Sunday, December 29, 2013

Nearing New Year

New Years Eve was always a tricky holiday for me. I only remember going to one party ever and the other times I spent it at home with my parents, which wasn't bad, but it's hard to get the "midnight kiss" when you're watching the ball drop with your mom and dad.

However, since Sean and I have been married, we've created a tradition for ourselves where we go to a little town in the mountains and stay in a hotel where we watch movies, build legos, and eat food. Last year, Sean learned what gelato was (NOT coffee) and we narrowly missed a t-bone accident when an SUV ran a clearly red light. We also accidentally booked our hotel in Cedar City and had to change it last-minute and the hotel guy was super nice. 

This year, we've got a nice jacuzzi in our hotel room that is booked at the correct hotel, we've picked out our legos, and we're going to pick up our salt-water taffy, bottled sodas, reese's peanut butter cups, pickles... and whatever else we're going to want for our fun evening out. 

I'm excited! 
love, Ellen

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

It's Christmas Eve, Not Christmas Steve! volume 3

Hi all! Merry Christmas 2013!

I'm so excited for Christmas even though it doesn't really feel like it's tomorrow! Wild.

Yesterday, Sean and I had an excellent night. He was napping and I woke him up so he would be able to sleep at night and, as he was still waking up, there was a terrified sounding knock on the door. Sean got up and went to the door and no one was there, just an incredible gift basket from Kneaders (a bakery/cafe that's really popular around our area). It had some peppermint bark, a chocolate rice krispie treat, caramels, and bread and syrup to make their special french toast along with the recipe. We went through that and then noticed a $65 to Target! WHAT?! We were elated.

There wasn't any note to say who it was from, but I'm sure they know we appreciate it greatly and it's definitely one of the best Christmas surprises we've ever received.

We went out soon after getting this cool gift to buy our snake a Christmas rat and we decided to grab a fun A-Wing (Star Wars) Lego kit just because. When we got back, we noticed our grill was moved. Sean looked under the lid and what to our wandering eyes should appear but another Lego kit! It was the Beorn at Dol Guldur kit that I'd been looking at for a while. Turns out, our neighbors dropped it off for us. SO nice! So we turned on The Frisco Kid and put together our sweet Legos.

I'm so grateful for such cool neighbors and friends that take such good care of us. I can't wait to give Sean and my family our gifts. Giving get to be more fun than recieving the older you get.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a magical Christmas full of all the best stuff. You know.

 Merry Christmas! love, the Donners

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Holy crap. Since when was Christmas in one week? I feel sorely unprepared even though I have like 80% of all the gifts I'm needing. And that 20% are things that I'm probably going to pick up tonight while we're out finishing our Christmas card rounds.

Everything just feels so... weird. I'm excited for Christmas and can't wait for it to come, but it doesn't feel like it's only days away, but months. I guess I've just been so busy not being busy that I've missed it. We've been to numerous Christmas parties (2 ward parties, 2 work parties) and still have a few to go. Tis the season, alright. Just weird.

Aside from all that, the Donners are doing well. Like I said, we're attending parties and have only seen The Hobbit: The Desolation OF Smaug twice. It's just been a good time. Anyway... I think I'm just feeling brief this month.

I'm off to pinterest to perouse the pages and pages of pretty pins. Either that, or to do another crossword puzzle because I'm an 80 year old woman... (not really).

love, Ellen

Saturday, December 7, 2013


So sometimes, I find myself to be artsy. Earlier this week, I bought a couple canvases and some new paints so that I'd have something to do while Sean worked late a lot of this week. I decided I was going to paint one of Sean's pictures (Check out his facebook page here).

It's not far along, but I feel like it's pretty good. It's of a green apple on a green background. I only have the apple and stem done and part of a leaf but now I have a project for the next couple days. I love having projects. It makes me less crazy. I've done a few paintings in the past, but I've never really done any realistic ones. I really hope it turns out. It'd be really cool... plus I think it would go well in our future kitchen.

Speaking of art, my father-in-law is an incredible painter. We have one of his earlier ones in our living room of a fox and it's exceptional. He just put up his official website and you should check it out (here).

We finally have a star and some ornaments on our Christmas tree so there's that... We only had to brave the crazy winter-drivers and Target Christmas-crowd to get them, but at least they're there, right? And Christmas can begin! I already have a gift for Sean on its way.

That's all. I'll keep you updated on the painting and have a picture of it when it's done.
love, Ellen

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving! and other stuff

I know what you're thinking... Where is her Thanksgiving post? She went on and on about how great it would be and then leaves us hanging! I'm sorry... Does this make up for it?

Guys, it went just as I wanted it to. It seriously is the absolute best holiday. The food was delicious, the decorations were top-notch, my family didn't embarrass me (or anyone else)... it was just excellent.

Here are some pictures of my [awesome] decor all put together and Sean's pies that got nothing but praise all day long.

 This is the banner I made.
 A view of the table.
 The set-up.
 A place-setting.
 Sean's pies
 (top: Mixed Berry, underneath: Dutch Apple, left upper: Pickle Pie, right: Pumpkin, lower left: Pecan [aka the best one], center: Chocolate)
A canvas I painted and framed (with twine)

I love my family and I'm so grateful that I could be with so many of them on my favorite holiday. And, now that it's December, Christmas season can begin! (Even though I've been having to listen to Christmas music at work for the past few weeks...) Sean and I bought a real Noble Fir tree yesterday and set it up, complete with fleece blanket tree-skirt (made by just buying some cute fleece and safety pinning it. We set it on a table so the kitty won't have anywhere to pee under it. We don't have our decorations out on it yet because they're still at my parent's house... but at least we have the tree! 

OH! And, we bought a new couch and rug! Our whole apartment is new, it feel like. We went from an old crappy couch that was sagging so much on one cushion that you could use the other cushion as an arm-rest, to a brand new leather couch that is longer and nicer! (Thanks to Ikea) and a new rug that is orange and has spots on it. Even Erma Gerd likes it!

Yay!! Okay, was that a good-enough update for you? It should be...
love, Ellen