christmas

ten things i love sunday.

once again, i’m a day late with this, but i have good reasons for it, and they are numbers one and two on my list this week…

1. celebrating christmas with my dad’s side of the family. we always do this the saturday after christmas, but we did it on sunday this year since christmas was on friday. we had a wonderful time! we got to see some family members that we hardly ever see. i love how the holidays bring us all together.

2. shopping & then spending hours sitting at dinner and talking with the cousins. it’s so rare that the four of us girls who were close growing up together get to just sit and relax and talk.

3. now that the holidays are over and school doesn’t start back til the 11th, i’ve got tons of time to write! especially since i’ll be spending a few hours on airplanes this wednesday…

4. i love the red holiday cups at starbucks, but i really REALLY love “the way i see it” cups, so i won’t be so sad to see the red cups go away this year. 🙂

5. my new record player! we’ve been having fun listening to the old records we had at my mom & dad’s house, and i also got a few new ones: the beatles, my morning jacket, george gershwin, and supertramp. quiet the mix, eh?

6. getting to see these two cutie booties this week!! we’re leaving for texas on wednesday to visit my hubby’s family, and we’re so excited!

7. whimsical jewelry like this. love it.

8. i just love this. period. my fave movie, one of my fave actors (jason schwartzmann), & a macbook. hee.

9. i want a cute little petticoat thingy. i’d wear it under dresses and skirts and long tops, & i’d be so cute.

10. i have this old chandelier that i picked up at a thrift store a while back and painted hot pink. it doesn’t have wiring or anything, so i figured i’d have to get the hubster to rewire it & all that stuff, but i was struck by inspiration a couple of weeks ago. i’m totally just going to wrap christmas lights around it and hang pink beads/jewels all over it. it’s going to look so cool in my art room. maybe not like this one, but cool, nonetheless. 🙂

Advertisements

things i love sunday…on monday

i meant to do this last night, but i didn’t get a chance b/c i started to feel sick. so here it is, a day late! ten things i love this week…

1. my new hat from urban outfitters

2. sushi sunday!

3. adorning gifts with rhinestone brooches–how pretty is this?

via {this is glamorous}

4. i want to paint my bathroom with black & white stripes. it looks so french!

5. thinking of the *perfect* christmas gift at the almost-last-minute!

6. tiffany & co’s beautiful christmas advertisements

7. pretty cake pops! learn how to make them here.

8. cary ann hearst. she’s insanely talented. and gorgeous, to boot! i’m especially addicted to her song “pocahontas“.  (<—click to listen)

9. this illustration, but i can’t remember where i found it! if you recognize it, let me know!10. i can’t remember where i found this either, but it reminds me of mr. darcy. i wish my hubby would dress like this!

so that’s what i’m in love with this week! i hope everybody has a very merry christmas. the hubster & i just bought our plane tickets to go to texas the other day. 🙂  we thought we weren’t going to be able to make it down there this year, but some things worked out, and we are able to after all!

christmas list

okay, so my mom won’t stop bugging me for a christmas list, even thought i’ve TOLD her that i don’t want anything (poke poke, mom). but she refuses to take my hint about only needing socks and pretty undies. so i thought i’d make a little list of a few cool things for her and whomever else wants to know what would make me smile.

(click on the links to go to the websites.)

1. the little otsu weekly planner vol. 4

2. izmir measuring cups from anthropologie

3. chef’s planning kit from plasticland

4. wood turntable from urban outfitters

5. if i get that turntable, i’d love some albums from urban outfitters! i love most any of the ones they have. especially the beatles’ abbey road, b/c a certain hubster lost my cd. i’m not naming names, but that hubster knows who he is.  😉

6. clothbound penguin classics (pride & prejudice, sense & sensibility, great expectations, wuthering heights) from anthropologie  (also available at amazon.com)

7. indie rock coloring book from urban outfitters

8. filigree jewelry hook from urban outfitters

9. lady with lantern stretched canvas wall art from plasticland

10. itunes gift cards

11. my wonderful world of fashion book from modcloth

12. blue birdie poster from the poster list

13. t-shirt from yellow bird project, designed by grizzly bear (one of my fave indie bands). yellow bird project is a non-profit organization who sells these really cool t-shirts and donates the profits to charity.

