I've tried to be a veeeeeeery good girl this year. I can explain...
I didn't mean to antagonize the cats. It just happened. When Turco sits on the back of the couch and swats at me as I walk by it's hard to ignore him. When I'm laying down in the kitchen and he walks by and yowls, I can't help but get up to find out what he's doing. (I mean...someone's got to check on the poor old man.)
I really didn't mean to jump on anyone, either. How's a girl supposed to give a proper hello if she can't see a person's eyes? I refuse to sniff "there" as my greeting.
I tried so hard not to beg at the table. Maman's cooking is just so amazing. It would be rude to not ask for a taste just to confirm what we all already knew.
I know I wasn't supposed to get in the pool this summer. Technically, it was just the first step, which doesn't really constitute "the pool". It was soooooo hot. I'm sure you'll let this one slide.
I can't help but want to sit on the couch with Papa. He gives such amazing belly rubs - and I'd hate to inconvenience him by making him bend down to do it. It's just better for both of us if I'm up there with him.
I know the gossiping wasn't my finest move this year. If the fences weren't in the way we could share news in a normal "six inch sharing" voice. It's hard to adjust your volume when you don't even know if the neighbors are there and listening. I just wanted to make sure the had the latest news about the comings and goings of the neighborhood.
I'd appreciate it if you could please focus on all the good I did this year... because I really did try to be the very best dog I could be.
I love Christmas decorations as much as the next girl, but does anyone else think its a little weird we bring a tree, into the house, for a month (or more) and hang things from it?
I'm just sayin'.
Regardless of my tree-in-the-house stance, I do love the sentiment and memories that go along with ornaments. The Casa's tree is not particularly full of sentiment. There are a few meaningful ornaments but I went for funk and color over memory and meaning.
Jojo's tree, however, has style, grace and overflows with memories.
Jojo's tree has evolved over the years through careful editing. The first Christmas Jojo and GWR were married, Santa (a friend in the A&M horticulture dept.) left them a tree outside of their home in Bryan, Tx. They made all of their ornaments. The little pink heart was one of many hand sewn by Jojo and GWR stuffed them. The antique teal and silver bauble belonged to Jojo's grandmother.
The red and silver antique was also Jojo's grandmother's and the snowflake repeats itself several times on the trees' limbs. I can't remember if GAR or I made the clothes pin angel - but she's better for wear and refuses to give up her spot on a branch.
One year, over Christmas break, Jojo, GAR and I glittered a dozen or so clear glass balls with gold glitter. I think they look better and better every year. They have a unique patina now and GAR and I always laugh that Jojo still puts them on the tree. The ballet dancer has a twin who lives in my tree now. Those were my favorite ornaments to put on the tree growing up. Glitter, tulle, silver pointe shoes and red lips... was it any wonder why!?
Doesn't everyone have an egg carton "bell" on their tree? I made this one in preschool and loved it so much I made it with my kiddos when I taught preschool. That amazing pressed paper starfish came from our last big summer family vacay before I headed off to college; it was from the gift shop at the Seward, Alaska SeaLife Recovery Center. That brings back memories of one of the MOST amazing family trips ever (moose and whales and bears, oh my)! I think the precious cotton boll (yes, boll...not ball...those are the actual little leafy things that the cotton pops out of) angel came from Pioneer Farm where Jojo docented when we were little. It was a living, working, pioneer farming museum in Austin and the docents and staff made things for the gift shop from the fruits of the farm. I can't remember where the Santa came from but I love his sweet face. (Jojo? Where did Santa come from?) Santa was given to Jojo by Madge, her nursery school teacher at Kelly Air Force Base when she was three. (Where do you think I learned how to be teacher's pet?) Does that make it vintage? Sorry Jojo.
Despite the weirdness of the tradition, I do love ornament memories and looking at people's trees. They tell such a personal and rich story - and I love listening with my eyes.
There are so many parts of the Christmas season that I love and look forward to... the cards in the mail, my silver christmas tree, school vacation... the list goes on and on. One of my most favorite things is my small (but growing) collection of nativity scenes.
My grandmother, BJR, collected nativities from around the world and they were a frequent gift from friends who knew her well. I would estimate that she had at least 30 different sets - from hand carved, to crystal, from every corner of the earth. She had most of them out year round in different hutches and cabinets but a few only came out at Christmas.
When she passed away, my grandfather, CFR, invited me over one day to pick a few that could come to my house. I have one that stays out year round in my kitchen. Its from Mexico and is all carved from one piece of wood that was painted in the best colors. It's only about 4 inches by four inches and it sits on a shelf in the kitchen.
Although I don't display them in the most traditional sense, I love each of these for different reasons.
(Impatience to photograph & blog these = grainy pictures)
Nestled in a forrest of red and green Christmas trees, this set looks hand made. It's not perfect and the facial features are painted on. I think these Wise Men are my favorite.
The detail on the clothing of this set is beautiful. It's gold and ivory and I like to imagine the artisan who painted these had a very distinct image of what each person's robes should look like. (Yes, I know it was probably assembly line style...)
Around the base of the trees and around the scene are red bead garland, red stars, red and lime beaded balls, and red ornaments. This year I added a tiny strand of self timing battery operated LED lights that have the warmest glow when the dining room is dark.
This set is on the dresser in my entry. It also sits under a tree... but this tree is from my other grandmother, MER. It's another of my favorite Christmas-y things to get out every year!
I love the retro tree with the rustic nativity scene.
These animals are hands down my favorite. They are all so sweet looking!
All three of the nativity scenes I brought into my home are so very different. I appreciate that the story can be told and interpreted so differently but still maintain its meaning.
This simple, beautiful set is my hands down favorite. Just three pieces - the three most important. This set is on my coffee table ... and I'm noticing a trend - it's also with a tree!
I love the regal, important posture of the grouping and how Mary and Joseph are bent towards their son. I think that most new parents feel that way about their brand new baby... and how could they have been any different in that sense?
I hope to add to my collection over the years - but none will ever be quite as special as these three sets. Christmas is such a great time to build and cherish memories - and these nativity scenes evoke such wonderful memories of my grandmother for me. How could they not be one of my favorite Christmas things?
My sweet friend JSP over at the Parkers is waiting on her baby Gavin to come home to his forever family from Korea. MSS and I hosted a brunch shower to help get him a few goodies before he comes home (hopefully at the end of winter or early spring!).
First the excitement of finding out that bebe g is on the way...
Then the relief of making it through the first trimester and announcing our good news to everyone...
Now finally knowing that SHE will be our DAUGHTER!
Of course we had to immediately go get some girl goodies. FMG isn't really sad. Really.
I know she isn't here yet but since this is her first Christmas I wanted her to have at least a stocking on the mantle!
The ultrasound technician was absolutely certain that she is indeed a she and you better believe the pink and sparkly have already exploded in our house - and at school! My sweet friends at school showered me with pink and girly outfits and fun!
...And to soothe FMG's spirits, I got her some Dallas Star's onesies at her first hockey game last weekend. If those are the only things her daddy dresses her in... well, I'm just fine with that! :)
Thank you for all the kind words and notes that were left on facebook and in emails. We can't wait to meet here, either!