Friday, December 26, 2008

it twas a very white Christmas

I hope all of you had a great, joy filled Christmas and took time to make room in your hearts for Emmanuel--like Halen did. (Loved her blog entry here.)

The Candlelight Christmas Eve service went well considering we only had one rehearsal. There were only a few minor glitches with the song, but all in all it was well worth the nervousness and prayers. Kathy and I were talking about recording it someday.

After the service we headed to James' grandparents' house for their annual Christmas Eve party. However, by the time we got there everyone was headed out the door, but that made opportunity to have some rare one on one time with his grandparents.

Christmas Day we ventured out in the storm to my parents' house for Christmas dinner. My grandparents' (mom's parents) were there as well as my uncle Mike. It was a good time of prime rib, berries with lemmoncello, fresh roasted coffee, gifts, and an impromptu concert by my brother. Quite a nice Christmassy treat.

We certainly woke up to a wintry wonderland yesterday and did today as well. Here are a few pictures. I'm too chicken to venture out in the cold snow right now so I took these from my backdoor and front window. Don't worry, that's not "the happy little chair" sitting out there in the extreme elements. It's does give you a bit of reference of how much snow we have though. It's been very windy too so I imagine that's why there is no snow on those trees back there.

I hope to get better pictures soon when I muster up some courage to actually go out.

In the meantime I woke up early today to finish my "chores" so I could cozy up and read this amazing book...

My James gave it for me for Christmas. It was number one on my list and my favorite gift I received this year. The author, Jane Brocket, writes this blog. I love her writing and visual style and how she talks about "domesticity, not domestication"-- two completely different things. And how some women crave domesticity and don't feel fulfilled or settled with out it. I am certainly in that category. It's a nice thick read so I'm very excited!

Side note: my James said it was quite the feat to explain when asked what he got me for Christmas. Can you imagine?... "So what did you get your wife for Christmas?" James: "Uh a book on the gentle art of domesticity." "Ohhh, uh ohhh interesting..." while their inner monologue is saying, "Jerk! What a sexist pig!" He eventually had to explain that it was what I asked for - number one on my list.

I'm sure I'll write more about this wonderful book. I've only read the introduction and I'm already quite in love with it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

i heart E.B.

Dear Electric Blanket,

Where have you been all my life? All the years I have painfully suffering the first hour or so of bedtime under icy sheet were so regrettable. And even though I adopted you from my late grandma and you are well used and only a lap blanket, to have you warm my cold joints in a heat-register-less bedroom is simply divine.

My husband is very grateful as well. He no longer suffers from my frosty hands and feet migrating to his side of the bed--all thanks to you.

I hear your cousin, the heated mattress pad, is doing very well these days. Especially at my aunts house in Squirrel Idaho.

Who knows, maybe someday we'll adopt a queen sized electric blanket so you can have a friend to hang out with when were not home.

Thank you again for all your time and energy spent with me. I do hope we have many more toasty years together. Oh and please let me know if ever your wiring is getting worn or broken down, I do worry about you and I waking up in a fiery melty mess together.

With much love and adoration,

Becca (formerly one who loathed going to bed under icy sheets)

P.S. Are you available for camping trips?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

a sigh and a prayer

As of an hour ago, I'm officially finished with all gift making, purchasing and wrapping. Whew! We cut way back again this Christmas (we really don't even have a tree) both out of necessity and intentionality. Remember this post where I mentioned a Corporate Free Christmas? Surprisingly it has been an enjoyable experience. My goal was to hand-make most, if not all of the gifts this year. I'd say it was about 70% handmade. I have some great ideas for next year though. Maybe I'll make the 100% mark in 2009.

Now I'm focusing on the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at our church -- frantically trying to learn the complex melodies to Kathy's Christmas Rhyme. I wish I could post a recording of the song to share with all of you. It's a narrative of the nativity that tells the story of a few of the key players and the questions around the absurdity of our King's birth.

"How can this be? A birthplace for the King?

Amid animal smells, the home of beasts of burden."

