Thursday, November 30, 2006

At Last

So today is the last day of NaBloPoMo. Wow. A whole month of posting and working and holidaying, and somehow I made it through in one piece. Pretty cool.

I promise I won't be a stranger, but I am going to take it easy with the blogging for a few days. I need to decorate my house, and drink hot chocolate and hug my kids and just be. (I do have a whole post in my head that I want to do on my Ideal Self. But I will introduce her to you later. She can wait.)

For today I will leave you with some images from my weeks of Christmas decorating - there are more pics, but these are the ones that are uploaded and ready.

Even though some of these are not in the style I decorate my home in, I thought they turned out pretty cute.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

All I want for Christmas

Just some of the yummy treats I am wisting away for





Now you can find out what I am liking and wishing for all the time

It may sound awfully wistful but it is true...

( I guess I'll give this one my coveted Site of the Week mention too...)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

5 down, 5 to go.





The other day, Jeanetta asked me how I was. Then she said I couldn't reply "busy." Because she said that is what I always say. But that is because lately, that is always true. I have done 5 houses and I have 5 to go. 10 houses in 3 weeks. Crazy.

I did manage to have a little fun time tonight. Amy and I went out to shop after dinner - she was on the hunt for a book and some ornaments and I was just happy to be along, not shopping for work. While we perusing Target's holiday section I suddenly realized that I haven't really thought about gifts much yet and how weird that feels. But that is just the nature of my job at this time of year. I won't be able to think about gifts until after I am done decorating. My mind can't plan for all of it - it is too much. Right now I am just doing good to remember what I need to pack in my car for each day's job. Did I remember all the greenery? My tool bag? Do I need more lights? More balls? Did I pack everything for the kids? Who do I need to call? What am I forgetting?
There is no room in there for wish list and wrapping paper at the moment.
But tonight I was able to get just the tiniest glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel and remember how much fun gift-planning and shopping and making will be. I can't wait for Dec. 11!

Monday, November 27, 2006

As Promised, A RedNeck Tree Hunt


*Disclaimer: I am a city girl. However I married a part-country boy. Some things cannot be helped.

Maybe it is because I decorate so many full, expensive, lovely tree's - both real and fake - or maybe it is because I am just odd, but either way, I like unique Christmas tree's. I rarely do the same thing for more than a year or 2 ,and it is never normal. I bring Outdoor tree's in. I set up fake tree's with half the limbs pulled out. Always something a little off center about my tree's. They are alot like me I guess.

This year my inspiration was the sad little Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. I wanted something homely and scraggly. Something that looked lonesome and in need of a home.
Also I wanted my boys to have some memory of finding a tree other than pulling it out of a box from the carport.
Also I didn't want to pay $50 for something that I can't keep forever. Free is always better than $50- wouldn't you agree

And so began the Great RedNeck Tree Hunt of 2006.


It went something like this:

On Sunday, I walked out my in-laws front door, across the yard to the wooded part and saw this lonesome tree:





















So then I got Nathan and showed him. "This is the tree I want." I said. "It looks lonesome and should go home with us."
"Alrighty." He said.






















So off he and GranMary went to chop down my Christmas tree.




















Wylie yelled "Timbaar!" (Also, apparently someone stole his shirt.)






















Miles had his pistol ready to shoot any vermin or pirates that may have run out of their hiding spot. But the only thing hiding in our tree was a little ole' lizard and it scurried on.
(Oh, wait! There is Wylie's shirt. But who stole Miles' britches? It would appear that my youngin's only have one set of clothes betwixt them...)

















Finally we loaded the purty tree into the back of GranPat's pick-up, along with our new fancy pilla-top mattress and headed for the big city. We took the backroads all the way home to avoid any flying -tree incidents on the interstate.




















Now our lovely tree has been brought home and adorned with all my glittery goodies and fairy dust. She is an orphan no more, but instead a beautiful fairy princess of a tree who wishes everyone a...


















Merry Christmas to All and to All a Goodnight!

The End.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

To Do

I do not want to post.
I should be billing.
I hate billing.
I don't get paid if I don't bill.
I hate not getting paid.

