Friday, December 11, 2015

Christmas Decorating, Swedish Meatballs & Our Week

How has your week been? 

Mine has been good. Quite busy with cooking and decorating. But so much to be thankful for.

Things have been quiet here on the blog. I'm done apologizing for that. I write when I have something to write about, and when I have time to write about it. I have many thoughts swirling in my head, but much less time to flesh them out than I'd like. It boils down to choices, and priorities.

I'm not running this entire month of December. I am letting my body rest and heal. I have been taking time to walk 2-3 miles almost every day though. It's been good. Walking is good for the body and good for the soul. I pray a lot when I walk. (I pray a lot when I run too, but more along the lines of, "please don't let me die from this...") 

this is not from this week, but from our week in TX. I found it this week when I was editing pictures.
 I just love the expressions on the girls.

My friend (that I wrote about last week) is doing very well. She was walking around just a couple days after surgery. She is eating a liquid diet, but through her throat-which is huge. I visited her Friday night and she was rather gray hued. I saw a picture on FB from Monday night though, and her color is way better. I am looking forward to spending a couple hour with her this afternoon.

We took our kids to the Symphony last Thursday. They loved it. It was the holiday pops concert. Lots of Christmas music-both old favorites, and new to us compositions. We all had a great time. We scored fantastic seats, about 15 rows up from the orchestra. The kids could see very well, which I think is the highlight of attending the symphony. It is an audio and visual experience.

We bought our Christmas tree. It is a bit straggly and uneven. I remarked on FB that it reminded me of a Charlie Brown tree, though it looks more like his gawky, older, early teenage brother. It hasn't quite grown into his height or voice yet. But, it is growing on me. It has an unusual white tint that we think is natural, because it would be pretty hard to paint all that white so precisely.

We set it up on Saturday, and hung the lights and ornaments on Sunday. I sorted each of the kids' ornaments into their own piles, and then they hung them where they wanted. They did a decent job of evening them out. I hung all my ornaments, and then on Monday I hung the icicles and pine cones, which gave the tree a certain eclectic continuity.

my ornament for this year. We each pick a new one every year.

I found a couple new ideas on Pinterest for hanging Christmas cards, and decorating my bannister. Neither resulted in a Pinterest perfect end product, but I am quite pleased nevertheless. Also, I don't think my photos do justice to any of my decorating. I think photographing decor and houses is much harder than photographing food. It's the scale of it all.

a look at the bannister, heading down the stairs. It's not as fluffy as Pinterest,
but then again, I have kids going up and down the stairs. Sleeker is better.

the stockings were hung by the chimney with Meres

Saturday evening was our annual Christmas get together with the BFF and her family. They are traveling for Christmas, and we are busy this Saturday, so we did it super early this year. It was a great time, filled with amazing food. We always do appetizers and desserts. And they both were exceptional. I made Caprese skewers, S'mores Bars, Cranberry Salsa, Hot Cheesy Bacon Dip, and Ranch Chicken Pizza. I was really pleased with how everything turned out. I had never made the skewers before (but how can you screw up cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, basil and fresh mozzarella?) or the cranberry salsa. I was really nervous about the salsa, but all the adults loved it. 

not a perfect picture, but at least you get an idea of what I am doing. It looks better to the naked eye.
recipe here

I made some Christmas cookies this week and some biscotti. I'm not thrilled with my current figure, so I am working on self-control. This is a two-pronged effort. It involves making the Christmas goodies and sharing them with others. It also involves only eating a sweet treat once during the week, and once on the weekend. Let me tell you, when there is a limit of one, you ask yourself, "is this Jolly Rancher really what you want to use your one on? I didn't think so..."

Self control is not waiting until after the holidays to say no. It's not throwing everything out, or depriving my family of the treats they enjoy. It is telling myself no. And, that needs to happen now, not later.

We had potluck at church on Sunday, so I made a big batch of Swedish Meatballs. I actually bought the meatballs and made the gravy. They always go over well with the younger set, and they are really convenient to cook or reheat for potluck. That's a winning combination in my book!

recipe here
Well, I hope your December is clicking along nicely. That you aren't overrun with lists and noise, but have been able to enjoy some of the peace of the season.