It seems that this blog will turn into a once-weekly affair. The weekend days are usually the most interesting days, anyhow, and the most interesting work days (and I had a few last week!) cannot be written about. So there you have it.
Thursday evening, Jack’s preschool put on a pageant. Most of the pictures from that are on the husband’s phone, as Liam was slobbering all over mine during the show (I was trying, unsuccessfully, to shut him up by giving him my phone to look at pictures and play games). I only have a couple that I took of Jack-the-shepherd from afterwards. He’s making this stupid jaw-thrusting face that he’s started doing lately. He’s finally beginning to show some self consciousness, and for a zillion reasons I hate that: it’s annoying to observe, it makes me sad to see him lose his baby-ability for free-form, un-self-conscious joy. He was in the front row of the pageant, but acted like a total goof the whole way through, flapping his jaw open and shut in a Muppet-like move instead of actually singing the words that I know he knows. Ah, well. He’s four.
The remainder of the weekend was similar to the last – work parties, holiday fun with the children, household chores. Friday night was a judge/lawyer mixer thing, at which I ate my weight in crab dip. It was held at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, an historic property built in 1847 overlooking Mobile Bay. I sneaked away from the conference at one point and explored the hotel – sitting by the fire in the rustic log cabin bit, sitting a bit longer on the porch swings outside facing the bay. It’s a stunning property. That night after the mixer/cocktail party, a networking event that nearly killed me (I don’t network), I got home in time to read the boys a story, and then enjoyed a glass of wine on the couch. We spent Saturday morning shopping for groceries (and gifts for the baby about to have surgery – thank you for your suggestions! Pray/send positive thoughts/think of him, he goes in tomorrow), and the afternoon puttering around the house. While Liam napped, Jack and I made sugar cookie dough together – then he went down to sleep as well, and I did some laundry, wrapped gifts, and enjoyed a couple of glasses of Pinot Gris while addressing Christmas cards in front of my favorite Food Network show, The Pioneer Woman. After the boys woke in the late afternoon, we drove down to delightful Fairhope, Alabama. We walked around the adorable downtown, all decorated for Christmas. Fairhope is a place I’d take a vacation to see if I didn’t live a few miles from it – boutique shops, darling B&Bs, delicious food, funky pubs, and a view of the bay everywhere you turn . . . we drive there every Sunday for church, but went again Saturday night to soak up some holiday cheer and enjoy a Hawaiian pizza from a local joint.
This morning, Sunday, we went back to Fairhope for church. The Christmas tree is up in the sanctuary, and lights and wreaths line the windows – we are square in Advent season and happily celebrating it. We dropped off our angel-tree gift (for a nursing home resident), made arrangements with some new friends to do some holiday stuff together next week, and then headed home for a lunch of chicken salad wraps and carrots. We put Liam to bed (he always goes first, since he sleeps longer), and then Jack and I rolled out the cookie dough and cut and baked the cookies. (I can only seem to manage Christmas cookie making if I spread it out over a number of days – one evening this week we’ll decorate them I imagine – we certainly didn’t get to it today.)
Then while Jack slept, I finished up some laundry, made the meals for the coming week, and packed the diaper bag for our evening adventure. We hit the Bellingrath Gardens light show. If you recall, we went there at Halloween for the Balloon Glow, a night of trick or treating, lit-up trees, and hot air balloons on display. Well, they do it up for Christmas as well, and we decided to take the boys tonight.
The gardens are vast, spread out over 65 acres of rolling hills and winding narrow paths, intersected by a fetching little river. We’ve never been there in the daytime, but I hope to become a member and visit often, in every season. It is so warm here still – in the 70s, even at night – and so we walked around in shirt sleeves, among fragrant blooms and lush greenery, listening to piped in Christmas carols and oohing and ahing over the creative displays. Odd, to have such a warm Christmas season, but I’ll take it.
Now the boys are bathed, fed, and in bed, and I am thinking through the coming week. It’s nice to approach a Monday morning without dread. We have a lot of holiday engagements this week, but since the shopping is done, the cards are out, the meals baked, most of the work of the season done, I can just enjoy it as it comes.