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Saturday, December 29, 2012


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...

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