Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

From our family to yours-

Hope your day is filled with love & joy!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Our Christmas House


There are tons of "Christmas Tours" on blogs...but everyone is always so organized and has them at the beginning of the month. I'm barely ready for company 15 minutes before they arrive, let alone a month.

So, although I had started the process ages ago, it hasn't been finished until now. Truth be told, I'm not even finished now, but it's as close as it can possibly be. What's better than walking into a house that's all decorated for Christmas? Not much!


I'm crazy about my wreath this least from close up. It's the first year with a black door and although I think the gold is effective, I'll be shopping for new baubles and a bow for next year. It sort of loses its pop from the street. Any thoughts for color? It's hard with our brick because red is an absolute no.

This year I completely stumbled upon the best deal....this poinsettia for $7.99- stop the madness. It's HUGE!


So huge that I had to alter its location from years past. Instead, it has a place of honor on the chest in the living room.

I had to improvise on something for the entryway, and decided on this tree from my swap last year. It was sitting on my hearth...and I loved it there, but sometimes change is good.


My old faithful still makes me smile on the banister.

And our tree....trimmed and still lush and green. I love the way it smells and that we can enjoy the lights with an easy flip of a switch.


Cooper was concerned that the presents under the tree didn't have his name attached to them. That was by design....I was a peeker when I was little and I'm suspicious that my little apple hasn't fallen far from the tree.

Not to worry- on Christmas, he'll be well taken care of.


The stocking was hung by the chimney with care....
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

One of my staples is to use Christmas balls- it's simple, fast and really very effective in sprinkling the festive all over.


This container filled makes a great statement on my kitchen table, while my dining room looks a bit more formal.

My favorite decoration....the one that's probably my prized possession sits in its assigned place beneath the tree. It's an exact replica of the antique creche that my parents have...created for Jon and I on our 1st Christmas together by a beloved (and talented) family friend.

Our creche- the reason for the season and a reminder of the greatest gift of all. Cooper lovingly sets the holy family into their places and surrounds them with the kings, the shepherd and the animals. All waiting for the birth of our Savior.

And so from our home, to yours-

Merry Christmas to all....


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tacky or Terrific?

Who doesn't love a tacky light tour?
We absolutely do- although truth be told, I'm happy that none of our neighbors have their house lit up for all to see for miles.


Or in this case, BOTH of my neighbors.
This house is legendary in our city- I've been going to see if for 20 years myself. Originally there was a couple and they were all about their Christmas decor- and then, their son bought the house next door. The apple didn't fall far from the tree! They sit outside each night- they talk to people and hand out reindeer food to the kids. People come from all over and there are traffic jams to get in and out of the street- every year we see people that we know, no matter when we go.

Except this year, they are having financial trouble and their homes are in foreclosure. Unless something changes, this will be the final year. We tried to help a little bit- and I think lots of people are. But will it make a difference?

And then there is this house....decorated for their son who adored Christmas lights but who was taken from them too soon. And so they decorate in his honor-


I hope he looks down on his parents house and smiles every year.
We smiled when we thought of him.

We've taken two tours this year, and will do a third when my parents come down. It's tacky, but a great way to spend time with friends and family- and another tradition for us to share with Cooper.

No pictures of us.....but a fun one of the happily betrothed!


Tacky or terrific??
Either way, hope you get to spend some time with those you love doing things that make you happy this week!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

She said YES!!!

Those were the words that appeared on a text message from Jon's nephew, Wade on Saturday night.

And we couldn't be happier- for him, for her, for us!!!!

We were at the river when we heard, so we dropped by to see Sarah at work as soon as we got home.

Can you say- elated?

Her ring belonged to Jon's mom...Jon's parents would have loved her.

After we left Sarah, we stopped by to see Wade. He was all choked up-

I'm not sure Cooper totally understands what's happening, but he does love his cousin(and Sarah too)!

Sweet kid-

We met Sarah about 18 months ago during her initiation to the family over July 4th weekend.....


We liked her instantly....everyone did.
I think she sealed the deal when she wholeheartedly dug into a plateful of pigs feet.



Wade was a little more cautious....


(for the record, I abstained)

We've all have so much fun together.....

Buffett in Charlottesville...

With Katie & Tim at the river...

Hanging with the fam in P-ville

Such great memories, so much fun!

