Tag Archives: Holiday

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Rainbow colored icicle lights line the frame of our house. Two brightly LED-lit penguins frolic among the fallen autumn leaves in the front yard. Visitors are welcomed with a large Costco acquired plastic pine wreath affixed beside the front door.

Inside, an 8-foot fir tree stands gated, draped with silver garlands and brilliant white lights. Family ornaments hang from the top quarter of branches. Continue reading


Our First Easter

Easter symbolizes a time of rebirth. Springtime returns and the flora and fauna are resurrected from beneath the frozen ground. (Granted, this metaphor has a lot more impact in a location with actual seasons.) Continue reading


Auld Lang Syne

Interestingly enough, I am closing out 2010 in the exact same fashion that I welcomed it – in my sweats, in my comfy chair, and gunning to be curled up in bed by the New York New Year. That’s about all I can same for the similarities between the years.

What a year. This has been a year of absolute elation and terrifying concerns. Absolutely nothing played out the way I’d envisioned. Continue reading

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Christmas is Coming, The Goose is Getting Fat

Reading with GrammaJ

When GrammaJ came to visit us this weekend, she looked at our squirmy little muppets and exclaimed how big they are getting. Before we know it, we’ll be closing out the year. This weekend we kicked off the holidays.

On Friday, Jon and Uncle Jeffrey trekked up to the Santa Cruz mountains to cut down a fresh Christmas tree. We’ve always had a fake tree before, so this was our first step toward going all out for the muppets first Yuletide. “That was a lot more difficult than I expected!” Jon announced upon their return.

I think the expectation was that it would be similar to a tree lot. Instead, there was a hill. With trees. “Can I help you?” the guy in the booth asked them. “You have any trees?” Jon replied deadpan? The guy in the booth gestured out to the hill. “We’ve got those.” He handed them a chainsaw and returned to his business.

They wandered the hillside looking for the perfect tree. Although Jon seemed a bit concerned that the winning selection wasn’t as perfect as its plastic predecessor, I am extremely impressed with the one they found. (Charlie Brown, eat your heart out…) Our living room smells amazing! I’d forgotten how awesome it is to walk into a room and be engulfed in the spirit of Christmas (also known as the scent of a Douglas Fir tree).

Tangent: I smell every candle I can find that claims to be that mix of Christmas tree and spiced pinecones. I have yet to find one that comes close to the real thing, so for Christmas’ past, I’d simply liberate fallen branches from the trees sold in front of grocery stores.

After I finished baking a spiced pumpkin roll and Yule Log, (I know, I used my kitchen! These are holiday traditions that must be had – even if the muppets are too young to enjoy them first hand.) we decked the tree. The soft white lights brighten the room and transform the shrubbery from mere foliage to a true holiday symbol. Interestingly, it’s a lot more difficult to hang ornaments on a real tree. The branches are far flimsier. Growing up, Santa left my brother and me an ornament every Christmas. So every year, decorating for the year-end holidays becomes a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

I certainly don’t deny that the winter holidays have always been my favorite time of year. But adding to my frenzied preparations is the hope of starting new traditions with my new family. I remember waking up with my brother every half hour. “Mom! Is it Christmas yet?” I remember Paul and I running to the tree on Christmas morning while Mom and Dad ran equally excited toward the coffee maker. We’d spend the afternoons with family and friends, culminating in a big celebratory dinner.

I want this time of year to be as exciting for Search and Destroy as they grow up, so they can write a similar blog post when they’re great big adults reminiscing about their childhood as they hang years of ornaments celebrating and reminding them of a happy childhood.

The muppets have certainly been good this year; I can only assume they are exceedingly high on Santa’s “nice” list.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?


Happy Healthy Holidays

Happy Thanksgiving! If ever there was a year to be thankful for life’s little blessings – this is the one.

Thanksgiving has always signaled the start of the holiday season to me. (Forget the Christmas creep in the retail establishment where carols are piped throughout stores beginning in August…) It’s the first long weekend as the year wraps up – a holiday appetizer if you will. The day after Thanksgiving is the appropriate time to begin seeing holiday lights brighten neighborhoods and acknowledge ones fashionable affinity toward a red and green color combination.

Every year around this time, I once again think to myself, “This is my favorite time of year!” We have a tree in our front yard that sheds its leaves (making a complete mess, but it’s a California girl’s taste of an actual season). Inevitably, shortly after making such a declaration to myself, I emerge from the comfort of my toasty sheets and am hit smack in the face with the abrasive cold of winter.

This past week, I have felt my cheeks pink right up as I watched my breath fog up my glasses each morning. I love this season, I love this season, I love this….IT’S COLD! The Bay Area has been setting record lows lately. The temperatures are dipping into the 20s overnight and our highs are around 50. (Before anyone from arctic regions starts in on me: See above comment about being a California girl. 50 degrees is cold, and anything below 32 actually, scientifically, is freezing.) Disclosure – I fully admit to being a weather wimp. I prefer not to see any Fahrenheit reading below 70 or above 80.

This holiday season has such special meaning because, as you all know, it’s the muppets first celebration. Right around this time last year is when I found out we were expecting and the whole adventure began. Today, we made the trek up to spend the day with some dear friends. I remember spending a holiday with Auntie Beeeca 11 years ago; we were freshmen in college. This year we spent the day chasing our children around. How times change.

I fully intend to regale you with the tales of the Muppets First Thanksgiving special. But with the culinary wonders of our hosts to blame, Jon and I are succumbing to the tryptophan’s sweet embrace. Family, friends, food and fun;, this holiday season is going to one to remember. And I am thankful.

  • I am thankful for our million dollar miracle muppets.
  • I am thankful for my amazing husband without whom I don’t know how I could have survived this roller coaster.
  • I am thankful for my family, whose love and support has given the muppets one heck of an amazing start.
  • I am thankful for my friends, who voluntarily chose to partake in the craziness and love the muppets as unconditionally as our family.
  • I am thankful for our Kaiser nurses. June, Susan, Ann, Jennifer (s), Margaret, and so many more, who spent two and a half months helping the muppets get big and strong.
  • I am thankful for the doctors who put up with a paranoid me while they did everything they could to make sure we’d have million dollar miracle muppets to be thankful for.
  • I am thankful we have someone who cares for our muppets with such skill that we leave home with complete peace of mind.
  • I am thankful for my furry four-legged sons because, well, dogs make me happy.
  • I am thankful I have a happy story to tell. I am also thankful (and ready) to start a new chapter in a new year.

I wish you all a healthy, happy and holiday season at home with your loved ones. And for being a part of the muppets lives – even just by reading their story – thank you.