Monday, December 6, 2010

First Snow, First Christmas Party, and my First Broadway Show!

Saturday Morning we woke up to our first snowfall here in Chicago. Daci was so excited when she walked outside! She had only seen snow on the Tigger Movie (obviously she saw it last year but doesn't remember it) so she was so excited to see it in person!

I love the look of pure delight on little kids' faces :)

We went to our Ward Christmas Party. Wow, what a HUGE event! We had over 300 people there. They had the Primary Children sing and Santa made a special visit from the North Pole!

Lots of yummy food....can you tell Daci enjoyed it?

Daci loves her little friend Lyla, she kept giving her big hugs

Me, Lyla, and Daci at the Party

Daci was really nervous about Santa but at least she didn't cry! I think the only thing keeping her from crying was the candy cane that she was holding in her hand :)

Another early Christmas Present was tickets to Wicked! YAY! I was SOOOO excited! Our friends watched Daci and we went out for a night on the town!

I ABSOLUTELY LOVED the show! I know Wicked gets a lot of hype but trust me, it is ALL true! So amazing. Our Glinda and Elfaba were incredible and totally made the show.

It was FREEZING COLD! By the time we got to the Parking Garage I just wanted to jump in the car, but then the L-Train was pulling up beside the Garage and Rick really wanted a picture. At Christmas Time they decorate the train with lights and a Santa Sleigh. It was pretty cool!

We had so much fun this week. I love the holidays! I head out to Utah for four whole weeks on Wednesday. I'm so excited to be near family to celebrate Christmas and New Years!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Projects, Projects, Projects! Oh, and Christmas came early this year!!

While Rick had a break from work over Thanksgiving we decided to get a bunch of stuff done on the house. Now I know it looks like we are just ripping our house apart and not making any progress.....but it will soon look beautiful (I HOPE!). So our main family room doesn't have a light. Come on people! Who designs a main living space with no light in it? Well, since my husband is now an expert electrician he wired a whole new light into the ceiling. Unfortunately he had to cut quite a few holes in the wall and ceiling to make it work. Thats okay though because he is also an expert dry wall repairer now too :) Notice we have also been testing a lot of different paints on the wall. Wow, we must look like a mess to you all :) So, he first cut a big hole in the wall around the outlet that he was going to run the electric line off of. Then he had to cut three big holes up by the ceiling between each stud so he could run the line to the center of the ceiling, then he just fed it straight back. It worked perfectly the very first time! Seriously I am so impressed with my handyman!

There was dust everywhere so he had to wear a mask :)

We only have these hideous gold/brass lights throughout our house which we are planning to replace with oil-rubbed bronze fixtures, the very next day we went out and purchased our first one :) It is SOOO nice to finally have light in that room, especially with all the projects I like to work on while I watch TV :)

The next day we painted the ceilings! So our whole house is white right now and we are planning on doing a tan wall with white ceilings and white trim (we are ripping out all of the oak trim that you see in these pictures). We decided that even though our ceilings were already white, we had better put another coat on to freshen them up. Boy I am glad we did! Look at the difference in the new paint from the old. Once we put up the new paint everything else looked so dirty.

In case you thought that Rick does all the work, I had to get proof that I helped too (Don't mind my CRAZY hair!). I used the brush along the edges and then Rick used the roller across the ceiling.

So I told you that we are replacing our light fixtures. Well, we have some really nice, expensive fans in the house but they are all the gold/brass color. No offense if you like that, it just is definitely not our style. We were kinda bummed we had to replace them but then we had someone tell us that you can buy this spray paint stuff in any metal finish you want and spray it over the metal work. I was totally skeptical. I mean seriously, this can't work, can it? Well it totally did!! I am so excited about it! I'm bummed that I forgot to take before pics but you can see in the next picture that the inside of the ring is still the brass color. Isn't that cool?! It even dries with the crackly effect so it looks like real oil-rubbed bronze! Love it!

Okay, now onto some more "crafty" things. I have kinda started a tradition where I make a cross-stitch for each missionary in my family of the temple that was in their mission. It all started when Rick was on his mission. I stitched the Chicago Temple and we now have it hanging in our home. I stitched the Houston Temple for my brother Easton. I plan to stitch the Campinas, Brazil one for my brother in law and the Madrid, Spain one for my other brother. I decided I wanted to do a cross-stitch for both of my grandparents. My Grandma and Grandpa Overstreet are in the MTC for their FOURTH LDS Mission right now and they are serving in the Washington DC Temple for the third time in a row. I thought it would be special to give them a cross-stitch of the temple that they have spent so much time in. The inscription on the bottom says "Washington DC Temple, Leroy and Nedra Overstreet, Called to Serve". Once I finished the DC Temple I decided I wanted to do the Salt Lake Temple for my Grandpa Pedersen. He and my Grandma were married there in 1955 and she passed away 15 years ago. The inscription says "Salt Lake Temple, Keith and Halene Pedersen, December 15, 1955" I figured since they don't read my blog that I could post them before I give them to them for Christmas.

This one was pretty easy. I finished in it in 3 days, working on it about 4 hrs a day.

This one, however, took MUCH longer. All the tiny window work took a really long time. I'm really happy with how it turned out though!

