The Most Wonderful Time

Guess who had three cups of coffee tonight at the party? This girl.

The big man and the mini-men are a-bed. The big man finished up his ER rotation tonight, and the mini-men partied hard. The miniest (am I losing you?) napped mid-party, but Kingston…well, the guy knows how to socialize. Hanging with the kids freaked him out so he stayed up with the adults, flirting, chatting, drinking eggnog. At the end of the night he was happily camped out on the sofa between two ladies, having a blast. Hoo boy.

This is our first Christmas here at the new place. Have to admit, I wasn’t too fond of the idea of decorating, since I’m still just decorating the house for, you know, the other 11 months of the year. Turns out this house looks quite charming with her hypothetical halls bedecked.

It’s so interesting seeing people’s trees on my newsfeed. Christmas trees are like handwriting:  personal, tell-tale. My tree has colored lights, because that’s what I grew up with and it just seems more warm and familial. Here’s some snaps of my decor this year. Enjoy the dying days of Christmas beauty before the LED craze brings the entire country down… the visual equivalent of “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.”

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Admired my friend’s little birds, so she gave me one. 🙂

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The strand of stars and the little ornaments are from Germany. My Mother In Law just brought them.

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The bark reindeer and candle, also gifts from Germany. The white deer head from my friend.

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And angel from Kenya

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This ceramic tree is from my Grandma. She loved Christmas. I love having a piece of her Christmas in mine now.

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“Come Adore”

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How awesome are these guys? From the same friend mentioned above. 🙂 Where would my Christmas be without her? 🙂 The mushroom is from Ikea.

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The mantel. Stockings hand-knit by an aunt. Pictures of my babes at Christmas-time. Nativity from-guess?? My Christmas-loving friend.

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the Treeeeee!

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A Monster Birthday Party for a Wildman

I wish I had one of those houses where people could wander in at any moment. Instead, my house regularly looks like the floor of the Duggar family van after an extended road trip.

The most obvious solution to housekeeping woes is: invite guests. The social pressure to pretend you don’t get down to using serving spoons for the sugar bowl, or that you actually put dirty diapers in the trashcan is immense.

We had two rounds of guest, back to back. The first, friends, who we dragged out in the bitter cold to go hiking. Then, my Mother-in-law from Germany, who wanted to experience an American Thanksgiving. Bingo. Enter my family, who’s girth enables an excessive amount of holiday chaos. So we watched The Macy Parade, and squeezed into a waaay too small of house for 31 warm bodies and about as many dishes. On Friday, we went Black Friday Shopping–to Old Navy, that was sporting half-off everything. We got stuck in a traditionally-appropriate-Black-Friday-length-line next to a Chatty Cathy who, about six-months before, got inspired to do a home-dye-job, then immediately gave up the trend. Saturday, was party-day, and the pressure was on. My mother-in-law–bless her!–was such help. She cooked up the hamburger for me, stuffed candy into Crochet’d monsters and put stickers on tables. (Nothing says “Welcome to America” quite like cooking 10 pounds of sloppy joe meat.)

Sunday, we drove back up to Virginia, and Monday went to our favorite Christmas tree farm, Lowe’s. Tuesday, we drove down to Charlotte, where my Mother-in-law flew away home, to content herself with experiencing future American Holidays via The Family Stone and Miracle on 34th Street.

The big sign is for a future quilt--each invite included a  quilt square for the guests to contribute.

The big sign is for a future quilt–each invite included a quilt square for the guests to contribute.

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The culmination of 12 months of “chalkboard updates.”

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Monster Cake

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Smash cake. Hypothetically, as it never got smashed.

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My mother crochet’d these! They are filled with candy.

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The Chalkboard Progression

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These were supposed to have Twizzlers out the top. Guess who didn’t do a trial-run first. The Twizzlers were too short!

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You can only plan so much about a party…:)

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Quilt squares

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Quilt squares

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what I’ve said before…