27 December 2012

Mele Kalikimaka

I got a ukelele for Christmas.

Let me say that again.


(Can you hear the smile in my voice along with the hurt fingers that have yet to stop throbbing?)  I printed off two songs to learn and I feel sorta like a rockstar when I sing them as I play. I worry a little about our upstairs neighbors who probably want to smash my new toy Hulk-style. 

Confession:  Thinking about all the times those neighbors have left the house without turning off their alarm clock, makes me want to play and sing louder and louder.  And maybe louder.  So they can't escape the constant beep, beep, beep, no matter where they go in their house and get a taste of their own medicine. 


Christmas was lovely wasn't it?  For my friends on the other side of the world from me it was bright and warm.  Here in Utah, it was white and marshmallow-y.  Perfect on both counts.

Now that we've established that Christmas was brilliant, I must dash off and print some more songs.  Since I'm a rockstar, I must have a larger repertoire. 

17 December 2012

As Promised

I know you've all been dying to see the beautiful pictures of our beautiful Christmas tree.  I'm warning you... it is picture perfect. (Just not perfect pictures.)

I left the lights on because I trees always look better with lights.  I wanted to draw your attention to the star on the top, courtesy of my daughter.  

We were lucky and got a few donations from other people, so we have more than just five decorations and our homemade goodies.  

I know, I know, you're all jealous and can't wait to go home and un-decorate whatever silly things you've put on your own trees to make them look more like mine.  Well, I'm sorry to have to show you the way Christmas Trees are supposed to look, and make you all feel bad about your own.  Sometimes love is tough.

Here's to wishing you all the best of the season.

10 December 2012

Sap and Contemplation Don't Mix

I must have childhood on the brain.  I think Christmastime demands that of many of us.

How many of you have heard Taylor Swift's song "Never Grow Up"?  I fully admit to being a fan of her music, even if that makes me a wannabe teeny-bopper.  (I don't wanna be a teeny-bopper, just for the record.  It was hard enough the first time.)  Anyway, I was listening to that song, and I sat in front of the speaker and cried big, hot tears.

My babies, all  three of them, are growing up, even though we tell them and tell them not to.  We even threaten them, and still they sprout.

I'm of two minds about this.  Yes, I'm selfish and want them to be ALL MINE for the rest of their lives and the rest of mine.  I want them always to run to me when they're hurt and to be able to make everything all better with a hug and some soft words.  I always want them to be small enough to pull into my lap and think that their mom is the best and brightest.

In the other mind, I am so proud of their continued accomplishments.  It's amazing to see the ways they display their sense of self and show the world what they're made of.  I love that blazing look of triumph when they've accomplished something they had to work hard for.  I love it when they "get" my jokes and understand new concepts. (Though, admittedly, getting my jokes doesn't necessarily mean understanding anything but puns.)

My husband is fond of saying that parenthood is the only job where your goal is to make yourself obsolete.

How do we make those opposing minds meld?  How do we give our hearts and time and lives fully to these little humans and feel fine about it when we've accomplished our job and they no longer need us? 

See?  This is what that horrid-looking Christmas tree has done to me.  It makes me see childhood as something precious and fleeting and something to be savored.  Blech.  Or Bah Humbug, as my husband says continuously this time of year. 

Speaking of the tree... well, thanks Becca for the orange slice suggestion.  So far, that's the nicest looking thing about the seven-foot monolith taking up half the living room.  That, and my daughter's paper star perched lopsidedly at the top.

Ah... childhood.

03 December 2012

Trimmings on the Cheap

This year we finally have a big tree, but I realized that we have five ornaments to fill up a seven foot tree.  Five.

That's what happens when you move around the world and don't take anything with you.

So, I decided to get creative, which honestly doesn't happen that often.

I found a book from the seventies that describes how to make homemade decorations.  So, we're going to make pretzel ornaments with ribbons woven through.  I'm sure you've seen these high class beauties at boutique stores such as Tiffany's.  (I know Tiffany's isn't a boutique store.  I know pretzel ornaments aren't high class, nor beautiful.  This is called tongue in cheek.)  The greatest thing about pretzel ornaments is that they are relatively inexpensive and you can make a lot of them with ribbon and a glue gun.

Next project: stringing cranberries.  It's just that big step up from stringing popcorn.  And the red berries really *pop* against the green tree.

For our final project, we're going to get complicated.  I'm not sure what this crafty gem is called, so I'll describe the process.  Soak cotton string in glue, then wrap that around a blown up balloon and let it dry.  Then you pop the balloon and spray paint it the color of your choice. (Our's will be red and white.)

So, for those of you who want to be on the cutting edge of haute couture fashion in Christmas Tree trimming, you've found your source for inspiration.  Search no more.

Maybe I'll get brave and figure out how to post a picture of our arboreal stunner when it's done.

Then you'll see that there's a reason I don't get creative very often.