Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Daybook


 "Every day is a blank page."

FOR TODAY, Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Outside my window . . .A cold, clear frosty day. The ground is covered with patches of snow.
 
I am listening to . . . Sara Evan's Christmas album.
 
I am thinking . . . that I am all but done with Christmas shopping. 
 
I am thankful . . . for the family and friends that came to our house on Sunday to celebrate my dad and stepmom's birthdays.  One of my favorite things is having the house filled with people I love and getting to feed them all!  It was such an awesome day.
 
In the kitchen . . .still baking Christmas cookies.  Dan made his now-famous rum cakes which we will share with family and friends.
 

I am wearing . . .yoga pants and t-shirt.
 
I am creating . . .memories of our granddaughter's first Christmas.
 
I am going . . .to start wrapping presents today. 
I am wondering . . .if my dog knows when it's her birthday?  And if she feels neglected that we forgot it last week.  (The vet sent her an e-mail birthday card, which prompted this thought).
 
I am reading . . .Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good, by Jan Karon.  It's so nice to be back in Mitford again.
 
I am praying. . .for peace in the world.
 
I am looking forward to . . . going to a holiday brass concert with Dan this Sunday.
 
I am learning . . . to roll with the punches.
 
Around the house . . . Dan built some shelves in our basement for storage.  I can't wait to get the rest of our boxes unpacked.  I'm still missing our tree skirt (using a sheet for this year), the little chicken that holds my measuring spoons, and a Colorado Rockies visor that I lost two moves ago, but keep hoping it will miraculously appear.

I am pondering . . . how resilient and strong people can be.
 
A favorite quote for today . . . "Raise your words, not your voice.  It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder." ~~Rumi
 
Some of my favorite things . . . old friendships, new friendships, spritz Christmas cookies.
 
A few plans for the rest of the week . . .Women's Candlelight Advent service at church this evening, going to a dinner theatre with friends tomorrow night to see Fiddler On the Roof (my all-time favorite), babysitting our grandbaby on Friday so her mom and dad can go Christmas shopping.
 
A peek into my day . . .
 

 
The Simple Woman's Daybook is hosted by Peggy.  Click here for the link to join in.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Checking in and a surprise!

I know.  I don't know what happened to my blog either. I was trying to put a little bit of a holiday spin on it, and everything went crazy and I couldn't get it back the way it was, so I just found something in Blogger's design department that didn't look too goofy.  Because it looked really goofy a couple hours ago.  WHY can't I just leave well enough alone?!

Anyway, just popping in to push the last post with Fall graphics down the page a bit, and to tell you why I haven't had a lot of time for blogging of late. I had a big crowd for Thanksgiving, then Dan and I fell right into decorating for Christmas.  This is our first holiday in our 'new' house, so we've had fun figuring out where our indoor decorations will go, and how to make all the outdoor decorations work for this year.  We figure we'll hit the sales after Christmas to fill in with a few new things.

And the big news is that in amongst all this, we have a grandbaby!  She has blonde hair and big blue eyes and we are completely smitten:) 


Oh, my gosh, nobody prepared me for how much love there is for a grandchild.  It's a giddy, over the moon delight, the same kind of joy as when I had my own babies, but none of the nervousness and anxiety mixed in because of all the responsibility.   There's the skip of my heart when I look at her and see my son, 21 years ago.  There's the fullness of my heart when I see her with her mommy and daddy, and how beautiful they all are.   

I find myself pausing every other sentence as I type this, looking at her photo and those big blue eyes.  This little miracle fresh from heaven. I sense that if she could talk, she would be so much wiser than I.  She would tell me that when life seems to be falling apart, God has way of putting things all back together again far better than we could ever plan.  And the rewards are greater than we imagined.



Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Fave Five

 
1. My favorite thing this week. . . cool mail!  I found this really neat blogger named Hannah and she promotes snail mail.  Not just any snail mail, but artsy snail mail.  Some time back, she offered to mail something fun to anyone who left a comment.  So, I did, and then promptly forgot all about it.  Imagine my surprise when this lovely package came in the mail last week, all the way from Australia.  Hannah wrote me a very sweet, personal letter and sent along a packet full of little surprises, including these cute, hand-made teabags.  I promptly set them up in my Halloween teacups!  If you're into 'mail art' (a whole movement I knew nothing about until recently), check it out on Pinterest.  The wonderful, crafty things that people can do will amaze you!
 

