It just knows.

It is always so hard to get on and post after a long absence.  Every year I think, “I may just stop”, but there are still stories to tell and until my last one flies out of the nest, I think I will keep writing.

Christmas came and went.   I say it every year: I miss Christmas.

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It is a time of coziness and tradition and I look forward to it each year, but especially this one.  My 2 boys came home from college and we were a family of 6 again.

We didn’t do much of anything really.  We saw the new star Wars movie together.

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We watched movies, cooked, went out to dinner, made cookies and all the usual stuff.

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I threw tons of soft blankets on the couch and had peppermint in the diffuser. Things that Billy would never think of, nor the boys, but I think they enjoyed and appreciated the warmth.

Christmas Eve we had the feast of the 7 Fishes.  We will never skip that one again.  Last year just didn’t seem the same without it.  Even the boys commented likewise.

We made the usual pasta.  When they have families of their own, I hope they will remember how to make it.  I know I did.  My grandmother showed us from a very young age and they are the best memories.

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On Facebook one of my very Italian cousins from New York stated “Our Texas cousin, with those funny names (no vowel endings) is the most nearly ITALIAN of us” and that make me so so happy!!!

We had oysters.  That’s a Texas thing, I do believe.

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And a feast with 7 types of fish in it.  This year we made a huge pot of cioppino. Shrimp, snow crab, king crab, calamari, Littleneck clams, mussels, scallops in a rich seasoned sauce with anchovies. Wait thats 8.  9 with the oysters.  Ya know what, it never matters the number.  Some families use 11 fish. The point is a meatless night.  OMG it was amazing and will be our go to each Christmas Eve from here on.

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Christmas Eve dinner is pretty casual here….no elaborate decorations, plates or grandeur.  Just us…. and lots of good, Italian vibe.

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We decorated some sugar and gingerbread cookies after dinner….

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….and after we watched “A Christmas Story”, we lit some luminaries along the front path.

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This year I brought out some candle clips that were my great grandparents.  My fathers paternal grandparents came from Denmark and brought with them the traditions of a Danish Christmas.  He told me stories of Christmas at the farm and had memories of lighting the tree and dancing around it with his family.  I found some small candles in Fredericksburg a few years ago that would fit in the clips, and this year we had the time to light a small tree and see how beautiful an old fashion Danish tree could be.  The ornaments were my great grandparents as well.

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It was so pretty.  I don’t think those candle clips had been used in over 80 years.

In spite of no believers (except me!!!) in the house, Santa came sometime in the night.  Magic, babies!

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Breakfast was ebelskivers…plain or with Nutella.  Every last one was eaten.

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Somehow, for the last 15 or so years, the Christmas cactus bloomed again on Christmas morning.  Every year, Bill stands there with his coffee looking at it and says “How does it know?”,

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More magic, no doubt.

It was a very Merry Christmas this year, and I hope yours was too!

Fa la la la Llama to you and yours!

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Cozy and warm

The holiday season is always so crazy, and I added into the mix a trip to California for Mia and her surf buddies…..for the entire Thanksgiving week.  We had a blast, but we missed our boys back home so much.  While we had turkey and all the trimmings at my SIL house, 2 of the boys went to their grandmothers house and Quinn and Bill stayed home and had this:

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Yes way.

When he texted me that pic I said “Oh wow.  Sausage.’  And he said “Nothing but the best.”

With there being less than 2 weeks to Christmas, I just want to do a quick little update post in pics.

The Little Bitty House got a lock and a safe storage area until I can hook it up this weekend and take it to the island again.  Plans are to deck tout in season cheer and chill in it before Christmas.  I sent Bill this pic and said “Bitches can’t steal the Lil’ Bitty House.” and he replied “Yo”.

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Snug in scenic storage.

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California was so fun.  It rained there for 3 days out of the 8 we were there. Weird for California.  Below just a few pics of surfing etc.  The girls worked with a wonderful coach and had a great time surfing from Carlsbad down into San Diego.  The surf was perfect and dumpy….just how they like it.  Me?  I like a more gentle rolling wave, and with my bad shoulder, the dumpy ones were hard for me so I bowed out and shot pictures most of the time.

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Their coach, JB.

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It was hard to leave such fun waves, but so good to be back home.

 

Honey was really glad when I got back.  She missed her cuddles on the big bed.

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I hit the ground running when we got home.  I got a tree at my favorite place in Corpus.  They have beautiful, fresh trees and the man that does the flocking always flocks mine right then and there so I can watch.  We hug and wish each other a Merry Christmas each year.  Love this tradition and look forward to next year.

I got it up on my own while Bill was at work, got the lights on, and stockings up. I decided to go with big colored lights this year, and everyone likes them so much, they didn’t want to do anything else to the tree and we love it.

The dogs got small colored lights too.  😉

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Aaaaand then a surf contest got called on and we spent the weekend freezing our buns off at the beach.  Mia got 2nd and 3rd in her divisions and I made both of my finals in both Longboard and Shortboard, and ended up with 2 4th place finishes.  Very stoked, especially for making my Womens Shortboard final.  One of the oldest women to surf a shortboard final in TGSA history….if not the oldest period.  Pics to come!

On Monday the 5th, Mia made cupcakes and we had a nice evening watching The Santa Clause for the Eve of St. Nicholas. This is one of my favorite times during the holiday season.   St. Nick comes and fills the stockings and on the 6th we wake and see what he left.  Very sweet and peaceful before all the hustle and bustle of Christmas time.

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Yes, he came….even for the 12 year old middle schooler.

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This year will be the first time in 22 years that we don’t have a believer of Santa in the house.  Obviously, at 12, Mia does not believe this year, and boy is it strange to go into the season without a youngster excited about that Jolly, sweet man.  I told her that I believe in Santa…..who he was, and that now we all pass on the magic of that Saint who loved Christ and his teachings so very much that he gave generously to all around him in a Christ-like fashion.  It is different, but Santa will always be a very close and dear friend to me. I spent 22 years passing on the love and magic of his spirit and by God, he will always be in this home.

Proof of the existence of Santa Claus…..and he SURFS!

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Shopping is almost done, Christmas jammies are being worn constantly, books are being  read, lots of hot chocolate with marshmallows, and the Christmas Llama is up out front.  (What, you don’t have one?)

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AND we had a very strong front come through dropping temps into the 30’s and another on its way this week.

It’s a cozy Christmas time at our house.

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