Friday, December 31, 2010

dec. 31-time together.

i had not intended to do the entire month of december, and the last entry was going to be our lunch on dec. 26-which (major bummmer) was cancelled due to the weather.  i can't think if a better substitute entry than this one. am looking forward to getting better at digital scrapbooking, and will have to make sure i limit myself when it comes to downloads and time spent "playing", i'm hoping my blogger friends will keep me posted on freebies they come across to add to my collection. happy new year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

becoming a mary.

This posting will make sense so bear with me.  First off, the painting (photo credit: here) by velazquez is one of my absolute favorites. I did a paper on this for an art history class, and I had the privilege of seeing it in person at an exhibit a couple years ago at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston-i was giddy with delight. Discussions about this work include the idea of a picture within a picture- modern subjects that have the picture hanging in their home, or is the artist depicting the story in real-time?  Either way I love the story it tells, and the subjects of the painting are Mary and Martha and the visit Jesus made to their house-(Luke 10:38-42).  I’ve always seen myself as a Martha-a doer, and this is something I’ve wrestled with recently as an Elder in our church, and specifically when I’ve stepped into the role of Chairman for our ministry.  While I believe one of my spiritual gifts for service is administration/organizing, etc. what I’ve become both administrator AND the volunteer-gets a bit old after a while.  I also feel that if I put a volunteer need in the bulletin and newsletter, I shouldn’t have to issue a personal invitation as well.  Some may be okay with that, but not me-a bit of a rant, but necessary.  Fortunately there will be a new chairman in March, and I’ve decided that once my term as Elder is over, I’ll be stepping away from any and all leadership roles until Andrew is in college.  I have found some of the things I’ve become involved in have distracted me from worship and spiritual growth.  I’m looking for other ways to serve my church and community and I don’t want to feel guilty about saying “no”.  When Mary suggested doing a Bible study together in 2011, the timing couldn’t be more perfect.  Then suddenly it came to me this morning while I was drying my hair-i’m very serious about this, that I’m being called to be more of a Mary and less of a Martha. God does have an interesting way of speaking to us, and I love having affirmation that I’m heading in the right direction.   The study (and the cleaner plate) is exactly what I need, and I think we’re going to learn a lot from each other.   I also think that God puts people in your life at certain times because we’re not supposed to struggle through life alone.  I feel like a burden has been lifted, and I’m confident that on my road to becoming a Mary- my Mary will be there to share the journey (and continue to let me copy a few things from her too!)-am really looking forward to what 2011 has in store for me.

Monday, December 27, 2010

monday moment.

mary's always one to encourage and inspire, so for 2011 i'm hoping to be more consistent with blogging and more inspired by what's around me. so i'll join mary and beth with 10 for tuesday and i'll see how wordless wednesday works for me (sorry, no links-not working for some reason) . those ideas have lead to one of my own-here's  "monday moment". have enjoyed watching the birds this morning, saw an unusual one that i think was a woodpecker, along with some beautiful blue jays. they "ran" when i got my camera, but a few hung around below the feeder-they're regulars or they just like having their photo taken!. i love that our couch faces this window that faces the backyard where we have the feeder, i so enjoy watching the birds not only for their beauty, but it also reminds me how God takes care of  His creation- meeting our needs and loving us-even i hope to continue to be amazed-

Saturday, December 25, 2010

dec. 25.from our house to yours

dec. 24-a few of my favorite things.

another attempt at layering with photoshop. my invest in some digital downloads

Thursday, December 23, 2010

dec. 23. lollygagging and a random photo.

