Sunday, December 29, 2013

What An Amazing Week!

Hope you and your families had a truly special holiday.  

This has truly been a very magical and beautiful week.  It started on Monday night.  We went to see Chanticleer at the Carmel Mission.  If you have never heard them, they are an incredible male chorus out of San Francisco.  It was one of the best concerts I have ever attended.  So absolutely beautiful. They are best known for performing Biebl's Ave Maria.  Here is a link:  Chanticleer Ave Maria  The audience was so enthusiastic and gave them such a long standing ovation that lasted for several minutes, so at the last moment they performed the Ave Maria even though it was not on the program.  I nearly cried.  It was stunning.

We were both a little sleepy for work the next day, but did not have time to be sleepy.  There was much to be done.  I got out of work early and prepped for a long evening.  We had Norwegian Christmas Eve dinner with my BFF's family and then headed out our late night service at our church.  I am in the choir so we had to be there early to warm up and prepare. However, it was a huge service, with the Bishop presiding, so we needed to be at our best.  It was such a beautiful, joyous service.  It was worth it, getting out around midnight.  

Christmas Day was perfect.   My sweetheart gave me the most beautiful yellow sapphire and diamond ring.  I was not expecting such a beautiful and extravagant gift.  It is so pretty and I do not think I will ever take it off.  Liesl has been a very good girl this year and had a stocking full of wonderful things including some special bones from Whole Foods.  

The best part of the day was dinner with my wonderful family.  We cooked and everyone came to my sweetheart's condo.  My family is pretty goofy, so we laughed a lot.  Although my sweetheart is of British descent, he was not familiar with the tradition of poppers and wearing a silly paper crown all through dinner (his Grandmother, whom he and his family lived with was from Great Britain. Many of his traditions are very British.)  The subject came up earlier this year as we were watching the Vicar of Dibley (I heart Geraldine!) and it was one of the Christmas shows.  He wondered why everyone was wearing paper crowns on the show.  I am proud to say that he has now spent a Christmas in a silly paper crown, too.  There was a family imposed penalty for whomever removed their crown first.

Speaking of Great Britain, I can not wait until the first episode of the new season of Downton Abby next week.  We are planning a dinner of bangers and mash and an English Ale.  I am so excited!  We are trying to figure out a good dessert for our meal.  It is going to be awesome.

I am going to try to actually stitch in the new year.  It is one of my resolutions.  It has been way too long and I really miss it.  Maybe I will start small with an ornament of something just to get my feet wet again.  In the meantime, there are books to be read, a garden to be planned, naps to be taken and much joy to be experienced.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Checking in

Oh, my goodness, December has just blown by!

So yesterday, we were in Petsmart, picking out gifts for a certain schnauzer someone.  That was when a young boy came in with his grandmother.  He was carrying the littlest baby schnauzer.  I knew that little mustachioed face anywhere.  Oh, my goodness.  It was hard to believe that so much cuteness could be contained in such a little bitty body.  I said to the grandmother, that it was such a beautiful baby schnauzer.  She said that it was her second one.  I exclaimed that they are such amazing dogs and that it was more like having a person around.  She said, "Oh, no, they ARE people."  LOL  Then she said to me, "This little guy is only eight weeks old and can you believe he had the nerve to get mad at me this morning?"  Sadly, I can totally relate.  LOL  I know all together the level of drama and emotion that a schnauzer is capable of.  I live it on a daily basis.  

Tomorrow is actually the anniversary of a little furry someone trotting into my life and laying claim to all of my stuff.  LOL  Six years ago, this scraggly little four month old puppy came home on my lap. She acted all innocent and shy.  Until the next morning that is when she made sure that we knew who was really in charge going forward.

Liesl is pretty happy and still such a character.  We are having an issue though because if I call her she goes to her daddy.  She is so happy to have a male in her life and thinks that he is all hers.  He is her buddy and chief protector.  

So now we are getting ready for Christmas.  This week is going to be wild and I am finding myself making long to do lists.  I told my honey that next weekend we are not doing a dog gone thing.  Thankfully, he agrees.

So the presents are wrapped.  We did most of the grocery shopping today.  My sweetie loves to entertain and has all of his Christmas china lined up like soldiers in the kitchen all ready to set the table.  It is gorgeous Christmas china, too.  Having had dinner parties with him before, I know that every single piece of silverware in the house will indeed be set on the table.  And he has a LOT!  But it will be beautiful.  I am super excited.  

