first true family portrait. At PetSmart.
That's about it for today. There was a lot going on this weekend, but I am mentally exhausted. That, and I don't feel up to the challenge of going through the 398 pictures I took at the karate test to find some blog-worthy ones. Maybe tomorrow!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Update

So it turns out it was not a dog bowl Bill saw sticking out of the ground. No, it was actually a frying pan missing the handle. (Which I later found in the middle of the yard this afternoon). More bones have yet to be sighted, so my current theory is that someone killed someone with a frying pan, and buried the evidence in our backyard.

Seriously, though, I think that someone just used the back corner of our yard as a trash pile in the past. I found a rope and part of a cottage cheese container today, too. I showed Michelle the two bones today, and she doesn't know what to think either... So we'll see if anything more turns up.

Warning: This is gross.

Remember how I told you all Bill and I built the dogs a sandbox last weekend?

They love it! We hid some treats throughout the sand, so they immediately run out there to dig when we let them outside, which is great! It beats all the holes they were digging in the yard (especially that one I fell in).

But it just so happens that, of course, the spot where we put the sandbox is also where our previous neighbors buried their dog. The sandbox is really just a frame, so it doesn't have a bottom. When Preston brought a bone back inside with him the other night, we were a little confused where it came from... shouldn't he just be digging in the sandbox? We didn't notice any other new holes in the yard? And what the heck is this a bone from? But this morning when he brought back another one, Bill decided to take a look... There's a new (very deep) hole in the sandbox, and at a glance, Bill didn't see any more bones, but he did find a buried dog bowl. So chances are, that's what we're dealing with. Save me.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pull up yo pants.

I love this. Catch up, NC!

 

Monday, December 6, 2010

This one's for you, Michelle.

I can't believe. In all my posts about holiday tunes and Christmas music, I forgot one of my favorite songs. Really. Nothing gives me more joy than to hear this song come on the radio and sing along loudly. Especially if Michelle's in the car...

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

... in our home!

In case I hadn't made it clear before now, I LOVE CHRISTMAS. Our house is slowly but surely getting decorated for the holiday season. As of an hour ago, I finished my last assignment for the semester, so now I will have more time! Unless Bill and I continue to get distracted by the Firefly DVDs... yep, it's SciFi (for Bill) and Nathan Fillion (for me). It's addicting, as you may be able to tell from the 5 hours we've watched in the past 2 days. Anyways. I wanted to give you all a little rundown of how we've Christmas-fied our home recently.

First up, we have the dining room:
Perhaps it's a little more "Winter" than "Christmas," but it's seasonal nonetheless. And I cannot begin to count the number of times I have been thankful that Bill let me choose the color scheme for the room. (Okay, for almost the whole house, but especially this room!)

A little close-up of the table. Aren't the salt and pepper shakers cute? My mom and I each scored a set at a Ben Franklin for $2! The reindeer is actually a tealight candle holder.

I cannot get over these picks. They are huge and glittery and shimmery and wonderful! They're from ZGallerie, and I will warn you - they were a little messy to unpack. (The crystals and glitter got everywhere!) But it was totally worth it. I think they might be my new favorite decoration in the house.

I don't have holiday napkin holders, so I made my own! The ribbon has ornaments on it, and the little silver ornaments match the hurricane in the middle of the table - it's filled with large silver ornaments!
Moving on, to the living room:
I came home one day, and Bill had decorated in his own way! Lights inside the house... LOVE it!

More lights on the banister :)

Our homemade Advent calendar... It's not sitting on the floor anymore, but it is in the living room! Above it, you can kind of see our gingerbread house frame, Christmas tree collection, and our Jim Shore musical Santa. Why oh why didn't I take pictures of these?
The main event: the Christmas tree! Every year I can remember, my grandfather and uncle would go up to the mountains one day and get trees for the whole family. I never knew when it was going to be, but I would come home from school one day and there our tree would be, leaning against the house! It was always so exciting! I know some people like to pick out their trees, but this is just the way my family always did it. Now that Bill and I are in our own house, we get our own tree! So Friday, my mom, aunt, uncle and grandpa went to get the trees and then drove around dropping them off for everyone. Needless to say, Friday night was spent decorating by Bill and I! (The tree is actually in our basement, in a dog-free zone, so we had to move some still-as-of-now-unpacked boxes!)