I do not want to post.
I want to decorate my new Christmas tree.
My scrawny tribute-to-Charlie Brown-Christmas tree.
I want to decorate my house.
But first I want to clean my house.
And I want my house to stay that way for 12 hrs.
That is all I ask.


I do not want to post.
I want to go sleep in my new hand-me-down pillow-top mattress.
I want to snuggle under the covers and watch something about Christmas.
Or read Phyllis Tickle.

I do not want to post.
But it is day 25? 26? and I am a loyal blogger.

Tomorrow I will post about the Red Neck Christmas Tree Hunt.
Today I will only give you a taste.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Week of Thanks, The End


Today is the last of my Thanks post. Not that I will not have things to be thankful for, but because, well, it just is. Time to move on.

Today I am thankful for cheap wine, de-lish leftovers and little boys who lick the brownie mix bowl.

Also I am thankful for Christmas movies.
I try to watch one a day for the 12 days leading up to Christmas, ending with THE classic of course. Some get watched earlier as well. Some get watched more than once.


My Favorites (again in no order worth mentioning.)

1. Miracle on 34th Street (the old one)
2. Miracle on 34th Street (the new one)
3. Little Women (the Winona one)
4. White Christmas
5. Charlie Brown
6. The Grinch (cartoon)
7. Love Actually
8. Family Man
9. Bishops Wife
10. It's a Wonderful Life
11. Home Alone
12. Muppet's A Christmas Carol
13. A Christmas Story
14. Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea (I know these aren't typical holiday movies but I associate them with the holiday's because I got AGG as a gift the year I was 12 and it meant so much to me. Also there is a lot of snow and merriment.)


What did I miss? What are your favs?

Friday, November 24, 2006

A Week of Thanks, A Day of Kitchen Sink Soup


Today I am thankful for food and more food. And family and more family. And I am thankful that I didn't go shopping (except for a brief wiz in and out of Target for work) today.

Today was meal #4. Only 2 more to go!

I worked this morning and then went straight to today's family gathering, which involved a lot of cheese and the re-hashing of the game. We lost, so there was lots to talk about and re-hash and second guess. I didn't watch (see the part about me working) so I just kept putting things into my mouth. Corn Chowder. Swiss Cheese & Roast Beef on Rye. Pecan Pie. Green Bean Casserole. More Pie.

Now I am so very, very sleepy. I want to curl up on the couch and watch a movie and just veg. No talking, no eating, no creating. Just zone and relax.

I have more family tomorrow and Sunday, but I don't have to work. And for both of those I am very, very thankful.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Week of Thanks, A Day of Thanks

( In No Order Worth Mentioning)













1. My Creator

2. My Family

3. Whip Cream

4. Ballet Flats

5. Hope

6. Aaron Sorkin

7. Music, so much music

8. Anne Lamott

9. Color

10. Old Things

11. The ability to remember

12. Coffee

13. Those Gilmores

14. Blue Jeans with Stretch

15. My Gap Blue Jean Jacket

16. Books, more books

17. Pecan Pie

18. Little Boys with Freckles Named Wylie

19. Little Boys with luscious Cheeks Named Miles

20. My dog Chloe

21. My House

22. Laughter

23. Pillows

24. Chocolate Truffle ball from Graffittis

25. My Work

26. Glitter

27. Pesto

28. Belief

29. Flea Markets

30. Siblings

31. Christmas

32. Big Sunglasses

33. Best Friends Who You Can Share Your Most Intimate Details and Appalling Secrets With

34. Wild Theatricals

35. Besty-Tacy

36. My town

37. Sidewalks

38. Hotel Sex

39. Crafty Bloggers

40. Pirates

41. All Those Beautiful Magazines

42. Creativity

43. Peter Pan

44. Pom Pom Fringe

45. Fresh Mozzarella

46. My Mind

47. Yoga

48. Central Heating and Air

49. Twilight

50. Love

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Week of Thanks, A Day of Memories


Tonight we have arrived at my in-laws to do Meal #2. Tomorrow we will trek to my parents to do Christmas in November for the world travelers, Jemimah and Adam, who, thanks to the US Army, will most likely be in Germany for Christmas.

