Christmas in the Desert

This was the view from the plane over Arizona — a trip that was our family Christmas gift. It was last-minute, very brief and it’s a long story, but what an amazing time! Here is the reason we chose Phoenix: my oldest son is a Rams fan; my youngest fan is a Cardinals fan and…

Brewery Lights

Finally! After calling St. Louis home for all these years, last night was the first time I got to see the Anheuser-Busch Brewery Lights. It was worth the wait. We even got to see it under a full moon! A few of the Clydesdales were available for photo opportunities. Even the lights are happy. (See…

Memories on display

I put up the tree this year. This sounds like such a routine holiday accomplishment, but it was a big hurdle for me. Last year, I couldn’t manage to pull it off. It was my first Christmas season without my kids at home and I was struggling with the transition. I couldn’t figure out the…

Garden Glow

“Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling.” – Edna Ferber And there’s no better feeling than Christmas lights. Especially Garden Glow Christmas lights. Magical.

Aaaaand….

We didn’t even make it to Thanksgiving this year. Every year since 2011, during my holiday shopping I’ve found… Smushed Santas… …squashed teddy bears… …gutted snowmen… …pushed-in nutcrackers… …pinched teddy bear heads… …and punctured teddy bear heads. And now, may I introduce the 2017 inductee into the Mutilated Christmas Chocolate Collection: Pushed-in Snowman! I spotted…

Let Your Heart Be Light

Our annual trip to the Way of Lights at Our Lady of the Snows looked and felt a little different this year. Our car was a little more crowded with some new faces. But that’s the great thing about love — the more we give, the more we have. The circle can always be expanded. New…

May Your Days Be Merry…

I love this simple acts of kindness list so much. The original link is here. The accompanying photos are just a few from life lately. The Hello Kitty, panda, and heart wood are gifts from dear friends. I am filled with gratitude that, not only do I have wonderful people in my life, they know…

Tree Skirts and Santa Shirts

When I glanced at our Christmas tree this morning, I noticed that our new tree skirt appeared to be in a ball under the branches. Upon closer inspection, I realized our Violet was that “ball” and our skirt was just fine. It was just hard to tell where the skirt ended and the cat began….

Well Under Way

Behold, the Grump Tree. I found this silly thing at Trader Joe’s today and had to take it home with me. It’s like Dr. Seuss meets Charlie Brown. This was after my son’s girlfriend and I made these little cupcakes yesterday. A dozen penguins and a polar bear. (We ran out of momentum.) And Murphy…

My Little Chapel

“Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps, means a little bit more.” – The Grinch I don’t have our tree up yet, but I do have our newest little decoration up in the house. And no, it didn’t come from a store. And it means a whole lot more. Isn’t it the…

Time to Glow

Started the season off at my favorite place with one of my favorite events — the Garden Glow! I took my Little Sister and her mom with me in celebration of my Little’s birthday (after a trip to Build-a-Bear). It was my Little’s mom’s first trip to the Garden, let alone the Garden Glow. She…

Restoration

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…including you.” – Anne Lamott Not only have I begun to purchase Christmas ornaments before Thanksgiving (including the lovely bully mug above), I have every intention of decorating the house this weekend as well. I can’t remember the last time I’ve looked forward…

The Tradition Continues

You know, I’d almost forgotten about it this year. In fact, I hadn’t even looked. Every year since 2011, during my holiday shopping I’ve found… …some innocent chocolate critter has been punctured… …squished… …smushed… …or gutted. I’d almost let this photographic streak of destruction snap. Then this afternoon, there it was, staring at me from…

Filling the Tank

“Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe. No less than the trees and the stars. In the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.” — Max Ehrmann, writer My running buddies and I, after numerous failed attempts to coordinate schedules, were finally able to get together for a long walk…

Life Lately: Holiday Edition

A few photos on the iPhone lately include glimpses of… …my kitties’ company… and cupcake baking. A full Sunday in the kitchen and I had four dozen from-scratch cupcakes to show for it: red velvet (top left), peppermint (middle), egg nog (lower left), and gingerbread with cinnamon frosting (right row). The irony of this photo…

This and That

If photos reflect a current state of mind, then mine has been a little quirky.

A Very Good Day

In anticipation of the holiday next week and in an effort to get somewhat caught up, the boys and I all took yesterday off for a full day of shopping and cheer. We went across the river over into downtown Saint Charles for some lunch and a bit of shopping. I don’t get over there…

Big Guy, Bigger Heart

As if Santa wasn’t already the coolest guy in the world. It seems like there have been a few really special Santa stories this year that have hit me right in the feels. This Santa settled himself onto the floor to make an autistic boy feel more comfortable. Link to full story and more photos here or click…