Monday, December 6, 2010

eating, praying, and loving; christmas mailers; and cousins.

christmas cards...or in my world, christmas mailers are looked upon as an event to be taken seriously. i think about them. i design them in my head over and over again. i frett, freak, and obsess.

which stamp will enhance the look of my return address label?
of course, ill need a 2mm calligraphy pen from hallmark. it's a yearly ritual (k, thanks for helping a girl out and picking mine up before they ran out! xo) and although my mailers look way worse because of that damn pen...i refuse to give it up. i just can't get used to that 45 degree angle no matter how many times you show me how to do it!

so, i fix my many mistakes with stickers. last year, my whiteout of choice was huge, galloping, and sparkly reindeer carefully positioned to hide errors of many kinds but not limited to sending my holiday mailers with maiden names addressed instead of their married. i figured they would get over it, but i guess that's not really the right attitude! ha. what are ya gonna do?

i schedule a time, i actually write it in my calendar...
mailers tonight!
i jot down a possible movie choice. this year: eat, pray, love! (loved it. hello the music alone had me in tears in the first ten minutes not to mention the amazing dialogue...

ruin is a gift. ruin is the gift to transformation.

you may be confused, but if you rent the movie...you'll get it. you'll have an aha moment, the lightbulb will go on or burst or whatever happens when...you. just. get. it.

kelle and i chanted this a few times before sipping our drinks in the warmth of a freshly and beautifully nurtured fire followed by laughing, eating, writing, and exchanging addresses. we are one on this. no questions asked...we get it. we know. we live it cause we know it's the right thing to do. thank goodness for that. ha.

the ceremony of addressing envelopes can be quite a treat...and it was! i love nights like last night and i'm already looking forward to next years mailer night!

now, all i have to do is actually take a holiday photo to put into my decorated and stamped envelope!

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oh, and please watch that movie...
the visuals are ah maz ing. amazing. now on my bucket list...
ride my bike (vintage with a real basket...maybe some fresh flowers and a baguette thrown in for good measure) through at least one european city and a long stop for a plate of pasta and cannoli...guilt free, baby!
***

this time of year, although wonderful and my favorite.; my absolute favorite! this time of year brings with it it's own challenges...
shopping for meaningful gifts on a budget, more photography work for me which means more juggling for a month or two, parties at school or at the neighbors. it means being out of the house more when the cozy weather suggests that the opposite should be done. curling up on the couch with a huge blanket is my pass time of choice, but is rarely done with so much going on.

so, we are trying to take a breather and welcome each task as it comes with an open mind and a positive attitude. we are busier, but tis the season! bring it on!

although, some days i want to curl up in a ball and forget about the mundane tasks that need to be done. the never ending story of laundry and dusting...

i would rather be here, with my to-do list than anywhere else in the world!!!

our daisy troop is providing a marine unit in afghanistan some goodies. each daisy 'adopted' a marine and will be filling a stocking of little gifts to make his holiday a little sweeter even though he will not be home with his family.

i've been thinking of our troops lately and watching these little 5 and 6 year old little girls write a marines name on a holiday card with attached stickers and pictures of themselves, it gave me hope for them; for a sweeter holiday!

so, if i start dwelling life's little annoyances, i remember the men and women; the mama's and daddies that won't be kissing their babies goodnight tonight.
***
so speaking, of wanting to take a breather or to stop and smell the proverbial roses...
jenn and i did just that last week when we took the kids to captiva island after her holiday shoot.

my kids, her kids...the cousins, have so much fun together and we love watching them grow up together, love one another and become 'real' big people together...it's incredible. wondrous-if that's a real word.

it has been a thrilling ride thus far with these little kids who i love so much it amazes me sometimes.

jenn and i knew the long ride to the island would only give us 20 minutes of light at the beach, but thinking about it for only a few seconds, we what-the-helled-it and made our way through the winding streets and sweetly named estates that were nestled between old trees and hand-painted signs. signs that read...
mermaid cove, margaritaville, or be free!

