Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Birds of Winter

Cold and snow mean lots of birds in our yard. Here are few shots from the last few days.

One of these things is not like the other
I was so excited to see a Cedar Waxwing mixed in with the flock of Robins. I hardly ever see these birds and they are so pretty.

Robin in the snow
BERRIES!... it's what's for dinner!

Windy Much?
Hold on tight little lady cause it sure is windy today!

Dark-Eyed Junco sitting atop a snow pile.

One of my favorites
One of my favorite winter visitors. This bright Pine Warbler hangs around all winter.

Blue Jays love them or hate them, they are fascinating...big gluttonous pigs....but fascinating.

Phoebe & Charlotte's favorite past time
Why have all this bird action if you can't play with them??
Jeez, no fair!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas was perfect this year. So many times I reminded myself to take in the moment and breathe it in and lock it away. That's one of the good lessons that cancer teaches you - being aware of trying to live in the moment more often.

My mom spent the holiday with us so it was just the 5 of us. It was wonderful to be with the people I love and spend time just being together. No schedules, no orders, nothing but being in the moment and being together. We were again thankful for the reason we actually celebrate Christmas. The birth of Christ. He revealed himself to me that first night Ellie was in the hospital and I am so thankful for his birth and the sacrifice he made for all of us. Ellie is here with us and we are so very thankful as a family for this amazing blessing.

The other side of Christmas was great too. Ellie and Emma were so happy with their gifts. We are fortunate to give our girls many things and we know better than to spoil them silly but we do like to go a teensy bit overboard. We also spoiled my mom a little this year too. I got her a few Williraye pieces and Steve got her a George Forman grill so she can whip up a nice juicy steak without having to go and turn on the gas grill outside and then we gave her her favorite gift...a new color Nook. It's the latest e-reader from Barnes & Noble and I know she is going to really love it. She reads a lot so this was perfect. She can also borrow library books with it and lend books to me on my Ipad. Glad my mom is so hi-tech and savvy in her golden years.

Steve and I don't like to over do it with each other at all since we both agree Christmas is for the kids but we both gave each other some really nice things. We decided this year to have turkey for Christmas dinner. We were so sad that we didn't have leftovers at Thanksgiving this year (we went away for Thanksgiving) so it was a no brainer to make turkey. Steve actually made it all. He always make a delicious turkey. As we sat to eat in the dinning room, the snow began to fall really hard. It was perfect. I wish my dad were with us but he was there in spirit and I know he is much happier where he is now.

Merry Christmas everyone - I hope you enjoyed yours as much as I enjoyed mine.

Santa was here
Christmas Eve after Santa arrived and the girls were sleeping.

grandma and her girls
Grandma Marilyn and the girls on Christmas Eve

Christmas snacks
Holiday treats!

Sweet Ellie
Merry Christmas from Ellie!

So happy
Surprise! Emma so wanted this jacket but didn't think she was getting it. Love when a surprise actually works out!

Crafting Mama
A new DS game for Ellie. She has Cooking Mama, Gardening Mama and now Crafting Mama.

A new DS
The DS is compliments of Grandma. She was using Emma's old one for a long time and now she has her very own.

3x the fun
Justin Bieber times 3! She is in heaven

Who wants coffee?
Steve adores his new coffee maker!

New Brighton Jewelry!
New Brighton Jewelry for me!

Snow on Christmas
Christmas Day as the snow started to fall.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Almost Finished...

I am nearing the light at the end of the work tunnel. Finally!! Oi Vhey, I am getting too old to work these many hours. My yearly cold decided that last week would be a fabulous time to visit too and I have been suffering through with some painful sinuses over the last few days. I can deal with that for the most part - cannot deal with the lovely cold sores that sprung up because of the virus. So with my scary looking thumb (the nail came off this week so I have half of a flesh thumb at the top because the nail hasn't grown that far yet) and my oh so pretty mouth sores, I am looking like something more Halloweenish than Christmasy. Stress, the gift that keeps on giving. But all the major stresses are behind me now. First and foremost, clean, clear and cancer free scans for Ellie, work orders are almost done and my yearly cold has pretty much come and gone. It has to be smooth sailing into 2011. I'm ready.

Next week the girls have off (and the past two days due to snow) and we have some craft days lined up, pedicures, going to see Tangled and some baking. Lots to look forward to... Yeah for normal hours and having a life again!

A days worth of orders in early December.
We were doing about 35 teacher notepads a day.

We sold a ton of melamine plates this season. They are so cute!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Ornaments

I am working as hard as one of Santa's elves these days getting all of the holiday orders for Tickle Bellies out the door. 10 more days or so of the craziness and then I am thinking I can take a break. I have been able to sneak in lots of online shopping over the last two weeks so I am actually chipping away nicely at my gift list. Kudos to me and to online shopping too! So since I am soooo busy right now with work and not venturing out of the house much, I thought I would show you some of the ornaments that adorn our tree.

Our Christmas tree is quite the hodge-podge of ornaments. Some are handmade by the girls, some are of their favorites characters or shows from whatever it was they were into that particular year, there are those that Steve and I got together as a couple or that were given to us and then ones that I have fallen in love with and purchased myself. I try to get at least one special ornament each year. So many memories hang on those branches. There is nothing better than sitting with some hot cocoa at night in front of the tree reminiscing.
So here is a little photo display of some ornaments that adorn the Bouchard Family Christmas tree.

This beautiful ornament sits atop the tree, a bit crooked, but I love it!
Williraye are one of my favorite collectibles and I have many pieces throughout the house.

