Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Quote of the day.

January 28, 2019

Ooh, that Bee-girl! She’s at it again, leaving me in stitches!

Setting the scene: We had Christmas late, as I might have mentioned. And during said Christmas, I received this llama mug from the girls…


Isn’t it awesome?! Okay, so there we go. Annnnd scene.

Me: Man, I really don’t want to put away this mug with our Christmas stuff. Girls, what do you think – is this a Christmas mug, or an everyday mug?

Girls: An EVERYDAY mug!!!!

Me: Are you sure? There’s a lot of snow in this picture. That makes it Christmas-y. Especially here. (Sad panda. Er…llama.)

Bee: Well, you could say those snowflakes are just paint splatters! ….Or blood.

While I’m dying of laughter (BWAH HA HA HAHAHA HA!  Blood??!! Seriously, girl?! Too much!!), Gracie finishes perfectly with…

Gracie: Dexter would approve.

She is too much! They both are. And they’re mine, all mine, so just stay away. Good gravy.

Well, me and my, um, MurderLlama are going to enjoy a nice cup of coffee. Have a great Monday, everyone!

M-o-o-n. That spells Super Blood Moon.

January 21, 2019

It was quite a night. Christmas finally exploded in my house. There was some drama right after my meeting. I had approximately twelve heart attacks during just the end of the Patriots-Chiefs game. We went to the Superbowl, and…


…this happened.

The moon really did turn red!

While I’m reading Stephen King’s Dark Tower 4: Wizard and Glass.

(In which blood red moons are called demon moons and feature rather prominently, watching over the scenes in which characters meet their ends.)

(Untimely ends.)

I had no idea moons really did that in real life! Like, REALLY really!

So I’m going to cling to my house filled with laughter and how special their shrieking, delighted faces was, not the creepy, lovely moon.

But if you’d like…



…Charyou tree.

No kidding, says Monday.

November 26, 2018

This weekend, I put up the rest of my Christmas decorations while the girls enjoyed their Thanksgiving weekend with their Dad, Stepmom, and family from out of town.

This weekend, I enjoyed the end of my week off of work. Sleeping in, late nights, no cares in the world.

This morning, it was back to work. A pile of emails. Coworkers who were out.

This morning it was tougher than tough when my alarm went off at 6 a.m.

This morning, the idea of “merry” laughed in my face.

This morning, I thought of the sign in front of Santa shelf and laughed.

“This is as merry as we get.” Indeed.


Moms never stop momming.

November 24, 2018

My mom is in a nursing home. Her Parkinson’s has progressed to the point that she’s been moved (though she’d say banished) to a facility that’s quite nice. The point is that when I call Mum and Dad’s house, Mum isn’t there. Getting her on the phone at her new facility is impossible. And if you were, hypothetically, able to get her on the phone, she’s not verbal. More precisely, she’s verbal in her own time, which has slowed even more than it was. The bottom line: if you’re not there in person, you can’t talk to Mum. The last time I talked to her was months ago, on my birthday.

Today, the girls are at their dad’s. I dropped them off yesterday. Since then, I haven’t so much as changed my pajamas. I’ve lounged as much as a loungey-person can lounge. It’s been good for my worn-out soul.

Which is why my mom called. Not only called, FaceTimed. It’s like she heard the unacceptable levels of laziness and called to give me a good kick in the rear! I had to laugh.

(Actually, my Auntie Pam had called and even though I saw an unsaved number [her cell] in my missed calls when I was moving Christmas decorations, I knew it had to be someone from home if it was a 508- number. So I called back. She had FaceTimed with my cousin while she was visiting with Mum and thought they could try it with me. Huzzah! Rousing success. A Mum-level of rousing success at least. Crazy thoughtful!)

And so that’s how my Mum, from across the Parkinson’s levels of suckitude and increasing in communication, my mom was able to call and give me the what-for. And a Happy Thanksgiving, an I miss you, and an I love you.

I’m not crying that’s just a bit of dust that’s gotten into my eye as I clean my house like crazy. You never know when Mum might call again.

The Christmas Eve that was both relaxing and productive, and also sort of surreal.

