27 November 2010

I like this...

I've never done an advent calendar before, but if I were going to, I'd love to use this one I just saw in the Pottery Barn catalogue. Perhaps it will go on sale after Christmas then I spend a whole year thinking about what to fill it with the next time the holiday rolls around...


My favorite find from shopping with my mom a couple of weeks ago is this weathered bench I got at Riverview--such an interesting height. I was drawn to the mix of old wood and chippy white paint, and I'm loving it in my entry hall with our stockings above it. I also picked up several spools of (possibly vintage, at least vintage-looking) gold ribbon to wrap gifts with this year. When Lane was in town this week we hit Hobby Lobby's wrapping paper sale and I got some pretty gold brocade paper as well as some black and silver polka dot papers that will look pretty under my black tree in the living room. Now I just need to start buying some of these gifts that need wrapping...

25 November 2010

I've got it good...

I've got so much to be grateful for, such a charmed life...Today will be a fun day--a ridiculously abundant meal at Ryan's parents in Bolivar, the women in the dining room after for board games, then back to our house for movies and whatever else we choose to do or not do to fill three more days off work. We had storms last night and the rain is still coming down today. It's cold outside but Michael will have the wood stove going, I just know it. I wish I could be with my mom and dad and sisters today, too, not to mention the bevy of cousins and aunts and uncles I grew up celebrating holidays with in my grandparents' tiny little house, but I hope they know I am thankful for them and wish them a day as happy as mine will be.

Happy Thanksgiving...

24 November 2010

Curious for Christmas

After a full and fun day of flea markets and the tearoom in Ozark with my mom a couple of Fridays ago, I took off for KC with Lindsay to visit Lane. We shopped (and ate) 'til we dropped all that Saturday, and our first stop was Curious Sofa in Prairie Village. Next stop: Country Club Plaza.

I got a couple of gifts for one of my friends, as well as this glittery treetopper and the sweet little festive bird ornament. I had gotten these mini chalkboard stockings there on clearance last year--I put them out a few days ago with the names of our pets: Booker T. the black lab mix, Maya Angelou the black outdoor kitty, and Alice and Avrie, the old indoor girls.

We had such a nice trip. Thanks to Lindsay's friend we got a great rate at the Courtyard Marriott in Overland Park and talked Lane into staying there with us instead of her house just up the road. We went to a Japanese grill place called Kyoto Friday night and went twice to breakfast at Le Peep. Both delicious. We went to a late dinner at The Melting Pot on the Plaza Saturday night for fondue. Today Lane is in town, so the sisters meet again. Not sure what we'll do this afternoon, but I imagine eating and shopping will be somewhere on the agenda. Per usual.

22 November 2010

Oh yes I did

Despite all sorts of commentaries in the local paper and on the radio about how decorating for Christmas early totally discounts Thanksgiving, I forged ahead and put up most of my things this past weekend. We are having guests for dinner tomorrow night and I was ready for some sparkle. And I promise I will still enjoy and appreciate Thanksgiving to the fullest. Really. Last week I had somewhere to be every night after school and I worked on cleaning out drawers and scooting stuff around in the house all weekend. Today I spent almost 2 hours grocery shopping for the events we've got going on this week and headed for the doors only to find a major monsoon had swept in while I rolled my cart around all that time. I was stranded for a bit, but finally made a run for it knowing I had lots to do before neighborhood bunco across the street tonight. I've just felt busy, busy for days now. So one thing I will be thankful for come Thursday is a chance to just hang out and slow down. I'm so looking forward to a five day break from work and hope to read and craft and watch TV and sleep in...

11 November 2010

I am reminded...

We had a Veterans Day assembly at school today, the first one I remember us ever having. I headed toward the gym with a bit of anxiety. I knew I'd start thinking of my sweet grandfathers who fought in World War 2 and that my eyes would probably well up with tears. While I am a rather emotional person, I just didn't want to cry at work in front of my colleagues and 1,800 teenagers.

