The first word that came to me was while reading Lain Ehmann's post yesterday on ways to keep your word in front of you. The Lisa Leonard necklace said "Courage." It felt too easy, but the more I think about it, that's the word I need. I have goals for the year that I'm afraid of, and we have possible changes coming in our lives that are exciting and scary. I sometimes lack confidence, and thought about that being my word, but really it all comes down to Courage.So that's it. My word for 2010 will be Courage. I'm sure I will share more about what it all means as the year goes by, but for now I need to keep it close. For now, I am seeking the Courage to meet my goals and face new things this year.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Hot Chocolate - just the thought of eggnog is disgusting to me
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
This year, Santa left unwrapped presents around our stockings. It seems a little more exciting that way.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
I've gone back and forth on this over the years. As a child, I loved colored lights. Then I thought they were gaudy and only wanted white lights. Now, as the mother of a toddler, I think colored lots are lots of fun. We have blue lights on our porch and white/blue lights on our tree.
4. Do you hang mistletoe?
No, but I would if I had access to it. I would if I didn't have a cat who thinks all greenery is edible, anyway.
5. When do you put your decorations up?
As soon as possible. I like to put them up by Thanksgiving, but we don't always get to. We didn't put up the tree until December 23 last year. Sometimes we try to get the tree up before Thanksgiving so we can get our family photo done early and get our Christmas cards in the mail.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish?
This is really tough. I'm a dessert girl, so I guess my favorite is the red velvet cake and lemon cheese cake that I make for Christmas, even though those are technically not holiday foods.
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child?
Perhaps getting the homemade Cabbage Patch doll that my Mama made to look like me. This was when Cabbage Patch was still only the soft-sculpture dolls that come out of Cleveland, Georgia, several years before the mass produced ones were the rage.
8. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Yes, we exchange an ornament. Also, our daughter exchanges with her cousins.
9. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
With our blue and white lights, sentimental ornaments that we've exchanged over time, and an old fashioned Saint Nicholas-type Santa on top. Next year, I hope to start adding homemade ornaments. Those were my favorites as a child.
10. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
It depends. It seems to only snow when I have plans that I'd rather not cancel. If I can stay home and we have things to do and we don't lose power, it's not so bad. I really hated it in Georgia though, because we always lost power for several days, and there was rarely enough snow to play in.
11. Can you ice skate?
I tried many years ago with the church youth group - I'm really not good at balancing on thin blades of metal.
12. Do you remember your favorite gift?
As a child: that Cabbage Patch doll I mentioned before
As an adult: a beautiful necklace my husband gave me
13. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you?
spending time with family and getting letters, notes and photos from friends
14. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
I answered this above, but I'll leave both questions in case anyone else wants to write about non-desserts
15. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
16. What tops your tree?
a traditional Santa Claus
17. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?
both - is that so wrong? I love thinking about what someone will enjoy, and I love seeing what other people thought I would like
18. What is your favorite Christmas song?
"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" by the Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan
19. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum?
Yum - I love peppermint, but I also like the cherry ones. This year, we also got Spree candy canes and those were good too.
20. Favorite Christmas Show?
This is really tough, because I love so many of them. White Christmas is one of my traditions with hubby, though, so I really like it.
21. Saddest Christmas Song?
River? It's a Joni Mitchell song, but it's been covered a million times.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
- Sarah McLachlan Wintersong - I think my favorite track is River (a Joni Mitchell cover). I prefer the Indigo Girls version, but Sarah's is beautiful too. Sarah just has a wonderful voice, and I enjoy listening to this over and over. An added plus is that my husband and mama don't dislike her, so I may be able to get away with listening to this one more often.
- Maybe This Christmas by various artists - If you like an eclectic mix, and don't mind odd-ball songs, this may be the right album for you. My favorite Christmas song is included - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by the Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan. Plus, the Ben Folds song may be the funniest thing I've ever heard in my life (but is SO not kid appropriate).
- John Denver Rocky Mountain Christmas - I am going to come out as a huge John Denver lover. I had some trouble locating any of his Christmas music about ten years ago, but a quick search of Amazon shows me that it's easily located now.
- John Denver and the Muppets A Christmas Together - I had a really tough time finding this album a few years ago. I had a vague memory of John Denver singing Christmas songs with the Muppets, and had a music store run a search for me. This is also easily available now. Such memories!
- This Warm December: A Brushfire Holiday vol 1 - I picked this one up last year. It's a Christmas release by Jack Johnson's label. There are only two songs by him included, but the whole album has the same relaxed feel that his music does.
