I'm sorry if it seems I have been missing in action, I've been wanting to visit all of you to see how your holiday went but bad luck has befallen me once again. The back. The BAD back I have. I have been flat on it since the day after Christmas. What bothers me at my age is that so rarely is there an incident or accident before you wake up immobile. You get out of bed and think...wow, my shoulder hurts, must have done something to it. No verb before the noun. In my case I just woke up in the middle of the night in pain. I couldn't get out of bed without The Husbands help and I wailed and howled as we did it. I finally went to the doctor on Friday. In a nutshell, I have three different medications for muscle spasms and pain. She wants me off my feet for a few days and gave me some exercises I can do lying down in bed, and then some when I'm back on my feet. This is the second time I did this number on my back and it's weird because it was also at Christmastime. Something in the eggnog perhaps?
My descent into pain and misery occurred after all of the festivities of Christmas so I still have much to share with you. I have done this post in baby steps so I don't get yelled at for being out of bed.
This is my son Kevin and his wife Mary Clare. Kevin changed jobs this year and MC lost her job when the company moved to India. Having just bought a house, things have been difficult for them. Kevin popped in Christmas Eve morning and showed me this picture on his phone. "I'd like to frame this and give it to MC for Christmas, it's the best I can do." So I showed him how to email it to himself, download it, edit it and then order a copy through the Walgreen's website. I had extra picture frames from when I did my gallery wall and I even gave him a box and a bow. He walked out of here beaming. A gift for his wife. For about $3.00 and some change. Priceless.
Christmas Eve has always been spent with The Husband's side of the family. And the children are multiplying as all of the cousins are now close to thirty years old and starting families of their own. I realize how relaxing it is to sit back and not have to run after my own kids finally! Here we are playing the White Elephant gift game.
The Husband is clearly ready for more dessert. The get together was held at my SIL's house and was catered. We really had a ball.
My niece, Lisa, and her chubby little baby, Bella. We were laughing over all of her rolls! This is Lisa's third little girl and the first two were the same way.
The younger and most hip generation has been turning us on to many new and delicious drinks. You might remember the Rum Chata shots we did a few nights before this. At my SIL's, we did Key Lime Cream Liqueur shots with daughter Abigail as our mixologist. Not only does she waitress, but she's quite a bartender, too. I am such a sucker for Key lime anything and these, shaken with ice and strained into little shot glasses, were out of sight. I think they would make excellent after dinner drinks served over ice. I don't drink anything but wine, but I could see it being a hit.
This arrived just in time for the big day. I had been patiently waiting for Pottery Barn to knock down the price. My son, Jeff, really gave me hell for it. He is now living in his newly renovated home and we are all getting a taste of his likes and dislikes. Everything must have a purpose. He sat down on my couch, saw the pillow and grabbed it, horrified. "Mom. No, Mom. This isn't going to work, Mom." It's decorative, I told him. "The bells. The burlap. This is the most useless piece of c*** you could have in your house!" Ha! I love riling him up!
And this one got him going, too. I bought this last year at an Etsy shop but didn't get around to getting a pillow insert til recently. Isn't it darling? And of course, useless.
Abby had a formal Christmas party with a huge group of life long friends one night. I had to get a picture of her. Unfortunately, I captured her 'Do I look fat in this?' face. Oh, Abby. Even her ear lobes are skinny.
My "Alone" time on Christmas Eve is always one of the very most special times of the holiday season. The gifts are laid under the tree, the fireplace is readied for the morning with fresh wood. I tweak and fluff and play with my dishes, silver, napkins and wine glasses. Usually I have Christmas music playing but I think I really overdid that this year along with the Hallmark movies. I turned on a channel that was showing The Family Stone and I had that on as I had only seen it in bits and pieces. Whoa! What a crazy but totally believable look into a families home over the holidays. Funny, sad, thought provoking...just an all out great movie.
