peace

I just wanted to pop in and wish you all a Merry Christmas, or Happy Hanukkah, as it may be. We are having a quiet, lovely little holiday here, just as we wanted. Damon made lasagna (our Christmas Eve tradition for many years), we watched a heart stopping Pats game, and opened stockings.

Tomorrow I’ll make popovers for breakfast and then we’ll watch the Celtics season opener while Josh builds the Lego sets he’s not expecting to get. We might even take naps, (well, at least two of us will!) Does it get better than that?

Honestly, as much as we would love to see the rest of our families, we’re glad we made the decision to stay home this year. Josh has had a cold for a couple weeks that’s morphed into a bad cough. He would have been miserable if we were traveling. Been there, done that, and not doing it again!

I hope that you all are exactly where you want to be and with those you love the most this weekend. May you all be happy, healthy, and have lots of chocolate things to eat. 🙂

xoxo

Santa Claws

I just can’t help myself. Josh has all these little hats from his multitude of stuffed animals lying about the house. I pick them up, look at them and think how purrfectly they would fit on George. And they do. As long as he sits still.

I swear it’s not photoshopped! Damon and Josh witnessed George posing for a good 10 minutes so I could get the perfect shot. Yes, I managed to hold in my lap and take the photo at the same time…

I am an old cat lady.

stress free or stressful?

Everyone around me is frantic. Shopping, wrapping, traveling, baking, planning, cleaning, shopping some more. Some people seem to thrive on it. The craziness suits them. Others not so much, and crankiness abounds.

The complaining; “Oh I have so much to do! I’ll never get it done it time!” Procrastination, resignation, hurry, hurry, one more week. Sigh.

I succumbed to the pressure and stress around me for just a few days last week. And then I remembered. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do.

Holidays are supposed to be fun and relaxing. Even for adults. (Christmas spirit! It’s not just for kids anymore!) It’s okay to stop trying to make Christmas perfect and instead, actually enjoy it. Your family and friends might thank you for it. Your blood pressure might too.

Edited to add: I completely forgot to mention decorating! How could I forget that? Well. Cause I slap up a fake pre-lit tree, put a couple strings of lights on the porch and call it done!

yes you can have thanksgiving without turkey

Our turkey disguised himself and got away.

So we had a pork roast instead. Mmmmmhhmmm! Okay, the truth is Damon doesn’t particularly like turkey and since we were staying home this year he requested the pork roast. It was a good choice, and frankly it made my day really easy.

We also had the best dang carrots ever! I made them with brown sugar, agave nectar, (I was low on honey and it was a fantastic substitution) butter, and vanilla. I’ll never make honey glazed carrots with honey again!

It was just the three of us, simple, quiet, and lovely. A day to be thankful for.

Did I just hear a collective “awwww” 🙂 or was it just me?

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! xoxo

Memorial

His name was Joseph Ernest Lapointe.

He joined the Quebec Regiment of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in August of 1916 and he was soon transported overseas to France to help fight the invading Germans.

We don’t have a photo but I can surmise from the only description we have that he looks much like the rest of my father’s family: black hair, brown eyes, dark complexion. He was 5′ 6″ but I bet he was wiry, and strong. A farmer’s boy has to be strong. A soldier has to be strong.

His last months were spent with the 22e Battalion in Northern France near Arras. We only know this because that is where he ended. Killed by enemy fire on April 22, 1918, somewhere in the Pas-de-Calais. He was only 22 years old.

What we don’t know is exactly where he died or what battle it was part of. We can speculate based on his burial location at Wailly Orchard Cemetery that it was part of the Battle of the Lys, but perhaps it was a skirmish that didn’t really belong to any identifiable offensive.

All we really know is that he was family, he was loved, he was a hero, and he is remembered. Always.

Memorial Day is so much more than just a day off from work. It’s more than hoping for beach weather and having cook-outs. Remember one, remember many, but just remember.

Easter Baby!

Happy Easter!

This photo is of Josh’s first Easter in 2003 when he was only a couple of weeks old.

Boy, did he ever hate that hat. I thought I would get this adorable baby pic with the perfect little bunny hat and a perfect little smile. But no. Not my kid. Funny how he was still cute even though he was screaming, so yeah I took the picture anyway. And it’s perfect.

one last Christmas reflection

I had the perfect New Year’s Day yesterday. We spent the morning taking down all the trapping of Christmas, boxing up our memories in plastic bins, neatly put away for next year.