- Barenaked Ladies Barenaked for the Holidays - As much as I love the Barenaked Ladies, I can't believe that I don't already have this album. Maybe next year.
- Sugarland Gold and Green - I'm not really a country music fan, but I've been a fan of Jennifer Nettles for a very long time. I love listening to her sing, and I know I would enjoy this album.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
- Photo Coffee Sleeve @ The Object Project - I can think of a few people who might like this one, if I can do it this year.
- Kid Tote @ Just Deanna - Ok, first how cute is the name of her blog? Love it. Second, I think this idea can be adapted with some of the other tote patterns I have.
- Animal Sewing Cards @ Chez beeper Bebe - I've been looking for ways to make our own sewing cards.
- Fabric Memory Game @ Chez Beeper Bebe - Too cute, and she sells it in her etsy shop with a fabric box, too.
- Full-length Apron from Tea Towel @ One Pearl Button - I think tea towel aprons are cute, but I really prefer full-length aprons.
- Ultimate Handmade Holidays Master List 2009 @ Sew Mama Sew - All of the above ideas I found this the Sew Mama Sew Handmade Holidays list. This is the link for the master list. Lots of great ideas!
- Sea Salt Caramels @ Through the Camera Lens - These sound wonderful, and would look so yummy under the tree.
- Caramel corn @ Orangette - This sounds like a crispy caramel corn that would keep well as a gift.
- Rag doll @ UK Lass In US - Isn't this doll the cutest? I bet the book where she found this pattern would be in your library or used book store, or perhaps you could find a similar pattern?
- Edible Gifts @ Simple Mom - This is a huge list of recipes from around blogland, including cookies, gifts-in-a-jar, jams, etc.
- Edinburgh Rock @ From High In the Sky - This looks kind of like after-dinner mints (but I don't think it is). I haven't tried it yet but it looks like a lot of fun.
- Coffee Cozy @ House on Hill Road - This might be more likely to get done this year (at this point). I think it would be cute, and those cardboard cozies never block the heat enough for me.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
When we spend our days with small children, so much of life has to be focused on the here and now that we sometimes forget we're actually building long-term relationships. We forget, or just don't even think about, the fact that our children will one day be grownups with whom we will have lifelong, grownup relationships. And we will have those grownup relationships for a whole lot longer than we have small children in the house!I think it is SO important that we remember that these little people we love and tend to and get frustrated with and feed and bath and clothe will not be there forever. They are going to get bigger. They are going to change. And they are going to remember the lessons that we teach them when they are with us.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
- more train components for her wooden train set (not Thomas)
- a doll (she specifically asked Santa for one, and has been adamant that he is bringing her babies)
- more play silks
- art supplies (glitter glue, paint, nice art paper - I'm getting ideas from Young At Art by Susan Striker)
- dress up clothes
- doll clothes
- wooden play food
- Olivia books (by Ian Falconer - we have none, surprisingly)
- sewing cards
- art easel (I especially like the one from Melissa and Doug that has clips to hang our art paper from)
- Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales illustrated by Lucy Cousins - Yes, Lucy Cousins from Maisy fame. I don't care for Maisy, but I love Cousins' style. She has the best Mother Goose book I've ever seen, but it's unfortunately out-of-print. This fairy tale book is new and I can't wait to see it in person.
- original Memory game
- family memory game (with family photos)
- handmade blocks (really, I will eventually finish these)
- Olivia quilt (I bought the fabric in June, cut it out several weeks ago - doubt I'll finish by Christmas)
- sock monkey (handmade, of course)
- little red wagon
- wooden play kitchen
Friday, December 11, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
- The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson - This isn't a picture book, and is too old for Abigail anyway. This has been one of my favorites for years, but that's another story for another day.
- Miracle on 34th Street by Valentine Davies - This version is illustrated by Tommy dePaola. I think it's basically the novelized version of the original screenplay. I love this story!
- The Snowman by Raymond Briggs - Our version is a chunky board book that has words. I bought it as a decoration years ago and now Abigail asks me to read it.
- Helping Holiday Hands - This a Rudolph board book that I bought as a decoration. The cover is the Abominable Snow Monster.
- The Night Before Christmas - a board book version I got for $1 at Walmart for Abigail's first Christmas when we really could only read board books to her (10 month olds are tough on paper books)
- The Velveteen Rabbit - another board book that I got for a $1 last year (perhaps I need to check there this year - I really like their little board books)
- The Snowman Postman by Andy Rector - An out-of-print book that Grandma sent to Abigail.
- The Gingerbread Boy - Another book from Grandma for Abigail.
