the best of intentions

Posts tagged holidays

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the long weekend that was: miss nora is getting her jingle on

Although Thanksgiving itself was quick, unphotographed, and a little chaotic, the long weekend was glorious.

We rested, a lot. 


I baked MY VERY FIRST PIE! (Which is probably much bigger news than you realize. I have always found pie to be intimidating.) And although the apples didn’t break down quite as well as I’d hoped, it was pretty damn tasty. Probably going to try some golden delicious(es?)* and add a little more cinnamon next time . 

I deep cleaned our living and dining rooms and put out all the holiday decorations. This is the only time of year when I love having red walls and green furniture. It makes everything seem just a little more festive. 


The ceramic nativity set that my Papa painted and put aside just for me so many years ago is by far my favorite of all our decorations. My grandmother shipped to me from Florida two years ago and it has since moved to the top of my Material Things I Would Go Back Into a Burning Building After list. 

We enjoyed the full extent of HBO’s free preview weekend. DVRd a couple movies, caught an episode of True Blood, and TWO episodes of How To Make It In America. We had HBO in Columbus, but can’t justify adding it to our outrageous stack of bills here in Cleveland. 

And Sunday evening, we completed the three day process that was assembling, lighting, and ornamenting our giant new tree (also known as my parents’ ten year old tree).

Then we hit the grocery store for 10 days worth of delicious meals. Monday I met up with some of my high school best friends (including my lives-in-Delaware, introduced-Bill-and-I, was-my-matron-of-honor, forever-and-always BEST friend Kristy) for a lunch date. Finally, I hit up Target and one Cyber Monday sale to get started on my Christmas slash Bill’s birthday shopping. 

And all of this went down while I was fighting the beginning stages of my annual cold. So basically… we’re gonna own the shit out of the holidays this year, whether Bill wants to or not. 

Tomorrow we’re taking the photos for our Christmas cards and hopefully getting the outside lights up on the house over the coming weekend. This is our first year for that, so our Christmas domination may short-circuit on this one. (Lights. Short-circuit. See what I did there?)

I have a couple more crafty projects up my sleeve, dozens of cookies to bake, and lots of gifts still to purchase and wrap, but we’re starting the season off strong. I might just give THIS nut job a run for her money in 2011. 

Filed under holidays christmas nora

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halloween on etsy

I love Halloween on a rather unhealthy level. I blame Athens. My decorations, however are a little on the tragically weak side. Basically, it comes down to some fall flower arrangements that I LOVE, a bat made out of tinsel that still needs to be hung, my trick or treat sign,

… and this guy.

On the upside, I procured almost all of those decorations this year. So we’re making leaps and bounds. Also in my defense, (1) my everyday decorations around this house are also a little pathetic, (2) I was a bit of a nomad until last fall, and (3) if we weren’t flat broke, I’d have ordered ALL of the following items from Etsy last night.

bird 1 bird 2 bird 3 bird 4 

pillow 1 pillow 2 pillow 3

pumpkin  gourd 1
via                                                            via

magnet 1 magnet 2 magnet 3 magnet 4

wicked  story pumpkin
via                                                            via

place card holders primitive pumpkin witch hat
via                                      via                                     via                         

candycorn  printables
via                                                            via

spooky  ghostcatfrankie

eek wine countdown

Now if only Halloween had a gift fairy like Santa Claus…

Filed under holidays halloween etsy interwebs love

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my soapbox: sweetest day

I am a hopeless romantic. There’s no getting around that. My husband, on the other hand, is as close as a person can get to being dead inside. Most of what he feels is never expressed, not because he keeps it bottled up, just because he doesn’t feel like it needs to be addressed. To him, emotions are about as discussion-worthy as what he had for lunch on any given day.

This has been a struggle for us. Our needs are very different. He doesn’t need affection and sentiment on the same level as me. And that’s okay. As long as we’re open and honest about communicating our needs to each other. We’re both know-it-alls, but neither of us is a mind reader. 

One thing that I need is holidays, birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries. Yes, I realize that may qualify as four things, but I need all of them for the same reasons, so to me they are one and the same. I need the anticipation and excitement. I need that special and sometimes exclusive feeling. I need to celebrate for silly little reasons. And I need it to be acknowledged that sometimes those silly little reasons are really the big picture, epic kind of things in our life.

If the moments that bring you and all your favorite people together in joy aren’t what it’s all about, then I don’t know what could be. 

Today is Sweetest Day—a holiday my husband usually forgets and one that I actually forgot this year. A lot of people see Sweetest Day as a Hallmark-created holiday meant only to convince people they need to spend extra money on unnecessary things. I get that, and when I’m being logical and detached, I agree. 

But when my husband brings home the most touching card, takes me to Malley’s to pick out chocolates, and to Hibachi for a simple, yet delicious dinner, then Sweetest Day is epic and wonderful. 

If I hadn’t worked in the floral and jewelry businesses in which I’ve helped countless people pick out little I love yous for their special someones, then maybe I wouldn’t long for my own little I love you. And maybe if Bill were more of a natural romantic, we wouldn’t need the calendar to dictate how and when we show our affection. 

But we are who we are and our lives have been what they are, so this year I really needed Sweetest Day. And he came through big time. 

Please don’t think that my husband doesn’t show love in ways other than material gifts. He does, every damn day. He works his ass off so our bills get paid while I’m wandering around aimlessly trying to find my career path. He does his very best at handling my overly emotional states and he shows his own emotions in subtle ways that require no words at all. He is wonderful.

And just as he has learned to show affection in the ways that I need, I’ve learned to see and appreciate the ways in which he naturally shows love. 

This is our marriage. And it is far from perfect, but it is the only one we get. So every day, we’re fighting for it. That means during the life-changing, crazy difficult days and during the sweet and simple, easy to forget days. 

Happy Sweetest Day to you and yours! I hope you take a minute today to show a little love and affection to the wonderful people in your life. And if you’re too much of a rebel to do it today, then tomorrow will do. But just for thought, is rebelling against the man important enough to possibly miss your chance to say I love you one more time?

Filed under love holidays soapbox