But for now, I am a bit tired.  I think I will go cuddle up to my little dog who has visions of biscuits dancing in her furry little head.  I will be thankful as I get all of that sweet puppy warmth for six wonderful years with my very special girl.  I love her more than I can ever say.   I am truly blessed.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Magical Season

Admittedly, for many years now since my kids have grown up, the holidays have been more something to get through rather than celebrate.  I usually got my Christmas spirit by Christmas Eve with the big service at church, the traditional Norwegian dinner with friends and Christmas Day with my family. However, the weeks leading up to Christmas in particular have always been filled with stress, worry about if the gifts I got for my kids were nice enough, and panic about how I was going to get everything done.  In a way, it kind of took away from the fun of the holiday.

This year is very different.  My sweetheart is someone who LOVES holidays.  And he does them up big time.  LOL  He decorated my porch again.  This time with beautiful poinsettias on the steps and red and white cyclamen in pots.  He has made plans for several events during the season and is especially cheerful.  Today we went to a Christmas ballet.  It was absolutely beautiful and so festive.  I have to say that I am feeling a bit o' the Christmas spirit.  We have listened to Christmas music and shopping has actually been a bit fun.  Tonight we were laughing out loud at some really silly Christmas cards in the card section at Target.  It has been fun.

I have to say that despite the firestorm of criticism this week, we actually enjoyed watching The Sound of Music on Thursday night.  I went into it not expecting it to be like the classic movie.  We both really thought it was entertaining.  The Sound of Music holds a special place in my heart because it is where my sweet Liesl got her name.  (She is only six going on seven, lol.)   I thought it was a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours on a Thursday evening (I can not stay up until eleven on a school night.) 

I shall have to figure out a way to do a little holiday baking soon.  I will make my homemade marshmallows. I will also make just a couple of traditional ones that the family loves like thumbprint cookies.  It is fun to bake for my grown up kids again.  Maybe I will bake some doggie cookies for my Liesl, too.  

I did buy myself a little Christmas present a week ago.  It comes with story.  On Black Friday in the late afternoon my honey had to go to Office Depot.  While I was in there, they had a Kindle Fire HD 8GB.  I had been toying with the idea of buying one for a while.  This one was $139 and you got a $25 gift card with the purchase.  I thought it sounded like a good price.  The associate in the computer aisle said that they had two left.  However, when I went up to the front to pay, they said that they were out of the 8 GB.  My honey asked how much it would be if I got the next size up, but I just said, "No, the fact that they do not have this particular one in stock is the sign that I do not need to buy one today."  So we left.  (My age and experience have taught me not to chase after things to make them work.)  This Monday at Amazon they advertised the 16GB Kindle Fire for only $119.  Higher memory capacity for less money.  It is funny how things turn out.  I received my Kindle Fire on Thursday and love it.  It has pretty good sound so I can play my Bach radio on Pandora.  I am a happy girl.

Well, I am off to get some sleep.  My dear one has more Yule fun planned for tomorrow, so I need to get my beauty rest!

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Truly Great Thanksgiving!

Hope each of you had a stellar Thanksgiving.  Ours was wonderful!  We hosted the dinner at the church, which was a huge hit!  Everyone had such a great time and we had so much food!  My personal theory is that church potluck food is the best food.  (A dear friend once told me that food that is blessed is the best food.)  My theory is that everyone makes their best recipes and makes them with love.  The food was so incredible.  

The nice thing about a church dinner is that everyone stays and helps to clean up.  So clean up was done really fast!  My honey was up at four with Liesl making the turkey.  She was so cute.  She would not leave his side.  Anyway, we were both really tired.  However, my best friend really wanted us to come over, so off we went to have pie with her and her large family.  As we were driving home, we said, "Well, we totally ROCKED this Thanksgiving!"  LOL  We both fell asleep within five minutes of sitting on the living room sofa.  

I have not really been in the mood to start shopping yet for Christmas.  It was a busy weekend, too. Yesterday was the first day in advent and our choir was busy!  The services were truly inspirational. We are so ready for the season.  We have tickets to some great events this season.  I am so very excited!

It was hard to go back to work today after six days off.  Once I got started though, it was quite pleasant.  Walking with Liesl in the cold morning air is a great way to start the day.  I am the coordinator for the big audit at work this week.  It is okay though as it is a bit of a change of pace.  I really have a pretty cool job.  

Well, it is supposed to be super duper cold here tonight so I guess I had better go tuck in my little furgirl.  Stay warm, everyone!