Hubby hard at work, trimming the bottom branches so we can put it up!

It was my turn to put the star on top!

Batman hangs at the top of the tree, keeping watch over Gotham... Er, wait, our basement.

I know I showed off Sensei's ornament last year, but I bought a matching one for Preston this year!

My new favorite ornament... I actually dropped it when decorating the tree, and it broke, but Bill was kind enough to put it back together - you can't even tell!

Our tree, all lit up!

Our stockings... Preston's, Bill's, mine, and Sensei's. They have little name tags to help us remember :) Our garland is just more oversized silver ornaments (you can see the rest in the dining room!) and branches from our tree.
And finally, outside. We haven't finished putting all the lights out front, so there are no pictures of that yet... Surprisingly, though, our little town got SNOW on Saturday (So early!) which really made our house look Christmas-ready!

Our lovely home in the first snow of the season!

We decided to skip the traditional wreath, and instead, I got a personalized door ornament!

Backyard

Mini shoot in the snow with the pups!


I'm sure you can all imagine how much I love this photo! They never sit still together like this!
So there you have it. The Fischers are now in a holiday-friendly home. The Fischers are also very tired after the weekend we had... The dogs now have a sandbox in the backyard, so maybe they'll stop digging huge holes that I fall in! Bill and I have some houseguests coming in less than two weeks, so we also finally tackled the guest room Saturday. The painting phase is over, so here's hoping that the furniture-moving and decorating phases will be done by December 16! I'll have a post on that once the whole room is finished... But here's a little teaser of what's to come.

The before:
Stay tuned for the transformation!
Thanks for sticking with me to the end of this post, faithful readers. And Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

More Holiday Tunes

It's time for Round 2 of my favorite Christmas music! I just couldn't contain my list to only 10 songs. So here are my second 10 favorite Christmas songs... Maybe I'll burn all 20 onto a CD and promote it as the World's Greatest Holiday Mix CD.

I've included youtube links again, so you can all have a listen! Enjoy!

1. Christmas in Dixie - Alabama
This song always makes me think of Christmas and my mom... When I was little, she bought a Christmas CD from Dillards, and this was one of the songs on it. We both still love it to this day, and I can remember getting so excited when they said "Charlotte, Carolina," because, hey! They were singing about my state!
And on a semi-related note, the band Alabama is from Fort Payne, which is where Bill's dad works, so we all went down two summers ago... So I've been to their hometown!

2. Please Come Home for Christmas - Jon Bon Jovi
Another JBJ song... I know you're not surprised, but this is a good one. I love this song, so of course I love his version. And if you're looking for another JBJ Christmas song, here's one that's not actually that good. But it is his first professional recording.

3. Elf's Lament - Barenaked Ladies and Michael Buble
I love BNL and I love Michael Buble, so why wouldn't I love this? I like that it's not traditional, and it makes me laugh. However, sadly, there is no video out there on the world wide web for this version, so the link is to a live recording by BNL. That just means you need to go download the real thing!

4. All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey
A classic. What girl doesn't love this song? I love to belt it out in the world's worst falsetto when I'm by myself in the car...

5. Jingle Bells - Frank Sinatra
This is my favorite version of Jingle Bells! My grandma loved Frank Sinatra, so it reminds me a little of her. Plus, I love to sing along with the "J-I-N-G-L-E  B-E-double L-S" part.

6. Love Came Down at Christmas - Jars of Clay
Jars of Clay is fabulous, and this song definitely shows that. It's a nice reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. It's not all stockings and ornaments, people! It's about love and our Savior, too!