i love the term "lollygagging", i heard it often enough when i was a kid, but find it even funnier that pj text'd me that this was the reason why he missed the bus several weeks ago. the kid's hilarious. anyway, my boss very generously let us leave the office at noon today, i knew this the day before, so i had already begun strategizing how i was going to use the time. i "lollygaged with lunch" thanks to a groupon i walked to piola-it was very good-salad caprese and chicken and mushroom pizza with very thin crust-tiramisu to bring home for the boys (along with the rest of the leftovers!)-then i walked back to my office to change for my normal lunch time walk the weather, while chilly was beautiful-blue skies and sunshine. the really great thing about this is i didn't have to rush back and change, in fact, when i was done, i stayed in my comfy yoga pants and jacket to do the rest of the errands for the day which included picking up a book for pj for next semester-how to read literature like a professor-seriously! it was really awesome getting to lollygag for a few hours.  now onto the random photo. since i've been a bit slack on the last 2 days, i needed to make a better effort. on yesterday's walk i saw lots of folks going to the fox for the afternoon matinee of the nutcracker. i absolutely LOVE seeing the nutcracker at the fox, so my plan was to get a photo of the theatre goers, but never thought i see such an adorable sight! a dad and 3 girls dressed alike off to see one of the most spectacular ballets. for many folks this is a holiday tradition, i've been a couple times for christmas and hope to go next year. now for the rest of the evening and until about 3:00 tomorrow afternoon, i plan to do a bit more lollygagging (and knitting!). can't believe tomorrow's christmas eve!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

dec 21 & 22. just routine.

no photos for these 2 days, didn't see much that was new or christmas-y. as i've mentioned interior shots are pretty worthless once i get home from work.  the last couple days i've had to run errands after work making it a bit later than usual in attempting to do any photography. as of now, i've gotten caught up with my normal shopping, house cleaning, food shopping, the last of the christmas cards, and yes, christmas shopping. work has been the typical stuff, just fewer people around. i think i'm officially ready for christmas. hopefully over the next 3 days i'll have something to share, ideas are in my head, just need to photograph them. i'm including our girls italian feast on the 26th as part of my dec daily project as that'll be the last holiday celebration-which i'm sooo looking forward to BTW. not much by way of knitting, but i have made some progress on que sera, and i finished my boss' reversible ga tech-virginia tech quilt and vt table runner.  it was well received and i'm very glad to know that it'll be appreciated.  hope everyone who is well on their way to finishing up shopping and celebrations.

Monday, December 20, 2010

dec. 20.doing the math

those who know and love me, know i REALLY stink at math. when i finished reading today's devotion from walking through the word i couldn't help but notice the day # and the # of remaining days.  11 days til the end of 2010, seriously? where has this year gone? looking back i've really done a lot, and i look forward to learning and doing more in 2011. i've met some new friends, grown closer to old ones, been to new cities, tried new things, and have realized how grown up my two boys have gotten. this reminds me to live for the moments-even the little ones. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

dec. 19. passing along.

we received some new christmas decorations from my mother in law this year. one box said "very fragile and 1930's mercury glass reindeer", he was wrapped in several layers of tissue paper another box and more cushioning. i was a bit hesitant when i saw the wording and all the packing as i can be a bit of a klutz at times.  i should have taken a photo of all the packing, may help to remember how to repack!  inside was the cutest, tiniest reindeer i've ever seen. i'm going to have to get the whole story from polly, but this was something that steve said he grew up with, and i think it's a wonderful addition to our holiday decor. i've put him in a glass jar with some batting to keep him safe, and just recently added the bow to dress it up a bit.

isn't he cute.  the close up picture came out the best. may have to invest in a better camera as it is so difficult getting good interior shots in our house without using the flash, then the photos are just-yeh.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

dec. 18-exchanging

today was our family gift and cookie exchange.
there were some new recipes featured this year. linzer cookies and pistachio/cherry biscotti from sara, we brought brownies and cappuccino pinwheels, and karen provided the haystacks, pastry bon bons and sugar with green/red m&ms. i'm sure jillian and paula helped too!  maybe in the new year i'll make a batch of the traditional spritz, but i'll have to get a cookie press. although the cookies are a highlight to our gathering we also exchanged gifts, hugs, laughs and yummy food. it's always a great time and one of the things i look forward to every year.

Friday, December 17, 2010

dec. 17. sending greetings

am glad i've been able to stay up on this daily december project. am thinking that the text for each day will be printed on cardstock and then adhered with the photo.  at least i have the christmas papers already in the album so that's done.  put another stack of cards in the mail today, and i had already mailed a handful last week. have a few more i'd like to do as this is the only way that we've kept up with family and friends over the years.  this is a tradition that steve got me into, and try as i might i can't seem to get away from (not that i really want to), but i've gone from making every card (100+) and including photos to nice store bought sans photo.  i did do a blog posting one year and sent the link to people. my GOAL is to re-purpose the 300+ engraved note cards that i ordered when i got married and make a very simple, assembly line format set of cards for next year, if i do them all it might keep me going for a couple years. we'll see, but for now, sending merry christmas wishes to those who are near and dear.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

