Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fat Girls Shouldn't Fly

We've been out of town the past few days.  We went to Cincinnati to visit Joe's family.  We had a good time just hanging out and visiting.  It was lovely.

The flight home, however, was AWFUL!  On the upside, Joe travels quite a bit and has pretty high status on American, so we were able to get seats in an exit row.  This was good, but... we are not little people, and airplane seats are not made for big girls.

Crammed into this tiny spot might have been bearable if it hadn't been for the temperature of the plane.  Oh.My.Goodness! I'm normally cold - all the time- so I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say it was at least 90 degrees in there.  (forgive the blurry phone pics)

I took off my coat, my sweater, my ball cap (bad hair day), AND my shoes. If I didn't think I would go to jail (or the crazy house), I probably would have gotten nekid! (Have I made it clear that I was uncomfortable?)The temperature made me a little - shall we say... irritable.  So, compound that with being a big girl wedged into a small seat, the baby that would scream every time I dozed off, and the sun shining in from the window across the aisle, and I was MISERABLE!

We asked the flight attendant to turn the heat down... puh-lease! But she said they were "freezing" at the front.  I watched the people in the first few rows taking their coats off.  Shall we take a guess at who may have been cold???  Hmmmm.....

Anyway, Joe had left the car with the airport valet.  They were there when we arrived - this was nice - but they'd parked it in a 3" puddle of water.  Argh!  This probably wouldn't have bothered me if I weren't already grumpy.

I know I'm being extremely un-gracious - it won't matter tomorrow.  I am glad to be home, and I had a NAP this afternoon - so all is much better already! 

Lesson learned:  my goal (not resolution) for next year is to lose some of this weight so I don't have experiences like this in the future.  Thinking about other "to do's" for the coming year and starting to make my list.  What about you?  What would you like to achieve in 2011?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Collaged Christmas Eve

We started celebrating early on Christmas Eve!  Our oldest, her hubby and their two kiddo's came over for lunch.  First we ate and I pulled out the Christmas plates for the first of two times they'll get used this year.

The boys are almost 3 and almost 2.  This year, they're starting to "get it" when it comes to presents. What fun!

The 'laptop' was a winner, and we went old school with a bunch of books and they seemed to be excited about those, too.

A little later that afternoon (about the time we were all wishing for a NAP!), we headed off to my Aunt's house to wait for Santa's arrival.

Santa visits the house of one of the granny's every year.  He used to come to my granny's house, and I can remember waiting, waiting, waiting for him on Christmas Eve. Once he leaves, we pass out the family presents and it's a greed-ball festival.  LOVE it - so FUN!

We left pretty early because we were exhausted, but by the time we got home we decided we might have enough energy for another round!  We changed into our comfies and decided to open our presents to each other before we went to bed.

Chicken Little had a good Christmas!

Lola-dog didn't have such a good experience, but was still worn out by all the excitement.

Wooo hoooo!!  Look at the Mom Pile! 

I was really excited about the pill keeper.  Nerd Alert:  I take vitamins and a few 'scripts - but I only take them once a day.  I actually wanted  a big organizer so I could parcel out a month's worth and not have to worry about figuring it out everyday.  It's good to be organized, right?  (ahem...)

Joe was probably the most excited.  Band Hero - it was a present he didn't even know he wanted, but he couldn't wait to set it up.
  1. Pull it out of the box - check!
  2. Set up the drums - check!  (At my house, air drum is WAY more popular than air guitar.)
  3. Put the strap on the guitar - check!
  4. When all else fails, read the instructions - check!
I've tried to edit the number of photos, but I was having a hard time narrowing it down, thus you have the overuse of the COLLAGE function in Picasa.  Obviously, I continue to live by my More is More motto.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's Late...What Else is New?

I'm running a little behind on this post.  I've been enjoying the last few days with the fam.  Honestly, I've been in recovery!  I went to bed on Christmas night at about midnight, and I Did. Not. Get. Up. until 5:00 pm on the 26th.  I was tired!

I've never been one to send a photo card, but I have really enjoyed making our cards the last few years.  So, better late than never, here are a few of the Christmas cards I made and sent out this year. 

The first few were ambitious.  They started out like this... (These are all front/back shots.)

Time started to get tight, so the next few were a little less elaborate.

Then, it was down to the wire or else they were going to be Happy New Year cards.

I really like the simple version, but I apologize if you have received this same type of card more than once in the last few years!  I hope they were at least different colors.  :-)

I'm thinking that maybe next year I will send out in-between/happy-new-year cards.  This may be fun and would give me something to look forward to after the Christmas crazy has passed. 

Saturday, December 25, 2010


It's here! It's here!  Merry Christmas, everyone!

I hope that each of you are enjoying time with your loved ones, and if you are away from home or for some reason are not able to that this year, I hope that you are enjoying the time spent with The One who loves you most.

I am once again late for Gratitude Friday, not because I forgot, but because I chose to appreciate every moment I was living in today (or yesterday if you want to get technical).

