Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Why I've Felt Like A Cotton-Headed Ninny-Muggins

Well hello there! I'm sitting down with a cup of cocoa amidst unpacked Yule decoration boxes, with full knowledge that packages need sent, the kitchen floor needs mopped and that the no matter what, I'll probably see 1AM again. Lest you think I'm whining, I am not. I'm merely explaining my absence. And why, exactly, I feel like a cotton-headed ninny-muggins*.

I got those damn shutters done

Following Thanksgiving, we jumped right into simultaneous holiday making and doing. The week after Thanksgiving, I finally finished painting the living room (and all twenty-four shutters, thankyouverymuch), got the room cleaned, we delivered unwanted furniture and items to new homes, hosted a class here, then by the end of the week, drove down to Ikea to meet our new sofa. Which we of course assembled immediately. We finished sometime around 3AM.

we began at midnight

Before taking our tired selves up to bed, we saw that it was snowing-our first snow of the season, and I was glad to be up at 3AM to see it.

wee hours snowfall

That weekend (Dec. 4 & 5) proved to be equally full of holiday making. With the kids in choir rehearsal that morning, Alex and I spent the time tidying, arranging and organizing the house. What felt like several thousand errands later, we just managed to get to the tree farm to find our Yule tree before dark. Yes, there are several organizations that sell cut trees from Canada minutes from our house and it would have saved us a major errand, but it wouldn't have been the right thing for us. Plus there's that whole trees from Canada part.

one little tree, standing all alone
we found our tree

And of course we had to stop and chat with friends, have cocoa and say hello to the farm's dog. Bernard sends his holiday greetings.

going for cocoa
Bernard says hello

With the tree strapped to the roof of the van, we had more stops before heading home to do some further tidying for our family's arrival the next day. By this point, we all felt like we were swimming in peanut butter, we were so tired.

All of Sunday morning, I think Alex and I walked around the house, amazed at the transformation of our living room.

bookshelves in place
new beginnings

As Alex assembled more Ikea treasures, I fixed a Masaman chicken curry and put it in the crock pot, took the kids to their concert and we followed later. As always, it's great to hear the songs that the kids have been working on since September, plus Adam had a solo that we loved.

Saco Bay Children's Choir
holiday performance

Following the concert, we joined aunts and grandparents back at our house for bowls of curry, garlic naan, ginger cookies and peppermint stick ice cream. I had hoped to get the tree up and decorated for our gathering, but I had to let that notion go by late Saturday night. (Considering it takes us an entire weekend, normally, to get the tree decorated, this was an outrageous notion on my part.) Le sigh. It was good to see family, share some laughs and a meal, all before the real busy-ness (hahahaha) of the season began.

For these reasons, the second week of December pretty much looked like this.

today's bread
who, me?
getting out the decorations
a country road
a Maine scene

At least the beginning of last week looked like that. By Wednesday and Thursday, however, the kids, as part of the few choir members selected to participate, were in four and five hour evening rehearsals for the Magic of Christmas. This is an amazing opportunity, one that Olivia has had twice before and Adam once before and it requires a good amount or work and commitment from them. I chaperoned Thursday evening, which meant I was able to get lots of photos of the dress rehearsal. Everyone involved is working so hard to make this a great production and it was a treat to get a sneak peak. Alex and I will attend the actual performance this weekend.

This Little Babe
This Little Babe
Magic Of Christmas
Adam, in blue
Olivia, in stripes
Magic Of Christmas
Magic Of Christmas

Friday evening, the kids had their opening performance, followed by two on Saturday and two on Sunday. As this meant they were in Portland for most of the weekend, Alex and I went in between shows on Saturday, took the kids out for a break and visited for a bit at Picnic's Holiday Sale. We attended last year and it was wonderful, so for some months I had been looking forward the event.

going to Picnic
Picnic Holiday Sale
Picnic all decked out

I always want to take photos of the beautiful booths and things we see, but am always overcome with shyness around such amazing talent. I did meet local artist, Erin Flett, who was very warm and sweet and we could have come home with one of everything of hers. I also loved the work of this artist. Happily, we did go home with a few treasures.

new art

Sunday I stayed at home to keep the homefires burning, as Alex said, while he chaperoned another full day of performances. I made some more progress on tree and house decorating, cooked and waded through loads of photos, waiting to be edited and sorted. The kids were tuckered out when they finally arrived home around 8PM, ready to crawl into pjs, have soup and cuddle by the fire.

things my mother made
a spaceship, a hare, a bunch of grapes and a Shiny Bright
my mother's Hummel

Adam, a long-time Doctor Who fan, chose this incredible Star Whale as his 11th special ornament.

Adam's 11th special ornament, the Star Whale
ten years of decorating magazines
the Yule books
the tree in our fresh space
paperwhites in pottery
beginning paperwhites

This week has begun much the same as last and will finish much the same, also. I spent time giving this blog a new look and better organization, I hope, and slogged through more of those photos, ran some errands, ignored my increasingly sketchy kitchen floor, the kids wrapped up their final Intro to the Holocaust class with Alex and that brings me to today. Today I am finally blogging, which will help me feel less like a cotton-headed ninny muggins.

card collection
at the library

The kids are having much earned time to themselves and at home before their final performances this Friday through Sunday. We might bake some cookies and finally put out the last of the Yule decorations. We might even look around, conent knowing that it's all good enough, more than good enough and though some of it would have happened a little bit sooner, a little less hectic, it might have been a little less full, it was all good. And that leaves us feeling positively merry and bright and much less cotton-headed indeed.

the tree is finally done

*I'm a cotton-headed ninny-muggins.-Buddy the Elf, from Elf (2003)


  1. Wow - Za! That is a lot of busy. But a lot of wonderful home-ness too, which is always needed this time of year. The room looks beautiful. I keep saying I'm going to paint accent walls in the week between Xmas & New Years when Solstice is over and things quiet down...we'll see! ;) Beautiful photos of all the ornaments and sparkly light.

  2. Wooof! But it's such a good exhaustion! Oh, and how I adore that whale ornament, so awesome!

  3. Your house is so lovely!

    I'm not sure if it's already in the works, but I would love to hear more about your holiday traditions! Now that Finn is getting older I've been really interested in establishing family traditions that are meaningful and fun. I have a feeling that you have some great ones!


  4. such a bright and lovely living room. I'm a big fan of Dr. Who too, what a cool kid :)
    glad to see Im not the only one with a huge stash of christmas magazines :D

  5. Amy, what is that felt/button garland in the photo of the paperwhites? Did you make it, and if so, how? Looks like it could be a fun project for me and my boys.

    As always, love what you share with us about your life. It's all so lovely!



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