Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas, Pictures

Well, it's about time to close out the year on this here blog, and it occurred to me that I've been very short on pictures lately, so I plan to make up for that in his post. 
Without further ado, I present our Christmas season in pictures: 


This is the one I sent out in Christmas cards.  It's not perfect - William is kinda biting his lip but it's the best I could get of the two of them and still get my Christmas cards out (almost!) on time. Here are some outtakes from the same photo shoot (which was while we were at my folks' house, by the way). 

(PS - William still has THE best laugh). 

One of me and my kiddos, taken by my mom. 

And now we'll skip ahead to Christmas festivities back home in SC: 


 My boys, and me and my girl on Christmas Eve.  We went to 5 pm church them came home for a light dinner which we ate in the living room by the tree, and then opened presents that were sent in from our parents and other family not there with us. It was a fun evening.  The kids scored some great toys right off the bat, but were perhaps most enchanted by the tea set my mom sent me.  We've been having proper tea time all week since. 


Here's the tree on Christmas Eve, after Santa came.  Don and I spent a quiet cozy evening listening to music, staring at the tree, and talking over Christmases past.  And I tried (in vain?) to get the perfectly lit Christmas tree picture.  The ultimate photography challenge - nothing ever quite does it justice. 


And so on to Christmas morning.  This was by far the most fun Christmas yet, with TWO kids fully able to appreciate all the fun of the day.  They did a great job - slow and gracious in opening their gifts, and no one seemed too overwhelmed.  It was a nice, easy, fun day.  Santa was very generous, and by the end of the morning our living room floor was a happy mess of new toys. 

This might be one of my favorite William pictures ever, because he's got all his favorite things - flashlights, NEW blue boots to replace his worn out shark boots, and a tool box.

These citiblocs have turned out to be fantastic.  I bought them on a whim because I love me a good set of blocks, but they are even better than I was expecting and have already seen a lot of use. By everyone. 


And the day after Christmas the kids did some finger painting at their new easel.  I have wanted to get a children's easel for at least two Christmases, but never been quite okay with the $50-60 price.  Well, I actually went out shopping on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and was glad I did because I got this guy on sale for $25.  And I swear the wood must be cedar because it smells SO good. 

And interestingly, this Christmas was not one of our most expensive. We focused on the kids and kept it really simple for all our other family (and vice versa).  I always feel like such a crafting loser come December, because I think of all the projects I got inspired about back in January, things that would make great handmade presents for relatives near and far.  Then around the time I have triumphantly finished Halloween costumes I realize there is no where near enough time to churn out decent Christmas gifts.  Drat.  Soo, once again I will try to do better next year, and already have some ideas in the works. 

It was great to see my family before Christmas.  We had not been back to CT since moving at Christmastime last year. 2012 had us playing host way more than we played guest, so it was terrific to be back home with my parents for a short while. Wish we could live closer to all those we love so much, but for now we are content with our sweet little family here and very much looking forward to all that 2013 might bring. Happy New Year! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Small Christmas Moments


Finding myself charmed by my children quite a bit lately.  Which pretty much makes up for things like taking them to the Commissary, where they are so "helpful" it is maddening.  The last week has necessarily been one of trying extra-hard to live in the moment and appreciate my little munchkins as much as possible, so to that end here's the quick hits list of some of my favorite moments of this week. 

Listened carefully to Amy singing "Jingle Bells" tonight and realized she sings it "Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-foot-horse-and-sleigh." 

William says "Merry Christmas" just the way Uncle Felix does. Have I mentioned that both kids LOVE Christmas in Connecticut, and we've watched it four times already?  YES! 

Lately no one wants to go to sleep at the appropriate time, but as we still have had a week full of the usual activities and places to be, bedtime is a must.  So they lie in bed telling each other knock-knock jokes until they fall asleep. 

Don has been home this week, and I've left William with him on a couple of mornings when I've had to take Amy to school, etc.  William calls this "man time" and is SO proud to be hanging out with Daddy, helping him around the house or on an errand, or going fishing.  He wears one of Don's hats and sticks his hands in his pockets and is very serious about the whole thing. 