We have opened most of our presents already, so tomorrow morning we can relax and reflect a bit. I got this journal from Chicken Little.  She is - OFFICIALLY - The Best Daughter Ever.  She told me she thought it would help me with my blogging.  Love it - Love her!

Today, I'm grate-full for:
  1. My family - they are the best.
  2. The time we get to spend together.
  3. Children at Christmas - is there any joy that is as pure?
  4. Warm hands, warm hearts, warm hugs, warm feet! (new Uggs that I didn't even know I wanted)
  5. The greatest gift of all has come this day, and I'm so grateful for His sacrifice to give us this gift.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The BIG Tree

As you've seen, we have several small trees throughout the house, but the 'BIG' tree is the one in our living room.  I L.O.V.E. Christmas ornaments, and the tree is really just a means of displaying them.  I would be perfectly fine if you couldn't see any green on my tree at all and it was just a sea of ornaments.  I think I may be close to that point now. 

No theme tree here.  This one is a classic hodge podge of every kind of ornament, but mostly they are blown glass.  Some of these ornaments are from my grandmother, and some I just bought this year.  Some are collectibles, but mostly I just thought they were pretty or cute or funny. 

This year we got a new tree skirt - it's a petticoat.  It's really fancy and I'm loving it, but before I put it away I think I'm going to tea stain it so that it isn't quite so bright. 

And then there's the tree topper - my pink peacock.  Isn't she pretty?!  I know that it's the boy peacocks who have all the fancy feathers, but do you really think this one is a boy?  She's about 15 years old, and her feathers were getting pretty ratty, so this year I fancied her up a bit and added new feathers.  I added the hot pink ones .  Maybe they are a bit much, but we're celebrating - it's a birthday party, so we might as well be festive!

Here's some close ups of a few of my favorite ornaments.

You'll notice I've got a couple of repeats/themes going on here:  people, owls and birds, sea creatures, and kitsch (I think that's the category that Elvis and the bubble lights fall into).  :-)   Lots of color and sparkle - I'm pretty much covered in glitter from Thanksgiving to New Years!

Even if I don't do one other thing for Christmas, I cannot imagine not having a tree.  I have always loved Christmas trees.  I can remember staring at my mom's and grandmother's for hours when I was little.  I still find them fascinating.

Tonight's the night! I hope you are ready and that you are enjoying this time with your loved ones.  I wish you all a joy-full and peace-full holiday!

Christmas Prayers

I'd planned a different post for this morning, but instead I've decided to talk about something else.

Edie at Life in Grace has written the most wonderful post called Santa Claus Theology.  I strongly encourage you to click over and read it today. 

life in grace
It's a funny thing this whole bloggy world - I have never met any of the wonderful women who's words I read everyday, but I feel like I know them all.  Edie is funny and smart and honest, and her blog is probably my most favorite.  I check it every day, eager for a new post.  She has an amazing gift for always saying just the right thing.

I was catching up on some other blog reading today, and I learned that on Tuesday night, Edie and her family lost their home and everything in it to fire.   According to what I've read, thankfully everyone made it out of the house safely.  In times like these, we are reminded of what is truly important. 

I cannot imagine this happening at any time during the year, but most especially during the holidays.  My heart is breaking for them.  Please include them in your prayers right now.  I'm praying for God's peace and comfort for them during this challenging time.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Hits the Living Room

As promised... here's my living room tour.

(Ooops!  I just realized the tie-back on the curtain sprang loose in the picture...)

Here's the overhead view that I took from the loft.  What you can't see in this picture are the built-in shelves to the left of the fireplace.  This is where the TV sits, and on the shelf over the TV, I have put a nativity.  Just to the left of that is the chair , and then on the wall opposite the TV is a cabinet, and I've put my carolers on top of that.

Here are a couple of close ups of the mantle.  Just like the rest of the house, I had put everything but the kitchen sink up there, and then ended up taking most of it down.  I know it doesn't look like it, but I really have been trying to simplify this year.  (Just imagine what it's been like in the past!)

All of these reindeer have come from the Hobby Lobby over the last few years.  I really love them.  I had planned to paint a big picture of a reindeer head this year to put up here instead of the mirror.  Obviously, it didn't happen.  I'd also planned to make a Christmas banner and snowy village, but they didn't quite make it either.  Best laid plans....  Anyway, maybe sometime around July I'll get around to all of it and it will be ready for next year. 

In case you were wondering, the 'C' is for Cash (our last name, not what all this is costing us).  It could stand for Christmas, too - Christmas at Casa de Cash - all kinds of C's going on there.   :-) 

You've seen a few sneak peeks of the BIG tree, I'll show you that in a bit more detail tomorrow.

Merry Christmas!

Linking up here: 

Christmas Kitchen

Here I sit, playing hooky from work, frantically trying to catch up on my blog reading and then cram in about 20 posts before Christmas Day. Same boat? Anyone? Anyone?