December 25, 2016

Yesterday (on what Kim is calling Calendar Christmas Eve), Kim and I had the house to ourselves while the littles hung out with their dad for Christmas. We got a lot done, and yet aside for one minor incident involving ThePlaceThatShallNotBeNamed, we were able to really relax, too!

We slept in, and then hit the stores first thing because I thought they would be INSANE. Traffic was a little busy, but no one was a jerkface, and the parking lots were surprisingly thinner – at least not as packed as I anticipated. We stopped for tea and coffee (honestly, Starbs was busier than any of the other stores), Ulta (for a last minute gift for Gracie – her tweenaged hair needs adult shampoo right now, and her fairy godmother had Ulta bucks to spend!), and then the store we really needed to stop at – Petsmart (for puppy presents).


We had to get Fenway a stuffie Flamingo, and the pen, dangit, it just happened to write “From Auntie Rhi”, because FLAMINGO!!!

After we finished our shopping excursion, we fled back home for some tasty lunch and Kim started sorting Legos (for an upcoming surprise; I’d stay tuned!), while I tackled the hot mess that is the kids’ playroom.

How cute does Fenway look, all snuggled up?! This was before her tail swiped Lego piles into chaos; she spent a lot of time in time-out later in the evening. And my clean room makes my heart so HAPPY! I can’t even. The girls cleaned it a lot from where it had been about a week ago. But there were buckets upon buckets overflowing and without covers that I needed to fix, and I ended up sorting through the bookshelves instead of just “neatening” like I told myself when I went in there. I always do more than I intend to. But this way, Santa will be able to leave the girls’ big gift in the playroom, and not worry about the mess being in the pictures! WIN!

After all that excitement, Kim and I capped off the evening with her beating the pants off me in Sorry. Three times in a row! And a few rounds of Rummy that went back and forth. It was definitely her night. And a good way to end the evening – Storm Chasers and board games, just like it used to be.


So it might not have felt like Christmas Eve yesterday, and today might not feel like Christmas – and, I suspect it won’t until the girls come home late this afternoon – but we made the most of it. Laughter fills in the gaps, every time.

Merry Christmas to all of you, dear readers! And Merry Christmas Eve to me.

Five for Friday: The Holiday Happenings Edition!

December 23, 2016

Good morning, everyone! NO MORE GET-UPS BEFORE CHRISTMAS VACATION! Ahem. Okay. No one’s excited or anything.

So much has been happening around here, but I’ve been behind on my blogging (because sisters and sleep don’t mix)(or, um, holiday craziness, either), and when I have, it’s been for #AMonthOfFaves, so you haven’t heard what all we’ve been doing! And we’ve been doing a lot of fun things! Let I’m going to use my Five for Friday to catch everyone up.

1. There has been a lot of crafting during our downtime. [HAAAAA! Because downtime is purposed for making of gifts, and baking of cookies for our village, and shopping, shopping, shopping, and wrapping! NO DOWNTIME!] I have to show off the shadowboxes I made, after being inspired by the ones Kim made last year.


Aren’t they adorable? Festive and inexpensive for the win! Plus I had a good time browsing through my long-abandoned scrapbooking supplies to find just the right paper to match the ornaments, and the stickers to match the mood of the box. I used one as a gift for my Secret Santa exchange, and one went to a friend who needed a bit of cheer right now. Win-win!

2. When Auntie Kim is here, shenanigans always follow. We’ve spent a few nights playing games. One night it was full-contact Spoons (a family favorite). Another night, we played Pokeno, with Hershey Kisses and gummy-bears and had a blast…and then had more fun when Kim’s popcorn snack turned into a lesson in catching popcorn with your mouth. As one does.

We’ll just say Gracie has some work to do.

