New Year, New Me

Here they are: my New Year’s Resolutions. Posted for your convenience, should you ever wish to shame me into working towards my own goals.

1. Make budget 
2. Stick to budget 
[These are separate because they are each really hard on their own. We have had some success with budgeting before, but every time there is a change in income or expenses, we seem to take the temporary confusion as an opportunity to take the month off from caring where our money goes. Currently, we’re on month three of having no earthly idea where our money has gone.]

3. Exercise of some form six days per week. Look! I already started!

4. Clean out laundry room. If you are frightened by humongous messes, please avert your eyes now.

Everyone please ooh and ahh over my new ironing board in the corner. Yes, it was a Christmas present. In Lee’s defense, though, I had said that I really needed one. And yes, I also got a new iron.
5. Clean out linen closet. Again, you may wish to shield small children from this hideous display.

I spied something down there in the corner and went in for a closer look.

Isn’t that sad? One of my favorite pictures of my sister and me is stuffed in the closet. Must find it new home. Make that resolution 5a.
6. Read a little every day. [The internet does not count.]
I have a big problem with getting half way through a book, then getting distracted by a new book. Then I end up with 10 books at various stages of consumption.  Must fix.
7. Pray for patience. I already do this, but clearly not enough. Every morning before I get out of bed, I pray that God will give me patience for the day, that He will make me a good mother to Mary Bullock, and a good wife to Lee. [Of course, I’m usually praying this prayer while I’m putting my cold toes on Lee and telling him it’s his turn to change Mary Bullock’s diaper.] Anyway, the thing is, when you have no naturally occurring patience of your own, one little prayer just doesn’t cut it. So I’m going to have to make an effort to ask more often. And, as I understand it, if I ask it, I will receive it.
8. Make weekly menus. I know that this will be one of the hardest for me to keep up with. BUT! I have new tools at the ready.
I’ve got modern technology, two moleskins, and a witty goal-writing pad. How can I go astray? Seriously, I think the iphone is going to change my life. The Grocery IQ app is genius. No more grocery lists written on scraps of paper! It’s a close second to the AllRecipes Dinner Spinner.
9. Try one new recipe per week.

10. Wash/Dry/Fold/Put away one load of laundry per day.  I have a terrible habit of waiting until Lee is down to his last work shirt to actually do laundry. By then, it’s a mountainous task. So, I’m hoping if I do a little laundry every day I can keep it manageable. I’m hoping really hard that this will be true. Really really hard.
But that’s tomorrow.
Today? Chocolate. Covered. Popcorn.

It’s Christmas Time in Hollis Queens!

So, it’s not quite Christmas anymore. And, we’re not in Queens. And–sadly– no one is cooking chicken and collard greens.

Well, I am cooking chicken. But it’s with mushrooms. I just missed the opportunity to quote one of my favorite Christmas tunes of all time in my posts last week, so here it is. Bonus points if you actually sang it like Run DMC.

ANYWAY.

Christmas was a blur for us, as I’m sure it was for many of you. There were joyous moments, like watching Mary Bullock’s face as she spied the slide that Santa left her.

There were frustrating moments, like changing a poopy diaper on the one tiny patch of car that was not piled high with stuff, and realizing I was out of wipes. [For that one, I do not have a picture.]

There were moments of sheer laughter.

Moments of tenderness.

  

Moments of peace even in chaos [ever try to get 14 adults and 11 small children to look at a camera at the same time? Chaos.]

And now it’s over and a new year fast approaches. A new decade, even.
I wonder what will happen next?

Christmas Tree tour wrap up

It’s a mouse! In a boot! I don’t know what would make such a combination prime for Christmas ornamentation, but this is apparently Lee’s favorite ornament from when he was little, so he has lived at our house since we’ve been married. Happy little mouse, huh?
This is one of those “couple’s first Christmas” ornaments that are the requisite wedding shower gift. But this one is special [to me, at least] because of the verse on the left hand side. Those of you who know us well know that Lee and I are probably the two most impatient people who ever lived. We know and accept this about each other, though it never ceases to frustrate both of us [I know, right? We get frustrated at each other for being impatient. Nice combo]. That’s why we have Love is Patient inscribed on our wedding rings. Lest we forget. Although, we usually remind each other like this:
Lee: FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, PUT YOUR SHOES ON ALREADY!
Suz: LOVE IS PATIENT, LEEEEEEEEEE.
Or vice versa.
Ahem.

My mom gave this one to us a few years ago. Those are cartoons of each of us. It even has salt-n-pepper for Lee’s hair. Such an eye for detail! He’s labeled Lee, III because–have I told you this?–there are 14,000 other Lees between our two families. And Moms just wanted to be clear about which one I was being depicted holding hands with on this ornament. 

This is Mary Bullock’s new ornament. But the more appropriate view is this one:

Since this is the view I most often get of my very active child.

These are some of Lee’s favorites: the camping themed ornaments. I think our camping themed ornaments outnumber actual camping trips at this point.

Saved the best for last. This is Mary Bullock’s new ornament from Big Lee [Lee’s dad], who is the biggest Christmas fan ever to exist. I don’t know who was more excited about this ornament–Big Lee or me.  Mary Bullock didn’t seem to care just yet, but I’m guessing this will be the ornament that makes it to her grown-up Christmas tree in about 20 30 40 years, or whenever we allow her to leave us.
And, that’s it for the Christmas tree tour this year. I hope your Christmas tree holds as many precious memories [or memories in the making] as ours.

Making Progress

This year, instead of exchanging gifts with our dear friends, we all gifted each other with food, drink, laughter, and the usual totally inappropriate conversation in the form of a progressive dinner. It was a lot of work and logistical maneuvering since most of us have young children, but it was a great time! [I suggested skipping it all and going to the spa next Christmas, but I was voted down. So it must have been OUTSTANDING actually. Because the spa is nice.]

Round 1: Cocktails and Hors d’Oeuvres

The signature cocktail: Limoncello, Prosecco & Raspberries. Yum!  And also possibly the cause of my pounding head this morning.


Round 2: Dinner
[Dinner was at our house, which is why there were no posts from me from Friday till now.]

No pictures of the food…it wasn’t that pretty anyway. It’s hard to make a complicated dish when you’re going to be at someone else’s house for two hours before dinner. But it was yum, which is good, since we have enough leftovers to feed the neighborhood [come on over!].
Round 3: Dessert

Meg’s Rum Roll was delicious. I’ll have to coax the recipe out of her if I ever get up the nerve to try it. 
Even when the wine wore off, we had to agree that it was one of the best Christmas parties ever. If you were there, please excuse the fat sloppy kiss I probably planted on your face.
It was only because I love you.

Rachel’s on Design*Sponge!

[Please forgive my day of 4,000 posts! We have not been able to leave the house today due to the plumbing situation, so what else do I have to do? Especially since I’m ignoring the mess(es) on the floor and cannot do laundry until Monday?]

Ahem.

Rachel‘s on Design*Sponge, ya’ll!

I’m so excited and proud of her! Go look Go look Go look!

Leave her a comment, too. It really is a swoon-worthy bathroom.