Monday, December 31, 2007

random.

...(w)ramblings. yes, the jackets are losing bad (sorry, sara, I know the grammar's wrong, but it just sounds right). and I started a fun-just-for-me knitting project (sorry, too dark already for a good photo, but trust me, I'm already 20% done just watching the game!) eta - jackets lost 28-40 and the yarn is noro silk garden in a brown/teal/purple colorway that looks better than it reads.

I did make good progress on my 14-things-to-do-before-I-go-back-to-work list (I'm too embarrassed to post in its entirety, but know it includes crafty things, knitting things and traditional-must-do things like holiday cards, and practical-must-do getting my car washed things) yesterday and this morning. So I'm heading into the last part of my vacation a bit more relaxed. Which is good because I've made plans for those three days. Katie's coming on Wednesday for coaching on finances, and a short shopping trip to prep for the paper adventure, and Thursday is lunch with Karen, and Friday is the final knitting lesson with Shari and another "balancing" outing with Liz. Good thing I get up early!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

paper adventure 08.

...I have so enjoyed the christmas journal project, but it ends next Sunday. Looking for something else to prompt me to be creative with paper. And I found it. See the new button in the participating block on my sidebar:
08link
and I've got Katie agreed to it, too. We're going to stock up on supplies when she visits this week. Love trips to Blicks and Target and Staples! Haven't decided yet on a size - was leaning to 4x6, but love Elise's 5x7...

Also thinking about a gratitude journal, and maybe this weekly card journal (or maybe I'll follow along "real time" if Emily does it again for 2008).

with the fam.

...our I don't know, maybe 15th? annual, sheffield family holiday gathering. We rotate houses - it was at karen's this year. Each family brings snacks and cookies (all of us love to cook/bake and we coordinate what we're making to be sure there aren't duplicates). So there's lots of eating and talking and laughing. And a gift exchange. We draw names at the annual Georgia Tech/GA football game gathering. Everyone draws one name and purchases one gift. So the focus is as much on the giving as the receiving, maybe more - it's fun to have just one "perfect gift" to find. That's one of my favorite parts about our tradition.

And of course there are pictures. (more photos here)
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A very good time - many thanks karen, for playing host(ess).

And later, not even sure how I happened to be outside at just the right moment to capture our pretty sunset. note to self - need to start paying more attention!
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And in closing, photo of my favorite new photo in the beautiful frame (thank you jean!)
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Friday, December 28, 2007

inspiration for today.

This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind...let it be something good.

(thank you to ali for her constant inspiration!)


...so in that spirit, I'm planning quality time with Sara (seeing Juno) and with Marc (dinner out with Tom & Vicki). and keeping up with the christmas journal. and getting some more knitting done.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

i loved this.

...from last night's kennedy honors program. brian wilson tribute.

the beach balls at the end were a perfect touch.

big plans.

...for the next week and a half. because I don't have to go back to work until January 7th! and (with much help from Katie) I have my new laptop pretty much up and running - yes, I do love it...a lot!

today is really the first day not filled with holiday "stuff". I'm thinking I might not even leave the house. so plenty of time for catching up my christmas journal, knitting, TV DVD watching, reading the books I got for christmas (Life Artist and Mostly True and The Principles of Uncertainty). and of course, just hanging out with the fam. happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

merry christmas.


...from our house to yours.

Monday, December 24, 2007

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Because it is the eve of one so glorious holiday, I feel I must spread the joy. Not in the form of scrapbook pages, mind you, but rather in the form of a list. That’s right. I usually am not one to make a list—for one, I find that they really don’t help (those of the to-do variety) and I’m also just really bad at ordering things. Just look at today: I planned out my whole afternoon, from eating a light lunch to getting ready to preparing a cookie tray to doing this. I figured I would be finished with this (this list, that is) by 4:15. Unfortunately, I didn’t factor in The OC airing on SoapNet or my reading the paper, or any other number of things. And so here I am at 5:08 and counting, having just started this list.

