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The Misadventures of Mrs. B

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The Misadventures of Mrs. B: 2009-12-20

Cook. Writer. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Klutz.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Our tree and some decor - notice the candles in the fireplace

Good morning, friends, and happy day after Christmas!

Did everyone get what they wanted from Santa? I sure did! This was a great Christmas across the board.  Family was great, food was great, gifts were so wonderful and deeply appreciated.

Here are just a couple of my favorite gifts this Christmas:

1.  The shiny pink netbook on which I'm am typing this entry

Yes, I have a shiny pink netbook! I am so happy with this - I have been eyeing them up for months and months now but rarely if ever spend the money on myself.  So my wonderful husband bought one for me.  And he was tricky about it.  The night he brought it up from the car, he spent ages wrapping it up in the back room.  I found myself wondering just what in the world he was taking so long over.  Finally he brought out a beautifully wrapped, HUGE box and laid it under the tree.  Well, I was perplexed.  The next day he had to work but I was off.  So when he left for work I carefully lifted the box just to get an idea of the weight.  It was super heavy! So that was a real head scratcher.  I asked him about it when he got home and he laughed at me for actually lifting it up.  Then I asked him if he was just playing with me and making the box heavier than it needed to be.  At the time I wasn't quite sure why that was so amusing, but I figured it out when it came time to open my gift.

We exchange presents on Christmas Eve - it's just our tradition from back when we spent Christmas day apart.  So when the moment came, he lifted up the box and put it in my lap.  I opened it.  Inside was...a smaller, wrapped box, surrounded by packing peanuts.  I laughed.  And then Rob dug his hands into the peanuts and revealed...the huge rocks he had glued to the bottom of the big box! I guess when you work at a quarry those things are easier to come by.  I just about died laughing.  Yep, he got me.  Then I opened the smaller reveal an even smaller box.  Finally I got to the netbook and squealed and bounced up and down in my seat.  What a great and thoughtful gift, right down to the packaging! That's why I love the man.

Now I can work on the train without the battery dying in 10 minutes.  I'm so excited!

The gift in question - beautifully wrapped, I might add.

2. A lovely bracelet

...and the earrings which the lady at the store talked Rob into getting to go with it! I love that lady.  I hope to meet her and thank her in person.  I should call her whenever I think he might be headed her way, so we can plan in advance.

3. Mastering the Art of French Cooking

This was another one of those "bouncing up and down in my seat and squealing" gifts, which came from my family.  I have been wanting that cookbook for ages now.  I have read "Julie and Julia" but have not seen the movie.  Months ago, Jen Pez Sanford and I talked about having a Julie and Julia party where we watch the movie and eat delicious things from the cookbook.  From that moment on I have been desperately wanting to get my hands on the original cookbook.  And now I have it! I managed to read several of the introductory pages last night and have already learned things that made me go "Ooooooohhhhhh riiiiiiiiight!" in revelation.

4. Gift cards

I love gift cards.  We got many of them.  I already had a few laying in my drawer as well which I plan to add to what we were given yesterday.  Today we are going to head out for some retail therapy.  We could use it.  We also got a few cards to restaurants which really come in handy for a night out or even for paying for dinner downtown when we visit Rob's dad.  Either way, they're a blessing!

5. Glasses

Okay, this wasn't a gift from anyone but me.  I finally broke down and got my eyes checked out on Christmas Eve and got a pair of glasses (when I told Rob on Tuesday that I wanted to get it done he insisted that we go as soon as possible - I guess to prevent me from changing my mind!).  It's a fairly mild prescription but OH MY GOD the difference it makes! I feel like my entire life has gone HD.  I can see details of things that I didn't realize I wasn't seeing until I put the glasses on.  I don't have to squint any more.  Hopefully I won't be getting headaches all the time! I mean, within an hour of crocheting my head would be throbbing, not to mention after a long day of staring at tiny words on a screen.  I'm so thrilled with them! And they're pretty cute, if I do say so myself.

This was a great, great Christmas and as we headed home I felt very full in my heart.  Full of love and appreciation and thanks for everything that is good in my life.  Grateful for the man driving the car, with whom I know I can get through anything, who helped me cook pierogi in my parents' bustling kitchen last night (he doesn't understand how awesome it was that he did that!).  Grateful for the slow but continuing recovery of his dad.  Grateful for the love of my parents and siblings and aunts and uncles and cousins.  And just happy that I have such a wonderful group of people to call family.

Tree at Mom and Dad's

So how was everyone else's Christmas?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas (happy now?*)

My favorite Christmas things, in no particular order:
1. The Christmas Song (Nat King Cole version)

The opening of this song affects me like no other piece of music, ever. As soon as the first two notes sound, my breath catches in my throat. I just love it. It says "Christmas" to me in a way nothing else can. It's just not the season til I hear this song, and even in the middle of June I can start it up and that opening calms whatever's going on inside. The entire album is a classic for me, but this song is special.
Odds that this is on repeat on my iPod right now: Very, very good

2. "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown"

There's nothing I can say about this other than it's something I look forward to as soon as December rolls around. I have to say, and I don't know if anyone else noticed this, but there were a couple of things that were cut out of this year's broadcast. I was heartily disappointed by that. You can't cut a classic!
Favorite part: Linus's explanation of what Christmas is all about

3. Cookies

Cookies, cookies, cookies. Every year I plan what to make. Every year I decide I'm going to try to be different and get outside my comfort zone. Every year I make almost the same cookies. Why? Because it's what I know works. Sometimes you just need to go with what works. Too much in life is up to chance, after all. Cookies shouldn't be one of those things.
Personal favorite: Peanut butter cup

4. Christmas movies

Who doesn't like Christmas movies?

And it's funny, when you think about it - "It's a Wonderful Life" isn't really a Christmas movie. It just happens to feature Christmas in the final 1/3 of the movie. But it's my favorite. The movie all others strive to live up to. It's also a very long movie and I need to put it on early in the evening if I'm going to make it all the way through.

Likelihood of me crying at the end of "It's a Wonderful Life": Extremely high

5. Christmas decorations

In mentioning this, I am specifically referring to two things: Christmas trees and outdoor d├ęcor.
You can be the least creative person on your block but when it comes down to it, Christmas time is an opportunity to express your inner artistic genius. Or show off. Or both!
I love going down the street and just looking around at what people decided would be the best way to show their Christmas spirit. Or show off. Or both.
Bonus points if: Your Christmas tree is visible through your front window - I love that!!

6. Cooking
But I can (and do) cook any day of the year. Moving on...

7. Eating
And having an excuse to do so.

8. Presents (giving AND receiving)

I mean, seriously, of course presents are awesome. Yes, being with family and friends is really what it's all about. But presents are cool also.

Anyway, those are just a few of the things I love about the season.  I have a bunch of pics on my phone that I hope to upload and feature in this know, before Christmas is over...

* You know who you are!