Thursday, January 6, 2011


We couldn't decide what to get our goddaughter, Charlotte, for Christmas. She didn't really need more clothes or a savings bond, and Andrew is really into musical enrichment from a young age, so we chose a very nice wooden-framed xylophone for her. It was a hit!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Santa Paws

Mandy and I dressed Lola and Max up in their Christmas sweaters and took them to PetSmart to meet Santa. Mandy and Lola went for a color explosion in their attire, in a look that Mandy described as "Skittles." Max and I went for a look called "shoot...doggy mommy slept too late and didn't have time to get ready." I slapped on a bright scarf and off we went. We posed for multiple shots and smiled and felt like good dog owners and called it a day.

It wasn't until we got home that we discussed how cheesy the whole racket was. We were expecting a Christmas wonderland, like they have at Marshall Fields. We would have even settled for a North Pole setup with glittery cotton snow like they have at the mall. Instead we got a cardboard background with a blurry tree scene, a grumpy photographer who couldn't work the digital camera, and a LADY Santa Claus that was losing her pleather boot covers. Despite the setbacks, the only thing that mattered that day was the happiness on Max and Lola's little doggy faces as they met Santa...and then discovered the cat food aisle.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Cookies Will Never Taste the Same

As I was dropping off a carful of excess junk at Goodwill, I came across this country-blue-scarf-wearing goose cookie jar...straight from my childhood! I couldn't help but wonder if it was the exact same goose that held dozens and dozens of after-school snack cookies during my grade school years. I entertained the thought of buying it for my mom for Christmas, but then figured she probably didn't want it back 15 years after she sold it for 50 cents at a yard sale. My brother likes to steal really tacky things from Mom's yard sales and wrap them up for her birthday and Christmas gifts. Surely you didn't mean to get rid of this afghan! I thought you would regret selling this cross-stitched Santa doorknob cover!

November 11th is Pepero Day!

The entire girls' night crew would like to thank Laura for participating in our December dinner. Though she was not there in body, she was present in Pepero spirit! She sent boxes of Peperos and Korean spa masks home with Andrew after his last Korea trip. Peperos are crunchy-cookie-chocolate-sticks that taste like heaven and have their own holiday, on November 11th (11-11 looks like four Peperos). We miss you, Laura!

Christmas Parade

Andrew Hartman's Funtime Band once again participated in the Bedford Christmas parade. Andrew Hartman himself spend the entire week making signs with the band name in Christmas lights...they looked great!

And then I met Smokey!

We Tried to Put Charlotte in a Sousaphone...

...but she was too big!

We will not make the same mistake again...we are going to get to Ashley and Clayton's baby (Claire!) before she outgrows it!

Kansas City Here I Come

I went on my first solo business trip to Kansas City during the first week in December. I am training for my new job with the UNICEF group. Andrew encouraged me to go to the hotel bar at least once and make some new friends. It was weird at first but then I met some great people, who agreed to take a picture with me after several rounds of "Christmas drinks." Before tonight we didn't even know Gingerbread vodka existed. New friends include: Christmas drink menu creator and aspiring Delta flight attendant, an independent filmmaker most known for his Ike and Dick presidential documentary on the History channel, and a computer-programming businessman who liked to say "bless your heart" a lot. Tonight I learned to talk to the people around me, because they all have good stories to tell.

Union Station is linked to the hotel I stayed in. It looks really wonderful and Christmas-y, and makes me want to hop on a train to the North Pole!