Wednesday, January 5, 2011

christmas, new years, and a resolution or two?

"dude, it's called burnout!" my dear friend informs me as i sit in a beautifully quiet house with nothing but a blanket and new book to crack open.

"oh my goodness, you are soooo right. i am burned out from the business of the season. i need a break. i will read this whole book without guilt. i'll hold off on completing last minute holiday sessions and i will...have a cup of coffee instead! oh, yeah...screw the laundry too!"

"yeah...screw the laundry too!"

i love encouraging and validating kindred spirits who not only support but help mold my i-am-in-dire-need-of-just-being-lazy-and forget-the-housework- frame of mind! you know who you are and i love you more for it!

so, that is my lousy disclaimer for not having blogged in a couple of weeks, but i must confess...it feels good to be back!!

what is it about a new year that makes you want to clean out closets, start a new diet, and set new goals for better and happier living?!

i'm not a resolution maker. mostly, because i tend to break resolutions. sooo, instead of throwing the whole resolution thing out the window...i have decided to informally remind myself of promises and ideas that i want to always live by.

Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life - well, valuable, but small - and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around? I don't really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night, dear void. - kathleen kelly, You've Got Mail

*i will take this lovely and valuable life and take more risks.
{could mean:
finally, add some life to my kitchen in way of photos and cabinet pulls! or
take a trip with old high school friends and let husband take care of the kids for a few days...without feeling guilty! or expand my business in ways that i have only thought about!}

Don't you just love New York in the fall?- kathleen kelly

*FINALLY, visit new york in the fall!
{okay, maybe two trips in a year is pushing it a little;}

ability is what you're capable of doing. motivation determines what you do. attitude determines how well you do it.
- lou holtz

*continue to eat clean and live a healthier lifestyle! run more for sure!

okay, i feel better, i wrote something down but before i get to far ahead of myself, i want to share some of the amazing holiday we shared together as a family.

i'm not sure if it was the age of the kids or just being home for christmas, but it was AMAZING. every minute of it. every hour of preparing for it. every late night spent wrapping and creating magic for them...it was worth it.

wish i could bottle the last few weeks up and screw open the bottle when i need a little reminding that this what being a parent to little ones is all about. this is what i will dream we could do again and again after they are grown and the magic and mystery of christmas comes in the form of knowing smiles and patient gift opening instead of shock and awe and loud stampeding down the wooded staircase that tell us...
they are up! (and we fly out of bed to catch their faces when they see what santa has brought for them)

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and drink it in...we did!!!!

we put the star on the tree...finally!
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we baked...
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a pumpkin pie for my peyton, 'cause girlfriend apparently loves her some pumpkin pie!

we eagerly ran out to the mailbox each and everyday to find new little christmas greetings and taped them directly to the wall...
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and we looked at them over and over again...found new things to love about the cards and faces that graced them! (i took this last week and have since added more...just in case you don't see yours in this photo...trust me, it's on there now!)
thank you, thank you. my holiday wall is on my top five fave things of the year!

we shopped.
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and kept secrets...the best kind though!

we hosted christmas eve dinner with a delicious middle eastern prepared by sito and jido...
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umo joe and auntie heather came too making it even more special!

we made cookies for santa,
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and wrapped gifts...
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three families worth of gifts made our living room look like santa really did sneak a visit!
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santa came!
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Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen. ~Author unknown

i agree, unknown author!

