Monday, December 29, 2008


My apartment feels extremely super much nicer.  Still a little work to do in the dining room & kitchen, but in general things are all neat and tidy, and New Year's Resolution #1 is to keep it that way. NYRs #2-4 are, of course, to be more active, eat less, and lose weight. It sure would be nice to fit into my jeans from last year, and to fit into my capri pants by summer so I have something to wear at Family Camp.

Time for a quick shower, real clothing, and then out to dinner and a movie with Keith and Mindy.  Our usual Monday night crowd is otherwise occupied, so it's just the four of us and we decided to change things up.  I'm looking forward to lots of movie popcorn with plenty of cancer-causing butter flavoring, and then seeing if I hate Benjamin Button as much as Katy did.

Tomorrow I'm really looking forward to a relaxing day with my Mom, lounging around at her house knitting and crocheting all day. Also hopefully I'll stop by Salvation Army to drop off a few sweaters and some votive holders someone gave me that I've never taken out of the box, and JC Penny to see if they'll exchange the pants I've only worn a few times that have a broken side zipper. If not, then maybe my Mom will try to sew in a new zipper for me, which could also work and might even be easier.

Wednesday we head down to Cary, North Carolina with Kelly and Reed for New Year's Eve with Rachel, Kelly, and Luke. I'm super excited for that, it should be a fun little trip. And by "little" I mean "14 hours round-trip and less than 20 hours in NC." But this is the kind of crazy thing we need to do in these last couple of years before we have babies!

Thursday we'll have brunch with Rachel, Kelly, and Luke before heading home.

Friday will hopefully be relaxing again, with maybe a little more cleaning and hopefully more knitting and crocheting.

Saturday Paul works, so maybe I'll be able to go hang out with my Mom some more.

Sunday afteroon I'm hoping for a hike, or at least a long walk.

Then I guess I have to go back to work. Ah, well. It's been a great vacation.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Craft for Christmas in Lebanon

Hey family,

I think on Saturday when we're done unwrapping presents we should keep the wrapping paper fairly smooth, cut it into strips, and make these cool stars! They're so easy - it takes less than a couple minutes per star. We could string them onto a garland, or put them in a box to use for filler for next year's presents, or string them individually to make ornaments! Let me know what you think.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mondays are good days

A month or so ago, a few husbands including mine decided they were going to get together to watch Monday Night Football every week. It only took a week for Kelly and me to realize that we could get in on the fun by having our own separate gathering; two weeks after that, Mindy joined us too. So now every Sunday instead of feeling bummed that I have to go to work the next day, I instead am looking forward to a relaxing evening with some girlfriends. The difference this makes to the entire week is pretty amazing - we were talking about it last night. Sunday evening feels completely different now, and Monday is so much less bleak; in fact, it's actually one of the highlights of the week!

Next Monday is Kelly and Reed's first wedding anniversary, but Mindy and I decided that we don't want to give up our new little Monday ray of sunshine, so we're planning to get together anyway. I'm not sure what will happen after January when football season is over and the husbands stop meeting, but I'm thinking we might just keep going with the dinner rotation. It's seriously the best idea ever for a Monday night.

From the start the wives were cooking dinner at rotating apartments, and after about 4 weeks of going to a bar the men decided it would be cheaper and easier to just pick a different apartment from the women and order pizza or something. Last night was the best dinner yet - Mindy made this amazing tomato bisque, plus grilled turkey and brie sandwiches to go with it. Pretty amazing. The only downer of the entire evening was when I got home and realized we forgot to eat the caramel apple pie she had made for dessert!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

CC Update


Got Christmas cards, better than I hoped for: 8.5 x 11 paper pre-creased and with stickers to seal it. I wrote a (not-so-short) letter, imbedded a few pictures from the past year (or so), and all I have to do now is type everyone's addresses into the Word doc I formatted to print everything on the outside of the letter. So then you print all the addresses on one side, turn them over and print all the letters on the other, fold them all into thirds, and apply the snowflake sticker. Bam! Christmas cards! I love it. They're even pretty cute. I really feel like I've saved myself a bunch of time and money, and still turned out a pretty darn nice mailing for Christmas. Ten points to Staples for carrying these cool mailers, and another twenty points to my nice, new 3-in-1 wireless HP printer!

