Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas Festivities - Part 2

Lucky us -- we had two Christmases this year! 
A couple days after Christmas, we went to my son's house
for Christmas with his sweet wife and kids.
It was so much fun! 
The kiddos are growing fast and so so sweet!
Philip and Catherine made yummy Mexican food. 
 Mr. Tennis went nuts for the enchiladas -- they were extremely delish!  
Everything was so good!
Maddy had suggested we start having a "talent show"
after the gift-giving, so we gave it a try!
Results = hilarious!!
Connor did a yoyo trick!
Mr. Tennis had no ideas so Maddy and I suggested he be "Mr. Napkinhead." 
 Yes, we had recently watched "The Holiday." 
He was very funny.  I was busy filming, so couldn't get any photos
 of the contestants but, believe me, we were all laughing our heads off!
Philip did a magic trick -- how did he make that quarter disappear?
Catherine played the piano -- so lovely -- one of my fave songs -- theme from Cheers!
Maddy and I did our own rendition of "Call Me Maybe."   If I didn't know it already, the video confirmed, I have no sense of rhythm. 
While the littles napped, Maddy and I played Scattergories
with Philip and Catherine.  What a fun game! 
And Maddy and I introduced Philip and Catherine to one of 
our all-time favorite shows, DC Cupcakes. 
Thanks again to Philip and Catherine for hosting us. 
It was a blast and made Christmas so special.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Festivities!

Didn't Christmas just sneak up on you this year? 
It sure did at our house!

On Christmas Eve, Mr. Tennis returned from a  quick trip to Illinois to visit his family.
We were so happy to have him home again!

The weather was frightfully cold, snowy, icy and Maddy came down with
quite a sore throat/cough-type virus -- boohoo!
We all had it one at a time throughout the month and called it
"The Christmas Cold!"

What was I thinking -- we dressed alike???

After mass on Christmas Eve and setting out our luminaries,
we had a yummy homemade Stromboli for dinner
and opened one gift - or was it two?

Maddy was up at 4:30 AM on Christmas morning --
to find the Cookie dog that Santa left for her!  
We had a low key but lovely day and I cooked and cooked and cooked --
which is so not typical for me! 
We missed Philip and Catherine and the littles,
but spent the 27th with them celebrating again --
update on that celebration to come!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Merry Christmas!

The gift of Love,
The gift of Peace,
The gift of Happiness . . .
May these be yours this Christmas season!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Nutcracker - A New Tradition?

Every year Maddy and I try to attend some type of holiday event -- usually a
musical production or a Christmas play. 
 This year . . . the ballet!!

A new holiday tradition may be starting this year! 
Maddy and I went to the Nutcracker Ballet! 
So fun, so festive! 
The dancers were seriously amazing or
as my friend, Guiliana, would say  -- amazeballs! 

We met Jodee and Kamree there --
the girls enjoyed the ballet and the
cute items on sale -- not surprising is it? 
We have shoppers on our hands!

And that "curly" hair as Maddy calls it -
does take a little work!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Fun Photo Outtakes

Whenever I take Miss Maddy out for photos,
there are a generally A LOT of outtakes!
She gets antsy and starts dancing . . .
Dance in the water anyone?

Or singing or . . .

Or  making funny faces!

No matter what silly face and pose she makes,
she always looks sweet to me!

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Birthday Bunch

We celebrated Maddy's birthday with her
girlfriends last weekend!

These girls are all so sweet and thoughtful and kind!  
Truth be told, she almost
invited a couple boys, but was afraid they would be so outnumbered
they might feel "weird."
And we certainly wouldn't want anybody feeling weird!

We had a great gymnastics helper - thanks Tyler!
Maddy's been doing gymnastics this year and really enjoying it,
 so it made sense to have her party there.

The girls jumped on trampolines, swung on ropes -
yes, these 10 and 11 year old girls
were doing Tarzan impersonations and 
also zoomed across the floor on a zipline falling into a foam pit!
Lots of giggling ensued!

When we were planning the party, Maddy said that she really wanted to have
 fun with friends and didn't need any gifts. 
 So, instead of gifts for her, she asked her friends to bring an
 unwrapped child's gift for Catholic Social Services to distribute.
  A proud Momma moment, to be sure.

Since I'm wearing my big Santa boot and Mr. Tennis was not available to assist,
Jodee and Kamree helped us out.
It was so fun to have them celebrate with us and
 we are so thankful for their help! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Deja Vu

Hmmm --
Not sure if she is thinking about the holidays
or wondering if I will ever be able to talk someone else
into going out for photos???

Back to deja vu . . .

Remember this post about my options for boots last winter?

Well, deja vu . . .
all over again! 
I'm back in the boot!

Due to an unfortunate encounter with a stroller
[yes, the stroller won]
and my continued running on it,
the diagnosis is  . . .
broken foot AND a broken toe!


So, I am back in the boot until the middle of January
Guess I could put some bells on it and call it my Santa boot!???

Think I might be calling this the  year of the "gift card."

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Hello December - Starry Starry Night!

Hello December!
The first day of December found us at a
benefit called Starry Starry Night for our local City Mission. 
For a small fee,
kids can do crafts,

Meet with Santa

Listen to some great music,
Lincoln Boys Choir

look at some gorgeous decorated trees!
We took Maddy's good friend, Janie,  with us
and met Jodee and Kamree there.
Thanks for meeting us and spending holiday time together!
Silly, funny 5th graders!
It was a fabulous start to December!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend Update!

