Our first Christmas holidays in our new home are nearing the end...although despite working today, I intend to count the next 3 days (which includes the weekend, and my usual Friday off) as extended holiday time.
As always, time flew by between Christmas and New Year's. It didn't help that quite a few hours and much mental preoccupation ensued following a nip by a stray kitten (which we ended up euthanizing due to illness...after which we also found a dead raccoon in the workshop where the kitten had been living...and then realized that perhaps I should have started post-rabies vaccinations, which I did last weekend...thankfully due to holiday slow-downs, the kitten was still available for testing and I don't need to finish the vaccination schedule, but I digress...).
Geoff and I obtained some much-needed quiet and reading time January 1, when my parents offered to take the kiddos out of town for the day, to an annual extended family gathering.
As has become my pattern, the some highlights of our seasonal story will be told in photos...beginning with a hint of the teal and red combo I ended up using throughout the main floor (an extension of painting the front doors turquoise, and then bringing it into the house, alongside my more traditional red-based colour scheme) - I ended up enjoying it quite a bit!
The master bedroom is pictured below...we would love to do a fresh mid-century look in our room, but have an antique set we quite like (that has significance to us), and were just given the antique sewing machine, which at least temporarily filled a conspicuous empty place in the room.
We were a little concerned about furnishing the living room, in the centre of the house, given that the post-moving budget limit has been reached on more essential purchases. Less than two weeks before Christmas it occurred to me that we could likely find some super-cheap used furniture online to fill the space for now...and ended up with a vintage set in pristine condition, which we really like. Coordinating accent chairs were found through another online classified, and ta-da - we're all set up for $150.00.
We haven't had much time at all to enjoy the view from the sunroom (other than glancing that direction was we pass through the foyer going between the kitchen/family room and bedrooms), but this is where Geoff and I spent a good chunk of time with our books on January 1 - ahhh.
It was fun decorating the new place for Christmas. Once we build massive built-in book/display cases in the living room (flanking the piano), I can de-clutter the mantle, jam cupboard, and piano in future years to keep things a little simpler.
Mesmerizing for all ages...the spinning candle holder...
My main gift from Geoff - a hand carved nativity (for which he built the stable backdrop and a hefty rustic wood storage box with individual compartments, that should be put on display itself).
Another gift from family...the year of the Nativity...
The holidays are truly not complete without Mom's pies (particularly the apple ones). I know everyone doesn't agree, but the apples are cooked down to a soft texture...and of course, it is best served with a liberal dose of the brown sugar sauce intended for the Christmas pudding...
Just before Christmas, Geoff and I celebrated our 15th anniversary...for the third year in a row (yes, that means each year since having kids) we did not get away overnight, as was always our tradition. We nearly did, but trying to find a B&B last minute, just before Christmas, is apparently not an easy task. We did, however, go to dinner and a movie, which was a novelty in and of itself.
I really, really want my kids NOT to believe in Santa (I will actually have way more fun with the whole Santa thing once that is the case), but long-standing family traditions prevail...this year we even neglected to leave out Santa's goodies, but he found them anyway and left us his usual note! Not much I can do about that...
I hardly ever skate, and can't do anything fancy, but have always wanted a good pair of figure skates (and my current ones, while serviceable, are going on 25 years old now). Geoff found me these lovely ones, and I look forward to breaking them in...Now that he works at our local arena, I really have no excuse to neglect regular outings...
Merry Christmas (it's only the 9th day, after all, and we haven't reached Orthodox Christmas quite yet) and a beautiful New Year to you!
(I leave you with a picture of our formerly live tree - originally standing about 20 feet tall, hacked off at about 12 feet, and finally cut down to 9.5 feet, with nearly a 6-foot span. They said we could have anything left in the field for $35).