Saturday, December 29, 2007

Do you wanna be on top....

To my surprise (and excitement), starting on Monday, VH1 will be having a ANTM marathon. That's nothing out of the ordinary because they always show marathons. The great thing is that they're starting from the beginning. That's right. They are showing cycles 1-9 and the marathon's going to last the whole week.

I'm sure most people could care less, but Em and I have seen all of the cycles and talk about it often. I've been trying to call her to share the news, but haven't been able to get ahold of her.

**Emily, where are you? Is this not exciting???***

Friday, December 28, 2007

P.S. I Love You

Em, Jen, and I went to see P.S. I Love You yesterday. I am no movie critic and I'm not going to pretend to be one. However, I will tell you this, I cried through 50% of the movie. It is very sad and emotional.

Jen did not like the movie because she said it was too depressing (she didn't know her husband died), I happened to like it even though I cried through all of it. I guess I saw some reality to the characters' relationship. It made me think of what I would do if something were to happen to Mark. Now, that may not sound very good to you, but I still liked it.

FYI, it's not a romantic comedy. It's got funny parts, but I wouldn't say it was a comedy. Holly (Hilary Swank) has 2 best friends (played by Gina Gershon and Lisa Kudrow) and their friendship was funny and reminded me of Em and Jen. I also LOVED Gerard Butler! I thought Harry Connick Jr. was just awkward.

I'm not going to tell you to see it or not (I don't want that pressure), but I liked it. There, that's my verdict.

Mad Anthony shout out

Last night we went to see my brother's band play at Busters downtown. My brother is an amazing drummer and his band did very well last night. I'm glad I got to see them play.

Make sure you check out his band Mad Anthony. I think they even have a new song up.

After Christmas Party 2007

As to be expected, the After Christmas Party was a lot of fun this year. Jen graciously hosted the party once again and good times were had by all. There was a little bit of everything. We had some great food, some wine, dancing, Catchphrase, a game of Spoons (I was bruised badly), and we ended the night with Scattegories (where Tim and Jen cheated horribly). There was even a visit from Santa!

As always, here's the pics.

If you weren't able to make this year's party, mark your calendar for next year.

Always fun!

A Genius Gift

As many of you know, I work at Williams-Sonoma for the holiday season as I have done for the last 5 or 6 years. This year, I found my favorite item yet. I bought one for Em, Jen, and myself.
These are called Cup-A-Cakes. You can pack a cupcake with you for lunch without losing all of your frosting. Genius!

You can find them here.

Christmas 2007

Well, it's official....this year's Christmas was great!

I had a wonderful time spending quality time with family and friends this year. Christmas is my favorite time of the year and this year was not a disappointment.

In two out of the three families this year, we decided that we were just going to write our name and a list of things we would like for Christmas this year. Everyone put their card in a hat and we drew names one by one. We set a $ limit and went shopping based on what the person asked for. It takes off so much stress and I just love it! I'd recommend it to any family.

Christmas happened so fast that it didn't give me time to reflect on the wonderful gifts I was given this year. This is by no means for me to gloat, I just wanted to be thankful for the amazing things that were given to me that I by no means deserve. I can't list everything because that would take too much time so I'll hit the highlights (and they are in particular order).

In November, Jen took me to see Paula Deen in Louisville. We had AMAZING seats and we had such a full night of adventure. I had a blast with her and it was a perfect gift!!!

Mark's mom had my name this year and got me a gift certificate for a massage!!! I'm gonna cash that in as soon as possible! (Little known fact...I have never gone to get a massage before).
Mark gave me the money to go pick out a Kitchen Aid mixer of my choice. I told him not to get me anything, but he did anyway. He had been saving to get me one because he knows how long I've had my eye on a mixer! This is the one I'm gonna get.
My mom had my name this year and got me The Office Season 3. I love it and have already enjoyed reliving episodes. As a bonus, there's a gag real, over 3 hours of deleted scenes, and a Dwight Schrute music video.

Bengals stuff. I got A LOT of it. And you better believe I loved every bit of it. I got socks, pajama pants, a new sweatshirt, a hat, a blanket (from one of my students) and even a snowman decked out in Bengals gear (we named him T.J.). I thought about wearing each item all at once, but decided against it. It was fabulous even if the Bengals' record this year is not.
And finally, from Mark, Em, and Chris I received one of the best weekends of my life. As previously blogged, we went to Natural Bridge for the weekend and we had a great time! It was a great time to be around people I truly love and I think that's one of the greatest parts of Christmas.

As I said, I got talk about everything I got, but that would take forever. I'm grateful for everything down to the cheese spreaders I got. I am so thankful for such wonderful friends and family and most importantly, a Savior that came to this earth for us. Without Him, this holiday would be empty and meaningless.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

He he he

This is a Postsecret that I found this week....

The other day, on Man O' War, I had Mark do this to a girl that was riding our tail the entire time.

