So it is no secret that in this 2nd half of 2011 I have been a terrible blogger. Still, I couldn't let Christmas Eve go by and not post something. And I certainly couldn't miss an opportunity to wish all of my bloggy friends a very Merry Christmas, or Happy Hannukah, or Joyous Whatever You Celebrate at this time of year!!!
This entire month has been one busy blur. I still can't quite accept that is already December 24. At this time next week we will be ticking away the final hours of Twenty-Eleven and getting ready to usher in Twenty-Twelve.
So what I have I been doing this month? Well, working, mostly. Working has sucked up and enormous amount of time and the stress of it definitely contributed to it not feeling too Christmas-y. But, it is what it is. I have a good stable job and at this time of year more than any other I am thankful for it.
I baked...a lot. I have always enjoyed baking. I don't like having all those yummy baked goods around my house, though! Too tempting! Luckily I enjoy the process of baking more, and I thoroughly enjoy sharing what I make. So I have sent in loads of yummies with Kevin for his office and brought in bunches to mine. I have given to neighbors and baked for my family and friends.
Some of that baking for friends was shared on Friday evening December 16 when I got together with girlfriends for a Girls Night In Christmas Party and (very informal) Cookie Swap!
Some of the yummy goodies we all divided up to take home
We had lots of other yumminess and, of course, an array of liquid refreshments....
My fabulous friends
Mom even stopped by after her own Girls Night In with her friends up the road
Even Bailey got in on the fun before Kevin took him upstairs. No boys allowed after a certain time!
That was just one of the fun parties this month. On Friday December 9, Kevin, Joe, and I attended a big Christmas party with my friend Shawn from work, his wife Erin, and his brothers Brian and Kevin. Erin's Dad has a few parties a year at a local social club and it is always a wicked good time!!! Dinner, live band, and FULL OPEN BAR all night (which is why I am never able to write about it right away....ahem!). The following pics were taken with my phone, well in to the night, and there are either people's fingers or weird ghost-y light things in most of them. Oh well...
My handsome hubs!
Me and Brian. We are pretty bad when we get together and drink! We pretty much lose track of how many each of us have...then we dance and act stupid and have a blast!
Me with Shawn and Brian. At this point I was pretty much using them to lean on...
Stefan and Michelle. So cute! They are engaged! I love them because they don't believe I'm 40!
Brothers. Trouble! ;-)
I love this pic...even though Kevin was pretty much holding me up and that weird finger ghosty thing is in it I still love it. My hubs is such a good guy!!!
And speaking of what an awesome guy he is....
Kevin rang the bell for the Salvation Army in Harvard Square in Cambridge this year!!! So very proud of him for doing such an amazing thing!!!
Of course, when I have had the time, there has been Christmas crafting. That is my December journal in progress and the Christmas card we sent out this year.
My GLU friends and I continued a beloved tradition....
.....exchanging handmade ornaments! So exciting and fun to receive the box each year. One of our friends described as "it is like opening a box of hugs from treasured friends!"
(Yes one of those ornies says 2010. They were misplaced last year and added to this year's bunch.)
Speaking of more craftiness....
.....my Mom taught me to sew!!! I made Christmas stockings for Bailey, Kevin, and me!
This one is Bailey's!
I love the pom-pom trim! Fun and a bit retro!
And the best thing we saw this month.....
.....seeing this little guy perform with the rest of this third grade class in the school Christmas concert!
Love love love!!!
While we were at the school, the principal got up to speak after the second grade classes performed. She asked a little boy to step forward then she explained that his Dad has been serving in Afghanistan for a couple years and it had been a very long time since he had been home. Then she told the little boy that we all just wanted him to know that we all think his Dad is a hero and we are grateful and thankful for all he does. Then she said that since he is such a good boy he deserves a surprise. I started to hear gasps and whispers and I looked across the gym and spotted him: the soldier waiting there in his desert fatigues!!! Tears immediately filled my eyes, and the eyes of everyone in the room, then the principal told the little boy his Dad is home!!! When he stepped in to the gym that kid sprinted off the stage so fast and flew in to his Dad's arms!!! It was truly the most precious thing to see. The gym erupted in to cheers and woohoos and a long standing ovation and they just hugged and hugged!!! Even all the guys in the room were crying!!! If I had my wits about me I would have snapped a picture but I was too busy wiping my tears and cheering!!! Even without a pic, though, I will never ever forget that moment.
The joy of the morning events was misplaced with shock and sadness later in the day when we learned that one of our city's firefighters lost his life battling a blaze at a local apartment building. What makes this harder is I knew him. He is only a year older than me. He graduated a year before me and was also a member of our church, I hadn't seen him in several years but my brother was good friends with him. He leaves behind a wife and three young children. Two days before Christmas. So sad and tragic and unfair. Please keep this hero's family in your thoughts and prayers.
Wow. I didn't mean to end on such a sad note, but this blog has always been about keeping it real.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas Eve!!!!!!!!
Don't forget...you can track Santa's journey around the globe through NORAD!