Tuesday Things

cabin-snow

This last weekend Jesse and I headed up to the cabin for a bit of a “before the madness of the season hits us” pow-wow. We did some Christmas shopping, had a very nice dinner with my brother and his fiancée, relaxed, and worked out our plan for the season. Saturday the ground was still green and I was complaining about how I felt we were never going to have winter (I like winter. I especially like SNOW in winter.) and then I woke up to this above pretty picture on Sunday. It’s just not Christmas to me without snow.

Knitting: socks, scarves, mittens. Because this time of year isn’t busy enough with holiday stress or the kitchen remodel plans we’re making, I thought it would be a good idea to start some last minute handmade gifts.

Watching: I watched a few episodes of The Crown based on Marian’s recommendation and I’ll add my recommendation to that as well. I didn’t watch anything this weekend though I did spend a lot of time listening to The Hamilton Mixtape. I preordered awhile ago and have been loving the early releases. Now that the whole thing is out I can’t stop raving about it. I’ve become positively obsessed (in part because Jesse and I ordered tickets to see it in NYC for our 15th wedding anniversary and I don’t know how I’m going to wait until August).

Reading: Nothing. I’ll resume that again after Christmas.

Cooking: This week I’ll be making a few “fancy retro” dishes for a Mad-Men-esque themed Christmas celebration. So I’ve been scoping out recipes here, here, here. I’m so excited; I may have even bought a dress for the occasion.

What’s new and exciting in your world? Making, reading, watching or listening to anything you’d like to share?

Tuesday Things

christmas

Isn’t it funny how some time with a good friend can absolutely change your mood? We’ve been gray and drizzly and it’s getting dark at 4:30 which is just a recipe for me to feel cranky and blah. Yesterday, I met a friend for breakfast and now I feel as if the sun is shining despite it still being gray and drizzly. Some people are just good for the soul. I hope you have some of those people around you during this crazy holiday season!

Knitting: Well, I finished my November socks and proceeded to a pair of mittens over the weekend. I love the pattern and recommend it if you are looking for one. I found some lovely yarn from Knitted Wit on etsy and I’m so glad I ordered more than one skein. I love it.

Watching: I’ve been curling up with holiday favorites: The Sound of Music (I drive Jesse crazy as I sing along with the whole movie), Home Alone, and the first Harry Potter (it just FEELS like it should be a Christmas movie even though I know it isn’t) and knitting away. Do you have holiday favorites? I think Charlie Brown is next.

Reading: Absolutely nothing. Have anything to recommend?

Cooking: I made this stuffing (or one close to it, anyway) and this cranberry jello salad  for Thanksgiving. Otherwise the only thing I’m doing in the kitchen is dreaming about remodeling. I need to get back into the habit of cooking.

Our Annual Advent List

advent

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Each year I like to make an advent calendar full of activities that we can participate in as a family. This year I’m realizing that we’re BUSY before we even start adding Christmas activities so I’ve tried to make a more realistic list for us as a family and schedule the “big” things on the dates that work for us. Also, while the liturgical calendar has us actually starting the season of Advent today, we’ll be doing the typical 24 day countdown. Here are the activities we have planned (in no particular order):

  1. help mom put together neighborhood Christmas gifts and deliver
  2. bless the Advent wreath and light the first candle
  3. bake cookies
  4. make Christmas ornaments
  5. make paper snowflakes
  6. tell each family member something you like about them
  7. write a letter to Santa
  8. bubble bath followed by Christmas colors mani-pedi
  9. go for a drive and look at the lights
  10. play a board game after dinner as a family
  11. decorate the Christmas tree and set out the nativities
  12. read a Christmas book together before bed
  13. family Christmas jammie night
  14. watch a Christmas movie and have popcorn
  15. have a breakfast for dinner night
  16. make sure to leave out your shoes for St. Nick
  17. donate food/diapers to the local food pantry
  18. go for a walk together before bedtime
  19. deliver cards/ornaments to the nursing home
  20. make gifts for family members at Santa’s Workshop
  21. attend your school advent program
  22. draw a picture or write a letter to a loved one far away
  23. donate to the Salvation Army bellringer
  24. go through your toys and closets to find gently used items to donate to a local shelter

Tuesday Things: I Am Grateful

cranberrysaucesocksCelebrating the kids’ Thanksgiving Mass/feast with some hand knit socks in the cranberry sauce colorway.

Knitting: I’m working on my November socks still. I had my first one done quite early in the month. Then I got sidetracked. Then I started cruising a long on my second one and now…I’m going to need to sit down and get to work this weekend! Especially, if I’m going to be giving any knitted gifts this year (I have yet to give a hank of yarn with a tag saying what it will someday become, but I’m not ruling that out for this year!)

Watching: I ordered the second season of Outlander. It’s still steamy but didn’t seem quite as much so as last season (no complaints, just an observation). The show has now caught up to where I left off reading. I can’t decide if I want to read to find out what happens or just watch. (I loved the beginnings and endings of the books I read, but found many parts in the middle to be just SLOGS.) The new season of The Affair has started and the first episode was amazing. I like this show a lot. I watched a few episodes of The Divorce. I liked the first two and then just…eh.

Reading: I lost my copy of The Orchardist. I took it away with me on a weekend adventure and proceeded to set it down somewhere. Violet asked me to read the book The Scavengers by Michael Perry because her teacher is doing it as a read-a-loud so I said I would. I liked it. I like Michael Perry. In part because he writes about areas I know and it makes me feel like I’m in on the joke. This one skewed young. I liked the premise/theme but it certainly wasn’t the best post-apocolyptic story I’ve read. (2.5 stars)

Cooking: Lots and lots of things that go in the crockpot. I used to think those people who couldn’t manage to sit down as a family for dinner were crazy. I mean…just sit down for dinner. But this year, I’ve definitely had to eat my words. With activities, work schedules, and kids who need a 7:30 bedtime, we’ve definitely had nights where I eat with one child, leave it on warm and head off to an activity, only to have Jesse come home with the other and eat together. Any quick meals you can recommend? Soups and stews are especially good as it’s FINALLY starting to feel like November around here. (Maybe snow tonight/tomorrow. Fingers crossed!!!)

Finally, if you happen to be celebrating Thanksgiving this year (and even if you aren’t), I hope your week is filled with family, food, and friendship. Thanksgiving is always my favorite and lately it’s being usurped by that brighter and flashier (and more consumer focused) Christmas. And I love the Christmas season but I’m sad that our holiday of gratitude is being taken over (in particular this year), when I think we all could use the reminder to open our hearts and hearths to our neighbors (in particular, the ones who are different from us) and share the many gifts we’ve been given. Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving. XOXO.