Wednesday, December 29, 2010

hello, little one!



On December 8, 2010 we welcomed our little boy into the world.

He decided to make his entrance a little early :) This was fine by me for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, he came at 38 weeks on the dot. This means that he was considered a full term baby which was great news! Secondly, I am so pleased that he will not have to deal with a Christmas birthday for his entire life!



As you can imagine, we are overjoyed and totally enamored with the little guy. We all seem to be coping with the sleep deprivation fairly well although I am definitely looking forward to a time when I can sleep more than 2 hours at a time! And the thought of sleeping through the night? Well, that is too much for me to even fathom right now! The excitement would be too much!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!



Happy (belated) Thanksgiving to all!!
We have so much to be thankful for and it is important that we not forget our blessings.




We hosted Thanksgiving at our house this year... for the first time. I am typically very involved in the cooking process, but we've never hosted before.



Especially since I just hit the 9 month mark... I definitely could not have done it without the help of the hubs and my mom. They were unbelievably instrumental in helping getting the house rearranged and tables set up for dinner.


"Please drop something....Please drop something!!"






The "adult" table... (ha! It's my house so I made the cut!!)



The table for the kiddos.



We always have a buffet line of sorts. So, here is the table before it has been loaded down with the delicious Thanksgiving feast!



Amazingly, DM actually picked up the camera. He was kind enough to grab a few action shots.



Of course, he snagged one of the rapidly expanding belly.... I'm not even sure if this picture really does it justice!



Thanksgiving Creme Brulee.... YUM YUM YUM!


My beautiful sister (and mother) helping out making some appetizers for the youngsters.



Speaking of youngsters... here they are lined up for dinner!



An attempt at a smile... no such luck....





I hope your Thanksgiving was as wonderful as ours!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

m.e.s.s.



Since you've been so kind thus far to indulge me in my life that revolves around food... I thought I should share a tidbit with you. You know, to keep things honest around here.

So, this was my kitchen after making a few different things the other night. Like Woah. This is what happens when your dishwashers are already running and you scarcely have a moment between things to do for the different recipes.


I'm a little scared as to what Thanksgiving will bring.

Cheese Wafers



I know... food posts... Sorry, I can't help myself. These were actually supposed to be for last week but, as I mentioned, Blogger hates me and wouldn't let me upload photos.

Anyway, someone in town makes the most delicious cheese wafers. Whenever I'm in the mood and I think about it, I will try to recreate them. Honestly, I've only done it a couple of times because I have the memory of a walnut. But that's not the point. I decided to make a few the other day (in two different flavors...hence the different colors) and they aren't as great as the mystery person's wafers but they are pretty good.



So, I think I'll keep 'em. And gorge myself on them.

Aaaaaaand you might get out of more food posts in the near future but since that is what will be driving my existence over the next few days.... you might not. Just think of it as a Thanksgiving teaser!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cornbread Stuffn'



I may have mentioned... but I'm not a huge stuffing fan. So, I'm testing and tweaking a couple of recipes for stuffing this year and I found one I really like. Sure, everyone else might think it tastes like a foot but who cares?! Last night (EDIT: Tuesday night. Blogger hates me and has decided not to let me upload photos at my own discretion) I decided to try out a new recipe- with a few changes to fit my personal taste (are you noticing that it is all about me? I should seek some help.) It's a cornbread stuffing so that is what I had to make first. I choose to make my cornbread in a skillet. Because I live in the middle of nowhere and it seems like the right thing to do. Plus, it makes me feel all farm-y and like I belong on a giant homestead where Maw makes her cornbread in the skillet while Paw rounds up the cattle for feedin'.

Sorry. I have a vivid imagination.

Look, I'll show you a crappy picture because it was nighttime and the lighting stunk but I was too lazy to do anything about it (I'm nothing if not honest...)



Moving on, my cornbread underwent a transformation and became stuffing. The end.


*I should really work on my story-telling skills....


Friday, November 12, 2010

Puppy Love



I don't think I tell you enough how much I love our puppy dogs...

I know what you are thinking... that I tell you too much. But, trust me, it isn't enough!!