Christmas Came Early For Both Rick and I this year!!!
So, many of you know (because I am constantly complaining) that my camera is a pile of junk. I seriously hate it SOOO bad. Its a Canon Powershot A1100 IS. I had the older model from 2004-2009 and then lost it on one of our trips out to Chicago. I loved it so much! So, last year on Black Friday I went out and bought the exact same one but just the newer model and I absolutely hate it. I don't think I have gotten one clear, good shot out of it. Anyway, I think Rick is really sick of me complaining about it :P I kept my eyes open this year when the Black Friday deals started and I found the Canon Rebel EOS for a great deal. I was hoping for the Canon Rebel T1i but it was still out of my price range. The only difference is that the EOS has 10.1 megapixels and the T1i has 12 megapixels. I woke up at 3am on Black Friday ran to the computer, logged on to and VOILA! They still had some! I was shocked. I thought for sure they would be gone. I ordered one lickety split and it came just three days later. I am soooo happy with it! Everyone knows that I take a million pictures, now I will take a trillion :)

My new baby :)

Rick's present.....

Rick's lifelong dream is to build his own computer. Well, that dream was fulfilled this week. Since he has been wiring our whole house for a home theater, naturally we need an HTPC right? He bought all the parts and built it this week. This is his new baby :)

Rick's company had a Christmas Party Downtown last night. We went to Cafe Iberico, its a Tapas Bar. It was soo good! We loved it. It was so much fun to get out just the two of us and enjoy the city!

I know we are super washed out in this picture (I'm still getting used to doing night shots on my new camera) but I was just excited we had a picture together so I had to post :)

And just because it wouldn't be a normal post without Daci pics (and because I have to show off how sharp and bright the pics are with my new camera!) are a few:

Dancing and Singing along to her new favorite show, Sesame Street

Now that I have my new camera, Daci has adopted my old one....which I am totally fine with :)

Funny story: We got this snowsuit for free from a lady in the ward who was just going to get rid of it. Daci found it in her closet this week and insists on wearing it around the house. Hilarious!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


It was just our little family of three this year but I wanted it to be just as special as always. I'm not going to lie.....I was a nervous wreck! I have never made a turkey and I was terrified to do gravy. I also wanted to make Rick his favorite....Banana Cream Pie....but I had never done that before either. I made my pies the night before....Banana turned out good, my pumpkin is a different on to see what happened :) I woke up Thanksgiving morning and tried to decorate the table. Unfortunately the only tablecloth and dishes I had were all white. I LOVE white but I was wishing it was looking a little bit more "Thanksgivingy". Then I remembered I had bought a box full of fake leaves the day after Halloween for $.99! So I scattered them around the table, brought in our Halloween pumpkins, and tied brown ribbon around the glasses and pumpkin stems.

Working away at my turkey....I used Kelsey Nixon's (from The Next Food Network Star) Turkey Breast recipe (Thanks Carly for recommending it!) It turned out really good. I didn't have a meat thermometer, I think I probably should have taken it out about 10 mins earlier because it was a tiny bit dry but it was still good.


½ cup butter, softened
¼ cup garlic, minced
½ bunch rosemary, chopped
½ bunch thyme, chopped
1 T. Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1 (6-8) lb turkey breast bone in

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. In a small bowl, mix the butter, garlic, rosemary and thyme; set aside
3. Wash the turkey inside and out; pat dry. Remove any large fat deposits. Loosen the skin from the breast. This is done by slowly working your fingers between the breast and the skin. Work it loose, being careful not to tear the skin.
4. Using your hands or spatula, spread a generous amount of the rosemary mixture under the breast skin. Rub the remainder of the butter mixture over the outside of the breast. Use toothpicks to seal skin over any exposed breast meat. Season the outside of the Turkey breast with Italian seasoning, paprika, black pepper and kosher salt.
5. Arrange the carrot, celery and onion inside the bag to create a base for the turkey to sit on. Place the turkey on top of the vegetables breast side up. Roast in the preheated over 1 ¼ to 2 hours, or until the internal temp of the bird reaches 170 degrees.
6. Allow turkey to rest in bag for 10-15 minutes before removing from bag and carving.

The finished turkey!

Daci playing around at the table while she was waiting for dinner to be ready

daci loved playing with the leaves. In nursery they get to hold stars up above their head and sing twinkle twinkle little star. She kept holding the leaf up and singing, "twinkle, twinkle!"

Sorry...not a great picture but I had to stick it on.

Rick carving the turkey

Daci impatiently waiting for the food. Once she was in her chair she wanted "nummy nums!" We told her we had to have a prayer first and she was not happy about it. She grumpily folded her arms and scowled at us during the prayer :)

The complete meal: Rosemary Roasted Turkey, peas, Cornbread, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy!

Daci loved the cornbread and peas the most. She kept saying "I like it!" and then by the end she was exclaiming "I LOVE IT!"

A little family picture after dinner. Don't mind Daci's absolutely crazy hair. As it gets longer, it gets crazier. She has SOOOO many calics in the back and they are uncontrollable. I have tried combing it every way possible and nothing works. I even hair sprayed it down this day, and within minutes it was poking straight up again!

Ok...the sad pumpkin pie story. So I have made quite a few pumpkin pies. They aren't hard. I whipped up the pie, stuck it in the oven and then remembered I needed a few more things for dinner the next day so I ran to the store. The pie was supposed to cook for 40 minutes. I got home right when it was done but for some reason I completely forgot it was still in the oven. I was positive I had taken it out. I kept saying to Rick "Wow that pumpkin pie smells so good! I can't believe we can still smell it so strong when it is in the fridge!" About an hour and a half after it was done I walked by the oven and realized it was still on. I reached over to turn it off and all of a sudden remembered my pie was still in there! Grrrrr! So mad. I was literally on the verge of tears. PUmpkin pie is my favorite thing about Thanksgiving and I was so looking forward to it. Rick, being the sweet husband that he is said he would go out in the freezing cold weather and the crazy crowds to get me one. I took him up on the offer but decided to test the ruined pie first. The crust was rock hard but I can't eat the crust anyway so that didn't really matter to me. The top was burnt, but the middle still tasted great! So I decided to keep my black pumpkin pie and I very much enjoyed it the next day :)