This year I veered away from the usual overnight egg casserole as I found a slow cooker recipe that sounded really neat. It's layers of frozen hash browns, peppers and onion, 2 types of shredded cheese and then an egg mixture poured over. Problem was, I'd have to wait until 2:00 a.m. to have it ready in 8 hours, or 6:00 a.m. to do it in 4 hours on high. So I set my alarm for 5, jumped up, threw it together and then went back to bed for a few more Zzzzzz's. It was delicious, very moist and so easy to serve right out of the crock.
I took this pictures early Christmas morning and I was happy I could still capture the subtle sparkle on these napkins. We used my Winterberry dishes that just come out during the holidays. I really look forward to that tradition.
Along with the egg dish, we had pancakes, bacon, toast and fruit. I set up little 'cooking stations' so everyone could help. MC was in charge of bacon at the stove, Deirdre made pancakes on my big electric skillet, Abby made toast and Emily fussed with the buffet.
This was my last minute centerpiece. I originally started out with my dough bowl filled with evergreen and pomegranates. Emily said they looked like huge red onions. More than once. So I changed everything out for these Dollar Tree vases, cranberries and some greenery. I wish I could remember where I saw this. It's a keeper idea.
Did I mention we had Mimosa's? Oh my! We just love those over here in Blondieville. We went through 7 bottles of champagne and 2 gallons of orange juice. Back in the day, a Mimosa was a glass of orange juice with a splash of champagne. The new generation has it backwards.
Brunch wrapped up about 1:00, and then The Husband and I joined Kevin and MC at her sister's home with her whole family, all of whom we love. Abby and her boyfriend, Tom were also there. Emily and Jeffrey had other plans. Katie does a beautiful dinner of fillets, mashed potatoes, asparagus, homemade rolls and plenty of beautiful desserts. We had such a great time, although this is about when my back started going to hell. :(
So, I'm ready to hop (just kidding) back into bed with this book that The Husband gave me for Christmas. I love how you can mention something in passing and then receive it as a gift. That's really special to me, that someone really listens and remembers. I adore Nora Ephron and it saddens me that there will be nothing left to look forward to coming from her. Her style of writing, her no nonsense sense of humor, how she has all of us women at a certain age nodding and saying, "Oh, yeah!" She will be missed.
And when I'm back on my feet, I can put these new little babies on and continue my never ending adventure and quest in getting into shape. Ouch...it hurts just to think about it.
I chose this sign in a White Elephant exchange (actually it was the gift that Emily had bought but I really wanted it). I'm even thinking of having HAPPY as my "word" for 2014. This year's word was GRATEFUL. I know happy sounds a little simplistic but it's how I feel. I truly have nothing not to be happy about. And I want to point out those bowls with the numbers...I think you have seen them before. Emily has always loved them and is constantly asking me if she can have them. So, in the spirit of Christmas...Nooooooo, I did not give them to her. I'm not THAT nice! I searched Ebay and found them. Wisteria sold them about 4 years ago and I had no hope of finding them. Oh, was she in heaven!! I was peeing my pants waiting for her to open the box!!
Okay, I've been up long enough. If I had done this post in parts between going back to bed, this would be about Part 8. Ha! My doctor is a great lady and she gave me this tip for icing my back and I thought it was so great that I'd pass it on to anyone that might have to use it (hopefully not). Fill a Styrofoam cup with water and freeze it. When it's ready, peel off about the first inch and then hold it by the cup part and massage the ice on your back (or wherever). So much better then an ice pack. I can't say anything good about the pain medication, it gives me a headache. How can that be? Should I take Tyelenol with it for the head part?
I will be back in a few days with my "Year In Review" I did that for the first time last year and I really enjoyed going through my old posts and pictures. As my blogger friend, Carol, wrote to me today, it gives you a nice perspective on the year. I've often gone back to that post, it cheers me up when I feel I'm not accomplishing things...yes, Jane, you have and did. And it makes you feel amazing that you made it through some rough waters...yes, Jane, you survived!
Wishing all of you a Happy New Year! :)