Stitch Therapy

Discovering me … one stitch at a time

Tag: christmas (Page 1 of 2)

A visit from the Christmas Chicken

Can you believe that it’s really 2017? Do you remember when the year 2000 seemed so futuristic and far away and here we are 17 years later!

How was your holiday? I never totally got rid of the grumps, but did manage to put on a happy face and hide them well enough as not to be a Debbie Downer.

Anyhoo, here’s what we did…

There is a story that gets told over and over about how when Tom and his brothers and cousins were younger, a giant costumed chicken would show up at various family functions. This year, Tom thought it would be funny if a chicken showed up on Christmas Eve instead of Santa.

Guess who he thought should be the chicken?

That would be none other than yours truly.

Thankfully, one of his brothers stepped in at the last minute and made a great Christmas chicken.

Santa showed up too. It was mayhem.

The boys pretty much got everything their little hearts desired on Christmas morning. So much for minimalism and simplicity.

I was off from work the week between Christmas and New Years. It was nice to hunker down and be lazy. We spent our time…


Taking a long hike

Creating animations

I checked out two biographies from the library, one on Julia Child and the other on Catherine the Great. Culinary History Royal Nerd heaven!

We went to the beach house on Thursday and stayed through the New Year. Biggest was excited to test out the crab trap that he designed and built.

He caught 11 crabs and we made a delicious crab bisque!

We went to the Melting Pot for dinner one night which has inspired us to up our at-home fondue game in 2017. I can already tell that my diet is not going to go well.

We visited the cat rescue and pretty much wanted to take every cat home with us.

I was particularly fond of the three black cats on the windowsill. How cute are they?!

And worked on a big puzzle.

I say “we”, but really it was “me” who kinda got obsessed with it.

I spent New Years Eve in my jammies reading about Catherine the Great, which was GREAT. Some of us didn’t make it till midnight.

Happy 2017, Friends!


Hi Blog.

T minus 4 days till Christmas. Eek!

Last weekend, we went to look at lights (an annual tradition)

and went to a party. It was fun, but I drank too much (hopefully not an annual tradition).

Littlest had a violin concert (kids + violins = cute!).

There are 3 more days of work until I am done for the rest of the year! That part is exciting!

I guess it’s time to start thinking about my word for 2017.

In the past it has been Simplify (2016), Believe (2015), and Connect (2014). I want to pick just the right one for this year.

Do you have a word for 2017?

A Trip to the Big City

Hi Blog!

After Christmas, we packed up and went to New York City for a few days. I go there all the time for work, but the boys haven’t been since they were wee babies. It was fun to experience the city through their eyes. Everything is so big and busy and exciting.

We stayed at a hotel right in Times Square, so it was pretty much sensory overload all the time. We did as many touristy New Yorky things as we could manage, including:

Looking at the holiday window displays at Macy’s

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Seeing their cute mugs on the HUGE SCREENS in Times Square

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Visiting Rockefeller Center and getting our picture taken in front of the tree

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Eating SO … MUCH … FOOD, including wood fired pizza in an old church

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And Romantic Sushi for Two

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Funny aside… Tom and Biggest ordered the “Sushi for Two” at dinner one night and it ended up being a ROMANTIC sushi for two with dramatic lighting effects. Biggest was mortified. We were dying and now crack up and refer to everything as “Romantic (insert food item) for Two” such as,

Romantic milkshake for two

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We spent a day in Central Park. It was cold and dreary, but we had fun anyway.

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I wanted to ride the carriage being pulled by the horse wearing purple plumes because he looked the fanciest, but wouldn’t you know it that we didn’t get a single photo of the horse and his fancy plumes?! You’ll just have to imagine him.

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The highlight for Biggest was going into the Ferrari showroom on Park Ave. You can’t tell from his expression in this photo, but he was thrilled and bought a Ferrari model there with his very own money.

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We were walking by as they were testing the ball for New Years Eve. OMG 2016! 2015, where did you go?!

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We took the train, so I brought along my project and managed a few stitches. Hanging my head in shame that I only made it to Day 5 of the stitch-a-long…

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But how can you concentrate on stitching when you’re sitting next to this funny boy who waved at every single person we passed at every single station?

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Next up… The BEACH!

Ho Ho Ho

Hi Blog. Well, that was a nice long break!

We did a lot and saw a lot and ate a lot. That about sums it up.

Not really! Here are some photos.

Christmas was great. Every year, I am torn by the materialism of it all vs. the desire to have a low key simple holiday. Usually the materialism wins because 1.) I can’t resist indulging the boys while they’re still in the Santa stage and 2.) I run out of time to make all the stuff that I want to make.

