Thursday, December 22, 2011

Georgetown's Christmas Generosity

There's really no better feeling in all the world than setting your out-of-office e-mail and knowing that you won't be back in the office for a week and a half.  Oh, and on top of that, knowing that the week and half is paid. 

Here's what I plan to spend the next week and a half getting paid to do:

- Going to the temple with my Blake and having a Cafe Rio lunch with old friends
- Going to a pre-Christmas kickoff
- Cooking and baking galore
- Eating, eating and more eating
- Wrapping and subsequently opening presents
- Watching my nieces and nephews perform the nativity
- Celebrating Christmas Eve and Christmas day with Blake's family
- Sharing in the kids' anticipation of Santa
- Chatting with my family on the phone
- Watching multiple movies at home and at the theater
- Painting my toenails (because it's vacation and I have time to be luxurious)
- Picking out and installing a new bathroom light fixture (hopefully)
- Painting the guest bathroom, guest room and downstairs puppet theater
- Staying in my pajamas for a long as I want to

Now if only I could figure out a way to get paid to do exactly what I want every day of the year.  THAT would be the life.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Crafting

We're staying in DC for Christmas this year (Blake's parents live 20 minutes from us) so we've been going all out with the decorations. 

Christmas is really the only holiday I decorate for, but my budget and lack of time prevent me from adding more than a couple new things every year.  During last night's viewing of NCIS: Los Angeles (LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell? You know that's right!) I finished up my newest addition to our festive decor. 

Two dollars for the felt (with tons left over), four dollars for the faux cranberry garland, some leftover red thread and a couple hours of hacking away with my somewhat useless scissors, and voila:

Ok, so it's more like joy to France, Paris, Rome, London and DC...but close enough.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Simply having a wonderful Christmas time.

It's been a glorious Christmas season so far.  Blake and I have been making the most of it. We picked out our Christmas tree at our traditional lot and decorated it with the ornaments that we collected together on our travels and throughout our childhoods.  Unpacking Christmas ornaments every year brings back so many fun memories.

We went to see/hear The Messiah at Strathmore on Saturday night with Blake's parents.  It was absolutely beautiful and especially fun for me because I got to see my old friend, Becky, who was in the choir.

We've also wrapped presents, hung garland and twinkle lights, stood in many a line at the mall, decorated the church for the ward Christmas party, crafted, baked, and watched all manner of traditional Christmas movies.  We've already checked off Love Actually, It's a Wonderful Life, Elf and Home Alone 1.  Next up are, naturally, Home Alone 2 and Miracle on 34th Street.  Christmas just isn't complete without the whole line-up. 

Between now and Christmas we've got work parties, parties with friends, The Nutcracker, and countless more cookies to bake and a stack of presents to wrap.  Yes, it's busy, but I don't want it to end. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


We had Thanksgiving with my family this year.  It didn't quite break the record of 2009 (28 people at dinner), but we almost made it with whopping total of 23 people around two long tables. 

My only contribution to Thanksgiving dinner (I know, the shame! the laziness!) was picking up flowers and candles and setting the tables.  I got to use a large portion of my Grandy's goblet collection.  Growing up the goblets were always one of my favorite parts of holiday meals and I was excited that we'd be keeping the tradition.  Arent' they beautiful?  I wish I'd gotten a close up of some of my favorites, but this view will have to do.

While my Mom and I worked in the kitchen, the boys "worked" hard in the family room.  Most families watch football over family watches soccer.  I secretly think that the only reason my parents have cable is so that my Dad and brothers can catch all of the exciting European soccer games.  (Notice Danny's look of disgust as they argue the various merits of the competing teams).

As a side note: here's the view from my parents' kitchen.  Not a bad way to spend the day: smelling roasting turkey and fresh cranberries while looking out over the valley. 

Here we all are sitting at Thanksgiving dinner together (and in various states of post-glutton stupor).  My brothers and cousins had a contest to see who could gain the most weight from dinner.  There was a pre-dinner weigh-in, a post-dinner weigh-in, and a post-pie weigh-in. 

Jimmy gained 4.5(!!!) pounds and briefly won the title of All-Conquering-Eater before having a reversal of fortune which cost him 3 pounds and the eternal glory.  Sad and gross all in one.

 And because apparently I wasn't as full after Thanksgiving as I thought I was (after my third piece of pie I promised myself I wouldn't eat again for another week), we added more food to the mix with a lunch date with old friends at Cafe Paysans. 

I've been friends with Ashton since the 4th grade and Meg since the 9th grade.  Other than my Mom, Grandy and Blake, I probably talk to these ladies more than anyone else in the world.  They're the sort of pals that I couldn't live without and even after not seeing them for a year, we're able to pick right back up where we left off as if it were the good ole' days in the Pink House. 

I'm so glad that we've added Stephen, Stephen (yes, both their husbands are named Stephen), Blake, Sam, and soon, Ivy to the mix.  We make a good team.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What are the odds in a city this big?

Blake was sick yesterday.  And when Blake is sick I ride the metro in to work alone.  And when I ride in alone I often end up sitting next to some weird and/or less-than-desirable folks.

At the station after mine someone with a vaguely familiar voice got on.  There were several open seats around me, but she came to sit by me on the inside seat near the window.  I had several bags near my feet (yes, I've become a bag lady.  I just always have so much to carry to work...) so I scootched sideways to let her pass by. 

She was carrying only one bag, but looked disapprovingly down at me and directed "you'll need to get up..can't you see I have all this stuff?" 

It was then that I realized exactly who I was dealing with: my fashion foe of yore.  I knew I recognized that voice!

So, somewhat out of spite, but mostly out of my inability to gather my bags and get up quickly enough, I just scootched a little more and she huffily sat down beside me.  Miffed though she was, it didn't stop her from immediately starting an inane conversation about the weather and fires on the metro. 

I answered quickly and just as quickly went back to reading.  There's no way I was going to let her criticize today's three-year-old Banana Republic Sweater.  I'm not sure if it's as out-of-style as my cowl neck sweater, but I'm not taking any chances.