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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday Sustenance


"Of all the things for which I feel grateful, one stands [above all the others]. That is a living testimony of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Almighty God, the Prince of Peace, the Holy One...

Jesus is my friend. He is my exemplar. He is my teacher. He is my healer. He is my leader. He is my Savior and my Redeemer. He is my God and my King.

Gratefully, and with love, I bear witness of these things."
 

- Gordon B. Hinckley

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas Nativity(Image credits – Frame, Nativity)

We’ve been busy-busy the last few weeks! 

So much to tell you about and journal here on the blog…  a fun family trip to Arizona, a birthday party, more milestones, and a very positive 2-yr well check. 

But, there are too many preparations left to complete for the upcoming holidays and lots of fun company coming! 

So, for now…

 

We wish you a verym

 

We hope you have a wonderful holiday…

See you in 2011!

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Brief Bits

Nearly two months have passed since my last Brief Bits post.  Way too long.  I had a list going of over 60 ideas I wanted to share, and even more in my Reader.  Since so many of them were holiday related, and I woke up at a gosh-awful hour this morning, I thought I should throw them up on the blog before the big day arrives.  I know there's really no time now to create a new holiday decoration or add another goodie to your menu, but maybe something there's something here you'll want to remember for next year?

So, in the interest of time, here's a super-quick round-up of what I've found on the web recently that got my creative juices flowin':


Going to break it up, to make it a bit easier to digest... there's a lot of good stuff here!

DECOR

1.  From AllSorts - Festive Felt Christmas Trees
I want to make a trio of these for the table in my entryway... so cute!

2.  From eighteen25 - Christmas Subway Art and Glitter Trees
There were so many free printables offered up this season!  (I even offered a few myself.)  By far, my most favorite was this rendition by eighteen25... adorable!  And, I love the glitter trees they shared, too.  (Now, I just need to overcome my loathing of glitter - love the look, hate the mess!)

3.  From The Stories of A to Z - PB-Inspired NOEL sign
LOVE this!  I'm anxious to make one of my own.

4.  From Eddie Ross - Ornament Wreath
While I was not his biggest fan on Top Design, there's no denying that his Ornament Wreath is a classic... and tops on my list of Christmas crafts to complete.  :)

5.  From The Speckled Dog - Christmas Ribbon Wreath
So fun and so cute!  Next year...

6.  From Domestifluff - Ruffly Felt Rosette Wreath
I definitely see one of these in my future... Just need to commit to cutting hundreds of circles by hand.  Maybe a red one for Valentine's Day??

7.  From The Birkmeyer's - Yarn Wreath with Rolled Felt Flowers
Not only is this adorable wreath by a good friend and former roommate of mine, it might be my favorite one of the 7 I'm sharing today.  LOVE the color palette - so perfect and unexpected, and I adore those felt flowers!  So cute!

8.  From The Diary of Dave's Wife - Holly Jolly Yarn Wreath
Another cute version of a yarn wreath... love the combined colors!

9.  From Just Between Friends - Winter Wreath
Another pretty version of Eddie Ross's classic ornament wreath.  Love the addition of tinsel and beads.

10.  From Pickles - Felt Ball Wreath
Felt Balls.  Must.find.some.

11.  From Oh Happy Day - Felt Ball Garland
Another project for felt balls... I NEED to make one of these!  Next year...

12.  From Noodlehead - Snowflake Pillows
I have a soft spot for anything snowflake, and most of my holiday decor is in a red/white combo.  I'd love to make a bunch of these for the sofa.

13.  From Really Quite Lucky - Starry Nativity Backdrop
I have this nativity set... it's my favorite.  I didn't think I could love it any more than I already do, until I saw this clever lighted backdrop.  I need to figure out how to do this for next year!

14.  From Make It Do - Stove Top Potpourri
I'm really tempted to send Brian to the store for these ingredients today.  I love the smells of Christmas!

FOOD

15.  From The Sisters Cafe - Pumpkin Pie Squares
Pumpkin pie is my favorite of all the pies.  These yummy treats are going on my list!

16.  From Hostess with the Mostess - Layered Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
Three of my favorite things all wrapped up in one delicious bar.  I have all the ingredients... just no time this weekend.  Darn.  Maybe Wednesday...  ;)

17.  From Make It Do - Orange Glazed Poppyseed Bread
My mother is the quick bread queen.  So, naturally I have a fondness for them, too.  Plus, I love anything poppyseed.  Yum!

