Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dear Santa...

While it might be a little late for an official letter to Santa, it only seems appropriate to jot down a few of the things on my "wish list" this year.

A Zojirushi Bread Maker—I love homemade bread, and would like to make more of it. My kids will eat homemade whole wheat bread, but don't like the stuff from the store. However, homemade bread takes time, and time is something I don't always have an excess of. With this, I can throw the ingredients in, and walk away, yet still reap all the benefits of doing it myself!

A new case for my iPhone. I got a pink one last year, which I love, and which is now completely thrashed. I want one just like it, but maybe in a less trendy color so it won't show the wear and tear after just a few weeks.

Classy and stylish golf apparel. Our new golf club membership has given me some incentive to get out there and improve my game. Since my score won't win me any awards (at least not yet), my clothing should make up for that.

A pair of silver hoop earrings. Nothing flashy. Just something to wear besides my studs (and by studs, I mean my diamond stud earrings, not hot men)

A pair of polarized sunglasses, that cost more than $10.00 and are comfy both on my eyes, and propped on my head. It's tough to find a pair that are both.

In addition, I would also like my kitchen floor to stay clean for more than one hour.

And I could use more quiet time to focus on my writing, fun sewing projects, scrapbooking, and other creative outlets.

However, as I think about having more time, and a clean kitchen floor, I realize that soon enough the kids will all be grown and I will have all the time in the world and my floor will likely stay clean for weeks at a time. And in the words of my dear 'ol dad, our Christmases will be filled with "ho hums instead of ho ho hos."

For now, I'll settle with sweeping my floor when I can, and bits and pieces of time when I get them. Now I gotta run...the kids are playing outside and I think I should join them.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

All Wrapped Up

My junior year in high school, I was invited to the winter formal. I decide that I wanted to make my dress, and my mom and I spent hours trying to decide on a pattern. I was stubborn and insisted on a strapless style. My mom was not happy with my choice, but in the end, relented.

I spent hours and hours working on the dress. Then the week before the dance, I had to have my wisdom teeth pulled. I was pretty out of commission for a few days as I recovered.

The day of the dance arrived, and my dress wasn't done. I spent the day frantically trying to finish it. I finally got the last stitch in about an hour before my date was set to arrive. I had yet to shower and get ready, so I was in a bit of a panic. I quickly tried the dress on to make sure it fit properly. To my horror, the top of the dress was about 3 inches below where it should be to cover up "the ladies".

My mom could have very easily said "I told you so" or "Too bad, you'll have to wear something else in your closet". But she didn't. Instead, she very calmly told me to go get in the shower and she'd figure something out.

I came out, and discovered my mom had made a gigantic bow to put on the top of the dress.

Not only did it cover me up, but I LOVED it. It made the dress unique and different than what most of my friends were wearing, and it seemed to finish off the dress perfectly! I put the dress on and literally minutes later, my dashing date arrived to pick me up.

For years, I've looked back at this picture and laughed. In hindsight, it's pretty hideous, and I have a hard time believing I loved it so much. But it was 20 years ago...and styles have changed, right along with my taste in clothes.

Imagine my surprise when I recently came across a photo of Rosie Perez on the red carpet of some celebrity event sporting a dress with a humongous bow!

I imagine that Rosie's was placed there intentionally, not as a last ditch effort to provide just a smidge of modesty! While I won't jump to say that the bow is back in style, it did bring back some pretty funny memories.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Just What I Always Wanted

My whole married life, I have been yearning for the perfect Nativity Set to bring the spirit of Christmas into our home. I have searched far and wide, high and low, online and in real stores. Yet none was to be found that fit the mold of what I was looking for.

I have a small collection of kid-friendly sets, ones that I don't mind if the kids play with. In fact, I love them rearranging it, playing with Baby Jesus, and creating scenes of Christ, mixed with the occasional action figure or Hot-Wheels car. But I still wanted the grown up set that I could admire and reflect on and enjoy.

About 3 years ago in a catalog, I saw what I wanted. It was simple, it was beautiful, it was perfect. I waited too long to order it that year, and it was sold out. I told myself I'd buy it next year. The next two years came and went, and no nativity.

This year, over Thanksgiving weekend, I promised myself this was the year. I came home, and began the online search (love modern technology!). I found the set at a great price on ebay. The auction was almost over. I quickly logged on, entered a bid, and a moment later, I had won! I was so excited . . . and waited daily for that UPS truck to show up with my winnings.

Yesterday, just as it was getting dark, there was a knock on the door. I opened it up to find a gigantic box. Inside, carefully packaged in 20 individual boxes, lay my nativity. It took me an hour to unpack and unwrap each piece. As I unwrapped each one, I marveled at its beauty and was nearly giddy with anticipation to get it set up and displayed.

When it was all arranged, I started to cry. Though I must admit it's about twice the size of what I was expecting, it is exactly the nativity of my dreams. It was just what I wanted! For me, Christmas is now complete. Unless Santa is reading this, in which case, I've been a very good girl this year, and don't forget to check my list!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Countdown

Somehow, time seems to have skipped a beat, and all of a sudden it is December 1. I have no idea how this happened, or what has happened to the past several months. I just know it's cold outside, and the radio stations are playing Christmas music 24 hours a day. It feels a little like a time warp. I swear, I just put away all my holiday decorations, so how is it time to pull them out again?

I had grand intentions this year of completing my shopping by Halloween. Didn't happen.

I took a brief online class last month on ways to make the holidays more memorable. The goal is to spend some time each day writing, creating, making, and photographing all the things that make the holiday season special. While I won't pretend to be overly ambitious and commit to making that a reality, I would like to make the time to appreciate the spirit of Christmas a bit more. Make it a little less about spending money, and more about spending time. Less about buying presents, more about being present. And if I do manage to make a few handmade gifts, and bake some yummy goodies to pass on to friends, that will be a bonus.