Ok, I know this was probably not the nicest thing, but if you've ever been on Man O' War, you know that there was no where we could have possibly gone. We were in the middle of Christmas Eve traffic and she was being ridiculous. In my defense, there's a lot of other things we could have done that would've been much worse.

For the record, the Postsecret is correct. I felt totally satisfied.

Feliz Navidad a todo!

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!

We had a relaxing Christmas that was very enjoyable. It was great to be with family and just have a good time. We spend Christmas Eve with Mark's mom, Christmas early morning with each other, Christmas morning with my parents, then Christmas evening with Mark's dad.

It's hard to believe Christmas has come and gone once again. That can only mean one thing.....

...the Annual After-Christmas Party!!!!

Tonight is the night of the Annual After-Christmas party at Jen's. Should be lots of fun.

I will post about the party and some more about Christmas tomorrow when I have some free time.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas to Us!

This year, Em proposed the idea of enjoying a cabin for a weekend as a Christmas gift to our boys. Mark and I love to spend time away, especially enjoying a cabin, so we thought this would be a pefect Christmas gift to each other. We went to Natural Bridge 5 Star Cabins and stayed in Rocky Top (yes, Mark stayed despite the name, but we vowed to bring a sign that says "Big Blue Cabin" next year to cover up the name). We had a FABULOUS time. Honestly, it was of the funnest weekends I've ever had!

First, we packed everything into my tiny Corolla...

Upon arrival, the sign told us everything we needed to know for the weekend... After a night of hot tub and fun, we hiked at Natural Bridge for about 4 hours. Here's all of us at a cave...
Em and Chris in Fat Man's Misery as we got closer to the Bridge...
Every sign that said "Keep Off" was basically an inviation to Mark and Chris to enjoy.
Em and I sitting at the top of Natural Bridge looking down.
All 4 of us at what we thought was Lover's Leap overlooking Natural Bridge (in the background). It turned out to be just a ledge that was part of Laurel Ridge.
We came to a very muddy path on Laurel Ridge from all the rain the day before. Em and Chris were our guides and came up with a great way to avoid mud piles. (On the way back, we just walked right through them). Mark showing his best ANTM pose as he climbed a tree....

My view down Devil's Gulch.

Chris and Mark balancing the Balanced Rock.

Mark and I at Lover's Leap. This is one of my favorite pictures of the weekend!

It was so nice to get away from all of the Christmas busy hustle and bustle and really enjoy each other for Christmas. At church, they've talked about "rethinking Christmas" and I think we really got to do that this year. This was our gift to each other and it was so much more wonderful than any trinket that could be bought at a store.

We had perfect weather and perfect company! We hope to make this an annual tradition together!

Friday, December 21, 2007

YWV Christmas Reunion

Last night, Cameron graciously hosted my old Bible study girls in her new home for a Christmas reunion. Every year we all get together for a Christmas party, but last year I was unable to make it. These girls were such a big part of senior year of h.s./freshman year of college and really helped throughout the transition.

A few girls were unable to make it this year, but I did get to catch up with many of them. Sara Peyton now has 3 beautiful children (6, 4, and 1 year old) and works one night a week at a bookstore, Angie quit her job and went back to school for dental hygiene (big step) and started a new job at the new store Bluegrass Bride, Leslie is married and waiting to hear about an internship, Alden is recently engaged and going through the whole wedding process in Virginia, her sister Laura is loving college at UK and is staying busy, Emily is married and getting ready to move to Vegas with her husband who got a job at a church there, and Cameron has a new home that's beautiful and has gone back to school to UK at the College of Education.

I was so happy and was excited to receive some new socks in the sock exchange that we did(thanks Emily!). I hope the girls who couldn't be there are all doing well!

Leslie, Emily, Angie, Sara, Me, Cameron, Mary Allison, Laura
at my wedding.

Bake Night 2007, pt. 1

As stated in the previous post, I was doing some extensive baking on Monday night. Instead of buying everyone I work with a meaningless gift, I decided I wanted to carry on a tradition done in the Durick household throughout my childhood, baking various treats and delivering them in tins to friends and family.

Overall, this is very cost efficient and I absolutely love to bake so I recruited Em to help me for the night as we baked and baked and baked. We got a late start, but got a LOT done in a short time.

Me baking fudge. I look TIRED!

The results. Peanut butter fudge, regular fudge, and toffee fudge. Yum!

Em was baking up a storm, but in this pic she's picking up my slack by cleaning the dishes. She's amazing!

I think the favorite of the night....peanut butter blossoms!

There's some brownies in the background as well.

Em and I decided these are 2 essentials to a good baking night.

My Russian army or "Natasha Balls" aka Russian Tea Cakes.
(Durick tradition. I'm surprised to hear how many people have never had these!)


In all, we made apple nut bread, brownies, PB blossoms, 3 types of fudge, Cranberry cookies (a bust), Russian Tea Cakes, and chocolate covered pretzels in 4 hours!

P.S. We're pretty awesome!

One Century Down....

On December 17th, my Great-Grandma turned 100 years old!

I'm aware that this blog is a few days late, but it's better late than never.

