Snow

The day started with me waking up and peeking through the blinds of my bedroom window to see snow falling heavily. I laid there and watched it fall, able to hear it through the thin glass, and able to smell it through the cracks in the wooden window frame. Trey kept asking what I was doing, because I was making a lot of noise as I moved the blinds around to get a better view. We watched it fall, hopeful that I wouldn’t have to go into work. Eventually, I got ready for work anyway and we ran outside to play in it before I had to leave.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetSeveral hours, and four more inches of snow later, I came home to him making a decadent, thick hot chocolate, and pouring it into travel mugs so that we could go for a walk. I was so antsy and nervous that I had missed out on all of the snow fun, and that everyone would make everything soggy and melty before I could really get out there to see it. But, I was wrong. It was perfect. I hadn’t missed anything, and we settled in to hours and hours of white winter bliss.

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I thought that it was just a Homewood thing, but I found out that almost all of the homes in the communities around Birmingham have Christmas trees in their yards. Some of them are decorated, some play music, some are just glowing brightly with warm, white lights. We usually only see the ones in Homewood, and I’m best friends with all of them. I   love love love love that I live in a city that loves to celebrate Christmas.

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Trey took pictures of every snowman that he found on all of the walks that he took that day, but this one was my favorite.

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I love this amazing drone picture that my brother in law took.

We walked for miles and miles, singing “Snow” from White Christmas, laughing all the way. We came home to a cold apartment that we warmed up with space heaters, candles, and Christmas tree lights. We ate spaghetti aglio e olio and watched Christmas movies while our power flickered on and off, from the weight of the snow on the power lines.

More snow pictures will come, and hopefully more snow will come, too!

 

Newlywed Traditions

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I married someone whose body runs on jingle bells, sugar cookies, and old-fashioned Christmas decor. Starting with our very first Christmas season together, we wanted to accomplish all the things. We saw The Nutcracker that year, made gingerbread houses at a Christmas party that his sister threw. We cut out paper snowflakes and decorated everything with Christmas lights. I showed him all the best Christmas lights that I know of in Alabama. We watched Christmas movies every single day. I put Christmas lights all around his bedroom…attached to his ceiling. Which was a bad idea, looking back. But, from that first year, Christmas has gotten bigger and bigger.

We started a tradition last year where we pick out one Christmas ornament, and one Christmas children’s book. Last year, he picked out a plushy, dumpy, black and white, amorphous felty blob that somehow perfectly resembles our cat, James. I picked The Nutcracker. I loved this illustrated version of one of my all-time-favorite Christmastime experiences. This year, it’s my turn to pick the ornament, and Trey picks the book.

We spent last Christmas in Florida, where we forced it to feel like Christmas while we spent every day beneath palm trees, and celebrated anytime the temperature dropped below 70. When we moved back, we said that this Christmas, we were going to do it all. And so we are. We are focusing more on experiences rather than presents, and we are squeezing everything we can out of this magical season.

Thankful

For the past several years, as we gathered in my grandparent’s eat-in-kitchen, we would hold hands and say a prayer. My grandfather would always give it, and he would ask for blessings over the food that we were about to eat, and he would give thanks. In the long, beautiful list of everything that he would express gratitude for, he would give thanks that we all were there, surrounding the room for another year. Every year, the prayer had that. At Thanksgiving, Christmas, any event that we all gathered at and a great deal of food was present. And every year it hurt more and more, because we all knew that this could be the last prayer.

This year, my older brother said the prayer. He also carved the turkey, which had also always been my grandfather’s job. The day had a weight on it. Everything that I wanted to be easy, felt hard. Every hug meant more. Every voice was a little bit quieter. But, it was a good day.

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I was able to go home for a couple of days before Thanksgiving, which I’m very grateful about. My mom and I got to have our favorite salads, and we sat in front of a roaring fire in the fireplace and looked at Christmas magazines together. I celebrated a best friend and the baby boy(!) that she will be having in the spring.

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I have so many things to be thankful for. But right in this moment, I am grateful for my husband. He loves me in my lowest lows and my highest highs. Happy Thanksgiving, to you and yours from me and mine.

Life Lately

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October is here! My coffee table has been dressed for it since the later days of September, and I’m an unstoppable holiday force that almost bought dreamy Christmas ornaments at World Market the other day. Someone reel me in. But, don’t, because your attempts will fail and I’ll put a wall between us and cover it in tinsel and garland.

BUT, OCTOBER IS HERE. My October coffee table has some gems that I’ve collected over the years, and I love to haul them out every October. The Poems Bewitched and Haunted pocket poet book is a special collection of Halloweeny tales, and every book of the Everyman’s Library is fantastic. The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy by Tim Burton is one of my favorite treasures. It’s just a sweet, little book filled with short stories and poems by Burton. It was gifted to me years ago, and I love it and want to buy one for every Tim Burton fan that I know. Amphigorey is a compilation of Edward Gorey’s poems, stories, limericks, etc. I love his scratchy drawings, and twisted tales, and this book was gifted to me by my older brother who knows me so well. The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton stays in this spot from now until January. My brother also gave me The Art of Tim Burton, which holds the artwork behind Tim Burton’s movies, and little drawings that never made their way out into the public, in any form other than this book. Then, Mostly Ghostly by Zorn and Bradley is just a little something that I picked up from a thrift store in college.

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Below are a couple of sketches from The Art of Tim Burton.

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Below are a few of my favorite polaroids that I’ve taken during fall over the years.

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Welcome, October. I’ll love on you so much this year that even my cat will feel it.

