January 5, 2014

Christmas 2013

Another Christmas season come and gone. It was nice (it usually is) and I think everyone enjoyed it overall.

We had several family Christmas get-togethers: MIL's side of the family came to NJ the weekend before; we had our local family gift exchange on Christmas Eve; and we made the trip over to Delaware on January 4th to see FIL's side of the family. At church we had a banquet one night, complete with preaching, a game, and "gingerbread" house building.

On Christmas Day we always go out to breakfast at our favorite local diner. Last year we noticed another family with little girls, and the girls were in their pajamas. I commented on it and said that maybe one day our girls could do the same. Well, the Boogie latched onto that and remembered all year. As Christmas drew closer she often commented about being excited to go out for breakfast (she LOVES to eat out) and wear her pajamas. I gave it some thought and realized that neither girl owned any p.j.s that I'd care for them to wear in public! So, I made them some. They were so easy to make and turned out really cute, if I do say so myself. (I followed this tutorial.) I bought t-shirts and appliqued them to match the pants.

(I made pants for Eric as well, though not penguins, and now I'm jealous of everyone's new comfy flannel sleepwear -- I should have made some for myself, too!) Anyway, we let them open their p.j. gifts on Christmas Eve so that they could wear them to bed. The next morning I made them some chocolate milk ... and the first thing Peabody did was spill it all over her new pajamas. I made those for them to wear to breakfast, and by golly they were going to wear them to breakfast, so before we opened any gifts I started a load of laundry! 

It was a nice, laid-back day. Everyone got nice gifts and for once I didn't feel like we were completely overwhelmed with new toys. Each girl got something she'd been asking for for a while, so they were both really excited about those gifts.

My mom made them the cutest quilted tic-tac-toe mat with beanbag markers!

 We gave them an easel as well which has been used a lot. 

The Boogie woke up with a sore throat and by the end of the day we could tell she really was not feeling well, so we put her to bed early and had her take it easy the next day.

For the past several years we've done Christmas dinner for whatever local family didn't have any plans, but this year we cooked for Thanksgiving instead. I'm really glad we did it that way because I was definitely not up for hosting Christmas dinner.

I always try to make some gifts to give out. This year I did friendship soup mix in a jar, and some hot chocolate mix in a jar. Honestly I wasn't too impressed with either of them -- next year maybe I'll go back to some kind of dessert.

Other gifts I made this year were felt needle-books for my mom and Mamaw; silhouettes of the girls for both sets of grandparents as well as for Eric to take to work; and skirts for the girls and a couple of their friends. The needle-books were fun to make! I wanted to use nice wool felt in fun colors, but Joann Fabrics only had boring wool colors so I used craft felt instead.

I was anxious about doing the silhouettes, and some of them were easier to make than the others (the smart thing to do would have been to make templates of the first successful set!) I framed the ones for my parents separately, with each girl backed with her favorite color.

I framed the ones for the ILs together with the girls' names printed on the background paper (something I wish I'd thought to do for my parents.) Eric's I just framed with cardstock so that he could slip it under the plexiglass on top of his toolbox at work. I think the silhouettes were my favorite gifts to give this year -- they were the ones I was most excited to give, anyway!

A non-gift related project I did was for Eric's work Christmas dinner. It's hosted at a nice catering facility. I didn't have anything to wear so I ordered a maternity dress that I found on clearance online. When it arrived it was at least six inches too long! Okay, I know I'm a little on the short side, but is the average woman six inches taller than me? Anyway, in order to wear it I was going to have to hem it which made me really nervous because for one thing it meant actually cutting off the bottom instead of just turning up the existing hem, and for the second thing it was heavy stretchy jersey knit which is notoriously difficult to sew, and I am at best still a very novice seamstress. The dress hung on a curtain rod in our room for almost two weeks before I nerved myself up to do anything with it. I prayed a LOT and googled a lot and finally just went for it and it turned out great! Whew! (Praise the Lord for online tutorials and double needles.)

But ... I didn't have any shoes to wear with it. The only dressy shoes I owned went with the dress just fine, but the heels were way too high for me to manage in my current pregnant state. I reeeeeally didn't want to buy new shoes. Then I remembered that tucked away in my closet were my wedding shoes: white satin sandals, worn once.

Okay, they would be fine, but white? Not gonna work. If only I could dye them. I googled that and it seemed like an awful lot of bother. Then I had an inspiration: silver Sharpie. I tried a test patch on the inner part, and it worked!

It took some time, a trip to CVS, and two whole markers to do both sandals. The color was slightly uneven, and the silver did transfer itself to my feet a little (I might be able to spray them with something) but I knew no one would be closely inspecting my shoes so they worked just fine for their intended purpose! And I was very pleased with my cleverness.

Now, on to a new year!

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