Still, I’m here and I’m ready. My top ten favorite things about Christmas (in order this time!):

10. Putting up a Christmas tree. Ours has been up for a little over a month (!), and at first I was a little skeptical about having a real tree, but it really looks so much better than a fake tree. Much more… real? I also enjoy putting up ornaments, but unfortunately I think this is something that I’m not too good at. In fact, I think it’s just easier if I hand ornaments to those who have the "skill," because I really don’t think anyone has the guts to tell me that you have to put these ornaments here and those ornaments there. Still, I do have the guts to say that there is no possible way that I will let my mother put up a pink tinsel tree a la Giada DeLaurentis. No way.
9. Christmas movies. White Christmas. Miracle on 34th Street (new, not old). Home Alone. Christmas Vacation. Charlie Brown Christmas. How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Christmas movies also includes the movies that everyone inevitable receives and the subsequent watching of them later Christmas day.
8. A break from school. And I mean a real break. Meaning no homework, no books to read, nothing. If there’s one good thing about finals it’s that they signify the end of the semester and, therefore, schoolwork.
7. All the yummy food. Oh gosh, it’s no Thanksgiving feast, but it does come pretty close. Plus, it’s only one time a year when we get to have gingerbread waffles. And lox on bagels. At the same time.
6. Holiday music. I’m not such a big fan of the big classics by the likes of Bing, Dean, Frank, Billie, Kenny, etc. I appreciate them, but I tend to go for the covers. I totally love everything that Sufjan Stevens does with his holiday albums, plus a few others: "Maybe This Christmas" by Ron Sexsmith is my favorite Christmas song and you of course have to honor the genius of "Last Christmas." Nothing like a little WHAM! to cheer you up for the holiday season.
5. Getting presents. Because who doesn’t like to get stuff.
4. Giving presents. There’s something that I just love about giving something to someone and having them really, really enjoy it. I know that sounds incredibly cheesy, but it’s true. Bring on the cheese!
3. Being with the fam.
2. Christmas cookies. This does not qualify as "all the yummy food." That’s right, Christmas cookies get a category and listing all their own. I was especially pumped about my chocolate truffles this year (rolled in powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and crushed candy canes—yum!), but I also love the old standbys: toffee squares (no toffee, just chocolate and nuts, which is definitely a winning combination), biscotti (I like to put them in the microwave so they get a little soft), cranberry oatmeal (better than the traditional raisin variety), peppermint bark (I tend to go for the ones that are loaded with the white chocolate), and various others that we get from all over the place. On my radar this year: sugar cookies the size of my fist that look soft and crumbly and loaded with some chocolate concoction.
1. Chrismukkah. This really should be a Chrismukkah list, because there are no bounds to the greatness of this amazing holiday. It really could have its own top ten list. But really, what can I say about it. Let Seth Cohen explain:

"I created the greatest super-holiday known to mankind, drawing on the best that Christianity and Judaism have to offer…. Allow me to elaborate….You see, for my father here, a poor struggling Jew growing up in the Bronx, well, Christmas meant Chinese food and a movie. And for my mom over here—WASPy McWASP—well, it meant a tree, it meant stockings and all the trimmings…. Other highlights include eight days of presents followed by one day of many presents.... Hey, dip a toe in the Chrismukkah pool. There’s room for all of us…. Oy, humbug."

And that is the beauty of Chrismukkah. Where else can you find a yarmaclaus or heated family discussions about "error[s] in judgment" or Chrismukkah Bar Mitzvakkahs? It’s genius. Really, really genius.

So, everyone, Happy Chrismukkah, list is over.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

stockings.

...one of my favorite parts of this journal your christmas (aside from the very fun cutting and pasting every day!) is reliving the bits and pieces that make up my christmas tradition. Today's prompt was about stockings. In the photo to the right, mine is 3rd from the left - the same one I had as a child. Steve, Karen and I had matching stockings. All red and white flannel. With two little bells on the cuff. Santa left the filled stockings outside our bedroom doors - so our parents could grab an extra hour of sleep - and I am amazed even today that I never heard those bells jingling on christmas eve - not even once, not even a little. And you can bet I listened for it!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

doggie drama.

