Sunday, December 27, 2009

18 Years

Time sure does fly when you're having fun.

Happy Anniversary to us.

So This Is Christmas

Top 5 of Christmas '09

Family Fun
Tons of Presents
French Bulldogs
Yummy Food
Monkey Jammies

Christmas Eve

Christmas Morning

Saturday, December 26, 2009

O Tannenbaum

Here's the way Christmas tree decorating works at our house; I decorate the big tree and the kids have small trees of their own that they decorate. That way my tree looks the way I want it to and my mom-guilt is assuaged because the kids still get to use their funky ornaments and decorate to their hearts content. One year Dagny re-decorated her tree every single day and Dane used his Star Wars figures as ornaments. That's something that I wouldn't let them do to my tree, so our tree decorating solution is a win for all involved.

Every few years I'll do something completely new with the tree. I went through a gold phase, then silver, one year I did everything in blue and silver. (Steve refers to that as our Chanukah Christmas) When the kids were younger I would match the decorations to their Christmas outfits. Yes, I'm that crazy.

one of Dagny's masterpieces

Shiny Silver

Happy Chanukah

The Red Phase

even the presents match

2009 - The Bronze Age

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Christmas!

One of our favorite things to do during the holiday season? Stroll through Victorian London. A 90,000 square foot replica of Dickens era London where once you walk in you are completely immersed. We shop, dance, eat,(the fish&chips alone are worth the price of admission) interact with Dickens characters, watch live shows, gawk at all the beautiful costumes, and using our finest British accents, we wish everyone we meet a Happy Christmas.

Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present

Fagin, Bill Sykes and Oliver

Mr. Dickens himself


Dagny, Jenna and their friend Rachel, who works at the fair
(It's one of Dagny and Jenna's goals in life to be characters at
the fair, we're going to see if we can make that happen)

Trying on some Victorian Finery while practicing
their serious Dickens character faces

Happy Christmas!

Dagny dancing at Fezziwigs Dance Party

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How Dane Saved Christmas


The other day when we were out to lunch Dane picked up a handful of cash off the floor. Actually, handful of cash doesn't quite cover it, it was a wad of $100 dollar bills. Tons of them, well over $2,ooo. Steve and Dane deduced that the man ahead of us in line had dropped the money and they chased after him. He was easy to follow because he'd left a trail of $100's that were falling out of his pockets. By the time they caught up with him as he was getting in his car, Dane had collected another thousand dollars off the ground. Dane handed over the cash, the man had no idea he had even dropped any of it. He thanked Dane and drove away. Dane would like to think that the guy had just withdrawn all that money from the bank and was on his way to do his Christmas shopping for his kids. Therefore Dane feels that he saved someone's Christmas. I'm not really concerned about that guy's Christmas, I'm just impressed that Dane didn't pocket any of the money. Way to make a mother proud.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Just Breathe

Usually by this time in December I'm totally ready for Christmas; house decorated, presents bought and wrapped, cards mailed, Christmas dinner planned... By mid-December the kids and I have been to the Dickens Fair, to the skating rink, hosted a holiday party... We haven't done any of those things yet. I'm not a last minute person, I like getting things done early then sitting back and actually enjoying the holidays. This year I am hopelessly behind, and frankly, it's stressing me out. I've been wracking my brain to figure out what is making this year so different and difficult. Today when Dagny came home from school it dawned on me, having a child in public school has completely thrown off my groove. When both kids were homeschooled we did school year-round and that allowed us to take the entire month of December off. We spent our days doing all kinds of Christmassy things together, and we had plenty of time to get everything done and then some. (many years with time left over for a quick trip to Disneyland) To keep me sane I've put Dane on the same school schedule as Dagny, so neither one of them is out of school until the 18th. This is a new timeline for us, we're going to have to pack a lot of holiday fun into two weeks of school vacation. (5 days of which they will be away at Winter Camp) That means I need to get to work. So, after I take a deep breath, I'll take a moment to be grateful for and expedited shipping, then I'll do what I can and be happy with the results. I'm pretty sure Christmas doesn't need to be this stressful.

Gallery of Holiday Activities That We
May or May Not Get Around To This Year

outdoor ice skating

Dickens Christmas Fair

making (faux) Gingerbread Houses

Hanging Out With Mickey

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Soundtrack

There's a lot to enjoy during the holidays, and for me, every single one of those things is enhanced by the presence of Christmas music. I cue up my playlist of holiday favorites the day after Thanksgiving and the fun doesn't stop until the New Year. The right song makes standing in line at the mall less tedious, it's the perfect accompaniment when you're ice skating at the outdoor rink, it sets the mood as you drink hot chocolate by the fire, it heightens the excitement of opening presents... Basically holiday music is magical and I love it.

A Few of My Favorites

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
~ Judy Garland

I'll Be Home For Christmas
~ Tony Bennett

We Wish You The Merriest
~ Frank Sinatra

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
~ Andy Williams

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
~ Bing Crosby

Step Into Christmas
~ Elton John

Cool Yule
~ Louis Armstrong

Little Saint Nick
~ Beach Boys

Let It Snow
~ Harry Connick Jr.

Christmas Waltz
~ Rosemary Clooney

The Big 4-0

Recipe For The Perfect 40th Birthday Party

Mix the following ingredients together along with
liberal amounts of music and laughter. Enjoy

A 40 Year Old and His Lovely Wife


Kitchen Staff



Embarrassing Pictures

Monday, December 7, 2009

(Almost) White Christmas

We woke up this morning to a Winter Wonderland. Everything is clean and beautiful, the ice and snow sparkle in the sunlight. It's a lovely sight to see, but I won't be sad when it melts and goes away. It's fun for a day, but not for everyday. There's a reason I live in California.