3. And then there was Bee’s holiday concert at school! It was holiday concert #39408539084. Approximately. Because who’s counting. Certainly not this Professional Holiday Concert Attender. Putting that aside for the moment, I have to say we really made the most of it. Kim came out of her room showing off her fancy earrings – because Bee would want her to wear them, fashion diva that she is – and I thought it was a fantastic way to show our support for our Bee-girl! So I put on fancy-pants earrings, and then I made Gracie put on fancy earrings. She tried to weasel out of it by saying she didn’t have any, but I immediately countered with allllll of my earrings. Six try-ons later, she had a pair she could live with. The excitement was dripping. off. her:


Bee’s concert was blessedly short, and our little Step Team Captain did a great job leading the step she and her co-captains composed (all on their own!). After a quick catch-up with a friend I didn’t know was there (I keep forgetting her “little” one is old enough for choir!), we all went for IHOP and had the most satisfying pancakes I’ve ever stuffed into my face. I mean, breakfast-for-dinner is a requirement after holiday concerts, right? Right. Fancy earrings and all.

4. Speaking of tasty things… My sister found me the most fabulous cupcake liners! I had to wrap them and put them under the tree, but I will definitely be filling them with something delicious in the very near future.



You know why I adore them? Because they’re a throwback to our childhood when we’d wait all summer for our family trip to Whalom Park, our excitement growing every time we heard the jingle on the radio: “Whaaaaalom Park! For a whale of a time!” Everyone who lived in New England in the 80s is going to enjoy that earworm all. day. long. You’re welcome!!

5. Wednesday the girls, Auntie Kim, and I all journeyed to points unknown (not really – just didn’t have a solid idea of where it was, so we headed that way-ish, totally against my journeying instincts) to visit Christkindl Christmas Market. We hadn’t ever been – I hadn’t even ever heard of it, to be honest – but I was delighted to learn there was an open-air market so close to us. It was Auntie Kim’s find – and she also discovered that there was a tubing slide for the girls. We knew Bee, in particular, would just about sell her soul to whip down whatever run they had designed, no matter how small and snow-less! So we grabbed Bee from school and headed that way to see what we could find.

It was much smaller than Kim and I expected, but we still found quite a few things to love. There were about 20 booths for indie sellers, and the prices were a bit high because the items were homemade. Gracie bought a mug that reads “It’s a beautiful day to save lives,” straight from her true love, Grey’s Anatomy. Bee bought a bracelet, and the girls each found an elephant charm. I found an owl for my bookshelves that opens up to show a book carved into its insides. Kim found some socks made from alpaca wool. I desperately wanted to be rich enough to buy something from Kathe Wohlfahrt – a cuckoo clock or one of the gorgeously carved village pieces. I could have stayed for hours pouring over every detail, especially if they let me play with the pieces. And yes, Bee had the time of her life sledding down the “snow” run. There wasn’t snow, it wasn’t New England, but we made the best of it all the same!

So that’s a small glimpse into what we’ve been up to around here! I’m finished shopping (except for Fenway, and that’s getting done today), and I have a few more crafts I want to attack, but the good thing is that we’re kid-free until Christmas Day, so all the trouble we get into will be our own doings. Wish us luck!

Five for Friday.

December 9, 2016

Good morning! Let’s jump to it, shall we?

1. Fridays during #MonthOfFaves are for shining a light on our fellow bloggers who happened to catch our eye during the week. An idea that snagged our attention, a turn of phrase we were jealous we hadn’t thought of first (in good fun) – and I have that! I’ll do that to. But I found myself missing my Friday brain-drump of what all was nibbling at me, and so I wanted to do my Five Things first. It grounds me.

2. It’s certainly feeling like December outside! It’s chilly; a brisk 25° outside. The kind of dry cold that makes you glad it gets dark so early, so you can bundle up in cozy pajamas and sit on the couch, sewing your friend’s baby blanket and natter on with the girls about every day nothings hugely important only to them. Tonight we’ll add a roaring fire in the fireplace and I’ll wish it would snow so I could take them sledding. Not that it snows here in Tejas, certainly not enough for sledding. Even if it did, we don’t have sleds or hills. But give me some snow (after Kim is here safely) and I’ll make it happen! This morning I even warmed the car up before I set out, and if I wasn’t so mad at my oldest daughter, I might have tasked her with sitting behind the wheel to make sure no one stole the car or the car didn’t roll down the not-hill into the street.

