Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Cards

Not mentioned in this virtual space, is the fact that I was laid off for the month of December. Wayne and I both work for a glass laboratory equipment manufacturer and this year has been SLOW. I only work part time and the company has been remarkably flexible with me, something I appreciate beyond belief. Wayne was still working but not in a normal capacity. He was working to get the building ready for a couple new products. A major undertaking which will hopefully bring us some success.

Anyhow, with extra time on my hands, I decided it would be more economical and fun to hand make our Christmas cards. There were two versions of our cards. Both seemed to take a lot of time to make with varying amounts of glitter involved. The first was a print of this picture. And the second was a pieced together Christmas tree with our cute little heads as the ornaments. I scanned one in but the glitter is really hard to see. By the end I was forgoing the glitter in favor of speed. I made at least 55 cards altogether. It was quite a process involving a lot of procrastination. But in the end, I think I preferred making them. It made it feel like it was a small gift. A bit of our creative spirit, sent in an envelop to our nearest and dearest. For those of you who do not know, which is almost all of you, I keep our Christmas cards. Not just the ones we send but the ones we receive. I have since 2004. They get pasted, very simply, in our Christmas Card album and it's really fun to look back every year and see our friends pictures. I use the non-photo ones too, sometimes cutting them out to make them fit just so. I also started making a collage of Christmas-time photos, so we could remember special things about that particular Christmas. It's become an accidental tradition. Much like the little sandwiches my Grandpa loved to make for Christmas Eve. Next year we will have to start a new album, I'm happy to say. So thanks for everyone who sent us one. You will be forever remembered in our lovely Christmas Card album.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all of you out there. We here at the Kelly house had a lovely Christmas. We are crashing hard today, but the last two days were just super. Christmas Eve we hosted the Spindler crowd. This follows a long tradition that my Grandparents had started in this house.

This year we added a fun Gingerbread House Decorating Contest. It was guys vs. gals and my parents and my cousin, Sarah, acted as judges. This pic is from the guys side and clearly was blatant attempt to win the judges favor with their names(Fran and Bill) on the roof. Not to be fooled by such cheap ploys for favoritism, the judges correctly voted on the superior house(that one of course belonging to the girls and yours truly). It was really fun and added a little camaraderie to the evening.

Wayne made a super gift for my brothers' boys. I forgot to get a pic of it since I was busy catching their reaction on video and that of Kurt and Christina's. Surprisingly, their reaction was signifiacantly different from the kids. Wayne made them a potato gun. If you haven't seen one in action it's a PVC tube concoction that can fire a potato 200 yards. I can't imagine why Kurt and Tia were not so excited by this but the boys really seemed to love it:)

Christmas Day, after much excitement and coffee in the early am hours, we had brunch with my immediate family at our place again. Wayne gave me a new external flash for my camera and I cannot tell you how much I am LOVING it! Such a difference in the photos, I'm sure you will agree. Then it was off to the Wayne's brothers' house for the Kelly Christmas. They have so many in the family it makes for such a wonderful gathering. Every adult brings one gift up to a $20 value and then we choose #'s and you can either pick a wrapped present from the pile or steal a gift from someone else. A gift can only be stolen 3 times before it's "dead." It makes for a fun little time.

After their house it was out to Hilton with the Spindlers again. I would post pics but it appears my computer has now run out of space for my large files. This is something Wayne has been warning me about now with dire predictions of not being able to put my pics up and it has now happened. So if anyone has any suggestions on an external hard drive, now would be the time to pass them along:)

It was a lovely Christmas. The kids, although extremely tired, did remarkably well. We are taking it easy today and tomorrow to give their little bodies time to rest. Merry Christmas everyone.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Standing Time Still

I don't really want time to stand still. I would go crazy, I think, if I had to be forever parenting a 7yr. old commander in chief, a 4 yr. old jumping bean with no volume control and a 9 month old who can't sleep alone. But there are moments when I wish time would just stand still, just a bit. Just so I could breathe the moment a little longer. So I could memorize every crinkle in their smile or every hair out of place. So later, when I'm 80 and actually have a chance to catch my breath, I can recall perfectly the smudge of dirt on their face or the sound of their voice at 4 or how once it was discovered that she could roll her r's, she did it constantly for a week.
Today, I was overcome with such a moment. And it was a nothing moment. An average, everyday moment. Willa and I were waiting for the school bus. And she was stomping around the snow in the front yard and she stopped and looked at me. I was actually in the process of telling her not to get snowy before school, when I saw her little face. She had on that silly hat that suits her so well and the pink sun glasses which she insists on wearing almost everyday and remarkably, has not lost, and the purple coat that always needs washing, and her candy-cane pants. And I wanted to freeze her just there. Just that way with that expression on her face. I wanted to be able to pull it out of my mental images of her a month from now, a year from now, even 10 yrs. from now and examine every detail of her. I want to remember her rolling her r's, her endless chatting, her abundant kindness, her intense desire for snuggling close. I want to be able to carry this one memory of her in my pocket, like a lucky penney.