Tonight: looking forward to some quality knitting time at Cornerstone before Choir practice and a new small-ensemble song to practice, then home for Lamb Khorma (my fav Indian dish from Masala Bistro), picked up by Paul to be waiting for me when I get home at 10:00, by which point I'll be quite hungry so that I enjoy it all the more.

PS: Everyone should read this blog post and link to it from their own sites to increase its audience.

90 more minutes at work...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas cards

I have claimed a shortened url for peacelovemath-dom forever:

Points to this blog, but it's super short! I would have used but it doesn't allow you to customize the hash, so I had to go with a total character count of 17 instead of 16. Oh well.

Tonight I'm stopping at Staples for envelopes and a pack of festive printer paper, and my Christmas cards this year are going to be a short typed letter and a picture or two printed at home. I think it'll save money; also, with the new printer it will be super easy to print everyone's address (and return address!) right on each envelope, so no sticking of anything. I might even see about paying online for printed postage...we'll see.

Compare this plan to my good friend Kelly, who spent the evening at my house on Monday using the leftover supplies from her hand-made wedding invitations to make sixty hand-made Christmas cards. More power to her. She also had all her thank-you cards done within a couple months of the wedding, so obviously she has that segment of personal discipline way up on me.

My excuse: two of my relatives-in-law have already spelled my name incorrectly (a typical "Merideth" on one, but the baffling "Merrith" on the other), and all of them have addressed the envelopes to "Mr. and Mrs. A____," thus obliterating my name completely, so that hardly merits hand-made cards on my part. I will have two things on Kelly's lovely cards: photos and a short letter. Should count for something.

What are your Christmas card plans or non-plans for this year? I'm interested to hear what everyone does, especially those my age. Usually I just see a card with a signature, and maybe my name written as an address before the pre-printed message; occasionally a short note, and also frequently those photo greeting cards, but I'm not springing for those until I have a baby to put on there with me, haha.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The floodgates open!

VERY busy weekend ahead, packed with lots and lots of fun Christmasy goodness:

Friday evening is the fast-becoming-traditional annual night out with my MIL for dinner and the Hershey Symphony, for which she gets free tickets from her co-worker who plays in the all-volunteer orchestra. This year there is a choir, and we're going to dinner a The Chocolate Avenue Grill, which is Hershey's equivalent of Café Magnolia, a great little restaurant. I plan on having the sesame-encrusted Tuna with risotto. Plus the Hershey location has a liquor license, so I'm also going to take advantage of that...yum!!

Saturday morning I will bake an apple pie to take down to Leesburg, VA for my good friend former co-worker's annual Christmas party! We'll stay late, but drive back Saturday night, because I am playing carillon again on Sunday.

Sunday afternoon from 4 until 5:45 I will be plinking out melodies on the piano for Trinity's two children's choirs, and then right after that Paul and I will book it down to Gettysburg for dinner with various camp people at the Berkebiles'! I'm excited to see them and where they live. Should be a fun time. Not sure who all will be there, but I know it will be good people!

Sometimes I think we're just way too wholesome for our own good. Seriously, when did we develop such a rich social life?? I love it, but it still amazes me. And sometimes it gets a little tiring, but around the holidays I'm OK with that!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


As I left my office building last night, I heard something I wasn't expecting:

Hoo-HOOO HOOO hoo-hoo!
hooo hoo-hoo...

There was not one, but TWO big owls sitting on the roof of the building!! At first I thought it was just one owl doing a louder hoot and than a few extra softer hoots each time, but then they hooted simultaneously. It was so cool!

I could only see one, and only dimly - I could see a white patch that I assume was his upper chest, and I could tell he was turning his head sometimes because the white patch would kind of blink in and out of sight.

It's the talk of the office this morning, so apparently everyone who left after dark heard them. They were hooting frequently when I heard them. I'm hoping they're there again tonight!