Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Day After Christmas!

Whew! Another holiday on the record books! Another holiday season spent bustling around trying to get everything accomplished that I wanted, (I never do, I always keep adding to the list) all the shopping done, gifts made, etc... This year was particularily stresssful, and I don't really know why. It could be the additional baby boy's birthday is just before Christmas, the day after his sister's. It could be all the sewing I have done for presents this year, (pictures to come later) okay, probably not that, I DO enjoy my sewing. Maybe it's the remodel, and the fact that the house is never really clean, always a bit dusty, laundry always in need of washing.

Maybe I'm just getting older and need to put limits on myself. Nah! Can't be that. ;0) What I do know is that I did have an epiphany the other night. There was quite a lot of snow falling throughout the day, into the evening. I was trying to finish those last errands before the holiday. It was very slippery driving around, and my children were being good sports of it all. (Santa's watching after all) We have four-wheel drive, and it was still treacherous out, yet nothing was going to prevent me from getting these things done. As we went from store to store, the roads got worse and worse. We literally slid into our parking spot at the grocery store. We completed our shopping, and one of my daughters split the bag on the way to the truck. I was NOT happy. Here it is just before Christmas, the kids have been troopers through it all, and I get upset over a split bag. As the tears fill her eyes, they also fill mine. On the way home it is dark, and the snow in the streetlights is falling ever so gently. In front of my headlights however, the snowflakes are falling madly, crazily to the pavement to get crushed by me. I realized that I was one of those snowflakes, rushing, falling, blowing, crashing to the ground. At what point was I going to stop and be appreciative of what this season has to offer?

Maybe next year I will be a snowflake that falls ever so gently into the season. It's something for me to work on this coming year. Be deliberate in my actions, appreciate the moments as they happen, breathe. My family spoiled me again this year with thoughful presents, and I am truly blessed.

I hope everyone had a magical holiday, a very Merry Christmas. Today is my official wear pajamas all day, watch movies and gorge on leftover candy. (I do love my candy.) I'll also be reflecting on the joys of this last year, while enjoying peppermint bark. :0)


Monday, December 13, 2010

A first birthday cake for Phoenix!

I would love to say that this cake took a short amount of time, and that I took pictures of every step along the way, but alas, I did not. I did however, take a few pictures, and enjoy the whole process with my friend and former bakery partner, Belle. I had no distinct vision, all I knew was that Phoenix needed a robot cake. (I'm SURE he'll remember it always.) (Mostly because it is on video.  :) Here are a few pictures...

This is the body of the robot, prior to painting it with an edible silver. I thought the paint drips looked like mercury.

Wrapping the supports with red fondant so the head looks like it's on springs...

Belle working on the back of the robot, when done this appeared like you saw the inner working gears of the robot...

I worked on the head of the robot, I wanted him animated, as if to say "Hey Phoenix, happy 1st birthday!!"

Additional cupcakes, (Extra large, of course! Who doesn't love cake?) Dreamsicle Orange, and Dark Chocolate, mmmmm. Just because I'm picky like this, the chocolate ones were on another table as they looked completely different and therefore needed to be somewhere else. Perhaps maybe I was trying to keep them for myself, perhaps not. ;0)


Ta Daaaaaa!! Cake Bot, here to wish Phoenix a Happy Birthday, and spread coconut cream cake joy!!

Mmmmmm, cake! This is definately where Phoenix takes after his mom. (People, that would be the love of the cake, not how it was eaten.) He dove into it, and discovered how sweet life is!

I do miss the baking, the friendships, and the faces of people who love what we made for them. But when I look at this picture, I know that I wouldn't get that time back with my family. This time is priceless!!
Also priceless is the knowledge of stain removal. I'll be calling my mother to inquire about removing ground in chocolate from an assortment of clothing and furniture items. ;0)


Friday, December 10, 2010

Charity

I braved the crowds at the mall today, with my father, as we do every year. We spend the day shopping (for my mother usually) and enjoying lunch, watching the people, and really, what better place to do that than the mall. We typically each spend quite a lot of money, as most do, every year. This year was a bit different, however. You see, our family adopted a new tradition. We have decided that Christmas needed to get back to what it's really all about. For us that means that we still shop for the children of the family, (because let's face it, shopping for kids is fun!!) and the adults would enjoy eachother's company, have a great dinner, and maybe watch "A Christmas Story". (or "Christmas Vacation", that's a good one too) We still drew names, and will present our person with a gift, but it will be a charitable one. For the person who drew my name, I requested that they take a name off of the "Tree of Sharing", and please that it be an elderly person who wishes for groceries or gloves and hats. For others the gift may be different, so they might purchase a gift for someone where the proceeds go to another charity. Some year I will purchase a gift where the proceeds go to the World Wildlife Fund. So you see, we still get the joy of giving, and receiving, and others less fortunate than ourselves have a brighter holiday.

My father and I each had ornaments with filled wishes to return to the tree. On Christmas day I will share with my family what we have done in our family member's names.  I implore others to the same. Giving up a present is so easy when it means someone more deserving than I can open something special (or much needed) on Christmas day.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Feeling a bit buried, not just in snow!

Wow, I can't believe it's been this long since I have blogged! I apologize, and hope to keep up a bit better in the future. We have been in the midst of a *tiny* remodel in our home the last couple of months. A bedroom that was on the main level of our home is now incorporated into the living room, courtesy of a major wall removal. Slightly messy, and I don't believe my hubby likes trying to blend drywall with lathe and plaster, but he got it done. The results are amazing! Our living and dining area is spacious, and the increase in natural light has me deliriously happy. Provided that deliriously is even a word. In addition to having more living area in general, I also now have a designated SEWING AREA!! My fabrics are arranged by weight and color, and for hoarders such as myself, it brought much joy. Everything neatly fit into my lovely mission style armoire, and my table looks more like a desk, but opens up into a big square, perfect for cutting. It is also counter height, which I love, since I have an odd habit of standing while I sew. Happiness.

With the joy of having my own area, comes the pain (in the neck, for hubby anyway) of creating a new bedroom for the daughter who was so unceremoniously kicked out of her previous one. She loves her new room, so now we have three bedrooms, and one bath. We have three children. One teenager, one preteen, and an infant almost toddler. (he'll actually be one in two more days!) If you're doing the math, I'll answer your next series of questions. Yes, we are shy one bedroom, and frankly sharing a bathroom with either of the girls is a challenge, so yes, we are shy a bathroom as well. Yes, one of the children shares a room with someone else. I'm not complaining at all here, but if you haven't guessed, my husband and I haven't had a full night's sleep in a year. The baby has got to go. In his own bedroom, that is! So, we about to embark on another not so tiny remodel. This time we are hiring some top-notch professionals to get the job done in a semi speedy manner.

Which brings me full circle as to why I haven't been blogging lately. (I am really getting the hang of writing I'd say) We have been shuffling furniture and *stuff* around the house. I now have more items in storage than I do in my home. Heck, by the time I see them again they will all be brand-new! I do miss my pictures and scrapbooks, and other items that I'm sure I miss even though I have long forgotten about them.

I will be posting pictures soon of our efforts, and I'll be sewing a lot for Christmas, soooooo.... a better blogger I shall be!!

Enjoy the day,
Stefanie


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