Meal #1 (of 6) was this past weekend at Nathan's cousins house about 30 minutes away. This picture of Wylie (have you spotted him yet?) was taken there while he and the other cousins played soldiers and ran circles around the yard, hiding from each other behind the massive row of bushes.

When I was Wylie's age I had a gaggle of cousins on my dad's side to run and play with on the holidays and I loved it. None of our siblings have kids yet, so the only cousin's our boys have are the kids of our cousins. Kind of a weird phenomenon of our generation I suspect.

I am very, very tired from all the glitter and merriment Whitney and I have been spreading this week. I have put up 4 Christmas trees and decorated 3 mantles and countless other surfaces in the past week. But it will be tonight and tomorrow and the remaining 5 meals with various gatherings of siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins and second cousins, grandparents and in-laws that will bring the Holiday Spirit to my heart. It will be recalling memories, laughing so hard we cry, looking at pictures from holidays past, and being with the people who share a common history -of good and of bad- that will really bring it home: Christmas time is here.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Week of Thanks, A Day of The Little Things

Today I am thankful for the little things. And for cameras and the pictures they take.

When I look at this picture I can't believe how much has changed in the 19 months since it was taken.

I can't believe how much bigger my boys are now. Here Miles is still a baby. Not even walking yet. Wylie is 4 and 3/4, not even in kindergarten yet. They were so little.

Now Wylie is 6 and 1/2 and is starting to look more and more like a big kid. The little boyness of him slowly falling away, like leaves off the trees... Eventually they will all fall off and he will be awkward and naked in his puberty years before growing into a man. I want to grab what is left of his littleness and hold it and save it in a bottle forever.

Miles is now a full on toddler and is the cutest he will ever be. His cherub cheeks and puppy dog eyes melt my heart to the core. He has so much passion for life - every experience is intense and NOW! He has yet to develop any of the ambivalence towards life that we seem to take on as we grow older. Joy and Sadness are very present to him in the moment, there are no filters, no self-monitoring. He just is who he is when he is.

As much as I long for nights where I sleep through the night, and days without diapers and sippy cups, looking at pictures like this make we want to freeze time and just bask in it. They will not always be little. The will not always have round cheeks and easy smiles. They will not always rush to me when I come home, or crawl into bed with me with the sunrise. They will not always bask in my kisses, or sit in my lap stroking my face while I read. They won't always tell me what they are thinking (whether I ask or not) and I won't always be their favorite person.

And so I want to remember the little things. The things like the way their necks smell, the way their baby hair lays against the back of their necks. The songs they sing on the way home from school. The way Wylie says "Mudder" for Mother and Miles says "Yeths" for Yes. I want to remember the way they look in their pj's, early in the mornings rubbing their eyes as they stubble to the kitchen for Cereal Time. I want to remember the way their shoulders and elbows feel so small in my hands and they way it feels when they put those little arms and hands around my neck and pull me close for Eskimo kisses.

Those are all the little things I love so very much, and I hope I never forget them, not ever.

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Week of Thanks, A Day of Dreams



It is no huge secret that I have had my fair share of therapy as an adult. And it is no secret that parts of my childhood were less than perfect. Most peoples are. But that being said, I would like to say, that where my parent's got it very, very right was in the Dream department.

My parent's have always encouraged us kids to Follow Our Bliss. Seek Our Dream. Do What You Love. Have Hope.

As a wise friend of mine would say, my parents "raised us towards our bent."
It is a freeing thing to be raised towards your bent, and not to be pulled and pushed into another direction, towards someone else's bent. It is probably one of the most successful things my parents did in raising us. That and lots of hugs and books. But that is another post.

So today I am thankful a) For my parents great love and encouragement to live out my dreams. And b) for the dreams of mine that I have found and am living.

Here are 2 that I thought of today:


Dream 1: Live in Old House with Fireplace and Built-In's in Cool Old neighborhood.
Check. (Has some quirks etc. but still totally worth it. Somedays I have to pinch myself.
















