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Archive for December, 2010

I’m that girl

Yes… my Christmas decorations are all put away.  The presents found homes in the kids’ closets (we had done a pre-Christmas clean out last week to make room).  The tree is standing naked in my living room waiting for the hubby to put it in its box in the garage.  To be honest one of the best part of all the pretty decor is the clean slate after it is gone for me.  I always put some of our everyday stuff in a box while all the red and green is out, and I haven’t gotten all that out yet, so our house is a bit empty right now.  It feels like we just moved in – all empty and clean. (not really clean – that is next on my list)

Christmas was wonderful.  It was fun and loud and full of family and friends.  We did a great job of enjoying the festivities as they happened without expectation and pressure, and the kids always make it magical.  But… I’m so ready for the freshness of a new year.  A new start.  Starting over.  It is almost like the first day of school.  Nothing really is changing – same house, same jobs, same family.  The attitude is new though, and I always feel hopeful that the possibilities are new.  So, yes.  I’m totally that girl who makes new years resolutions.  I don’t usually write them down, and they are usually pretty similar each year, but I like to think they become more refined 🙂

Two years ago my word of focus was JOY.  I wanted to do more of the things that brought me joy.  I did pretty good at this one.  This year my word was NOW.  I wanted to be present and enjoy the now of every situation.  For 2011 my word is going to be SLOW.  This is a tough one.  I don’t really do anything slow, and I often feel like I miss out on things because I’m always running and spinning.  I’m going to work on slowing down.  Doing less, but doing it better.

Here is where I stand on the rest of my resolutions.

In 2011

I hope to lose a bit of the holiday weight I gained this year, and get back into running again.  Maybe remember where the gym is that I pay for each month.

I hope to get my scrap books up to date. (That is a huge undertaking!  I’ll definitely post more on this soon.  I am going to try to get some scrapping in this week)

I want to spend some time doing improvements around the home of the non-monetary type.  The house could use some TLC – paint, elbow grease, storage, etc.

I definitely plan on blogging more.  It would be ideal if I could get on a schedule, but I guess you will quickly see if that pans out or not 🙂

I may come up with more before the end of the week, but that is it for now.  I’ll keep you posted as to how they work out.  Now I’m off to do a bit of sorting in my office!

 

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Holiday Decorations

I wanted to post a few pictures of the house in all it’s holiday glory.  To be honest, I’m starting to look forward to it being gone.  I’ve loved how warm and fun it has made the house feel, but I always hit a point where it starts to feel claustrophobic and I’m ready to take it down.  I’m ALMOST there.  By Sunday – it will start.

Here is our beautiful tree.  We broke down and went fake a few years ago.  I think the tree is gorgeous, but the lights have been the biggest pain!  We have slowly taken off all the pre-strung lights and we just put our own on every year.  It is covered in all our favorite ornaments that mean so much to the kids and I.  You will notice however that there is NONE on the top foot of it 🙂

My believe banner that I made last year.  I just love it!

The stockings hung at the mantle.  Santa has a big job filling these 🙂

The kids made a bunch of snowflakes a couple of weeks ago, so I strung them on some twine and hung them in the kitchen window.  I think they are sweet.

These are the holiday shortbread cookies we made from this recipe and delivered to the neighbors today.  They were super easy and yummy.

This is our Christmas picture with Santa this year.  It makes me a little sad that I don’t have a little one who screams and cries on Santa’s lap anymore.  They are getting so big.  I wonder how many more times I will get J and Doodle to do this…

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Winter break = fun!

First couple of days of vacation and we are having all kinds of crafty fun.

I found a cute idea on whatever for some adorable ornaments with the kids’ hand prints.  We did some painting, coloring, and gluing.  All the fun that we don’t have time for during regular days.  They all three had a blast, but the girls especially got into it.

Aren’t they super cute!  If you are a Grammy – don’t look.  You’ll be getting one for Christmas 🙂

This one is Missy Moo’s.  Don’t you love the faces she drew herself?

Doodle and I also got out the sewing stuff and she put together this cute little gingerbread man.

And the girls always love an excuse to paint.

I whipped up this cupcake shaped pin cushion as a gift for my cousin.  She recently started sewing and I thought hope she will like it.

And J has been so excited to spend some time with his DS that he bought himself for his birthday in October.  This really is what vacations are all about!

I’m linking to Skip to my Lou’s  Made by you Monday.

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It’s tough being 3

Lately she has been doing this a lot.

