Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Resolution

I spent last night watching Pride & Prejudice in bed. (Is there anything more delicious than watching an old favorite while cuddled up in bed?) I was moved, as I always am, by the clever language of the movie - which of course came (in most cases) directly from the book.

Therefore, my New Year's Resolution: to use lines from Pride & Prejudice as titles in my blog posts. Of the next year, don't be surpised if you see these fine quotes in the title slot:

This is grave Indeed.
Increase my love by Suspense.
Very Agreeable Alternative.
Just admiring the General splendor.
I am Quite at my Leisure.
You have Delighted us Long enough.
Are the shades of Pemberly to be Thus polluted?
My Affections and Wishes have not Changed.
You have Insulted me in Every possible Way.

It's a Small kind of Accomplishment

It is a Small kind of Accomplishment, I suppose. (line from P&P but you figured that out, yes?)

We got our Christmas cards sent. Yesterday. Only 5 days after Christmas.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Perfect Christmas Eve

(It was very important to have a great Christmas Eve this year because last year's Christmas Eve is still fresh in our minds. We were with our cousins in CA at the beach, looking at tide pools, cooking lunch over a fire pit. Then we went swimming in the pool - outside. It was such a great day, we have been reminiscing about it as of late.)

We spent the morning working together scrubbing the house from top to bottom. By the time we were finished, the house was perfect. Nothing sets my mind at ease like clean house.

Then we headed down to the Plaza for an early dinner. Before dinner we strolled around the shops.

Anthropologie. (Dreamy.) Which resulted in this package under the tree:

Pottery Barn (sale!). These stockings were marked down. $6.99. Really.

Also this darling table runner.
PF Changs for dinner.

(My oldest's fortune cookie read, "You will receive a surprising gift very soon.")
Magically, it began to snow. (We were promised 4-7inches by the weatherman.) The Plaza glowed. It felt like a movie.

From there we drove to Christmas in the Park. There were no lines and we breezed through the entire display, almost as if we had a private showing.

Once we were home, we read the Christmas story from Luke 2.
Then opened our traditional Christmas Eve presents (pjs, always pjs.)
Off to the hot tub. Where we sang carols really, really loudly. Good thing we have no neighbors in hearing range.
Next glittering red toenails for the girls.

Then family prayers and off to bed. (Notice I said off to bed but not off to sleep. We had some excited kids anxious for the next day.)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Idea #9

My husband is impossible to shop for. He wants nothing. At any given moment, I can come up with a list a mile long and he struggles for days to put a list of 2 or 3 things together.

I was happy to see this at the bookstore last week. He has loved all of Malcolm Gladwell's books and will surely enjoy this. (I say surely because he nearly bought it for himself a few days later on our date night. I had to use jedi mind tricks and feminine whiles to get him to put it back.)

More good luck, I happened up some great deals at J.Crew. For him - I did not purchase a single item for me. (I did not purchase it, I put it on hold so Mark could buy it for me later.)

The J.Crew trip resulted in this handsome stack of gifts for him under the tree. (It really was a great sale.)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Outfits

Christmas outfits are a long running tradition dating back to my childhood. (Although I grew up in family of all girls, so we called them Christmas dresses.) The Sunday before Christmas we don our Christmas outfits. It helps usher in the festivities. Most years it is a mad scramble to put these together. I always end up getting wrong sizes, fretting over coordinating the outfits, and this year it was especially difficult to find something for Hailey.

(look at those blue eyes!)

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I saw this on our friend Ken's blog. I smile and giggle everytime I watch it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Family Christmas Card Pictures

We did not have any professional pictures taken this year. We meant to, it just never happened. Now with about a week until Christmas, we were in need of a picture for our Christmas cards. So we can send them out. Since it's a week before Christmas. These were about our only options:

(Too far away.)
(Too sweaty and squnity.)
And in reality, these are not even viable options since they are both being stored on the hard drive of my old computer which is completely out of service. (I copied these low pixeled copies off my private blog.)

This was the only recent picture we have with the whole family in it. (It was taken on Thanksgiving - we went out to dinner.) But since my dad is in it, I thought it might not be the best option for Christmas card photo. Is it weird to send a Christmas card picture with Grandpa in it? I thought so too.

That left only one other option. Today after school we had a very last minute photo shoot. And by last minute, I mean I picked up the kids from the bus and walked in the house and said "Everyone get dressed, we are taking a family picture. Right now, before it gets dark." Everyone was super thrilled. My husband was in his office on a business call. I heard him say, "I've got to go. We are taking a family picture?" It was a mad rush of choosing outfits, fixing hair, and finding shoes.

We needed a photographer. I called my friend Cheri who dropped everything (without any notice- isn't she great?) to snap a few pictures.

The result? Pretty darn fabulous considering the complete and total lack of preparation or forethought.

Some behind the scene fun:

My fantastic sweater? It's actually one of my Christmas presents (that I bought for myself but that is another post.) Thankfully it hadn't been wrapped yet, so just pulled it out of the bag and tucked the tags into my shirt.

At some point Avery's feet "got hot" - or at least that was the explanation she gave later - so she decided to take off her shoes. It was about 45 degrees outside, so you can imagine how unbearably roasting her feet were. Perhaps that is why she is not wearing socks.

She continued to play with her shoes for a couple of shots.

There were the token strange looks. The cheesy grin.
The wide eyes, sometimes known as creepy eyes.

Which is probably better than the closed eyes but not by much.

This shot was ruined by our storm door (which I thought was clean.)

The winner? We are leaning towards this one.

Maybe in black and white?

You'll have to wait for the mail to find out for sure.

*Christmas Idea #8

I have a very sensitive nose and don't like most perfumes. Champs-Elysees, my friends, is my favorite perfume. In the history of the world. And has been for years and years. You can't buy it from the department stores (discontinued years ago) but you can get it online.

*Okay I admit it, this is something only I would like to get for Christmas. Not really a suggestion to buy for others.

Christmas Idea #7

This is the best t-shirt I know. Perfect for laying or just wearing alone. Long in the length, not too high in the neck, great sleeve. Get it for $15 right now at the Gap.

And if Mark happens to be reading this: I would like it in gray. And black. And this Carie-brown color. If only they had cream!

More Books to Love/Christmas Idea #6

I could talk about books all day. I could also talk about clothes and food all day if you are keeping track.

I think I blogged about these before, but I think these books are so lovely and would make a very thoughtful gift. Real Simple thought so too.

Favorite Reads of 2009 according to me

I was thinking how many great books I read this year. Nothing beats a good book. In no particular order, I give you some of my favorite reads:

The Book Thief is such a fantastic read. Great characters, beautiful story, interesting narrator.

I checked this one out from the library and would love to have my own copy. I like how the authors blend their design with the story of their life:

Everyone is reading this. I am currently reading the second in the series, Catching Fire. Compelling, well written, unlike anything I normally read.

This book is adorable.

I could not put down The Help. The dawning of civil rights was such an interesting time in our nation's history. I really enjoyed all the different perspectives/narrators.

Of course you know, this was my favorite read of the year. It is rare that a book takes over my life as this one did.

What were some of your favorite reads this year?

Sunday, December 13, 2009



by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate;

I am the captain of my soul.

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