Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Maybe Next Year

I would like to tell you that I had a magical Christmas with my family. I'd like to tell you we enjoyed each other's company and made merry while watching Noodlebug tear into his packages. I'd like to tell you Christmas was everything I had hoped it would be.

I can't tell you that.

This was the worst Christmas I can remember having. Fighting, negativity, disappointment. I knew the holiday was crashing down around my ears when I couldn't muster any enthusiasm to go view Christmas lights which is one of my favorite holiday activities. My tradition is to put up the Christmas decorations on the day after Thanksgiving and take them down on New Year's Day. The decorations have been put away for days now because I cannot look at them.

I received many wonderful and generous gifts. Things that I will enjoy for a long time. But the only gift I really wanted was a merry Christmas. On the upside, Noodlebug reveled in the attention of three uncles and one aunt. He was beside himself with excitement and happiness at having so many people to play with. He was appropriately spoiled and the big hit of the holiday was a mini basketball goal that his uncle gave him. His father and uncles are grooming him to be the next Kobe Bryant. I think Noodlebug is shell-shocked now that the house is so empty and quiet.

This has been a tough year for my family. Many challenges that I still haven't figured out yet. I can only continue to hope for a happier future. New Year's is right around the corner and it is a time for new beginnings. I return to work on Monday so in the interim I will enjoy my last few days as a temporary stay-at-home mom.

I wish you all the happiest of New Years and hope for a better tomorrow.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

I have mentioned in previous years how this is my favorite Christmas song.  I'm picky about the version, though. Many versions of this song change the words to make it more peppy.  In its original version from MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, it is a wistful song about life changes and hoping for better days ahead.  The line "until then we'll have to muddle through somehow" always gets me.  So, as I begin my holiday vacation, I want to leave you with my favorite version of this holiday classic.

I'll still be checking in over the holidays so don't you worry!  But I want to take this moment to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of new years. I know the past year has been particularly rough for many people.  In spite of that fact, I have seen more acts of courage, faith and generosity than I can remember in recent years. You are all amazing people and this is a blessed life indeed.

"Next year all our troubles will be miles away!"

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gonna Make It

It seems that my entire household is sick. Noodlebug has croup and husband has stomach flu. I am trying to employ mind over matter not to get sick. This scene from THE THREE AMIGOS sums up how I feel right now:

If I can just make it until Friday at 3:30pm PST, I will have two blissful weeks off to rest, recuperate and READ!!! Hope you are having a happy, healthy holiday season!

Another Win!!!

I just found this great blog for working moms called My Mom Genes.  It recently won Best Working Mom blog from The Bump.  I think one of the great things about how blogging has evolved since I started blogging in 2003 is that there is now a blog for just about any type of person or interest.  If you are looking for support or information, you can find it.  My Mom Genes offers support for people just like me.

They recently had a contest for this great knitted fish hat that asked the question, "One part of parenthood that has me baffled is ______________."  And I won!!!

I am so loving that hat and can't wait to put it on Noodlebug!!!

(photo borrowed from and owned by My Mom Genes)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

When Worlds Collide

When I got home from work yesterday, I saw a box waiting for me marked "Fragile" on the side. I knew the handwriting instantly.

"Did I order something from Ellen and I just don't remember?"

(The backstory is that Ellen and I are college friends. She got me started blogging back in 2003. She gave up her own blog but her creative presence is still felt in her Etsy shop.)

When I opened the package, I saw one of Ellen's whimsical figures that I had been coveting:

Yes, Sylvia is now all mine. Thanks to my good friend Gary L. who worked with my friend Ellen to choose something special from her shop.  He is a dear friend from my eight years in Denver. Gary used my blog to track Ellen down and get me a truly unique Christmas gift.  Isn't it great when two parts of your life collide to create something so wonderful?!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Home Tour Finds

I think I've mentioned before that I am a member of my local Junior League. We hold a Holiday Home Tour fundraiser every year. So, on this past Saturday, my mom and I headed out in the pouring down rain to attend the big event. Not the best weather for this kind of fundraiser.  This year, we added on a Winter Market to the event and I so enjoyed shopping with the vendors!  I have asked Santa for these two Stella and Dot necklaces:

There is just something about enamelware.  And these necklaces make me feel like Spring is just around the corner!!! I also splurged on some great Lindsay Phillips shoes. Both of these shoes are convertible which I love. I could take two pairs of shoes on a vacation along with some conversions straps and buttons and have a week's worth of shoes!!!

