Thursday, December 29, 2011

Holiday Snaps

 Well Christmas came and went quickly and it was such a great time as always! We did Christmas eve at Dad's and Mary made the best turkey I've had in awhile. We brought Drew home with us to meet the new cats and sleepover. Of course the guys stayed up late playing video games, talking about music and <presumably> farting. Guys stuff you know. I'm glad I went to bed at a decent hour (although I did stay up late enough to say Merry Christmas!). On Christmas day we went to Big Reed and Laura's house and it was lovely as always. Aunt Lynn and Crissy were there which is always fun. For some reason the combination of Aunt Lynn and Trevor is always especially entertaining. Getting everyone together means we have to play Catchphrase.. one of my favorites.

 Big Reed receives Risk - the Onyx Edition

  Harvie decides the little bone isn't big enough for him & steals Toby's bone when he's not looking..

 Showing off their Christmas Crackers and Crowns

  Tigger claims the cat-nip stocking by sitting on top of it

 Our holiday collage, including Harvie as a reindeer (like in the Grinch)

Happy <almost> 2012!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Festive Weekends

Last weekend we got to see the Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall (a family tradition). I think we came up with a new tradition, Trevor singing opera in front of thousands of theater patrons.

Every year, the conductor invites audience members (usually kids) to chime in with the choir singing "The 12 Days of Christmas". They get to sing the "5 Gold Rings" part. Trevor decided this was his year to go forward.

The kid in front of him was good too - he said "5 Gold Eggs" instead of Rings.

If the video doesn't work, you can watch it via youtube by clicking here.

We had great seats and the Orchestra played beautifully as always. After that we went to Sergio's Sarava in Shaker Square. I got the best apple & brie salad with some rice & beans on the side.

On Sunday Mary and I went to JoAnn's to look at sewing machines and had to make a few other stops as well. Pier One is a must this time of year.. even just to get decorating ideas. While we were out and about Dad and RJ took the urban boys to Laser Quest - RJ aka "Maverick" got the highest score. We met for dinner at Jerzees, a local place with great wings, pizzas and sandwiches.. we really ate well that weekend!

We miss Georgia and all of our family there (especially this time of year when it gets cold and snowy) but this is a big part of the reason we moved home. We love being close to our parents and sisters. I just wish Drew and Lindsay were closer.

I will say, every winter I start thinking about Florida (or California would work too). I think the solution is that we "need" a winter home. 

On that note, I'm buying some lottery tickets.

Monday, December 12, 2011


The other night we were making dinner when we heard a little cry at the back door. I flipped on the light and there was a little orange kitten - crying at the door to be let in! We opened the door and the first few times he backed away then finally let RJ pet him and came inside. We gave him some food and he loved being held. 

We put a 'found cat' ad up on Craigslist and asked around the neighbors. So far no one has claimed him (we think it's a him). We're going to make a sign to put up. He's the nicest little thing.. but if he wandered away from a good home I'm sure they're worried about him.

He's definitely still a kitten but is probably a few months old.

There is a small chance he is one of the strays that live in the neighbor's shed.

About a month or so ago we saw this little kitten in the backyard with his mom (one of the strays we couldn't catch). His mom ran away and we scooped it up for a few minutes. I was afraid his mom wouldn't take care of him anymore after she smelled us.. but we still saw them traipsing around the backyard.

We haven't seen them for a few weeks, so it's possible this is that same kitten and he got brave enough to come to the door. I just don't think there's any way a feral kitten could turn out to be this nice. When we picked that one up a while back, he even hissed at first. 

He loves the dog and keeps rubbing up on him.. he actually likes it when Harvie licks him (other cats like the dog but hate to be licked.. except Dad's cat Tigger, he doesn't mind it). 

This video shows how much he likes the dog and what a sweet cat he is..

We've been calling him Stevie because we figure it's gender neutral (think Stevie Ray Vaugn or Stevie Nicks).
We'll see if anybody claims him! In the mean time, he has made himself right at home. Craze doesn't mind him too much but Tina is not happy. Must be a girl thing.

Home Alone

RJ was gone quite a few days last week at his annual sales conference in Baltimore. Thank goodness it's only one week out of the year and usually he's only gone one or two nights a week when he travels. The week before he didn't have to travel at all which was great.

The week actually flew by because I was working so much. I started working in the administration office for the non-profit program I work with. (The organization that facilitates the art programs at the shelters I've been doing for a few years). Remember in the spring of 2009 when I got the side job teaching? I said I wouldn't do that again because it was too stressful trying to get KidzArt done at home and working 15-20 hours on the side (and having some semblance of a family life). That stuck for a good year and half and now I've gone and done it again. This week I worked almost 20 hours in the RISE office. It was good timing because I could get my KidzArt work done at home without feeling like I'd rather be spending time with RJ. 