14. limited edition classic chat magnets from turner classic movies

**if i had my choice of only two things on this list, i would go with the turntable and albums. 🙂

feeling better now.

as per the title, i am feeling much better today than yesterday. i spent the day in limbo, in a weird sort of stupor, doing laundry and cooking dinner (much earlier than normal, b/c i skipped lunch & was starving by 4 o’clock) while listening to those christmas songs i mentioned in the last post. i made a cd & played it at top volume in the dvd player (so that it was extra loud & obnoxious), beginning with the most upbeat christmas songs: “all i want for christmas” by mariah carey, which makes me want to watch one of my fave movies, love, actually. and “step into christmas” by elton john. i followed those up with the best, cheesiest, most amazing christmas song ever, “last christmas” by wham! after easing myself into the christmas music with these, i added more traditional ones.

when the hubster got home, i had a mini-breakdown. he’s my source of comfort and relief, and he never fails to be these things when i need them. upon further examination, my down mood yesterday was about much more than not being able to feel christmas-y, but it was the first thing i focused on. we’ve got a sneaking suspicion that my meds aren’t really working (pesky placebo effect), and that my problem isn’t a mood disorder at all. he was talking to a guy at work (without even knowing about my slump yesterday, so it was sort of ironic, really) who told him that he had an extreme case of ADD. when he began describing the things he went through, the hubster said that a lightbulb went off over his head with each symptom: needing music or old movies playing in the background at all times, otherwise i can’t concentrate on *anything*. the extreme irritation i get (which went away for a few weeks, but has come back again with the stress of finals, etc), in which i go from zero to REALLY. PISSED. OFF. in .01 of  a second. reading a whole page before stopping and realizing that my thoughts have wandered off and i haven’t retained a single word of what i’ve just read. not being able to sleep because my mind is racing. these are all symptoms that are also associated with bipolar 2, and the two are often misdiagnosed (mistaking one for the other is apparently very common). off to the shrink i go again.

i think i need this:  

to be honest, it’s not that big of a deal to me. as long as i figure out why i feel the way i feel sometimes and have an actual reason for it, they could call me clinically insane and i’d be alright with it, as long as they could treat it. (of course i know i’m not insane, sillies.)

anyway…

the point of this post was to show that i’m feeling better about christmas now. 🙂  i’m starting to feel the holiday cheer slowly creeping up my spine to make its way into my silly head and heart. we spent last night hanging out with some good friends, who have two oh-so-adorable little girls, ages 1.5 and almost-three. we spent a good deal of time when we first got there with them pointing out ornaments on the christmas tree, telling us what they were. then i got to see some of the really cool christmas presents they’re going to get. let me just tell you, the stuff they have for barbie dolls today is *amazing*! barbie now has a king-size bed with mosquito netting! she’s become quite the lady of luxury since breaking up with ken… hmm…

and this morning, i woke up all cozy and comfy, having fallen into bed in sweat pants and a long-sleeved t-shirt last night, my socks still on. it got below freezing last night for the first time, so i was quite chilled by the time we got home. i came downstairs, made coffee, ate a fiber one pop tart (they’re really good & have 5 grams of fiber each!), and sat down to read my daily blogs.

and lo and behold, i got some beautiful inspiration!

amanda from here’s lookin’ at me kid began the cheering-up-of-the-inner-grinch by sending me directions on how to make these adorable sweater stockings i found on her blog the other day. and look at the pretty chandelier!

and i love these diy wreaths i found at twig & thistle:

my favorite is the one on the top right, the ruffly felt rosette wreath. find how-to directions here.

twig & thistle also has this really cool project that i just might have to make for special gifts this christmas:

here are some other cheery inspirational photos i found:

last but not least, i have wanted for a long time to dye my hair pink. i did a stripe for breast cancer awareness, but i want my whole head pink! seeing it on elsie flannigan (who has long been one of my favorite scrapbooker/artist/crafter/blogger/adorable ladies) recently renews my interest in it.

how cute is she?!

download this:  life’s a dream by built to spill (i was totally unaware that they had a new album out!)

that elusive christmas-y feeling.

i don’t know what’s wrong with me. i haven’t been able to feel what has been dubbed as “the christmas spirit” at all this year. i’ve been frustrated by the number of houses on our street that are completely overloaded with christmas lights and blow-up decorations (you know the ones–they remind me of a jump castle). instead of appreciating these families’ holiday spirit, the only thing i can think is “if these people put half the time, energy, and money into charity work or donations that they put into draping decorations and lights over anything that stands still for more than five seconds, the world would be a better place.”  i know it’s really bitter and sort of hypocritical of me to think this way, but i can’t help it.

