Thursday, December 31, 2009


A couple days ago, I caught a picture of the sunrise from my front porch. At least it's pretty out here in the boonies.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Round One

We have survived Christmas Round One. Actually, Round Two (of family visiting) will technically be New Year’s, so I can safely say we have survived Christmas. I’m not normally frantic about Christmas, but this year was a little different. We found out just before Thanksgiving that we’d be moving a week before family was scheduled to arrive, and we went out of town for a week at Thanksgiving.

When we returned home from our trip, we had a week to pack and paint. Forget Christmas shopping. My only saving grace is that we paid someone to clean our old house before the move out inspection. I can’t imagine how much more stressed I’d have been if I’d tried to do that on my own, too.

Once we got into the new house, our main goal was to unpack and hide the boxes. We didn’t want our family to feel trapped in our mess when they arrived. We succeeded. The night before John’s parents arrived, we hauled the last of the boxes to the trash to be picked up the next morning.

Then, I had to finish my shopping. Usually, I’m done with all my Christmas shopping (save the inevitable last-minute items) in October or November, so for me, shopping just days before Christmas was TERRIBLE. Everything got done and Christmas was a success (I think), but this is definitely the first time that I’ve heaved a sigh of relief once it was over. I hate that. I love Christmas. I hope I can treat it with more respect next year. Until then, here are some pictures of the festivities.

Our tree on Christmas Eve.
Neely snags some cookies.
Is this where it goes?
Christmas morning - not quite alert yet.
What did Santa bring?
Elefun IS fun!
The damage...and we're only halfway through.
Christmas flat wore her out.
A boy and his mama.
Is it done yet?
Our first fried turkey. Beautiful.

Neely loves to eat Christmas dinner!

I was there too, I promise. I'm just behind the camera. As usual, there is no evidence that I was present at Christmas.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas, all!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Santa Pops

Anybody familiar with Bakerella? If not, just click on over to her website there. Drool for a little while, then come back to me.

I had trouble coming up with an idea for gifts for Neely's classmates at Mom's Day Out. I mean, I can't exactly send candy bags to a bunch of one-year-olds. I saw these Santa hat cake pops on Bakerella's website, and I decided to give it a try, even though I'm pretty sure more mommies and daddies will eat these than toddlers. Oh, well. They were a little bit of a pain to make, since I'm not really a baker and am terrible with frosting, but they sure are yummy!

Friday, December 18, 2009


A few pictures from Aidan's preschool Christmas program...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Moment

Yes, I finally have the internet again. And I have a short story to tell.

On the drive home from picking up the kids from preschool and Mom's Day Out today, Aidan pulls the day's craft out of his backpack. It's a nativity decorated with stickers of Mary, Joseph, Jesus, the wise men, shepherds, you get the idea. I got to listen to my sweet boy explain to his little sister about Jesus and how he was born in Bethlehem. He then passed it to her, presumably so she could see it better. Neely then peeled off a wise man sticker...and tried to eat him.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Crafting

Today, I took a little break from doing this...

...and this... make some Christmas ornaments. It's nearly killing me that I can't decorate or put up a tree yet, so I had to ring in December somehow. Before Thanksgiving, I bought The Nester's tassel e-book. I think I'd read it within half an hour of the download completing and started hunting for something to turn into a tassel. This cardinal was sitting on my mantel. I got him at Joann after Christmas for $2. I decided he'd work. So the next day I hoofed it to Hobby Lobby for some fringe. (And if you've read the e-book, don't chastise me for going to Hobby Lobby. I only got the filler stuff there.) I got him about halfway done before we went out of town. I went to Best Fabrics today - my kids' favorite place to run away from me and hide - and got the last few things I needed to finish it. Ta-da!

My first tassel. Not too shabby, I don't think. Here's the problem, though. My original intent was to take it and give it away at our spouses group's yearly ornament exchange. If I do that, I don't get to keep it, and I really like it. I also risk someone ending up with it that really hates it, or doesn't know what to do with it. And I risk getting my feelings hurt, because I made him and I love him, but at these swaps, you definitely know which ornaments are liked and which are not. I'm not sure what I'll do. We'll see. Oh, here's the cute little red bow on his booty. :)

Last night, I remembered this paper ornament kit that I bought at Michael's after Christmas several years ago and never got around to using. I started working on them while we were watching TV. It took me two hours to finish just five, but I really like them.

And finally, the pearls. Just this morning, I saw this post on Decor to Adore and knew I had to make these. I have a bag of retired costume jewelry that Andrea gave me the last time I was in Tennessee. I painted some stars gold, disassembled a couple of necklaces, glued the pearls to the stars, and voila! Recycled jewelry ornaments. (Annie, I will send one with your Christmas gift, so now you can hang your old jewelry on your tree.)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Very Disney Thanksgiving

We went to Disney World for Thanksgiving this year. What was supposed to be a much-anticipated family vacation ended up being a much-needed forced break from the madness of packing. If the trip hadn't been planned since June, I think I might have completely overlooked Thanksgiving this year. Don't worry. I won't share all 255 of my pictures here, just a few of my favorites. That one up top was actually taken on our last day. It was the first day we'd seen the Magic Kingdom with the sun shining. We'd done it in bits and pieces in the evenings leading up to the last day.

I only have two photographs of either of my children with a Disney character. Neely would burst into tears if one neared her, and Aidan would pretend they weren't there. We could be walking through the park, and someone would say, "Look, Aidan! There's Goofy, Mickey, Minnie..." and he would look the other way.

See? If I pretend she's not there, she'll go away.

Here's Neely at Epcot on Thanksgiving Day.

Joe & Maggie in a Kim Possible phone booth.

What is this on my head?

I love myself.

This is the happiest place on earth, dude. Cheer up!

Pretty, pretty girl.


Aw, they love each other.

And the pinnacle...the mouse ears that Aidan picked. Of course, they're Lightning McQueen ears. Of course. And I couldn't get Neely to keep hers on long enough to get a picture.