Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Official Blog Congratulations Make the Event Official

Congratulations to two dear people in our lives, Philboy and Liz. They just became engaged. I have to wait impatiently until I see them tomorrow to hear all of the proposal details, but let it be known that these are two of the best people in the whole entire world, and they deserve all the happiness that marriage can bring!

Daily Eye Candy: Christmas Card

I did remember to put together Christmas cards this year (I might share later...I think they are better than my attempt last year), and we have received some lovely cards from friends and family. One of my favorite parts of the season is to collect the mail and find a card with our name on it! This is actually more of an accomplishment than you might think; our mail carrier is just plain awful!

The standout card of this year was created by a dear friend of ours. She's artsy. Cantcha tell?
It's a handmade pop-out card! Also known as "incredible"!Look at the bricks on that chimney!There is a tree with little ornaments, and even gifts beneath!There is even a little fire in the fireplace, which is decorated with tiny stockings. Seriously, my head exploded because this is so adorable.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Daily Eye Candy

In honor of Christmas, today's Daily Eye Ear Candy features Tim Minchin's "White Wine in the Sun." I posted this last year, but I think it will become my personal holiday tradition. The lyrics are beautiful and haunting and remind me that the simple act of family togetherness is the most important part of the season.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Fashion: Giving Back

BlindIrishPirate had a great post about Sseko Designs recently, and when I ran across this similar CNN article, I couldn't help but share via Friday Fashion.

Gift-giving is synonymous with the holidays. Husband and I have really worked to set reasonable limits for ourselves in regards to Christmas consumerism, but I will be the first to admit that I love to watch others open gifts that I have carefully selected and wrapped with love. Wouldn't those gifts be so much better if, in addition to the recipient's enjoyment, they created opportunities for those less fortunate?

Below are just a tiny sampling of the beautiful goods available...Global Goods Partners, Handmade Flower Placemats, $30. From Swaziland.Nest, Naema Necklace, $38. From Morocco.Ten Thousand Villages, Handmade Bamboo Motif Teacup, $10. From Nepal.

Go forth and spend conscientiously.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

An Ending

I have trouble with firsts and lasts. Something in me always recognizes the beginning and ending, however inconsequential, and stirs my sentimentality.

...This is the first time I have stepped foot onto my college campus as a student...My sweater is irreversibly stained; I will never wear this sweater again...This is the first (and last) time I will ever eat green bean casserole...My parents are selling my childhood home; I will never again step foot in my old bedroom...

That last one is fresh. My parents sold the house today. It is cause for much celebration. They won't have to heat the house during the long winter months ahead. My dad won't have to drive there through snow and ice every few days to make sure no one has stripped the place of copper or vandalized the interior. They can finally close a chapter in their lives that climaxed with my dad's illness. They don't have to sleep in the first-floor living room anymore. My mom doesn't have to help my dad carefully pad down the rickety staircase to the basement shower ever again. They don't have to worry about something happening without neighbors near enough to run to for help.

And as much happiness as I feel for them, as much relief for their safety that the move brings to my mind, my heart cannot help but ache for the loss of our family home, filled with memories, both good and bad, but mostly good.

Husband and I went back to take pictures of the inside of the house one final time Saturday. I really didn't want him to go, so I could have an embarrassing, ugly cry alone, but he insisted, and I am glad that he did. My mom had taken the hidden key with her a few days prior, and he is the only person that could have entered the correct combination into the realtor's lock, gaining us entry. I took some final pictures inside, and we walked through one last time, without a camera. I savored the sound of the creaky stairs. While laying in my bed, I could always tell which parent was ascending, just by the rhythm of their footsteps. I breathed deeply the basement, which still smells vaguely of the pet beds where our long-gone dogs, Nellie and Sallie, spent the nights. I touched the textured, floral wallpaper in my parents' bedroom. And I stood in my room and remembered playing with Barbie dolls on the floor, dressing up for dances, talking on the phone with best friends, crying over heartbreaks, and singing myself to sleep.

We returned to the house for the last time yesterday evening so I could take my final exterior shots. I traipsed through the snow covered ground in inappropriate shoes trying to capture all that I feared my memory would lose. I was so glad that my dad's shed was unlocked so that I could walk in one last time and breath the scent that I have never experienced anywhere else, a combination of oil and dirt, the smell of a family that makes their living from the earth. As Husband and I drove away, in spite of my tears, I felt a warm, small sense of peace. A new family will grow to love the house, filling it up appropriately with three children. Both adults are teachers, just like my Grandma and Grandpa were. And even though it is an ending, it is a beginning, too, for that family, and for mine.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Daily Eye Candy

I'm busy, busy, busy, but I wanted to share some warm, wonderful Daily Eye Candy with you from realize that I act approximately 80 years old, but I can imagine no better pleasure than to wake up on Christmas morning to sip hot chocolate and open gifts with Husband, both of us wearing these red "His and Hers Long Johns," 34.95. That scene probably belongs in some kind of corny Christmas movie with lots of hugging and loving overtures. Of course, this would never happy in reality because Husband runs about 20 degrees hotter than I do.

Ah, dreams.