...and it was all my fault. I let him out just as the phone rang - Nathan's wanting to schedule Sara's behind-the-wheel lessons - and then I realized I had Jo & Carla scheduled for the Saturday of MLK weekend, when Sara and I plan to be in HH, and so I rescheduled those appointments - whew! - and then it was time to eat lunch, and then we were cleaning up and Katie asked where was Chance? and oh no, I forgot to let him back in. Followed by a frantic hour of searching on foot, and by car, Mary, Katie and Marc... only to find him just across the street, casually sniffing up Donna's mailbox. He could barely walk up the hill and back inside the house. Two hours out and about in the world is way more than he's used to. Big sighs of relief all around - and now he's in time out for the foreseeable future.

and much progress on the to-do list thanks to Sara. Four kinds of cookies done. plus truffles.

Friday, December 21, 2007

friday fill-in.

1. Snow is pretty, but it's cold and ...and wet.
2. I'm looking forward to two whole weeks of vacation and lots of downtime with my family (and cookies, and other yummy food, and wine, and catching up with friends, and...)
3. Elf is the best Will Farrell movie ever! (and smiling is my favorite too)
4. One of my favorite old tv shows is andy griffith.
5. I'm done with stressing about shopping and the "perfect gift".
6. The most enjoyable thing around the holidays is chillin' with my family.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to left-overs and list-making (many cookies to bake and good meals to plan), tomorrow my plans include carla (before the gray hair takes over) and lots of cookie baking and Sunday, I want to do a little shopping and share the fun of virginia-highlands with pat(brunch at murphy's is a definite, the rest is still up in the air!)

unexpected.

...yesterday's prompt. and my first (and really only) response is about how much I'm enjoying this journal your christmas process. love creating something (nearly) every day. and revisiting memories. and really getting what make christmas special for me. and not being stressed about no cookies baked. but so looking forward to the next few days. katie and pat arrived yesterday. and today is my last day of work til january 7th. ...let the fun really begin!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

note to self.


...next year, take off the day after holiday bookclub. It's way too much fun enjoying yourself and the wonderful company to think about getting up early for work. and remember to take a group photo.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

1963 to 2007.

...my christmas tree in 1963 and in 2007. with the same gingerbread man ornament on both. it's a little hard to see it on this year's tree (it's about half way up), but it shows up great on the '63 tree, doesn't it?! this is actually the dec 11th page because it took me a few days to get the 1963 photo copied. also caught up on dec 13, 14 and 15 this morning. it helps that marc plays golf on saturday mornings - we get up early!

and now it's time for knitting and White Christmas - my first time watching it this year - don't worry, it won't be the last!

another friday fill-in.

1. Away in a manger, no room left after jesus, mary, joseph, two sheep, three wise men, and four cows all squeeze in.
2. Dashing through the snow, in a very warm coat, with a hat and mittens - hearing the sleigh bells jingle - for a georgia girl, this won't be happening!
3. Hark! The herald angels sing - a favorite part of a favorite christmas show.
4. It's coming on christmas and I am having a ball this year.
5. When I was small I believed in Santa Claus...and of course I still do!
6. That Christmas magic's brought this tale to a happy conclusion.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to santa claus 2 with marc and sara (it was fun), tomorrow my plans include four christmas journal pages and a few errands and Sunday, I want to enjoy my first workout in weeks and get a little more knitting done!

[I posted a bad link the first time I did one of these - this one works!]

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I went to New York yesterday.

...to have lunch with a client. Yes, really, up and back in one day for a holiday lunch (the only thing that might sound cooler is to say I went to Paris for lunch!)


Suzanne, Adanna and me at ReSette

And after lunch, Adanna and I walked up Fifth Avenue to see the tree:
and then we walked all the way to Central Park.


It was all very fun. Except the cab rides. Which scared us to death. Makes GA400 seem like a tame road. And that's saying a lot!

Monday, December 10, 2007

curling ribbon...


whew! another page completed the day of! not to worry, I'm still me - tomorrow I'm traveling, so there will be no page posted!

Every day I wonder how I can possibly enjoy the next day as much as the ones I've already completed. And this one was no different.

I got home a little early and had a great time wrapping, curling ribbon and stamping tags. (now I just need to do the same on real presents - so far I haven't wrapped a thing!)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas


yes it is! I loved getting this prompt yesterday because I had time to head out with my camera and take pictures. Downtown Roswell was decked out in green and red. I did a little shopping and then stopped for a brownie and a glass of wine at Clay Cafe. Fun place we definitely need to visit!

