Thursday, February 25, 2010

vday love

Aaron and I did get to celebrate vday even if it was a bit late. Not only was it vday celebration, it was also date night. Lately Friday nights have been Aaron and Erin nights, but we rent a movie and stay home and relax. Then Saturdays are always filled with things to do... so date nights haven't happened too much lately. It was nice to spend some quality time together, doing the 2 things we do best. Eating. Spending time together.

Aaron got me some sweet flowers. I love getting flowers. They are the best. :) Looks like he wasn't able to find a vase.. I guess the fancy water pitcher does a great job as well.

Showing off the flowers. :)

1st we had a delicious dinner at Stoney River. We had never been there before and had heard some great things about it... and it was all true. We had a table right by the big stone fireplace!

And then we went to... MELTING POT! So.. we may seem a bit indulgent when it comes to food.. but it was necessary. Every New Years Day we celebrate with Aaron's family with fondue. We have an ongoing list where we write down ideas for upcoming years and cross off things that were not that awesome. We usually start around lunch time, and it's an all day affair. We do cheese and then the main course. We have everything: steak, shrimp, chicken, fish, potatoes, mushrooms (much fought over.. yuck), etc. We also have tons of fixings: A-1, teriyaki sauce, chive dip, ranch, etc. Seriously, it's a big deal. After the main course, we have to take a break. We usually watch a movie or take a nap or play a game. And then it's dessert time. oh yummy dessert. CHOCOLATE. with strawberries, bananas, cheesecake, pound cake and more. So delicious. Well, this year we weren't able to have the annual Howell Fondue day due to a cousin getting married. Believe it or not, there are a few things more important that fondue.. So, Aaron and I found it necessary to start the year off right (even if we were about 2 months behind) and have some chocolate fondue.

And there he is: the love of my life. smile.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tick Tock

I love sleep... Now don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those people who sleeps their life away, a person who sleeps during every free moment.. but I sure do enjoy getting in my Sunday afternoon naps. And I sure do love sleeping in in the morning. But alas, I have a job. One that requires me to get up and shower and make myself presentable and arrive at my client's office at a reasonable time. Lately, (ok really I've had this problem as long as I can remember) I'm struggling with getting out of bed in the morning. I can always drag myself out of bed with just enough time. Sometimes hair washing is skipped... every once in awhile showers... sacrifices are sometimes made for sleep. I rush to get ready and speed to get to work on time. I used to think this was the perfect way to do it. Sleep as long as possible. But lately I've been thinking it would be nice to have just 15 or so extra minutes in the morning. 15 extra minutes to start a load of laundry, make the bed, eat breakfast, etc... Or 45 extra minutes so I could get a workout in during the morning instead of at 9:30 at night. I'm struggling. I'm not sure why I can't get up 15 minutes early. It's not like I don't get a decent amount of sleep. (6-7 hours is decent, right?) And every once in awhile, I randomly wake up at 5, but just go back to sleep because I just don't want to be awake that early. So I know it's possible.. I just need to figure out how to do it.

Maybe I need one of these: It's called a Sleeptracker. It's a watch that monitors your sleep patterns and wakes you at the optimal time. Unfortunately it's $179. ridik. but may be worth it...

Or maybe one of these:
CLOCKY! It's the roaming, wandering alarm clock. After you hit snooze, he rolls off the nightstand and roams around the house. You have to go track him down to turn him off. The only concern I see with this: Newton. Little more reasonable price: $50.

Or maybe one of these:
Still not so sure how this would work for me... I'm not sure light really wakes me up... and for $80, not sure it's worth the trial.

So.. those are some of the top contenders. Any suggestions??

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Love. Just about everyone celebrated love this weekend, including Aaron and I. However, we probably celebrated a bit differently than others. We didn't have date night at a fancy restaurant or get fancy gifts for each other. Instead we ate homemade pot roast and purchased cards with unicorns and stickers, onesies, and brightly colored shirts. We celebrated the love of family.
After work on Friday, Aaron and I left our winter wonderland in Atlanta and made the trek to Memphis to see the whole Howell clan. We were all together in December, all except for the newest addition, Katie Joy. It was a special time for the whole family to all be together. On Saturday morning we went and had our first ever family portraits. They turned out so great! On Sunday we all went to church together. For a short while, Ellie sat next to me holding my arm and smiling up at me and singing along. It sure did warm my heart. Abby worked on a crossword next to me. I'm so impressed by her intelligence. Many times over the weekend, I got many “AUUUUNNT EEEERIN!!!”s and attacking hugs and kisses. Sunday afternoon, Aaron and I said our goodbyes. It was the last time we will see them for a couple of years. (hopefully 2012). It's really not that long... but it seems like a long time when I realize that Abby will be 8/9 and Ellie will be 6 and sweet newborn Katie will be 2 and a half. That makes it hard. My goal was to say our goodbyes without crying. I basically succeeded. Holding Katie one last time and giving her sweet goodbye kisses was a bit hard. I may have slightly teared, but I held it together. I made it all the way outside, then Aaron's mom gave me a final goodbye hug.
I blame her.
She was crying first.
It was such a special weekend to share love with our family, especially our nieces and nephew. Being an aunt is one of the best blessings.
Loving on Katie Joy. Katie is short for Katherine. Katherine means pure. She's Pure Joy. I love it. I love her.