3. Want to know why I was close to seething? (Yes, you’ll find out either way.) That darling eldest daughter of mine, the one who has been complaining about the cough she can’t shake? She is flouting the brisk temps and practically asking her chest cold to get worse! She “forgot” her winter coat at her father’s house. Yes, there is a lot of shuffling back and forth, this week more than most. It’s non-normal ops, I get that. We’ve had holiday concerts and band concerts and trying to remember all the new layers for too-early, too-cold tennis practice.So yesterday when my darling daughter didn’t have her winter coat, I told her through clenched teeth that she would lose bedtime if she didn’t fix the situation that evening, and had her get a second coat, one she inherited from me. 17° was too cold to brave it. Especially for an asthmatic complaining about a lingering cough. ASK ME WHAT HAPPENED THIS MORNING. Now there are two coats at dad’s house, no back-ups, and a temper even more frayed than it was. “But you got there at the same time we pulled into the drive-way!” she tried. And it might have worked if said darling daughter hadn’t gone back into the house, while Stepmom and I were chatting, to get her laptop so she could work on an art project at home. The laptop? Right next to two winter coats. Privileges will be lost.

4. The art project is pretty neat, though. Gracie-girl worked on a Christmas card for her friends that says something about Mistle-toes. She is planning to get her two besties a little something for Christmas, and then has a list a million dozen people long that she wanted to get just a little something. Gracie decided on cheaper nail polish (the $2 variety, so I can’t be too mad at the length of the list). I’ll let Bee get a few for her friends, too, because you know that’s going to happen! I’m proud my girls have giving hearts; that’s something you really can’t teach once they pass a certain age.

5. My sister will be here ONE WEEK from tonight!! SQUEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! One year I will somehow get Kim and Rhi to stay with me for Christmas, but until that happens, I’m glad I get to have one of them with me. I will want to kill the girls at least forty gazillion times for arguing during the brief, forced period of having to share a room, but it will be worth it. So many shenanigans are planned…it’s the ones that will happen unplanned and un-schemed that I can’t wait for! Seven more sleeps…which will happened must faster if I can somehow forget about . HA!

Okay. I’m off to round up some of the brilliance of fellow writers. I’ve fallen away from reading blogs as much as I used to, and I miss the indulgences. Definitely on my list of things to get back to next year. Lists and resolutions – I feel them brewing. Happy Friday, everyone!

And the Christmas season is officially under way!

December 6, 2016

Confession: I was tempted this year, because of everything going on, to try to convince the girlies to set aside our Advent(ure) calendar. Everyone is so busy and I didn’t know if my heart was going to be in it. I was sad all of the time, because of the boy. I didn’t think I wanted to mess with everything. Or rather – with anything.

But then Kim was asking if we could make owl ornaments, and she was booking tickets to come rescue me, and the boy actually moved out and I felt better (who’d a thunk it?), and I was glad that I hadn’t had the heart to ask if anyone’s Christmas would be ruined.

So I scrambled in the end to fill the Advent(ure) Calendar (practically an Advent(ure) Eve tradition), and on December 1st, ther were some very familiar sights around here…

There was this (not so) little girl opening the calendar to read our first task…


Not that the girls needed to open it. The first adventure is paper chains; it is always paper chains. The girls delight in their knowing, just as I delight in the joy that dances across their faces as they open the very first drawer, tickled because they think knowing is SNEAKY. Bless their little Christmas hearts!

So, pretty soon the girls were stretched out across the living room floor, busy taping ribbons of green and red paper together while I studiously used my paper cutter to make said strips of paper.


It was a rather cozy scene. I’m glad I got to sneak in an activity or two at the beginning of December, because then the girls left for their weekend at their dad’s house and I was left to carry on Christmas cheer all by my lonesome.

It’s the first weekend I’ve spent completely alone in the house in more than two years. I love spending time alone – I am great company, if I do say so myself! But I am still adjusting to Life Without Boy. Even with all of the apologies and his extraordinary effort to “fix” how he left (which has repaired a lot of the damage), I still struggle. Anyone would. Still – I reminded myself in ways big and small to choose Joy.

Like posting this picture on Saturday:


Sven, my reindeer, used to live on my Woodland Creatures shelf, but he for the past two years, he’s lived next to my JOY sign, and it just didn’t look right until I brought him over. Choosing Joy helped get through my day, and it was with Joy in mind that I got all fancy for my adventure of the day – making ornaments. For it’s a well known fact that a tray filled with fancy tea in good china, and a side dish with fancy tea cookies, makes ornament creation much more joyful. Right?