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**i was there even though by looking at these photos you wouldn't know it. i went back to see if i could find one with me in...not a one. i need to get better with that.:)
the reindeer food attracted rudolph! he even left tracks...
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(which, for the record...i haven't been able to remove off of the driveway yet. peyton keeps asking when the tracks are going to melt. i keep saying, "hmmm, that's weird. i don't know, honey."

christmas breakfast with my new tradition...this new recipe...
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citrus cream cheese roll
from cooking light baking mag.

preheat oven 350.

you'll need:
1 25 ounce package of frozen roll dough (target has a good one)
cooking spray
1/4 c butter, melted
1/2 c sweetened dried cranberries (i used craisins)
1 c granulated sugar
2/3c cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 large egg
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon orange rind
1 c powdered sugar
5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
thaw rolls according to package (at room temp)
2. spray round cake pan with cooking spray and place 12 rolls in bottom of pan.
3. brush butter over rolls, sprinkle with craisins or dried apricots cover, let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
4. combine 1/4c granulated sugar, cream cheese, oj, and egg; beat with mixer until well blended.
pour mixture evenly over rolls. combine 3/4c granulated sugar and rinds and sprinkle this mixture over rolls. cover and let rise for one hour.
5. bake at 350 for 20 minutes. cover with foil and bake an additional 5 min or until rolls are done (it took mine another 15 minutes) be sure center is done. cool for a 10 minutes.
optional: combine powdered sugar and lemon juice. drizzle over rolls.

this is a lot of steps and even though it is supposedly 'light' in calories...this is still a splurge! it is sooooo amazing and gooey and homemade tasting. they remind me of my italian grandmother. not sure why. try 'em one saturday morning when the kids wake you up too early. such a treat and they make the house smell cozy and sweet!

after breakfast, the kids took their little piles of unopened gifts and played with them quietly until it was nap time and then dinner. it was lovely and quiet and just our family and we did things the way we wanted to do them. enjoying each other knowing that the weekend had just begun and we had days left to eat well and love lots.

we hope your holiday was as happy and special as ours was. we are so grateful for the family and friends who were here to be with us on such a wonderful day{s}!!! we love you so much. so much. i thought my heart would burst during our breakfast when beckham entertained us with his dance moves and the whole lot of us stopped and cheered him on in unison. these are the moments that i live for.

ladies, ,my fellow mama's. we are doing it! we are making memories for our babies that they will never forget. we are what makes sugarplums dance in their heads and this fact did not escape me for one minute. i love the roles my husband and i play in what they believe and look forward too. bravo to all the mama's and daddies...it's not about the presents...it is all about the love though!
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***
other things that have made us happy in the last month...
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soccer! daddy coached beckham's team and co coached peyton's! it wasn't always easy to play early in the morning with a cold front...but they did it. (with only a few meltdowns and lots of scores!)

beckham held his own with the big kids as he was adamant about playing on both his team and his sisters! he earned two medals and couldn't have been more excited. he looks bummed out in the pic, because he didn't score in his last game. he's so competitive.
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our girl, on the other hand was in it ONLY for a medal to hang in her room. she could of cared less if she ever scored. she had her eye on the prize and she made it!!! these pics make me want to cry. ladies and gentlemen, we have a proud little girl here!

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coach brett saying she was one of the fastest! peyton just beams at him, i love that sweet and proud face.

***
more to share but mostly just happy and feeling blessed to have these little monsters in my life. i love them so much and i just want them to know what amazing little people they are. yes, they drive us CRAZY at times, but we want it that way. as much as i want to keep them with me forever, they are growing up...
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for now i'll take the random, ' i love you, mama's!' and kisses and hugs and feel lucky that i still have such young ones in the house.

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i will continue to shamelessly document each and every eyelash from month to month.

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i will let them eat too many kisses and let them talk me into any number of various little outings (let's go looking for alligators, mommy!).

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most important of all my resolutions and ideas to make my days better and more efficient...
i will stare, study and try to memorize each facial expression and smile.

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i will relish with everything that i am, that in this moment, my daughter-one-day-teenage-and-then-woman, wants me to say and believe that she looks just like me. just like me and anything less (not even a finger or toe) is not okay...she wants to be like her mama.

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this little one whose two front teeth are lose and will soon be gone to reveal a new face, a new smile, a new beginning.