The other day we came home from the grocery store and by the time I got the car emptied, she was asleep on the living room floor again.  This shot was taken while I was working on my computer at the kitchen counter.  I turned around and here she was.  She also did it while playing in puzzles in the play room a couple of weeks ago.  She just gets a little too quiet and I go look for her.  She gave up napping at least a year ago, but maybe we need to revisit them occasionally!

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Today was my last day before 2 weeks of vacation (16 days if you count the weekends – which I do!) Of course I have some grading to catch up on and I’m sure I’ll hear from a few of my students, but for the most part – just me and the kids enjoying some down time.

The house is decorated, my gifts are all bought (except one) and even wrapped and under the tree.  I finished all my sewing projects and gifts and cleaned up that mess.  It was taking over my living room.  The kids and I even baked this week and have our goodies packaged up and ready for delivery to the neighbors.  Now we just need it to stop raining so we can get them out to them.  In other words, we are ready for vacation!

I hope the current storm gets wicked cold and drops a ton of snow then moves itself on out of here.  I know it is supposed to be here for the extended forecast, but I’m hoping they are wrong.  It would be great if the kids and I could spend some time outdoors over our break.  We have a list of friends we want to visit (a couple of my friends recently had babies that I’m itching to snuggle) and we have some fun art projects we want to work on.  We would love to take a bike ride and go play in some snow.  Of course we will play with all our loot from Christmas and spend a couple of days in our jammies.

Here are a couple of recent shots.  I feel like a blog post is much more fun with pictures.  I’ll get more up of our shenanigans over the next couple of weeks soon!

This picture was taken downtown by the ice rink they put up every year.

While waiting in line to see Santa.

I’m so excited that it is here, but I have a feeling this vacation is going to fly by…

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I just felt like putting a little something out there…

Sometimes the holidays are just sad.  My family and I are still feeling the loss of my brother so painfully.  It seems unbelievable that he has been gone for 3 years and that this will be our 3rd Christmas without him.  We have learned new daily normals, and we are still struggling with new traditions – especially at the holidays.  And while some days are considerably easier, others hit you like a ton of bricks from nowhere.  The holidays are unequivocally harder than any other time of the year, and I think part of it is that he died in the fall and we think of that tragic day so vividly, but also the spirit of him is missing in everything we do.  He should be at Thanksgiving dinner.  He should be playing football with all the cousins at Christmas.  He should be telling inappropriate jokes with the uncles in the corner.  He should be spoiling my kids who love him more than anything.  We should be complaining about how hard our father is to buy gifts for  and we should be planning to go in on a gift for mom together.  I should be buying that gadget for him at the store – he would love it.  And though I can think of my brother and happily remember the silly things we did as kids and the funny one liners he would often throw out with a smile, I know that the pain my parents feel is still raw.  They hurt for him immensely.

The point is he is in every thought we have.  We are already sad.  We already miss him.  This is true of anyone who has lost someone or has gone through a tragedy.  So please don’t be afraid to talk about it.  Don’t be afraid of making a person sad or “reminding” them of their lost loved one.  Trust me – they didn’t forget.

The only thing worse than losing a person you love is thinking that someday others will forget them.  In the case of my brother, he didn’t have a wife or children.  He didn’t get a chance to leave a legacy of his own.  The only real things left of him are the memories that his friends and family have of him.  The best gift you can give to the ones left behind is to share those memories.  It absolutely makes my day (and my parents) when people talk about my brother.  We love to hear about how important he was to people who knew him.  To hear that others appreciated his sense of humor, his giving and compassionate nature, his quirky habits and his adventurous lifestyle.  That in someway he lives on in the impact he made while he was here.

I hope that if you are in the company of someone who lost a loved one this holiday season you will acknowledge them.  Please don’t do that awkward thing where you don’t know what to say because everyone is thinking it, but you don’t want to say it.  Be genuine.  You won’t make them more sad.  They are already thinking of that person.

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mmmmm cookies….

I’m just about ready to get my baking on!  More like I’m just about ready to eat my weight in cookies.  Found this great resource at the brown-eyed baker, full of recipes and ideas.  There are several I’m hoping to get to.  Like the buckeyes, the peanut butter blossoms, the snicker doodles, the ultimate ginger cookies, etc.  I also found a fun recipe for sugar cookies that involve no rolling and no cookie cutters.  I know – that is the kids’ favorite part, but it the part that makes it so messy, and long and messy!  I’m thinking it may be fun to just bust out a ton of these babies in an hour and be done 🙂  I’ll keep you posted.

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