Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hurry, One More!

One more Christmas post! Is it nearing the end of the Christmas season already? Maybe some people are already done--I'll be done Wednesday morning when the decorations are put away. But I thought I'd post about this particular decoration.
This thing cracks me up. Isn't it the funniest wedding gift you've ever seen? Especially when you find out my wedding was in August! But Dot gave it to me, so no returns or re-gifts. Dot is an old family friend who is the eccentric, fun, kind lady you never forget. Some of my earliest memories are of her condo up at Snowbird and the creepy elephant foot she had as a footstool in her basement. She passed away recently and I can't remember the last time I saw her, but nobody in our family will forget her.

So the tacky elf. I love it and I hope I never throw it away. I hope I never become a person who can't appreciate a cheesy elf and let it live among the classier decorations. My parents often quoted Dot with this phrase:

"Be pretty if you can be, smart if you are, and smile if it kills you."

I looked at it tonight and smiled and thought of funny Dot. I need some more eccentric people in my life :)

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Best Gift

J and I didn't collaborate on gifts for Abbey so there'd be more surprises on Christmas. He bought her this spelling game for the tub--you fish out foam letters with a fishing pole to spell words. I didn't say anything until she started pulling the poles apart, but the box specifically says it isn't appropriate until age 3. (Abbey=18 months). He said "Ash. Our kid is advanced."

Here's what our gifted child spelled:
But the gift was redeemed and gave the parents endless fun when we figured out they stuck to her skin nicely.
Maybe the parents aren't so 'advanced' themselves.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Village

We went back to this town to take in the Christmas festivities Friday night. It's a fun town anyway, but they had tons of characters walking around and horse drawn carriages riding up and down the cobble streets. Here's J and Abbey with Saint Nicholas. Good thing we were wearing our neutral gang colors--what sign is St Nick trying to pull?

**Duh-leted. See comment section :) I remained concerned.**

Seriously, that's not 'I Love You'. Someone fill me in on this one or I will remain concerned.

There were carolers, Mrs. Clause, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and Santa Clauses from different countries. Everyone stayed in character--even Scrooge was arguing with people walking by. There were street vendors making roasted chestnuts and hot cider, I loved it. The shops are too expensive so all I wanted to find was some good fudge. Oh boy. Did we ever find it.

I loved the store, this sign inside, the shelves and shelves of candy, and of course the fudge. I even loved the doorway outside and the little girl hanging out on the step.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Baby, It's Cold Out There

Finally, we get some snow around here. We had a hard time getting to a Christmas party Saturday night but we grew up in the mountains! We know how to handle this stuff. On Sunday our bishop laughed that the only folks in church were the ones who grew up driving in the west.

Of course we had to take the little one out to enjoy. It was pretty uneventful, to be honest with you, but how yummy does she look in her get-up and rosy nose?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Tree Trimmins

A while ago I was reading one of my favorite blogs and she said that for every ounce of creativity you possess, you probably have a pound of crazy. I loved that! Unfortunately, I am practical to a fault. Seriously. Annoyingly practical. And I'm not saying that as a backwards way of giving myself a compliment, I wish I was more spontaneous and right-brained. J and I are the worst decision makers because we think about every option, everything that might come up, and then throw in the time value of money. And my favorite computer program is Excel. So I don't think I have very many ounces of creativity. But I've become pretty good at stealing ideas. Here are the projects for Abbey's tree:

Garland idea I stole from Emily's blog:

Ornament ideas I stole from Martha (true to my scrappy nature, I had to involve cute, Christmas scrapbook paper somehow):
Adorable ornaments I stole from Hobby Lobby. Just kidding!!! I paid, but not a lot, woo woo Hobby Lobby:
Our neighbors let us have their big, beautiful, fake Christmas tree so our skinny one is going in Abbey's room. I regret the fake tree thing. My cousins go snowmobiling in the mountains every year to cut down their own tree. I am instituting that tradition as soon as I get some snow. And some mountains. And some snowmobiles.

The big tree was decorated with no love. Just store bought ornaments over the years. And the bottom third is empty after Abbey crushed an ornament in her fist (Hercules, Hercules). No cuts though, luckily. I do love these gold branches and berries.
The first Christmas we were married, my mother-in-law was having an Open House to sell her Christmas designs and decorations. It is one of my favorite memories at their house because the whole place was decorated to the nines and every room had at least two or three beautifully decorated Christmas trees. The house smelled delicious and we made tons of treats for her customers. The best part was she said I could go into the shop and pick anything I wanted. Anyway, this is what I picked and they always remind me of my first Christmas with the Paces.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

It's a Gimmick

While playing with Justin's hand today I noticed one of his nails was quite shiny and smooth. I started giggling, knowing the same Israeli worker at the Sea Beauty kiosk at the mall had snagged him for the demonstration I got two weeks ago. (My nail is still shiny and smooth, by the way.)

J told me the lady, in broken english, was saying 'Oh yeah, works great. You can even wash your hands! This is a gimmick!' J asked 'What do you mean by that?' She asked him if she was saying it right. He said 'yeah.'

For all you kiosk workers:
gimmick |╦łgimik| noun: a trick or device intended to attract attention, publicity, or business

Welcome to America. And I think the schpill worked, which is good. I did kind-of want that buffer thing.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Have an Accounting Problem?

Enter Ashley Pace,


nailed it.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

I tried.

The little one was under the weather yesterday so we were stuck at home. And since she needs to be entertained every minute (just like daddy) I tried to make some playdough. As you can see by her face, it didn't work out so well.
I failed. I felt pretty dumb because my mom used to whip up huge batches like it was no big thing. Katherine called to tell me about her crappy (yet amusing) day. I sensed I was getting too much pleasure out of her ordeal, so I told her about mine. I said "I guess I'll just be one of those moms that buys playdough." She said "You say that like it's a bad thing."

Hopefully it isn't one of the qualifications of being considered a 'good mom'. But if anyone does have a good recipe, lay it on me.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Deckin' the Halls

In an attempt to find some Christmas cheer around here sans the snow (yeah, yeah, all you folks in Utah, it looks beautiful and yes, I am jealous) I have my Christmas playlist going all day. This is seriously starting to wear on J's nerves as I cannot help but prance about and sing along when 'It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year' comes on. I feel a lot of reponsibility to bring the Christmas spirit to our home since it is our first year doing it on our own. The plan:

1st: the spiritual side. We went to a nearby church Sunday night that had a huge assortment of nativity displays. Literally every room in the church was full of them. Then they played the Christmas Devotional broadcast from SLC. Great start to the season, as always.

2nd: a strategic move. Abbey's already unwrapped one of the Christmas presents from Grandma. She's getting very frustrated that we won't let her dig in to the rest of them, so...I'm wrapping her old toys and books today. Decoy gifts. (FYI, tonight she opened the first one--a toy she rarely notices--and said 'No Way!'. Success.)
2nd: christmas letters in the mail. I wrote one last week and it ended up being like two pages long. In 5 pt font. So I like to talk about myself, what about it? The revised one is ready to go, just need to print, stuff, stamp, and mail. Done. Mostly.

3rd: figure out some traditions. Every time I think of ways to make it special, I always return to food ideas. I need you! What do you do as a family to bring the Christmas spirit to your home?

Tomorrow: the Christmas projects...