29 December 2008

Santa was here!

As evidenced by the abundance of gifts by the tree and the tell-tale nibbles from the little chocolate donut we left for him, the jolly guy made a generous stop on Woodfield. We're not sure if it was him or Allie the cat who enjoyed half the glass of milk...

Macauley got a red Razor scooter and helmet, a pet taxi with vet kit inside, a sleepy guinea pig, an Eye Clops magnifier toy, a robot grabber hand, a stocking full of candy and Sea Monkeys, and several books about the universe and outer space, something he's been asking about a lot lately. He did a unit on the subject at school, but I think it was just enough to get him really curious and not enough to answer all his questions. The books were a big hit with him.

Our humble Booker didn't ask for a thing, but he watched as we all opened presents and munched on some Honeybaked Ham for breakfast. Ryan got me a Kitchenaid stand mixer, some Yankee candles and the new Trivial Pursuit. I got him an Xbox 360, which came as no surprise to him since the night after we got it at Best Buy, Macauley kept telling Ryan, "Dad, we did NOT get you an Xbox 360." Then he'd look at me and wink and giggle like we were in on some big secret.

The dining room where no one dined

I do like the traditional red and green Christmas, too, so I did a more homespun look in the dining room, which I confess, I really wanted not for serving fabulous meals to friends and family but to decorate for the seasons with all my cute dishes and such.

I did a simple tree in here with little white ceramic salt cellers tied with red gingham ribbon and some red leaf covered ornaments and a red bird. I found the vintage tree topper not too long ago for a dollar.

I found a bunch of little trees at a flea market a month or two ago, and I just stuck those everywhere. I used the jute upholstery tape from JoAnn Fabrics everywhere, too. I love that stuff for some reason.

I found this old chalkware Santa in Billings a couple of summers ago and finally got it out. I also went on a doily buying kick when I went shopping with my friend Sarah a few weeks ago, so I spread those in here and there, too.

I don't really have any Christmas dishes, so I got out some plain teal and white Martha Stewart plates I have and made them work with some little ornaments I found at Target and my collection of old Christmas postcards. I found a set of 4 of the little Johnson Brothers plates (or coasters?) at STD and I'm happy I picked them up.

I put these vintage-looking glitter snowmen in the cabinet in the dining room. I found the red and white checked metal trays at Leola's a few weeks ago, too.

I've accumulated several little paper mache houses and churches over the last few years, and I thought the little vintage plastic Santa and sleigh looked like it was pulling through town.

I wrapped several gifts in gold and brown and put them under the tree in this room, most for Lane or my mom. So there are still no curtains or blinds (ordered the blinds today!) and no one actually ate in here, but it was ready if someone wanted to.

White (& Black & Silver) Christmas

Now that I am about ready to pack up all the holiday decor, I'm finally getting around to posting some pictures of the somewhat minimal decorating I did this year. A lot of our things were still in the attic at the old house (the contents of which Ryan and I moved over in a Uhaul weekend before last in the coldest weather we've had this year, I think--ick) so I got out what I could find and did the living room in black, white and silver. I hate that you can see an unpacked box through the sliding doors for two reasons--one is that I wish I didn't still have boxes to deal with and two, I really want curtains for this big expanse of glass (all in due time...). The tree has simple pearl ornaments tied with gingham ribbon, some round etched mirror ornaments and some mirror stars. I love the topper that I got on clearance last year or so, but it is always leaning to the side and about to fall off. I made the toile skirt.

I decorated the spindles with white lights, stars, silver and glitter ornaments, a glittery Merry Christmas and the pair of black velvet deer.

I love to wrap presents and I like to attach cute ornaments.

I just stuck little accents in with the normal stuff. I love this Wendy Addison glass glitter tree.

Also, finally got a bunch of my chippy mirrors up on the living room wall...some of my favorite pieces I have.

A couple of cloches and some trees and rhinestone snowflakes on a doily I recently purchased decorated the coffee table.

I spread a few black and white Christmas postcards and more glittery snowflakes in with my favorite dominoes and cameras and tarnished silver on the side table.

The room feels really full with all this stuff in it, but it's been pretty. This is where Santa left Macauley's gifts and we had a good first Christmas morning in our new house here.

11 December 2008

Christmas Question Tag courtesy of Alysia B

The rules:

1. Post the rules on your blog.
2. Fill out the questions below
3. Tag 5-7 people at the end of your post.
4. Pass on the tag. Have FUN!!

1.Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?

Neither. It seems like I would like egg nog because I love egg custard, but don't think I do and I never drink anything hot.

2.Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?

Santa always left unwrapped gifts arranged around our stockings, placed on the floor somewhere in the living room the night before by my sisters and me. Santa could not wrap the play kitchen Macauley received one year, or the Ford F-150 Power Wheels he received the next. So we're carrying on the tradition of unwrapped surprises just waiting to be found.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?

For my house, it's white. But I enjoy seeing colorful lights in and on other houses.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?

I haven't but I would like to if I could find the real thing rather than fake.