I did okay until the marching band played and I was hit by a memory I hadn't thought of in a long time. I think it was the year Ryan and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. We met my parents and grandparents in Eureka Springs and went to the local auditorium for a concert. My mother was in a little community choir, and if I remember right, they were doing a patriotic-themed show. They sang a montage of the songs for each branch of the military and asked veterans in the audience to stand when their branch's song came up. I still clearly see my little Papaw, survivor of the Bataan Death March and three and a half years as a prisoner of the Japanese, stand up during the Army's song. This sweet man, not much taller than I, had braved the horrors of war and come through on the other side...became a father and a grandfather, a great-grandfather even...became this proud and brave but older man standing in a tiny theatre in Arkansas with others who had done the same. He's been gone since 2004.

Our band did something similar at school this morning, and I couldn't even look down to the gym floor to see which men and women stood when. I just missed my Papaw so badly at that moment, and if I looked I would have cried. Hard. But I'll be thinking of him all day today, and my Grandpa Jude, too. I, of course, have much respect and appreciation for all who have served this way, but it's those two soldiers who I'll always have the most for...my love and affection besides.

06 November 2010

Fingers crossed

Just came across this beautiful bag from French Larkspur being given away over at The Adventures of Stig and Lolo. I'm in love! So if I don't win the giveaway, Ryan, this is at the top of my Christmas list...

P.S. I finally took the time to figure out how to put links in my posts. Why did I wait so long? Silly.

05 November 2010

Another fall Friday

It's chilly here today, so chilly that I couldn't even manage to stay outside long enough to hang the adorable new thermometer I bought at Leola's Holiday Open House last night. Barb and Macauley and I drove over to the event and the place was so full of people I'm sure I missed seeing everything. But I did get another clock face, an F and these little stamped tags I'll use on some of my Christmas gifts this year.

We are out of school today and just being around the house this morning feels luxurious. Macauley has a play date this afternoon and I'm having lunch with Lindsay then going to treat myself to a mani/pedi, I think. Being at Leola's also put me in the mood to flea market or decorate for Christmas or maybe just be creative and do some scrapbooking. I love long weekends.

My {Halloween} Hero

It seems like longer than just 4 days ago that we were trick-or-treating. Macauley chose to be a firefighter this year, and our first outing was Saturday night at the zoo for Spooktacular. The place was packed and the decor might have been more suited to little, little kids, but we enjoyed some time with the Rhoads. Catherine went as a queen and her little brother Maxwell was her protective knight.
The kids spent quite a bit of time brushing away a quarter inch of sand from the top of a plastic tablet of hieroglyphics. There was a teenage girl, I guess an employee, sitting to the side dressed as a scary Dorothy and a guy in the Scream outfit. Just didn't seem to fit. And they just stood there. The "abandon all hope" sign is a slightly misquoted reference to Dante's Inferno, a story I teach.

The zoo animals were all in for the night, except for some flamingos and swans and these little goats in the petting zoo. There was another huge furry cow, kind of like a short, squatty buffalo, that was also up and at 'em. I didn't get a good picture (in fact none of the pictures I took turned out all that great) but little Max reached out his hand to it and in the cutest, low little voice said, "Hey, big."

We wrapped up with ride on the train and Macauley got his picture with a firetruck and some real firefighters. The guys seemed pleased at the costume choice he had made.

{My hero}
Around dusk on Halloween night, we headed out in our neighborhood for trick-or-treating. The weather was perfect and the kids just ran from doorbell to doorbell.

We took Rex and drove to Aunt Lindsay's house and walked a loop around her neighborhood then stopped on the way home at the house near Macauley's school that is always over-the-top decorated for every holiday. It's fun to see people who still have spirit and go all out for stuff. Our Halloween decor came down the very next day, and now I'm deciding if I want to put out the Thanksgiving stuff or just go straight to Christmas...


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