I feel like I really haven’t been too present this season, which when you think of the theme of my blog is quite interesting since Christmas is the most crafty of all holidays and I literally had nothing. I couldn’t think of any new and exciting ideas to create.
I couldn’t keep up with the other mom bloggers who besides homeschooling their 10 children could also host link parties, create Etsy shops full of cool new items and also make cookies, decorate, AND have the time to blog about it.
I lost my mojo.
I love the holidays and still make them special for my children, but in creating little touches, I am, well, out of touch. So I am sorry if I disappointed a bit this holiday season, but I put more of my energy into shopping for gifts for the kids, taking care of the usuals around our home, and all that I am sapped come December. As long as you come to expect that of me each year, we are golden.
We had a wonderful Christmas here this year, one of the best in the recent past, and enjoyed every single minute of it. My parents came up the Wednesday before Christmas to see Annie’s band concert that night.
The next day my mom, dad, Ellie, and I went shopping for our newest exciting addition to our home:
Our new light fixture in the kitchen!
Here is the best before pic I could find:
Oh wait, that’s right. I didn’t take a before picture.
That would be the work of an amateur blogger.
That’s me by the way……
It was the fixture that was up when we moved in six years ago and there was nothing really awful about it but it was (agreeably among every single person who sat under it) the harshest light to sit under when sitting around the kitchen table especially at night.
Like being interrogated, where were you the night of the 20th at 7:00 pm?
We changed the bulbs, put dimmer bulbs in, nothing.
So I have had my eyes on those cute barrel shades forever and have been drooling over them and finally decided that we deserved to have a non-interrogatory light in our kitchen.
We bought it at Lowe’s as an impromptu present to ourselves for 99 dollars, which is a bargain for these types of chandeliers.
Here are my dad and Mike working on the light:
On Christmas Eve morning, no less.
I know, my timing is not always the best, but it turned out to be a fun day.
And here is the finished product:
It’s just so pretty!
It makes me smile every time I look at it.
I also smile when I look at this little puppy:
Sorry about the captions, I add them so that my lazy self-doesn’t have to add captions to my photo albums anymore.
Thanks, Picasa, for making me not have to do the tedious task of writing.
On the Friday before Christmas, I got to spend the day with my parents and my oldest daughter, so we went to lunch at Portillo’s
Then on up to Great Lakes Naval Base
as my dad went to boot camp there in the late ’60s and they have a museum that is free but really fun to look at all the factoids and relics. Plus the volunteer there was absolutely wonderful and welcoming. He and my dad talked the whole time we were there, and it was so interesting to me to hear my dad talk about his experience in the Navy. We have heard stories about his tour in the Navy many times over the years, but listening to him talk to another serviceman was just really touching.
After that, we went window shopping in downtown Lake Forest which was so much fun.
Lake Forest is one of the wealthiest towns in the US. Marshall Field lived there while he was alive, famous athletes live there, the Bears and Bulls practice there, countless movies have been filmed here, John Hughes lived here and Richard Marx lives there.
So we walked the main street, popped into their quaint shops, got a muffin at the bagel place then headed a little south to a town called Highland Park to hit the Pottery Barn there where we found the above tree.
It looks like a Charlie Brown tree, doesn’t it?
They had some good deals going on with all ornaments 40% off and the trees were on sale too (thanks mom and dad!!!). I think I may even leave this little fella up even after the holidays. I am going to look for some battery operated lights for it too.
And there is something special I would like to share too.
No, I am not pregnant….bite your tongue!
This year, “Santa” did not put one gift on a credit card.
We are on a self-imposed debt diet that started over a year and a half ago, and this year for the first time, we did not use one credit card.
Now, we still have debt so it is not an immense relief, but it will be when all our debt is paid off (including our car payment) in three years.
But it is nice to not have the feeling of dread when those credit statements come in after all the tinsel is taken down so I am so proud that we made it through Christmas without using a credit card and know that we can make it through the rest of the year with ease now too.
Happy New Year to you wonderful followers and I promise to get my mojo back soon!