And now......they're getting married.
She's perfect for him, he's perfect for her....they're perfect together.


We love you both!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

for katie

I got a text message from my sweet niece earlier this week-

Hey Caro- this is the 1st year that you haven't done a post about Thanksgiving!

She's right, I haven't.
We have the best time at Thanksgiving and I like to capture the holidays so that we can look back at them in years to come and relish the memories.

But this year, Thanksgiving sort of arrived sooner than I had planned and things have been rolling ever since. I'm going to do the post- it's just taking me a while.

And so, because I absolutely adore her, I'm posting a little treat that will hopefully make up for the fact that she's having to wait weeks to see the results of my Thanksgiving photos and read the words to the recap.

Here you go, Katie.....


I hope you love this as much as I do.
And I hope you know that even though it hasn't seemed like it over the years, my kid thinks you're one super great cousin.
(passing down your PS2 may have even moved you ahead of Wade!!!)

Hugs to you!!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Last year I entered the Christmas season with a newly transformed living room care of Layla at The Lettered Cottage. Oddly, I have no recollection of what we did with our furniture when we put the Christmas tree up. This year, I've been planning the room for weeks and could hardly wait to start moving things around.

Here is where I started....

full view

And this is an as-is shot after I started shoving things into their new positions.


Something about moving furniture and spiffing things up really fills me up with happy! So does getting and decorating our Christmas tree.

Clearly it does the same for the rest of my family-

My sweet hubs donned some festive attire (I'm not sure what came over him!)


And Cooper has been wearing this hat since we brought the boxes out of the attic.


In between furniture moving, we decorated the tree. The living room was a disaster but we were singing and trimming and loving every minute of it.


The reveal will have to wait...things aren't quite ready yet, but we're getting there.

And it sure does make me smile.
Family time, Christmas time, happy time.

Hope you had a great weekend too!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Early Morning Exchange-

Another early morning exchange between me and my sweet, plant challenged hubs. For background, Po was Jon's dad and we had an experience many years ago where he came to our house and chopped my bushes to about 3 inches from the ground. I was in mourning for weeks.

From: Jon
To: Carolyn
Subject: Trees

I got a thing in my box that said the christmas tree sale is the 4th/5th from 8am-6pm.....there is a new venue this will be down at the football field.

From: Carolyn
To: Jon
Subject: Re: Trees

Ok- let's definitely plan to go!

Speaking of trees, did you hack my quince bush yesterday? Honey- for the love. You really need to talk to me before you pull a Po and scalp my beloved bushes.

From: Jon
To: Carolyn
Subject: Re: Trees

sounds good....yes I did hack your quince poked me in the eye two different times while I was blowing the leaves and I went postal....but honestly I didn't know it was a quince bush. i'm sorry


The thought of him chopping my favorite bush to within meer inches of the ground is somehow made better when I think of how funny it would have been to watch him go "postal" after it poked him in the eye. Clearly my bush knew an enemy when it saw one.

Do you have a quince bush?? I adore them! I love to force the long branches inside when I can hardly stand the winter anymore- and the thought of not having any was terrible. Thankfully, there are two other quince bushes in our yard that managed to escape the scalping.

Happy Friday!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Behind Door #1....

is a new car!!

and it's in my garage!!!

EDITED- Just to be clear- my car is new to me....but has been in this world for quite some time. It's a 2004 Toyota and I love, love, love it.

I need to pinch myself (and I think I just heard my dad gasp!).

The last time I bought a car was when I was about 15 minutes pregnant. I mean, wasn't that your first thought when you found out that you were expecting???

The chain of events went something like this-

Jon asked me if I was pregnant and I told him it was impossible.
Jon asked me again and I tell him that there is no way.
Jon puts a calendar in my face and says- I really think you're pregnant.
I ignore him.
He patiently waits another week and asks again.
This time I buy a pregnancy says I'm pregnant.
I take 3 more.
Jon says I told you so.....I'm still not convinced
I go to the doctor and they say, "did you take a pregnancy test?" I say "yes"
They say- you're pregnant.
I demand a blood test.....which, confirms that I am pregnant.
We tell our parents....who are absolutely beyond thrilled and we purchase a new car.

I had a car but no crib. I'm a genius.

Anywhooo- I digress.