This dog? Well, I can't help but be utterly smitten. He pretends to be aloof and independent. But he's not. It's all a show. He pretends that he doesn't care if I'm around. But he does. He might not be constantly at my heels like the others but even though he will let me out of his sight for a few minutes he will undoubtedly follow me to wherever my final destination is. And I sort of think that is his MO... to make sure that I am in my final destination before he drags himself out of whatever his current sleeping position may be and lumbers to my new location to, of course, find a new sleeping position.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Something Scary



Well, here is something utterly disturbing that I thought I should share. This is what I've managed to do to my office today... and it is noon. Send help.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fabulous Fall



For as much as I whined and complained about the cold weather the other day (sorry... thanks for listening!) I must admit.... it is a beautiful autumn day today.

I'm loving the warmer weather and the fall foliage :) If the weather could stay warm I would be in heaven!

And I know what you are thinking and the answer is no. I have not been diagnosed with multiple personalities. Key word: Diagnosed.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Relax!



During football season (especially once cold weather hits) a lot of our weekend afternoons are spent curled up in the den watching game after game on TV.




Whereas it used to bother me tremendously (and, on really nice days it still does)...on chilly days I've learned (or, am learning) to appreciate it. Because it means snuggling up with puppies and taking advantage of whatever relaxation we can find. And I'm all about relaxation...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Holiday Idea


I just thought I would share this.

A couple of days ago, we received a very sweet baby gift from some friends in Texas. It came wrapped in Christmas decor (yikes...it is just around the corner!) and I must admit, there was something about the wrapping that I loved.




This little guy! The little felt Santa that you can turn into an ornament. I've used ornaments as wrapping accouterments many times before so perhaps I am a little biased... but nevertheless I thought it was very cute!


And, it can be something you try out this holiday season!




Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Perils of Fall...




(First of all, before I get started, let me just say that I chose this picture because, for whatever reason, I like it a lot. Some random lady shot it of us when we were in the mountains a couple of years ago. I have another version- probably a better version so I don't know why I didn't choose that- and yes, I could go back and change it, but quite frankly it takes a long time to upload pictures on this site and I'm too lazy awesome. Now that I think about it- the other version is way better. We look better and you can see more of the mountains and the fall colors. I really should have chosen that one. So, just pretend it is a better picture. Looking at this one I don't even like it. So, yeah, pretend it is a better picture. Secondly, at the moment, it just seems pretty cool that at some point in my life I was able to fit in a pair of jeans that didn't have a gigantic elastic waistband that came up to my shoulders... Now on to the post!!)




Sooooo.... I do it every year.

Every single year.


In the midst of summer I yearn for fall. As I'm out sweating buckets while dealing with the animals, or trying to peel my melted skin off the scorching hot seats of my car I think of the cooler days autumn will bring and I smile. And I must admit, I was exceptionally nostalgic for cooler weather this year as my body is pumping an inordinate amount of blood through my veins thereby increasing my internal temperatures to that of the sun. Plus or minus a few degrees, of course. Anyway, in reality I've never really been able to fully appreciate fall. Because, as beautiful as it is, it means that winter will soon come screaming like a madman from around the corner and knock us all out. I do not love gray days with naked trees. I do not like bundling up in layer upon layer of clothes until I am scarcely able to move my arms and they just hang from my body at a 45 degree angle... I just do not like it. But, during the heat of the summer I think to myself "You know what? Fall won't be so bad. It will be great to have cooler weather!" Then I go on about my merry way reveling in my optimism that the changing season will bring me great happiness and comfort.

And then it happens.

Fall arrives.

And I curse it.

Because, the truth is, we will have a few days of pretty, cooler weather and then the North Carolina weather patterns start kicking in. Which means reasonably nice days with absolutely frigid nights. Which means layering clothing less you want to turn into an icicle in the morning while walking to your car or, in my case, going to fend off 1000+ pound animals as they try to steal their buckets of food from me before I've had a chance to even walk through the gate. Which means constantly putting blankets on said large animals and then taking them off, and putting them on, and taking them off, and putting them on, and taking them off. I think you get the idea. Or, as the past couple days have been, it does not mean reasonably nice days with frigid nights, it means frigid days with frigid nights. And today it means frigid and rainy with a frigid night.

