Saturday, December 29, 2012

Roundup!

Not the kind you might be thinking of, perhaps. Not a Texas cattle roundup. This is my (ELC’s) 2012 Roundup. I’m not exactly sure how it has come to be the end of the year. I mean, seriously? Although I can’t remember where I put my car keys last night, I do remember December of 2011. And February of 2012. July. And September. I know. You get it.

At the end of November, I invited myself over to Autumn’s beautiful home to see her recently remodeled Master Bath. Don’t you just treasure those friends that not only welcome you to their homes when you’ve invited yourself at lunchtime, but also fix you a fabulous meal? She prepared “Shepherd’s Pie” and a lovely fruit salad with a poppyseed dressing. Divine. As was her new bath!

My pictures don’t do it justice. Believe me when I say it's worthy of a magazine spread. Or a HGTV show. Autumn’s creativity was evident in every nook and cranny. I’m not sure of the interior design “lingo” I should use to describe it, but these are my attempts to help you get a picture of the beauty: Tuscan Texan; elegant; warm; rich; comfy; charming; relaxing; MAGNIFICENT.



Princess Kate all grown up!

I’m going to try to book a stay at her home—soon! The Master shower is ahhh-mazing. Not only is the tilework stunning, but it has a huge steam/sauna shower. I'm talkin' fancy, folks. Maybe if I offer to dogsit Clooney and Kate (although that's probably not the right word because I'm pretty sure they don't know they're dogs), I’ll be successful at a night or two of pampering/luxury at Autumn's B&B. Hint. Hint. Thank you, Autumn, for the marvelous day.

The first weekend in December found TLC and I hosting Sunny and Nelly for our annual and official Christmas Girls-Only get-together. This year we suggested we meet at TLC’s. (Little Leighton is not quite ready for our typical Shopping Extravanza.) I picked up some salads from a nearby Quizno’s (Mediterranean Chicken!). Yep. We confess. We’re not as nice as Autumn. Sunny brought delicious cupcakes! Little Leighton fell in total love with Sunny—she held LL for much of the four hours we were together. We exchanged Christmas “treats” and then gabbed and gabbed about Nelly’s wedding in July 2013. (BTW: TLC has agreed to be Nelly's Wedding Coordinator that day if and only if she can wear a headset. Like J. Lo. In that Wedding Planner movie.) It was another day of cherished friendship and lots of laughter.


Top L-R: Sunny, ELC, Nelly
Baby Leighton
Bottom L-R: TLC, Nelly 

The next weekend I was lucky enough to see Our Lovely Lauren, who gifted My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and me this "seed and nut" wreath for our birds! MSH hung it on a tree at the back of our casa—so I could enjoy watching them "dine" while working in my office. Lauren knows us sooo well. Thank you, again, Doll!

Fast Forward to Christmas Eve:

In our 35 years together (34 as husband and wife/36 Christmases as a couple), MSH and I have probably been by ourselves maybe three times. This year, for lots of reasons, was one of those times. MSH put on the only red “Christmas-y” (hmmm) shirt he could find in his closet—yep, a Texas Rangers’ shirt (it's the effort!)—and fixed us the most amazing Greek Chicken Pasta. You know by now I didn’t get our “big” tree put up. Well, this may be worse: I also didn’t get MSH’s gifts wrapped. I attempted to accomplish this several times that Christmas Eve afternoon and evening, but I kept getting sidetracked. By 8:30, when we were both full of the fantastic dinner he’d made us and, quite honestly, ready to go to bed (we were heading to TLC’s house early the next morning), we realized we hadn’t opened our gifts to each other. We usually get small gifts. Silly gifts. Practical gifts. When I confessed I hadn’t wrapped his, he assured me that wasn’t necessary. I had three for him. I put each in an Anthropologie bag and carried them, one by one, with serious formality (and lingering embarrassment), into our Great Room from our Guest Room. He had wrapped mine himself—without the aide of TLC—and had done a darn good job, thank him very much. We ended up agreeing I might have hit on a great idea for our future Christmases—no wrapping. Saves time. Energy. And trees.