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when i force myself to reflect on the ending of of a full year of growing and living, i can only hope that the next year will be as wonderful as the last...
with healthy, happy kids. grateful to have a safe place to lay our heads at night and warm meals to fill us up. it may sound simple, but really...what more could we want?! when i think of the many alternatives. nope. we have everything we need right here. we are blessed.

happy new year.
xoxoxo




32 comments:

Klove said...

Great Holiday & Beautiful Pictures. XOXO

Rosa said...

You are such a beautiful writer! You took the words right out of my mouth (and usually I can only get out a "It was a great Christmas"). Your kids are sooo cute! So funny that I'm never in any of our Christmas morning pics either. :)
-Rosa.

iColossus / Monster said...

Why hello there and Happy New Year, girl!

GREAT pictures, and yes, she does look just like you.

Thank you so much for your Xmas card. One day when I grow up, I will do a holiday card and send it out in the mail. The last time I did that was as a single person in 2000 and the picture was one of my paintings, ha. I even made a calendar!

But now? I can never get it together!

Big hugs and kisses, can't wait to meet your fam!

Malu said...

I just loooooved it! Christmas is a fantatisc family time , time to wear fancy pjs,time of joy,commitment and most important time of sharing...I wish you a great 2011, blessed by God. xoxo
Malu

heather said...

Happy New Year. Thanks for sharing all of your Christmas memories! The Christmas cards hanging on my wall are one of my favorite parts of the season too. I love checking the mail and hanging up the cute card and looking at my cute friends and family all month long.

GraceesMommy said...

first off...I love "you've got mail"!!! it is my get me outta of a bad mood movie! My favorite like that I use on Gracee is "you make coffee nervous"..staple phrase in this house.
I too was in a funk. We lost Gregg's 97 year old Grandma about a week before Christmas and I had a hard time celebrating the holidays. So I got my favorite books out and all is well..if you don't already have go get "Cold Tangerines" and "Bittersweet" by Shauna Niequest..seriously it is like taking a healing pill.
Your card came just when I needed it..I pulled up to our mailbox in tears (had spent the day cleaning out Grandma's home) and pulled away smiling..feeling like I had just gotten a hug from a friend just at the right moment. Thank you my friend for making me feel special!♥

PS..you my friend have a very beautiful life..and it shows that you know it!

Maria said...

Heidi~So lovely! What homey, wonderful pictures & beautiful writing. Everyone should enjoy such blessings around the holidays. Simple is just heavenly~warm home,
close family, good food & drink, love & laughter~that
is what I'll remember about my Christmas & New Year's
Eve. It was as close to perfect as you can get. Looks like it was that way for you, too. We are blessed. Wishing all good things in the New Year. Keep documenting. P.S. Lame excuse about not blogging..
lol..we missed you!

Daniele said...

Yes yes yes yes yes....I agree with it all!! :)

Kelle said...

It's about time! Burn-out over, new year commenced! Loved all of it. Especially loved the photo of P on the field at soccer with her sweet little chin in her hands. Made me miss Christmas. Next year? Even better, Baby. More down time, more movies, more us escaping for projects.
xoxo

Amie said...

Happy New Year, Heidi! Everyone's entitled to some much-needed down time after the holidays. And when you figure out HOW to get more of yourself in your photos, let me know-I've got the same problem. Glad you're back!

GraceesMommy said...

came back for a second time..even better this time friend! your little guy has eyelashes that we woman glue on and pretend they are our own..killer lashes. i love peyton's freckles..just two very beautiful babies you have there!

sdm said...

beautiful!!!!!!!
xoxo

Domestic Diva said...

So excited for a new post! And I could have guessed you were suffering from Holiday burnout (lol). This post was beautiful and long. After I got a glimpse of it, I decided to wait until I had a couple free moments. So here I am, eating my lunch and reading. Thank you. A couple of your words brought tears to my eyes, for the babies that are growing up a little each day and for the tremendous love we have for them.

Happy New Year, Heidi!

Sarah said...

