L'il Gee (decked out in his finest candy-cane P.J.s) was all agog on Christmas Eve.
We are unpacking and repacking as we speak to prepare to see our lovely Miss Dub.
And who-knows-how-many inches of snow.
(Eeeeeeeek. This Arizona girl's blood may be a tad too thin.)
So ... if I have to leaving you looking at the same picture for the next ten days or so, I thought this one was best. It just does not get any simpler ... or happier ... than this.
We are off to see children and grandchildren in not one, but two states. We leave behind Sonny Boy and the Mrs. to mind the stable (and will miss them desperately.)
We wish you and yours a Christmas filled with family and love.
And a Baby in a manger.
So ... tell me truthfully ... when you think of Arizona do you think of scarves and gloves and hot chocolate with marshmellows?
That's why I had so much to be grateful for this weekend.
(You know ... the everything-is-relative attitude.)
Saturday night was our Ward Christmas Party. Instead of pretending it was winter while we sat in folding chairs around the Cultural Hall, we were actually outside ... wearing scarves and gloves ... huddling together ... and walking together ... and singing.
The party was held outdoors at three different homes, the first two of which were far enough away to make the walk invigorating and close enough together to make it doable. At one point we (and by "we" I mean a mass ... over a hundred strong ) crossed a reasonably busy street, carrying candles (inside plastic cups) singing carols and thoroughly enjoying ourselves. (We were polite enough not to make the traffic wait for all of us, btw.)
Were there wise men in bathrobes and picture-taking opportunities with Santa?
Were there homemade marshmellows and chocolate shavings for the hot chocolate?
Let's just say the hot chocolate was exquisite.
Was I happy to get in the car and finally warm up my hands at the end of the evening?
Hope your weekend was as splendid as mine. Do tell ...
So ... this little charmer sits on top of my small tree in the entry. I just love her. She became mine last year when she was my gift at my good friend's party. Every year we play the game where you pick a gift or take one away from someone else. At her party we play with the gifts still wrapped, but it's always fun. Last year this gift actually was from Glamma Fab herself which explains the exquisite taste. A surprising amount of my Christmas decor comes from parties such as these.
What's the best thing you ever won in a Santa Swap? Can it honestly beat my spritely someone pictured above? I don't think so.
So ... Saturday was indeed a Bing-would-sing-about-this kind of day. I needed to finish my shopping for the Dub's and for my sis, as those are both packages that I want to mail today. I actually went to a ... mall ... and after searching for a parking space for 20 minutes, I ventured inside and just felt warm and cozy as I stood in line with many what-appeared-to-be-crazy people. I hurried home to do some wrapping, something that I have loved since my sister and I were the official family wrappers for most of my childhood ... all of which involved a lot of curling ribbon.
But first ... I stopped to get the mail.
There was a padded envelope in there from my daughter, Mrs. Dub. Inside that envelope were two CDs -- one for me and PDaddy and the other for Sonny-boy and the Mrs. I took one look at it and gasped. Then I put it in the CD player and teared up just a little. Then I wrapped presents and giggled.
Santas pictured above look old and antique-y, perhaps passed down through generations. Oh ... I got them at Marshalls. But let's face it ... my Marshalls is getting pretty old.
blue coat ... something hard to come by. I also love him 'cause he only cost a buck.
So ... what are your Christmas Collections?
So ... let me ask you this: What am I going to be for the Fourth of July?
If you are thinking that our lovely Miss Dub is going to be a big sister ... you are absolutely correct. You can also see how surprised ... and happy ... she is with the big news. As for me and the PDaddy:
We're over the moon.
First of all I have to say that although the rain caused some inconvenience at times, it provided the perfect setting for all things Christmas. If I squinted when I looked outside, I could almost pretend it was snow. I had Bing on high volume and I was good to go. First I undid all of the little white lights from our tree and replaced them with the the new and improved multi-colored ones. Oh yes, they are LED. How green am I?! (This little exercise took me no less than 5 hours and I won't say how many Advil, but hey, it was worth it.)
In the meantime, PDaddy had gotten started outside on the house lights. This was during a short lull in the rain, which did not last. As we stood out there with a long metal pole, attaching lights to the eaves, hearing a little thunder in the background and the rain began anew, we thought, "Hmmmm, maybe we shouldn't stand out here in the rain with a long metal pole," and put that on hold. When it finally quit raining it was pitch dark outside, but we perservered and finished. I can only speak for myself, but I actually enjoyed it. (Then again, my job is just to hold the string of lights, PDaddy does the bulk of the work.)
And then, on traditional cue, we decorated the tree last night. Complete with a fire and some (lowfat, nonalcoholic) eggnog. I'm not certain how crazy we are anymore about eggnog, (this particular carton was a little too lowfat, if you get my drift) but it wouldn't be Tree-Decorating-Sunday without it. You know, I have come to realize that Bing is a very astute man.
There is no place like home for the holidays.
How was your weekend?
So ... a really weird and ... totally uncharacteristic thing happened to me tonight. I'm not sure I can talk about it, but in the interest of self therapy, here goes:
I hesitated ... for about a half an hour ... when I had the chance to go whole-hog with the Christmas decorating. All the boxes were out of the attic (thank you PDaddy), I had the time, I had ideas as to how I was going to mix it up this year, but still ... I hesitated. I laid on the couch for about a half an hour to muster up the incentive.
What is with that?!?
Of course, once I got going, I ran back and forth between rooms lugging Santas and mini-trees and ribbon. The tree-tree will wait until this weekend, but I pretty much finished everything else. (That is until tomorrow when I will tweak to my heart's content.)
Please ... someone out there in blog-land tell me that they too have hesitated to do something that they love. Please contribute to my request for free therapy.
Laurene Sinema (the grande dame of quilting in Arizona) and I have always loved it. Those below are from the same quilt.
If you live where there is snow, are ya glad??
If you don't ... how do you conjure it up for Christmas?
So ... the transitioning begins. Orange to Red. Dressing to Wrapping. Food Overload to Decoration Overload. Our T-Day was lovely, centered of course around the antics and grins of L'il Gee. The jello jelled, the gravy graved, but the turkey was indeed a ... turkey. It was moist, it was evenly browned and it tasted like ... nothing. I mean, no flavor, seriously ... except maybe a little weird aftertaste. There was a unanimous decision not to save any for leftovers which was kind of disappointing. Except that this fabulous friend, as if like a magical fairy godmother, shows up at our house that night with a fresh-from-the-smoker smoked turkey.
Thank you my Fabulous Friend (and Mr. Fabulous.)
Oh ... fa la la la la ... la la la ...