Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy 2009!

Happy New Year! I can't believe another year is over. 2008 really flew by. So much happened this past year for us. It was a very good year! Hopefully tomorrow I'll have time to post a year-ender photo album. I had a lot of fun with that last year. (Thanks RB and LK for the idea!) 

I'm not sure if I have any resolutions this year... I'll have to think about it. Eat healthier? Be nicer to people? Save more money? Exercise? Blog more? Hmmmm.... Anyone else making any resolutions?? 

Happy 2009!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Family Portrait Day

The Hayden Brothers were all in town at the same time, and all the kids were here too. So Paula & Gary thought it would be fun (or was it just Paula's idea?) to go to Sears for a big family portrait. Here is one of the pictures of the whole crew. Little Kelly in the bottom row middle was very squirmy, so the rest of us had to stay perfectly still, smile and stare at the camera while they waited for her to look and smile. This was quite the feat for the 2 young, um, well-endowed female photographers.... at least the boys had no problem keeping their focus...

After the photo shoot, we came back to our house for a pizza party. Greg, Diane and their kids hadn't seen our new house yet, so it was nice they were able to visit. And we all know how I love to entertain... Here are some photos from the day. There are no behind-the-scenes pictures of the photo shoot because I was scolded for trying to take pictures... but the rest of the day is very well documented. Enjoy!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The 2008 Meme

Here's a fun "meme" I received. I'll spare all my friends and not email it to them and expect them to email it back... but if you do want to send it to me all filled out, I'd love to read them! Just copy and paste into an email and change the answers to your own. Or post it to your blog...


1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
I got married... in a courthouse!

2. Did you keep your New Years' resolutions and will you make more for next year?
I don't remember my resolutions from last year... perhaps that will be part of my resolutions for next year. To remember what they are!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Eight (8) co-workers had children this year. Isn't that insane! And don't worry, I'm not drinking the water...

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thank goodness.

5. What countries did you visit?
Just this one. Our travels were limited this year.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
A nice long vacation that doesn't involve moving trucks.

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
July 31st. My wedding date.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Co-ordinating the sale of our townhouses and the purchase/move to our new house. Phew!!

9. What was your biggest failure?
Nothing major stands out.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Thankfully, no.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A new house!

12. Where did most of your money go?
See question #11.

13. What did you get really, really excited about?
Marrying Eric, of course!

14. What song will always remind you of 2008?
That Flow-Rida "Low" song... "Apple Bottom Jeans... and the boots with the fur." When Alex and I drove to Cleveland in April to see the Red Sox play, it was on the radio constantly. Whenever I hear it now, I think of that trip.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you: Happier or sadder? Thinner or fatter? Richer or poorer?
Happier. The exact same. Richer. (Only because it's combined now!)

16. What do you wish you'd done more of?

17. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Stressed out about silly things.

18. How will you be spending New Years Eve?
Not sure yet... perhaps just enjoying our new home, watching Dick Clark... or is it Ryan Seacrest now?... Or maybe we'll get to go to Meghan MacMurphy's!

19. Did you fall in love in 2008?
I was already in love...

20. What was your favorite TV program?
I re-discovered HGTV. And my favorite show this year was definitely "House Hunters".

21. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Hate? No... I don't hate anyone.

22. What was the best book you read?
I just read 2 fun Carol Higgins Clark books... I love the "Regan Riley" mysteries.

23. What was your favorite film of this year?

24. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
We went out to eat at Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse... and I turned *gasp* 40.

25. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I think I had a very good year!

26. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

27. What kept you sane?
Kept me sane? That would mean I was sane to begin with!! Ah ha ha ha ha ha....

28. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I don't think I really fancied any public figures or celebrities. Although what Michael Phelps did at the Olympics was very cool.

29.. What political issue stirred you the most?
Nothing really stirred me, they just annoyed me. There was way too much politic-ing this year!!