7. Up On the Housetop - Jackson 5
Every time I hear this song, I think of my mom and I laughing hysterically whenever we hear Michael sing "Too late, Jermaine, he's bringing you mistletoe!"

8. Silver and Gold - Burl Ives
Burl Ives is the epitome of Christmas music to me. (well, and Bing Crosby, too). This is from my favorite Christmas movie, Rudolph! I even have the pajamas. But that's beside the point. This song rules. That's the point.

9. The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole
Another classic. It makes me long for Christmas Eve night!

10. Run Rudolph Run - Brian Setzer Orchestra
A little unconventional, maybe, but the Brian Setzer Orchestra is awesome. Both of their Christmas CDs are great! Bill and I listen to them a lot - big band type music is one category we are both always in the mood for. I want to have a Christmas party, just to play these CDs in the background.

So there you have it! Ten more Christmas songs everyone should know and love!

that darn dog part 2

This is what it looks like when Preston pees in the house. Maybe this is too gross to put on a blog, but seriously... The world needs to see this. He might be the only dog in the world that does this. Is it too much to ask him to just sit still while he does his business?!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Adventures in Dog Treat Land

Note: this is going to be a picture-filled post! Woohoo!

Anyways, my class tonight lasted barely an hour, and I found myself with a free evening ahead of me! No papers to write, Bill was gone, it was too cold/dark to take the boys on another walk... So what did I do, you wonder? I decided to try my hand at homemade dog treats.

I got this great little holiday cook book by the Bubba Rose company recently, because I had been wanting one and I had some Borders Bucks. 
My supplies for the foray into the world of dog treats. You can see the cute little book!
I decided on a recipe called Grandma's Apple Crisp... It actually sounded pretty good to me, despite being directed at dogs.

Ingredients: old-fashioned oats, unsweetened apple sauce, honey, cinnamon, an egg, and rice flour.
My favorite - honey! A heap of love's worth... aka a tablespoon.
The dough was a little tricky... it said to add water until it was doughy and stuck together. But then it was pretty wet, so I had to add flour when I rolled it out.
My kitchen ring holder! Now I never have to worry about losing a ring (again) while being messy in the kitchen.
As I was rolling out the dough and cutting out shapes, I realized I have a really bad baking habit... I like to sample my treats as I make them! This usually isn't so bad with cookie dough and cake icing, but this dog treat dough wasn't exactly delicious. And I will say this: the book came with a gingerbread man cookie cutter that was pretty crummy. It was much flimsier than my other cookie cutters that I used, so next time, I will just use the gingerbread man one I already own.

Ready to go into the oven! They looked pretty much the same after being cooked, so I'll spare you the photo I took of the cookies on wire racks cooling.
The book said to cook them 20-25 minutes, but I ended up cooking them about 30. They were still a little chewy on the inside, but Sensei and Preston love them! I don't have any pictures of them chowing down, mainly because they run away to eat their treats in their "spots." But Bill and I tried them, and I do have photos of that. They were made out of food we eat anyways, so we figured, why not?

I was *thisclose* into tricking Bill into thinking they were people cookies!
They were not as bad as my face makes them appear... I was just very nervous about eating a dog biscuit!

So there you have it. The cookies are now in a super-cute Santa cookie jar (Thanks Michelle! You gave it to me for Christmas about 100 years ago), with a few in a baggie to take to Teddy tomorrow (Carol at work's sweet dog!) I will definitely be trying some more of these recipes over my winter break... the recipes each make so many, but some involve peanut butter and cheese (not at the same time, though - separate recipes), which are two of my babies' favorite foods, so we'll definitely be giving those a shot!

Monday, November 29, 2010

that darn dog!

Preston peed in the house TWICE today! He was doing so well...

Tis the Season

I love everything about the Christmas season.