Unfortunately, my Grandma Dorse was in the hospital on her birthday due to breaking her hip only 1 1/2 weeks before her actual birthday. We were supposed to have a big party, but she was recovering from her surgery. I'm glad to say she has gone back home and is recovering well.

My Grandma Dorse is BY FAR the most resilient person I have EVER met. I don't know how she does it, but she's tough!

Can you imagine living 100 years? She was born in 1907 which means she's been through both World Wars, the Korean War, Vietnam War, Roaring 20s, The Great Depression, Civil Rights Movements.....she's seen a lot!

Without further ado,
Here's Grandma making 100 look easy with my Uncle Scott.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Much Needed Break

As of yesterday at 3:30 (it would have been 3:00 if one of my students had gotten on the bus), I am officially off work for 2 weeks!

This is a GREAT perk to being a teacher!

Em is finishing up today (she's done by now) and will be joining me in pure bliss until January 2nd!

Imagine. 14 full days free of this...

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my kids. But if you had 25 kids needing your undivided attention for 7 hours a day, you'd like a break too!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Retail Therapy

Overall, my day was pretty tough yesterday. I was very frustrated with some stuff going on and I was in the need of some retail therapy.

Jen, Em, and I went shopping. We went to find some trinkets at Jo-Ann's and Deals for our classrooms (minus Jen) and then, stupidly, went to the mall.

We all loathe the mall on Saturdays because of the out-of-county shoppers that invade the mall (granted I know I live in Scott Co., but I'm a Fayette Co. native originally).

This is basically what the trip entailed: Us avoiding those incessant kiosk sellers, doing a small amount of browsing, standing in line FOREVER for food, Em on the verge of roundhousing everyone in a 10 yard vicinty of her, me venting my frustration about a man next to me in line only to see that he was sitting at the table next to me and heard the whole thing (lesson learned), and running into Scott and Lea Morgan on the way out (as well as their friend who was on the interviewing committee of a job I didn't get...twice. Awkward!)

We spent the rest of night becoming frustrated with the Bengals, watching the same episode of Jon & Kate Plus 8, watching a marathon of ANTM, and introducing The Sweetest Thing to Jen.

I love my girls and the day would have been much more difficult (and uneventful) without them.

Christmas Revenge

Every year, Mark's family has a Christmas party with a gift exchange. This is just supposed to be a $10 gift. Now, it's not supposed to white elephant. Every year, I spend all of this time agonizing over the perfect gift to bring that I think anyone would enjoy/appreciate. Every year, no one really likes my gift and I go home with something that I don't enjoy/want. So....this year, I brought this as a gift...
That's right, the Ultimate Origami Set complete with an illustrated book and 200 pieces of paper for all of your folding needs. This can be purchased at Waldenbooks for the low, low price of $9.99.

What a steal!

This year, I got....

....a fondue pot!

I actually wanted this. I was so glad no one else wanted it. But we have parties all the time and I thought it would be perfect for the After Christmas Party this year. Ticean and Amy brought the fondue pot because they already had one and it was a gift at one of their showers. I was happy to receive it.

I actually came away pleased this year.

The Second Annual Crossroads Christmas Party was a success!

I have been both years and enjoyed myself both times. I went with my parents last year (I have no idea where Mark was) and we had a great time. This year, they left town early to head up to Indiana before the snow came so they were unable to attend, BUT Em, Jen, and Mark all came this year and it made the evening delightful!

There were desserts, hot chocolate, Christmas carols, a ton of Christmas trees and great company. I had a wonderful time.

Shout Out to Kerry Tuttle

I just found out that Kerry Tuttle reads my blog. This is very exciting and gives me a new purpose in blog writing!

She sits at her desk every day and I can only imagine has been highly disappointed with my recent lack of blogging. So, to her I apologize as well as anyone else who reads my blog on a regular basis (which consists of Em, Jen, my mom, and my Grandma)....big fan base, I know.

Kerry, I tried to find a picture of the small group from the days of old thinking it might be funny, then I realized that the picture is just as incriminating of me as it is you. I refrained.

You're welcome.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Holiday Joy

I did this last year and enjoyed it way too much! This year you can do a whole group of people.

I have included a link to my latest creation.

Click here to see what the Crossroads Christmas Party will entail...

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Jesus Hates the Steelers

This shirt is kinda amazing!

I hate the Steelers. I really hope we beat them tonight. If we can beat the Steelers and the Browns, the rest of the season doesn't matter to me.

Tune in and cheer on the black and orange at 8:15 pm

1st Snow

I saw my first snowfall yesterday in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. We went to visit my Grandma and it started coming down.

Then it turned to sleet. Then freezing rain. Then there were slick roads.

Ok, I like snow....not ice. Here comes winter!

Guess what I did????

I roasted my very first chicken today!!!

I know, that's not a big deal, but it's the very first time I've done it on my own, in my own kitchen, with no one helping me. I must was great! It was incredibly juicy and tastes wonderful. I made it because I'm making a giant pot of chicken 'n' dumplings.