After we had a memorable time at TLC and HSH’s (Her Sweet Hubby) casa Christmas Day, MSH headed home, leaving me to come with TLC and Little Leighton the next day. They were staying for a few nights in the country. HOWEVER, Mother Nature has a way of changing the best laid plans, right? North Central Texas got lots of snow and ice late Christmas Day evening and Wednesday. We got stuck at TLC’s for an extra/unscheduled day. Luckily for me and TLC, HSH was on vacation from work and able to get out to retrieve us some lunch. Bless his heart. One of our favourites: Chick-Fil-A! We were happy.

TLC's neighborhood

 
TLC's Casa

 

LL watching the treetops glisten.

FINALLY (yes, I hear your sighs of relief. I do.), as we anticipate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, we want to share our excitement about a gift we received Friday. The Return of the Ducks! (See Duck, Duck …) I’d been thinking, for several weeks, that last year’s visit by the Sixty Ducks was, perhaps, a one-time event. In fact, I’d seen about thirty ducks on our neighbors’ tank a couple of weeks ago. Although I was happy for them, I was sad for us. Then, Friday, as TLC, Little Leighton and I drove into our place from their home, and past our Big Tank, thirty ducks (the same ones that had been visiting our neighbors?) flew off and north. I almost cried. Yesterday afternoon, as MSH stood on our front porch, he noticed them. On our tank. He sprinted in and got TLC and me outside to witness the thrill. Here's a picture I took. Before they, once again, decided to fly off. I realize it may not look like thirty ducks. Trust me. It was at least thirty. It was truly one of our best gifts this year! (Right after the birth of Little Leighton!)


If you're still with me, THANK YOU for your patience. As I type this, I hope each and every one of you is having a special holiday season. I pray your Christmas brought you everything you’d dreamed of—and that 2013 will be your BEST YEAR EVER.

Love and Hugs...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

It's Christmas!

To All of our Friends, Everywhere:

MERRY, MERRY!!! The Three Leightons wish each and every one of you a WONDERFUL day. A peaceful day. A day full of JOY.

Eat too much. Laugh until you snort. Be silly. Take time to be quiet and reflect. PLEASE be grateful. Pray. And remember. Remember the Sandy Hook families. Remember everyone who has lost someone dear to them. Keep them all in your thoughts and hearts today.

Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus! 

Thank you, Lord God Almighty. For life.

Amen.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Perspective

So it's December 22nd and I'm not ready for Christmas. Well... my heart is ready. My soul is ready. My home? Not even close.

I realized three weeks ago I wasn't going to be able to get our 10-foot tree up. My Sweet Hubby always retrieves it from our storage room in the garage the Sunday after Thanksgiving. It takes me most of that day to decorate it (Yep. I'm a bit slow). While looking at my "Little Leighton" and work schedule calendar several days past that Sunday, I couldn't find the day I could put up our tree. I tried to convince TLC it'd be all right to go one year without it. If she, her Hubby and LL can make it (weather permitting), it'll only be the four and a half of us on Christmas Day. TLC was completely offended that I would even consider not having a tree.

That was when I decided to buy a small one. She agreed that'd be acceptable. For this year ONLY.

I went to Wally World the Thursday after Thanksgiving and bought a 4-footer. Then I brought over, from the Barn, a table to set it up near our "Library" bookshelves. There it sat--with only the lights it came with--for almost two weeks. Every morning I'd tell myself I'd find a box of ornaments and get it decorated before I went to bed that night. Night after night I'd say: "Okay. Maybe tomorrow."

December 14th. Newtown, Connecticut. Sheer and utter horror. Shock. Immense pain. Anger. Perspective.

A Christmas tree--shopping--laughing--carols--cooking--cleaning--all of it. All of it seemed silly. Unimportant. Useless. Wrong.

I decorated The Little Tree yesterday morning. There are 26 ornaments on it. At the top is a red star--for the brave principal of Sandy Hook. There are five khaki stars--for the teachers and the school psychologist who were also murdered. There are twelve redbirds--for the precious little girls who were so brutally killed. And eight red felt trees for the sweet little boys who died that dark Friday.





All of them are Angels now. All stay fresh on my mind. Every single day. Reminders of what is truly and most important.

Help me, Lord God Almighty. Help me remember to live each day as if it were my last. Help me to keep perspective. Your Son, Jesus, especially loved all children. I pray to You in His name. Amen. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Yummy for Y'all!

Several weeks ago I was browsing my News Feed on Facebook when I noticed a post from Hobby Lobby. They were advertising their drawer pulls. It was news to me—that they carried drawer pulls—although it didn't surprise me since we all know they have lots o' fabulously fun things.