I actually cooked for myself twice while he was gone if you can believe that. I made a big pot of rice on Monday and made rice & beans that night and Chinese stir-fry the next night with the leftover rice. I needed leftovers to take with me to the office so it worked out well. One of the days I made a grilled turkey sandwich.. does that also count as cooking?

While I was at the office one day, I came home to Christmas decorations the neighbors put up. (This picture was taken the next day.. it was dark by the time I got home!)

Isn't that nice? I put up our 'Let it Snow' sign on our front door.. as long as we have a white Christmas I'll be happy. Then it can go back to not snowing..

We've decorated the inside of the house but don't have a tree yet. We want to get a small, live one that has roots so we can plant it with the other baby trees out back.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Already December...

We had a busy but great last few days!

Here are some of the highlights..

*RJ didn't have to travel this week, a welcomed change!

*I got some cool boots (pictured above) with the Kohl's cash we got from Christmas shopping
(Merry Christmas to me!)

*On Friday we did some more Christmas shopping and had a little "date-night at the drive-in" - Swenson's of course. They have the best chicken fingers.

*On Saturday I got to chaperone a trip to a local children's theater to see an adorable Christmas play.

*Later on Saturday evening I went to a fashion-y event to support a local Akron boutique I really like.

*On Sunday we went into Hudson where the guys watched the Brown's game (yikes) and us ladies decorated the Christmas tree. Laura and I also did some shopping in the downtown area which is so pretty this time of year. 

I still can't believe it's already December though.. it will be Christmas before we know it.
Glad we got a head start on shopping!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Festivities

We had the best long weekend celebrating Thanksgiving with family! 

Dad and Mary were heading out of town on Thursday, so I went over there on Wednesday night for the best, low-key Thanksgiving ever : Breakfast for Dinner.

RJ was out of town until pretty late on Wednesday night so we didn't need a lot of food (and leftovers) for the 3 of us, so it worked out perfectly.

We had the best omelets with sauteed mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes and (of course) cheese and they were so good. I brought my favorite breakfast side : potatoes o'brien (potatoes tossed with peppers and onions). That counts as a vegetable, right?

We also had biscuits, blueberry muffins and bacon. This "birdetarian" cheated with a few slices of real bacon (we buy the turkey kind at home) and it is soo much better.

On Thanksgiving day we spent the first half of the day getting the house in order and relaxing, then went over to celebrate T-day Stith-Style.

The adorable place-cards!

We really had such a great time celebrating with everyone. 
There is a lot to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tree Festival

Last weekend we started the holiday sesason off right with the annual Akron Tree Festival! It's a special exhibit of awesomely decorated Christmas trees that are donated and auctioned off for the Akron Children's Hospital.

Dad and Mary bought the "Air-tran" tree - they get to fly anywhere Airtran goes and it's a great cause. Win-win!

<Isn't dad cool in his fancy hat?>

After the tree festival we went out for some sushi and got this:

I think I'm still full from that dinner.. 

More soon on tonight's low-key Thanksgiving, Breece style.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Interesting Sunday..

Remember how I said that we were trying our best to keep Tina inside? This is exactly why.

She snuck out on Saturday afternoon, and didn't come home that night. We figured she was taking some time to explore since she had been in for a few weeks. On Sunday (yesterday), RJ went to the Brown's game with Tyler and I went grocery shopping (what is wrong with that picture? haha). When I got back and was carrying everything up the stairs.. I heard meowing coming from somewhere in the yard. I let Harvie outside to help sniff out where the meow was coming from.. but he was too busy sniffing out squirrels to help find the cat.

It took me forever to figure out where the cries were coming from.. but I finally pinpointed it to the driveway. I figured she had crawled up and into one of the cars to stay warm. Remember, we have 5 cars in the driveway with both of ours, RJ's pathfinder and the neighbors' two cars. I put my ear up to hood of all the cars (I'm sure anyone who saw me thought I was a complete nut). I decided the cries were definitely coming from RJ's car and figured out how to open the hood (that was an adventure in itself). I propped it open but she didn't jump out... I called my dad and RJ and both of them said she would probably find a way out if she got herself in. So I left the hood propped and went inside to unload the groceries. 

About an hour later, I heard the neighbors on the porch talk about the cries (that had gotten louder). I went out and explained that she was stuck in the car. Jason walked down to see if he could get her out and he did something I didn't think to do.

