Monday, December 31, 2012

Another MOOOOVING post.

It's another moving post.
Not one that illicits tears (other than mine..) but about moving, packing and unpacking.
Christmas came and went with lots of fun and packing/moving. The girls were not much help.
The  moving company came Friday morning and moved all of the furniture and some of the boxes. But... the garage stuff wasn't ready and with the crazy transition of houses there wasn't a place to put it even if it had been.. so that will come mid-January... so, while we have moved, we are still in the old house too. All of the pictures are still on the wall and some of the china is still in the built-ins.  It will make for an interesting showing I'm guessing. (please, please be a showing soon!!)
Here are a few pictures from the move.

And here are a couple in the new house. A FIREPLACE!!!!!!!!Yippee!! We have already had a few fires. I love how cozy a fire makes a living room. Thanks Lexi for the great picture...
And here you are looking from the living room into the kitchen/dining room. Lots and lots of work ahead of us, boxes are everywhere! But at least I have the kitchen pretty much completed.
With the move, we have new living room furniture ordered and lots and lots of ideas and projects ahead of us. But for now, we are just enjoying the 4 bedrooms!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Moving... part 1 of 130923849273593 plus a tip or too

We are working on moving into our new house! 
I first took off the kitchen cabinet doors as I am going to paint them. 33 doors later I was kicking myself for doing this, however, I am finding that loading stuff into a kitchen without cabinet doors sure is nice! I figure that in a smaller kitchen it would totally be worth taking the doors off the cabinets in order to clean and unpack.
With the doors off, I cleaned the cabinets and put down 40 yes FORTY rolls of shelf liner.  That is truly one of the hidden costs of a move!  I used the vinyl liner that doesn't have the paper that has to come off the back. Sure am glad, that would have been a nightmare with allllllll of the cabinets. 

Side note: The kitchen is completely trashed because my parent's are moving out of the house as we are moving in. Neither my mom nor myself would ever live with a kitchen that was trashed in our normal world.  Just had to make sure that you knew that!
Once I finally had all the shelf liner in, I went back home and started to pack the kitchen. I've never moved over a few days where you could pack some stuff and reuse boxes. I must say, it's a much easier process that packing the entire house before moving. 
A tip that you might know.. but as I was packing up the plates, I first used my plastic plates between the glass plates for cushion, but I quickly ran out. Then I used the Styrofoam plates that I had bought for transition times and loved how easy they made packing!!  I reused the same 20 or so plates a dozen times placing them between platters, bowls (you can make the Styrofoam bend..) casserole dishes and more. It was sooo easy and sooooo much cheaper than purchasing "dish saver" moving supplies!
And here is a glimpse of part of the kitchen at the end of day 1. Lots moved, lots to go.  I had to finish up early as was my anniversary and Doug and I were going out to dinner.
Now I'm off to start day 2!! More tips and pictures to come!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

14 years of adventure, fun and love

Today is my 14th anniversary. I truly can't believe 14 years have flown by!  We have done sooo much in these years.  I can't fathom what the next 14 will bring :)
Back in the early fall I thought about the upcoming anniversary and what I wanted to get for Doug. With all of my weight loss, I really wanted to do something that encompassed my new vitality and I kept thinking about my wedding dress.
My wedding dress symbolized all of the love and excitement and hope that we started our marriage with.  Over the years with kids and work and weight gain there was still a lot of love, but energy and excitement was lacking.
So, on Thanksgiving with my sister's and my brother-in-law we went and took pictures of me WEARING FOR REAL my wedding dress. We didn't have to pin it together in the back to make extra room and we didn't have to give me oxygen. I was super pumped!!
It took a little planning and I know that Doug caught a glimpse and wondered what the heck we were doing, but he didn't ask (thank you!).
Here are a few of the pictures.

When I saw the pictures, I decided to do something different with one. (you know, different for me.. not a scrapbook.) So I ordered one on metal. It is really cool.

It says:

14 years ago a
young bride married
her true love.
She would do it all again
now that she knows
 what true love really means.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

50+ years of Christmas Carols

Christmas Eve means spending the evening with family, eating lots of shrimp and desserts and singing carols. One of my cousins put it out to facebook to see if anyone else's family sang carols on Christmas eve.. so far it sounds like we are it. But that's okay, it's a tradition that I truly love.
This was the first Christmas without my Granddad. It was that weird, hard holiday where the hole is gaping but everyone is putting on a brave front. I think with his passing was the awareness that my Grandmother is 95, my aunts and uncles are in their late 60's to 70's and my mom (the youngest of that generation) is turning 60 next month. All of these so very important people in my life are aging.
It was almost fitting that Maddie was working on a family history project and needed to ask Grandmother questions about her childhood.

The trio of  my niece, nephew and Kylie picked up from the day before and played and colored.

 And we ate. And ate.

Then it was time to sing. My oldest nephew Carter started us off with a wonderful rendition of Silent Night. (this also started some tears...)

And then the song sheets were passed out and the carols were sung. Just like they have been sung for more than 50 years. It was the sameness yet different-ness without Granddad that was most heart wrenching. I think it would have been easier to forgo the carols, but it's the traditions that bind our family so tightly.


My grandmother who has aged dramatically in the last year sang and enjoyed herself tremendously. The "sisters" (my mom and her 3 sisters.. not me and my 3 sisters...) held it together and remained strong throughout the evening.   
And I did what I do, I watched and felt the nuances of the night. It truly felt like everyone there was memory-gathering. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't maudlin or anything like that, it was just a sense of awareness that these moments are sacred, holy family traditions that can not be taken lightly, for in a flash another member of this family could be gone.
So that's our Christmas Eve. Family, Food and Carols. I hope your holidays are filled with sacred moments too.

Maxwell Family Christmas 2012

Lots of changes in our family right now with 2 of the 5 families in the midst of moving. With that, my mom couldn't host the annual Maxwell Family Christmas that happens the Sunday before Christmas. My sister Melody hosted. (Yes, you just saw her house in Katy's reveal party pictures :) )
And before you start looking at the pictures, let me say, yes, for the most part, the pictures are BAD!!! THIS IS THE REASON YOU STAGE PICTURES!! My family is full of nice looking photogenic people, but man, we are not at our best in these pictures!! (and for the record, at least three different people took the following pictures. it's not just my fault!)
Oh well... enjoy our Awkward Family Photos 2012!
First we ate an awesome lunch.

Then we took a few pictures while we sorted gifts.

 Then the kids opened their gifts. Katy had to help Nora as she is still incubating.

After the kids played with their toys a while, we went out on the porch and the grown ups did our gift exchange. We all brought a gift that we can use at the Lakehouse. (if you don't know what I mean about Lakehouse... do a search on my site for the annual Maxwell Lakehouse Adventure...) We played a gift exchange game and the little ones jumped on the trampoline.

And there you have it, another installment of the Maxwell Family traditions.  Maybe next year we can stage some great pictures!!