dec 16. sightings

on my walk at lunch time (yes in the partial rain), i passed this house which i've been wanting to take a photo of for a while, not many decorations in this area-i can't get the whole house without stepping into the street, but i love the colors, the porch and front door are equally decked out. this house is on 10th street near piedmont park.  one of my favorite spots in atlanta, and would so love to own property in this area. oh well, i was telling mom the other day that i'd like to just rent my christmas decorations, cause i can't really decide what i like the most: the pink, turquoise and grinchy greens. whimsical snowmen. green, gold and red. or blue, silver and white. so many options, i guess i'll admire the work of others. really wish i could barter knitting or cooking for holiday house decorating. any takers out there?

i also passed the federal reserve at 10th and peachtree and had to stop and wonder how in the world did they get the 3 ginormous wreaths up there.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

dec. 15 holiday cheer

may have to do a re-take on this one, but since i couldn't take pictures at our holiday lunch this is the best it's going to get today.

our lunch was a success, lots of great food and some yummy homemade desserts. after stopping at the grocery store and battling the slipper conditions i made it home in time to scrub the toilets and take care of the weekly house cleaning. dinner for tomorrow is ready, and my plan is to get started on the cookies and snacks for saturday.  hope better pictures are yet to come, but in the mean time-have a glass of holiday cheer (or 2)!.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

dec. 13 & 14-on the fly "again"

my work day doesn't afford the opportunity to get really good christmas-y photos, and the lighting in our house is awful in the i'm really trying to do the best with what i've got.  and that's OKAY- i do love how a tree looks all lit up, strangely peaceful. i also LOVE outdoor lights. i've always wanted lights on our house and shrubbery. we never had them when i was a kid, so that's something i've put on my bucket list.  i now have wrapped gifts tagged and under the tree-just 2 more gifts to take care of, and i need to help mom with wrapping hers.
dec.14-thank goodness andrew has learned his way around the kitchen. today he helped me make the stuffing for our office christmas lunch. we used seasoned peppridge farms stuffing mix, along with some sauteed onions and celery-we had a little taste and it's pretty good.  didn't realize that the roasting pan we put it wouldn't fit into the oven so we had to smush it a little bit, it's aluminum, so it'll straighten right up. i've got to set my alarm clock for 4 am so i can put the ham in to heat up-there seems like a lot to do, but at the same time not-odd. i did cast on the susie's reading mitts last night, and worked on them while andrew was at the orthodontist this afternoon. i'm smitten with the yarn (sublime) and pattern so far.  the buttons are on coraline, i totally love it, and plan to wear it this weekend. photos at some point. i'm doing a few fun things along the way. i also walked at lunch and while it was cold it was a beautiful day, i had on plenty of layers so the cold was bearable. glad it wasn't windy like it was on monday.
well i think i've done for today-a warm soft bed is calling. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

dec. 12-friends, food and snow

today was quilt club-lots of catching up since we couldn't meet up in november. brenda made us the cutest aprons-i love having a christmas-y one now. we had some yummy snacks and great conversation. we got our calendars out, so we're back on track for meeting regularly in the new year.
also we've had snow off and on today-after church it was snowing, then it would start and stop. it's incredibly cold for december, but it definitely feels like christmas.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

dec. 9, 10, & 11-playing catch up

seems to be the story of my life the last couple of weeks, but i know i'm not alone with trying to get the everyday routine stuff done, along with the holiday stuff. i've done a picture a day, but have just now had a chance to blog about them.  on thursday, i paid a visit to full moon records in virginia highlands-awesome place, i bought pj some VINYL LPs! aerosmith, meatloaf, blondie, billy joel, steve perry, and lots more, i hope he likes them as much as i enjoyed reminiscing about my teen years. this store was so cool and i loved it's location, this is the kind of urban living i could enjoy.  the evening was beautiful not too cold, found a great parking spot, had dinner and then headed towards my house and finished my shopping.

