Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Silver & White ~ Mercury Glass & Light

I was so excited to have new room to decorate for Christmas last year. When you live in the same house for over 30 years, this is a good thing. How many way cans you say Christmas in designing the same spaces over and over? It can be a challenge, and a fun one at that. I decided to just use white and silver and tiny touch of red. By removing the Tuscan colors that are normally in here it was very easy to get a completely new look. This year I am reposting the decor from last year as this is a traveling Christmas for us and our Thanksgiving stuff will likely still be up in January when we return. Hopefully not, just sayin'...

It is kind of hard for me not to decorate even though it is a huge job, it is totally my thing. I love the transformation into this lovely, happy, festive time of year. I am a Christmas girl, always have been, always will be. I never bake a cookie but I do go all out on the house. I enjoy the warm embrace of being gift wrapped in Christmas in every room in the house. I enjoy the cookies too, but they tend to embrace me for the entire year. So, no thanks!

Where the sunflowers use to sit
I added this whimsical, sparkly tree.

I have had these guys for several years
and I love them in here!

This Moonlight and Roses Santa is new this year.
and is so pretty in this room.
is one of my favorite sites.
I love their things.
Vintage and glittery,
such bling for the home!

My funny angel and the white towels
with a simple ornament is fun!

Chrsitmasy things in the tub tray.

I am in love with the mercury glass
vintage look and

I loved the way the windows sills
have glistened.

A nativity I have had for a long time
now has a wonderful place to be.

A little present (just for you) in silver with a candle inside.

Love, love love, this tall reindeer and the candle holders.

I enjoy these whimsical kinds of
things especially at Christmas.

Love the corner window, in fact all of the windows.
The light in here changes everything!

A fun, little, vintage wall hanging I found!

Merry Christmas!

Laura made the Buon Natale sign.
It has a very pretty subtle glitter on it.

(Missing everything "Italy" at Christmas for sure!)

We might try to make a few
this year in New England.
Hopefully we will have all kinds of time
for such relaxing and creative endeavors.

I have to kind of laugh at this notion because we have trouble watching a movie when we get together for all the busyness with boys and dads and activities. We like to go in her room on the bed with the laptop. (We snuggle up under the blankets with the door shut and watch chick flicks and laugh and cry...Pure mother/daughter heaven!) It might be our favorite thing to do...Well put that right below a girls' day out doing our thing..shopping, lunching and chatting our heads off and hearts into joy-filled oblivion. The only thing that makes that better is piling Jen on there with us! Yep, that is the best of the best. Definitely.....♥ ♥ ♥

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Simple Woman's Daybook~November 28, 2011

Taking a Moment to Contemplate the Journey!

Just For Today...Monday, November 28, 2011

Our lives pass swiftly by!
I want to do something to remember
the everyday moments and my thoughts.
That is what this daybook is all about.
Focusing on the little things that become my life.
One week at a time.

Outside my window...it is foggy, misty and one of those days that you wish you could just stay by the fire in your jammies all day. Most of the leaves from our big trees have fallen now but still some remain, almost as though they are reluctant to let go of autumn. Can't blame them, I feel the same. Winter comes regardless, putting to bed another year.

From the learning room...we should cling to the things that never change. Hold fast to them and hang on tight for the Mad Hatter's wild ride of living. And we should have the utmost of loyalty to the people who consistently love us over time and distance. The value of that is priceless, as is the gift of it. First friendship, then trust, then love.

I am reading...Team of Rivals about Abe Lincoln, Daughters of Heaven, Scriptures, Internet points of interest.

From the kitchen...It is time to make soup again. I have all the ingredients and just need to go do it sometime today. I have been getting the desire to learn some more about cake decorating. I haven't done that in years. The problem is we do not want to eat the cake. Hmmm..Pinterest is renewing my interest in cooking too. Who knew that could be resurrected?

Someone once said that cooking can be compared to the eggs of our ovaries. Each woman has only so many meals in her and then they are gone. Meal menopause...I use to have that but it may be disappearing. Could it be?
What a hoot. Sure hope that doesn't happen in any other way!

