Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Day & Heather's Baby Shower

After a late start Christmas morning, due to not being able to get out of our driveway, we headed out to Damascus to my parents to have brunch with my parents, Grandma and Aunt. My Mom had quite the spread and we had a really nice time.
Rocco's first face to face with a squirrel. Notice his scarf? My Mom knit both he and Penny scarves for Christmas. We love them!

The Layne tree and presents

Rick and his Wii Fit, doing Yoga, with my Dad looking on

My Grandma and her new garbage can. She had such an old junky one, Rick and I got her a new one, and she said it was the fanciest gadget she'd ever gotten for Christmas :)

Our Christmas family picture, minus poor non-traveling Penny

Rocco on our way home with his new scarf, napping in Rick's lap.

We went to the Blazer game Christmas evening with Preston and Brianne, which was fun, but we had bad seats AND the Blazers lost :(
My friends Heather and Jay live in Salt Lake and have been home for Christmas break. I always look forward to the holidays when they come into town and we get to spend time together. This year Heather is pregnant too, so her family threw her a shower on Saturday, which was a lot of fun. I used to date her husband's brother, so it was fun seeing all his extended family there too, along with all Heather's family and my old church friends. I was just glad I could make it out there. I literally had to use a shovel to unbury my car, and there were a few dicey moments, but ultimately it was ok.
Jenn and Julie

Heather, and the little dress I got for Gwen (her soon to be daughter)

Julie and Heather's sisters-Jenn, Teri, Leslie and Shauna

Amers and I

Cute preggars Heather and me

I was about to say Heather is my last pregnant friend for awhile, but I forgot about Jenica for a sec! I guess I'm not out of the pregnant friend woods yet!
Becky was in town for Christmas, but I didn't even get one picture with the two of us while she was here :( I guess next time we'll have to make sure and do that. We got to spend 2 evenings together, so that was good, I sure have missed her since she's been gone. I got to see Denene, McKay and Carter over break too, and didn't get a picture of that either. I am slacking. I'm so glad I got to see all of you while you were home. Thanks for making time in your busy schedules to spend time with me while you're home! I love all my out of town friends :)
Tomorrow is New Years Eve! I can't believe it! Time is seriously flying, and I can't believe school starts in a week also! I'm not ready! I have really boring classes this semester too, so I am not looking forward to it.
Rick and I don't know what we're doing yet. Some of his co-workers are going to the restaurant Saucebox downtown, so we are considering that for awhile, and Jen and Dylan are having a low-key get together, so we may go there for awhile too. Either way, I'm sure I'll get some pictures to ring in 2009. Our last "00" year! It seems like Y2K was literally yesterday. Ok, well, TTFN!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Eve

Hi All!
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your families! We had a really nice Christmas this year, and didn't let all the snow and ice stop us from getting around. We went to Salem for Christmas Eve, to be with Rick's family, and even though the drive took us forever, it was worth it! We had a delicious dinner, and it was fun to watch the girls open their presents and get so excited.
This was our version of Christmas this year. No tree.

We took Rocco with us to his "Grandparents" for Christmas Eve.

Rocco and Penny's new present, hand made by Rick's Dad!! It's a hit, both cats love it!

Rick's parents got us a Wii Fit for Christmas, which is awesome! Here is my surprised face!

Even funnier, we opened ours first and Riley and Kailey were so mad that we got one and they didn't. For some reason it didn't cross my mind that there might be a 2nd one under the tree for them...
Peggy caught this hilarious shot of them right after they opened it, too bad Kailey's head got cut off!

At this point, Kailey is still hugging the Wii Fit, but at least I got a happy smile out of Riley

Rick, playing with Riley's High School Musical sing along gadget

Kim's new purse

Rocco bonding with his Grandpa

My new cookbook stand! Thanks Kim!