30. Who was the best new person you met?
Hmm. Did I meet anyone new this year? I didn't get out much.

31. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
Chill out!

32. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"We got the beat..."

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Merry Christmas... I'm coming to you from my new laptop! Santa was verrrrry good to me this year!! I must have been a very good girl...

So far Christmas has been lots of fun. And we're only half way through the day. We're getting ready to go to Sheila's house for a nice Christmas dinner. And speaking of dinners, last night we went to Yvette's house for a nice Christmas Eve dinner. (Yvette is Eric's ex-wife - Kelsey's mom.) Click here to the see photos.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas! I'll post today's photos sometime tomorrow...

* * * Update! * * *
Click here to see photos from Christmas Day....

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve!

I really meant to update this in the last few days. Time is sure passes by quickly! Lots going on getting ready for Christmas. I mentioned last time that I was going to post some photos from around the house. I fully intended on getting to that the last few days, but obviously failed miserably. Well, for what it is, here goes the rest of the house tour.

This is a cute ornament we got for Jenny this year. Since we got one for the 4 of us, we didn't want her to feel left out. She had some assistance hanging it on the tree.

This is the outside of the house. I only put up a couple of wreaths this year for decorations outside. Next year, maybe I'll get daring and throw up some lights. The snow was a natural occurrence, not a decoration from me... (Hey, I used "occurrence" in a sentence and I even spelled it right!)

This is my favorite Nutcracker guy. Standing tall overseeing the festivities. Well, at this point he's just waiting for them to begin. He's been waiting for awhile now!

This funny looking Santa was a gift several years ago from a Secret Santa gift exchange. I think he's neat. He sits at the bottom of the stairs next to a Poinsettia. He reminds us of the Davey Jones character from Pirates of the Caribbean. The one with the crazy snake type creatures coming out of his face.

Since we don't have a chimney, fireplace or mantle... this seemed like a fun place to put all the stockings. Kelsey's stocking is the gigantic one with the green top. Alex has the next biggest one on the far left. Eric and I have the "small" ones in the middle. And no, the giant stockings do not get filled all the way. Just because there's more room, doesn't necessarily mean they get more stuff!

I have no idea where this little snowman came from. But he's sweet and I like his big red heart. He's in the dining room with the red candles and centerpiece.

And that's about it! I sincerely hope that everyone has a wonderful Christmas and is able to spend time with family and loved ones. And I hope Santa is good everyone!

Friday, December 19, 2008

I. Hate. Snow.

It's true. I don't like snow. I don't like winter either. Or cold weather for that matter. But here I am, in one of the snowiest parts of the country. And I'm never moving again. So it's a necessary evil that I must endure each year. It's beautiful and warm here for about 5 months a year. Then it goes downhill fast. It's not even officially winter yet and we've had almost 50" of snow already.

I do love the holidays though, and I don't mind looking out the window and seeing the snow. I just don't like being out in it or driving in it. So while I'm inside, watching it snow outside, I like to enjoy the holiday decorations around the house. I've shown some photos of the gigantic tree, but over the next few days, I'm going to post a few various photos of some other decorations around the house. Kind of a fun Holiday House tour. The kind where you don't have to leave your house!

This is an ornament that our friend Beebs gave us. I just love it! On the other side it says "First Christmas In Our New Home". Very sweet!

And this is my new favorite Santa. I got him at a 90% off sale last year at Jo-Ann Fabrics after Christmas. I think it was under $2. I had forgotten I got him until I opened the boxes of decorations this year.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Disappointing Occurrence

That's o-c-c-u-r-r-e-n-c-e. Occurrence. Could you have spelled that correctly without looking? Would knowing the origin of the word helped? Or the definition? Well, it wouldn't have helped me. And I guess it didn't help Alex either. He had made it to the finals of his Middle School's Spelling Bee. He was in the Top 12 for the whole school. And the Top 3 get to go to the Post Standard Spelling Bee (which is incidentally aired on Eric's station....) Well, Alex came in 4th place. Needless to say, he was VERY disappointed. But... there's always next year. He's only in 7th grade. 2 of the top 3 finishers were in 8th grade. So odds are good for next year. We'll start studying tomorrow. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Office Party

Eric's company Christmas Party was last evening. It was at Coleman's Irish Pub. The food was wonderful and everyone got a free drink coupon. If you dared to do Karaoke, you would have received another. Not many folks lined up for that, but there was a very humorous performance of Meatloaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light." 

