Sunday, November 30, 2008

Family Picture Time

The past two years we've had a full family picture taken of my mother-in-law's side of the family. (That's who Joseph and I have spent Thanksgiving with since we were married.) These are the before pictures...followed by the best full family pic from my camera.

Tiffany, Tiff's friend, Trey, and Liz. (Cousins)

Casey, Liz, Tiff, Tiff's friend. The oldest girl cousins...almost in age order. Casey's the oldest, then Tiff, and then Liz.

Liz, Trey, Mike, and Dad S.

Tiff's friend, Uncle Mark and Aunt Ann, PopPop, and Rachel. (I don't know who is behind the pillar.)

Left to Right: Rachel, me, Liz, Joseph, Aunt Pam, Uncle Tom, Charlie, Mom S., Dad S., Ashley, Gramma, Mike, PopPop, Aunt Ann, Uncle Mark, Tiffany, Trey, Uncle Sam, and Casey.

Thanksgiving Day Backwards

So, because I'm still trying to figure out which way blogger loads my pictures, these are backwards on the Thanksgiving day timeline.

Observe the Feast! That's Joseph's cousin, Trey, in the corner.

The whole table. We had 19 people in Aunt Ann's kitchen.

Casey, Uncle Sam's daughter, Tiffany, Aunt Ann's daughter, and Ashley...all cheesin' for the camera.


What a DEAL!!!
Aunt Pam and Mom S. planning their Black Friday attack on the NEX (Navy Exchange)

Christmas Pictures

Ashley, my brother-in-law's girlfriend, had the brilliant idea of having pictures of Joseph, Me, Mike and her framed for the boys' parents for Christmas. Joseph grew that idea and suggested doing the same for the boys' grandparents. These are what we got from MY camera. Ashley will compare my pics and the pics on her camera and will choose the best then frame them for the 'rents and grandparents. Don't tell Joseph that his picture is on the internet now.

Joseph, Me, Ashley, and Mike

This is actually take two. The pic below was first.

What!?! It was windy.

And THIS is my favorite. Me and my wonderful hubby, Joseph.

I'm Back and I've got lots and lots of pictures

But...I've too many to put up here. So...I'll just add a few in each of the next two or three posts. That's what I'll do.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gonna miss writing!

I'm headed out of town for the rest of the week and I don't know that there is any internet connection (I think there is, but come's Thanksgiving with family) so there probably won't be any posting going on until Sunday. I'll take lots and lots of pictures (if I remember) to share with ya'll.

Oh! I took Rocky to the vet today for his rabies vaccination, second distemper and first Lyme shots. He weighed in at 23.3lbs. That's four pounds in three weeks and I think it's all in length. That's my dog update.

So, ya'll have a Happy Thanksgiving and make sure to enjoy your time with whoever you spend the day with. Love ya'll!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

More Decorating

Joseph started the big tree this evening. Here he is hiding his face while stringing up some of the lights. (He doesn't like his picture to be taken.)

My dining room. See the lights that Joseph has plugged in laying there on the floor. He's been keeping them plugged in to make sure none of the lights are bad before he puts them on the tree.
These are all of our tree decorations so far. I think we're going to be buying a few more since I want my tree to be blue and silver balls, blue and white lights, and blue and silver ribbon. (Go Rollers! LOL)
Once again, I'll add more pics as we get futher along with the decorating.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Changing a few things around

I haven't changed anything in my life so far for this post as much as Joseph has changed up our house. First is our Family room. The second blue recliner is no longer in the corner in front of the DVD shelves.

Next the morning room: Joseph turned the table sideways and added the chaise.

Oh! and we started decorating for Christmas. Yes, I know it's not even Thanksgiving yet, but we'll be out of town for Thanksgiving so that cuts back on our time to decorate. This is right inside our front door. Do you like the tree at the top? That was Titus' and my idea. The garland will light up too once we finish it up and get an extension cord.

Then, my front room. The chaise was moved out of the front window and the tree was put up there instead. And, of course, the blue recliner came out of the family room.

So, thanks, for joining me on a mini tour of a few rooms of my house. I'll post more pictures as we continue to decorate for Christmas.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Need I say more?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm so Excited!! *Edited*

I actually got through to get Twilight tickets this morning! One of D.C.'s radio stations is giving away tickets to a 12:01am showing of Twilight for tomorrow. Yes, that's after midnight so I won't even get home until just before the time I would be leaving for work so I'll be headed straight to bed when I get home from work today. I can't just call off work. No sick days and I'm not willing to use a vacation day just because I decided to go watch a movie. Plus...that's just not honest or a good policy. I'm not okay with that.