He looked up.

There she was.. stuck way up in one of the giant trees. 

I couldn't believe it! But she was up there. We thought we may have to call the fire department but Jason said he could get a ladder and then use the branches to climb all the way up. Leslie and I were so nervous because she was really high up there!

He did it though!

Now Tina is safe, sound, and inside.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


 A few weeks ago I took Harvie and Craze to the vet for their vaccines and ended up with an addition to the family...

I had Harvie and Craze in the exam room together and the Vet was asking if they ever played together. I told her that Craze tries to play with Harvie, but he's too much of an old  man to play. He does love the cats (and loves to lick them) but he has no interest in playing. I also told her about how Triscuit was missing and that we were thinking about getting another cat. She told me that she had a homeless cat and her kitten (both female) they were trying to find homes for. She brought them both in for us to meet and the kitten was cute, but the mom cat was beautiful and really sweet. She also didn't mind Harvie and let him sniff her without getting scared. She loved being held and was really trying to convince me to take her home. As soon as I got in the car I called RJ, who told me I should turn the car around and go pick her up, and so I did!

 It took us a few days but we finally decided on a name for the new cat : Tina. We came up with a few names and decided to just wait and see what "stuck". The reason we came up with Tina is because we were calling her "teeny" because she's a pretty small cat and also, I really enjoy people names for animals. The other names we came up with were Shelly (because she's tortoiseshell colored) and Cali (for calico). Tina is the one that stuck so now she's stuck with that!

At first we tried to keep her inside because we didn't want her to disappear like Triscuit did, but she is really quick and sneaky and has been outside multiple times.

At first Craze didn't know what to think of her and she was afraid of him.. but now they seem to have become friends. The funny thing is that she never minded the dog.. even when we first met her in the vet's office. Now that it's been a few weeks they have definitely gotten comfortable with eachother..

I think Craze likes having another cat friend around the house.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

That's so 80's

It was a very 80's Halloween for us this year. We went to Renee and Tyler's 80's themed party and then to Crissy's bowling alley for live music and bowling. RJ was an "80's jock" and I was just a lady from the 80's.

Renee was Baby from Dirty Dancing, isn't that a pretty dress? Tyler was the Terminator, such a cool idea.

(pictures from Renee!)

Before going to their party was Trick-or-Treating. We were excited to actually have some Trick-or-Treaters this year! Our favorites of course were Chloe and Colette from next door. After they were done Trick-or-Treating, they set up shop on the front porch to welcome the other neighborhood kids. When a new group of them would come up the driveway Colette would say: "Here comes more customers!". They are so cute. (Chloe on the left was a 50's girl and Colette was a strawberry. Unpictured baby Casey was a monkey).

The bowling alley we went to is actually the place that Crissy (my boss who owns KidzArt) just bought with her sister. It's the new family business and their kids are so cute running the shoe rental, snack bar, etc. Wouldn't that be fun to grow up owning a bowling alley? 

RJ bowled and I was moral support. We got a tour of the inner workings of the bowling alley and it was so interesting. The place is huge and it has so much potential, I'm really happy they bought it. 

I am late on posting this and have some other "big" things to post in the next few days that has happened since last weekend..
1) RJ had his last day in the office on Friday. His boss cried. (Cheese alert: If that doesn't illustrate what a great worker/all around great guy he is to have around I don't know what does. Just saying.)

2) We introduced another cat into the family! It's been over 3 weeks since Triscuit flew the coop so when the vet had a really sweet, pretty, litter-trained, spayed cat who needed a home, I couldn't say no. 

More on those things soon..

Friday, November 4, 2011

Grandparents Visit

Grandma and Grandpa C were in town from Atlanta last week and it was soo great to see them! It's no secret I really love both sets of grandparents I have been blessed with, so getting to see both sets within a few months was really a great thing for us. 

The first thing we did (not counting the house tour, so I guess second thing!) was to eat Mexican food. A family tradition that RJ has fully embraced. We can't get enough!

The next day, I took the afternoon off and we went to lunch and then to Stan Hywet Hall - a historical mansion in Akron where the Seiberling family lived (Seiberling founded The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in 1898). You can read more about the family and the mansion, here

It was the perfect time of year to visit the house - it's beautiful in any season but especially in the fall. 

I loved having them here! Grandparents are so special. Part of the reason RJ and I want to be "young" parents (start a family sooner rather than later) is because we want our kids to be able to have the kind of relationship with their grandparents (and GREAT grandparents!) that we have been able to have.