well, here we are, back home after our thanksgiving/easley christmas trip in illinois.

it was a great weekend.
there was the eight hour drive in insane traffic (usually only takes six hours).

there was the amazing thanksgiving day food, drink and great company. and i'll admit, i especially liked my sweet potato souffle. and ja's pecan pie was worth each of the 500 calories that went along with it.

there was black friday, in which i found most of finn's christmas gifts (kohl's was an amazing stop with 50% off on all toys, although the line was a bit atrocious, half way around the store...)and some good movies at target for $4. we also had avanti's gondolas for lunch, which will make anyone's day perfect. we decorated the christmas tree that evening.

there was our pretend christmas morning, in which i got several items i have been delaying in buying for myself... a 1.5 qt. tupperware juice pitcher from the 80's, a giant pancake griddle, and a tupperware cupcake holder. also got a sweet bag from anthropologie and some cash which i will put towards a bike in the summer; post-baby.
finn got this sports tent/sleeping bag/blow up chair set, which he loves the chair. i will try to post a pic soon. it actually gets him in a lot of trouble because he thinks it's a trampoline. he also got this great thomas and friends phone and book from cousin caroline. justin got a few board games and cash to put towards his aquarium. saturday was also christmas dinner, which was my second favorite meal of the weekend. the cheesy potatoes were sooo good.

there was sunday church, which finn made all the way through without going to the nursery. sunday lunch, which scored as my favorite meal of the weekend, soups soups soups... baked potato, made by chari and darin, was so so so good, and caron made chili, which was spicy to me, but also very very tasty. caitlyn left to go back to IWU in the afternoon, and the rest of us just hung out...

monday came, and finn had a bad cold. we never leave ILLinois without an ILLness. go figure. we packed packed packed, forgot a couple things, and headed for home at around 1:00. we made it back by seven, but not without a little throwup from finn at dinnertime.

all in all, the trip was wonderful. it was great to see all of the kids that we haven't seen forever, or has never seen at all. finn loves playing with his cousins, although, we discovered he is not super keen on babies, especially babies being held by mom and dad. hopefully this is a stage, otherwise where will be some issues for finn to overcome, come may!

love you easley's! it was so good to see everyone, can't wait until next time!


Cleanup Crew

Hermit Crab

Astrea Snails (on the glass and the other cone-shaped shells)


you know the world is upside down when...

...you make an oil change appointment online during the seventeen minutes the lube place has you on hold on the phone.

...the pharmacist tells you your kids medicine will cost half of your months grocery bill. (you just laugh and drive away without the medicine)

...all you want is a nice pair of sweatpants that don't collect every dust mite and piece of dog hair in the house.

...you live in the sweetest house in the neighborhood and no one wants to buy it, much less even look at it.

...you look in the neighbors back yard, and not only do you see an old conversion van, but a newly added minivan, which is not only illegal, but also really ups the value of your house.

...when walmart ONLY has ripe, very yellow bananas.


what we've been up to...

we have been hanging out with these girlies a lot, annie and sophie. finn loves to watch them play and be goofy, and of course he loves to play with all of their toys. he has no clue who is who, but he can almost say "sophie."

and we have been trying to stay out of doors, before the big blizzards start shutting us away for the winter. the afternoon weather has actually been quite nice.

i have had a few side jobs, and i just got a borrowed sewing machine so i can resume my craftiness. it is the nicest sewing machine to ever sit in front of me. i am SO thankful.

and we are slowly preparing for our trip back to illinois next week, which will be a WELCOME break from the monotonous-no-family-in sight-land of nebraska. woohhooo!!


Reef Update

i moved the rock around a bit and will probably do a bit more moving after it cycles and we start to get some coral in there. we've seen a snail, some dusters, and a couple of tiny brittle stars (serpent-like starfish).


our little guy


for clarification...

the two posts below, and probably most posts following regarding the "nano reef" will be done by justin. this is his new project, his christmas and birthday presents from many. it's a saltwater tank, so we will be able to have corals and ocean-y fish in it... it will kind of be like having "finding nemo" on permanently in our living room. it takes awhile for the water to cycle to be safe enough to put fish and corals in it, so that's why it's kind of plain now, and will be for two weeks to a month.
so anyway, that's the longer version of the two posts below, which you must have noticed weren't written by me, because i usually go into every detail as humanly possible.


Day 2

Here's the tank with the rest of the live rock. there's a lot of it in there...you have to have about 1 lb. per gallon. not sure i like the structure yet...we may have to break one or two in order to get the right look.


nano reef

we'll post pics as we start to pull this thing together.