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it was my first time on the island, but jenn knew how much we would enjoy the inviting street life. the streets were lined with people, boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants. the restaurants we were most excited to gawk at were the ones with old lights strung haphazardly along the worn and wooden fences.
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it was like...going home. not pretentious at all and it even has it's own general store! it was amazing. i can't wait to go back with the fam, rent some bikes, and explore the small island and the best part of it all is that it's only an hour or so from home. i can't believe how many new places are so near where we live. a gift. that's what it is!

we unloaded the kids, unpacked some snacks and watched the sunset with about 20 other vacationers on the beach that night.

the kids just did what they do...
they had fun. they soaked through their clothes, chased giant birds, and danced in the moonlight. jenn and i just kept saying how much fun it was and really enjoyed our kids and each others stories of motherhood and life. love that girl.
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wish i were part of their little club...ya know, like i wish i could hear what they shared with each other when us adults aren't around. these kids love each other and share a bond that we will never really be a part of, but that's the way it's supposed to be i think!

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and my fave imperfect...perfect photo of peyton and sophie jumping and dancing in the waves...
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jenn, thanks for the crazy fun and knowing we would so 'get this' place. we had an amazing time! xo

feeling grateful and excited for santa's visit...well, the kids are losing their minds in anticipation of the jolly old big guy so i need him to get here fast!

next post: a few recipes for the holidays, but first...
our giveaway winners!!!!

i love giving stuff away!
random.org chose the winners of the $75 gift card to stella & dot=

patsy: i know...anytime i am cooking i have to call my mom a dozen times atleast!! the pics are amazing as always and the tree looks sooo beautiful! your kiddos are just dolls with those eyes :)

and the winner of the $30 dollar stella & dot gift certificate and chosen from the followers of this blog as a thank you:
chantelle!

winners, please email at heidi976@earthlink.net with your contact information and i will forward it on to
may i suggest the love necklace...i'm diggin' it!
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lol, it's all beautiful!

as always,
xoxoxoxo

23 comments:

Kate said...

Hi Heidi
How are you girlie?? I love the photo of them with the striped pj's how cute is that. Glad that you are getting a small chance with the craziness to catch your breath. Have a blessed holiday season!
xoxo
Kate

GraceesMommy said...

oh can i just say i needed the pictures of the beautiful sunsets and your florida beaches tonight! it is cold here and i am looking out of my window at a winter white-out that is swirling across the fields...i am chilled to the bone.
your pictures remind me so much of the times that i have spent Christmas with my sister in florida..i am always so amazed..almost to the point of being freaked out..at having a Chrismas with warm weather, palm trees and sand. i guess even santa likes to take his boots off and run barefoot through the sand..wonder if santa is a margarita kinda of guy or does he strictly stick to hot buttered rums..yum to the rum!
just adore the striped jammies on the beach! ♥

Patti said...

YAY! If I couldn't win, I'm so glad Patsy did- cuz she's one of my favorite blogger friends:)
Beautiful beach pictures!

iColossus / Monster said...

Hey girlie girl girl!

Glad you had so much fun watching the movie (I still need to watch it) and hangin', chillin', relaxin'.

Hope you enjoyed a nice marg for me.

And, as always, your pictures are such a pure delight. I feel like I know your kids, know what I mean? They have so much personality, it just shines through (and you capture it.)

Love ya, miss ya.

XOXOXOX XOOOOXXOXOXOXOXOXXXOXO

Lafleche said...

Those pictures of the "cousins", they so capture their relatiosnhip with each other. So special to see.

Captiva Island looks fun! Who wouldn't enjoy a glass of wine on the beach at sunset?

Great post, Heidi!
xo
Lafleche

Kelle said...

Ahhhh...just caught up, and I'm loving Jen's kids' pics! And love the fuzzy phone pic of our night...it was so special. xoxo And "little chica" wine? Dude...love.

JennyCB said...

Ohhh, I can't believe that was your first trip to Captiva! SO pretty there. There's a little tiny beach I used to go to and laze around in the water when I was preggers. So serene and blue and warm. They opened it up for a waterway, so now it's just a memory... Oh well. The whole island is so sleepy and lush.
That's so cute how you and Kelle are so into your cards (sorry, mailers I mean)! ;o)
EPL = great movie. (But definitely read the book!)
Pretty post, per usual.
Can't wait to see you Saturday!
xo

patsy said...

oh my goodness heidi...can't believe i won! so excited to order my girls something!!! what a huge bonus....all of the joy that i get from reading your beautiful words and admiring your beautiful pictures are gift enough but thank you so much :) next time i will have to have a Christmas card night...looks like you and kelle had so much fun!