18.  From Make It and Love It - Cranberry Cake with Warm Vanilla Butter Sauce
This looks like the perfect holiday dessert... can't wait to give it a try!

19.  From The CooCoo Nest - Breakfast Muffins
These definitely look holiday breakfast worthy...  maybe for New Year's Day??

20.  From Glitter to Gumdrops - Pecan Pie Muffins
Mmmmm... YUM!  (And the recipe is easy, to boot!)

21.  From Sherbet Blossom - Loaded Pretzels
Pretzels and chocolate are a dangerous combination for me... these look mandatory!

22.  From Crazy Domestic - Melted Snowman Cookies
How CUTE are these?!  I think they'll be a must in January next year for me.

23.  From The Sisters Cafe - Pumpkin Cream Trifle
This reminds me that my trifle bowl is grossly underused.  I'll be breaking it out for this delicious recipe... STAT!

24.  From Hallelujahs by Holly - Butterfinger Wannabes Recipe
My mom is a big fan of Butterfingers.  I think she's going to have to give these a try!

25.  From The Cook Next Door - Pumpkin Crumb Cake
Have you noticed a favorite ingredient yet??  I heart all things pumpkin... it's not just for Thanksgiving, anymore.  This looks melt-in-your-mouth YUMMY!

26.  From The Idea Room - Powdered Donut Snowmen Treats
How cute are these?!  Love this.

27.  From Kraft Foods - Triple-Chocolate Mousse Cake
This recipe is definitely making an appearance at Casa de Sprik on New Year's Eve.  I can't wait!

Whew!  So, there you have it... 27 great holiday finds. I hope something here inspires you, too!

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Sustenance


"We all enjoy giving and receiving presents.  But there is a difference between presents and gifts.  The true gifts may be part of ourselves - giving of the riches of the heart and mind - and therefore more enduring and of far greater worth than presents bought at the store." 

- James E. Faust



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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Sustenance

"Learn to enjoy every minute of your life.  Be happy now.  Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future.  Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family."


- Earl Nightingale


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Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

This is a post I did on our third anniversary... it's only fitting to re-post it  today, on our FIFTH anniversary!

1. Where did you and your husband meet? As mentioned previously here and here on Sprik Space, we met online in March 2005. I made him wait until mid-May before meeting face-to-face... In fact, the day he was coming to Phoenix, he ended up catching an earlier flight than planned. I had already mapped out my day, which included leaving work early to run home to freshen up. I think he had landed, already at the airport, by the time I was ready to leave work, but I still made him wait until I was able to run home quick. (So glad he was patient, though he was told that I had to "work late"!) When I picked him up curbside, I was so dumbfounded that he was normal, I couldn't stop saying "I can't believe you're here!" I drove us straight to In-n-Out Burger, because I was so nervous and knew that was one of his favorite places. There we immediately began our first official date (all for less than $9)... romantic, huh?

2. How long before you kissed?
Ummm... just a few hours after meeting face-to-face! It was later that night at my apartment. Of course I made sure he bought me dinner first. ;)

3. Who kissed who first? He kissed me... naturally. 



4. How long from the time you met until you were engaged? How long from the engagement to the wedding? We were engaged on July 1st of that same year (3.5 months after meeting online, 1.5 months after meeting face-to-face)... and married on December 10th (5 months from the engagement).

5. How did he propose?
I had flown to Denver to see him over the Fourth of July weekend. That Friday, I had scheduled time with my friend, Andi, for her to cut & color my hair, and for us to sneak over quick to a local bridal shop. We were running late leaving downtown to get to Andi's, but Brian insisted we stop by the temple on our way. I was completely oblivious to what he had planned, but decided to be kind and indulge him, even though I was a little annoyed and didn't want to be late. We pulled up to the temple, which was closed at the time for renovations, but one of the gates was open for the workers and Brian barreled on in. We parked and got out to stroll around for a minute, when suddenly he was down on one knee. I was caught so off guard, that to this day, I still don't remember the words he said, just the emotions I felt.

6. Did he pick out the ring or did you?
He picked out the ring, all by himself. He knew I wanted a solitaire in white gold, and he had my ring size, and that was about it.

7. Do you still like the ring?
Yes, I love it! It's very simple and classic, but set in an interesting way. I just wish it fit a little better right now! (ahhh, pregnancy)

8. Where was your wedding and reception? We were married in the Denver LDS Temple, and had a small luncheon reception at Il Fornaio with 30 of our closest friends and family (who either lived in town or had traveled to be with us). Our wedding was practically a destination wedding, with both sets of parents and many friends having to travel in from Arizona, Illinois, and Michigan. We kept the luncheon small and intimate, just the way both of us wanted. It really couldn't have been more perfect.