There is just something about shoes, isn't there?  Just a few more days and I'll be off for Christmas. Two uninterrupted weeks with my family. What bliss!!!

I am not affliated with either of those vendors nor have I received any payment from them.

(photos borrowed from and owned by Stella and Dot and Linsay Phillips)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Playing Santa's Elf

My little gifties have arrived! I sent out some homemade travel pillows based on Maya*Made's design to the little ones of a few blogging/cyber-friends.  I am still new to sewing so the pillows are all a little flawed but they are made with lots of love!!!  The lovely Hippie Dog just posted about my little gift so I am borrowing a photo from her.  It is a good excuse to send you over to her blog.  She makes the most wonderful things and her shop is filled with goodies!  Plus she is a total sweetheart.  She has a Noodlebug of her own and I made this pillow just for him. The fabric reminded me a bit of Eric Carle and I thought it was just boyish enough without being cliched.  It has a handle for carrying and a pocket for putting little friends or secret things inside of. So glad they liked it!!!  I just love making little surprises for people. My favorite part of Christmas is giving gifts and goodies to everyone.  Now that I have broken in the sewing machine perhaps I'll make more gifties to surprise people with throughout the year!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Etsy Find of the Day

My friend Charles has opened an Etsy shop and has listed a few of his special winter icicles. He gave me one last year and it is in a place of honor on my Christmas tree. Each one is unique and I think they are just full of personality!!!  Find these and other creations here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What a Weekend!

Well, we completed our Dallas trip this weekend and made it back in one piece. My little one was a champ! He is such a good little traveler. I wish I could say the same for the other travelers we ran into. I was shocked at how rude and nasty people were. As I struggled to get my child onto the plane and into our seats, people were just nasty. Their reactions ranged from eye-rolling to unpleasant comments. And not one person every offered to help when they saw me struggling. Not even a flight attendant on any of the four flights we took. It crushed my holiday spirit a bit but I rallied.

I grew up in Dallas and I miss it a lot. It felt so good being home again. We stuffed ourselves with Mexican food, German food and barbecue. We drove around the Park Cities looking at holiday lights and stopped by NorthPark to see the decorations and my very favorite Santa Claus. (see above) Noodlebug was very brave and even cracked a smile for the Santa photo.

I also discovered a fantastic travel tip I would like to pass on. I was worried about carrying so much baby gear with me on the plane so I opted not to bring a stroller or any toys. Instead, I rented a stroller and toys through TravelBabees. They were fantastic!!! Not only are they affordable but they delivered the items to our hotel. The stroller was a BRAND NEW Peg-Perego and the toys were also new and age appropriate. It gave Noodlebug lots of great things to play with in the hotel room without me having to lug around a bag of toys from home. Such a great affordable service! I highly recommend it if you are traveling with little ones.

(I am not associated with nor paid by TravelBabees. I just wanted to recommend a great service)

After all the hustle and bustle, it is great to be home. If I can just get hubby to put the lights outside, I think we will be ready for Christmas. I'm looking forward to it!

(photo borrowed from and owned by NorthPark Center)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Rough Beginning

Hello Friends!

I am feeling a bit out of sorts this morning.  However, I hope to see the day improve as I am having a crafty girlfriend get-together tonight. We'll be making mini-wreaths.  Some to take home and some to donate to the shut-ins of my church.  My mother is making King Ranch Chicken and sangria (some Texas favorites) and I can hardly wait. I could use some crafty time!

My hubby is sick and I am frantically scrubbing hands and cleaning up after him to avoid either Noodlebug or myself getting sick. Grandma Tutu, Noodlebug and I are traveling to Dallas for the weekend on Friday morning and I don't want any of us to be sick for this adventure!

I'm also mailing out Christmas packages today!  I will only have one more to mail after today and that feels really good!  Who knows....maybe one will show up in your mailbox!