Anyway, I'm not one of those raging Twilight maniacs, but I DID enjoy the books immensely. My older sister, Alicia, got me into them. I have to admit that since I read the vampire/fantasy genre consistently, the Twilight books weren't THE BEST BOOKS EVER! to me, but they were still very intriguing. I will recommend these books to any readers that enjoy fantasy or vampire stories.
*Edit* I'm not going to go. I know. How is following all the rules changing my life? Well, some things shouldn't change, I suppose. Joseph, my husband, and I are trying to pay off some bills so any extra money is going straight to that. You might be thinking, 'But, the tickets are FREE, Hannah,' and you're correct, but gas isn't free. Unfortunately. We would have to drive almost an hour away just to get to the theater. (get this...the theater is about two minutes away from where Joseph works.) By the time the movie lets out, it would be around 2:30, another hour home and that makes it time for me to go to work and time for Joseph to wake up and get ready to drive another hour Back to his work. Useless waste of gas. I hate being sensible sometimes.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One of those days

You know those days where you just don't want to do anything? That would be me today. I really didn't want to work. I suppose the change of life today would have been to convince myself to be upbeat and happy, but I just couldn't. I'm so tired. I've been tired all week. See, I don't sleep well. The only time I've managed to sleep well through the night is after drinking a Venti size mug of Sleepytime tea using local wildflower honey instead of sugar. Yeah, I've been out of honey all month.
Do any of ya'll have any tips for sleeping well through the night?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We made it out for a walk today

As soon as I got home today I let Rocky outside as I changed out of my work clothes. Then straight to the back door to let Rocky in while I looked for his blue collar and leash. Of course, I had to grab the little contraption that hangs from the leash that holds a small roll of doggie bags. Yes, that kind! Couldn't find the blue collar so I squeezed him into the red harness. Yes, you heard right, I squeezed him in. He's almost grown out of it! Two weeks ago he could pull himself straight out of it, but no more. Out we headed.
We walked through our development and into the neighboring development that actually has walking trails. Altogether we may have walked one mile, but I don't really care about the distance. I was just wicked glad that my puppy stayed with me. Or...I should say, that he even walked! See when we first got Rocky he wouldn't walk on a leash worth beans. Now, he heels beautifully and we haven't even been to obedience class yet! Everytime I slowed down or stopped he was right beside me or right in front of me sitting just like he is in the picture below.

Isn't he such a good boy? Funny story. While we were out, we crossed one road in the neighboring development that is right in the middle of a ton of construction. On our way back, there was a truck full of workers coming up the road so I stopped and waited for them to go past. While they were taking their didly old time, Rocky sat right beside me perfectly patient. All of those guys were paying more attention to my wonderful dog than they were to anything else (driver excepted). Did I mention how much I love my dog?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Looooong Day

It is only 5:47pm but to me it seriously feels like 8 o' clock to me. For some reason this day has been unbelievably long. I woke up three minutes after my alarm went off, only I never heard my alarm this morning. (my body is crazy like that.) Anyway, I start work latest by 5am each day. Yes, that's wicked early, but I like it that way. I prefer the early morning hours before anyone else come in because I can get more work done in those four hours than I can in the remainder of my day. Anyway, I was fairly well caught up with everything from last week so today I was actually looking for things to do. It was so bad that I even took some work off LaDonna's desk since she was out sick today. I'm not your average office worker in any sense of the definition, but I usually enjoy my work. I guess the weather caught up with me. There may have been a beautiful sunrise this morning, but the clouds didn't take long to show up. This is probably the most rambling blog post ever, but I wanted to write something about the length of today. Hmmm. I suppose you could say that the long day just made me crazy. Yup. It helped anyway.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

You Have to Watch This

My friend Heather told me about a movie tonight after she mentioned joining a new group at church that was for young ladies who had had abortions as well as young ladies who were pledging not to have abortions (is that right, Heath?). Anyway, this movie is called Come What May. You can watch it free Here.
While the acting was not the best, it did give me much food for thought.

Let me know what you think.

He's been talked about

But not seen before now. I figured I'd better add some pictures of Rocky so ya'll can see him in the still cute puppy stage. He is three months old, but fast approaching four months. Aw, my baby is growing up!

Look mom, I'm all big and bad!
How can you resist my eyes? I will captivate you with them!

He's such a chewaholic, as Titus puts it. This dog just can't stop chewing!

Again with the chewing. This is his chewable collar. The blue one is his walk and going out collar.

He was licking the rain water off the bottom of the stair to the backyard. Crazy dog!

Rain, Rain go away

I couldn't figure out exactly why I just didn't want to get up this morning. I didn't feel like doing anything but lie in bed and veg out. Then, I looked outside. The grass is a beautiful bright green but everything else is just plain dreary. It has been raining on and off all day today.