I did a quick house tour a week (or has it been TWO?) ago, with every intention of going back in a little more detail in each room. I showed you the dining room here, and a few random spots in the house here, but I still want to show you my kitchen and living room, and finally my TREE. I love my tree, so I'm saving the best for last.

So, here's the kitchen, and hopefully if you check back later tonight you can get the living room tour.  :-)

I like to decorate the island, but there's always so much going on in the kitchen, that it ends up getting in the way.  I've learned over the last few years to keep it simple here.  So, this is all I have sitting on the island this year, and it can be quickly removed and replaced. 

Our kitchen has a wonderfully HUGE eat-in area that will actually fit a bigger table than the one in the dining room.  This is great, but I almost had a conniption fit trying to decorate it this year.  We use this table everyday for everything, so just like the island, I have to keep it simple or else it gets in the way. 

I probably put 20 different things down the middle of this table.  Finally, I took it all off except the pine cones and candles. Three weeks in, I'm thinking even the pine cones need to go and we'll just keep the candles and  the runner.  We have our first round of dinner guests tomorrow, so we'll see what makes it to the finish line. 

I couldn't find a runner long enough for the table, so last year I bought a couple of yards of different plaid flannel and made this one.  I LOVE it.  It's warm and cozy.

Here's a close up of my Santa and snowman collections on the hutch-thingy that sits on the wall behind the table.  This is really the best place in the house for any type of holiday display.  If I don't decorate anywhere else, I typically put something on these shelves.

Finally, the little kitchen tree.  I put handmade and "rustic" ornaments on this tree. When I was a kid, we would make decorated sugar cookies to go on the Christmas tree.  I did the same thing a few times with my daughter, but the last few years, we've added some new traditions, so something had to give.  We've compromised, and bought the slice and bake cookies for this tree.  I kinda like it this way - and it's SOOO MUCH EASIER! :-)

Speaking of cookies... I've got a few more batches to finish!  I hope to see you a little later for the final tour of the living room. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's a Wrap/Bow Tutorial

I spent this weekend wrap, wrap, wrapping presents.  I love a prettily (is that a word?) wrapped present, almost more than what is inside, so I really enjoy wrapping and 'decorating' each one.

I like to wrap everything first, then pull out all the ribbons, and floral picks, and little ornaments, and the glue gun and then GET BUSY!

For the little kids, I don't spend a lot of time making their presents fancy because let's be honest, they don't really care - it's all about the toys.  But even for theirs, I cannot bring myself to stick a store-bought bow in the middle and call it done.  I still want them to look pretty under the tree.  By adding one more bow or two, it makes them just a little more special.
I LOVE the way the one on the top right turned out.  It's just three store bought bows and three leaves off a floral pick.  If I'm getting out the hot glue gun, then everything goes on with hot glue.  I love that stuff!  And those sticky backs on the bows are worthless.  :-)

My Mama taught me how to make my own bows when I was little, and you can make them so much bigger and prettier (and color coordinated) than the bows-in-a-bag.  See....

Bow making is one of those critical life skills, so here's my attempt at a tutorial.  (I tried to crop out the huge pile of fancy bits and trash scattered on the floor around me.)
Florist ribbon is the best and easiest to work with.  It's needs to be a little stiffer than regular satin, but not so stiff that it splits when you pull it.

The first step is to make a loop with the ribbon.  If there is a shiny side to your ribbon, make sure that it faces outward.  My loop in for this bow was probably about 5 - 6 inches in diameter.

Next, tape the loop closed on the inside - don't worry about seeing the tape - you won't when you're done.  I use plain old scotch tape on the inside and wrap it around the edges a bit.
Once it's secure, start wrapping ribbon around and around the loop.  The more times around you wrap it, the fuller your bow will be. 8 - 10 times is usually more than sufficient.
Pinch the loop in the middle and cut out a v-shaped notch on each side.  Don't cut all the way through - make sure you leave a little bit of ribbon in the middle so it's still all one piece.
Take a twist-tie and wrap it around the middle of the loop - it fits nicely in those notches you just cut.  If you have long twistie things you can leave the ends long and use that to secure it to the package later.  I don't usually do that (refer to my hot glue reference above).
(I couldn't crop out the background in this one. I'm normally quite tidy... ahem.)

Once the middle part is secured, you start to pull and twist. Start on one side and beginning with the inside loop, pull out one layer of ribbon.  Pull it towards the right, and while you're doing that twist it upwards (pic 3).  Pull the next interior loop out towards the left (pic 4), and twist up while your pulling. At this point, it should look like pic 5.  Put some muscle in the pulling part - you want to make sure the loops stay where you put 'em.  Continue doing this, alternating directions until one side is complete (pic 6).  Then turn the loop around and repeat on the other side.

Your first attempt(s) may be a bit flat, but don't worry, you will get the hang of it.

When you're done, it will look like this.  At this point, you'll probably want to "fluff" it a bit and position the loops to so it is full all over. 
Here's one that's been fluffed and glued onto a present.

And here's a whole bunch awaiting the hot glue treatment!

Pretty, pretty, pretty!

Linking up here and here:
The DIY Show Off