When ELC was visiting the first week of December, I told her we HAD to make a quick run to HL. I needed a new front door wreath and I wanted to scope out the drawer pulls. Off we went (after a quick stop at Sonic for a Coke Zero with Vanilla).

Since Little Leighton had fallen asleep on the drive over, ELC said she’d just circle the parking lot (oh, the things we do for our babies) while I sprinted in. (She went around so many times she might have gotten a teensy bit dizzy.)

Not only did I find the awesome, 50% off, wreath, but I found these ADORABLE drawer pulls!


ELC and I both love birds. For a lot of reasons. Most recently because one of LL's many nicknames is "Birdey." I decided I would replace the pulls on the little, antique nightstand in "ELC's room." I think it turned out brilliantly! We just have to smile every time we see them.

I hope everyone has a Wonderful Wednesday! (The high today in my part of Texas is 78 degrees and they're calling for a chance of snow next week. Seriously. I cannot make this up. Texas weather is WACKY.)

smooches…

Friday, December 14, 2012

Broken

Our hearts. Our spirits. This World.

Tonight was going to be a short, silly post. By noon, TLC and I knew there'd be no laughter today. Or tomorrow.

With our love and deepest sympathies, we send prayers up to our Lord God Almighty to help and comfort the loved ones of the precious victims who lost their lives today in Connecticut. And for all of those who lost their innocence.

God bless us, please, in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, with strength. Hope. Peace.

Amen.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Oh, the Weather Outside Was... SNOWY!

In Texas! North Central. Most of us in a rather wide area woke up to snow on the ground—on the bushes—on our cars—on our trees—etc. You get the “drift.” Ha. It was all gone by noon, but we loved it!

Yes, we get snow here in The Lone Star State. And it’s often very welcome. Of course all the kiddos love it—especially if they call school off. That has to be done when it’s icy. We Texans don’t drive very confidently in ice. Actually, some cRaZy peeps drive like we live in Wyoming or Montana. Fast and reckless. Makes most of us angry. Well, makes us semi-gizzards flustered.

I digress. On this 10th day of December, as the Lords Leap, and the snow melts, TLC and I would like to get you in the Christmas mood with a couple of CUTE (if I do say so My Grammy Self) pictures of Little Leighton:

Cutest Lil' Reindeer Tootsies EVER!

Santa's Helper

We hope you had (or are still having) a

LL's Bath Time Letters!
(She gets a new word every night. You should "hear" her vocabulary now! LOL.)

MONDAY!

Wherever you are, Dear Friends…

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Yeehaw for Y'all!

TLC found these FABULOUS calcium chews at the drug store a few months ago. (Guess this should be a Yummy or Yumhaw, right?) They're gummie! And YUMMIE.


I have to admit I only became a gummie fan when TLC was a pre-teen. Gummie worms would be her candy of choice when we'd go to the movies. I always wanted something chocolate. (In addition to the Diet Coke and popcorn—no butter—we shared.) She finally convinced me to try them. I was more than shocked. I liked them! Now I’m all about “gummie.” Hasn’t worked yet with salmon.)

I believe the doctors/scientists/nutritionists/experts when they say we girls/young/not-so-young women need lots o' calcium. All of our lives. I've been at the top of the "moderate" risk chart for osteoporosis for about seven years. I'm determined TLC and Little Leighton will have strong bones. (I never had a broken bone until I fell in our shower three years ago and broke my wrist. My camo cast was adorable. But I don't want My Girls to ever break anything in their sweet bodies.)

I've been taking calcium supplements since I was in my early 40s. I'm glad TLC is starting to be faithful about this precaution now. In her late 20s. (Yep—we know. We completely understand. We should strive to get our daily vitamin and mineral requirements in the foods we eat. I cannot tell a lie. Sometimes we eat too much junk. We're sincerely sorry. We start each day with the promise to eat healthy. We seem to fail—occasionally. Oh, okay. Often.)

Two of these delightful chews have thirty calories. I can't eat as many as I'd like! And they're a little pricey. Haven't found them on sale yet -- or at Costco. But two a day -- in addition to my (calorie-free) tablets -- help me feel that taking this critical supplement isn’t such a chore.

Happy Tuesday!

p.s.: I'm not on Citracal's payroll. Darnitall.