My favorite part is towards the end when there is a calling back and forth of the group and narrator:

"Glory to God in the highest!

Heaven has come to the humble

Glory to God in the highest!

Divinity mingles with dust

Glory to God in the highest!

Miracles confound the earthbound"

Glorious! I can't wait to hear it with all the instruments and the odd percussion sounds and rhythms that seem to exude from Kathy's DNA. I hope I can do it justice. Say a prayer.

Friday, December 12, 2008

FOs yea!

Finally! I was able to catch some much coveted sunlight on one of my days off this week. Thus it resulted in some knitting picts of my recent FOs (finished objects). I'm working on a birthday gift and a few other Christmas gifts today that I just may have picts for as long as Mr. Sun decides to stay and play.

I look a little giddy because I have been working on this darn cowl since freaking FEBRUARY!! Seriously! It's 51 inches long. While knitting this behemoth cowl I heard quite a few comments like, "Um don't you think that's waaaay too long?" or "Maybe you should stop now Becca." I've learned in my knitting days to just go with my gut and plow through the pattern. I'd rather frog something too long than stop short only to have my hopes dashed of it being finished. I'm so glad I kept going. Because it's so airy and thin, the bulkiness of the length creates warmth and allows for you to pull it up over your head on those blustery days like so: (I'm trying hard to imagine a blustery day in this pict. It was quite hard to do so while inside looking out the window on a sunny day. Can you tell?)

I've also finished mitts for Sophie, who shall be visiting soon! Here parents are my good friends that are coming home from the UK for a Christmas visit. I'm soo very excited.

I found the pattern for the mitts free on Ravelry. If you are a knitter (ehh humm - Rebecca & RaeLynn) Ravelry is a MUST. I know I've said it before, but seriously I use it and check it more than my facebook or myspace pages. It's the clearing house of all things knitterly available on the web. The best resource I've ever found.

I will leave you with this sweet little bobble washcloth-- pattern also available for free, found via the beloved Ravelry.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

lots of knitting but no picts for proof

Although my postings have been non-existent lately, I have indeed been knitting. However, I do not have photos to prove it because 1. I have already given the knitted items away for birthday gifts and such or b. I will be giving them for Christmas and don't want to ruin any surprises for those that read this. So, instead, I will post a lovely photo of the flowers we gave my mom for her birthday.

I also baked a Sunshine Cake for her that my dad absolutely loves. So much so that he called me up yesterday just to tell me not to change the recipe --ever (something my mom is notorious for - sorry mom but it's true). So I guess he'll be getting one for his birthday next month. Even though he doesn't seem to remember that my mom has made this cake many times in the past--where do you think I got the recipe...

In other James turned 30 last Sunday. Welcome to "Club 30" babe! While he did total boy stuff (went to the desert to shot guns with Lance), I baked attempt #2 of his chocolate birthday cake. Yes #2. The first cake made from scratch the day before was a complete disaster. I've never in my life had such a problem with a simple chocolate cake! It had too much baking soda or something because it turned into a giant mess in my oven. Overflowed like a volcano. So a made-from-the-box cake it was. I did make the chocolate frosting though. Later that night we had a quite little gathering with our closest friend, L & L and Nick and his Jina. We did a potato bar and Guinness, played Totally 80's Trivia, which was a long laborious almost impossible game, and enjoyed the attempt #2 chocolate cake. Yes, a total low key 30th bash and no fluff, upon request. My James insists that I NEVER have a big shindig for his birthday--EVER. Don't ask why I don't understand either. But it's fine with me. I think I'm out of my big-party-for-every-occasion phase.

Thanksgiving was spent in Denver with James' family. It was a quite lovely visit. However, I was kicking myself the whole time because I did not bring nearly enough knitting. What the eff was I thinking??! James was even shocked! Next time I tell you all I'm leaving on a trip or vacation or whatever, please remind me of this lack of knitting of trip. I was finished with the project I brought along in mere hours--over half of which was done in the airport and on the plane.

OK now that we're all updated and whatnot (from most recent events backwards I just noticed)--how are those handmade Christmas gifts coming along everyone?