We then went to Target for yet one last bin, one big enough for the first fake tree we’ve had in years, and one almost as expensive as the tree. Yikes. Then we got our coffee and smoothie respectively, went home for lunch, and took a 2 and a half hour nap. No really, the boy and I had a glorious long winter’s rest while DH was at work.

We did in fact let the boy stay up until midnight to ring in the New Year, the first and perhaps the last time we’ll do that. Not that he was bad, but frankly if he had been in bed at normal time, I’m pretty sure I would have been too. Apparently I’m an old lady. Confirmed by the fact I crocheted again throughout 3 hour ride on the way to the FIL’s today. At one point I said ‘oy vey’ at something DH said and that was it for him. Now I’m not allowed to say little old lady things at the same time I’m working with yarn of any sort. Oy vey. But I digress.

So the decorations are gone, when it felt like we had just put them up. It feels good to have the furniture back in place, and have clean empty spaces again. Another whole year before the Christmas hype begins again. I can’t decide if that’s a good or a bad thing, honestly. A little of both perhaps. It would be nice if we could keep our holiday spirit year round, without all the rest of it.

As I folded up plastic branches and pulled apart the metal trunk of our tree yesterday, I remembered the only other time we’ve had a fake tree since we’ve been married – the year I was pregnant. It was all I could do to get up and go to work everyday. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, could barely walk. I was nauseous all the time and threw up daily though I was far into my second trimester.

Just the idea of Christmas overwhelmed me, buying gifts was impossible, and setting up a tree blew my mind. We were in Virginia, far from our families, just the two of us, expectant, scared, and hopeful all at once. I cried out of helplessness, ordered to lay on the couch on my downtime, not able to create any Christmas spirit, but needing it all the same.

One day, mid-way into December, I arrived home, looked around and cried again. This time tears of joy. My dear husband had dug into our Christmas things, things I thought would stay put away for another year. He’d found our old 2 foot fake tree, leftover from our college days, and set it up with lights and my favorite ornaments. He’d put out as many of my decorations as he could find and waited for me to come home and find it. He’d made my Christmas spirit for me. And he didn’t need a 7 foot tall fir to do it.

That was a good year, so have all the years since, and I hope the next is better than ever.

Happy 2009 my friends. xoxo

countdown

And A MILLION presents to wrap! Okay, maybe not a million, but it sure seems that way! But I am done shopping, I’m so glad that I started early this year. I still gotta get those darn cards out though! What’s the top of your to do list?

holiday gift plans

Did you know Christmas shopping in an unexpected sleet storm bites? If I didn’t know before I sure do now! Gah! Add in that special circle of hell also known as Wal*Mart and my day today was pretty horrid! I did get a couple of gifts at the local used book store though – yay! That almost redeemed the rest of the day.

I actually have very little shopping to do since I’ve made quite a few presents already. I wish I could tell you more about them but I don’t want to ruin any surprises for my anyone in my family who might be reading this. I thought I could do a post about possible handmade gifts, but I’m making so many of them it would give too much away! Sorry!

I can tell you though, that one of the best things we’re doing to save money this year is a “hand me down” Christmas exchange with the little ones in my family. All the kids have way more toys and books than they can use so they’re picking out some their own stuff to give away to their cousins. I think it’s going to work out really well, and the kids love anything that’s “new” to them, they don’t care if it’s not new in a box! I’m so psyched the rest of my family was as excited to do it as I was! (We haven’t done gift exchanges between the adults in my family for years. There are waaaayyyy too many of us!)

Next up is holiday cards. I think I’m going to have to give up on the idea of making all my own cards. I’ve done it before, but not during a year when I was making all the gifts too! A girl has only so much time for this stuff! At this point I’ll be doing good just to get the cards in the mail on time.

All in all I’m coming along really well with my plans and I shouldn’t have to do any unexpected last minute shopping. I’m soooo glad of that!

ps. This is the final day of NaBloPoMo! Wooohoooo! I think I’ll let you all catch up on your feed readers before I post again! 😉

mmmm, pie

Happy Thanksgiving peeps! I hope yours was as lovely as mine. And I hope you had pie.

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