Friday, December 2, 2016

FO Friday | A New Tradition.

Sometime back in August, Katie texted me a photo of this advent calendar and asked if I thought she could make it for this December. Supportive and realistic mom that I am, I told her it was a lot of work. 60+ hours. all by hand.
from the Purl Soho website
We exchanged a few more texts along the lines of how much work...and ended up agreeing we'd both rather spend the time knitting. 

So of course I ordered the kit the very next day (in secret) and proceeded (in secret) to get the first part - the calendar and the tree - done for Charlie's birthday. It helped that I was at my mom's for a week in August. I finished the last strip of numbers and assembled it all the weekend before Charlie's birthday.

I gave it to her (and Charlie) along with the rest of the kit - patterns, felt, stuffing, beads and sequins - to make the ornaments. She was delighted (whew!) - and excited about finishing it.

We got together a few more times during the next six weeks to assemble the ornaments. 

Katie was better at cutting. I was better at sewing. We're a good team.

But Katie did all the decorating herself. All 24 ornaments. She finished #22 the day before Sam was born.

She finished up those last two last week. Just in time.

Two days in, it's a hit!

I love that I got to be a part of creating this new tradition. for my favorite little family!

(and I also love that I likely will not be writing another blog post until Monday. whew!)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Hello December.

Hello December,

It seems way too early to be saying those words. Honestly, for the first time in many years (at least the nine that I've documented here on the blog), I haven't even been looking forward to seeing you.  And I'm not quite sure why. Usually, I'm full-on ready to start the holiday season as soon as we finish the dishes on Thanksgiving. But not this year.

And I even feel like I'm trying.

I've been playing fun Christmas songs with Charlie in the car since early November (special favorites include Ella Fitzgerald's Jingle Bells and Frosty the Snowman). We watched Love Actually and the Grinch (the original one) on Thanksgiving. Holiday Lights! Katie and I planned Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (including menus). I've been spending time each morning with an Advent devotion. Sara has plane tickets to spend over a week here, beginning on Christmas Eve. (not to mention the countless number of red cups and holiday spice flat whites ;-)

It's not that I feel like a Grinch. I just don't feel like it's December. and I certainly don't feel like Christmas is 24 days away.

This morning, I finally put the pumpkins that have been "decorating" our front porch since October into the trash. And then I went to Costco and bought a wreath. I figure nothing says "Welcome December" like fresh evergreens on my front door.

Charlie and I are going to the Angel Breakfast at church on Saturday morning. Then Marc and I have plans to get our tree on Sunday. (and hopefully I'll get it and the rest of the house decorated next week!)

And hopefully I'll snap out of this funk. Because you are one of my favorite months. I love so much about you: the twinkle lights. the hope and anticipation of Advent. the music. the stories. the hustle and bustle. celebrating traditions and making new memories. spending time with family. winding down the old year and looking forward to the new one.

So, what do you think, December? Can we do this? I'm counting on you!

xxoo, Mary

Joining up with Carole, Kat and the whole Think Write Thursday crew today.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


...was not where I intended to be this afternoon. I had planned to spend an hour or two at the shop catching up with folks before heading to my sister's to resume our weekly knitting (and wine) time.

But the weather reports were downright scary - we moved from tornado watch to tornado warning, with plenty of nasty rain, thunder and lightning thrown in. Karen and I rescheduled for tomorrow.

So home is where I'm staying. Holly is in my lap as I type this. but soon I'll be back on the sofa knitting. That's No Tails in the photo. I've started the first sleeve (yeah, I didn't come close to having this done "for Thanksgiving" but it's gonna be a shoe-in for Christmas :-)

And hey - how about those socks!? I started them on my flight to Madison back in July...and finished them yesterday. I'm glad I have a bit of cozy home to share with Sara (they'll be headed her way as soon as I can get to the post office). I thought it might've been nice to have a fire going in the background, but it's 60+ degrees outside right now and I think she'll appreciate that kind of warmth when she wears them!

And how about another successful NaBloPoMo?! Parts of me are in denial about tomorrow being December, but other parts of me are ready for November to be over!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Holiday Lights.

The Botanical Garden's holiday light festival has been on my must-see list for several years (I was surprised this was "only" its sixth season...seems like I've been wanting to go for at least ten!) and yesterday, along with my mom and sister, I went.

We planned to get there when it opened at 5:00pm so we could see a little of the garden before it got dark (sunset here is about 5:30pm). And what with Atlanta traffic and all, we left my house at 2:45 and enjoyed a leisurely late lunch at a restaurant close to the garden entrance. All that planning paid off - we were there just before 5:00 and it was perfect.

The camellias were beautiful.

Early evening light is also flattering on faces!

I was struck by how well the garden has adapted to the changing seasons*. My favorite places are just as beautiful without all the green.

and of course the lights give them (and us!) plenty of opportunity to play!

The garden staff (some paid, some volunteer) were most obliging to take photos.

The woman who took this one commented on our mother daughter night out and how we should cherish the time; her mother passed away this fall. It's certainly not a great picture of us, but in the spirit of the evening, I'm including it!

That poinsettia tree was the centerpiece of a stunning indoor exhibit with orchids, paper whites and amaryllis

I'm not sure why I didn't take more photos (but I'm sure you get the idea)!

When we came back outside, it was full-on dark ... and the lights were definitely putting on the show.

It was a beautiful evening!

...and we woke up this morning to rain! our first since early October. So glad we visited yesterday... I have a feeling things won't look nearly as pretty today (those camellias!!!)

Off to get ready for another Tuesday with Charlie (and one last visit with my mom). Happy Tuesday!

*Here are the posts from my  May and September visits to give you an idea of late spring and summer.

Monday, November 28, 2016

A Few More from the Weekend.

Yep, I still have a few more photos to share! First, here are my favorites from Thursday.

We started with a champagne (apple cider) "Cheers!"

The girls did oblige me a re-creation of one of those 1998 photos.

Charlie (with help from his mama) made the place cards.

Our time around the table was decidedly more grown up eighteen years later.

...and finally...much later...Charlie got to help clean up.

Fast forward to Saturday and some post-game fun. My mom wanted "just one photo" of her with the two little boys. Turns out having two little boys doesn't make it any easier. Even when their dad tried his best to get them to smile.

I had about thirty out-takes in my camera roll, but none of them are as good as these two from Katie.

So now it's Monday. Sara is back in Madison. Marc is back at work. I'm glad my mom is still here and we have a little more fun planned before she goes home on Wednesday. 

Hoping you have something good to look forward to as well (besides NaBloPoMo ending on Wednesday :-).