Saturday, December 20, 2008

Holiday Happiness

I just experienced a Christmas miracle! I was watching TV with JP and a bowl full of Snickerdoodles and announced that I had a craving to see Love Actually. JP groaned and was very thankful for the fact I never spend money on DVD's. He then started flipping through the channels (apparently he was not as immersed in Rachael Ray's Chefography as I was) and what did we come across on the Oxygen Network but Love Actually! I may or may not have squealed. My chick-flick avoiding husband is now at the kitchen table working on his business plan and I am on the couch alone with my bowl of Snickerdoodles. The cookies and I are enjoying each other's company.

My mom texted me last night to ask what I'd gotten JP for his stocking. I had to admit I haven't gotten him anything and I'm quite sure he hasn't gotten a thing for me. Ever since we joined finances a few months before we got married, we've been really bad about not spending money on each other. This is probably also due to being grad students with loans and not having expensive taste. My mom, who always manages to find the perfect gifts, on a budget, for people who didn't know they wanted anything, sounded a bit disappointed in our lack of effort, so today I dragged myself out to the stores and found a few stocking stuffers. (To clarify, I already bought him his "big" gift, and I'm so excited about it because I know he's going to love it!) The shopping itself wasn't so bad, but MAN are there some stressed out people out there! I have never found the holidays to be very stressful, maybe in part because of our low key gift giving.

(Quick aside: Oh how I love this movie, where else do you get quotes like this: "There was more than one lobster present for the birth of the baby Jesus?" and "The octopus costume's taken me months. Eight is a lot of legs David!" How does JP ignore the magic?)

Other projects for today included baking 8 dozen Snickerdoodles for a cookie exchange party I'm attending tomorrow. I don't bake all that often- I can't give myself too many opportunities to eat that much raw dough. JP walked in with Landon to find me carefully licking every dollop off the electric mixer beater, something he said might be sexy if I didn't already have cookie dough smeared on my nose and cheeks (hey, beaters are tricky). I used this recipe and they came out perfectly, I highly recommend it. Tomorrow I will come home with four each of 19 kinds of cookie. I'm not sure if that's a good thing. I also mailed all my Christmas cards, with a family letter and personalized note. They take too much time, but I love getting them too much not to send them out.

(Oooh! It's starting over! Now I can see the taping of "Christmas Is All Around" with Billy Mack, and everything else I missed in the wonderful first hour of the movie. I believe JP just groaned again from the kitchen. He's not getting any Snickerdoodles.)

We also went to PetSmart to buy some stocking stuffers for the dogs (my mom asked about them too). Rosie is getting a pretty new collar and Tex a delicious new bone. It is going to make him a nervous wreck to get it in the presence of three other dogs (my parents have two younger labs, it'll be quite the furry gathering at Christmas). He's going to walk around eyeing everyone suspiciously, alternating between hiding his bone and then finding it again only to look for a better spot. Poor guy, he doesn't know his owners are just trying to show him they care.

Speaking of caring, this was Landon giving Tex a hug this afternoon:

He does this often, resting his cheek on Tex's back and sighing a little. It's ridiculously cute, like much of what Landon does, and makes me so thankful we are here in our big house and accompanying yard. Because without those things we never would have adopted two big labs, and then I wouldn't get to see Landon love them so much. Lately I've been having days where I miss Chicago so much it hurts- I miss the city, miss the snow, miss the hustle and bustle and crowds. But I love it here too and I'm very grateful for my dogs and the fact that Christmas with my family is an easy three-hour drive away rather than a complicated flight out of O'Hare. It's also supposed to drop fifty degrees tonight- taking our temperature from a ridiculous 81 to a more seasonal 28. The holidays are coming!


  1. I watched it on tv tonight too (I was too lazy to get up and put the DVD in..sadly!)

  2. All the pictures of Landon with his pets make my heart melt. They will definitely be shown to his future girlfriends and make them love him even more.
    I would give almost anything for a puppy right now!

  3. I flew from Austin to DC last night, and was supposed to be going through Chicago. They re-routed me at the last minute through Dallas and canceled the Chicago flight, so yeah...Chicago is cold and miserable right now with lows in the single digits, so remember that! :)

    But I know what you mean about missing a place so bad it hurts. I landed at National late, and saw all the monuments and the Pentagon and actually teared up because this place is no longer my home. And wow, is that sad. But Austin is also great and I'm happy to be there. But I miss here a lot, too.

    You just can't be in two places at the same time.

  4. Love love love LOVE that movie! Once it came on at the gym and I ran on the elliptical for an hour and twenty minutes so I could see the end. My favorite part is when Hugh Grant is going door to door to find the girl and he and his driver sing Christmas carols to the little girls at one house. And the part where Colin Firth learns Portugese. OK I'm going to go rent that TONIGHT. Glad someone else loves it like I do!! I also love snickerdoodles. I think you just planned my afternoon for me. :)

  5. LOL-- that's my husband's favorite movie. We watched it on DVD the other night (well, he watched, and I fell asleep)

    My favorite part is the wedding at the beginning-- I love that song!

  6. What is landon getting for christmas? I love your blog. I bought all my 8 month olds baby items from things you recommended :) My baby is also a fellow nicu grad. Laura

  7. BOWL of cookies -- I like your style. (But I can't stand that movie.)

  8. Matt and I watched that last night, too! He actually laughed quite a bit, so there's no denying that he enjoyed it.

  9. I love that movie!! I try to watch that and The Holiday and Family Man each year. My husband hates cheesy holiday movies... so I have to watch them alone too.

  10. Hee,

    We own that movie, and watched it last Christmas Eve.

    Then, on Christmas morning, we did it in real life, and waited at the airport for my sister and her boyfriend to arrive on the London flight (flights arriving on Christmas Day are much cheaper than those that arrive Christmas Eve)

    We saw 3 or 4 other families we knew, and it was just lovely watching all the happy Christmas reunions - a guy I remember as a tiny baby arrived (he's now 6 feet 4 inches tall) and swept his tiny grandmother off her feet in a big bear hug.

    I had decided Love Actually would have to become a Christmas Tradition!

    Did you get the UK version or the Disney Version? The latter doesn't have the stories about the two movie stand-ins who meet posing naked.

    I first saw the movie in Singapore, and they only had the Disney version, so I didn't know what people were talking about when they said the porn couple were their favourite!

    Hugh Grant isn't the least bit credible as a prime minister (but nonetheless entertaining - especially on the DVD commentary), but Emma Thompson is wonderful - that scene at the school where she goes from talking to Alan Rickman to hug her children is perfectly pitched.

    Laura Linney is also wonderful.

    We're watching it Christmas Eve again I think!

  11. What a sweet picture of your little man ... I don't suppose you would be willing to share him, would you? :)

  12. Tee hee - love actually is one of my all time favorites!