Eric tried to enter Coleman's through the Leprechaun door.

Eric and I. With Eric being silly, as usual.

Our table-mates, Dave and Rae. Dave works with Eric. And I used to work with Rae over at Channel 5. (She's now at Ch. 3.) Small world.

There were many items raffled off by Bob, the President. Prizes varying from show tickets, restaurant gift certificates, mystery packages... 

... and this baking set, complete with hot pads, kitchen towels, oatmeal cookie mix and a Moose cookie cutter. Of which I was the lucky winner. I think I'll be baking some oatmeal cookies soon. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My 2 Cents

The Obesity Tax? What will they come up with next?? This is truly one of the dumbest things I've ever heard. And you know what? It will probably pass. Our wonderful governor (well, I guess he is a little better than the other one...) is proposing that they put a 15% tax on non-diet soda. How ridiculous is that? What about candy bars or Big Macs or triple cheeseburgers and ice cream cones or cheese cake or french fries... the list is endless. I'm disgusted by this and will never buy another soda, diet or non-diet, ever again once this tax goes into effect. Of course, then the soda companies will go bankrupt and need a bailout... but that's a post for another day... 

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Party on a Saturday Night

Eric and I went to MariRae's house last night for her almost-annual Creative Media Soiree. Eric worked for MariRae years ago and they still remain friends. MariRae is a real estate agent now and helped us this summer when we sold our townhouses and bought our new home.

She has a spectacular home and it's decorated so nicely for Christmas. We had a cocktail hour (well, hours) and she made the most wonderful Lemon Chicken for dinner. It was such a nice time. And after dinner, we did a fun gift exchange. Here are the photos from the evening.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Heavy Weight err... Light Weight Champ

Alex and Eric had a Wii Boxing match last night. Eric had never played before, but he got into it pretty quickly.

And he was very excited that he won that round!

Although, in the end it was best 2 out of 3... and Alex won two rounds, Eric won one. So Alex was the champion in the end. (And that does say K-O on the TV screen, not backwards K-O... it was in the process of flipping around when I snapped the photo.) For the record, I played a match earlier and won 2 out of 3 against "The Champ". But sadly, there is no photographic proof.

Friday, December 12, 2008


I had the day off today and the new kitchen countertops and sink were installed. And wow. I'm in love!! They look gorgeous. What a difference...

Here is the "before" image. This was taken about a week or two after we moved in, before we painted. I think the difference is very dramatic, and the only differences are the wall color, the countertops and the sink. It's like a whole new kitchen!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Over-due Blog Update

Sorry, everyone! Boy have I been bad about updating this thing. I think I'll just do an over-view of what's been going on around the Hayden House and beyond...

1. On Sunday we had a pizza dinner (during a blizzard of course) with Gary, Paula, Sheila and the kids. For some reason I didn't take a single picture. That's not like me! We had a very nice time though... and Alex is certainly looking forward to having you all come back soon so Laura can play with his Wii again. (Sorry, Paula... that was too funny!)

2. I have Friday off this week and that's the day we're getting our new kitchen counters! I can't wait. They were supposed to be done the day after Thanksgiving, but they arrived with damage, so we had to reschedule.

3. I won $100! I never win anything. But for once luck was on my side. You can read all about it here. I always liked the Amazing Race. If there was one reality show that I could do, that would be the one.

4. Syracuse China is shutting down. So very sad. I will have to visit them and buy some things before they are "Made in China".