5. When do you put your decorations up?

Usually I beginThanksgiving weekend and let the process evolve from there as I find new things to buy or get more energy.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

I like all the pick-at, appetizer-type foods at all the holiday parties I attend or that we always have around the whole day.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child:

We always had very warm and loving holidays, so I have several. I like remembering how my sisters and I would always sleep together in one room on Christmas Eve, even as we got older, then call my mom and dad (no cell phones then, just call the home number then hang up and let it ring then pick up again when they answer) to wake them up on Christmas morning so we all went in to see what Santa left at the same time. I also remember early one Christmas Day when I was in high school that a boy named Walter Bolinger that I went to school with but had never really interacted with called my house to ask me if I would "go with" him. My answer was no, but we all thought it was very sweet that he was thinking of me and the possibility of us being a couple on such an important, busy day.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

Ryan and I have done this occasionally, but I don't think my family ever did growing up. We celebrate with Ryan's parents and other family on Christmas Eve (so we can spend Christmas Day with mine) so we open several gifts then.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?

This year I have 3 trees: one in my black/white living room that has only sparkly silver and white shabby chic type ornaments and lights with a black and white toile tree skirt I made. I put another up in the dining room and just hung some little salt wells (small little vessels with handles you could put at each place setting) with red gingham ribbon and some jute strung around. We put a little, somewhat pathetic tree in the window in Macauley's room. It has lights but no ornaments and looks really pretty from outside. We have a huge, 9 foot pre-lit tree that I usually decorate with all our sentimental and varied ornaments, but all that is still in the attic at my old house and I wasn't up for dragging it down this year.

12. Can you ice skate?

I have only tried once, on a date many years ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I was able to do it remedially then but I don't know how I would fare now.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?

I have received a lot of sweet things over the years, but most recently, a gift that meant a lot to me was one Ryan gave me a few weeks ago, the night I had to read some of my own writing in front of a big group of people at The Library Center. He called me at home that afternoon and asked me to go out to the garage to see if the water softener was making a weird noise (which I was kind of annoyed by) and when I opened the closet to check I was surprised to see a little wrapped box with a necklace I had shown him quite a while back inside. He said I didn't have to wear it to the reading, but I did. We have been under a lot of stress lately and that gesture was so much more than a good luck wish to me.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?

My mom's homemade sugar cookies. Super soft and simple and so good I can't eat just 1. Or just 5.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Taking turns opening one present at a time rather than all just diving in.

17. What tops your tree?

A way shabby cute rhinestone star that always looks about to topple off.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?

I love giving gifts. I like shopping for gifts and wrapping them up super cute.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?

I know the words to most all Christmas songs, but I have come to dread/avoid the 24-hour Christmas music on the radio. My favorite, though, is "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." I love the sentiments expressed.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?

Yum-ish, but not something I seek out. I like the ones that are flavors other than peppermint.

21. What do you want for Christmas?

Some Black Uggs and a Martha Stewart green Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. And surprises!

22. Do you attend an annual Christmas Party?

None regularly. But we always seem to have lots of festivities. Not enough to make it chaotic or hectic, though, which makes me glad.

23. Do you dress up on Christmas or wear PJs?

We dress comfy but you've got to be prepared and presentable for pictures.

24. Do you own a santa hat?

I do not.

25. Who do you normally spend Christmas with?

My husband, son, sisters and parents. The people I love the most...

I tag April Nord, Alicia Kelley, Joann of Sweet Finds and Andi Watterman (who I just noticed was my one and only "follower" on my blog--hello!) or anyone else who wants to.

10 December 2008


I am happy for a few reasons today...

One is that my office/craft room/studio at the new house is being painted out for me as we speak, so I will be moving into it this weekend, I hope. Which means I can get back to many of the creative pursuits that make me smile, including posting regularly to my blog. I have a bunch of pictures and stories and thoughts to record there, and I will be glad to get my own computer up and running so that posting to my blog will be as enjoyable and convenient as it was before. The painters (the brother and father of my dear friend Alicia) already painted the red dining room a beautiful shade of taupe for me. I think it is my favorite color I've ever used in all my houses.

Another reason I can rejoice today is that we finally got a contract to sell the old house! Such a relief. We are meeting our realtor this afternoon to sort through it all, but I think it is going to work out so that we will close at the first of the year and the buyers will be moving in on New Year's Day. I am glad to know they really, really love that cute little house and that we can let it go and move on where we are now. Upon hearing this news I called my friend Barb and announced, "Let the decorating commence!" Many of my purchases/projects for the new house were on hold until we had something going with the old one, so now I am excited to retrieve some of my favorite things I left at the old house to keep it looking nice and start pulling everything together.

We were also fortunate enough to be able to take Ryan's four employees and their families out for a great dinner at Nakato last night and gift them each with a generous Christmas bonus. Ryan really appreciates all they do and credits the succesful first year he's had owning the company to the hard work these people do. Driving home in the cold, slushy night, Macauley said from the backseat, "I love you, Mom. " Pause. "I love my life." I'm so glad we've been able to give him a good life, one with lots of love and laughter, a nice house, nice car, good food, etc. When we made it home, Ryan had run a bath for us both and Macauley hopped in and relished the warm water and said, "That was so nice of Daddy to do this so we could get warm. He just treats us with such niceness." I thought that was so sweet. I am looking for lots of more of these warm fuzzy vibes in our family now that we are relieved of some of our stress.

I hope to post some photos of the house and Macauley's 6th birthday this weekend. I love to blog because there are so many things I would otherwise forget if not for recording them in this format. Hope I haven't forgotten too much in the last few weeks...


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