Jennifer is a one in a million stay-at-home mom. (More like one OF a million stay at home moms!) She graduated from a liberal arts college but there is nothing liberal OR artsy about her. She is married to Kevin Fischer of This Just In, and together they have a beautiful young daughter Kyla Audrey. In no particular order she loves dogs, wine, a good bargain, her family, pizza, and entertaining. Follow her blog of all things miscellaneous including but not limited to cooking and baking, entertaining and party planning, being a mommy, and homekeeping.
I often find myself in conversations with people who have a lot of “obligations” during the holidays to go here and there. It’s not something I really understand because I grew up far away from my extended family, and really don’t have that much extended family to begin with (literally, I have no first cousins.) My parents’ philosophy was, this is what we’re doing and where we’ll be. You can join us, or not, but we won’t be travelling for the holidays and we’ll see you in the summer. So, I feel bad for people who get stressed this time of year trying to do everything and be everywhere. I get daily tips sent to me via email through my fitness center, and I thought this one was good to share:
Of course, you knew that already since Kevin was already back to blogging yesterday. I still needed the day off to recover.
I would like to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to my dear friends Sarah and Michele for blogging in my absence. I'm sure you enjoyed their blogs as much as I did. I have a feeling I stirred a monster in Sarah to revive her own blog as well. At least I hope I did.
To say we have precious memories from our first Walt Disney World trip with Kyla would be an understatement. This series, My Many Mickey Memories, will highlight some of our favorites. While lengthy, this first installment has so many heartwarming moments there was no way to keep it brief.
To say we have precious memories from our first Walt Disney World trip with Kyla would be an understatement. This series, My Many Mickey Memories, will highlight some of our favorites.
This time of year I think of all the wonderful Christmas concerts I’ve attended in the past. I’ve seen Dave Koz and Friends, the Brian Setzer Orchestra, and the Boston Pops. Dave Koz is, of course, primarily instrumental. And while Setzer is quite the crooner my vocal style doesn’t quite match his. The fun twists on classics that the Pops provides is just my speed.
I know the Christmas season is a crazy-busy time for all of us. We are occasionally reminded to slow down and enjoy the time but few of us actually do. Allow me to add my own advice:
In my recent post Tips for a Merrier Christmas I state, “…I can guarantee that any one of our brave military men & women fighting to defend our country would gladly trade your need to bake more gingerbread with their need to survive another day without a potentially fatal injury.”
This year, Kyla “gets” Santa. She understands who he is, and that he will bring her toys if she is good. We haven’t done the sitting on Santa’s lap at the mall thing this year, however. She was fantastic with all the characters at Walt Disney World but that was because Mommy and Daddy were with her the whole time. I can guarantee you, if I plunked her down on the lap of a bearded man and then walked away while her photo was taken, it would not be a pretty sight.
My wonderful mother-in-law Audrey was the baker in the Fischer family. Christmas was a particularly tasty one for the Fischers because not only were there dozens of cookies to munch on throughout the weeks, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were also filled with delectable desserts. It has always amazed me that in simpler times, bakers like Audrey could crank out spectacular tortes and cakes… it seems like they had one bowl, one spoon, one spatula and a hand mixer. There were no KitchenAid stand mixers, fancy-schmancy candy thermometers, and oodles of pans that you would use once every five years. Their recipes, handed down for generations, were less than an exact science. “Just add more if you need it” and “You’ll know when it’s done just by looking at it” were common instructions. I can’t boil water without a recipe so how this worked for them, I will never know.
Several years ago, I found a lovely post on one of my favorite blogs, BrocanteHome. I printed it out and put it in plastic sleeve, and placed it prominently on our refrigerator. That itself tells you how important I found it to be. You see I hate, absolutely HATE papers and the like cluttering up the front of our ‘frige. It makes me crazy. In a year or so when Kyla is old enough to create daily crayon & fingerpaint works of art, they will either go on a designated bulletin board or in one of those cool hinged photo frames that you can open up and stack lots of creations inside.
Her post made me pause and reflect on how I was beating myself up to have a Norman Rockwell edition of Christmas every year. I realized I needed to just thank my lucky stars that I had all that I did. (This was even before our beautiful daughter Kyla was born. Now I really “get it.”)
So thank you, Alison May, for your Christmas reflection and thank you for a reminder that we all need from time to time…
If, for even one moment, we can stop and take a breath or two in the run up to Christmas, we can as Sarah Ban Breathnach suggests choose to do Christmas our own way: we can, if we so desire, refuse to get stressed about all that we are too exhausted to face and embrace all that we are capable of doing, bringing to our chosen table a degree of quiet elegance and cosy charm we could not manage if we overestimate our resources…
Christmas, more than any other time of year, is about the symbols of tradition. Did you hear that? I said "symbols". You know what? Your families don’t care if the mince pies come from Marks and Spencer’s and the pudding is chocolate because no-one ever touches plum. They don’t care, as long as we are willing to pay homage to all those things that make Christmas, Christmas, to one degree or another.
While I’ve been telling Kyla that Santa comes on Christmas Eve while she is sleeping, I’ve also told her that today, we are going to church to celebrate Baby Jesus’ birthday. She doesn’t fully comprehend the birthday celebration concept but I think it’s important to reinforce none the less. She is, however, extremely excited to hear the choir and organ music. (Please, Kyla, don’t try to dance in the aisle like you did at the last mass!)
What ARE you doing today? Recovering from the last two days’ festivities? Trying to install a zillion double-A and triple-A batteries in your kids’ new toys? Have you already spent half a day shopping all the post-Christmas clearance sales? Well, since we are one of the few countries who don’t celebrate December 26th, I doubt you are participating in Boxing Day.
On the evening of December 26 I sat down in the recliner in our office and with an audible sigh, gratefully put my feet up for five minutes. I told Kevin that it was the first time in at least six weeks that I was able to do that. Not only was I cleaning, shopping, wrapping, and hosting I was also preparing three travelers for Walt Disney World and then dealing with vacation aftermath.
Everyone that has a blog is doing some sort of year in review, including one of my favorites. I’m not really into a recap of Ms. Elaine Kneeous but for the soon-to-be-here New Year, I thought I’d offer my readers a chance to comment with your resolutions after reading mine.