Camera straps!
Merry making

It's December


Decked 4



Jane turned 12 on Friday. That's a lot of birthday candles. And kind of hard to believe, you know? She is such a sweet girl - kind, considerate, sensitive, funny, smart, creative. It's an amazing priviledge to watch her grow up. I'm grateful and blessed. She's such a bright spot in so many people's lives. We took her and a gaggle of her friends to see Hugo. Go see it, if you haven't already. All the girls loved it and Fatty and I agreed. Fantastic.

The halls are decked and the tree is trimmed. The tree almost fell over and if I were the superstitious kind, I'd say I had that coming. But, I'm not superstitious so I'm choosing to shrug my shoulders and thank Fatty's foresight for wrapping a wire around the trunk and anchoring it to an eye hook in the nearest window frame. And then thank him again for adding an additional wire and eye hook to the other window (the tree is in a corner) after the severe tilting, almost falling incident. I've planted the paperwhites and hung the garland. I've repaired one smoker that lost its nose and a nutcracker that lost its arm. How this happens while these things are in storage baffles me. I've started addressing the Christmas cards - I got to the letter H and stopped. And I ended up with an extra wreath this year, so I hung it over the kitchen sink. It is so nice to look at it while washing dishes and cooking. That may be the most brilliant idea that I've had recently.

I have not yet finished any sort of handmade gift. I will definitely finish the quilt that has been started and beyond that, anything else I manage will be a bonus. I really wanted to design a calendar tea towel for 2012, but didn't manage that. I guess there is still time so maybe that will happen.

I have a few gifts left to purchase, but nothing crazy or hard to find. I've decided to give the teachers a donation in their name to the local soup kitchen along with a small token of appreciation. We're also looking through the house and finding gently used things that someone else may need at this time of year. So far, I've donated a television and have plans to donate the kids' outgrown bikes.

I haven't baked a single cookie and am not sure if I am going to or not. Gingerbread is definitely on the list to make as well as a surprise culinary gift for my siblings and parents. I plan on picking up gingerbread house kits for the girls to decorate one evening with a babysitter while Fatty and I are out.

The advent calendar is not set up yet, but I've been giving the girls little treats each day. Tomorrow I will fill it. Yes, I will.

And so, that's where I am right now. How's December treating you?


Alicia A.

Gorgeous. All of it.
That must be one serious tree!

tara thayer

you know, i just left a flickr comment...about thinking about you. and this is just what i needed. i was thinking "did we really sit together for a few hours and now we're miles apart?" and that i'd love to spend just one holiday afternoon or evening at your kitchen counter with a drink and maybe a project the girls were all into while we talked.
so this almost...almost,makes me feel like that. and that wreath in the kitchen? yes.


Erin | house on hill road

oh no! it's the wimpiest tree we have ever had! the trunk is super skinny and soft - the stand screws are just sinking into it. fatty has rigged it with bottle caps and wire just so it will stand. it's crazy. (miss you. xo.)


LOVE the donation idea in lieu of a teacher's gift. Now my list is close to done. Thanks ;) Happy Holidays! and happy belated birthday too :)


I get a vicarious thrill from reading all that you get accomplished, Erin. It makes me think: yes, it CAN be done!
Now to get off my duff and start following suit,
The kitchen wreath? Pure genius. Love it.
Happy late birthday to Miss Jane!


I know exactly what you mean about the breakage in storage. We are missing a stocking. Where could one little stocking go on it's own without the other three? All I've managed so far is to plant the paperwhites (a month ago - I couldn't wait), fill the advent calendar and string up a few lights outside. Yes, maybe tomorrow. Or not. Happy December.

Sarah Jane | beautiful dawn

We got the tree up this weekend. This year I wrapped a book for every day of advent- good fun for the kiddos. I'm knitting the gaptastic cowl and, like you, everything else will be bonus.


Love the wreath, I would even enjoy doing the dishes if I had one over the sink!


We are leading parallel lives though thankfully I have not had any near miss tree issues...yet. Our army of nutcrackers are ready to go and we just removed the sling that one had to wear while my husband whipped his arm back into shape. I love the view into your house and the spirit your post contains.

rachel | buttons magee

I bet that dining room of yours is so cheerful with those nutcrackers in there! I really need to get up the motivation to make a few gifts this year...I wonder how many potholders one can give a person over the years? :)

heather smith jones

Uh, I haven't even gotten to the cards yet, making them let alone addressing them. But we did get our little tree yesterday!
I like your wreath, the greenery alone with a ribbon is the best.
And Jane is such a sweet girl, I'm so glad I got to meet both your girls earlier this year.

Mama Urchin

I love your smokers, especially the Santa. And the wreath looks great, that was a good idea.


I love your wreath!
I haven't seen the movie Hugo but I read the book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Brain Selznick) Its about 20 dollars because it is thicker than a dictionary, but its almost all pictures. I had to read it for one of my teaching classes and I think your youngest might really enjoy it. But since they've already seen the movie, the suprise-ish ending might be exhausted. He did do another book I haven't read yet, Wonderstruck its also almost all pictures. Just a reading idea I suppose.

Sweet Posy Dreams

Gorgeous photos! Your decorating looks fabulous!

Erin | house on hill road

Both of my girls read the book and Jane received a copy of wonderstruck for her birthday. Both are fantastic!


I had considered seeing Hugo with my 8 yr old, but I wasn't sure. He read the book and we both enjoyed it so very much. I love your honesty in this post. It is all so gorgeous, but oh so real. Enjoy your holiday season, Erin. And 12 - wow!


MILES behind you on the decorating, and at least in the 'much thought and gathering supplies' stage of the making. I love the wreath in the kitchen window and may very well steal that idea. Happy Holidays!


i am completely down with your version of december so far. we are completely low key this year. maybe just a few handmade gifts, but only if they're fun and not frustrating. more than anything, i just want to give myself and my family the gift of a peaceful month and time spent together. we cleaned out avery's closet and room last night, and now my trunk is full of clothes and toys for donation that will surely brighten somebody else's day. i'm hoping a lot less comes in than goes out this year. happy december erin!


We've got plenty of time - right? Don't we? HOW DO those decorations break while in storage? Love your pictures!
Thanks- Byrd


Erin- I love the wreath in the kitchen- so much so that I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since you blogged it :)

Merry Christmas!!


Account Deleted

I'm very thankful to hear that this is where you, my can-do girl, started the month. Gifts will be bought this year for my list, not made (I figure I'm helping the economy in some way with that). : D


Beautiful decorations! Looks like it was merry!
Do you purchase your smokers from a certain place each year or do you receive them as gifts?

Erin | house on hill road

Thanks Kristyn. My parents give us one smoker and one nutcracker each year as a gift. I'm not sure where my mom gets them.


I love the bit you wrote about wondering how your Christmas figures end up broken whilst tucked away in storage...I had images of them coming to life and doing whatever mischief Nutcrackers do when the humans aren't around to see. An entertaining idea to say the least! :)


Thanks Erin! I found a few websites for smokers that match the German manufacturer of the nutcracker we purchased this year. You have a beautiful collection!

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