Catching up with cousins while you’re crafting makes it feel like you’re sharing a cup of tea with them, too, like we would be doing any Saturday afternoon if we were local. Truly, that was my favoritest part of my Saturday!

It was a lovely way to start Christmas off. It will be different this year, and maybe a little sad from time to time. But it will also be more mindful, and the ups will be uppier.No matter how many of you silly people argue that isn’t even a word. (Is too.)

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope your adventures are just what you need, when you need them!


#Month of Faves: “Here we go Advent(ur)ing…

December 1, 2016

…among the leaves so green!” So green because we live in Tejas where winter never ever arrives. Although I will admit that some leaves have finally turned Fall colors. If Fall colors includes brown, dead, more brown, and slight orange (but mostly dead).

They’ve turned colors because it’s December and December means so many things, including time for #MonthOfFaves over at Andi’s place! (And Tanya and Kimberly at Girl XOXO, and Tamara over at Traveling with T.) These ladies are seriously some of my favorite people in the entire world. Andi, especially, has become such a dear friend this year. She makes me laugh AND want to be a better person all at once, and when you find people like that, you add them to your village.


We’re supposed to be focusing on some of our favorite things throughout the year, but today I’m choosing to focus on my favorite way to end the year – our Advent(ure) Calendar. The girls do their true Advent Calendar at church with Grandma. At home, well, things get slightly more crazy. (Although, to be honest, giving my kids fire and letting them run around lighting candles sounds pretty crazy to me!)

Every year it’s a scramble to fill up the calendar what do we want to do? This year it seems to lean heavily towards crafting – pinecone owls, string art, make n’ bake ornaments, etc. Last year we were more game-centric – Holiday Name 5 game, Christmas Story Cubes… And there are always favorites – baking cookies for teachers, going on a holiday light tour, the Christmas candy taste test (wow, was that one a hit!). The fun there is that they have no idea when we get to do those…and it kills them!

Want to see what we get to do every night? I promise it’s going to make for a lot of fun stories for you all!

Dec 1 – Make paper chains to count down to Christmas!
Dec 2 – Make new Christmas mix tapes (kids-free weekend)
Dec 3 – Make something for someone who is reading so shoosh, Katie (kids-free weekend)
Dec 4 – Make Merry & Bright shadowboxes filled with ornaments (kids-free weekend)
Dec 5 – Make string art with some of the wooden plank kits I bought. Gracie also has her holiday choir concert
Dec 6 – Work on another something-something for a certain someone (kids-free night)
Dec 7 – Gracie has her holiday band concert. If there’s time, the girls can do tissue paper Christmas trees
Dec 8 – Make the make-n-bake ornaments and attend Bee’s holiday concert.
Dec 9 – Construct our Christmas scene in a jar-o
Dec 10 – Help the girls make their foam Christmas scenes and invite the Redheads to join us!
Dec 11 – Christmas photo shoot with Stepmom! At the CHRISTMAS TREE FARM!!
Dec 12 – Carefully construct Perler Christmas scenes
Dec 13 – Mail Christmas cards (kids-free night)
Dec 14 – Get pajamafied, make some snacks, and go on a Christmas Light Tour!
Dec 15 – Have a holiday taste test with various Christmas candy and treats that are out
Dec 16 – Pick up Auntie Kim and carol all the way home!
Dec 17 – Decorate felt Christmas trees and maybe have a contest. MAYBE.
Dec 18 – Make snowflakes, string them about the kitchen, and do a snowdance
Dec 19 – Make birdseed ornaments (Gracie is home for Christmas break; Bee has school)
Dec 20 – Go reindeer hunting, hopefully in the snow
Dec 21 – Make Santa mustaches and make candy snowflakes
Dec 22 – Fill glass ball ornaments with bookish quotes
Dec 23 – Finish wrapping gifts and bake goodies for the neighbors
Dec 24 – Make pinecone owl ornaments (kids-free weekend)
Dec 25 – Girls come home at noon, and it’s Christmas Eve at our house, sooo Gingerbread Man competition!
Dec 26 – Christmas at Casa de Katie!

