Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas is Over. Crap.

Christmas tends to go one of two ways -- awesome or suck. This year I would definitely have to say "awesome" for various reasons. Mostly because it was our first Christmas in our own space. So we got to wake up in our own bed, open presents under our own tree, and make breakfast in our own kitchen. This is a big deal considering we've spent 3 Christmas mornings together in various houses. Plus, my parents, my brother, my grandparents, and my uncle all make for a really funny crowd.

For those of you who heard of the Thanksgiving turkey dethaw with a hairdryer story, here's another one:

Because I work at St. Mark's Church, Christmas is a big deal. So the week leading up to Christmas was spent working all day and collapsing on the couch when I got home late at night. This left me one day to prepare for the grocery shopping and food consumption. So, Christmas Eve eve I went to Walmart, got all the grocery's and unloaded them with time to spare. Until I realized Christmas Eve when everything is closed, that I do not have a pie tin. And that I had promised my mom that I would make chocolate pie. Bowls were too deep, baking pans too long. So in the 11th hour, I used a skillet. True story.

Now Christmas is over and we're waiting for the cover of darkness to dispose "legally" of our Christmas tree. For the record, you know, like if I'm in jail; the landlord did say that she would dump the tree in the woods if she were us. Otherwise we'll have to pay to have it recycled at the dump--I think we'll take our chances.

Monday, November 23, 2009


My apologies to all 3 readers out there--I am terrible at the update-on-a-regular-basis thing. In fact, you may have given up on this due to lack of updating. Oh, well I guess you'll just have to wait for our annual Christmas letter to catch you up. (Yes, Virginia, we're putting out a letter this year!)

This past month has been a crazy one! I'm finishing up rehearsals for the Christmas musical I'm directing at church. This has been one exciting time for all involved, and it's going to be super cute when it's all done. Mark your calendars, December 12 and 13th! You know, there are times when I wonder why I'm doing this, but then I get through a rehearsal and see the improvement the kids have made and the excitement on their faces...I can't help but love it. Call me a glutton for punishment, but this is just one of those things that just makes sense to me. It just doesn't seem like Christmas unless I'm up to my eyeballs in stress and rehearsals. I'm not planning on making this year any different. That would just be silly.

We have a new addition to our family that we're excited for everyone to meet. Lucy, our Corgi/Lab/Beagle mutt (a Corlabagle?) has decided that we're going to be her forever family. Which is brilliant for us because we're now in full-fledged "practicing" mode. We figure if she's still alive in a couple of years, we must be fit to be parents. Thus tabling the Baby Issue for another couple of years. Collective sighs are heard around the world at this revelation I'm sure :) She's cute, she's funny, she's mellow, and she's determined to spend all her waking hours making sure someone is rubbing her belly and she has, no doubt, completed our little Burlington family. As I write all of these glowing wonderful things about little pup, she decided now would be a great time to fart on me. It's so obvious that she belongs to us it's not even funny.

Well, actually, it is a little funny. But I'm not laughing, I'm trying not to breathe.

Thanksgiving is upon us and Meme, Pops, and Boy Wonder are heading down on Wednesday! This will be my first (and hopefully not last) attempt at turkey-ing. Here's to hoping that we don't have to cut the turkey into quarters :)

We love you and we miss you. Hope to see you all soon!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Case of the Rotting Pumpkin

About a month ago, I came to work and saw that a pumpkin had been decorated to look like a face. It looked like a Mr. Potato Head--lips, ears, nose, and a hat. It was really very cute but it was something that I did not make. I assumed that it was something that CB had decorated at some event and left on the table. I didn't think much of it over the last month, other than it was a cute harvest addition to our information table.

Today, Robby and I are moving some things around and notice that some papers look like they've had coffee spilled all over them. I then notice the pumpkin head is looking a little droopy. When I go to move it, the whole thing squishes in my hand like a sponge.

Here's the part where you go, "that's disgusting."