9. How many bridesmaids did you have and who
was your maid of honor? I didn't have any bridesmaids at my wedding, though I suppose technically you could say Andi was my maid of honor (she got stuck with hair and make-up duty the morning of the wedding).

10. What did you do at your reception? Besides having lunch together, we also held a small ring ceremony officiated by the bishop of the ward Brian was baptized in. It was a really special way for us to have the opportunity to say how we felt about each other, in front of everyone present. The bishop said a few words, and we also had toasts offered up by siblings and close friends as part of it.

11. What was your bouquet made of? Just white calla lilies (and a few fronds of green grass), all bundled together with ribbon.

12. Who gave you away?
I suppose you could say that both of my parents did. It was a temple ceremony, so there was no walking down the aisle, persay.

13. Did you cry during your wedding?
A tiny bit before, during, and after. I'm pretty sure I was a little teary all day long.



14. What style was your dress? I actually almost didn't buy a wedding dress... but then I found the one perfect for me. It was a very simple A-line style which I had altered from cap sleeves to 3/4-length sleeves, with satin banding the neckline and hem, and a small amount of beading detail at the empire waist.

15. Was your wedding kiss sweet or sexy?
Short and sweet.

16. Who caught your bouquet?
I actually never threw my bouquet. I think my sister was the only other single girl in attendance that day. Pretty sure the flowers spent the weekend at Andi's while we were on our honeymoon.

17. What flavor was your cake? My memory on this is a little fuzzy... I think it was a white chocolate cake with a strawberry or raspberry filling and buttercream frosting. It was small, only 2 tiers, but we had plenty of leftovers, which we devoured on our honeymoon.

18. Did you smash the cake onto each other's faces or feed it to each other nicely?
We fed each other in a civilized fashion, of course! We hadn't talked about it before, so I was relieved we were both on the same page.

19. What was "your song" that you danced to at your wedding?
We didn't have dancing at our wedding... middle of the day, small private room at the restaurant... no room for it really. If I had to choose a song that was "our song", especially at the time, I would say that it was "I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever" by Stevie Wonder.

20. What did you serve your guests to eat? If I remember correctly, we chose this menu for our guests, along with a couple of appetizers. It was most certainly delicious!

21. What did your friends or family do to decorate your car?
They didn't... thank goodness! Given the fact that it was below freezing (yet blue skies and sunny) that day, I don't think anyone was inclined to do the dirty prank.


22. What was your favorite wedding
gift? We mostly received cash and gift cards for our wedding, which was a huge blessing. We had just bought a new house, so we were able to purchase accessories, accent furniture, and even some exercise equipment, thanks to everyone's generosity.

23. What was the worst wedding gift you got?
I don't really remember a "worst" wedding gift. If there was something we received that we didn't really need, we were able to return it.

24. Where did you go on your honeymoon? Breckenridge. We drove up into the beautiful mountains of Colorado, and stayed in a condo for a few days at the Mountain Thunder Lodge. It was snowy, cold, and absolutely gorgeous up there. Afterwards, we traveled back down to the Denver area to pick up my things, and drive on to Chicago... stopping for a night in Nebraska, to tour Winter Quarters the next morning.

25. Looking back, is there anything you would have changed about your wedding?
The wedding day and luncheon were absolutely perfect - I don't think there's one thing I would change about it. (Sure not everything went according to plan, but those details are trivial and don't really matter.) What I would change is the amount of stress we had circling around us at the time... I moved to Denver in August to be closer to Brian, but then he left for a job opportunity in Chicago just 2 weeks later - so we were long-distance, again! Just about every other weekend was full of traveling to see the other and taking care of the loose details we couldn't handle long-distance. September was spent house hunting and Brian was adjusting to a new job; October was all about buying the house. In November, I was trying to coordinate the movers and getting everything settled (all while finalizing wedding plans and attempting to do some freelance work). Then, the wedding in December, and finally being together. Things were so crazy and stressful, I'm honestly surprised we survived! Without the support of good friends and family, I'm not sure we would have made it through all of that. (But, in the end, it was all worth it, and we became stronger because of it.)


Thank you, Brian, for the past FIVE
very wonderful, years!
You were definitely worth the wait.
I love you!


