First snow of the season? Check. And what a snow it was!
Cousin's wedding? Check.
Decorated tree? Check.
Wrapped presents? Check.
Baking started? Check.
My mom's homemade sourdough bread? Check and check and check. (One check for each piece I've eaten so far!)
Richard Castle? Check.
And now a few - well, a lot, actually - of pictures from the past 3 days.
First up is the amazing snow we had! I came home from school just in time to enjoy the biggest snowfall in recent years. I am happy to say Sensei LOVES the snow!
My cousin got married yesterday, and it was beautiful. The snow threw some of the plans off, but it was still a very sweet ceremony and fun reception. Anna and Randy had a great first dance - involving snippets of songs from "Everything" by Michael Buble to "Single Ladies" by Beyonce to "Fire Burning" by Pitbull. Hilarious, and very them. And a little craft idea - the centerpieces at the rehearsal dinner was so pretty, and so easy to make! One was gifted to my mom, so it's sitting in our living room where I can see it as I type this. An oversized wine glass that's filled with small red and silver ornaments, and ribbon candy, finished off with a large Christmas bow around the stem. So simple and still really festive!
Next up: Christmas. First off, I did steal this idea from Michelle - some of my favorite ornaments! Now, this is the Christmas tree at my parent's house, and it is full of ornaments from the past 25 + years. Each one on the tree holds some sort of memory for me, so I had to pare it down, sadly. So while you may not see a picture of them, please know that my Southern Season Cupcake, the awful Snowflake one made by my brother and I, my 2 Bon Jovi ornaments, and the rest all hold as much a place in my heart as the following...
The left is our tree, pre-trimming. We have a live one every year, which may be a little impractical to some. While it can be messy, sticky (sap, anyone?) and expensive over the years, it is a tradition in all of my family, My grandfather and my uncle go to the mountains every year and buy several, for all of my extended family... it's such a joy to come home one day and find it on our front porch, just waiting to put up in our living room! The top ornaments are by this wonderful artist named Nola Watkins... I got my Carolina one last year, and my mom gave Bill and Paul their NCSU and UNCC ones, respectively, this Christmas! And the bottom one was given to my parents the year I was born :)
So for the life of me, I can't get this picture to rotate... but if you just tilt your head to left, you'll see a UNC Nutcracker ornament given to me by Bill's mom last year, our NFL ones (as it's the Panthers and the Raiders, they are hidden on the back of our tree this year due to the current season), Rudolph (it belongs to a set of ornaments that also includes Hermey, Sam Snowman and Bumble), my newest ornament - a Sensei miniature!, and in the center is this cheap plastic sax ornament. My brother and I have fought over this saxophone every year for as long as I can remember. When you blow in it, it makes this horrible horn sound, but it is the privilege of whomever hangs it to blow in it at least once!
Next is a little peek into how my afternoon was spent - making gift tags, wrapping presents, and watching Castle. AC Moore always has a little kiosk of $1 clear stamps, and I was able to snag some really cute Christmas ones this year. Added to my collection of Christmas stickers and rub-ons from a frame-making adventure last year and my ever-growing collection of cardstock, and I was able to make enough tags for my family and Bill's (and that is A LOT of family!) in no time at all. AND I found the cutest little jingle bells that I tied onto several gifts I wrapped - it dresses them up and makes them really fun to deliver!
The rest of the evening has been spent baking cookies, gorging myself on my mom's famous sourdough bread (completely homemade, from the starter to the dough to the finished product) and making Christmas chocolates!
That's all for now, this post has taken me almost an hour to write up! (Although I have been distracted quite a lot by all the Christmas movies I come across when flipping channels!)