Ornaments. Trees. Cookies. Homemade bread. Smells. Candles. Cooking. Decorations. Lights. Snowmen. Santa Claus. Family. Friends. Wrapping paper. Ribbon. Sleeping. Time off from work. Spending lazy days with Bill. Traveling. Christmas carols. The fact that my ringtone is now "I Wish Every Day Could Be Like Christmas." Gingerbread men. Christmas movies. Watching the Grinch on Christmas Eve with my dad. Reindeer. My snowman watch. Snowflakes. Parties. Cold weather. Baking. Traditions. Cards. Elves. Parades. Glitter. Mistletoe. Hot chocolate. Giving (and getting, I admit) gifts. The Holiday Market with my mom. Stockings. And of course, Jesus - He is the "reason for the season," after all.

So, to kick off the season right, I'm going to share ten of my favorite Christmas songs... (these are not my top ten, mind you, just ten of my favorite... I could never narrow it down!) Some are traditional, some not, but these are songs of the season that I think everyone should know! They're probably all available on iTunes or Amazon MP3, but I've posted links to youtube, so you can hear them for free!

1. I Wish Everyday Could Be Like Christmas - Bon Jovi
Christmas music (one of my favorite things) + Jon Bon Jovi (another one of my favorite things) = best song ever.

2. O Holy Night - Pretty much any version. But Faith Hill's is especially great.
Love, love, love this song. It's not the upbeat kind of Christmas song I usually enjoy, but this one just gets me.

3. Another Christmas Song - Stephen Colbert
I dare you not to laugh.

4. Santa Claus is Coming to Town - Bruce Springsteen 
(Fast forward to about 1:30 to start) This has always been one of my favorites... they play it on most radio stations I listen to, even the ones that don't play holiday music 24/7, so it's always exciting to hear!

5. What Christmas Means to Me - Hanson
Don't judge! A lot of people love Hanson's Christmas CD, right Lisa?

6. Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley
My mother is a huge Elvis fan, so this always reminds me of Christmases growing up... Plus, the song is from (not this version, of course) "The Year Without A Santa Claus," which is one of my favorite classic Christmas movies!

7. White Christmas - Bing Crosby
Love this song, love this movie.

8. It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas - Johnny Mathis
This song just screams "Christmas" to me! I love hearing it for the first time each year.

9. You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch - Thurl Ravenscroft
My dad and I watch this movie every Christmas Eve night (the original cartoon one, not the live action version with Jim Carrey).

10. Little Saint Nick - The Beach Boys
Just a cheery little Christmas song... even though it's sung by the Beach Boys, it makes me think of snow!


There you have it! 10 of my favorite Christmas songs... I'll probably post version 2.0 of this list later to share some other favorites... I am just so happy the holiday season has arrived!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I hope this doesn't jinx me...

but Preston has not peed in the house FOR A WEEK. Really! He hasn't had an accident since last Sunday! Maybe all I had to do was blog about it for the problem to go away.

And if that's the case, I really don't want to write my belief statement for my assessment and planning class... (come on, blogger, make my paper write itself!)

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Bill and I had three Thanksgiving dinners, plus some other great homemade meals on a smaller sale, so needless to say, we were stuffed for about 72 hours straight. But it was awesome. We got to see our families and spend some relaxing time together, without stressing about all the work we need to get done. And we even started our Christmas decorating! My favorite time of year has officially begun!  Hopefully we'll get our tree this week...

And of course, it's not a good post without some pictures, so here we go!

The doggies loving on Ruby... this picture cracks me up!

Bill and our niece in her NC State outfit... as much as I hate to admit it, she was adorable in it!

Preston - laughing!

See all the dirt? Sensei has recently discovered the joy of digging.
So that's it for now... I have a feeling that blogger isn't going to solve the problem of my homework, so I'm off to attempt it myself. Happy start-of-the-Christmas-season!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

This is it.

The post you've all been waiting for!