Riley's new Webkinz

Rocco under the tree

Riley and Kailey in front of the tree

Rocco in his house

Rick & I with Riley and Kailey and the cool movie ticket bowl that Riley made us

I have lots more pictures from the last couple days, but I have been sick, so I don't have much energy to do those today too. I'll get them up soon!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

Rick and I hope you each have a wonderful day celebrating with your friends and/or family. And we hope Santa brings you what you want :) We love you all!
Lauren & Rick

Monday, December 22, 2008

More snow!

It's official! We've broken snow records! There are 14.5 inches of snow at the airport as of today, which is the most December snow since 1965 or something like that. It's also the most snowfall at one time since 1980. Obviously this means there has never been this kind of snow in MY lifetime. It's been very impressive and we're not out of it yet. I think we are done with any real accumulation on the valley floor but it's not supposed to get much above freezing tomorrow so it's going to be a slow thaw. The roads are ice, snow, ice, snow piled onto each other, and there is just no way for the plows to keep up with this.
Rick had to work Saturday, but they closed early. He chained up in the evening to get home, and later decided to take Rocco out...

You can see how hard it was snowing, and how brightly Rocco's crazy eyes glow!

It was so cold I had enough after just a few minutes. That East wind is brutal!

You can see Rick is about calf deep here Saturday night in our front yard.

Here he is in our backyard which is trapped by the fence and hasn't blown around as much. Now it looks like a sandbox of snow back there, it's crazy! These footprints from Saturday night are completely filled now by Monday.

Sunday morning we woke up to about 3/4 of an inch of solid ice on top of everything thanks to some freezing rain over night. Yuck! It made the snow a really weird consistency and you could peel the sheets of ice off the top.
Rick outside with a chunk of ice off his car

They closed Rick's store thankfully, but I had tickets to see the Nutcracker with my Aunt and the crazy Oregon Ballet Theatre did not cancel it! Rick was nice enough to haul me downtown with the chains on for the performance. He watched a little football and waited for me. The roads were do-able yesterday with chains for sure. By the time we got back it was not as easy. With over a foot of snow it didn't leave much clearance under the Scion and our neighborhood streets were hard to navigate. We saw all sorts of idiots driving on I-5 with no chains on! There is no way! The roads are just solid packed snow, you can't see the lanes or anything. Luckily traffic was very light. The nice thing about the Nutcracker was how empty it was, and we could sit anywhere we wanted. The costumes and dancing were wonderful, but sadly, they don't have a live orchestra anymore (budget cuts) so it was just canned music.
Here is our driveway when we returned home from downtown, Sunday about 3:30pm, and it was snowing again!

Me in the front yard, standing on a little stone ledge we have, and the snow comes to the top of my boots!

Rick took this one of our cars this morning. My car hasn't gone anywhere for DAYS! In fact I have only bought ONE tank of gas all MONTH! it's a miracle. I normally (with work and school) get gas about 8 times a month!

You can see we have some drifts, but amazingly our stone walls are almost covered!

This morning Rick had to open the store at 10am and he had employees saying even with chains on 26 they were slipping and sliding. It will be interesting to see how busy they end up today. And because they were closed yesterday, they're extending the store's hours till 8pm instead of 6 on Christmas Eve, which I think is insane. Luckily Rick won't have to close, but I feel for those who are!
It's amazing to think Christmas Eve is the day after tomorrow! I have all sorts of baking to do, but can't get to the store, so I am waiting for Rick to get home tonight. Hopefully the roads will be somewhat better by then, so we can get to Salem Wednesday evening, and Damascus Thursday morning. What a wild storm this has been!
Hopefully you are all warm and not going stir crazy (like me). Enjoy it while it lasts!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Baby, it's cold outside!

We are under quite a blanket of snow here in the Northwest as I am sure many of you are experiencing as well. It's a treat if you ask me. I sort of like not having anywhere to go, or having anything to do. And it fits quite nicely with my budget right now too :)
You'll have to forgive me because Rick has been working long hours and I have been stuck inside with the cats for DAYS now. So all these pictures of them. Well, mostly Rocco :)
I took Rocco out the other day and he was not a fan, but I decided to try again and he loved it this time. Here's a few pictures of the last couple days.
Rocco helping me to wrap Christmas presents

Both cats tandem napping on my office chair. Where am I supposed to sit? They like it here because its directly in front of the heater.