Do tell, how was your long Thanksgiving weekend??

I think it is surely the mark of a great holiday
break if I get to take a nap every single day! 
Some were only catnaps -- but a nap is a nap is a nap, right!
Wow -- can I say that I outdid myself and
 give myself a big ol' pat on the back?!!
First, let me say that I am not the best cook AND I am not
always the best at timing dishes so everything is ready and
 warm-ish at the right time, but this year, I rocked it!

Oh yes I did!
The turkey was a fresh brined one from Trader Joe's and turned out fabulous --
it looked even better than it tasted and seriously,
 how often does that happen??

Grandson Walt
And the sides -- can I tell you about the side dishes?
Lisa's Mashed Potato casserole was incredibly yummy as always.
If I could have only one side dish -- it would be those mashed potatoes!
Mrs. Peppperidge Farm helped my stuffing this year -
huge improvement over the incredibly dry cornbread stuff I attempted last year. 
A corn cake casserole was a big hit with all --
even Maddy the non-veggie eater liked it!

Granddaughter Janie & Nemo

Hubby's requested green bean casserole was
evidently delish (I don't eat that stuff, ever).
My daughter-in-law brought the best Mock Thunderbird salad --
 not sure what the mock is about --
it's definitely mocking my diet! 
What's not to love about a salad with both bacon and mayo in it?
Probably not on the Biggest Loser meal plan but extremely delish!! 
Add dinner rolls and wine and it was a real meal and . . .
get this -- it was all ready at the same time!
Catherine, Walt, Philip & Janie
Pumpkin pie and a
Chocolate and Vanilla Flourless Cake
(aka chocolate marble cheesecake) made appearances too. 
Oh yes, and then a food coma ensued
-- hence the naps! :)

Thanksgiving -- the family, the food, the fun
so much to be thankful for -- it was a fabulous holiday! 
We missed those who couldn't be with us this year.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Who knew that I was such an awesome runner and athlete that I
 would end up with a stress fracture in my foot!! 
Holy cow -- I know why they call it a stress fracture --
 it's stressing me out!

No, those are not really my feet,
but I wanted a photo for you all!

 Am taking double doses of Aleve*
(where are the real pain meds I ask you?)
and have started wearing my lovely orthopedic boot again. 
It's been a couple weeks and it still hurts . . . a lot!
Can you tell I'm hoping for loads of sympathy from blogland??? :)
The worst news --
am not certain if I will be able to rush around on Black Friday --
but hopeful that I can do a bit of shopping and then go home,
 crash on the couch with a bag of ice and some pumpkin pie!!
Happy Thanksgiving friends!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Gobble gobble . . .

Thinking ahead just a little bit
 (not too far though--
I'm kind of a last minute gal, you know),
but . . .
look at these ADORABLE Thanksgiving invitations!
Yes, it's true, I found them through my friend, Kim of
3 Peanuts fame, as she used this wonderful Etsy vendor
for her hub's 50th b-day party invitations.
It's happened before and I'm sure it will happy again --
I'm a big copycat!
Just in case you want to be a copycat too --
check out
 and tell her that I sent you! :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Story of A Triangle Desk

My little sister had the most adorable little triangle corner desk when she was growing up. 
I think my parents bought it to encourage her to do her homework
as she was the most sociable in our family
and homework sometimes got pushed aside! ;)  

Cell phone photo - forgot to get a better "before"

I'm guessing that they bought it sometime in the 1970's. 
And guess what -- it worked -- she did her homework
and excelled in college and post-college studies.  
Not only is she the sociable one, but also the really smart one!  

Anywhooo -- this past summer it was time for the desk
(and it's sisters - a lovely dresser and chair) to find a new home. 
Nobody seemed to want them, so I volunteered. 
But, I didn't really like the wood finish. 
I had some plans in my head for those Ethan Allen pieces of furniture. 
Please don't tell my twin -- she said it was wrong, wrong, wrong
 to even think about painting Ethan Allen furniture!!

 But, I didn't listen. 
Look how fabulous that little old triangle desk, chair and dresser look now.  
No, I didn't paint them myself
(not one of those talented furniture painters),
so left that job to a professional!

I didn't want to screw up the nice furniture, you know. 
But, I did pick out and put those new knobs
and drawer pulls on myself -- so adorable!!
And now, Miss Maddy has a lovely corner triangle desk,
sweet chair and bonus dresser and that most adorable furniture
from the 1970s has a new lease on life.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hello November

Hello November! 
Wow -- doesn't this year seem to be speeding by?

Hello American Girl Doll!!  
Maddy put an entry into an American girl contest. 
She'd been thinking about it the whole month and
finally we got a little video accomplished on the very last day!
So sweet! (Sorry, couldn't get it to load).

Hello decorative cabbage! 
Did more yard work -- raking and mowing -- rinse and repeat-
seems to be never ending and makes me a little sad to see
trees bare already! 
We planted some purple cabbage here and there in the yard. 
Love that stuff and it loves cold weather -- last year it grew through January!!
Maddy and I went to a performance of Jugglemania with Shoehorn last Thursday.
Wasn't too sure about it and kind of hate to go to things on a school night,
but it was fabulous -- and so were our seats  -- in the very front row! 
Maddy laughed and laughed (me too) -- fun to see her enjoy it so much.
Hello photo shoots! 
We keep attempting to get a Christmas card photo!
One of these days we'll catch a good one, I'm sure!
Hello November!