Archive for the Category ◊ Holidays and events ◊

30 Oct 2008 I forgot how much I LOVE pumpkin seeds!

I used this recipe and they are GOOD.

But no one is here for a pumpkin seed recipe, are they?

You’re here because…..

….Emily got an awesome report with just 2 B’s and just as many A+’s.
….I am the mama of the cutest baby ever….
C
C
…it’s pumpkin carving night!
Halloween
Halloween

05 Oct 2008 It’s in the air…
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Stay tuned…..

01 Jan 2008 The Holidays Are Over
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Said, of course, with equal parts relief and sadness.  I feel the same way every year.    Sorry it’s over and glad it’s over at the very same time.  In the days after Christmas, I usually reflect on things I wish I had done differently.  Here’s my list for Christmas 2008…..

1) Shop earlier.  I say this every year and this year I really did well.  I was done with most of my shopping by the 2nd week of December, but I think I could do just a little bit better next year

2)Freeze cookie dough to save me time come Christmas time.  A lot of doughs can be prepared and frozen up to six weeks in advanced.   I could, say, prepare and freeze cookie dough at Halloween and bake them up in Mid-December. 

3) Start my Christmas crafting earlier.  Knitting Cadence’s stocking until after the girls had gone to bed on Christmas Eve Eve (Santa brings new jammies, you know) was NO fun.  Nor was stressing over the handmade dolls I gave as gifts.  On Christmas Eve I was putting the hem into my skirt for church an hour before we wanted to walk out of the door.  I think if crafts aren’t done  by the second week of December, they’re not happening.

4) Take the opportunity to work on  finding and making Christmas crafts throughout the entire year to ensure I have the things that I want in the house when Christmas comes around again.  In fact, I may make a list.  I may make something every single month!

I think I did do better, this year, just enjoying the process.  Being here.  In the moment, but I think I can do better.

This week, Emily and I will watch and delete the Christmas shows clogging up the DVR.  They can’t stay all year.  They wouldn’t be special.  I’ll make one more batch of cookies to use up the kissable chips we bought to make sure no one dives into them in a weak moment on our new year diet.  We’ll finish the Oberweiss egg nog and I’ll long for doing it again.  This year. :o)

29 Dec 2007 2007

will end in a flurry.  Just as life always is around here.  Family is coming by tomorrow, a little unexpectedly, so we’ll end up hosting a decent sized gathering at our house (even though I admit I’m desperate for peace, but not willing to say no on this one).  New Year’s Eve will be consumed with last minute things, running the girls to Grandma for THEIR date night so Eric and I can have one of our own and before I know it, it will be Wednesday and Eric will be back at work and the holiday season will be over.

Emily will still be off until Monday the 7th.  I’ll take down some Christmas things.  Our Tree will come down Sunday the 6th, the last day of Epiphany and I’ll probably be ready to do so.  Over the course of January, things will come down and go away, but slowly, leaving only the snow flakes that are hanging over our dining room table as a reminder of opulence of Christmas (and it should be a time of great celebration).

But now, 2007 is winding down.  Over the years, I’ve talked about our year Sometimes with fondness and sometimes without it I don’t know how I would rate this year, really, or know how to reflect on it. It’s been a REALLY confusing year for me. For me, I’ve somehow been able to separate, really, what has really become two facets of my life. My Mom and then all the rest of it.

The part with my Mom should be plainly obvious.

The rest though? What a ride. I’ve struggled, for sure, with the demands of parenthood. I’ve struggled to keep up with Emily while having to nurture a baby that sometimes demanded more of me than I felt at times I could give. I’ve felt torn so many times, trying to find the way to best divide myself amongst those who most needed me. I know people got the short end of the stick sometimes (and probably still are) and balance is often times difficult, but still a work in progress.

But despite all of that we had moments, these incredible, incredible moments that in the midst of them I stopped at thought this is IT. This is the stuff you WAIT for to happen, that you LONG for. Beautiful incredible moments with my girls that, I swear, you would see in a movie. Connections with my husband that took my breath away, great times with family and friends with so much laughter that I walked away with my stomach hurting and my cheeks sore. Despite the sadness of Spring, I still had so much good stuff this year that it’s just not possible to not be thankful for it.