All I wanted this weekend was a sunny day so that I could take Rocky for a walk. Oh well...maybe tomorrow.

Friday, November 14, 2008


For some crazy, ridiculous reason I decided to read through my journals from college. Wow. I've changed so much. But...that's not why I'm writing this post. There was a favorite past time of mine in college and that was to "interview" the people that I met each semester and to keep those interviews in my current (at the time) journal. But you know, I never filled out one myself. So, if you all, dear readers, will take up the challenge of filling out an interview of your own and posting it on your blog or in my comments, I'll finally do one. Of course, it won't be exactly the same as my college template since I'm married to my dream guy (so i don't have to worry about describing him), but it should still be pretty fun. Here goes nothin'!

Name: Hannah M. S.
Age: 25
Birthday: November 10, 1983
Home State (where you were born and grew up): Pennsylvania


Color: Pink
Ice Cream: Moose Tracks (chocolate)
Animal: Peregrine Falcon
Movie: (current) Iron Man (oldie) Gidget
Snack and/or Candy: 5th Avenue
Food: Steak (medium rare)
Book: Jane Eyre
Car: Lotus Elise (would you believe there are THREE in my area and one of those three is owned by a teenaged girl!?!)
Singer: Ella Fitzgerald
Scent: Fresh cut grass and Yankee Candle's Sweet Honeysuckle candle


House - basic parts your dream house MUST have: A wrap-around porch, at least five bedrooms, a HUGE kitchen, a room completely dedicated to being a pantry that is connected to the kitchen, a library.
Job: this is honestly my stump. I love photography, but I can't see ever being good enough to do it professionally. oh! and I love music, but I can't memorize. *shrug* oh well.
Family: I would LOVE a huge family and, yes, I am talking Duggar family huge. I know it will never happen, but I still think it would be awesome to have that many kids. (i don't mind if you call me crazy.)
Junket Destination: (I say junket because they're usually longer than vacations) Germany, Italy, Scotland, and Ireland. oh yes! and India.

So, tell me about yourself...

The English Language

Have you ever wondered why foreigners have trouble with the English Language?

Let's face it
English is a stupid language.
There is no egg in the eggplant
No ham in the hamburger
And neither pine nor apple in the pineapple.
English muffins were not invented in England
French fries were not invented in France.

We sometimes take English for granted
But if we examine its paradoxes we find
thatQuicksand takes you down slowly
Boxing rings are square
And a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

If writers write, how come fingers don't fing.
If the plural of tooth is teeth
Shouldn't the plural of phone booth be phone beeth
If the teacher taught,
Why didn't the preacher praught.

If a vegetarian eats vegetables
What does a humanitarian eat!?
Why do people recite at a play
Yet play at a recital?
Park on driveways and
Drive on parkways

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy
Of a language where a house can burn up as
It burns down
And in which you fill in a form
By filling it out
And a bell is only heard once it goes!

English was invented by people, not computers
And it reflects the creativity of the human race
(Which of course isn't a race at all)

That is why
When the stars are out they are visible
But when the lights are out they are invisible
And why it is that when I wind up my watch
It starts
But when I wind up this observation,
It ends.

Younger brother, Isaiah, sent me this from college. Thanks, Zay!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I WANTED to wrap more Christmas presents today

BUT... This was in the way. See, all of my Christmas stuff is BEHIND that door!

My Birthday Desk and its Decorator my next desk neighbor and work BFF, LaDonna. She seriously keeps me sane during my 9 or more hour work day. Because she loves me so much, she decorated my desk for my birthday.

Awesome job, LaDonna! I loved it! Obviously, these pics were taken after I had "cleaned" the balloons off of the main part of my desk and into the corner. So, I know I'm dragging out my birthday ridiculously, but I couldn't figure out how to add these pics to the bottom of my birthday presents post.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

They Really do Love Me

Inside: You're not spoiled. You're entitled!
Heather's card

My co-workers, I mean. I knew they liked me...or, at least, pretended to. But then, I went to work this morning. First time this week. I was greeted by a VERY decorated desk and work area. LaDonna (my work BFF) went in on Sunday and put up Happy Birthday signs and Balloons all around, above, and on my desk. Such a wonderful surprise. Then, all throughout the day I received warm belated birthday wishes and greetings along with, surprise of all surprises, presents! Tina started off with hers. "I didn't have a gift bag, so I had to use Christmas wrapping paper." Are you kidding! You're giving me a PRESENT! I don't care WHAT it's wrapped with. (wasn't she wonderful!?!) It's Martha Stewart Chocolate Cake mix. Doesn't that cake on the front look delectable?? (see below)
Diana was next with the tastiest chocolate cake ever! Gina followed a few minutes later with two, count them...TWO boxes of chocolates.LaDonna treated me to lunch from Willards. Best BBQ sandwich EVER!!!! Then, because apparently a cake wasn't enough, Diana and her sister, Rosa (my supervisor) finished everything off with a Coach wallet. COACH. I am now convinced that the days AFTER a birthday are better than the actual birthday. Oh! then...I get home and I had a birthday card in my mailbox from my favorite Maryland friend, Heather.

