Saturday, December 31, 2011

Helllo, friends!

I'm still here...I haven't been holed up in my house, weeping buckets of tears, which my last post may have insinuated. Nope, I'm cheery and busy as ever. My last post was merely some thoughts I wrote down during a rather daunting week. I'm quite eager for Christmas (!!!) and all the holiday loveliness. :)

(Edit: I started this post the week of Christmas, so I'm a tad late but I'm finishing it.)

In other exciting news, Christmas is literally just around the corner! I can't believe Advent went by so quickly...I'm looking forward to Christmas Eve Mass on Saturday and Christmas Day on Saturday
(skip to present day [Dec. 30th])
My anticipation was mingled with sorrow though...a dear family we know was stricken with tragedy two weeks ago. Two friends ( both young boys, 15 and 13, I believe) lost their father a week before Christmas. Please keep their father and the family in your prayers. Their father was a hilarious, hard-working, compassionate, devout man who was dedicated to God and his family. His death was a startling reminder of a well-known, but oft-ignored truth: 'we know not the day or the hour.' (Matt. 24:36.) Life is so precious....
I was reminded of this even more at the end of Christmas Day when I watched the beautiful classic "It's a Wonderful Life."

It is the story of a man who, after continiously sacrificing his own hopes and dreams in order to do the right thing for his loved ones, hits rock bottom on Christmas Eve. Surrounded on every end by hopelessness, facing finiancal and business ruin, George Bailey (play by James Stewart in the performance of a lifetime) wishes he had never been born. His wish is granted. He has the chance to see what the lives of his family and friends would have been like without him.

 The ending quote, by the angel Clarance who accompinies George in the second half of the movie, moved me to tears. I posted on Facebook:
"Just finished watching It's A Wonderful Life and bawling my eyes out. 'No man is ever a failure who has friends.' If that's the case, then I'm as rich as I'll ever want to be. So very, very blessed. Thank you, dear friends for your friendship. It's the best gift I could ever receive." 

So, to conclude, it was a very lovely Christmas. Not quite how I'd imagined it...but then, that's Life. Spontanious. Our Christmas started bright and early with presents, so I muched on a scone and some egnogg to tide me over.

                  Among the gifts I received, this one was one of my favorites!!

 I lovelovelove Lord of the Rings and the complete soundtrack and recording has been on my wish list for a few years. It is the perfect music to listen to when I have a severe case of writer's block. :) Needless to say, I was one very happy (albeit sleepy [and that's what I look like when I wake up]) girl.

Then it was off to Christmas Day Mass, dressed in my best. Despite attending the Vigil Mass the night before, I still wanted to go on Christmas Day since it fell on a Sunday this year. I dithered back and forth for a bit, but decided to go, and ended up being so glad I went. Mass was beautiful, Father gave a lovely, simple homily (i.e. sermon for any non-Catholic readers), and the CHristmas spirit was overflowing in the church. One of my favorite things - Christmas cheer! :) 
I came home starving and did what any normal Catholic girl who wakes up early for presents and then fasts before Mass does.

I ate breakfast at 10:50: a smoothie covered in cookie crumbs that was inhaled in less than 15 minutes. 
Mind. Blown.

Eggnog gingerbread smoothie with gingerbread cookie pieces, chocolate-orange scones (Joy the Baker recipe), dried cranberries, pomagranant arials, minced candied ginger, and chocolate chips. :D That's how I roll...

                                                            Speaking of chocolate...

It's pretty safe to say I hit the chocolate motherload this year...between stocking stuffers from my mom, my amazing best friends who know I'm a dark-chocolate-all-the-way-girl, and some I picked out for myself...I'm set for next few months. Or anytime the beast strikes. ;)

Hope y'all had (and still are - Christmas season ends 2nd week of Jan.) a blessed Christmas! Did it go how you thought it would? What was your favorite part?

Mine was definitely making whipped cream in 5 minutes with my new Kitchen Aid <------- LURVE. (Been drooling over one for years!)


  1. Oh, Grace, it looks like your Christmas was so beautiful... helped not a little by that abundance of chocolate! :) Much love to you. God bless!

  2. My Christmas was delicious, thanks to YOU. :)

    What a nice way to enter 2012, seeing a blog post from you, too.

    I look forward to another year being your bloggy Grandmother. My real life oldest granddaughter is much like you even though she is only nine.

    She loves Tolkien movies and has become a better baker than her mother! (((HUGS)))

  3. Clare, like I said, it wasn't how I expected it to be, but it *was* beautiful...and I need to embrace the crazy, real-life happenings! :) Yes, the chocolate did add greatly to my happiness. How was your Christmas, dear sister? It's my goal to sit down and write you this week!

    Grandmama Brenda, I hope you had a blessed Christmas! And filled with Starbucks holiday flavors. :) It's lovely to start the new year with a comment from you!

    Ahaha, she sounds like a thoroughly respectable Hobbit-lass. I'm sure she loves having you for her grandmother!