Proud Mommy Tara said...

Hi Heidi,

Beautiful pics! I love your mailer ritual! Looks like a blast...I did mine last night! I so look forward to it!
I have to ask, I went to Stella and Dot and cannot find the "Love" necklace. I am loving it and would love to grab one! Any ideas where to find it? Thanks girl!

Tara

Stacy Monaghan said...

I love the pics on the beach - so beautiful! One of my favorite things to do is listen in on the conversations of the little people in my life!

Tammy B said...

Beautiful as usual. And I know what you mean about taking things one day at a time. I tend to stress about things that are months away! I can't help it. But at least I'm aware of it, right? RIGHT??? I know. I'm a little bit crazy. Especially this time of year. When there is so much to be done, and not enough hrs in the day, When like you said, you just want to curl up with your blanket and watch some meaningless tv. You are looking lovely by the way :)

xoxo
Tammy

Kelly said...

you make me wanna go back to captiva island! how long was the drive!? Oh my fun!

I saw this just after reading your post and thought of what you wrote. so true!!

http://www.mydaily.com/2010/12/06/dearly-missed/#auto

xoxo

Maria said...

Heidi~I so look forward to your weekly posts. The December beach pictures brought tears to my eyes. It is so cold up here I would give anything for a little sun, sand & fun. The kids are just beautiful.
As much as I love this season..I would trade a visit from Santa just to hit the beach in December.
You are one lucky girl.
Hugs from one cold, stranger/blogger/friend.
Maria

Eva Marie said...

it's our first christmas with our daughter (11 months tomorrow) and I have yet to print a christmas card :( ugh time has gotten away from me.. must do this now before i regret not doing it..

and love the movie too :)

Mrs Mason said...

Loved the Florida picks. I miss it so much.

I shall be doing my mailers this weekend but no Eat Pray Love movie for me. The book was fab and I read it three times but the film was so down and negative it was like it was based on a different book.

Have a great week
xx

Anonymous said...

Hi Heidi:

Wow - how wonderful not to take the beach and sunset for granted - it is glorious. It is truly so beautiful and so are your pictures and all the little people. As a matter of fact so are you bigger people. Again you warm my heart.

Love, Sito

Anonymous said...

I'm always checking and reading (and re-reading) and somehow just can't find the time to write out all that I want to say. So, for now...hello to you and love your blog!

Jill B (Overland Park,KS)

Domestic Diva said...

Have I not commented on this post yet? I saw my sister said some pretty sweet words!

Love a new post on your blog ... always brightens my day.

xoxo,
April

Anna Ruth said...

Girl time and cousins, what could be better? Spending time with family is the best.

Heidi said...

oh my kel,
that video had me...well, let's just say that beckham ran to the bathroom and brought back a roll of tp...lol!
xo

joy, yum to the rum is pretty funny!!

tara...i spent about 10 minutes searching online and in my catalog for that necklace. i also can't seem to find it. i know it was on their site last week...i will contact trish and find out if she can locate it for me and i will get back to you!

tammy....xoxo thank you!

maria, i agree. thank you. keep warm!

jill!!!! thank you. i hear ya on the time thing. i ned to dedicate one afternoon of blog catching-up very very soon. xoxo

Rhonda said...

Very sweet post!! love all the pics of the kids!! They really make the holidays, dont they!!

Red wine on a warm beach....heaven, glad you made the most of the moment!!

Looks like a wonderful place!

XO

Proud Mommy Tara said...

Heidi,
Aww thank you so much for doing all that work! I thought maybe I was just missing it somehow!!! LOL! Thanks again! That was really sweet!

Tara

→Daniele← said...

My husband is a former Marine and when he was in Iraq the packages they'd get from girl scout troops always made their day, especially the adorable cards the kids would make. He still has a stack from a brownie troop that adopted his unit, they are truly precious :)