24 December 2010

Moments Such As These

And this is the view of two girls hugging their grandpa for the horseback riding lessons they've just received for Christmas ... whilst riding Pops bareback. Sheer, unbridled, little girl bliss.

Off to go enjoy more moments such as these. Merry Christmas.

22 December 2010

A Little Bit Naughty and a Whole Lotta Bit Nice

"A harmony of unexpected contrasts: the intensity of dark chocolate and the delicate seasoning of hand harvested Fleur de Sel sea salt crystals." (Translation: "blah, blah, Dark chocolate, blah, blah, Fancy french salt that is super, super good, blah") The best $3 chocolate out there, if you ask me. And. You can get it at Target.

To all husbands out there ... this is an excellent stocking stuffer idea. I'm just sayin.

A Flurry of Festivity

A day full of last-minute shopping, meal-planning, grocery gathering, and general anticipation. This year, the children have taken an active role in gift planning. So interesting to notice how it has increased their level of excitement. The ol' adage,  "It is better to give than receive" certainly has wisdom behind it.

Of course, if your husband brings home some Christmas flowers ... the receiving is awfully nice.

20 December 2010

A Home-Day and Corduroy Happiness

We had to cancel some anticipated plans today in order to stay home and get healthy. Nothing too bad, but throaty coughs and persistent sniffles that just need a day at home.

The result of our self-imposed home-day is plenty of time to work on projects. Christmas cookie dough is chilling in the fridge and a viewing of White Christmas is bringing smiles and spontaneous dance sessions.

It has also brought time to work on some sewing projects all in lovely corduroy. Oh, corduroy. I forgot how much I love you! You are sturdy, soft, washable, and so very sweet. Perfect for dresses for both little girls ... and big girls too.

For you see, I stumbled upon a corduroy dress at the magical Anthropologie. Normally, this is a store I view as fantasy-land and explore it much like one would in a dream or a good novel. However. This time there was a massive clearance sale going on (the kind with a "take an additional 25% off the lowest marked price" ...) and a darling little dress that was cheap. I'm talking Target cheap! The only problem? A size too small.

Humpf. What's a girl to do?

Corner a sales-girl in the dressing room and demand for utter honesty. "Tell me. Does this look like I squeezed myself into a too-small dress? And don't be nice. I mean it. Don't you be sending me out of here looking like a stuffed sausage."

She said it looked good. And then another lady gave an unsolicited comment of approval. And I decided to believe them. So I bought it. (Insert giddy, maniacal laugh ...)

It actually fit nicely in most areas, just too tight in the arm-holes. Not a surprise since I have man shoulders. (I'm serious. I do. Like a burly dock-worker. I'm sure I could haul up a ship's anchor by hand.) No problems moving, sitting, walking ... but if I had to reach upwards or across my chest, the teensie arm-holes with their vicious cap-sleeves would just about sever my offending limbs.

So today I spent a little time deconstructing and widening arm-holes to accommodate my upper-torso beefiness. Ahhh...much better.

Now it's time to get back to work on some sweet corduroy dresses for two little girls who still have very lovely and proportional arms. Here's to hoping that the man-arm genes don't reveal themselves in my innocent progeny. It's a good thing they are learning to sew ...

18 December 2010

17 December 2010

16 December 2010

15 December 2010

14 December 2010

07 December 2010

For a Little Bit

Taking a few days off. Back in a bit friends ...

To Accomplish the Christmas Card

It's been a few years since my last attempt, but today I sat down to compose some Christmas cards. And I even liked it. You see, in the past it seemed to be such a herculean task to undertake. The letter, the postage, the photo and the ever expanding address list. At the very thought of it, my shoulders would slump, I'd develop a facial tick, and have to go eat the heads off of five gingerbread men.

However, this year is different. I'm sending out just a handful of cards with the recognition that not everyone that I love dearly or barely even know has to receive one. (So if you don't find one in your mailbox this year, just know that I am lazy and I still adore you now just as much as I ever did.)

Today I picked up some lovely evergreen postage stamps and a small set of photographs to tuck inside the cards. The photograph is not the crazed forest family image ... Lucette was just too mortified that her frumping was captured and the masses might be sent a copy of her meltdown moment. However, I am still sending out an equally odd and unrefined photo in which I manage to sport a sizable double chin. And I'm fine with it.

So there we have it. Cards done, no stress, and it's early December. What a concept!

04 December 2010

Packaged Beauty

My in-laws returned from a trip to Japan and brought us exotic treasures. Naturally there were the oddities like wasabi Kit-Kat bars (seriously), but then ... oh my.

I can hardly stand how gorgeous this set of chopsticks is. By themselves they are stunning, but the packaging is superb.

And a box of Japanese chocolates? Yes, please! I wish you could feel the texture of the paper this box is wrapped in. It's so rich and textured it feels almost as though it were fabric.

The presentation of these items make them all the more lovely to me. I think the chocolates certainly will taste better because they've resided in such a beautiful box. And the chopsticks? Oh yes, I'm determined to learn to use them properly now.

I think I'll go practice right now. On some chocolates ...

03 December 2010

A Right Jolly Old Elf

When I was little, I always loved going to Nanie's house at Christmas time. There would be be an appearance of Santa himself ... I never saw him, but I heard his bells, the tromping of hoofs, and Santa's bellowing voice as he filled our stockings and said nice things about us all. Funny. Santa's voice sounded an awful lot like Nanie's.

My stocking would be filled with various bits and bobs, but without fail, there would be cellophane wrapped Christmas nougats. The peppermint kind with a candy cane stripe around the circular edge and a little green Christmas tree in the middle. Marvelous.

I also looked forward to a cuddle or two with a Santa Baby. There were several sizes. All united, however, in their petite, austere cuteness. I'm told they once belonged to Nanie's mama. They had ... and still do have ... a faint smell of wool and nostalgia.

Just my size, these little, sturdy red elves would spend the day taking a ride on my hip or sitting in my lap.

And now they warm the laps of a new generation, just as enchanted as I.

02 December 2010

Well, we tried to take a family picture and this is the best we could do ...

Unless we magically manage a better group photo this weekend, this is what's going in the Christmas cards. Out of 50 shots, this is the best we could do. An ape boy, a mildly amused mother, a cute tot, a father who thinks he's Tommy Lee Jones in some cinematic thriller, and an overly perturbed girl-child who won't look at the camera.

Just keepin' it real, girls. Keepin' it real.