Dream 2: Have Little Shoppe to Sell Cute Things I find and Make
Check. (It is small and only a booth/shoppe that I share with the fab Jeanetta, but it is cute and full of things I Find and Make.)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A Week of Thanks, A Day of Girls

Recently several kiddo's have asked me why we start decorating for Christmas and not Thanksgiving. I can see why this is confusing to them. It is still confusing to lot's of adults.
I have decided to go with the idea that Thanksgiving kicks off the Christmas season, giving us a whole month to celebrate. That we start out by being Thankful, even without gifts.

We celebrate our own little mix of liturgy around here - Advent, St. Lucia, Epiphany. I like the idea of a liturgical calendar. A set reminder of things to think on and celebrate. Probably because I came from such a strong evangelical/protestant background, all the High Church stuff appeals to me.

Anyway, for this week, this week of Thanks that gets things rolling, I am going to post daily about something I am grateful for.

Do you know what I am grateful for today?
My girls.

As Nathan has pointed out many times before, I may not have daughters, but I am rich in girls.




There is nothing sweeter than a sister, a mother, a grandmother, an aunt, or a friend, that can sing your heart-song back to you when you have forgotten the tune.















To The GG's, The Zita's, The Zen's, The AK Girls, Molly, Jenni, Risha, Janna, Puddin', Mary, and to all I haven't listed here (and will later feel very, very low about it) - I love you each so much!!!! Thank you for loving me back - you are my sanity.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Trail Blazers





Today was our first official holiday outing.
First we went to Holiday House and stared at the 15ft tree and then enjoyed the holiday shopping hubbub just enough.

Next it was off to Nathan's dad's families Thankgiving get- together. Bar-B-Q and lots of side salads and some pie filled our bellies.

The last time we were all together there was only 2 little ones. This time there were 6. Cousin's having new little cousins. A whole new generation to run and play.

Here we are on our way home. The first of many road trips to and fro for the holidays sake.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Glittery Garlands











Here is one of my finished Glitter Garlands. They turned out lovely I must say.

The phrases available are:

Merry Christmas
Feliz Navidad (Spanish)
Joyeux Noel (French)
Boun Natale (Italian)
Season's Greetings
Happy New Year
Auld Lang Syne
Peace
Hope
Joy
Love
???

Glitter Color Options:

Pale Pink
Darker Pink
Silver
Gold
White

Ribbon:
Your choice- you can choose or leave it up to me!

Prices:
2 word garlands $25 (includes shipping)
1 word garlands $15 (includes shipping)

If you want one send me an email to jerusalem@storiadivita.com

Thanks friends!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Break Over


My feet hurt. I forgot how sore I get when I spead holiday joy.
Also, when you stand on a 15 ft ladder to decorate a 15 ft tree things start to sway. You don't know if it is you or the tree. Luckily it was the tree.
And then later, when you are blogging or making coffee, or washing your face, you will swear things are still swaying.
It's like getting off a boat. What's that called??

Ok, now I am going to go find hot comfort food. Yum.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Mid-Week Break






I don't want to wear everyone out on Christmas by posting daily about yet another tree, garland, or wreath etc. Unless I just can't help it. Then you just have to indulge me, cause, like it is my blog, duh.

OK, so here are some cute vintage clip art images from Artella Words and Art. It's a site mainly for vintage and collage art and artists, with downloadables and packages and things.

I find their site a little hard to navigate, but they have some fun free e-cards and some great clip art if you can locate it...

The Vintage Workshop is also a great site for people who like to use and abuse vintage images in an assortment of ways.

Good luck! Kisses to Everyone!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Comfort


Outside it is pouring rain and thundering loud. A storm is raging, a nice late fall storm.

Inside, the kids are sleeping.
Chloe The Brave is hiding under my desk at my feet. Nathan is cleaning the kitchen and I am working, working, working.

Wintersong by Ms. McLachlan is playing in the background, slowly wooing me into the season of light and hope.

Christmas time is here, happiness and cheer...
Christmas time is here
We'll be drawing near
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year

Monday, November 13, 2006

Another day at the OK Corral




My mom is so cool/crazy/completely out to lunch that she let's me eat hot chocolate with a spoon on a partially white rug.