Time kept moving, of course, without my permission, and in another moment she was on the bus and headed to school. And I wouldn't want it any other way but am crushed at the same time by the unfairness of it.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sometimes Fast, Sometimes Slow

As I've said before, sometimes life can be painfully normal. The everyday, 24/7 of parenting is relentless. Should you mention this aspect to someone older than yourself, you may be told, in somewhat of a hostile voice, "Don't wish this time away!." And I totally get that and agree. They do grow up soo fast. Ady is already 9 months old and I can't believe that we are that close to turning 1. But at the same time, it has been how many nights since we did not have an infant in our bed? Can't answer that since I don't remember. Or the last time I have slept through the night, without interruptions. I know, I know, it's part of parenting, blah, blah, blah. I'm just saying that sometimes things fly by, and other things, well, they take their own sweet time.

This weeked was a flying by kind of weekend. Denver had asked me off-hand how to tie. And so I showed her with a ribbon, and just like that(insert snap) she got it. She then ran upstairs where she dug around till she found a pair of lace sneakers she could wedge herself into(since they were a size and a half too small!) And then displayed her handiwork for the household to admire. I really was so proud of her for this very simple task. It seems in the midst of the doldrums of everyday life, she is leaving little bits of early childhood behind her. This after a Dentist appt. where the Dentist, not surprisingly, told us she would need to give up chewing on her blankie soon since her adult teeth are coming in. This was not good news. And I find myself very upset at the idea of forcing her to give up yet one more thing from these "baby years." I don't think I'm ready.

And then, the girls had a Holiday Dance Show. It's always entertaining to watch small children dance. They did great, even though Willa bit it pretty hard...twice(darn slippery tap shoes) she still got right back up and kept dancing. The show was simple, 1 hr. and really fun to see how much the kids absorbed in only 3 months. Last year Willa was so pooped by the end of the day, she wouldn't go on stage. So yeah for Willa! She felt pretty good because she got to lead her class in a big skipping circle and ,"I didn't even look at the helpers Mom, I just went(insert strange Willa noise) at the right time!"

And these pics are just cute naked pics from a bathtub full of princesses.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Kelly Thanksgiving

Wayne is one of 7 children in his family and one of the many great things about the gigantic Kelly family is that for Thanksgiving, they celebrate the Saturday following Thanksgiving. It is something everyone just plans on, no phone calls to a million people trying to find a date that works for everyone. It just is. This way there is no sharing the day with the spouse's family, or not seeing one side of your family at all that Holiday.
About a month or so ago, Wayne and I decided we would try to host dinner. We usually go to a church because the group is so large. But my Grandparents used to have parties in our basement so we decided to give it a try. Wayne cleaned out the basement, no small task! For those of you who have been here, you know my house is not big. At the minimum, we were expecting 30. We borrowed tables and chairs from my folks' church for the extra seating.
Surprisingly, it went great! My lovely neighbor was so kind and let us borrow her oven to help with the cooking(a necessity I assure you). I cooked a whopper of a bird, 27lbs! And a 7lb. turkey breast too. And with 33 people, it was just enough for a good dinner and a few doggy bags.
Everything we very smoothly and I would be open to doing it again. It was really nice to have everyone together and I know I did not take enough pictures.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Well, I have a lot of blogging ahead of me. So many great things happened over the Thanksgiving weekend. I think I'll proceed chronologically. Thanksgiving day was spent at my Aunt Maureen and Uncle Paul's house. This year was special because my Aunt Christa and Uncle Michael Leman along with their two kids(Ben and Elizabeth)(Hi Guys-insert tiny hand wave), were up from Virginia for a visit. I LOVE my Aunt and Uncle(well, all my Aunts and Uncles, but for now I am referring to the Lemans). They will roll their eyes when/if they read this but my love for them goes back to my impressionable youth.

First, when my brothers and I each turned 13, Aunt Christa and Uncle Michael FLEW us down to Virginia. By ourselves. Where we spent a few days with them and then flew back. Again, by ourselves. It felt very much like a rite of passage. And then to top it off, they work for the "agency." I can't help but have this rock-star-like awe for that. (OK, now I know the eyes are fully rolled and the giggles are starting) But I had two favorite shows during that weird adolescent time; Remington Steele and Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Do you think they have those on DVD? Sorry, I digress.
So while almost everyone in DC works for the government in some capacity, I think it's cool. So anyways, long story short, it was great to see them. Ben is now taller than me:( And Elizabeth, is really quite a witty and enjoyable college student, who will be studying in Germany next semester. If I knew how to say and spell 'Good Luck' in German, here would be the place I would write it ________.

To make our weekend even more happy, Rebecca, daughter of my Aunt Maureen and Uncle Paul, much beloved as well, was able to come home from NYC. She brought boyfriend David, who seemed to be a pretty nice guy. Seems that all the guests brought wine and so I think the final tally was 14 bottles of wine. Mmmm.

Then Friday, after a bit of shopping, we all headed out to a very German Restaurant to have a traditional German dinner in honor of Grandpa. His children(Dad, U. Paul, A. Christa) decided to set aside some money to treat the entire family to this very special dinner. 23 of us altogether. And to keep in with the spirit of things, I dressed the girls up in German attire. Willa started asking to put on her "Drindle"(actually dirndle) as soon as she woke up that morning. They looked absolutely charming! After dinner, Willa said, "Boy that German food is very good." She had a weiner(hot dog) and fries. There was a great group shot taken. You can see it here.
Thank you Uncle Paul BTW for the pic.

I think I will stop here and finish the weekend tomorrow. I'm thankful for drindles:)