- A Christmas Anthology To Ring In The Season edited by Carol Kelly-Gangi - One year when I worked at the bookstore, Christmas anthologies seemed to be in. I really liked the one Mary Engelbreit did, but sometimes her artwork is overwhelming. I ended up getting the Barnes & Noble anthology because it had several stories I thought were essential. Now I wish I'd gone with something a little flashier.
- 'Twas the Night of Christ's Birth by Donna Miles - I'm fairly certain this was a review copy given to me by the author who was hoping to do a book signing at our store (which I believe we did). The author is from Kentucky and pairs the Christmas story with sepia photos of children dressed up as characters. The cover is three children dressed as the wise men and one child dressed as a camel. It's really a beautiful book. It isn't available on amazon, but the details are here.
- The Sweetest Christmas (A Pooh Little Golden Book) - I love Little Golden Books!
- Merry Christmas Mom and Dad by Mercer Mayer - I'm a big fan of the Little Critter books, too.
- The First Christmas retold by Gaby Goldsack - The illustrations (by Caroline Pedler) are nice and colorful. This was sent by Grandma to Abigail.
- The Little Fir Tree retold by Gaby Goldsack - This is from the same series as the above and was also sent by Grandma.
- Christmas Is Here (a Strawberry Shortcake book) - This is a beginning-to-read book, which I mostly put away since I think it defeats the purpose of the book for me to read it to Abigail. My mom bought this one because our nursery is decorated in Strawberry Shortcake and I'm obsessed with it.
- How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss - My mom bought this either for Abigail's first Christmas or the Christmas that I was pregnant. We haven't read it yet, but I'm excited to have this classic.
- If You Take A Mouse To The Movies by Laura Numeroff - I bought this the year it was released. I've been a fan of the Cookie Mouse for years and was really excited to have a Christmas version. Abigail requested that I read it first.
- Toot & Puddle: I'll Be Home For Christmas by Holly Hobbie - I love all the original Toot & Puddle books and this is no exception.
- How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky - This is so cute. Santa tries out different jobs and then gets hired by the elves. There aren't too many words, and I used to read it at storytime at the store.
- The Night Before Christmas illustrated by Tasha Tudor - I'm a late-comer to Tasha Tudor. The intricate details of her illustrations are magical.
- Santa Cows by Cooper Edens - This is one of many adaptations of The Night Before Christmas. This was given to me because of my cow obsession.
- The Christmas Humbugs by Colleen Monroe - This was a review copy given to me by the publisher. The Christmas humbugs play tricks on the family.
- The Night Before Christmas illustrated by Mary Engelbreit - Engelbreit's excess lends itself well to this Christmas story. Her Santa is jolly, her decorations are festive, and there's a Scottie dog. I'm so glad I bought this one!
Sunday, December 6, 2009
- a golden Scottie dog with a halo to represent my friend Cathy (I bought 3 the year after she passed away, one for me, one for our friend Jen and one for Cathy's mom)
- a pine cone with two mice snuggled into it signifying our first home together
- a set of crocheted ballet shoes that my sister-in-law's mother-in-law made for me last year to symbolize my college roommate who passed away shortly after we graduated
- the El Salvadoran "G" I bought from a a shop that specializes in Fair Trade crafts (Just Creations, for locals) when we were engaged to symbolize that I would take my soon-to-be husband's last name
- the Delta Flyer that says "This is Captain Janeway of the Starfleet vessel Delta Flyer" when you turn it on - in Captain Janeway's voice!
Saturday, December 5, 2009
My friend and fellow blogger, Monica of Without Filters, gave me the Marie Antoinette award so long ago that I'm embarrassed to say when it was. It's also known as "The Real Person Award" and I appreciate so much that Monica gave it to me for "being true to myself."
Thursday, December 3, 2009
TodaysMama and Provo Craft are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.
1. What 5 items are on your holiday wish list this year?
- family or mother jewelry (pendant with my child's name, etc)
- How To Make an American Quilt on dvd (I think I waited too long on this, and it's out-of-print - tragedy!)
- new books by some of my favorite authors: Silas House, Barbara Kingsolver and Isabel Allende
- music from artists I enjoy: Jack Johnson, Norah Jones, Dido, Jason Mraz
- this is more of a dream request: a Cuttlebug or a Zutter Bind-it-all
3. What handmade gift have you always wanted to tackle?
4. What was the best Christmas gift you received as a child?
5. What items are on your kid’s wish list this year?
6. What is your favorite holiday food?
7. What will you be hand-crafting for the holidays?
8. What is your favorite holiday movie?
9. Favorite holiday song?
10. Favorite holiday pastime?