Monday, December 31, 2007

Winter Fun

Maine has gotten a ton of snow this year. When I am up before five trying to rush to work it is annoying to shovel and hope my car will start but when I am off the snow is sweet and I can't wait to go ski or snowshoe or make a snowfort for Claire - like today. Here are some pics.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas from Maine

Its what you'd expect. Surfing during the day (not us, but fun to watch anyway), and a lobster dinner at night.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A few more days.

Christmas always sneaks up on me. Obviously I'm aware its coming, but it goes from two weeks away to two days away overnight it seems. I don't know how it happens. We have three countdown-type decorations in the house, and Claire asks every day how many days are left. But it is a busy time of the year, and December always flies past.

We are finished with our shopping, and have been for a while now. Everything has been shipped out as well, so we haven't had to go out for retail reasons lately. From what I hear, that is a good thing. Battling the crowds isn't something I enjoy doing. However, I am hoping to get out and walk around downtown after dark to look at the lights. Maybe with a hot chocolate.

Also, in even more exciting news, I'm an Aunt for the first time. Jim and Monnie had their little boy, Henry, on the 19th. We are very excited to meet the little guy. There are a lot of pictures on Jim's webpage. Take a look, he is very sweet. Henry, that is.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

And the Finished Product

We finished the tree, and we put up a few other decorations...

I was also able to make a stocking for myself, and hang it with the others on an actual fireplace for the first time. Claire and Mike have had a stocking for the past few years, but I never got around to mine. We missed St. Nicks night, which was on December 5th, but we're planning on making it up this weekend. Our tradition is that each person puts a small present in everyone else's stocking. Usually its something hand made or some candies. Claire is old enough this year to handle it herself. It will be fun to see what she comes up with.

Completely unrelated, I've been using the side bar on the blog as a place to put stuff I've been looking at online. I'll probably keep four or so things up, and just rotate the oldest ones off. I also have a poll about the color of lights on your tree. We've always had clear. A lot of people I've talked to have a definite opinion, and it made me curious. So please vote, if you will. Its only for my own entertainment.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Decorating Day

We brought our tree home yesterday. We went out meaning to cut our own, as we did last year, but we never found the tree farm we were looking for. We finally reached our limit for driving around and settled for a real, but pre-cut tree. 'Settled' is probably the wrong word. Its a beautiful tree and it smells really nice, we were just looking forward to the process of cutting our own. However, we were guaranteed that its one of the best trees in Maine, and honestly, having someone net the tree an then put it on our car was pretty nice. But either way, today is decorating day. Claire and I are really looking forward to it. It won't look like this for long:

Friday, December 07, 2007

Winter is here.

Its cold in Maine, relatively speaking. Ask anyone out here, and they'll tell you that December has been frigid. I'd probably agree with them, if I hadn't just been in Wisconsin, where it actually IS cold. Maine is balmy by comparison. People don't always believe me when I tell them what the weather is like in Wisconsin.

The first big storm of the winter last weekend started as rain and then ended with snow. All summer long I'll wish we had gutters on our house, but in the winter I'm glad we don't. Without gutters, we get some of the prettiest icicles.

Its snowing again tonight, and another storm should be here on Tuesday. I'm really hoping we get completely buried in snow this winter. Its been a good start. I'd love to see six feet in the back yard, which I've heard isn't uncommon in Maine.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Wisconsin Visit

Our flight home to Maine landed just in time last weekend. We left Wisconsin as the snow was ending there, and landed in Maine just before it started here. Our trip was pretty smooth (other than the actual flights, which were quite bumpy), given the circumstances. There were many people in Detroit who were not as lucky, trying to find a way out on already over-crowded flights. Our timing worked out to be perfect.

The trip was wonderful. It started out exactly as I wanted with a Packer game and Thanksgiving dinner at John and Leslie's house. A few weeks before our trip, Mike asked me what I wanted to do for Thanksgiving, and I told him that if I could do anything, it would be to have dinner at John and Leslie's, even though that wasn't an option at the time. I enjoy dinner there more than almost any other place. Its all so warm and happy, with all the best people in each room. I was very glad that in the end, thats exactly what we did.

We saw a huge number of people this trip, from the Fitzgerald Thanksgiving at the very beginning to Grandpa Halberg's funeral at the very end, and friends and my family between the two. I feel very caught up. We were able to spend a lot of time with Jim and Monnie as well, and that was really nice. Its kind of funny to think the next time we see them they'll be parents. And I'll be an Aunt for the first time. Claire has been giving me some 'lessons' on how to be a good Aunt, just like Monnie.
"An Aunt is like a Mom, except she doesn't live at your house with you. She gives you hugs. An Aunt plays with you and takes care of you and bakes cookies with you. Or bread. Or cake. An Aunt also sends you letters and packages, like a box of dominoes, or some candy and stickers. Or a dollar or two or three."
Sounds like I better start saving up my dollars. Its going to be fun.