Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Lately...












Is it cold where you are? It's absolutely flipping freezing here. I can't remember a winter here that was this cold and snowy so early in the season. Last year at this time, it was unnaturally warm out. I remember walking with the small Bears in the neighborhood one afternoon and seeing trees that were coming into bud! They were confused, thinking it was already spring. We wore sweatshirts every day right up until Christmas, when it finally got cold. This year, we're in heavy coats, gloves and hats already. I have extra blankets on the beds (we're back to the Giant Granny Square on ours because it's big enough to cover us both). I think it's supposed to warm up a little by the end of the week and I'm looking forward to it.

The weather makes me want to huddle under blankets day and night, but if I'm being honest, some of that feeling also comes from the craziness of this time of year. I love Christmas - I do, really - but I'm starting to feel like I can't keep up. It's not the shopping, that's all done (except for stocking-stuffers, which I plan to buy later this week). It's the activities, the school events, the needing to be in two places at once - which is happening a lot lately. I'm really tired. I go to bed at night and sleep the silent, still sleep of a woman run ragged. 

The Christmas cards are written and mailed, but I haven't started wrapping or baking yet, which is probably really foolish. The Bear always helps me wrap in the evenings and we'll start soon. I plan to bake several kinds of cookies this weekend. I have to donate some to a school bake sale, send some others to work with the Bear and gift some to neighbors. We've been eating store-bought ones, but I am looking forward to having some homemade ones in the house, for however long they last. I'm not a perfectionist about holidays - it's not important for things to be Martha-quality. I choose wisely, I think, when it comes to what really needs to be done and even so, there's still plenty to do. I try to enjoy it and I am, for the most part. But I wouldn't say no to a nap.

I'd love to show you my Christmas tree but I'm having a hard time getting a nice photo. I always mean to try to get some shots at dusk but that's the busiest time of the day and I forget. I was working hard to control my temper yesterday when the small Bears broke our Christmas pickle ornament. We hide it in a different spot on the tree each day and they would look for it with their eyes but a certain young lady decided her hands needed to be involved and there went the shiny, green glass pickle. I bought it before we were married and I really liked it. There's nothing like a broken beloved ornament to make a mom feel all Scroogey inside.

I realized that I was mostly posting about things I'd made, but I don't make things constantly. It's mostly just regular living around here, as anywhere else. I saw a brand-new baby today! My friend had a baby girl two weeks ago. She's adorable. It's hard to remember mine being that small. Someday I'll be saying that about the sizes they are right now. I do have some newly-made things to share, including the LB's granny stripe afghan, and I'll do that soon. See that clay up there? That was another little crafty jaunt. As always, crafts keep me grounded during the busy times. I always have to make time for my crafts...and my blog. For me, writing, photographing and quiet thinking are powerful antidotes to stress and pressure. I hope the holiday season is treating you all kindly, bloggy friends.

42 comments:

  1. I think this is a very tough time of year, and if I am honest it is not my favorite. The decorating, wrapping, shopping, shipping, cards, boy it goes on and on. There is always so much to do and never enough time. But I try to remember that to make it special fro everyone, it takes work. And I want it special for everyone so I carry on. But I am alwyas relieved come Jan 1, when it all gets put away again. I think I sound like Scrooge.
    Hugs and hang in there,
    Meredith

    ReplyDelete
  2. I totally understand about broken ornaments! beautiful photos - and yes it is cold here too!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh Jennifer I know just what you mean about all the pre Christmas events that are going on and all the making, baking and wrapping etc. Since I've been blogging I've been inspired by so many people's crafting ideas. So here am I making preserves, making tree decorations, crocheting, painting, making table decorations and lots more besides. Things I've NEVER done before . Why, I ask myself? Like you I've been getting very tired. I've been preparing since October for goodness sake. Well next year is going to be SO different. As for now I've decided to be a bit more laid back about it all and actually enjoy this time. Gosh I feel quite liberated now. Hope your weather gets warmer and sorry about your broken ornament. Incidentally I'm intrigued as to what "Marttha-quality" means? Have a good week.
    Patricia x