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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Just because (13)

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For you, another holiday printable in the Just Because series
(Inspired by Larissa of Just Another Day in Paradise.)
To download the 5x7 image(s) for printing, simply click on the collage to the left, and a new window will open to the download locations in 4shared.  Save to your computer, and it’s yours!  Just print it out yourself, or upload to your photo printer of choice.

*** UPDATED 06/26/12 ***
New download location for these images is here 


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Random pics for the grandparents

With this post, I’m considering myself caught up…

I will do better with posts on December’s activities… promise.

DSC02622.2October 28, 2010

DSC02745.2Making friends with a grizzly bear – November 16, 2010

IMG_1470.2Cool – October 21, 2010

DSC02778.2Santa baby – November 25, 2010

Silly Glasses - November 2010These plastic glasses are from a Halloween party favor, and they’re one of Connor’s prized possessions.  He especially loves to wear them during mealtime.

DSC02630.2October 28, 2010

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Big E and little e

Before Halloween… way back in mid-October, my brother, Erik, and sister-in-law, Emily, came to visit!  (Like I said, I’m way behind on blogging the family stuff.)

A brief synopsis…

With Connor, we kept things pretty low-key, making sure that there was plenty of time for bonding…

DSC02568.2 Lounge buddies – October 21, 2010

Brian was able to take a much-deserved day off, so we all headed downtown to the Shedd on one of the days during their visit.

Visit to the Shedd Aquarium w- E&e - October 21, 2010061.2 DSC02512.2 DSC02547.2DSC02556.2 5x7DSC02555.2

Big E and little e. 

Check out that spread…  he’s 6’4”, and she’s 5’2”.  (I know!) 

As a tall girl, I really should hate her (for taking a tall guy off the market), but I like her way too much, and she did marry my brother.

On Erik's shoulders and the Chicago Skyline - October 21, 2010Connor’s favorite spot that day was atop Erik’s shoulders.

054.2Seriously – all Connor wanted to do while they were visiting was curl up in Erik’s lap. -  October 20, 2010

1287845727072.2Connor’s 1st basketball game – October 23, 2010

Emily and I got some good bonding time in, too.  Like the afternoon I hit a bunny rabbit with the car on our way to the store, and I couldn’t bear to see it flopping around on the street in my rear-view mirror, so I u-turned and finished it off.  Thump… thump. 

Not my finest moment.

Besides the rabbit massacre, it was a fun, few days. 

We’re so glad they came out to visit! 

Hopefully roadkill won’t keep them away for too longsignature5…   ;)

Monday, December 06, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Yeah, just a little behind in my family blogging… bear with me.

Halloween 2010

Halloween was very low-key for us this year.  Connor’s not yet two, so he doesn’t really know any different.  We had plans to go out of town, but changed our minds at the last minute and opted for a quiet family weekend at home instead.  Brian carved his annual pumpkin – Elmo this year, of course.  And, Connor had to give it kisses.

The only candy I had in the house at the last minute were Tootsie Pops from Halloween 4 years earlier.  No one seemed to mind.  ;)  Connor had a grand time just passing out candy to all the trick-or-treaters, at least those he didn’t scare away with his excited screeches.

Because I need to add a little seasonal balance to this post… it being December and all, here you go:

Christmas Tree 2010

You’re welcome.signature5

To you and yours...

2010 Christmas Card Outtakes

So, last year’s picture selection was infinitely cuter.  Oh well.  To think I thought it was difficult last year! Even though I’m not in love with my limited picture choices, I’m pleased with how this year’s Christmas card turned out.

I had 2 conditions this year in printing the cards – I wanted to submit my own design, and have them printed on cardstock, not photo paper.  So, I sent them off to be printed by Vistaprint.  An added bonus is that the back includes a B&W picture of Santa & Connor and a link to this, our family blog.  While I didn’t love the ridiculous shipping & handling charges (over $13), the per card price (around $0.80 per card/envelope/return address label) was very reasonable.  I think I received them in a little over a week after submission.  (And I was so excited about them, I mailed them out the day after Thanksgiving… just a wee bit too early, I know!)

Gosh, he’s changed so much in the last year!  It’s sad how fast it’s all going…

Voila!  The Sprik family 2010 Christmas Card…

2010 Christmas Card

Hope you’re all having a wonderful holiday season so far!signature5

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Sunday Sustenance

“One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged.  Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.”
- Lucille Ball


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