 
2.  My other favorite thing. . . I found ONE photo from my trip that I put on Facebook!  Pam and Jenny are showing off their flip phones! Time to upgrade, girls!  This is the lovely little cafĂ© where we spent a few hours at the end of a wonderful day. (I'm going to the phone store today to see if they recover the rest of my photos.  So much for being happy with just the experience.  I really want those dang photos!)
 

3.  Another favorite thing . . . we celebrated Dan's birthday on Monday evening.  His actual bday was last week, but we have found that Mondays are the best days to get everyone together due to busy work and school schedules.  Emily and her boyfriend baked him a cake, and I made a dinner that included one of his favorite foods -- twice baked potatoes.  I made it in casserole form, using this recipe from PW.  So easy, I don't know if I'll ever go back to stuffing all those little potato skins.

4.  I'm back on a walking routine with my friend Joan.  The fall mornings have been gloriously beautiful.  We marvel at the blue skies, the hot air balloons that linger overhead and the snow-covered mountains.  It's a lovely way to start the day.

5.  An evening out with friends from a Bible Study Group that we all belonged to when our kids were little.  Oh my gosh, where has the time gone?  It was so good to catch up and reconnect with dear friends.

Hope you all had a great week as well.  Thanks, Susanne, for linking us all up!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Besties

I've been AWOL again.  Last week, my friend Pamela visited and we had a blast! She is one of my bestest, long-time friends since junior high school. (Yes, that was in the day before they called it middle school).  She was the kind of friend that had her own spot at our kitchen table many an afternoon after school, and she set me up to go to my first formal with her brother.  I was so shy, I hardly said three words (yes, there are those of you who will have a hard time believing that), and he was so sweet and kind and made me feel like a princess.

So, Pam was here for a week and we took a drive to Santa Fe for a few days. And since somehow I lost every.single.picture that I took of our trip! -- argh!! I can't tell you how angry this makes me and I am still seething about my iPhone/camera, can you tell??! -- I am telling myself that having the experience is far better than having a stack of photos. 

Pictures wouldn't describe the easy camaraderie we share, and we talked through most of the seven-hour drive to and from.  We talked about the kinds of wives and mothers we've been and the kind we want to be, what it's like parenting young adults and how you never stop being a parent, frivolous talk and serious talk. Plans for Christmas and gift ideas, and household budgeting (She told me about a terrific new budgeting plan that I can't wait to get started on). We covered it all.  Pam kept us supplied with snacks and drinks on the road, and it was like being back in high school when we went to the drive-in with our own cooler.

We stayed in Albuquerque one night, meeting up with my sister-in-law Jenny, and my niece Elsa.  We laughed ourselves silly at the University of New Mexico bookstore, trying on shirts, trying to find something to wear to Elsa's game that night.  We soon discovered that 90% of the clothing in a university bookstore is actually junior size.  This after multiple trips to the dressing room and trying to contort our bodies into dozens of outfits.

Santa Fe is one of the most beautiful towns I've ever seen.  Jenny joined us for a day of exploring some of the art galleries and a long, delicious dinner at The Teahouse, one of the sidewalk restaurants.  We saw some beautiful churches and took a trolley ride of historic Santa Fe.  If you ever get the chance, I would recommend staying at The El Rey Inn, a Santa Fe landmark that is full of charm and beautiful gardens.

After a few days we returned home for a couple more days of fun before Pam had to fly back east.  We celebrated her birthday with a family dinner -- all my kids were there, they love their Aunt Pam.  And we spent an afternoon with Emily, going to the pumpkin patch to gather up pumpkins to decorate for my front porch.  I'm really bummed that I lost my photos of this process!  It was a gorgeous day at the pumpkin patch, Pam and Emily traveled for acres looking for the perfect pumpkins, and then we came home to decorate with raffia and gold spray paint.  Here's the result:


At least I was able to snap a picture of the finished product.  As for the rest of our adventures, they will remain golden memories in my heart:)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Western Colorado Girls' Trip

This will be a quick post, as I'm in between travels! But, I do want to document this past weekend.  It was the first "Girls' Weekend" for my stepmom, aunt, three sisters-in-law and me.  We spent a few days on the Western Slope where my brother Andy and his wife Diane live.  It's such a beautiful part of our state.  Here's a photo of Colorado National Monument.  We went for a drive and photo session.
 