This was a wedding gift. So glad it hasn't broken over the last 18 years

Ornament from my girlfriend Laurel from many years ago

Emma made this in elementary school

Ellie loves Ariel...
She got this several years ago but still smiles each time we take her out. Oh and she sings too.

This is probably my favorite ornament. I bought this the year Steve and I were married to go on our first 'official' Christmas tree. Classic Hallmark. The cookies in Santa's belly move around and now it is one of Ellie's favorite ornaments.

Krinkle ornament that I got in a cute shop in downtown Richmond a few years ago.
Sadly that shop became a casualty of the recession. :( ba humbug!

Just look at them!
Ellie was about 13 months old & Emma is 7.
We lived in Marlyand at the time of this photo.

I believe my mom got this for me. She knows I love birds almost as much as Ellie loves Ariel.

More Williraye - sigh...

This is for our Shepherds - Austin and Shane. We miss them

This snowman isn't technically on the tree but he is sitting at a neighboring table so I am including him. Another cute Williraye snowman.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Woo Hoo!

Tis the season for me to be super duper busy! A quick update to tell you that Ellie had her 3 month check-up at St Jude on December 1st. Thanking the good Lord above that she remains cancer free. We don't have to head back to St Jude until May 31st now. What a nice break that will be! So happy that stressful time is behind us (for a while anyway).

Plugging along with work for the next 2 weeks so I will update when I can... Enjoy the beauty of the season!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


We drove up to Connecticut at 3:30 in the morning on Wednesday. We hardly encountered any traffic at all and we were extremely pleased about that. So worth not having any sleep. Our first stop was at Steven's Aunt Ann's house. She rallied up the troops so we were able to visit with a lot of family that we just don't get to see that often. Ellie and Emma love seeing their cousins and getting to catch up... we love it too. They are so full of love and it always makes us reconsider living so far away. After our day with family, we headed to our friends Laurel and Tony's place. We stay with them every time we go home. Laurel and I have been friends for years and she makes us feel so comfortable when the four of us stay for a few days. She always has a little something waiting for the girls in their room and they have the fridge stocked with all our favorites. They are the best - such good friends - we are really lucky.

That night my girlfriend MaryAnn came out to pizza with Laurel, Emma and me. Steve and Ellie hung back with Tony so they could all go to bed early. We went to Pepe's pizza and it was AMAZING as it always is. So wish we could have something even halfway as good as this pizza in Richmond. Of course, we did a little shopping after dinner as we caught up some more.

Thursday morning Steve, Ellie and I awoke at 6:30 to get ready for the Manchester Road Race. This race is one of the biggest and most famous ones on the east coast. The race is 4.8 miles and it started in 1927 and there are 15,000 runners and about 20,000 people lining the race route. When Steve was a police officer in Manchester he had to work this race every year. Running was not an option. So this year we decided we were heading home for Thanksgiving and that it would be perfect for him to finally run. He did a fabulous job and crossed the finish line in about 46 minutes. Ellie and I stayed with some friends who have a house along the route around mile marker 3.5. I was so thankful to have a warm house to duck into with hot apple cider- it was freezing cold and my thin Virginia blood was not happy. We had a fun morning cheering on the runners and seeing all the goofy costumes too.

After the race we headed to Wilbraham, Massachusetts to Steven's sister's house. It was the perfect spot to spend our New England holiday. They have a beautiful home located on a wooded lot and inside there was a crackling fire ablaze in the fireplace and all those wonderful smells of turkey and stuffing...just picture perfect! Darlene and John were fabulous hosts and dinner was de.lic.ious. It was really great to be there with Steve's sisters and the girls' cousins. Once again we were wishing we didn't live so far away. Emma mentioned several times about how nice it would be to live back in this area, she was really enjoying all the family time over the last two days. The day was perfect and on Friday after a quick visit with my niece and a little shopping, we headed home and again there was no traffic problems at all. That in itself is amazing. We have so much to be thankful for in our lives. Healthy and happy girls, wonderful family, fabulous friends and the best part of all - realizing how thankful we are and not taking it for granted. Now if only I had some Thanksgiving leftovers....

Here are some photos from our holiday.

Steve with his Aunts Rose, Ann and Joan.

Ellie and her partner in crime, cousin Gianna

Pepe's pizza. OMG

15,000 runners ready, set, GO!

There's our runner boy! He stopped to give Ellie a kiss.

There were hundreds of costumes. I have dozens of funny photos -this one is pretty interesting... did I mention it was about 35 degrees out?


There were pilgrims, indians, many turkeys and one very large turkey head, santas, ballerinas, Teletubbies, Smurfs, chickens, tacos, french fries, angels, elmo, cookie monster, bananas, astronauts, sports players, wizards, super heroes and many many more costumes.

I have no idea how this Christmas Tree could see.

After the race. Great job!!

4 wheeling at Aunt Darlene and Uncle Johns! What fun

Ready to hit the trails

Ellie had a BLAST with her cousin Jeff

Steve and I take a spin. :)

Hold on tight Emma

The girls with their cousins Jeff and Greg. They are great kids.

Steven with 3 of his sisters (he has 4 total and one brother). Denise, Linda and Darlene

Sunday, November 21, 2010


So cute

A Sunday shout out from Phoebe and Tucker! Aren't they just the cutest?? Tucker tolerates all of his feline sisters & brothers so well. Kanye irritates him the most because he likes to bite his face...kind of cute...heh. Phoebe is Tucker's BFF. She loves to hang out with him. They are great friends.

I am falling short in the photo department these days... too busy with work to do much photography. We are headed to New England for Thanksgiving so I will have lots of photos to share upon my return. Family, road races, new england sights...cannot wait. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!