We always spend Christmas Eve with Tom’s family. Biggest does this annoying thing now where he sticks his tongue out in all of his pictures.

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He and Tom were twinning, complete with matching tongues.

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Santa came after dinner, as he does every year. The kids all know by now that it’s not the real Santa, but there is always a lot of speculation about who will have to conveniently “step out and take an important call” just before Santa arrives. For those wondering, it was Steve.

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Christmas morning is so so so fun with kids. (See the tongue again?)

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This year, Littlest asked for a hoverboard and a husky (as in the dog). We didn’t get him a hoverboard (because of those terrible explosion stories) and didn’t get him a real husky either (for obvious reasons). Santa did, however, bring him a STUFFED husky.

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That Santa! It goes to show that you have to be very specific in your letter to Santa. He loves his stuffed husky, by the way, and named him Max.

Sammy got a new blanket. He claimed that as well as Coal’s new bed as his own. Sammy had a very good Christmas.

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I got a lot of wonderful gifts, including these beauties. Who doesn’t need some really fuzzy pink slippers?

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I rarely get to wear them though because they keep getting stolen by little boys who think they are the funniest and coziest things ever.

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My favorite part of Christmas is the after, when everyone is happy and cozy and we sit down to breakfast.

These two made fresh squeezed orange juice. It tasted even better because they looked so cute making it. It was a real team effort.

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After Christmas, we went to New York City and the Beach, but those are stories for another day.

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Hope that you had a great holiday!

The Christmas Spirit

Hi Blog. T minus 3 days until Christmas. Let’s not discuss if we are ready yet. It’s a sore subject.

I’m practicing the “fake it till you make it” philosophy by pretending to have the Christmas spirit. Perhaps if I keep pretending, it will come for real. Am I right? Who’s with me?

So, in an effort to invoke the Christmas spirit, we have…

picked out and wrapped gifts from the school store…

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gone to look at lights…

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made s’mores in the fireplace… (All we had were mini marshmallows but they made do.)

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relaxed in bed with the best books ever…

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made some stocking stuffer lotion bars… (I am an angsty 17 year old girl inside who still likes the smell of Patchouli and Sandalwood on a guy.)

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and soap…

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Do you love my pig cutting board? I drew it on an old piece of butcher block and made one of the Dads at Scouts cut it out for me. I like to wield my power as Committee Chair sometimes.

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enjoyed a lazy (sleepy) Winter Solstice evening in front of the fire.

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Happy Solstice! Merry Christmas! Wishing you a magical and peaceful holiday with your family and friends!


Oh Christmas Tree…

It’s beginning to look a bit like Christmas around here:

We got our tree!

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I was picky about finding one that wasn’t too bald on the top so we went to two lots before finding a non-bald tree. I know, I feel sorry for my family too. When we found the perfect tree, Tom felt the need to strike a pose next to it.

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We broke out Christmas jammies.

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Some of us may have been more excited about it than others. (UGH! The stove looks so dusty and gross!)

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I decorated the rosemary tree in the kitchen with ornaments that the boys made when they were really little. The ornaments are too big for the tree but I like looking at them while washing dishes.

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I have officially lost my stitching mojo. Maybe Santa will bring it for Christmas.

Happy Monday!

A Big Joe Holiday

The holidays already seem like they were so long ago now that the decorations have been taken down and the last of the goodies have been eaten.

I had 2 solid weeks off of work which was a real indulgence this year. It was fun to be home and putter around doing this and that with the boys. I pretended that I was a stay-at-home-mom.

Our Christmas was super. The boys were so spoiled by everyone in the family with loads and loads of gifts and attention. I am always torn between feeling so thankful and so guilty with how much we have and get. We are very blessed.

Our biggest highlight was, of course, Charlie. Littlest unwrapped a box with an ornament that said “I love my cat” and a little note from Santa himself directing them to go check the laundry room… and there was good ol’ Charlie waiting.

Here are some other highlights:

Seeing Christmas lights with my little dudes. Are they growing or am I shrinking?

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Coal was selected to play Santa this year. You can tell by his expression that he was thrilled.

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I’m not sure what is happening here. A Charlie selfie? That cat cracks me up!

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Christmas Eve at Tom’s parent’s house. Somehow Santa lost his nose. Santa gets weirder and weirder every year.

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Christmas morning was fantastic.

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I got some bling from the boys. This is my idea of a priceless jewel. <3

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The boys requested these crazy bean bag chairs that they call “Big Joes.”

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The Big Joes were a surprising hit. Here you can see them enjoying hot cocoas in their Big Joe man cave.

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Sammy wasted no time trying out the Big Joe for himself.

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I did too (shhhhh!). They are indeed super comfy!

