Saturday, December 31, 2011

On the Eve of 2012

It's coming up on late afternoon here in the hamlet of Norcross (and it's almost beach-like weather here; sunny with a warm breeze). It was a week of both getting things done and not getting to some things I had hoped to squeeze in. Par for the course for the week we always get off between Christmas and New Year's Day. I head back into work on Monday morning and Harleigh heads downtown in the afternoon for the beginning of Passion.
I met Harleigh's boyfriend, Kasey, over the holiday, and then last night met up with his family for dinner out. His mom and I are two peas in a pod. Kasey and Harleigh headed up to Gainesville this afternoon where her roommate Emily's family is hosting a group of kids for New Year's. I have a New Year's Eve date with Mr. G, snuggling on the sofa and watching period-piece movies.
In the meantime, I'm slowly putting my Christmas decorations into tubs heading for the attic. And the tree comes down tomorrow. But the saddest of all . . . the Christmas music has stopped playing.

Happy New Year to everyone!

Here are some Christmas gifts I hate to put away! A pair of vintage Santa mugs from Julie.
Vintage egg nog cups from my sister-in-law Teri.
And this glitter church (it lights up from the inside in changing colors!) from my sister. It comes from Vintage Bliss, a shabby chic store in Ellicott City, Maryland.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Eve and a Baptism

There is something about being around a baby at Christmas that brings home, all the more, the pure and faithful joy that it must have been to welcome our savior into the world. He himself an infant.

Karla, forgive me, please (my beautiful sister who is Grayson's mom) for what may be a blog that brings your dear boy front and center for all the adorableness that he is. What a trooper. His baptism was on Christmas Eve, and he reveled in every bit of the celebration that is Christmas, without a tear or a fit of frustration.

 This is an expression our dear boy shares quite often. Gotta love pure happiness.
 His christening gown, brought from Italy by his godparents. 
What a treasure, both the the outfit and them.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Devon and Ryan's Wedding

I had the honor of being day-of coordinator for past co-worker Devon's wedding this past September in Athens, GA. What a treat it was to be a part of the special day, and a beautiful one at that. The couple and their festivities now grace the pages of Style Me Pretty (all photographed by my favorite photographer of all time, drumroll, Ali Harper).

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Advent Dessert

Last year I co-hosted a table at my mom's church's Ladies Club Advent Dessert. My mom and I decorated a table together, a whole lotta fun for two gals who love to entertain! This year we were in it with just as much spirit, putting together a table with a silver star theme. My mom made the navy table overskirt, chair backings and napkins. We fashioned the napkin rings from shower curtain rings covered in navy ribbon, then festooned with a silver wooden star. The centerpiece is a styrofoam tree-shaped cone covered in garland greenery, and decorated with battery-powered lights and silver glass balls hung from silver, curled pipe cleaners stuck into the base. Once the lights were turned out, all the tables, bathed in Christmas lights and candles, made quite a spectacular sight.

The gift boxes (wrapped in silver paper, navy ribbon, and topped with a bottle brush tree) hold my mom's delicious white chocolate peppermint fudge. The coffee urn is decked out in stars and the creme puffs and mini eclairs share a spot on the sterling silver platter with a star hanging from an ornament display stand.

Next year, due to popular demand, we're doing a Polish-themed table.

An extra silver ball made its way to my bathroom to hang on a wall pocket lilac.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Wrapping, Baking, Cooking, Decorating . . . it's all soooooooo good!

This weekend I got all the gifts bought (even made a trip to the mall, where I enjoyed slowly walking, shopping, and people watching . . . a pleasant experience!). I tend to go for the vintage, tacky kind of wrapping. It isn't unusual for me to be gluing stuff to box tops, mixing all kinds of ribbons with papers, curling pipe cleaners for makeshift ribbons, tying on jingle bells. It's all about the "happy."

Decorating never stops. A big ornament that once graced a bookshelf now finds a home on a living room chair relegated to a corner because its seat is too fragile to sit on.

Despite the mind-numbing busyness at work, we squeezed in our gift exchange on Monday and then the cookie swap on Friday. I made my "this-ain't-no-stinkin'-cookie cheese wafers," a crowd favorite for their spicy bite, a palette cleanser from the sweetness of the true cookies.