i have a couple of days off til my last final on monday, so i thought maybe if i loaded all my christmas cd’s into my itunes and played them really loud while i do chores & stuff… just maybe i’d feel a hint of christmas cheer? so i converted my cd’s into itunes and even downloaded a few songs that i love that i didn’t have in my collection. and as soon as i pressed “play”…

i started crying. i don’t know what on earth is wrong with me.

i think it might have something to do with the way my family dynamic has changed over the years. listening to things like bing crosby and ella fitzgerald and frank sinatra remind me of waking up at mamaw & papaw’s house on the weekends (because i spent EVERY weekend there) to the smell of eggs and bacon and grits and coffee. being scolded for not putting on socks before walking on the kitchen linoleum because it was “freezing cold”. sitting at the table and eating breakfast with mamaw and papaw while the christmas music played. putting the decorations on the tree. being allowed to go on the roof with papaw while he put up decorations but only if i stayed seated in the exact center of the roof and did not move one single inch. waiting on christmas eve for all the family to get there so we could open presents, us kids (there were only the two of us until i was about seven or eight) barely able to contain our excitement. all the yummy food and family and love and general happiness.

and then there was christmas with nana. it used to be held on christmas eve when i was very little, but then as our family grew to amazing numbers. nana has six CHILDREN (if you say “kids”, nana will say, “they are CHILDREN. not GOATS.”), a number of stepchildren that i’m not sure of, 23984709283 grandchildren, and 7760 great-grandchildren. so eventually, we moved our christmas celebration to the saturday after christmas so that all those who had to travel could enjoy christmas day at their respective homes. that’s the tradition we keep with to this day.

those are the things i remember when i think about christmas. being an adult is hard. i wonder if it’s like this for everyone.

now, i’m not so naive or jaded as to think that the problems of today didn’t exist twenty+ years ago. i know there have been times of economic hardship, family quarrels, what have you. but when you grow up and are privy to these types of details, some of the magic goes out of everything. i never really wanted to grow up, but it seems as though everyone around me did. i feel kind of like peter pan, when he goes back to the nursery to find wendy darling all grown up with children of her own.

this is not in any way supposed to be a pity party. it’s merely an exploration of why i’ve been feeling the way i have.

i remember my very first christmas away from my family. it was when we lived in california. i was fortunate enough to spend every christmas with my family until i was twenty-four years old. that christmas was really hard for me. i remember willy & i went to disneyland one weekend in december. after the fireworks, they had a “snowfall” in front of the castle & on main street, and i sat there bawling my eyes out in the middle of my most favorite place, because i missed my family so much and wouldn’t get to see them.

and now that i’m “all grown up” and the kids of my generation are having kids of their own, things are much harder for me than i ever thought they would be. i wish i knew a way to make it better.

maybe once willy and i have our own children (if we do have any, that is), christmas will feel magical again.

maybe all i need is a trip to see the james island festival of lights with my family.

maybe i need a swift kick in the rear end. 😉

in order to put a little magic into christmas for other people, i’m going to commit to doing some charity work this christmas. i was just saying to willy last night, “i don’t know what i’m going to do with myself over christmas break! i’ll have no homework or studying, and no classes to go to. wow.”  (i haven’t really had a break all year–i went straight from spring semester to summer to fall, with about a week in between each.) well, now i know what to do with that time.

this was pretty hard to write. reliving those old memories in words instead of just in my head was sort of tough. i don’t think i can clearly convey the meaning my family holds for me. when my sister and i were younger, our friends never understood why we were always doing things with family on the weekends. there was always a shopping trip with an aunt, an uncle’s birthday party, a family dinner, etc. we didn’t realize that other families weren’t necessarily like ours. we didn’t know that our friends thought their families were lame, because we thought ours was the coolest ever. now that we’re grown, we know how lucky we’ve been and can properly appreciate what we have, because it’s really something that should be treasured and never taken for granted.

download this:  have yourself a merry little christmas by judy garland. because it’s one of my favorite christmas songs, sung by one of my all-time favorite movie stars, in one of my very favorite movies (meet me in st. louis).