For the Everyday Ordinary...

"Normal Day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all in the world, for your return." ~ Mary Jean Iron

Friday, January 6, 2012

Before moving on to 2012...

(my very first attempt at "bokeh" - not perfect, but I'm happy!)

Ok, so I'm still a bit behind...story of my life!  I sat down so many times to write a post, but so many fun activities interrupted me that is has not happened until now.  So, I poured a cup of coffee and "stole" a biscotti from my son (he said I could!) to give me sustenance as I write my wrap up of 2011.

December was filled with the hustle and bustle of getting ready for different events taking place, but especially for Christmas day.  We hit the ground running, deciding that this year we needed - yes, needed - to decorate the tree on Thanksgiving after dinner.  It was just what we needed to help us get into the holiday spirit after the angst-filled year we had.


We celebrated a special birthday (isn't he handsome?)
I got my hair cut - I mean, I had over 6 inches cut off the ends.  The girl straightened it (not permanently) as it is very curly.  I love it like this, but I have not been able to make it look like this since I got it done! lol!
 I need two of me - one to sit there and one to do the blow-dryer, big brush thing!
Anyway, even when I just wash it and let it go curly, I love it!  I think I will let it grow just a little longer, though, but we'll see.  I was very brave getting my hair cut - I'm like Samson that way - my hair gives me my "super power". =)
 The book I wrote for the grandkids came in and I wrapped it up to mail off across the country.
I wrote it based on my Halloween Blog Party post.

Then, we were given a "dream come true"!  We got a grandfather's clock, which we have always wanted and were just waiting for the day to be able to buy.  However, we got one even better!  When my sweet MIL passed away in 1998, my BIL was given her grandfather's clock from England (her family is from England - her mom was an immigrant to America).  He called us one day and asked us if we would like to have it since he did not really have the best place to put it in his house.  Of course I screamed, "YES!!!!!" =)  So, my sweet hubs went and picked it up for me and it is standing proudly in our foyer!
I so love it!  We have several other pieces of furniture that are part of the same set (a corner cabinet and secretary), while my BIL still has the dining room hutch and table set - so we both have special pieces of hers that she loved.  I feel so lucky!!

We also got busy adorning things with ribbons and magic and twinklie lights.

And, of course, baking up gifties and treats and creating special pieces of art for family and friends and people at my hubby's office:

These was more than this, but I did not photograph it for some reason.  I made several different kinds of cookies and sweet breads - yum!  In fact, I made sure I made us some as well.  I sliced the sweet breads (orange/cranberry/nut and apple/nut) and put them in the freezer.  We pull them out and toast them - they are YUMMY!  Of course, they are good untoasted, too!

My book club chickipoos met here for our First Annual Christmas Soiree.  We had the BEST food for dinner and each of us shared homemade treats for dessert.  I didn't get any pictures of that, either, because I was too busy participating in the fun!  I painted each of them a little owl painting that represents each of us.  I made all of the owls with different expressions - this one is mine (yes, I made one for me, too.  We are "Birds of a Feather").  I also made special book marks that were little stuffed and embroidered birds attached to large colored paperclips - but I didn't take pics of those either...I know...I am a photo failure...oh well!
Believe it or not (I had trouble believing it) I even found time to begin a dollhouse project - not complete it, just start it!
A few new mice joined the household.  Three before Christmas and one on Christmas day:

I love it that people know I love mice!! =)

Of course, there was the usual hustle and bustle of buying special prezzies, wrapping it all prettily and mailing some of them to arrive in time for the big day.  There were two things we did NOT do this year that we have always done.  We did not make our gingerbread houses and we did not go look at Christmas lights - it just did not happen.

Christmas Eve we spent at home and had a lovely dinner, homemade desserts and treats:

 (Apparently, this is called a "photo bomb" - at least that is what they shouted as I was snapping the picture.  Silly-heads!)
After that, we settled down to watch one of our all-time family-favorite Christmas movies: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation! (Other favs include A Christmas Story, It's A Wonderful Life and a Muppet Christmas Carol).
Christmas morning dawned clear and sunny.  We were up early, coffee made, bagels and donuts set out (another Christmas tradition in the Johnson household - and there is a tradition of going to carefully pick them all out, too).  Stockings were emptied out, gifts opened among shouts of "oh, yeah!" and lots of laughter.  While everyone showered, I got busy in the kitchen making some final things to take to my mother's for Christmas dinner.  We loaded the car with food and gifts and then squeezed ourselves in among it all and headed off!

Then there were more hugs and cooking and gifts brought in and placed under the tree.  There was even a very tired princess present at the celebration:
We loaded the table with tons of yummy food and everyone dug in.
We were all so full that we had no room at all for dessert, so we just divided it up at the end of the evening and everyone took a mix of luscious sweets home for later.

We had a few days of rest while we enjoyed our new prezzies.  I was given 4 macro lenses for my camera and a telephoto lens.  Unfortunately, the telephoto lens is the wrong one, so we need to send it back and order the right one.  I am so excited, though, and can't wait to get the right one and begin playing with it!

Next, we geared up for our New Year's Eve celebration.  We celebrate it quietly at home, but we make sure there are lots of yummy foods to eat and good stuff to drink. =)  During the day, we tried to go see Mission Impossible 3, but 15 minutes into the movie, the theater lost power.  So, we were given vouchers to come back another time (we will be trying again this weekend).  We came home and watched the last two Harry Potter movies on dvd.  The movies finished up just in time to watch the ball drop in NYC and make a special toast (and get a special kiss from my hubs!)  I didn't get a picture of the toast because I was too busy participating and getting kissed!
We stayed up for a long time, just talking about our plans for the upcoming year, before heading off to bed.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday Season and that you welcomed in 2012 with high hopes, gorgeous dreams and deepest heart wishes...I know I did!

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