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In addition to my fancy rare pink diamond, I got a stand mixer for Christmas! That is going to take my baking to a whole new level.

First I made brownies.

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Then I attempted French Baguettes.

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Then I attempted them again, but accidentally fell asleep while they were rising. (Note the bed head and over-risen dough. Oops!)

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So I turned them into rolls to go with our New Years pork and sauerkraut. How’s that for improvising?

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Speaking of New Years, we all made it till midnight except for this guy, who fell asleep with his dog and his Big Joe.

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And so with that I will end this holiday recap.

I hope that all of you…

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had a wonderful holiday…

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with your family and friends.

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Who’s ready for 2015???


It’s hard not to get sucked into the busy-ness of this time of year. There are so many parties to attend and presents to buy and sweet treats to eat. I’ve been a busy bee.

I suppose that the most exciting thing that has happened this week is that Tom (our resident cat hater) gave the OK to get a cat!!! He even came with me to different SPCAs to look for one. We saw a looooooot of cuties, but none of them were quite right.

Then… I was out shopping and popped into Petsmart on a whim. How lucky for me that they had cats there from a rescue organization, and how even luckier that I found HIM.


Isn’t he just the loveliest thing? He is about 5 years old and his family just up and moved and ABANDONED him on the mean streets of Philadelphia. Who does that?! He likes dogs and kids and hates cats (haha- he sounds just like Tom). The rescue people told me that he knows how to open the latch on his cage (he’s clearly brilliant!) and loves tummy rubs (who doesn’t?). He was shy at first but then jumped right into my lap. That sealed the deal.

I put in an application and was on pins and needles until we got the call that we were approved.


The hardest part is keeping him a secret from the boys until Christmas. I think that, for once, I may be more excited for Christmas to arrive than they are! OH MAN! I’m SOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED!

PS… Any name ideas?

Midweek Ramblings

Le sigh. Long week.

Today is an exciting day because we are getting cable TV installed! We have been surviving on just Netflix streaming for years, so this will be new and different. I foresee my evening productivity levels plummeting drastically.

Life lately has been draining. I just figured out my vacation days for the rest of the year and am looking forward to some time off at Christmas. I know we just had Thanksgiving break, so I have no business complaining, but there you have it.

Good things today:

Discovering that there is a cappuccino machine in our work cafeteria (How did I not know this all of this time?)

Late night talks with Tom (which may be why I need the cappuccinos in the first place)

New makeup (Thank you MAC counter girl for helping me finally find that elusive not too red/not too pink,/not too blah/not too bright lipstick shade.)

Lying in bed, cuddling a sick boy (The sick boy part is bad. The cuddling part is good.)

That great Christmas tree smell (which reminds me that we haven’t watered it since we got it. Blergh!)

Food, shelter, health, love (so much to appreciate!)

Only two more days until the weekend! (Yay!)

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Tis the Season.

6 days off from work = really hard to get back into the swing of things this week.

We had a our first snow fall the day before Thanksgiving. The boys and I were snug at home so they bundled up and went outside for an adventure. All of their adventures these days seem to involve Nerf guns.

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Littlest and his friend built a snowman. It was pretty cute until they kicked it over immediately after this shot was taken.

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I did a lot of sewing while I was home, and my little buddy was a great help.

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I’m kinda a one trick pony when it comes to sewing, so guess what I made… more pajamas pants!

Some really BIG ones…

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And some really tiny ones…

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Because doesn’t every Elf on the Shelf need pajama pants?

Speaking of elves, we had quite a fright on Thanksgiving Eve when we couldn’t find Timmy (our elf who was expected to arrive on Thanksgiving) anywhere! Yipes! Tom made a mad dash to Target to look for a suitable replacement. He found several different elves but none that looked like our Timmy. He brought one home, thinking that the boys wouldn’t notice a switcheroo, but I wasn’t so convinced.

Well, thank God for Christmas miracles because who should appear stuffed in the very back corner of my closet but TIMMY himself! What a close call!

And for the record, here is ORIGINAL Timmy next to IMPOSTER Timmy. See the difference? Why do manufacturers insist on causing trouble for parents of missing elves? As if we don’t have enough problems already.

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The excitement doesn’t end there! We got our tree! Wheeee! And decorated it!

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My favorite ornaments are always the homemade ones.

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Apparently inspired by the Christmas spirit, this virtuoso put on a show for us. He only knows Jingle Bells and the Dreidel Song so it was a short concert.

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Which turned into a jam session.

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Then I learned how to make lattes at home! This was monumental.

Here is my latte shown next to a char sui bao which is, in my opinion, the perfect food.

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Littlest was uncharacteristically quiet one day, and then we figured out why.

A Christmas list as tall as he is!

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!

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