Kindness

Friendship

Love

Generosity

Despite so much sadness, we were given, in my opinion just enough happiness to tip the balance and overall we’ve had a very good year. So, to all of you, I wish you a happy and peaceful 2008.

24 Dec 2007 Merry Christmas!
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In about five minutes, I’ll be shutting the computer down.  I’ll be finishing up a little bit of cooking and loading my girls into their matching pajamas.  I’ll be spending time with my darling little family and some very dear friends who have grown exceedingly close to us over the year.

I just got back from church.  It was super crowded, but I’m so grateful that we were led there.  It felt like coming home and with it we are growing in faith.

I was afraid that I would meloncholoy about Christmas this year, missing my Mom and all, and aside from a total aversion to the song “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” which has gone from being an okay song to “oh dear God don’t play that song!”, I feel content.  Really.  My girls are so excited.  Cadence opened her first present this morning on her own; her Christmas pajamas and I have that happy feeling in my heart that everything is right with the world.

And in a bit, I’ll go upstairs and turn 24 hours of a Christmas Story on the t.v. because that’s a Christmas Eve tradition I have that no one else shares.  And I’ll read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and probably cry through The Polar Express, because that’s what I do.

There have been ups and downs this year and I miss my Mom every day, but I can state without adding anything else to the statement, that I am HAPPY.

Merry Christmas, everyone.  <3

12 Dec 2007 Christmas To-Do List
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Here it is. All official and stuff

Gifts to Purchase
Eric-Done
Emily-Done
Cadence-Done
MIL-done
BIL/SIL-purcahse
FIL-Order tomorrow (too lazy to go find address)
Friends-Basket/container for purchased gifts
School-done
Family-Gift Cards (2)

Decoration
Finish garland in house
Put up ceramic tree
put up last few outdoor lights
hang stockings
Find safe place for nativity

Crafts
sewing-Finish Jammies, Put waistband and hem into Em’s skirt, put waistband and hem into my skirt
Knitting-Finish C’s stocking at least. Try to get to E’s stocking
Scrapbooking-Christmas cards now turning into New Year’s cards…
Gingerbread house
Terra cotta pot nativity set for Emily

Misc.
Wrap gifts
buy Santa paper
plan menus for Christmas Eve, Christmas dinner and boxing day
grocery list for above

cookie baking

Outings
Take girls to see Santa in Fox Lake
Zoo Lights @ Zoo-postponed until after Christmas because of bad weather.

I think that’s it…

09 Dec 2007 I am counting down
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My goal is to have nearly all of my Christmas tasks completed by a week from tomorrow: December 17th. My reasoning is very simple; I would like to take the week before Christmas to just ENJOY being in the middle of the season. So many times I’m working feverishly up until zero hour to get everything done and then I wake up on 12/26 so depressed because I hustled and bustled and missed the peace and beauty and joy.

So, for me, save a few things here and there (a little baking, a little wrapping, a little cooking and my daily cleaning, probably some sewing) zero hour for me is less than one week away.

what do I have left to do?

1) Finish shopping for Eric
2) Buy stocking stuffers for the girls
3) buy Christmas Present for The World’s Best Mother-In-Law*
4) buy gift card for SIL and BIL
5) buy something to present already purchased gift for friends in
6) buy gifts for Emily’s school
7) wrap all those gifts 8) bake
9) put up a few more decorations
10) finish up Christmas sewing.
11) Oh yeah…Christmas cards

Not much, but some of the things are pretty time consuming. I have a feeling I have a busy week ahead of me, but if I can meet my goal, it’s going to be worth it.

*I’m getting my dream camera for Christmas thanks to my wonderful MIL. In the past, we had a few rocky parts, but I am so thankful of her care and support and how MUCH she loves our little family. :o) And of course, for my wicked sweet camera that will be here tomorrow…

14 Nov 2007 In Full Swing
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My mom and I would always talk, as Christmas drew near, about the sometimes annoyance people seemed to have with us starting Christmas so early. We both agreed that, becuase of the work load associated with Christmas (work I, frankly, adore doing) that we HAD to start early. That a week’s time or even two week’s time wasn’t really enough to do everything we intended.

