Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas to all ....

We have family coming up early tomorrow to start our Christmas Eve traditions ... so with being sick this past week, I know this will be the last "liesurely" time I have to check in and wish all of you a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS. 

I'm already starting to think ahead at the possiblities that 2010 will hold for my family and I ... and am feeling extremely greatful and hopeful ... for all the things that we've been blessed with this difficult 2009 and all the things that God and life have in store for us in 2010.

Embrace the craziness ... you can't escape it.  Let it happen, and enjoy the moment!  See you after the chaos is over!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Anyone else feeling the Christmas Crunch?

Man ... does it suck.  I feel like I've got 100 things to do and definitely not enough time to do them in.  Besides all that, an unexpected Saturday entertaining family (which I love and am thankful to see them ... but ack!).  It seems that I keep pushing everything to the back burner thinking that I'll somehow find the time ... but secretly - secretly I know that this is what always happens to me when I get overwhelmed.  Suddenly the most silliest of things get done before what needs to get done. 

Do you do that too?  (Please tell me that you do!)

Today I honestly couldn't tell you what I did other than load & empty the dishwasher, clean pots, scrub the sink, make macaroons (then eat one too many cause they were so darn tasty ... and btw ... really easy to make - followed the recipe from, did laundry (still have the whites to do), made a fabric flower pin from this tutorial at WiseCraft's blog and made dinner.  After that I sat down to eat dinner with the hubby and vegged out as we watched Sing-Off (I think that's it?) on NBC and wrote down the sizes of particular fabrics I need to get started cutting for a quilt and did a Suduko puzzle.

Totally motivating, isn't it?  I'm hoping tomorrow is better ... and that I have more energy than I did today.  Going to bed now (12:15am isn't late, is it?) and waking up early tomorrow to make these guys ... Stroofilies (for lack of proper spelling - it's how I spell them!)  They're an Italian thing ... basically small dough balls, fried then coated with honey and rainbow sprinkles.  SO yummy. 

After that, clean up - go with the hubby for his haircut and then hit the mall to finish up some last minute shopping!  Planning on finishing wrapping everything that night.  Well - that's the plan.  We'll see if it works!

I'm so wishing that I could be pulling out my sewing machine and get started on the quilt & some other quick projects - but it's too cumbersome to take everything out for 1 or 2 days before company visits. 

Oh ... and since we're confessing here ... I've totally dropped the ball on my Journal Your Christmas/December Daily/Holidays in Hand album.  This year though, I've made it farther than ever ... I actually put together an album!  I've also tried to keep track of what happened on what day - but we'll see if it ever winds up coming to fruition.

I hear my bed calling ... Hopefully all of you are finding your way out of the chaos that the season creates and into some peace & quiet.  Good luck!  I'll be here sporadically as I can ... and maybe even to post some pictures of what I make!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Busy week

I can't really come up with a good list of why it's been so busy ... but it feels like it has!  Just the usual cleaning, cooking and crafting going on!  We had about 5 inches of snow yesterday in the wee early morning and I was up with the hubby as he left for work ... and watched him take a big whooping fall onto his tuckus ... twice.  The poor thing ... he has a wife that only stifles her laugh long enough to ask if he's okay then lets loose!

I'm a lucky girl though ... today (the 11th) is my birthday and he always comes through for me.  He's taking me into Manhattan to see "my" tree (also known as the Rockefeller Center Tree) and a quick visit to St. Patrick's Cathedral (love that church) to light some candles and say some prayers ... lunch is still up in the air - Carmine's or Brother Jimmy's ... (I'm a tough date, aren't I? ... old school Italian or really good pulled pork & hush puppies).

Tonight he called on his way home from work telling me that he was running late because something happened as he was leaving ... no biggie, just held dinner up a bit ... and in he walks with a dozen red roses and a Milky Way (my favorite).  (I'll get my card later today since it's only 1am.)  Seriously ... men could take lessons from him.  He's attentive to the small things (not all the time, but definitely when it counts!)

He gave me my present over a week ago though ... now, never in my life did I think that I'd ever ever want this item ... nor be thrilled - yes - thrilled to get it ... no, it wasn't the gold initial pendant that I saw at Tiffany's that I mentioned in a previous post ... nope ... it was a Jason Witten jersey.  SO awesome.  The man has converted me into a football lover.  

Enough lovin' on my husband I guess .... off to bed so we can catch an early-ish train into the city and be back in time for dinner with my parents and then lunch with his and mine Saturday.

Oh ... did I neglect to mention the 2 paper/book wreaths that I'm making for my sister in law and her friend that I need done by Sunday?  Yeah ... that's just one of the major reasons I've been busy.

Enjoy your Friday! 

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Finally decorated

I feel like I'm behind the proverbial 8-ball this year ... and not sure why.  Today I finally got everything decorated.  If there's anything left, it's just minor odds & ends that I forgot about and will put out when I find out about them!

I have realized something though ... I hate putting ornaments on the tree.  Just find it to be such a hassle ... but love the final look of the tree.  Go figure, right?  I had to guilt the hubby into helping me finish it up today ... whatever works, right?

Here's the finished product:

I have to remember to put the tree "skirt" on tomorrow.  I just remembered that I used some brown ultra suede fabric that I had ... Let me tell you - it's difficult to work around a train track!  Everything is just too bulky and goes too near the tracks.

We're fortunate that my father-in-law is an  avid Lionel train collector/lover - and has been for years and years.  The train peeking out from behind the tree there ... he made that for my husband when he was little.  After we got married, he got my initial added onto the "train line" on the side.  So loving and adorable.  Here's a better picture of the train from a few years ago at our old apartment. 