I am missing...the extra month I need to get in the holly, jolly mode of Christmas. But time waits for no man, and along with that; neither does Christmas. We are so looking forward to our lovely New England Christmas and cannot wait to be with our RI kids. Just having that anguish about not being all together for the celebration of Christmas. If money were no object I wish we could buy that house we stayed in for our family reunion where there was a place for everyone to be comfortable and together. I am missing those few times over the years when that was possible.

I am hearing...Michael Buble singing his new Christmas songs. That is the only new music for the season for us this year.

I am wearing...A bedazzled black and silver shirt that has Italian sites on it and some black pants.
And black smart wool socks. Freezing over here. Too much black but it was handy and comfy.

I am quoting... 2 for today..."When your speaks~take good notes." Anon. And from Les Miserables, "To love another is to see the face of God." I that.

Somethings that made me especially happy this past week...a lovely Thanksgiving with family we don't see that often, celebrating Jim's birthday and the first phase of the work shop project getting done in preparation for the spring and pouring the foundation, getting almost all of my shopping done for Christmas before Black Friday, avoiding the crowds and traffic over the four day weekend. We are getting that down to a science. You really can have relaxing, leisurely time outside your home if you know where to go and more importantly when to go.

I am going...try to hold off on cutting my hair myself until next week when I have an appointment. I'm holding off so I don't need to hassle with it during our trip, but it is a trial right now!

One of my guilty pleasures...Listening to Josh Groban singing just about anything. I think he must be an angel. Who gets a gift like that? Only him...Amazing. My new favorite song of his is Awake. I could literally listen to that all day long. Look it up on Youtube because seeing him sing is just a good as listening. His in depth emotional investment is so wonderful.

Pet Peeve...
people that are hot and cold. I thrive on consistency in relationships, must be my insecurities or something but I like to know where I stand. Not in a needy way but in a relaxed and comfortable sort of way.

One of my favorite things...
having the h
ousehold in order...bathrooms, clean clothes, sheets, floors, pantry stocked, bills paid, dinner in the crockpot..just being on top of my game.

An enjoyable movie I have watched lately...An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving.

I am curious about...why if someone is in foreclosure in your neighborhood it should affect the value of your house? How is that fair or right in any way?

If I could change one thing it would be...
that our family could all live on the same block. That someone would knock on our door and it would be one of the kids or grandkids just coming by to hang out with us or for some cookies and milk or to get help with homework or just talk. That would pretty much be heaven to me.

A few plans for the rest of the week...planning for our family get together with my brothers and their families on Sunday and doing all the shopping for that. Getting the very last Christmas gifts ordered today online...cyber Monday after all. Working tomorrow so prepping for that today, WW tomorrow morning, Wednesday visiting teaching hopefully, working on the tables and polishing the silverware for our dinner on Sunday, Friday, morning meeting, night a farewell party for some friends moving to Utah, Saturday cooking, Saturday night we are invited to dinner at Lee and Dave's, Sunday tithing settlement and church and the family dinner. Monday, stay in jammies all day and recover from the crazy busy week. (I wish!)

Some photos and thoughts I'm sharing this week...
On Jim's birthday we took a short day trip for a picnic and landed up at St. Mary's College in Moraga. It is a small, private Catholic college and very pristine and beautiful. He taught graduate students there for about 5 years in classroom and behavior management. The crown jewel of the campus is the chapel. We hit it just right...we were about the only ones there as you will see from the photos. I love days like this.

This is kind of a goofy photo but I just love it. You know the kind...you huddle together and try to take a photo at arm length and it is always just a little short or crooked or something non- professional. They are somewhat reminiscent of the photo booth shots of old.

If you know me, you know I never love my pictures, but this one I do. It seems to capture on my face the exact feeling I was having. Happiness, relaxation, contentment, love of autumn and husband and peacefulness. It was the perfect alchemy of elements and my face captures it here. Never mind that Jim looks a bit like a morphed Stevie Wonder and Jack Nicholson with the head thrown back and the wrap around shades cuz this one is all about me! Oooo, I am so just kidding with ya! It is about him too of course. It is his birthday after all. You already know he's cute but just to make him feel better..here is the birthday boy!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Jim-Bob the Builder

The Beatles, "When I'm 64"

Jim Bob!
Happy Birthday to My Best Friend and Husband! Today he is 64 and it is pretty hard to comprehend since the first time I laid eyes on him he was 16! There sure are a lot of things I could say about him after all these years. When I thought of this year I thought about who he has become and I have to say that one of the first things I thought of was Jim is a builder.