And so I sit here and yearn for summer. For the hot air that is so thick it is hard to breathe. For the bugs and the buckets of sweat, and the melted skin on the seats of my car.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Cookies!!



Our annual Oktoberfest- Beer & Brats was held at my office this week. Everyone is asked to bring a dish so.... I chose cookies. And I made them from scratch...because I am awesome. They are chocolate with toffee and, in my humble opinion, delicious. The problem? Now I have extras at my house which I need to get rid of STAT! Because if my face gets any "rounder" (as my mother has mentioned) or "retains any more fluid" (as my boss has mentioned) they are going to tie strings to me and walk me down the streets in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Amusement



While in the mountains... we went to a little amusement park- to be discussed further at some random time in the future when I finally get around to it.



The boys (well, most of them) decided to hop on a ride or two.



This one was called "The Tornado" and it was basically a cross between the teacup ride and the giant swing ride you see at amusement parks.



You hop inside this little round pod which has a wheel in the middle. That wheel controls how fast your specific pod will spin. Meanwhile, the entire pod is swung around in a circle along the perimeter of the ride.



Did I explain that well? No? Sorry, I haven't had much sleep and, ummm, also I don't know how to explain it.



The boys loved it...



And it looked pretty fun too! As long as you don't think about whether or not the maintenance on a machine like this is up to date, whether your pod will unhinge itself and go flying over the edge of the mountain, etc. You know, things like that.



I'm pretty sure they weren't thinking about that.



They probably weren't either

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Snooooooze



We were hit with an absolutely torrential thunderstorm last night. Usually I sleep through storms of all kinds without incident but even this one woke me from my slumber. Absolutely massive thunder and lightning... I don't think anyone in the area could have slept through it. Unless you live in a bomb shelter.... but even then....



Big thunderstorm last night mixed with a gray and rainy day today means a lot of this is going on in our house.



And this.



And this. I feel sorry for this poor creatures who must endure such a difficult existence!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Water Line!



A few weeks ago, we embarked upon an epic DIY project.

Okay. Epic is definitely not the right word. Boring is probably a better description.

Anyway, we put in a new water line to the horse pasture.




Check out this baby up close. It is a ditch digger and it makes me feel like a real man. Except that a) I'm not a man and b) I didn't use it at all. Really, I did very little for this except go "Hey, we need to go ahead and put that water line in....blah blah blah... yada yada yada" and then DM went and found the necessary parts and equipment and went about the project. I did, however, help fill in the ditch once the water line was in place. OH! And I held the spigot in place while he filled the dirt in around it. So, yeah, I was pretty indispensable to this project if I do say so myself.



The pipe had to go in the ground below the frost level which is why it was necessary to employ the services of the handy dandy ditch digger. I mean, you could try to dig a ditch 2 feet in the ground by hand, which would be great, and when you finished you would look like a magnificent god-like specimen with rippling muscles and all that jazz but.... who wants to do that? No one. Because it hadn't rained in weeks and the ground (which is already full of rocks) was like concrete.



One thing I find exceptionally annoying:

We have fifty bazillion dogs. Many of whom like to dig. So, why won't they use their digging powers for good instead of evil? Sure, they can dig a hole right in my typical walking path across the yard so that when I'm going to my car with stuff piled in my arms up to my eyeballs I don't see it, step in it, and fall down twisting my ankle, soiling my clothes, and dropping all of my stuff all over the place. They think that is hysterical. But will they help us dig a line for something useful? Nooooooo.Sheesh!

Side Note: Once the line has been put in and we have filled in the ditch will said dogs then go behind us and dig it up? Yes.



Progress made! The line goes in!



Look at him go! Have I ever told you how much he likes DIY projects? The answer is NOT AT ALL. He deplores them. Sorry, DM!

But, the good news is that we now finally have an actual spigot out by the horses' water trough!