Life Lately

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  1. I’ve been keeping to myself lately. Solitude is my favorite kind of medicine, and I’ve found it to be the most effective. My grandfather passed away recently, and one day I’ll dive further into that. But for now, I’m processing and refraining from pouring myself out into social media platforms. Even here, I’m just not ready for that yet. Instead, I’m digging up every birthday card from him, and studying the tilt of his beautiful penmanship. I’m trying to visit my grandmother as much as I can, and planning more visits home. I’m finding myself dwelling on how short life actually is, which is really not a fantastic thing to dwell on, but it’s happening. My most recent visit home was for my dad’s birthday, and while I was there I decided that I’m going to make more of an effort to spend more time with my family. I have a big, loud, beautiful, wonderful family. I’m fortunate to have stepsisters, and step nieces and nephews. I’m blessed with so many sweet, freckled cousins. I have Trey’s entire family, and each and every one of them are just as perfect as he is. I have three nieces on that side, and I don’t want to miss them grow up. I have my mom, and my dad. I want to be around so often, that they’ll wish I would leave them alone. Some people don’t love their families, but I have a really, really great one, and my grandfather never took it for granted. So, I don’t wan’t to either.
  2. It’s almost September, which means that I’m going to do what I do every year, and prematurely decorate for Halloween.
  3. I’ve been on the hunt for Half and Half tobacco. It’s what Papa smoked, and it’s the Papa smell that I love, and know so well, and I’d love to just have it on hand. It’s surprisingly hard to find.
  4. My September coffee table is such a bright spot in my life right now. Trey bought me this candle that smells just like cornbread. I haven’t burned it yet, because I don’t want to use it up. It’s absolutely heavenly, and every time I smell it, it’s like it grabs my heart and won’t let go. It’s highly likely that most of my family members will be getting one of these for Christmas this year. I also have my favorite polaroids of fall memories, and a book of quotations that I found in an antique store years ago. Written in 1922, with 1343 pages of quotations about everything under the sun, this book is one of my most prized possessions. Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
  5. When someone is grieving, there are very few “right” things to say. I think that having this book handy will be good for the upcoming month or months.

“Oh, sweet September, thy first breezes bring

The dry leaf’s rustle and the squirrel’s laughter,

The cool fresh air whence health and vigor spring

And promise of exceeding joy hereafter.

-George Arnold September Days

 

 

Life Lately

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  1. Trey turned 26 the other day and even though it was a very low key day, it was perfect. I woke up early, found that I didn’t have the letters I needed to spell what I needed to spell in a banner, and made him two pumpkin pies (his absolute favorite dessert). Our entire apartment smelled like autumn, and it got me so jazzed for the cold weather, as if I weren’t jazzed enough already. So, he woke up to pumpkin pie, and the promise of coffee and HERO donuts, which are his second favorite dessert. The rest of the day included resting, driving around the city, going to the movies, and watching more movies.
  2. I took a long break from the no gluten/no dairy thing that I was doing (mainly so that I could eat an entire apple pie by myself, and a TANK of cheese dip), but I’m starting it up again and I’m excited.
  3. I’m so ready for fall. I just can’t even talk about it. Too excited.
  4. I have decided that when I want to break from my gluten/dairy thing, I’m going to make a pie. 1. It gives me pie, which is my favorite. 2. It makes me bake, which I love to do and wish I did more. 3. It gives me pie, which is my favorite.
  5. I AM SO READY FOR FALL. Still can’t talk about it.

 

Life Lately

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I’m pretty sure that we are 100% settled into our new home and our old city. There is still so much to do, but everything feels natural and comfortable now. We are used to our tiny kitchen, and we painted our bathroom which was a huge improvement. But, Trey loves his job and is so happy to be back with his friends again. Plus, proud of him, he just got another promotion. I love my job and my team, and even though making new, real friends can be so, so hard…I did it. And, it was so easy. I love when you find someone and just click immediately. Such a treat.

We have Jon Christian visiting us right now and we are so happy about it. He spends most of his time sitting in the floor in front of the TV with video games, which is a sight to see. He is 6’4, and somewhere over 230 lbs…so seeing him sitting in a heap on the floor, or sprawled out like a starfish is just…perfect. He is interfering with our diets and exercise in a major way, BUT WE ARE DOING PALEO FOR A WEEK AS SOON AS HE LEAVES!

I’ve been wanting to do Paleo since Trey did it months ago, and I am pumped. I love meat, vegetables, and fruit…so I’m hoping it won’t be too painful to commit 100% to this. I expect that the hardest things to do without will be coffee, alcohol, ice cream, and candy. I plan to blog my way through it…so we will see how it goes!

I am going to make an Etsy to sell some of my dearly loved clothes, art, and knickknacks. If you’d be interested in shopping it, message me or comment and I’ll be sure to send you the link when the site it up.

I painted for the first time in years yesterday, and it was more fun than I remembered it being. I tried my hand at impasto painting and loved it. I plan to do some large scale pieces soon, and who knows, maybe they’ll make their way to that Etsy that I mentioned. 😉

Well, I’m off to finish off a bottle of wine so that I won’t have to look at it during Paleo.

P.S. I’ve been watching the new Beauty and the Beast over and over, and just can’t get enough of Belle’s day dress, or anything else in the movie. It’s just perfect. Also, Wes Anderson’s new movie will knock by mismatched socks off, no doubt.

P.P.S. I’m ready for Trey’s family to move to Birmingham because I miss his little sister.

P.P.P.S. Today is National Best Friend Day, and I’m celebrating by thinking about Abbey and crossing my fingers that she will be close to be again one day soon.

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