    ReplyDelete
  4. it's such a busy time of year and hard to take a step aside from the whirlwind sometimes. I plan to start writing cards tonight and I'll make a start on the wrapping soon, it'll get done, it always does, maybe with a good Christmas film for company :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the cold! The crisp kind of cold, the one shown on your photos. I think I could live in your parts of the world actually. If it is any consolation, I am not nearly as organised as you are. Every night I think "tomorrow I'll do it". Keeping up with the kids' activities is hard... Done the the art show, the Christmas fair and Sam's Christmas concert. One Nativity, one ballet show and one school assembly to go still. But is great to see the kids thrive and participate in all sorts of stuff. I really enjoy your posts, keep them coming please! Christina x

    ReplyDelete
  6. I know what you mean - sometimes it gets so busy, it gets difficult to find the opportunity to enjoy it all.
    Hope it warms up for you. Although the last couple of nights have been cold, the days have been really quite warm here, for winter anyway! x

    ReplyDelete
  7. The last few sentences are lovely Jennifer. I know exactly what you mean about finding peace in having some time to do the things that you love. So sorry about your broken glass pickle. Mine have broken a few old and precious things, and I know how frustrating it is. I have the exact same packet of modelling clay, bought the other day to make a few little vegetables for a homework project for the middle boy. He has to make an Anderson (air-raid) shelter. Apparently they had vegetables growing around them, so we've been making cabbages, pumpkins and squashes. I'm really enjoying it! It's a big effort not to take over...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Glad to hear it's not just me that's been cranky lately! I know a lot of mine is hormones (peri-menopause), but it's also this bitter cold and snow, and the pressures of the holiday. I'm stressing over finances for gifts, who's going to come over on Christmas day (long family saga), and getting all the baking done. I had several boxes of cards sitting here since Thanksgiving and I got so sick of looking at them, that I put them back in the basement, in storage, and decided I'm not sending out cards this year! I think a lot of people are doing less - I've only received two cards this year, so far.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Jennifer,

    Your mountain looks beautiful. And the light you've captured equally so. It's a manic time. Like you I use reading, photography, blogging and quiet contemplation an antidote to it all. I quite fancy buying a pack of clay in the new year, for Olly and I to have a play. Your project looks very intriguing I must say!

    I posted a little parcel to you today. The lady at the post office said that it should arrive before Christmas Day. There is something for you, and a little something for LB and GB. I hope that you get it in time ;)

    Leanne xx

    ReplyDelete
  10. It IS cold here too! We haven't had much snow, but the thempratures are enough to remind us that it's almost Christmas. I feel almost guilty that I'm not feeling any holiday stress. I gave up baking several years ago after the kids all moved out. Hubby and I don't need those goodies sitting around and the kids all live too far to drop in and eat them. :-). I buy gifts all year long so I don't have to stress in December. Of course I've always forgotten something so I have to brave the throngs a few times! but then I actually enjoy it. I hope your days ease up a little bit. I DO remember how it was when the children were little. Unfortunately I realized too late that I would miss those days when they were grown.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
  11. For what it's worth, Jennifer, you sound like a perfectly normal mother for this time of year. There's always something to done (or somewhere to be) and at the same time, you're thinking ahead to what's next in line to be dealt with.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I identify with everything you said, even this year when we cut way back on our own decorating and hosting in order to focus on the grandkids. But it's still crazy! In our hearts we know we're not supposed to let it become a season of stress - but let's face it - there's always too much to do in too little time!
    Your pictures are wonderful - the bleakness of the month contrasted with the warmth of what goes on inside your home!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sorry about your broken ornament, even if it is an accident it is still upsetting when it is something that you have had a long time and treasured. I hope that you get some peaceful time soon, it is so busy at this time of year, especially with little ones and all of their christmas activities. I am very behind this year, but I will get there in the end - even if it is shop bought! xx