Today, I am thankful for Bill. For anyone new to the blog, Bill is my husband of 2 months and six days. Of course, we dated for more than five years before tying the knot, but who's counting? We dated long distance for the majority of our relationship (first, he was finishing school at NC State, then I went off to Furman and then UNC when he had moved back home after graduating). But now we are together in the same town, and we see each other more than once every two weeks. In fact, we see each other every day - it's awesome! We're also the proud parents of these two guys.

Anyways, I am very thankful to have found Bill. We have been through a lot, and we're still alive and well. Obviously life together is not 100% perfect all the time (but it's pretty great!), but there's a lot of love in our house no matter what. We've also been blessed with some of the world's most amazing parents, siblings, and friends. It's pretty amazing to have each other and such a large support system with us. Seriously. I am very lucky to have not only Bill, but his family, in my life. And I think he'd say the same about mine.

But that's not the topic of this post. No, I am just telling you about Bill. He is wonderful. He takes out the trash. He likes nerdy things. He'll listen to me talk all day long about nothing. He hides fake spiders in the shower and thinks it's funny. He thinks I'm funny. He takes long walks with me and the dogs. He will sometimes listen to Bon Jovi in the car without complaining. He hangs things on the walls so they're level. He introduced me to Dr. Horrible. He makes killer sweet tea. He falls asleep on the couch next to me while I'm typing this. (Let's be honest, he falls asleep next to me all the time, no matter where he's sitting. My dad said once that it was a good thing you stand up when you get married, or Bill might have fallen asleep!) He gets up early to let the dogs out. He closes the door to our tiny bathroom after he takes a shower in the morning so that it stays warm until I get in. He watches Castle with me, and sometimes even DWTS! He gives great hugs. He makes me do nerd things, and I usually end up liking them. He will watch Boondock Saints with me a million times. He dances with me in the kitchen - usually not romantic, but slightly spastic so I die laughing. He is so smart, I don't understand his job at all. He is a hard worker. He hides in the basement man cave when I am hanging out with my girl friends in the house. He is great with kids. He is nice to everyone. He is cute. See?


I don't have time to post enough pictures to do the hubster and my love for him justice, so I will just leave you with this one. Hopefully after Thanksgiving festivities have died down (and I'm able to move again after all that delicious food we'll be eating!), I will take the time to put together an appropriate photog journey of our relationship so far.

So thank you, Bill, for being the most loving, compassionate, funny, smart, smart-aleck, down-to-earth, patient, sweet, good-looking guy I know. And thanks for marrying me - you're the best!
I didn't mention this yesterday, but I am SO thankful for something that happened last week.

Remember my pal Melissa?

And how she was being brave, and moving to Korea to teach English?

Well, last week, right before she was set to leave (FOR A YEAR), she decided not to. Which I think is even more brave! She was having some bad feelings about it, and she decided to follow her instincts, and call it off.

Well, thank God she did...

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/24/world/asia/24korea.html?_r=1&src=mv

Melissa was supposed to be teaching just nine miles outside of Seoul. I'm so thankful that she is not over there in the midst of this right now.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bon Jovi



Today, I am thankful for Bon Jovi. For the nine concerts, 392 items on my iTunes, countless DVDs and VHS recordings (that's right, I loved them back in the era of VCRs), numerous t-shirts and posters, 2 Christmas ornaments, the solo albums, the 11 studio albums, one box set, one live album, and two greatest hits compilations. Anyone who knows me will tell you of my love, and I'm not ashamed. I love love love them, and I am super thankful that they exist!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Bro.

Today, I am thankful for my not-so-little little brother. It was very strange coming home from college one weekend freshman year to find him taller than me all of a sudden! Paul is a sophomore this year, and he is a manger for his university's basketball team. I am SO proud of him for what he's done, and what he's trying to become. We may not have always been the best of friends - to be truthful, we spent a large part of our childhood's trying to annoy the other - but we are now! We've experienced a lot together: the vacation from hell, high school, going away to college, holidays, road trips, that time he made me watch Jackass: The Movie, staying up late to watch Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reruns all night long together, the one day of the year when Paul gets up before me so he can wake me up for Christmas, concerts, TIMBER, dealing with our parents (Sheldon?), endless afternoons on youtube, frisbee afternoons at the park, basketball/football games, duets in the car, AND SO MUCH MORE. Here is a quick look at our 19.5 years of being brother and sister.