It's officially mine and I'm officially excited and we are officially NOT pregnant.
(I think I heard my dad gasp again!)

Monday, November 29, 2010

the stuff & swap

My friend Diana's brother is an Army Captain....he's serving our country proudly and is currently stateside. His best friend is stationed in Af....stan (is there some sort of internet protocol on internet military discussion??) and Diana has taken he and his unit under her wing.

My very kind hearted friend combined lots of Christmas cheer, pride in our country, a desire to help, some willing friends and yummy food into a night that will truly make a difference in many lives.

This is where the stuff comes in.
She asked us to shop for the soldiers and bring things to "stuff" in boxes to send overseas.

Everyone shopped....

There were videos, books, hand warmers, tubes of chapstick, cans of tuna, nuts, cookies, cakes, pringles, games, jump drives, a Christmas tree, ornaments....


And everyone pitched in to sort, organize and pack.
We're sending a ton to the men who are working so hard for us and the US.


So great!!
And after we stuffed, we got to swap.

You know I'm a HUGE fan of the swap.
The dining room was full of treats...ours for the taking.


And what didn't get on its way to Caritas- an organization that helps homeless families transition into having a home. They'll use some for their families and the rest will be sold at their annual yard sale that's happening this weekend.


Great friends, fantastic food, helping others, spreading love and being green.
Such a great way to start the Christmas season off!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Get me a bubble, quick!

Sometimes I love that Cooper is eight- there is so much that's great about being "old enough".

He's pretty self sufficient and he knows the rules. He's able to hold quite an interesting conversation with adults (as long as it's a subject matter that he chooses), he's developed a sense of humor and it's a great one and his attention span allows for extended activities. He doesn't have to ride in a car seat which saves a huge amount of time on logistics- the list goes on and on......

But sometimes, I get a glimpse of how close eight is to oh, maybe 13 or 18 and it scares me to death.

I mean seriously- he's a little kid.


A little kid who likes rap music and contact sports and knows cuss words.

Because I let him outside of the bubble, that's how.
How I rue the day.

Today on the way home from after care he was unusually quiet- so I asked him if all was ok.

His answer?
"I'm fine momma, I was just thinking hard about something".

Me: Oh, want to tell me about it?
Him: I was thinking that it was very interesting that all of the cuss words have four letters in them. Well, all except for the A word.

Me: (struggling to keep the car in my lane) Well, yes- most of them do have four letters.

Him: Are there any with more than four?
Me: (silently dying inside but trying to maintain an open and trusting relationship) There is one that has five, and you're right about the A word.

Him: Momma, I don't think there are any with five letters. Can you tell me that one?
Me: It's the one that starts with a B. Buddy, how come all the thinking about such bad words?

Him: I'm just thinking about stuff that I'll be able to do when I grow up.

I decided to stop asking questions while I was ahead.

Tonight when I tucked him in though....when looked so adorable in his pj's....and he snuggled in tight while I read him a chapter of our current book......that was pure heaven.

Sometimes I love that Cooper is eight.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Early Morning Exchange-

Since Jon leaves so early in the morning we exchange e-mails as a form of keeping in touch and making sure that we're on the same page.

This was our exchange today....

(Me to him)

Update for you-

1) Our kid had birthday cake and pizza for breakfast. He helped himself while I was still asleep!

2) The dog was playing with our kid and somehow ate/ripped the entire sleeve of his hoodie. Seriously- the sleeve is in the front yard.

3)Happy Veterans Day to my favorite vet!

(His reply to me)

Sounds like an incredible seems like the good stuff always happens in the morning when I'm away.
Thanks so much for a fun relaxing birthday with my favorite.
My salute goes out to you on this Veterans Day!

We're such dorks....but it does make me smile!!

Happy Veterans Day to those who have or are serving our country-
THANK YOU for your sacrifices.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thankful Tuesday

I had the day off that I could go on a field trip with the Coopster.

It was a super day....cold, but super!
The highlight was being able to try a suit of armor-

Who doesn't love a kid in a suit of armor?

And, if that wasn't enough to make this the best Tuesday I've had in months....
As I'm typing, that little kid is practicing scales on his recorder.

Great day....sweet kid...and leftover Halloween candy.
I am thankful!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Happy Halloween....







From our house to yours!!!