Today Amy and I made Christmas cookies.  It was late in the afternoon and I kinda wanted to put it off a day, but she was all in so we went for it.  And I gotta say, I could not have done it without her.  Really.  I rolled, she cut, I re-rolled, she sprinkled, I baked, she cut some more.  We had a great production line going and this was the first year of Christmas cookie "help" that was really and truly helpful.  Really.  The sprinkles were at times a little heavy-handed, so I explained the nuances of shaking out a dash of sprinkles, versus upending the bottle and letting them pour out.  Then we were good. 

While listening to the heavy and wind-driven rain tonight, Amy suggested that it was raining exactly the way she was dumping out the sprinkles at first.  

There's more I'm sure, but that will do for now. Wishing you lots of lovely little moments throughout the week as well! 

Monday, December 17, 2012



I do hate when I'm away from this blog for awhile.  Too much builds up in my head; things I want to say, projects to share, and the more that builds up the more difficult it is to write about any of it. 

The kids and I went to Connecticut to visit my folks, pre-Christmas.  It was a lovely trip full of fun times and deep thoughts, all of which I want to write about.  But we flew home on what turned out to be the saddest of days.  And I've been thinking about that ever since, and in the moments of clarity that come when I'm showering or folding laundry or otherwise not sitting in front of the computer, I have composed several paragraphs in my head on the subject, exploring my own faith in new ways.  In good ways.  I'd like to share, but haven't yet managed to write it all down in a way that doesn't come out sounding cheap. 

SO, instead, I will leave this post with a story about my husband.  And please know that I write this with nothing but love and good humor, and, most importantly, his permission:  

We have a bit of a mildew problem in our master bath.  The faux-tile shower surround ends up looking kinda yucky very quickly, despite my otherwise excellent housekeeping skills.  Don and I were commenting on this the night I returned, and he mentioned that he tried to clean it off a bit while I was gone, and pointed to a wrinkly and damp towel hanging on the rack. "That's what I used this for." 


I am quiet for a minute as I process the fact that yes, my husband actually used a decorative finger-tip towel to "scrub" the mildew off the shower walls.  I laugh.  He laughs. It gets even funnier when I take him over to the linen closet from which he selected the above towel, and point out the nice basket which contains bleachy-spray, rubber gloves, and a brush, all of which work superbly for cleaning mildew.  I contrast that with the stack of tiny, seasonal, girly towels which he selected from. 

In his defense, he argued that he looked through the stack to find the one that seemed "the oldest". 

Is this a reflection on my decorating?  

It was terrific.  I asked him if I could tell this story to my bloggy friends and he graciously agreed.  

So there, instead of some profound thoughts on trees, home, travel, Christmas, life and death, or anything interesting like that you get an anecdote about my bathroom and a autumn towel. 

I'll try to get back to the other stuff soonish.  In the meantime, Let It Be Christmas

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Blue (Chair)


See that house in the background?  That where some amazing friends and neighbors lived for the past year... right in our backyard.  They are now on their way to California.  Such is military life, having to say goodbye a little too often.  But such is military life, getting the chance to meet wonderful people and make friends all over the country.  It's a mixed blessing for sure. I'm feeling a little blue whenever I look at their empty house, but we have the happy distraction of a visit with my parents - starting tomorrow - yay!

Next. Remember the chair from Goodwill?  It is blue now! In a completely amazing stroke of luck I happened to find a quart of paint in EXACTLY the color I had in mind, at Lowes, on the reject paint rack. $3 for a quart of primer-paint (Valspar, if you were wondering) that would otherwise cost $14 to have mixed.  Which I was completely prepared to spend, because I knew what I wanted, but oh man, I can't believe my good fortune on this one. 

Now I just need to recover the seat, which should be pretty quick once I decide on the fabric.  I'm thinking of piecing a few together, and this is going to go up at my desk in the playroom/sewing room, and after Christmas I'm going to do some more sewing for that room to recover a lot of the mismatched items in there.   It's going to be great.  More soon!