Rocco in a Nordstrom bag.

It was already snowing this morning at 7:30 when I woke up and hasn't stopped all day. It's 2:30 now. We have about 3 and a half inches I would say, maybe a bit more now. They're saying up to 8 inches by the end of it, then we get freezing rain on top of that. Yuck! By tomorrow night it's all supposed to melt. Sad :(
Here's some pics from today...
Rocco's first real encounter with the snow. he kept pouncing on it.

me in front of our house :)

The house and a little Rocco

Rocco on the tree planters

And later, back inside, meowing to go back out.

Stay tuned, maybe I'll have more pictures for you later! Happy winter!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Deck of the Halls

Every year our friends Jen & Dylan Hall have a Christmas party at their house and call it "Deck of the Halls". This year, due to the threat of bad weather and for whatever other reasons, a lot of people didn't show up, but it was still a lot of fun. We always do a White Elephant gift exchange which is generally hilarious. Thanks again Jen & Dylan for having us and for the good time! We love you!
The scene at their house, pre gift exchange. I loved their tree, since we don't have one this year :(

Dylan, giving his annual speech, welcoming us all and explaining the gift exchange

Jen, who said "boo" to the tools, but "yay" to the snickers!

Ryan, with the sheep gift

A blurry Rick, with Trivial Pursuit and fancy hot cocoa

Misty, me and Jen

Me and the hostess with the mostest

Later in the evening always ends up a dance party. Bill and Jen competing for the best dancer...

DJ Rick. I guess I should explain I got Rick some wireless turntable thing for his birthday. I ordered it the beginning of September and it finally just came last week! He was in heaven running the music for the party!

The gang this year, minus TJ because his gift that he was holding was too inappropriate for my blog!

In other happenings...the weather! If you're not an Oregonian like us, I don't know if you've heard about the weather here but it's crazy! We've been below freezing since Friday I think. This many days in a row is so unheard of here and it is supposed to continue all the way through next Monday! They're saying it may hit 34 tomorrow, but that really does not count in my book as a heat wave! We had snow on Sunday, but it was so windy here that anything that did accumulate quickly blew away or evaporated. Vancouver got nearly nothing, so with us being so far north, we really hardly got anything either. Everyone further south and east of us, and higher elevation got quite a bit, and days later the side roads are still a huge mess. We are expected to get a few more inches tomorrow, then some freezing rain, then maybe some regular rain, followed by more snow. And Sunday is supposed to be "the biggest snow event" so far. Goodness! I don't know what to think about all of this wintery weather, since we often don't get this much all winter, let alone packed into one week! I am actually enjoying it though. We have NOTHING scheduled for work, which is good because of the weather but bad because it means I am earning nothing this month. I am glad to not have to worry about driving in the snow and ice though because I am just not experienced. Hopefully if we get some decent snow tomorrow I'll be able to take Rocco out in it to see what he thinks, and get some pictures. It's hard to believe Christmas Eve is one week from tomorrow. I finished all our Christmas shopping yesterday, just in case the weather prevented me from not getting back out. I also went to the grocery store tonight to stock up in case of a big storm and they were out of tons of things. I heard Fred Meyers all over town were out of milk, bread and cold weather things like cocoa. Ours had hardly any macaroni and cheese but other than that, nothing else that I was desperate for. I stocked up on milk, bread and soup and have a week's worth of meals just in case. The only bad thing that has happened so far is the drain our washer drains into froze up so when I ran a load of laundry the water ran over the pipe causing some water to end up on the floor. The pressure of the water broke through the freezing layer of sitting water easily and the rest drained out fine. It just meant a little clean up. Thank goodness. I can not take any more water problems around here right now!
Well I hope you are all keeping plenty warm and enjoy the snow tomorrow!