next up dec. 10. since we had a retirement lunch planned and i was going to be at our church's youth dinner, i knew i'd need to change my walking time, which meant changing to 5:40 AM! at least it was 32 degrees, so with my multiple layers i was really okay, and there was no wind, i changed my route a bit-ponce de leon is not very well lit at that time of day-i enjoyed a walk from  my office to p'tree and 14th to just north of spring street, and then back to the office.  it was early and cold, but it felt great getting out there first thing for a walk.  as i passed colony square hotel, i noticed the fountain was still running-ooops, guess someone didn't think about turning off the water, but it made for a lovely early morning photo. i'm amazed at how well my i-phone take photos.
dec. 11, of course, no saturday would be saturday without me spending hours in the kitchen. today was the day to do some baking for my food gifts. i love to give and receive home made goodies.  in the past i've done as many as 17 different kinds of treats, but not this year. the hot buttered rum was such a hit last year that i made a double batch for my quilt club ladies, and my bosses at work. we still have plenty left for us too! this receipe was given to me by mary, and it's one of our favorites. i made ina's rosemary cashews, pumpkin pie spice pecans, butterscotch/chocolate & peanut bark, chocolate/peppermint and & almond bark, and peppermint  marshmallows. while i was in the kitchen i also prepped for sunday and monday's dinner and got the pizza fixin's going. we normally have pizza on fridays, but with last night's party, we deferred to saturday. needless to say i'm EXHAUSTED, but am so glad that the gifts bought are wrapped (still no tags or bows, but that will come), the food gifts are packaged and ready for delivery, and i won't have to cook again until thursday!
i'd like to say that next week will be more relaxing, but our office party is on wednesday, and i'm in charge of that so there will be cooking, decorating and prepping, but i'm so looking forward to our family gathering next saturday, still so much to do, but i've really enjoyed the holiday season this year.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

dec. 8-talking trees

this isn't the best photo, but did not get a chance to take pictures until evening. i know i've used this title before, but i love how our christmas tree resonates our favorite things and a bit of our personality. we are 5 people sharing the same house, and we are different and unique in our own way-kinda how God made us. anyway, i'm sure i'll be featuring more of our ornaments throughtout december each telling their own story and making our christmas tree a real talking tree.  hanging together is my starbucks christmas cup ornament and big ben. i love coffee and my mom was born in london, so there you go- there are times where i've pondered having a themed tree, or a single color tree, but i guess until the boys inherit ornaments we've used over the years for their own trees- we'll share our talking tree.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

dec. 7-gift wrap central

i love how we planned out my craft area-it is so multi-functional.  right now i've got all the holiday giftwrap, ribbons, bags, tissue paper etc at hand so gift wrapping should be real easy. my counter is also serving as a blocking area for coraline which i hope is dry by tomorrow so i can sew on the buttons.  i can honestly report that all the gifts i've bought so far are wrapped-not tagged and decorated, but wrapped (stage one done-yea).

Monday, December 6, 2010

dec. 6. christmas cards

one of my truly favorite things about the holidays

santa's sled & crazy busy. dec 4 & 5

I'm not sure how much of the caption you can read, but here's the trunk of my car after i got home on saturday. i left mary's at 9:20, and spent 6 hours getting home (it's really only about 45 minutes between our houses), but i made numerous stops along the way to get some shopping done-and no, on-line was not an option as i have a tight deadline.  i made a total of 11 stops, and had i been a bit more organized with my list i probably could have shortened it by a couple.  although i was exhausted it was great to have this off my list.

sunday after church and a quick lunch (crab chowder-yum!) steve and i headed over to cast on cottage for their holiday open house, i'm so glad i did,  the caption gives more details, but it was fun showing the shop off to steve, and now he knows where i'm at on the occasional thursday night.  afterwards we headed back towards home and stoped at costco to get our membership cards and had a look around and tried some goodies. although it was very cold the sky was beautiful. despite the hustle and bustle of the last couple days, i'm glad i got to spend some time with the important people in my life.

Friday, December 3, 2010

December 3

caption reads: this perfectly describes the ladies i'll be spending time with this evening.  i'm so thankful for their gift of friendship.  was prompted by mary's posting the other day (i know she doesn't mind me borrowing her idea!) i'm curious to see what the other starbuck windows will have displayed during the holiday season.

December 2

christmas decorations outside the georgian terrace hotel in midtown. this is one of my favorite buildings, and it's on my walking route. i wish they'd come to my house and decorate!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

dec. 1

my first official posting for the December daily