More journaling today and creating two pages and I'm "caught up" with all the prompts. Of course, that will probably be it til next weekend. I have gotten into a nice daily routine of printing out the prompts early, and then making notes for journaling before my work day starts. Putting the pages together is pretty easy after that - once I have time to make a mess and pick out the paper. I am loving the Basic Grey Blitzen and Fruitcake and Anna Griffin holiday papers.

I can't believe it's December 9th already. Seems like the only photos I've taken (the cute one of me and Karen wasn't taken by me!) since Thanksgiving have been of journal pages (or prep for journal pages :-) except this one:
20071208_0013a very bad photo of the very fun time I had last night hosting our first annual supper club gift exchange. I hope Laura, Lisa and Melanie never actually see this shot!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

blog break.

...Katie told me she always assumed I was having a busy week with work when my blog postings got further and further apart. And while I am definitely working hard at the office (we are wrapping up the planning for our new fiscal year and I'm trying to be sure I leave my job in a good place before my two-week Christmas holiday), the real reason for my recent lack of blogging is the rest of my life!

I've got an important knitting project to wrap up Friday so I can block it and gift it Saturday evening. And I'm keeping up (barely) with the Christmas Journal. And watching Charlie Brown with Sara. And giving Marc feedback on his ideas to change around our basement (office, den and gym).

And meeting my sister to catch up - sadly Urban is closed, but we've decided Bistro VG can be our new place. Lovely pizza (spinach, fontina, proscuitto, caramelized onions), wine and a nice bartender to take our picture.

Monday, December 3, 2007

a little bit of pressure.

...can be very helpful. I am usually not one to work well under pressure - I like to plan, and think, and try different things and something about "pressure" precludes that. But Holly had her baby today, so I had to complete the letter (fabulous idea from Alice to make an album of all the letters to the expectant mom and dad!) now! And I am loving the results (thank goodness I have "good stash", too!)

The first part of the journaling reads "So many things change when you become a mom...your sleep, your priorities, your free time! Your friends understand that. And the good ones support you - with advice (only when asked!), an ear to listen, encouragement and understanding, sharing the bad times and celebrating the good...the same way they did before you became a mom...good friends might be the only thing that doesn't change!"

I'm really excited about having a baby next door. Holly's going to be a wonderful mom and I'm looking forward to getting to know baby Brooke.

...now must get knitting - booties promised, too.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

catching up.

...what a difference 40 hours can make! From Friday night to Sunday morning, I managed to get caught up on much of my to-do list - including a car wash - photo to the left is me yesterday at Sky :-) and some knitting.

And Journal Your Christmas started (the button in the side-bar links to the flickr photo group), and I'm loving it! I got the words written down yesterday for prompt #1 (I declare) and a good idea about the layout, but didn't have time til this morning to put the page together.
i declare...my intention to write. to create. to try something new. to celebrate the joy and blessings of the holiday season. every day.

Prompt #2 arrived today - something about the weather. and I had a lot of fun cutting paper snowflakes. learned that real snowflakes are 6-sided, not 8 (or 4). if you fold the paper into sixths, the results are so much prettier!


Unfortunately I don't think today's approach (3+ hours all over the kitchen table) is going to be a good long-term plan for this project! have to figure out getting it done faster, with a lot less mess. or maybe not...

Friday, November 30, 2007

friday fill-in.

1. When my blog is broken, I might not notice for a days, or if I did notice, would probably take it as a sign I needed a blogging break.
2. I saw the most amazing Julia Roberts-crazy person video on the Today Show this morning! (and so much less enjoyable than the awesome sunrise I saw on Tuesday's drive into work or the happy faces at Starbucks yesterday)
3. Enchanted, August Rush and Love in the Time of Cholera is/are (sorry I couldn't pick just one) the new movies I'm most looking forward to seeing.
4. Work: Necessary and often enjoyable. And I'm lucky that most days I look forward to it!
5. Of all the new tv shows, I enjoy Gossip Girl the most. (not because I've actually seen it, but listening to Sara watch it is a real trip!)
6. If only I'd managed to organize my holiday scrapbook stuff so I was really ready for the first prompt of this very cool project...tomorrow!.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to making a few lists so I know just how far behind I really am, tomorrow my plans include coffee with Katie, Jo, and football with the Bauers and Sunday, I want to get inspired for some holiday stamping projects with Sharon!

thanks to Mary Lynn for sharing this fun site!

blessings.

