30 December 2009

Gift time

I got some wonderful gifts for Christmas, including this set of clock plates from Pottery Barn. Adorable. From my mother and dad. The plates are smaller, probably more of a dessert size and the smaller ones are actually dipping bowls, a little bigger than a butter pat. Can't wait to set a cute table with those.

I also got a few books. I am close to finishing Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult, which I checked out from the school library for break, then I will start in on one of these. My mom gave me the Knitting Club books and also got them herself, so we'll have a little mini book club, I guess.

A very sweet student gave me The Wednesday Letters with the dearest note written inside. She sits close to my desk and is always reading, so we've talked often about books. I had put this book on my Christmas list but never mentioned it to her, so how uncanny that she'd just know to pick it for me. I'll certainly miss that girl when she finishes my class in a couple of weeks.

My sisters both gave me starter kits for Bare Minerals makeup (plus the Kat Von D tote). Being no makeup or primping guru myself, I will need to watch the instructional DVD before trying out the new products, but I am excited to because both my sisters love the stuff.

We are taking Macauley to Kansas City tomorrow to stay in the Embassy Suites again, do a little shopping and help Lane unload during her big move to KC on Friday. I can't believe she'll be living there. I have a feeling we'll be spending a lot more time in the big city...

28 December 2009

A day or two more...

I'm usually ready to clear out Christmas by now, but this year I'm either too lazy (it is Christmas Break after all) or just reluctant to take it all down just yet. I think I want to enjoy the sparkle (I'm so glad I talked Ryan into that black tree!) for a few more days...

Family: Christmas Day

After enjoying a lazy morning at home and all the gifts Santa showered us with, we headed to Rogers for Christmas with my family at my mom and dad's house. The roads got yuckier the farther south we went, but we all made it okay. My parents live in and run a summer camp, so the cabin/lodge decor is a perfect fit.

While my mother prepared a huge dinner (with a little help from my sisters and me), Macauley entertained himself and everyone else by going through an entire notepad making signs and menus and all sorts of other things.

We didn't get to gifts until after 8 pm--it was fun to really stretch out the holiday.

My youngest sister Lane is now dating Derek, a good friend of mine and fraternity brother of Ryan's who we've both know for over 15 years. Now he's part of the fam. So is his little dog Cricket, nestled in beside him.

We had four dogs in the house, including our Booker, Lane's black pug Chuck and Lindsay's fawn pug Meena.

My mother wrapped her gifts in red houndstooth paper this year, with little individually-pieced holly leaves and berries on top of a craft paper band. Lovely.

Lane knew I would love this glitter H tag enough to put it up somewhere year-round. We all spoiled each other with presents and just enjoyed hanging around together.

All hearts come home for Christmas...

Family: Christmas Eve

We hosted Ryan's whole family for dinner on Christmas Eve and the night was a huge success. I worked all day to finish getting the house ready, knowing full well that no one would care if my house was a disaster, but you know how it goes. One moment of panic occurred when Ryan's aunt and uncle and cousin arrived at 4:40, an hour and 20 minutes before the party was scheduled to begin. I was in my robe with my makeup half on and my hair up in a towel and Ryan was wrapping gifts at the kitchen island in his underwear while his jeans finished in the dryer. We scrambled to finish getting ready and Macauley gave the guests a tour of the house and everything turned out fine, but...whew. I had to set up places for 19 people to eat, so I set the worktable in my office for 6. I don't know how many times I had to reassure people that the thrift store sheet music was meant to be a placemat and wasn't priceless and that they could indeed sit their glasses or whatever else on it.

I set my coffee table as the kids table, with Ryan's two teenage cousins on the couch and Macauley and Jahlil on the little folding chairs (which came from my grandparents' church in Muskogee and that my mom sat in during Sunday School as a girl).
We finally dined in the dining room for the first time and Ryan finally attached the chair seats back to the chairs (I recovered them over a year ago and they've just been balanced since).
As the guests arrived, the kitchen filled with people and food. After everyone had eaten, I looked at the buffet on my big island and realized I hadn't actually made a single thing for the feast other than a pitcher of sweet tea. We ordered a Honeybaked Ham as our contribution. Oh well. I'm a decorator not a chef. I did make Ryan's mom's famous Pork-Wrapped Pork (aka Meat Candy--Little Smokies wrapped in bacon and sprinkled with brown sugar) that morning. When I realized that Ryan had my CrockPot at work (for a lunch he provided for his employees), I just left the meat warming in the oven instead of transferring it to the CrockPot, which meant that everytime I walked by the oven I couldn't help but reach in and take one. By the time Ryan got home around 2, the baking sheet was half-empty and with his help, we (mostly I) polished off the whole batch. So in essence, I single-handedly ate an entire packet of Little Smokies and a slab of bacon in a matter of hours. When my stomach got extremely upset right before the party, I wasn't sure whether to attribute it to being caught off guard by the early guests or me literally "pigging out" all day.

The most comfortable place I could think of for such a large group to spread out and open gifts was our bonus room, an area we hadn't done much to at this point. But I got out one of my favorite rugs, finally hung the pictures and shelves stacked around, turned some furniture around and added chairs here and there and threw up one last tree, this one decorated with all our traditional, collected ornaments. All my French Country decor from the old house has ended up in this room, one of the only areas in this house not dominated by my new favorite black and cream.
Everyone loved the house and stayed really late. I'd be happy to host again next year if I'm asked. We opened gifts with Michael and Linda and Ryan's brother and his wife after the rest of the family left. Among other treats, we got a breadmaker! The weather started getting bad just as everyone headed out. It had been a long day, but we still had to clean up after the party and prepare for Santa's visit. I got in bed after 1 am and took a deep breath, happy yet sad that it was all over, knowing there was still more Christmas to come the next day.

Christmas crafts galore

Macauley's backpack was full of all sorts of Christmas crafts when he came home on the last day of school before our break...all very charming.

The decorated gift bag was for Ryan and me, with the little Christmas tree ornament inside. He made the other 2 ornaments during his class party.

The tree was a homework project that we (I) did a few weeks ago. I kind of wish he'd come home with the letter weeks before, before Santa had done all his shopping, but I still love it, especially the "(please set the time)."

At the class party, all the kids had responses to their letters from Santa's elves (Kickapoo students) on their desks. Macauley's friend Trevor was showing his mother his elf letter and Macauley leaned over and whispered to me, "I don't think those are really from elves, do you?" I asked him why he thought that and he whispered, "Because I saw one of the elves delivering the pack of letters and I saw her face and--no pointed ears." I just nodded and Macauley shrugged his shoulders and said, "But I know she was just trying to spread the Christmas joy!"

Even though we were in a hurry to load up Booker and take him to stay with Ryan's parents in Bolivar while we went to Oklahoma last weekend, Macauley insisted on spreading some of his own Christmas joy by making a card for Michael and Linda. We ended up being really late, and unbeknownst to me my iphone wasn't working, and everyone was really worried about Macauley and me. Ryan had misunderstood me and told his mother we'd be in Bolivar by 4:30. We didn't even leave the house until after then and got to Bolivar around 6. Michael had headed towards Springfield with his police scanner looking for us and Ryan had called and texted several times. I felt so bad. But we were fine. And Grandma and Grandpa got a sweet card out of the whole deal.


Related Posts with Thumbnails