Jeanette, the MIL, aka Nettie, had some Valentines games for the girls to play. They guessed how many heart candies were in the jar. Ellie insisted on 10, even though we counted more than 10 together. They also played pin the snowman on... the snowman. Luckily they had Grandma Ruth's silk sleep mask to use.

It was like Christmas all over again for the kids. Abby and Ellie decorated their own bags and helped with Ethan and Katie's. The bags were filled with all kinds of goodies such as candy, games, and clothes.
Ethan has the cutest laughing fits. We're not sure if he really thinks it's that funny... or if he is just deliriously tired. Either way, it's hilarious.

I got some major aunt points for sharing my red velvet cake and ice cream with Ethan. He loved it. Only for cute nephews (and nieces) would I not mind sharing. :)

Uncle Aaron and Aunt Erin with the nieces. (hindsight we should have had Ethan in the picture as well...

Howell Love Album

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wearing Africa...

So I decided to let my little bit of creativeness shine through and made these shirts for my beautiful nieces.

I bought some cute, solid colored shirts from Target and some coordinating paisley fabric. I traced the shape of Africa (as best I could...) onto the fabric and used some iron on webbing fabric to make the final product.

I think they turned out great and the girls looked so cute in them. It was pretty simple, and the most time-consuming thing was picking out the shirts and fabrics.

Here they are. Shirts for Abby and Ellie and a little onesie for Katie.

Close up.

Ellie and Abby sporting the shirts. We decided not to bother Katie with trying on her onesie.

Monday, February 8, 2010

the big 2-4.

This year I turned the big 2-4.. which is semi-getting-close-to-almost old. not cool. but I did get to celebrate with some of my new ATL friends, Hibachi style.

We went to this place called Happy Sumo. Birthday girl got to wear the Japanese hair wig. Loved it. :)

I got my very own sets of fancy chopsticks. I'm sure that Aaron will be the only one using them though.

The drum was just way to tempting to pass up.. even though it was about 25 degrees outside.

And my friend Jenny made AWESOME red velvet with cream cheese icing cupcakes. She doesn't even know how awesome she did... I love cream cheese. yum.

The Happy Hibachi Birthday Album

Sunday, February 7, 2010


I need sleep...
I need 32 hours in a day...
I need Saturday mornings...
I need a maid...

I need this...

Shout Out

Shout out to my cousin-in-law (Aaron's cousin) Jacob. He's a surgical tech and is currently in Haiti working with a surgical team from Le Bonheur. He's been doing such great things and we are so proud of him. Please remember Jacob and his team and all others who are in Haiti during this time.

His wife blogs here: our little life

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What's Shaking?

Busy season is shaking.... that's what. I noticed that I never even blogged about Christmas... and it's already February! So here are a few collages to document our holiday season. No promises on consistent blogging for awhile, but I'll do what I can. :) Cheers!

Holidays at the Grays. Rachel got some Toms from us. Aaron started reading Harry Potter and made it through book 6 over school break. We saw pretty birds and did lots of hanging out.

Holidays with the extended Howell family. This year we did dirty santa using M. As in, M is for Merry Christmas. I got a movie night gift (blockbuster gift card, popcorn, and Mike's Ike). Aaron got a McDonalds gift card. We did pretty awesome. :)

And some pictures of Ethan being cute.. as always. We got him the crawling/drums thing.

Next was Christmas with my mom's side of the family in Florida. Of course it included shooting marshmallow guns at each other in the cul-de-sac. Doesn't every family holiday have that? Newton was along for the entire ride... he even got a few marshmallows caught in his fur.

And what's Florida without the beach? It was freezing cold, but we ventured out to the jetty. Rachel and I had fun taking pictures with pretty much every random thing we found along the way. (see random cement blocks and goggles) Aaron has learned to deal with our photo shoots... :)

And a few snapshots of our home during the holidays. Check out the awesome glass coke bottles that I got as stocking stuffers from the hubby. There is also a random picture of me and 2 of my favorite girls from M'town, Aubrie and Tara. This was not at my home.. but I wanted to include it somewhere.

Holiday picture collection

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