...Lydia's been doing it for a while and I'm finally catching on, I guess. Stopping to really appreciate the seemingly "ordinary" bits and pieces that make up your life. Saw this and this, and then heard this story on the way to work yesterday. And when things come in threes like that, I try to pay attention! So I'm going to be conscious about saying thank you more.

From yesterday:
♥Marc called me at work - he was very excited about a lunch he'd had with a business contact (this one counts for two - love getting a call from Marc and love that he had something to be excited about)
♥Gave three performance reviews and I think they went well
♥Sitting at Hair Elite - which means no more gray hair and an hour of knitting time
♥Lange Winery called to say they're shipping my holiday wine on Monday

Saturday, November 24, 2007

getting into the season.

...with holiday decorating, a bit of baking and the Johnny Mathis concert.
the "big" tree - our first live one. because the lights on the artificial one decided not to work this year. love how it's already spreading a lovely fresh greenery smell in the house

making ornaments for our version of ali's beautiful idea on our "little" tree

the "little" tree all decorated

yummy cranberry bread, freshly baked by sara

pre-concert dinner at baraonda (of course!), mary, katie, polly

karen and mary

at the concert, karen, polly, roy

the concert stage (no flash :-)


so glad the trees are up, a few decorations are out, favorite holiday songs loaded to my ipod. looking forward to enjoying all of that, and the time with my family. (go jackets!)

Friday, November 23, 2007

plenty to be thankful for.

...lunch out with my parents, twice in three days (first at Pastis and then at Bistro VG, with Sara)
...cooking with Sara, unbelieveable how much faster Thanksgiving comes together with two cooks, especially one who loves to make all the desserts
...making the biggest mess, and then cleaning it up, and not feeling at all guilty about doing no more dishes all day.
...both daughters home for dinner.
...two beautiful, smiling faces I don't get to see nearly as often as I'd like (Daddy and Katie).
...and so many other things - Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2007

family brunch.

...our second annual brunch - the sunday before thanksgiving. first opportunity for everyone to see Polly & Roy, who arrived on friday, and are spending the week at karen's.

lots of yummy food. laughter. talking. catching up. browsing new books and yarn. and picture taking (not that you can tell from what's posted here!)

sara and I opened more birthday gifts. this one was a huge hit with sara (and she says to tell katie, no, she can't borrow them!)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

a(nother) perfect day.

Secret of the Stole - hint #5 (and 2 rows of #6) finished! I actually finished on Tuesday, but didn't have a photo op til yesterday.

Sara and I went to MAC at Nordstrom for makeovers. What fun! And I love that Sara loves her new look. We both purchased a few new products...hoping we can recreate that makeup artist magic on our own. Perimeter Mall is all decked out for Christmas. Glad I'm embracing the season, otherwise I might be a little weirded out to have a decorated tree in my birthday photo :-)

Then brunch at Murphys. Definitely our new favorite spot (along with about what seemed like half of Atlanta - the place was packed - even at 2 pm).

And Knitch - the 3rd stop on the Shop Hop tour (I also had a very fun time at Cast on Cottage earlier in the week, but no pictures!) Found a gorgeous deep purple to make the Logan River wrap. And as we were leaving, I told Sara that I was hoping all the time she was spending in yarn stores might rub off. And she said maybe I could teach her to knit tonight. But we didn't buy you any yarn... So we had an excuse to visit a 4th stop on the tour.

Why Not Knit. Located in Buckhead right next door to Marc's office. Sara found a beautiful, soft gray alpaca to make a modified version of the garter rib scarf from Jo Sharp's knit 3. She caught on fast (she says I showed her knitting a few years ago - funny, not sure I remember, but good that she does) and finished her swatch, then got a first inch of the real scarf done. She said that was her birthday present to me. I told her I thought it made a better present for herself. Wonder if it will stick this time?!

So I ended up with 4 stamps (really 3 stamps and some initials) on my passport - one more than I planned. And I had a ball visiting all the shops. I hope this becomes an annual event.
Then Marc made a yummy dinner, and dessert. Perfectly lovely. And thank you to everyone for birthday wishes - cards, phone calls, even text messages. A very happy birthday.