Lemme tell ya sometin' little lady, a real cowboy wears 3 holsters and that ain't no lie.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sparkle, Sparkle - Can't You Hear It?

When I was about 4 or 5 I said something that has remained in my families forklore for many, many years. At some point during a big family meal (Christmas most likely) I left the table to visit the little girls room. While I was in there I must have drifted into my own little dream world and stayed a while,singing and chattering. My feet fell asleep, as they had been dangling forever, you see. When I returned to the table, I kept saying "Sparkle! Sparkle! Can't you hear it??" My feet, all asleep and tingling felt like sparkles to me, and in my mind I thought I heard them, as well as felt them -they made a sound like the slight tink tink of a little bell. So now, it is a saying around our crew any time we encounter something sparkly and shiny - or when our feet fall asleep. Take your pick.
Here is something sparkly I am working on for the shoppe and for some clients.
These letter cards are going to be attached to ribbon garlands and spell things such as "Merry Christmas", "Hope", "Peace" and "Feliz Navidad" among others. They are turning out rather well I must say! I will post pics of a finished one soon. If you are interested in buying one or two please email me.

Here is a little choir angel that needs a new pair of wings and a song book. I am calling her Zuzu Petal and hope to have her outfitted by Advent.

Speaking of Advent, I stole the book Sarah Ban Breathnach's Mrs. Sharp's Traditions from my Maw's house this weekend. It is chocked full of "Victorian family celebrations of comfort and joy" and it just makes me giddy to read it. I am going to use several of the Christmas ideas for Advent and St. Lucia's day this year. The ideas don't seem as hard or talent-consuming as Martha (even tho I do love her) and they seem to catch the right spirit of the holiday season.
We shall see how it goes - I will keep you posted dear friends. (Can you see how I am embracing Victorian-speak already??)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Holly Jolly

For my own personal Christmas I take a slightly pinker approach than most.

Luckily a couple of my clients live in very country style homes and I get to work out all my red and green impulses there.

But here at home, I tend to lean more towards the pink and white and very vintage side of things. I want everything to look like it has been slightly snowed on, as if it has all been dusted with sugar. This white tree (affectionately called The Space Tree) now resides in our room for the holidays and has only white and pink ornaments on it.


This is the mantle decor from last year. The lanterns are bright green, pink and white.

For some reason I didn't get a whole lot of good pictures last year - of my house or clients. I will have to try and do better this go round. Also, I have a whole new plan for the mantle.

I start Christmas decorating on Tuesday, so I am trying to gear up. My office is starting to look like Santa's Workshop, filled with ornaments and garlands and glittery things that say "Believe" and "Dream". I have a stack of magazines and a few craft projects. I have CD's and apple cider candles lit and a fire going. All I need now is that warm fuzzy feeling. For some reason, I am having a harder time getting in touch with it this year, than most. Do you think it has anything to do with the fact that last year at Christmas my life was turned completely upside down? Hmm...


On the upside I am VERY excited about these Handpainted Mini-Canvas Ornaments from Jeanetta. They are arriving soon for the Shoppe and I just can't wait!!! Aren't they just yummy???


Friday, November 10, 2006

The Least I Can Do



Today is my Paw's birthday. Tomorrow is my Maw's.
When I was a baby I couldn't say "grandma" or "grandpa" but I did manage to work out "Paw" and "Maw", and somehow and it stuck.

The funny thing is that, these southern genteel grandparents of mine with hillbilly names, are the furthest thing from backwoods and backwards you can get. They are proper and smart and funny and full of life - even in their 80's!

They have loved me with wild abandon, always encouraging, always supporting. I cannot express how much they mean to me or the ways in which they saved my heart time and time again. What they have taught me about living life could fill a book or two.

But the cold hard fact is that we don't see them nearly enough (even though they only live an hour away.) So today we are trekking to the village to see them to make them a birthday dinner and a birthday breakfast and let them enjoy their great-grandkid's smiles and kisses all they want.

It's the very least I can do.
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