Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like...


Six weeks ago when I flipped the calendar page from October to November, I was greeted by a scotch-taped list titled "Christmas Ideas" -- ways to make Christmas less stressful (do the cards early, shop early, buy generic gifts for forgotten events, etc.) Now there's less than a week to go and I've moved the list to next November, in the spirit of "at least there's always next year..."

This (or I should say, buried under all this disaster) is our kitchen. If you can stomach the sight, and frankly I can't, which is why I'm here blogging at 10:30pm instead of cleaning it, you may notice the following:

1. Half-eaten gingerbread house. I never actually granted permission for the kids to eat it, which is why it's only half-eaten and not completely gone. They think I haven't noticed yet.

2. Playdough from the preschool gift exchange, which despite my many pleas, never made it into the playdough box.

3. Plate of leftovers from the ward Christmas breakfast, which everyone promised they would eat and now no one will eat except the dog.

4. Assorted Christmas projects from the last day of school, newspaper ads from this week's sales, receipts from today's hellacious trip to the mall.

5. Envelopes from the Christmas cards we received this year. I can't throw them away yet because I lost my address book in the summer's hard drive crash.

6. Quantities of measuring cups, baking sheets, spices, sugars, sprinkles, etc. from making spiced nuts, peanut-butter kiss cookies, cranberry bread, spritz cookies, and toffee. Two batches of each because Tyler kept upping the number of plates he needed for the families he and the ward missionaries are working with.

7. Ribbon, tags, gift bags and plates for #6.

8. Cup from Del Taco when I told Tyler at 4:00, if you want dinner, you either make it or buy it (see #6 and #7).

9. Leftover programs from the Relief Society Christmas dinner I was in charge of.

10. Assorted deposits, fragments, leavings, rubble, scree, sediment, shavings, and detritus that accompany the "most wonderful time of the year." I have new appreciation for a friend who was so burned out last year that by the time her husband and kids woke up from their post-Christmas-dinner naps, she had taken down the tree, boxed up the decorations, and put it all back in the garage.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Today I made one of my bigger errors in judgment. I thought an 18-month old would sit still and smile for a photography sitting. Three hours and three photographers later, I had photographic proof of how dumb I was. I even made the ultimate sacrifice and jumped in the picture with the kids, thinking that holding Charlotte on my lap would instantly transform her personality. Tip: When you're using the drool rag to mop up the sweat on your own forehead from wrestling an alligator in a black velvet Christmas dress, it doesn't make for a beautiful shot. Still, I now own an 8x10 to hang on my wall. Somebody else will have to say how cute they are. I'm still looking for a traveling circus in need of a few extra alligators.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

All things old are new again

Vicki--this one's for you. Shortly after Tyler and I got married, his parents gave us an old kitchen table set. Vicki and I bought new fabric and staple-gunned it onto the old chairs for a new look. Fast-forward eight years and those chair covers were looking pretty shabby. Well, grape juice stains be gone! I am now the proud owner of a staple gun and I'm not afraid to use it. Sadly, my fancy "new" chair seats are hidden under vinyl protectors. Oh well. At night I peel off the protectors and feel like a grown-up again.

Deborah--this one's for you. Another wedding gift revisited, my wonderful college roommate Deborah made a beautiful quilt for us, but those chaotic eight years took a toll on that one, too. It was coming untied and the backing was wearing out in spots. My friend Kristin, a quilter (actually, calling her a quilter is like saying Rembrandt drew pretty pictures) had just started a long-arm machine quilting business, Sadiebird. She helped revive my quilt, adding a new backing and machine quilting it. I even got to go over and try working the machine, which was tremendous fun, even though you can clearly tell the difference between the end I worked on and the end she did! Since it's the biggest quilt we own, it's currently doing fort duty in the playroom, a use for which I suspect Deborah would heartily approve. Here's Kristin's quilt blog posting about it with some photos. Thanks to both of you. I love having another memory layered into my quilt!