So fun. I read every word and am now enjoying the pictures. I love your music!!! Your cards are great....but I'm not surprised. I thought of you last night when Anna Cate was stroking my face and knowing that I won't have this forever and it is ok b/c it would be weird for a 15 year old to do that and laughed to myself:)

Have a fabulous New year!! XOXO

Anonymous said...

Heidi,

Just wanted to say I love your spirit! You make me feel uplifted! Your keep it real, yet positive, and I like that.

Totally feel you on the burnout. I sometimes see January as hibernation and healing month, recouping after the mad holiday dash...Winter in general usually gives me that feel.

I also feel you on the blessings. There is so much in my life that I want to make better and change, but I do know and feel so blessed to have my faith, our health, my beautiful honey, my healthy and cuddly pets, good and true friends, a safe warm place to sleep (as long as there is not too much clutter on the bed...ha!)and call my own, a job with a very real and understanding boss, my honey's job, a good family, two cars that work most of the time, food in our fridge (as long as someone went shopping...lol), and so many angels and heavenly guardians watching over us and keeping us safe. I am blessed. We are blessed. And it feels good to write that.

Love Peyton's proud face... love the pic of Beckham and his Grandpa...B's excitement and Grandpa eating it up...oh and girl, you know how to decorate and make centerpieces... I loved how you dressed that table! Soooo nice!Rock on!

Thank you for your words and photos. I don't know you but I love you.

Thank you 2010 and God Bless 2011!

Kindly, Val-Marie

Dimitra said...

That was just lovely! And your photos are amazing...I am wishing you and your family all the best!

P-nut said...

you said it all so well in this one! i enjoyed reading this very much! i am sitting in front of my fireplace with a blanket, a cafe mocha with whipped cream starring out a wondow with snowflakes falling...i made similar promises this new year.. and i'm trying to appreciate the fingerprints all over my house these long cold winter days...sure would love to go look for alligators! ha ha!

Rhonda said...

Welcome back!! So glad you had some much needed you time and got to focus solely on your family and those beautiful babes!!
I love your quote..."every late night spent wrapping and creating magic for them...it was worth it."
Its so true, we are the holders of the magic, what a special job as a Mom to hold such power. Seeing the little faces light up when we add that special touch, it truly is incredible!!
We had a wonderful holiday in Orlando, my little princess' face lighting up to see the Castle at magic kingdom and all those lovely princess' was priceless. Will blog about it later. Right now just happy to be home.
Happy New Year. This is a lovely post...Totally had tears with the love you show to your babes....Beautiful!!

XO
Rhonda

Kelly said...

Holy blog post on crack girl! I love all the pictures. I'll always remember you bringing me food and the movie "youve got mail" after one of my miscarriages. It made me feel so loved. And that nice card from Jeff that I still have was amazing. It was hand written and he ran out of room ont he back of the card! xoxo

Dot said...

Thanks for the recipe you know thats my favorite part :D Happy New Year!

Dot said...

Thanks for the recipe you know thats my favorite part :D Happy New Year!

patsy said...

another beautifully written post...with amazing pics of course ;) and how could miss peyton not want to be like her mom? you are such an amazing person, beautiful inside and out. and i, too, had a bit of burn-out! but trying to get back in the swing of things!

Zondra Art said...

Beautiful family photos!
Nice greetings from Croatia.
Kisses, Zondra Art

Heidi said...

dot!!! love you.

such sweet comments. it's like fuel...get's me going. thank you:)

nads, can't b you haven't met the fam yet...next week though!! xo

joy...tears as always!

val-marie...xoxo, thank you.

zondra, welcome.

patsy, rhonda,...all the ladies...
happy new year! it's good to be back. tonight, i will do laundry and watch the bachelor that i taped last week. cold front coming through and i am awaiting it like a kid waits for the tooth fairy after a lost tooth!
xoxo

Nicole said...

Your holiday sounds absolutely fabulous! Glad you enjoyed it ! Your photos are gorgeous! Thanx for the recipe it's on the menu for this Saturday morning :0

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