 

Here's the view from the top, looking at Grand Junction, Colorado.



And, here's our group.   Andy, the token male for the weekend, took the picture.  He was also the cook!  And man, can he cook!

  Diane, Jenny, Carol, me, Aunt Ann, and Lois.
 
Andy and Diane
 
Andy and Diane have a beautiful little homestead, that they built themselves.  



The fall colors were magnificent on our drive over through the mountains.  Which made it all the more surprising when we had to take a detour home, because the highway was closed due to snow.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a single picture.  We drove the back roads, through gorgeous mountains.  It took us on a route that took us past Mark (my older brother) and Jenny's house, so we stopped in for a quick hello, and to see a new addition:

Mark, "Kimber" and Lois


Such a great weekend!  My niece, Sami, joined us for a short while, too.  Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of her:(   She is the prettiest one of the bunch:)

On Thursday, I'm off for another road trip with my BFF Pamela.  More photos to come!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Mining for gold with Friday Fave Five

Okie dokie, this was a pretty tough week.  I won't go into all the sordid details. Let's just say that sometimes you have to really dig to find the blessings, but they are there, which is what FFF is all about.

1.  The week started off on a really good note, when Dan and I took a drive through the mountains.  The views were spectacular!  We grabbed some coffee for the drive, I took a bunch of pictures, and we had lunch in Breckenridge, once of my favorite mountain towns. 



2.  On Tuesday, I was able to get the lenses replaced in my prescription sunglasses -- after wrestling the salesman to the floor and telling him that he better, or else. . . not really, but he wasn't being very nice.



3.  On Wednesday, Dan and I went to dinner and a comedy show with our friends.  I love this group of friends.  They have been in our lives for as long as we've been married -- in fact, some even longer -- and when I think of the word 'friend', these are the faces that come to mind.  We're truly blessed to have them in our lives.



4.  On Thursday, I got to see #1 Son for just a little bit.  He gave me a pep talk that I needed to hear, and I wondered how it is that he can be so insightful at his young age. 



5.  Today, I took Lilly to the groomer, and she is all trimmed and pretty and doesn't smell bad anymore.  I am really grateful for that! (We still don't know what she rolled in:/)


Now, that wasn't such a bad week, was it?!

If you'd like to share your favorites for the week, link up with Susanne and the rest of the crew!

Friday, September 26, 2014

A grateful heart

Susanne is celebrating 300 posts! for Friday Fave Five.  Wow!  I wish I could say that I've participated in every single one, but I will tell you that I so appreciate her faithfulness in hosting each week.  It does my heart good to look back at the week and find so many moments and things to be grateful for.

This week, I'm going to list five things that fill my heart with gratitude, not specific to this week, but just moments in general.

1.  Naps. A freshly made bed with a soft comforter, cool cotton pillows and a fan.  I don't indulge in naps everyday, but when I do, it's like going to the Bahamas.  I'm grateful for the gift of rest.

2.  Coffee.  Not a morning person by nature, but I do love that extra time when I get up early.  The hardest part is getting my rear in gear and out of bed.  Just the thought of a cup of coffee makes it worthwhile.  I'm grateful for the gift of smell and the wonderful aroma of coffee.

3.  Springer Spaniel ears.  Are so soft and curly and silky.  Scratching Lilly's ears puts us both into a state of calm.  It's funny to watch her almost fall asleep sitting up.  I'm grateful for the gift of touch.

4.  Hearing the garage door in the evening, signaling that Dan is home from work.   I'm grateful that I get to share my life with this man. 

5.  Easy fixes.  I took my car into today to find out about the mysterious squeaking noise. The spare tire was loose.  That's it.  I'm grateful for the light hearted feeling that comes when I've worried about something needlessly.

Enjoy the weekend, and don't forget to look for your own moments of gratitude:)