My new COACH wallet.

Cake mix from Tina

Best Birthday after college. Period.

Personal Experiences Meme

Took this from Alicia who took it from Jacki.

1. Started your own blog (this is actually my Second blog)
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (Does Guitar Hero count?)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain (I'm totally counting the side of PA's Little Grand Canyon as a mountain. Yeah, older bro, Nathanael, and i left the trail to scale the side. Fun stuff)
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo (Dad used to make us girls sing solos all the time in church, didn't he, Leash?)
11. Bungee jumped (does a bungee Swing count? That was sooo much fun!)
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea (from an airplane and at the beach)
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child (I had several adopted children in college. All of them were other college students, though, so I don't think that's going to count.)
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables (green beans, green peppers, and tomatoes in Grandma's yard)
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight (did I mention that there are 7 children in my family?)
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset (I have the wonderful oppurtunity to watch the sun rise every single morning.)
31. Hit a home run (just one)
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community (grew up an hour from Lancaster county in PA)
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (definitely...many times!)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing (so fun!)
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke (So well, that a random person at the party remembered my rendition of Splish Splash two months later.)
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant (I bought a stranger Starbucks before.)
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance (I think I rode with Alicia for this one.)
47. Had your portrait painted (I've been drawn by my brother-in-law, Alicia's husband.)
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (not yet. hoping to start Mary Kay very soon)
58. Taken a martial arts class (I want to.)
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving (Seriously, DYING to do this!)
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job (Yeah. There's totally a story behind THIS one.)
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle (well, when I was in motorcycle driving class 30 mph was speeding)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House (I don't remember...was I, Alicia?)
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox (TWICE. Both before I was four.)
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person (I actually remember the hotel we stayed in better than I remember the Alamo. Do you remember the guy who talked to us every morning, Alicia?)
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee (Unfortunately, more times than I care to remember.)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rocky and the Dog Park

I'm lucky. Really, I am. I live within thirty minutes of anything I could ever want. That said, I took Rocky to the dog park this afternoon. The dog park is about 8 minutes from my house. Yesterday when we went there were only three other dogs. Charlie, a yorkie, Napoleon, a mutt, and an Australian Sheep dog. Rocky got along just fine with them. In fact, he loved chasing and playing with them. Not so today. There were quite a number of dogs there today. All of them bigger than him. Now, Rocky isn't afraid of big dogs, but most of the dogs today were pretty aggressive. Rocky's used to being the aggressive one so the dog park turned out to be quite an experience this time. He didn't really run around with the dogs today, but he did take more time to get to know the dog owners. In fact, when it was time to go, I had to pull him away from some other people that he just didn't want to leave. Crazy dog. You'd think he doesn't like me, wouldn't you. I wanted to take pictures while I was there, but since Rocky wasn't doing much there aren't any pics this time. Maybe next time.

This is a big step in my own life. I'm not usually the kind of person that is comfortable around complete strangers, but Rocky gives me common ground with them. I can carry on a conversation just by beginning to talk about our dogs. He's good for me, that boxer. Gets me out of my house, walking around, and socializing. Ack! what's this world coming to...I've spoken to four people that I had never met before just today. Change is in the air this fall and I kinda like it.

My Blog Title

Last night when I started my blog my title was Phoenix's Shadow. My gamer tag is PhoenixShadow and that was the coolest, catchiest thing I could think of so I played on it. This morning it just didn't feel right. What was Phoenix's Shadow and what did that have to do with me? I didn't know, therefore, I changed my title. 'Changing my Definition of Life' does mean something to me. I am satisfied with my life, but I want more in my life than just being satisified. So, starting today, I'm changing my definition of life. What can I do to live life to its fullest? At what point will I be able to say that I Love my life? I suppose this post should almost be titled...The Purpose of my Blog. If I can share with you, dear readers, my journey through life and how I seek to enjoy it and can impart some laughter into your lives, then I will consider this blog a success. Until then...Here's to changing my definition.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Quarter of a Century and Counting

I promised myself I would start my blog on my 25th birthday. So here it is. My name is Hannah. I live in beautiful Northern Virginia with my husband, my younger brother, and my boxer, Rocky. (You'll hear alot about Rocky on here.) So, Hi! Alicia, Jendi, and Rachel. Sorry it has taken so long to get back on here. I'm glad to be back!