Monday, December 19, 2005

The things that make me smile

I cannot begin to tell you the sense of calm and relief I feel this morning. All the pressure and chaos of the last few weeks is gone and not only is my house in order, my heart is full of peace and rest. Plus, I got on the scale this morning for the first time since we started our month-long take-out extravaganza (otherwise known as the kitchen remodel.) I fully expected to be a good 10 to 15 pounds heavier than usual and was gearing up to begin the rigorous work of extreme self-discipline and denial. And guess what? I lost 5 pounds. Hmm. Bonus!

Our extended family Christmas celebration was lovely. Everyone arrived in one piece (and almost everyone has made it safely back to their homes... one brother still has a short trip this morning to finish their trip. They all hit freezing rain and snow on their homeward journeys.)

I cannot believe how big all the cousins are getting - there are several young men and women who are very close to adulthood... guess that makes us pretty old too. We had lots of food, laughter, some sledding and cookie decorating and tons of pictures taken, including the requisite family picture. All good stuff. Stuff that makes me extremely grateful for my family.

I've got lots of pictures I want to share so I think I'll just stop typing and start uploading. Blogger and I haven't been getting along when it comes to adding images - last night posting the kitchen pictures just about pushed me over the edge.

Here's to Christmas, family, decorations and traditions.


  1. Now look at all that goodness happening in your world! What a way to ring this blessed holiday! You go girl! Major goodness!

    Me want some of those cookies:) Oh, and I will send you my "imnotsomuchbetty" recipe for that chocolate candy cane cake too... it is so EASY!

  2. Lorraine8:37 PM

    Thanks for a warm home and loving atmosphere. Your house looked beautiful and festive, the food was great and I appreciate your hospitality as usual. Yes, the drive home, all nine hours of it, was stinky but in some ways an adventure the kids will not forget. Riley already looks back on it with fondness . . . saying something today about the drive home being awesome. The fact that he slept through several hours of it has left his mind sadly misinformed!

    Regarding your coat in the photo, let me just say again how much I adore that coat or how much I adore YOU in that coat or how much I adore the fact that you adore me for adoring you in that coat.

    Did I mention that I adore your fridge??

  3. Unheard of! You lost 5 lbs. during that ordeal? You go girlfriend! That is way cool.

    I snorted when I looked at the family photo - there's Asia holding Gracie, just like she's belonged with you forever. I'm so glad that she was included in the picture (next year she will be too heavy to hold, so it's a good thing you did it this year).

    And I'm very happy to hear that you are feeling peace and finding time to relax. BONUS gift after such a chaotic month.

    In case I don't have a chance to stop by your blog before I leave, here's sending you happy holiday wishes and wishing you a very merry Christmas. (although I hope to stop by one last time before heading out to the PNW on Wednesday).

    Cathy, I thank you for the gift of friendship. I count you among my biggest blessings of the year 2005.

  4. Cath,
    It did seem like a very special year. We are together every year but for some reason this one just seemed especially fun..
    Maybe the snow added some festivity but more so just all of
    us being there together. Just thinking it will be harder and harder to get us all together with the grandchildren beginning to become adults. These next years will be very special.
    Thanks for being such a gracious hostess and pulling everything together so well considering the past month. Your house looked like it had been ready for a month (Except maybe your studio :)
    Love you !
    Did you check out Ken's video? It was great.

  5. Tawnya - I can't wait to get your recipe - that cake looks SO yummy! And as for the cookies, they aren't really works of art, but they are delicious. TONS of butter in those babies!

    Lorraine - I adore anyone who adores anyone in a fabulous green coat.

    Kelly - Merry Christmas to you too, friend. I hope your trip is blessed with wonderful family moments and lots of laughter.

    Mom - It is strange to think how scattered we could become over the next few years... I treasure whatever time we can be together.

  6. Be sure to check out the video highlights of the weekend at

  7. Lorraine10:21 AM

    Ken, That video was incredible! I was so impressed. Thanks for doing it.

  8. Oh yeah, I think we stole your ice scraper too! Thanks again for the great weekend. We were thinking about the next time we rotate back to your houe and realizing that some of our kids will truly be grownups with several of them having graduated from high school already. Makes you think!


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