Friday, December 16, 2011

Urban Tree Adventures

Since I left home in 2005 I have never had my own Christmas tree. College, and lack of funds always seemed to interfere. Well, this year I decided that despite our lack of funds and CrAzY school schedule, that we were going to have a tree, no matter what. Of course I wanted a real tree and luckily they sell them at the Christmas Village over by city hall. So on a Saturday morning Nate and I trekked to city hall and picked out the perfect tree. I went into it expecting to get a smallish pine tree (because I saw some that size there last year) but this year they only had one size, BIG. But none the less, we found our perfect guy after a lot of eyeballing, testing branch strength and yes even smelling.

Once we selected him we had to start the 1 mile journey back to our apartment with a seven foot tree. We each grabbed and end, turned it horizontally and began the llooonnnggg walk. We got lots of funny looks as we were carrying a giant tree down the busiest street in Philly but we also got lots of "oooh and ahhs" from little kids which made it worth it :). After six blocks my arms and back were dying and my pants and hands were sticky with sap but we made it. Next we had to head to Kmart to get a tree stand, lights, saw and a few accessories. We were trying to do everything on cheap so we bought some simple plum colored bulbs and glittery icicles and decided to craft the rest of the ornaments.

Once at home we set about getting our tree trunk sawed off and getting him in the tree stand. I think this was the most tense moment of our marriage thus far haha. After about two hours our tree was still no where near straight, my little hands were aching from turning those stupid screws and we were both extremely frustrated. So we gave up on it for the day. The next afternoon, I realized that we needed to saw off some of the lower branches so that it could sit more stable in the stand. Once we had that done, it was much, much easier and only took about an hour.

Next came the lights and then we started to try our hand at crafting. I really own no crafting supplies but I did have some left over felt and origami paper that I had bought for a primary activity so that is what we decided to use. We made about 16 felt ornaments. I did the cutting and Nate did the sewing so that he could practice his suture skills.

Then we started folding origami stars which we first had to learn to make from an internet tutorial. Not as easy as I thought it would be but it turned out alright in the end.

Then we had to make a star for the top using some cardboard and gold spray paint we had hanging around. Then came the best part, decorating it! We were/are so proud of how are little tree turned out.

We spend most of our time in the family room so that we can gawk at it. It has made this month of tests so much more bearable and filled our little decoration-less apartment with Christmas Cheer! Nate and I have both commented that we have NEVER listened to so much Christmas music in our entire lives. I can't wait until next year when I will have a little bit more time and money to add some new craftlings to our tree.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Splashes are REAL!?

Picture a scene in a movie, a romantic comedy for instance. A girl is walking down the sidewalk in the pouring rain carrying a pan of scaulding hot baked goods in one hand and attempting to wrangle an umbrella in the other. She is slightly frazzled and wondering if this walk in the rain is really going to be worth it. As she approaches the corner to wait for her chance to cross the street she sees an SUV hauling down the road. She realizes what is happening but it is too late. A wall of water hits her and drenches her from head to toe. She has to take off her glasses because she can no longer see through them due to the dirty street water plastered on the lenses. She desperately blows air out of her mouth just to try to to rid her face, nose and mouth of the nasty water. We have all seen it before...