My husband still doesn't understand why I switched out the accent colors of our tree ... in our apartment I kept the purple that I had when I was single - it went with the brown couch and accents we had in the living room.  In the house ... the purple kinda clashes with the blue walls, know what I mean?  Poor guy ... he just shakes his head while I carry on.

I was going to be all tech-savvy and attempt making a little collage with our other bits & pieces of stuff here ... but the computer I'm on doesn't have Picasa loaded and quite frankly, I should've been in bed an hour ago!  Maybe tomorrow?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Today ...

Doing a lot of Christmas decorating and cleaning ... so I'm posting from  The Simple Woman’s Daybook which you can find here. 

Outside my Window: Is beautifully covered in snow.
I am Thinking: That I love how the decorations look once they're done ... but gripe about doinCg them.
I am Thankful For: A husband that worries when I drive in bad weather.

From the Kitchen:  Spaghetti  & Meatballs ... starting the gravy in a few minutes
I am Learning: that I have too many projects going on
I am Wearing: sweats  & a long sleeve tee
I am Creating: Christmas :)
I am Going: To stay home all day :)
I am Reading: CK Magazine
I am Hoping: That I'll finish all the decorating by tonight
I am Hearing: The sound of my DVR shows being watched after a few weeks of neglect, which will result in a happy husband when he checks out the DVR tonight
Around the House: Are boxes & bins of Christmas
One of my Favorite Things: The Lenox ornament my husband bought me on our first married christmas
A Few Plans for Next Week: christmas cookies, making some other holiday favorites
A Picture to Share: 


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Time off as family photographer ...

I love getting pictures of my family - the candid ones, the posed ones ... you name it, I love to have it ... but sometimes it's just too difficult.  The men & children argue about not wanting to do the pictures, they won't cooperate and frankly it just irritates me.

I'm finding more and more though that I'm the only one left that is willing to pull out the camera at family functions.  It's a little disheartening.  Especially when I realize (like I did today) that I frankly didn't have time to take random photos (like of the turkey, us all hanging out, the Wii tournaments that went on, etc.) and no one else even thought of it in my place.

The only pictures I did get were a couple of my nieces & nephews and my brother's family photo (because my sister in law asked me to take it for them) and one that I ran in to take with my husband because we haven't had a good, recent picture together in a while.  All my other table & decoration pictures were taken either the night before or during the 10 minute lull after I came downstairs from getting ready and waiting for guests to arrive.

I guess I'll have to add one more task to my list that day and be sure to remind my husband that he's my backup photographer, and not just the Wii Tournament coordinator.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving Recap and December plan ...

Thanksgiving is over, Black Friday is done and here I am.  Right now I'm on the couch waiting to start dinner for the hubby and figured it's a good time to catch up here while I watch some DVR that's backed up because of the holidays.

So ... here's what's been going on: 

The paper wreath project.  I told you it was huge ... it's measuring 12" deep and just about 24" across.  Truly, after I made it, I loved it ... but the one phrase that kept coming out of my mouth was "it's so huge!"  So, my advice to you ... go with the 1o" base ... or smaller - though I haven't tried anything smaller yet ... but I plan to.  

There were only 2 options for where to hang it ... over our couch in the den (high enough so my clumsy but loveable husband doesn't whack it with his arms when he stretches) or on the wall of our stairwell where no one will see it except myself and my husband ... and those select few who wind up in our upstairs. 

My sister and I settled on hanging in the den above the couch.  Thankfully the wall is big enough that it doesn't look out of place.  I do have to find some other things (frames?) to hang beside it so it's not just floating there on its own.  Here are some quick pictures I took of it (excuse the mess & poor lighting :)  ).

Onto Thanksgiving ... we co-hosted, as I mentioned.  My mother-in-law wasn't feeling well, so we were down 1 ... but still had a great day.  Dinner was fantastic if I do say so myself!  I must say, between my father and I, we're pretty damn good at timing everything.  We had some family favorite appetizers early (quick quiche, mini hot dogs, pseudo-antipasto and stuffed mushrooms) and they were devoured relatively quickly.  Dinner was pretty traditional as well - but we added a chateaubriand into the mix as well being that we had so many and everyone usually takes leftovers home.  It was mouthwatering.   It was one of the best pieces of meat I've had.  Homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes, carmelized onions, string beans, broccoli and sweet potaotes.  Probably other stuff that I'm missing, but all of it was delicious.

The fun part ... the table setting:  (the sizing options aren't cooperating with me)

And all of this ... brings us to the one day I don't mind shopping all year ... Black Friday!  Anyone else with me on this?  There's something to be said for not sleeping, leaving the house at 3:15am to get coffee before hitting the first store at 4am.  Yes ... yes, I did.  (We actually - it's a sisterly adventure every year.)  We're smart enough to know not to go for the crazy $200 computers or things like that, but we get some pretty good deals on things (like $49 for a slide scanner ... $59 for a $125 floor steamer). 

How did you guys make out?  Did you even go out on Black Friday?

Yesterday I sorted through the bags and made final decisions about what to keep and what to return (yes, there are some things to return!).  This week I'll do my returns and pick up the missing Christmas gifts I need. 

My husband and father in law will be putting up our Lionel train (my father in law is an avid train collector and it's a nice tradition to have - especially after we have kids) around the tree in the next day or two, so that's when the majority of our decorating will get done.  I still have to write out Christmas cards ... and I must admit that I'm behind this year - they're usually in the mail ON December 1st ... I'm such a slacker ;)