We are going to have SO MUCH FUN! I can’t wait to see what you all are up to and what was your favorite thing from this year! (Or, if you cheat like me, what is your favorite thing going on RIGHT NOW. Ha!)

Five for Friday.

November 18, 2016

Morning all! It’s Friday – and this week has seemed like it’s been a few years long. But! When you spent so much energy looking for the happy, it starts to peek around corners and spring up in places you maybe would have overlooked if you weren’t trying so hard.

With that – I give you my five things.

1 I turned on the radio on the drive home Wednesday night and as I was flipping through the stations, I gasped. Christmas music! There was Christmas music! Our oldies channel has flipped for the holidays, playing all Christmas music, all the time. It was 85° outside, and I’m still battling depressing in a fairly heavy way, but I can feel my Christmas spirit starting to engage. I can’t quite bring myself to pull out my Christmas CDs yet, but there’s hope were there wasn’t any. I had been wondering how I was going to motivate myself to get some Christmas shopping done next week, but now I have allll the plans!

2 Perhaps inspired by the little bit of hope I found amongst the silver bells and frolicking reindeer, I started a Harry Potter movie marathon last night. We’ve watched the movies a few times recently because the Xman has fallen madly in love with them, but it always seems to be the same few pieces of the same few movies. It’s time for me to watch all of the movies in order. Coincidentally, it’s something I usually do every year as I wrap presents. I told you there was hope for my Christmas spirit. As an added bonus, Harry Potter and his world remind me that there’s hope in combating idiocy and evil – and reminding myself that whatever Trump does to this country can be undone if we work hard enough is something I need to hear. I think I’m ready to start climbing out of my fit of despair.

3 It hasn’t been all hope and rainbows, though. For one, we’ve all been sick. Gracie-girl has had a cough for the past two months. I’ve been blowing it off because it’s small and minor and doesn’t seem to be bothering her. It’s not asthmatic. It’s not bad enough to need a cough drop. I gave her some Mucinex last week, thinking if she could get ahead of it, maybe it would go away. Then she asked for some cough syrup at night because it was starting to bother her at night. So it’s time to bring her into the doctor’s office next week while we’re home on break. Poor pitiful penguin.

4 Not that coughing fits even touch the worst of the junk going around. Fenway is pretty close to getting shot and skinned and becoming a living room rug. For whatever reason, she’s refusing to go outside to potty unless one of the girls goes outside and stands on the patio. When she does go outside, she’s been eating grass. Or maybe it’s not grass, but I’m thinking so because that’s usually the culprit when Fen starts hurling in the middle of the house. It started last Sunday night, when everyone was sick, and so I assumed she just had a touch of what we all had. (Granted, we weren’t leaving dog food stains in the middle of the living room carpet, so…) I shampooed the rug in 23983 places, and kept my fingers crossed. She was fine the next day. Until Tuesday night, when she horked what looked like a giant dirt pile on the throw rug in front of the back door. Okay, whatever – she tried to make it outside. Yesterday I arrived home to find four piles of nasty that I couldn’t even tell from what end it had been ejected – and it was filled with crazy. Apparently Fenway has been eating things (which I knew from a few chewed up Legos), but now she’s eating-eating them, not just chewing. There was one of Bee’s socks, some Legos, a few Barbie outfits, paper, cardboard, and who knows what all else. I don’t know why Fen’s being all weird, but I’m d-o-n-e.

5 I might need an adult to supervise me at Michael’s this weekend. I’m planning out my Advent(ure) Calendar and Kim sent me the cutest owl ornaments for me to schedule for when she’s here.


So I need to get some things to make owls, and then stuff for paper chains, oh! and those tiny glass ball ornaments in a display case thing – yeah, there will be an entire post about Advent(ure) Calendar plans! Because Christmas spirit might be showing up.

So there you go, guys. Five things that were rattling around in my head. If you have some things rattling around – especially holiday crafts! – hit me up. I am going to get crazy festive and hope the cheer rubs off sooner rather than later.