It is kind of funny but all his life he has been involved in academia and teaching and getting degrees and more degrees and building boys. Boys that haven't had the greatest starts in life or the best circumstances but, one by one, he has built many over his 39 of teaching. Many have been in trouble, serious trouble and with love and dedication and the principles of the Gospel he has helped them improve their lives and their chances.

He has built boys at work, at church, at Boy Scouts, on the trail, in the wilderness, in the mountains and many other places. At home he built our boy and our girls and even at our kids' homes he has helped build great grandsons and daughters. That kind of building he will never be done with but, now that he has more time he is also building other things. Here are some pictures of him building this past year.

He has been building a wonderful
retirement & future
for us!

Last December Jim went to work at the Temple in the Engineering Department. He learned how to hang the thousands and thousands of Christmas lights, from a Gene boom lift, onto the palm trees and fronds. He was building memories of a beautiful Christmas for the many visitors that came to enjoy them on Temple Hill. This year he has done most of it himself.

Helping David build and paint a great workshop. I thing they just like dressing up in this stuff. Jim had plenty of paint on him when he got home even with the "protective" gear!

Yep, it is the outfit.
He is always building a better house for us.

Building endurance and a little craziness
in Park City, Utah on New Year's Eve.
He liked running from the hot tube to the outside where
the temperature was -8 degrees with Julia.

He built this shed for us to have an extra place to store things. It is super nice with electricity and even a little window. With his new tractor he had this whole thing graded and put together in less than a week. Yay, Bobcat and David thank you for all the help!

We went to St. Mary's college today and this reminded me he was a builder of teachers for five years at this amazing college as they took graduate classes from him in classroom management.

Building a better yard and garden even in the rain.

Building the community through Scouts
with this award for service &
Scouting for Food for the 15th year in a row.

Building the memories of the little kids
in our ward at Easter time.

Not sure who looks goofier here!

Organizing this big pantry at our family reunion house.
And building many wonderful meals
this year.

Building perfect waffles with our new waffle maker that we love!

Building another generation of hikers
at our family reunion!

Building cousin memories for the grandkids
by letting them dress him up just for fun at the reunion.

Building camaraderie around the Barbie with our boys.

Building a happy family at our family birthday party!

Building a proper resting place for one of his ancestors
that didn't have a grave marker for over 100 years.

Helping to build brother-in-law relationships!
I should say brothers, as we do not have in-laws
in this family...just family.
Building a stronger knowledge of the Gospel
and his testimony of the Savior at Education Week

Building our boy into an incredible man!
Doing it one project and fun activity at a time.

Building a gourmet luncheon and
a bit of a spectacle at the Palace.

Building more picnics on the go.
More spectacles! More fun!

Building unity with his Mom
one Monday at at time and many other days too.

Day and night...Building a road to his new project and
his new workshop coming in the spring.

Building his road and relationship
with his best friend, David.

Building a barrier to keep me in the cottage with
40,000 pounds of gravel to block my exit.

Building Tasso Lane, his name for the new road.
It is the name of the village his ancestors are from in Italy.
And a place he has become much more familiar with.
He has grown to love his ancestors more
within the past year after our visit to Tasso in 2009/10.
Because of that trip, our calling in the genealogical library
and our cousin, Stephen's help,

he is building his pedigree and interest in his genealogy.

The muscles, strength and tenancy he has built
as he has completed the many, many
hours of work on this project are evident.

The section of Tasso Lane
behind his current workspace where he
built an elaborate drainage system
for the water run off down the hill.

Building and completing Tasso Lane just today!

Building a happy and productive life with me & our family!

Happy Birthday Honey!
We all love you, especially me!