So, as Halloween past and I tucked away the pumpkins and ghosts and witches the Christmas season, for me, began. Oh, my excel spreadsheet with my gift life and budget had been set up MONTHS ago, but now I began shopping. Fine tuning. Planning activities and events to make the season EXTRA special (like i do every year). And, this year, that specialness ;o) includes a LOT of sewing.

My current Christmas sewing list is fifteen items long and I’m hoping to accomplish most of them in NOVEMBER. What’s that list look like?

1) The girls matching Christmas dresses are in current production. I’m strugglign with the zippers, but think they’ll done today or tomorrow in time for taking pictures for our annual Christmas card

2) Five cloth dolls for Cadence and little baby cousins and a little baby friend (free of worry from the MIC fiasco)

3) Skirt for me to wear to church and on Christmas day

4) Cloth diapers for C-note (I have two done but need at least three more to make any sort of dent in our disposable diaper useage)

5) Matching pajamas for the girls. To be found in their stockings on Christmas eve morning.

And this, of course, is just a tiny portion of what I’ll actually do. It seems like a lot of stress, doesn’t it? It is, but it’s something I love. Flat out LOVE. Over the course of the next few days, I’ll be ordering more gifts, planning crafts and outings and doing everything I can to make our Christmas season MAGICAL.

I cannot wait. :o)

10 Sep 2007 Dear 9/11,
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You only get tonight. That’s all you get this year. You see, last year, this date turned into something different. It was the day before Cadence got here. The day before the tiny girl who lights up my life made her way into the world. So, you see, 9/11, you just don’t have the hold over me that you used to.

Oh, you’re still there a little bit. Lurking in the shadows. Reminding me of the panic and sorrow and anguish I felt, not just for days, but for months as UAL slide into a bad downward spiral and we began to hurt financially because of all that came down that day.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were huddled around our t.v. watching the towers fall and the plane crash in. It doesn’t seem that long ago when I walked out of work and realized that for the first and likely only time in my life, that no planes flew over me. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I would lay in bed and feel the icy grips of terror sliding over me as I heard a plane overhead. It doesn’t seem like that long ago that the plane went supersonic over our house to intercept an AA flight reporting trouble.

But, Emily was just a baby. Just barely older than Cadence is now. Six years have gone by. The bulk of Emily’s life. It’s hard to believe it wasn’t yesterday, but, well, it wasn’t.

And, closer to us than 9/11/01 is 9/11/06 as we made ready to welcome our second little girl. And, I think I’m going to focus on that. Sorry, 9/11, you don’t have me wrapped around your finger this year.

01 Aug 2007 It’s the second most wonderful time of the year
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School time is drawing near here in lovely IL. Now, I’m not one of those moms who rejoice because their offspring are finally heading back to school, ending days of tedium and tantrums. Emily’s a pretty good kid and I’ll miss her for the hours she’s gone.

No, the reason why I like late summer is simple.

School supplies.

Aisles and aisles of gleaming, beautiful, sale priced school supplies. On our forray to target (for, like a handful of vacation supplies) I was drawn in the moment we hit the front door and saw piles of beautiful school supplies all over the place. Multi-colored ink pens (oh how I coveted one of these in grade school), pencils, yummy smelling mini erasers (I skipped those because they’re totally unusable, but I still love to smell them).

10 one subject notebooks for a dollar? How could I resist. Into my cart they hopped. Binder dividers? Folders? Cute pencil cases? I am smitten. A box of 120 sharpened crayolas? Ecstasy. Really it is.

I remember with great fondness the odor of a brand, new trapper keeper. I remember the way a sheaf of papers, newly loosed from their plastic wrap smells. School supply shopping is a trip down memory lane, full of smells and sights and sounds. The lumpy white paste we used in first grade, the crisp swish of newly sharpened safety scissors. The click and clack of three ring binders snapping shut.

Yes, it’s love. I admit it. Even as a college student my school supply lust wasn’t quenched AND I had a job and could buy my own. Erasers and gel pens. Mechanical pencils in wild colors and colored paper clips. Recycled notebook papers in pastel colors.

School supplies make me positively giddy. :O)