After we stop laughing/choking/crying, we go to let CB know that her pumpkin has died. To which she responds, "that's not mine, I thought you made it!" Call Nancy Drew, we've got a mystery to solve!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Catalyst, Pumpkins, and Ice Cream

Catalyst rocked.

Matt and I (and like, 20 people from SMC) packed our bags and spent 3 days listening to some of the greatest thinkers, speakers, and leaders from the Christian and corporate world. Malcom Gladwell, Tony Dungy, Rob Bell, Andy Stanley, Reggie Joiner, Margaret Feinberg (not Leslie, champion Lesbian writer for the masses), Matt Chandler (who we missed. Sad.), Charles Swindoll...it was awesome for sure. Each speaker made you think, challenged you, and then... Professor Splash dove into a kiddie pool from 39 feet in the air. Not really sure where that fits in the scheme of Greatness, but it happened and that's all I know.

Coolest part of the weekend was definitely running into Brad--one of my friends from highschool in Ohio. OHIO. I haven't seen this kid in 8 years and he just casually shows up again in my life. It was the weirdest reunion I think I've had in a while. He was actually the team leader for my church's Land of a Thousand Hills coffee kiosk. So basically, all my SMC friends met him and then their mouths dropped open when he basically hurdles the coffee stand to hug me. Matt's mouth dropped open too until I told him how we knew each other :)

This weekend included a trip to a pumpkin patch with the Rocheleaus. Pictures to follow, which explain the adventure far better than I could. Although, Shea's unconditional love for a baby cow with a tail full of dingleberries really might have been one of the most memorable moments I have of Shea. I think it was the "Can we keep her?" look that she gave Jim that solidified the morning.

And by the way. Matt got his Harvest Decorations. We have a mum and a pumpkin outside our door. There is now balance restored to the Smalling Household.

And now, because it's 49 degrees outside, we're going to get ice cream. Because freezing on the outside just isn't enough--we need to freeze on the inside, too. Sham on.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

My Love/Hate Relationship with Mailboxes

When you're a kid, when you get mail it's usually a card for some great holiday like birthdays, Easter, or Christmas. This card usually contains money.

Now, when I go to the mailbox, my cards don't contain money. It asks for my money. I get mail every day--mostly junk, bills, more bills, and well.. more bills. It's a broke life for the Smallings. I dread getting the mail because I have to drive to my mailbox, get out of my car, take my key, unlock the box, get my mail, and then open. It makes me tired and I avoid it at all costs.

A couple of days ago I went to the mailbox and began the routine of shuffling through the contents--bills, junk, and then there was a card. With my address written in child-like scribble and when I opened it, I realized it was a handmade card from one of my kids at church. For your viewing pleasure I have included the inside:

Dear Nikki,

Thank you for letting me have a part in the play. I was worried that I wouldn't get a part. I like that you teach us now. Thank you for being my friend.


The best part was the drawn picture that was included--a little girl holding the hand of a big girl walking down the street with balloons on all sides. This card now resides in a prized place on our kitchen bar. I think I'll keep this forever.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Project Runway

It appears I really enjoy sewing things; my current project includes hemming curtains (let's hear it for the straight stitch!), new pillows for the couch, and some curtains for my office at work. I think, upon successful completion of said projects, I may find myself venturing out into the world of dresses. Or maybe not. I tend to think I am WAY better at stuff than I really am. Although, with a whole season of Project Runway ahead of me, I may stay completed focused on this at least until the finalists go to Fashion Week.

In other news, visit with the grandparents and the parents proved to be another excellent time for all--and watching Jamie compete in the 10K kayak race made Matt and I feel completely out of shape and caused a re-evaluation of our current physical shape. Status: Pathetic. This may or may not push us into a least one gym visit a month, but it's possible!

Glee tonight. Huzzah!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I went to two high schools. My first high school -- football was not a game, it was a state of being. My second high school -- football was a game. That we lost all the time. Maybe, just maybe if we could have taught them how to do this, we wouldn't have lost our Homecoming Game 3 years in a row.

I love this show. It's like a combination of my high school experiences, only with better looking and way more talented people.