Thursday, December 24, 2009

Traditions, old and new

I took a forced mini-break from blogging. All the posts I wrote in my head on Monday through Wednesday were neither happy nor positive. I was extremely busy and stressed at work. I was angry at the internet for ruining a loving tribute to my husband and keeping me up at night thinking of responses to rude and frequently incorrect commentors. I cried on the way home from work on Tuesday because it was 6:30 and I'd just found out JP hadn't started a dinner that took 90 minutes to cook and I'd been so busy I'd skipped lunch and I was starving and pregnant and my in-laws were landing in Austin in 30 minutes and I was stressed out beyond belief. It wasn't a good few days.

But today? Today was an awesome day. I finished up all my work last night and then curled up with JP to watch The Hangover. I can't remember the last night we spent more than 30 minutes together on the couch. I was so relaxed it felt sinful.

Also on Wednesday, in between exchanging drafts on a brief that's being filed Monday, I whipped up a triple batch of my great-grandmother's Swedish sugar cookie dough.

It was hard to allow my counter to get this messy without stopping to clean it up, but I persevered. I also ate a few cookies worth of dough- I forgot how much better it is when it's homemade. And when it's my great-grandmother's recipe.

Today, we baked and decorated the cookies. I had never made my great-grandmother's cookies by myself. Once I started, I realized that while I'd decorated these cookies in every year of my childhood, I'd never actually watched my mom cut and cook them. It was tricky. And messy. And took a very long time.

But it was so fun to know I was recreating a piece of my childhood for Landon. I even had Christmas music playing loudly in the background- all CD's that my brother copied from my mom's albums the first year JP and I were married. I'm not even sure I like many of the songs, they're just such a part of Christmas I can't imagine December without them.

This is what happened when I turned my back to take a few trays out of the oven. Landon pushed over his step stool and picked up the cookie cutting where I'd left off. He's such a good helper.

The decorating was done swiftly as we took a break between baking and icing for Landon's nap-time and mommy and daddy's gift wrapping time. We resumed at 3:00, knowing we had to leave for church at 4:00. JP and I were all about efficiency, but Landon took great care with each cookie. He was so proud of each finished product and he kept looking at JP and my cookies and encouraging us saying, "oh, they're so pretty!" I adore this kid.

After church we broke with my family's traditions and switched over to JP's and ate Christmas Eve dinner at a very fancy restaurant. The bill was probably more than what I spent on all the presents I bought combined, but it was very tasty and it's the kind of thing my in-laws really enjoy. I had to break my firm "no kids at nice restaurants" rule, but Landon was extremely good and since it was Christmas Eve, most of the tables had children at them.

In my family we normally open all our gifts on Christmas Eve, but we got home from dinner a little after Landon's bedtime, so we tucked him in and put off everything until tomorrow. It's a good thing I'm so grown up now or I wouldn't be able to stand having to wait another 12 hours.

I hope you all are enjoying a wonderful holiday. This is our first year to play Santa and I love being this excited about Christmas. I can't wait for tomorrow morning!


  1. Beautiful family. Merry Christmas to you all! Don't let the blog haters get you down. I enjoy and appreciate your writing!

  2. LL
    I've never commented before but I look forward to your posts and enjoy reading your blog. Please don't let these nasty people and comments get to you. They would never say this to your face and don't deserve a second thought. Use the delete key and be done with them. With that said, Merry Christmas LL. I hope you enjoy a wonderful weekend with you family.
    Chel from AZ

  3. Merry Christmas! I am an avid reader of your blog but have not posted before. I want to add to the chorus of positive posts to wish you a very Merry Christmas and thank you for your writing. As an attorney, mom to a wonderful one year old little boy and having been blessed with a wonderful husband myself, I am touched by and relate to so many of your posts. All the best to you and your family.

  4. Great family, great traditions! Happy holidays LL!

    PS. Agreed - don't let those negative nellies get you down. There'll always be someone who feels the need to rain on your parade, but just do your thing anyway :)

  5. Merry Xmas! Lurker who is delurking to also say don't let those people get you down. Thanks for letting me peek into your lives in Austin. I love Austin, wish I could be back more often.

  6. Merry, merry Christmas!

    Isn't it fun to recreate your special childhood memories with your own child?

    And yes, sugar cookies take FOREVER! We did round ones this year because I couldn't face the cookie cutters!

  7. Merry Christmas! Yay, cookies! And again, random internet jerks can go shag a tree.

  8. What great pictures! Glad you had such a good day.

  9. Merry Christmas, LL.
    Hope you guys had a great one ... can't wait to hear about Landon's day.

  10. BiologistMomOfThree12/26/09, 7:11 PM

    Merry Christmas to a truly beautiful family!

    I can't what imagine someone could have said to make you feel bad regarding your moment of realization about JP and his selfless parenting and love of being your spouse. Frankly, it's unbelievably cruel, especially given your pregant state. I thought it was very sweet myself.

    Please do try to forget awful people like that the moment you delete their irrelevant comments (but it sounds like you had a hard time doing so; I probably couldn't do it either). I can see a few people delurked to counteract the very unChristmas-like behavior. Good for them.

    I comment infrequently but read often because I love your honesty about your life as well as your amazing writing ability. I have been following since Landon's first year and always enjoy your posts. I am very happy that life is bringing you the joy you deserve so much.

    I actually think we have a lot in common, only you're about 15 years younger! And a lawyer. And way better with managing your money at your age. And you never start sentences with "and"!! However, the love of new pens, notebooks, and other new office supplies...yes, I totally understand that and smile every time you mention it :) That was always my favorite part of a new semester in college.

    From one highly organized Mom to another (OK, the "highly" part is exaggerated), Merry Christmas (again) and Happy New Year!