A view down the swapping table. There was a whole other table set up real perty like for the grazing.
Molly's Iced Mollys take front and center stage.

Since I made my usual non-cookie, I really wanted to contribute to the sweet contributions, AND I've been wanting to make these peppermint cookies for the last few Christmases.

 Usually for the swap I buy plates, but we have so many plain plates leftover from other events that I took those and with a box full of Christmas stamps and a stamp pad fashioned using food coloring, created custom-made holidayware!

With a hambone leftover from our office Feast, I made a huge batch of pea soup, probably the easiest of soups to make from scratch. Froze a dozen tupperware containers for wintertime meals.

Merry Christmas, everyone! This last week before our Lord's birth 
will be one of great thanks and blessings too many to count.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas at College

Harleigh shares a duplex with three other girls, and they did us moms proud by decorating their place with a tree, garland, hanging stockings, and lots of Christmas tchotchkes to bring holiday into their home-away-from-home.  Here is Harleigh's room, its dormer decked out in white lights and glittery snowflakes.  And there's the pretty pink tree on her desk too!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Weekend of Christmas Cheer

The wreaths are hung. (Thank you, Big Lots, for these beauties that make an appearance every year.) Bottle brush with silver balls. In past years I've hung them from ribbon
This year, the trusty suction cup.)
For my prayer pal at church, who is a member of the Crafty Ladies at our church, I made a craft belt. Fabric sewed on with embroidery floss (to cover the Ace logo ), pieces cut from vintage crocheted doilies and pillowcases, buttons, and a ring, fastened with antique lace, holding old skeleton keys along with a clip to hold scissors.

The craft belt was wrapped in a package decorated with a vintage deer, red seam binding ribbon, a bottle brush tree, and a piece from a crocheted doily. I'm liking using these little vignettes instead of bows.
 Mr. Cuckoo decorated his house with a wreath.
 Gideon is loving the cold weather. He assumes a position in the far part of the yard where he can watch the neighbors and all the comings and goings.
 This year, with a small (but growing) Fontanini nativity set,
 I chose to use a cloche and a single branch of green, front and center on the coffee table.
 Purchased a bunch of poinsettias from a neighbor boy selling them 
to raise money for a baseball trip next year. 
They arrived huge and healthy. A lovely touch of Christmas.
A glorious weekend capped by baking this evening.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


I've managed (knock on wood) to create a balance in my life that can only be attributed to a renewed faith and a commitment to prayer and peace, kindness and gratitude. I won't go into all the details here, but suffice it to say that the last 3 months have revealed a "whole" me, a woman who has left resentment and regret behind, fully focused, now, on the joys ahead of me. Tomorrow may rear its ugly head in some stark reality of tragedy or ugliness, but I'll be facing it with a wholeness of  good and humble self I've not felt in quite some time.

[The image above is of dear Gideon, home from the groomer on Saturday, where they shampooed him to perfection. Like a clean baby all powdered and snuggly, he napped on the sofa, awaking every so often to gaze at the tree, reminding himself that Christmas truly is the best season of all.]

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thankful for Grayson

Not having my grandmother here for Thanksgiving was sad for all of us, but what a joy a new baby brought to our family. On Thursday it was all about Grayson. How could it not be? Come on, look at this cutie.  I got a chance to experiment more with my camera (and Photoshop). I still find it all a bit daunting, but the thrill of capturing moments . . . priceless.

Mom requested that we bring over Harleigh's wagon from when she was little. I cleaned it up (it became a transporter of plants and gardening tools since my little girl grew up), lined it with a pretty quilt, and Poppy took a cardboard box to create a seat for our little man. I left the string on the back axle; Harleigh had put it there when she and the neighborhood kids strung all their wagons together to make a parade (little things like this have to be preserved).

After the walk and the warm temperatures, Grayson was down for the count. Poppy managed to slide the cardboard seat from under him and he took a nap while we ate our dessert.

And we can't overlook the additional cuteness at the table. As small a group we have for our holiday meals, we never go without placecards. Karla made this year's: Grayson's handprint cut out of scrapbook paper and laminated. Mom found these ceramic pumpkin placecard holders on sale at Williams Sonoma.

And Grandie's beautiful table all decked out in browns and golds. Just as scrumptious as the food!

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