And everyone lived happily ever after! (Except for B who will probably fall down in one of the holes the dogs left for her on the way to the pasture after they re-dug the ditch...)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rainy Day...



It's gray and rainy out there....

Which don't get me wrong- living in the middle of nowhere I really appreciate the rain that falls from the sky. It nourishes the plants and grass which feed our ponies and it provides all of us with water to nourish our bodies. While most people complain about the rain- I revel in it because I know how necessary it is not only for us but for all of the farmers with crops and livestock.

The only thing I don't love about it is the smell of wet dog x9 and 36 wet, muddy paws! :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Installing New Floors :: Dos



Let's see... where did we last leave off in our epic journey of do-it-yourselfness?? Ahh, yes.. we had cleared the room of all furniture, we inspected the filth of the carpet, and we discussed my pension to live more like a pre-schooler than someone of my actual age. Let's continue, shall we??

The gross carpet is on its way out!




See? Look, we are loading it in the truck!



No more carpet! Step 1 complete!

Actually, it isn't really step 1. It would really be, like step 50...but whatever.




Who wears loafers with basketball shorts and an NFL t-shirt? That guy. Sorry, ladies, he's taken! Please refrain from writing love letters trying to woo him away. It won't work!





Where's Baxter? Oh, there he is... on the couch... what a shock! As usual, he is providing no help whatsoever! What does he think this is? Just some place he can live in air conditioning, lounge around all day without putting any effort into anything, be petted and loved on constantly, and be provided with the finest food, water, and medical attention? Oh wait....





The floor is going in!!!





So much progress has been made!




Still a lot to do but it is looking good!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Installing New Floors!



So... here's the deal... Baby is on his way. I mean, we're at the 2 month countdown! So, there is nothing like a little deadline like, idunno, anewborn to really force one into action!

This is a "before shot" of our den.



And this one too.



And, this is a good example of what a weekend morning is like in maison de Mehler... FOR SHAME!!
Moving on....



Here is our den after we've moved everything out of the room (not a fun chore, I might add!)



Clearly Baxter is of no help to this operation.




View numero dos.
Note: I was not watching whatever was on TV here. If it isn't Fairly Odd Parents or Penguins of Madagascar.... Nickelodeon means NOTHING to me!!! Now, if we're talking Batman cartoons.... that's another story... I promise I'm not 6 years old.



Another shot of the glorious empty den.... just in case you hadn't yet had your fill.



See this stain? The one you've undoubtedly noticed in a few of the previous pictures? Yeah... it's gross, I know. With 9 dogs, I am always cognizant of happy (read: whipping) tails and their ability to clear a coffee table. As I was keeping an eye on my red Hi-C (What? No, I'm not 6 years old!) and holding onto Baxter's tail to prevent my drink from being launched across the room by said tail.... he head-butted it off the table. Epic fail.





Want to see more pictures of the gross carpet! Well then, today is your lucky day! Here it is again.... picked and with more stains!

While you are marveling at the utter awesomeness of our carpet, let me fill you in on what the real problem is with moving all of your den furniture out of the room in which it lives and thrives and belongs.




This...

This is supposed to be our dining room.



And this is supposed to be our kitchen.



This is supposed to be our hallway.

Just an FYI, it is not easy to maneuver around your house when your hallway is blocked, nor is it easy to sneak away from putting in new flooring in order to gorge yourself on yummy snacks when you have no kitchen. I am, however, growing partial to the club chair in the kitchen- I think it will make cooking much more comfortable and I'm looking to start a trend!

Stay tuned for the next step! In the meantime, you can find me lounging in the chair in the kitchen. But I'm thinking I should move it next to the refrigerator to maintain maximum comfort while exerting minimum effort...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Madeline



It's been a while since I've bombarded you with animals... so, there is no time like the present!



And before some of you start freaking out... she is not our dog!!



But she is quite precious, and she allowed me to snap a few photos of her before running off to find something better to do.



Not that I can blame her! I'm really not very interesting at all...



So, if you're having a bad day at work, take a look at Miss Madeline and hopefully her precious face will cheer you up!



Or eat an Oreo. Whatever works for you.