One of our first pictures together. Obviously, I wasn't too happy about the loss of my only-child status.
Proof he was cute at some point in his life. Just kidding, Paul!

Cheesin' with the pound puppies.
Our best gorilla faces - love the jorts.
Paul's "WTF" face, from our horrible day at Gettysburg that fateful summer.
Modeling some of Mom's old glasses- so stylish!
The day Bill and I got engaged.... I think Paul might love him more than he loves me!
Happy graduation! I can't believe you did it - hahaha
The best $1 we ever spent.
Sensei loves him, so you know he must be alright.
One of my favorite pictures from the wedding!
So thanks for all the good times, Luap... I'm proud to be your big sis, I love you!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tar Heel bred.

Ladies and gentlemen, today I am thankful for the world's greatest, and the nation's first, public university. That's right. I am thankful for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I was raised ABC (Anybody But Carolina), and while some ignorant members of my family still feel that way - cough, PAUL, cough - I eventually saw the light, and can say that I am truly a Tar Heel for life. All it took was one day on that beautiful campus and my heart was won.

Now, let's ignore the fact that we lost in football (to State, ugh! No offense to the husband, of course) and in basketball twice this weekend. No, instead, let's focus on some of my happier memories from this fine university (in no particular order).

Winning the 2009 NCAA Championship!

Jumping my first bonfire on Franklin Street...

Taking 1,000 pictures holding the "#1" sign in the air with every person on Franklin Street all night when we won aforementioned championship!

Being in close proximity to Roy multiple times. Adopt me, please!

Front row risers at the UNC - NC State basketball game last year... I circled my face for proof.

Looking up at those beautiful SIX banners.

Wasting time at Late Night With Roy

Graduation photoshoots.

Graduation day! So bittersweet, but it was an exciting time.

Obviously, a lot of my favorite memories occurred in the Dean Dome. Here I am, celebrating 100 Years of Carolina Basketball with my bff. Of course it snowed that night while we were inside the Smith Center, so we had a fun photoshoot around campus afterwards!

Finally winning tickets to a Duke game! (Sorry it is sideways, I'm too tired to fix it right now!)

Despite the face, I really did enjoy living with Blanket those two years...

This is from Fall Retreat with Campus Crusade my first year at UNC. It was an amazing weekend, where I first got to spend time with some girls who turned out to be some of my closest friends from Carolina!

In fact, it's where this girl and I first bonded. This photo captures a fun night we had camping at Jordan Lake - that was a great weekend!

Agh, why are all these sideways!? Another favorite memory: 80s parties at Cat's Cradle, where I met my twin.

Meeting this girl is another favorite memory from UNC, despite the fact that we grew close from spending 10 hours a week in a cell in the psychology building. And of course, I enjoyed the free champagne glasses from this particular night!

Bill didn't go to UNC with me, but it feels unfair to not include him in this array of memories. 
So there you have it. A quick look at my three years at Carolina. While I'm sad I didn't have 4 years like most everyone else, it was still an amazing time. (And of course, I left Furman with some great friends - E, L, and A - so it wasn't completely worthless)

Hark the sound of Tar Heel voices
Ringing clear and true.
Singing Carolina's praises.
Shouting N-C-U.
N-C-U !

Hail to the brightest star of all
Clear its radiance shine
Carolina priceless gem.
Receive all praises thine.

 I'm a Tar Heel born
I'm a Tar Heel bred
And when I die
I'm a Tar Heel dead.
So it's Rah, Rah, Car'lina-lina
Rah, Rah, Car'lina-lina
Rah, Rah, Car'lina-lina
Go to hell, Duke.