    ReplyDelete
  14. Is that mountain on your street Jennifer? It is beautiful. We are having very cold temperatures and way more snow than usual at this time of year. I am hoping for some relief soon. I am made for English winters not Canadian. Hope you are able to find a little quiet time for yourself in all the mayhem. Don't fret - Christmas will come regardless and everyone will have a lovely time even if you do have store bought cookies!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh dear....I am sure she didn't mean to break it♥
    you will pull everything together Jennifer...we Women have the knack!
    I keep forgetting to take a picture of my tree as well...
    Oh well...tomorrow is another day♥
    Cold here too....apparently quite a snowfall down at the cottage...
    Perhaps a drive this weekend...
    Enjoy the rest of your week...
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Creative outlets enliven me! In blogging I am looking to appreciate the practical and beautiful in what I view and the posts I create. In the creative process I find myself aiming to focus on what is most important to me. I sort through ideas and make decisions about what to value most and how to manage the time I have. The season of life you are in can be especially demanding as I experienced it, at least,
    Jennifer, and a bit disappointing when Small Bears get themselves in a pickle, so to speak. I admire the beauty and Grace you reveal in your life in spite of a broken pickle!
    Gracie xx

    ReplyDelete
  17. Your photos (all calm & serene) aren't matching your words today. So this should cheer you up ... I'm not finished shopping. I'm not finished making presents. I haven't got any decorations out. I baked gingerbread today (failed). I think you're doing pretty good! I don't want to look at newborn babies ... my baby suddenly is much taller than me :( Enjoy your day. Wendy x

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love your pictures again today! We have some of those Voortman cookies in our house right now too.
    I've been feeling overwhelmed - too much work, too much to do. I was planning to get out and pick up a few things, but the weather here was terrible. Several bad crashes near me, snow wind, no visibility..., so I stayed home. I got a bunch of wrapping done and made Chex mix. My hubby thinks it's not Christmas till he has it! I'm back to work tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Sometimes I feel like you Jen, overwhelmed. I also have all my shopping done because I started early but the feeling still comes because of all the demands of the season. Usually for me it starts before Thanksgiving with the traveling and baking and doesn't stop until Christmas is over. Wouldn't it be nice if there really was a Santa and he could take care of all of this for us. Yeah, right!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I so hear you on being busy friend!!! We are running to and fro these past couple of weeks so I am making a point to slow down and enjoy the small stuff!!! I can not wait to see your new creation!! Your work always blows me away!!! You take care and happy baking to you!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I enjoyed your photos and your thoughts you shared. I have things yet to be done but I refuse to stress about it. I hosted a sisters luncheon today and we had such a nice time. I'll post some pix tomorrow.

    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

    ReplyDelete
  22. No it's not cold, it's so very hot. It's been very busy over here also, I had to go overs to mums and put here decoration up for the first time she said she was to old to do it. ( so sad).

    ReplyDelete
  23. It is, of course, dreadfully hot here, not at all conducive to a snowy Christmas feeling! However, like you, I am soldiering on the the Christmas prep. Beautiful photos, and I particularly like the rose with snow. I love the sweet Christmas patchwork in picture 2, and always the pics of lovely New Mexico. Jennifer I am so sorry about the broken glass ornament, knowing how it feels when it is the special one which is unlucky, never the one we don't really care for! I have made Christmas cakes, and plan more cooking - after I finish buying the gifts. In Ottawa, my daughter is coping under loads of snow, just like you. For me, blogging is one of the best, easiest, way to escape the pressure and relax :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. It's it's a very busy time of year for us women isn't it! I do love Christmas and on the whole we keep things as simple as possible but sometime I want to throw myself back to the 1950s where a simple tree and stockings were enough, don't you? :) x

    ReplyDelete
  25. We're having very mild weather here at the moment, it's been said that it could last until the end of the year. I remember how hectic it was when my kids were in primary school, concerts, school plays, parties and such, though it does settle down once they're in secondary school and beyond. There's still plenty to do though, I haven't even written a card yet.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Jennifer, It looks beautiful where you are, cold but lovely :) We used to live near to some mountains like that and I miss the view so much especially in Winter.
    I hope your scroogey feelings have passed now :) Elisabeth x

    ReplyDelete
  27. It has been bitterly cold here, too! In fact, it has broken records for Cultus Lake and the surrounding area, and several people have blamed us, saying we brought the cold weather with us when we moved down from Kamloops. :-)