5. Speaking of sad, there were several layoffs at my old TV station in NH this past week. My thoughts are with those who were let go. When is all this economic trouble going to turn around??

6. There are a few fun Christmas parties coming up this next week. Saturday is MariRae's dinner party and Beeb's is having a party too. Then on Tuesday it is Eric's company Holiday party. Those are always a fun time! And it's at Coleman's Irish Pub this year. That alone means it will be fun! And I probably should have taken the next day off...

7. 2 weeks from tomorrow is Christmas! The house is decorated, the gifts have been purchased, the cards were mailed out today. I still need to wrap gifts, and maybe make some more cookies... but other than that, we're ready!

8. I haven't talked much about Jenny lately. She's into chewing things again. I have no idea why. Lately, it's the curtain in the front window. Thankfully, it came with the house, I hate it and just haven't gotten around to replacing it yet. However, when she's been chewing it apart, she's also managed to either chew, eat, swallow, hide (?) the metal washers that are in the lower corners of the curtain that weigh it down. I was going to take the metal detector to her stomach, but I couldn't find it. She seems to be digesting well, and things are still um, flowing normally, so we're hoping that no permanent damage has been done. Well, to her anyway. The poor curtain is toast.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Decking the Halls

We had a fun-filled family decorating night last night when we decorated our giant tree. We listened to Christmas music and took turns climbing the ladder to reach the higher branches

Surprisingly, between the two of us, we had more than enough decorations for the 9' tree.

Even Eric had to use the ladder.

Green-eyed Jenny and the beautiful tree. She's not sure what to make of the new tree, but seems to be ignoring it for the most part. We're hoping we don't come home some day and find the tree on top of her.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Ha ha ha ha ha!!

Normally I don't really comment on news and current events much, but this needs a mention. So, where you were for the first verdict 13 years ago? I was in Lexington, KY. Standing in the tape room of the TV station where I was working. There were a few of us in the room watching a small tv on the wall. We all just stood there, stunned when he was found not-guilty. Well, what goes around, comes around. Catch you later, OJ! 

Thursday, December 4, 2008

White vs. Multi-Colored

I admit it, I consider myself a Christmas Tree light snob. I only like white lights on my tree. I don't know why or where it started. I just think they look nice, maybe even a little classy. Not that there's anything wrong with the multi-colored lights, they just aren't my thing. Well, after much debating, well a little bit of debating and a lot of giving in on my part, I am allowing multi-colored lights on our tree this year. I still think that 9' tree would look amazing with white lights, red beaded garland and my cute red bows scattered about the many branches. But this year we're going to have the multi-colored lights and lots of silver beaded garland adorn our tree. We put the lights up last night and are planning to decorate the tree tomorrow night. I'll be sure to take lots of photos. And who knows, maybe I will change my mind about the multi-colored lights once it's complete.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Fun, Old Fashioned Griswold Family Christmas

We've been tree shopping for a few days. Nothing really struck our fancy. They were either too expensive or too cheap. That is, until today. We went to Lowe's. They were having a 50% off sale on all their Christmas decorations, including trees. We spotted this big ol' 9 foot tree and our eyes lit up. And at 50% off, it was a good deal too. We knew those high ceilings in the living room were good for something! So we brought it home and set it up. It looked much smaller in the store. Boy... 9 feet is really high! But we love it!! I'm not sure who's going to put the star on top though...

This is where we decided to put the tree. It's not decorated yet, we'll do that this weekend. We still need to add lights too.

We also got a personalized ornament to go on our first tree in the new house. It'll be the first ornament to go on the giant tree. I think we're gearing up for a fun, old fashioned Griswold... errr... Hayden Family Christmas!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Eric Makes a Pie

It's a cheese cake type instant pudding pie in a graham cracker crust. He put 3 cups of milk in a bowl with the mix and used the electric mixer to whip it together. It sat for an hour in the fridge. I put a dollop of whipped cream on top and then we ate it. And that was our excitement for the evening.