Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday Words

"I believe someday we will, and it will fit into place like the last piece of a puzzle, and when it does we will understand that there is a reason why terrible things happen in the world -- we will understand the tragedies that come to us...The day will come -- maybe sooner than we think -- when it will be made clear, and simplistic though it sounds, I believe the answer itself will be so simple, so right, so true...for with understanding we shall be out of pain, out of darkness into light. It takes a great leap of faith to believe this, but I do, and in some measure it has brought me peace."
-Gloria Vanderbilt, "A Mother's Story"

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Deck the Halls

Kelly's Korner Christmas Tour of Homes

I've been in a very festive mood this year and am really pleased with my apartment decor. Even though it looks like a little bit like Christmas exploded. I don't care. It makes me happy.

This is the wreath on our front door. I found the form at
my thrift store for $1, added some small ornaments from Target,
and then made a bow with the same ribbon I used on my tree.
Table on the entry way with a charger-turned-wall hanging,
advent calendar, roomie's beaded tree, and a catch-all tray.
A few of my Christmas hand towels, courtesy of Mom.
Decorated bookshelves. A bit busy, but happy. Ornaments in jars,
snowmen display, and a bunch of other random bits.
Garland over hall leading to bedrooms.
There's another garland leading into living room.
My nativities. The first one I've had for several years now.
The second one I got this year from Target, they were
ornaments that I cut the hooks off of.
New artwork I painted last week. Normally my
D.C. map print hangs here. I was tired of looking at it 

and randomly decided one day last week I just needed to
make something to replace it. I love this quote and it never
fails to make me smile.

Ornaments in jars and some garland on the radiator and
my table centerpiece. I know the centerpiece is kind of a
hot mess of branches, I'm just not great at doing that.
My tree! It just makes me the most happy out of
everything. I added the vertical ribbon this year since I'm
hopeless at garland, and I think it really ties it together.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Traditions

One of the blogs I read is writing about Christmas traditions so I thought I'd do the same.

I LOVE LOVE my family's Christmas traditions. We have so many and they make me happy just thinking about them. We don't do all of them all the time, and things have changed and will continue to change as we add new family members, but they're still amazing.

Leading up to Christmas:
  • Get 2 new ornaments: A miscellaneous one and then an angel for Melissa, a snowman for me, and a Santa for Joey. (I don't remember the last time I only got 2 ornaments.)
  • Eat cookies: Peanut butter blossoms, bow ties, fudge, icebox cookies, chess pies, pizelles, etc. (Even though I don't like the latter three.)
  • Decorate: Tons and tons of family ornaments; my mom's mom's musical church, painted Santas, and ceramic tree that I loved putting the little light bulbs in; Christmas books; and the snow globes and square pillows with faces that we don't put out anymore.

Christmas Eve:
  • Have a nice sit-down meal, usually steak and shrimp.
  • Drive around and look at Christmas lights.
  • Open pajamas.
  • Light candles around the house.
  • When we still believed in Santa, we'd write the note, leave cookies, and also cheese for Santa Mouse. (Apparently Santa Mouse is not very common with others I talk to.)
  • Stay up all night with Joey and peak in the living room from the stairs. One day I'll need to write a whole blog post about this. I can't remember what age we started, but we would stay up and peek into the living room from the top of the stairs, and then slowly and quietly creep down the stairs so we could see what was brought. But we NEVER would actually leave the stairs or enter the living room, for some reason that was just unacceptable to us.

Christmas Day:
  • Cinnamon rolls for breakfast
  • Open presents one at a time, in age order, youngest to oldest. I always HATED that Joey always got to go first. Eventually we would switch it up so either the oldest would start, or I would start, or we'd alternate. But no matter who went first, it was always one person opening at a time, which I think is great so you can focus on that person.
  • Homemade rolls and wedding soup!
  • Open stockings last, which have been hidden. (In talking to many people over the years, apparently the fact that we open ours last, and that they're hidden, isn't common. But, not surprisingly, I love it.)

That's all I can think of for now. And just like that, I have a feeling the next time I listen to "I'll Be Home For Christmas," I'll be crying.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Wednesday Words

"I promised myself that I would maintain momentum.
'Maintain momentum' was the imperative that echoed all the way downtown."
"I assumed, incorrectly, that it had something to do with movement, traveling, checking in and out of hotels, going to and from the airport."
"It also seemed clear that maintaining momentum had been at a certain cost. This cost had always been predictable but I only that night began to put it into words. One phrase that came to mind that night was 'pushing yourself.' Another was 'beyond endurance.'"

-Joan Didion, "Play it as it Lays"

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Full Disclosure

  • I worked from home on Friday because I didn't feel good. Luckily it hasn't progressed beyond a sore throat and sporadic stuffiness, but I sound like Kathleen Turner.
  • I went out with Brandie and had too much fun, thus preventing me from doing anything I was supposed to do on Saturday.
  • I've bought myself things at Banana Republic and Paper Source instead of buying Christmas gifts.
  • Making Christmas gifts and decorations = crazy messy apartment. Especially the dining room table. (See below.)
  • Instead of buying peppermints for my advent calendar, I'm using leftover candy corn. (Also see below.)

  • I have so much I want to do and see this season but all I am doing instead is watching "Homeland." Which is unbelievably good while also being unbelievably stressful and disconcerting.
  • I've always been an "I need four seasons" kind of lady, but these last two days of 60 degree weather is making me realize I really am more of an "I need one week in each of the four seasons that is that season, but the rest can all in the sixties" kind of lady.
  • For the first time in years I can listen to "I'll Be Home For Christmas" without crying and I don't know what that means. (Though I'm hoping it means it's just not making me cry yet.)
  • I need this tea towel, yesterday:

  • I thought I was making progress on my last things to blog about list, but now I'm not so sure:
    • My jury duty experience
    • Capitol tour with mom and her sisters
    • Wii night with the ladies
    • Pumpkin carving party
    • Hurricane Sandy
    • Work Halloween party
    • Various happenings: New office, award, Lauren's birthday, etc.
    • Old theatre
    • Things that are and aren't worth the money
    • Thoughts on energy and healthy eating
    • Thoughts on anxiety
    • Thanksgiving
    • The time I used a saw
    • Night out with Brandie
    • Pinterest party
    • Christmas decorations 
  • This wasn't the original intent of this post and I can't remember what it was.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Happy birthday, Mom!

You're the greatest and I'll see you in a few weeks!



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