    You are wise to avoid the pressure to "be like Martha S." during the holidays. That world only exists between the pages of glossy magazines. I'm sorry about your pickle ornament. Here's a link to the first in a series of posts I wrote about our family's disastrous Christmas several years ago. I posted this series before you started reading my blog, so thought you may have missed it. There are about six instalments, so if you like it don't stop after #1. I hope it makes you feel a little better about your pickle ornament, in a "misery loves company" way. :-)

    http://journeynorthof49.blogspot.ca/2010/12/celebration-failure-part-1.html

    ReplyDelete
  28. I always love stopping by and seeing your happy photos. They are so peaceful. =) I hope you're staying warm, the snow has started to melt over my way.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I loved seeing your photos, and do sympathise with the feeling of being overwhelmed by having so much to do.....being a mum of young children at this time of year can certainly be demanding! I hope you find some nice quiet times now and then to rest and to craft too, like you I find crafting very restorative!
    Helen x

    ReplyDelete
  30. Beautiful photos of where you live. Do take care in this crazy month, it ends up being too busy sometimes and that's when the nasty bugs arrive! Alice loves playing and making with Das, it's great for kids. Keep well and chilled in the coming days and weeks till Christmas xox Penny

    ReplyDelete
  31. Christmas and Holidays are always such a blend of feelings. You are a young Mom, I have 3 daughters who are going through the same thing. Children are such a blessing and also so demanding! Your photos are lovely and make me feel very calm and relaxed:)
    Jemma

    ReplyDelete
  32. Brrrrrrrr here! So cold I don't want to go to work in the morning!!!! You are so organised..not started shopping or written my cards!!! Xxx

    ReplyDelete
  33. That mountain - wow! You see that view every day? Lucky lady. Yes, this is a crazy month. But I know we'll get a rest when the school break for the two week Christmas holidays - I hope you'll get a chance to rest then too. x

    ReplyDelete
  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Christmas, is that funny time of year juggling lots of balls I guess. It will all come together in the end.i hope the holidays will give you much needed rest hugs x

    ReplyDelete
  36. Your neighborhood looks so nice, and the mountains are absolutely breathtaking! I want to visit New Mexico now! It's cold here, too, and really early this year. I feel a little pressure this time of year, too. We are having friends over to bake cookies, and for dinner this weekend, and while I'm excited about it all, I'm also feeling a bit overwhelmed. I made a trip to the mall and Whole Foods today, and I need to make a trip to Target before the week. I enjoy this time or year, especially since I have a little one, but I also look forward to New Year's Eve and January so I can slow down and relax. Your photos are lovely today. I love the the little snow covered rose! Enjoy your week, and I hope you get that nap!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I LOVE Albuquerque but my husband hates the heat. This is the first day in 10 days that we have gone ABOVE 2 degrees! I hate it here...just biding our time until our house sells. NEVER EVER move to the Black Hills of South DUHkota. It snows 8 months out of the year and you cannot sell your beautiful older home for going on at least 6 years...like we have been trying to do. Housing economy here sucks now. Looking forward to moving to warmer weather on FLAT land!!!

    Cate <><

    ReplyDelete
  38. I know it's sad to lose a precious ornament, but you'll look back and remember with such fondness Christmas when the children are little, you won't even worry about the ornament... make the most of them because they grown up too quickly! If it makes you feel any better I haven't even bought a present yet, let alone, baking, cards, wrapping etc! Julie x

    ReplyDelete
  39. Lovely pics as ever.I love you new banner and picture of yourself

    ReplyDelete
  40. I'm so with you on standing back from the rush from time to time. It often seems to be Christmas has become more about an obligation to reciprocate than anything else ... it's like one of those interlocking hand games you play with kids where the hand at the bottom of the pile is put back on the top, again and again, as the game gets faster and everyone starts snatching and suddenly it's too fast and game ends in chaos. That's Christmas. And it's so unnecessary. With every year that passes I pull back from it more.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Gorgeous photos. You really do have a good eye for a telling image, Jennifer.

    I do sympathise with the feeling of being overwhelmed by all the pre-Christmas busyness. I remember it well from the days when I was working full-time and the children were young - running faster and faster just to stand still. Congratulations on realising that you don't have to comply with some idealised TV image of what the perfect Christmas should be. You make your own perfection where your family is concerned.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Beautiful images Jennifer and I am with you on feeling a little overwhelmed or if I am honest just down right in the dumps. It does sound like you have the perfect attitude to it all. xoxo

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving a comment. It's so good to hear from you! I don't always have time to reply but I try to answer questions when I can.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...