Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Christmas Getaway Weekend, part 1

This bit of magic that happens once a year is my favorite part of Christmas.  I explained more about the 'why' behind the Christmas Getaway Weekend back {here}.  And also how it all started.

It's been many many years we've done this.  Almost all twenty one of our Christmases.

Each Christmas Getaway Weekend is different.  The tradition is that we do it.

This one was one of my favorites.  And I'll tell you why.  Here goes....

This year we stayed at the Lord Jeffery Inn in Massachusetts.  Built in 1926 it is a very elegant hotel/inn with the charm that only an old New England Christmas Inn can give.  Right out of a movie set this inn was.  And set on a beautiful college campus and a cute little town with many many restaurants and independent bookstores (my favorite kind)

Christmas Getaway weekend stops time for our family.  The to do's stay home.  They don't go away of course but for one whole weekend we forget and don't even talk about gifts not yet bought, wrapping, the Christmas card, menu planning.  We just stop and ENJOY the season.

It would be wonderful to have that feeling of stop in our own home at Christmastime.  And that does happen (here and there in little mini pockets of time) but I find at home that we go go go all season.  There are extra viola and chorus concerts.  And so much to do around the house.  Leaving and literally 'checking in' to this in was like 'checking in' to Christmas.  It is our gift to each other each and every year. And it takes the pressure off of finding that just right gift for each other.  Because THIS is it!

We drove up on Saturday afternoon to this beautiful sight.


We were already dressed up for our first reservation. Tea.

The lobby was beautiful


and we entered the tea room which was actually a library/parlor with a huge old fireplace. Tea was set on glass and brass coffee tables and we sat on in this elegant setting for a few hours enjoying the peacefulness.



Roses in the tea cups and attention (Christmas attention) to every last detail.



One of the main worries of eating out (which we hardly ever/never do... not since Hawaii in July) is Abigail. How can they accommodate our allergy girl? The Lord Jefferey inn worked with me and through some calls were able to create that amazing tea service for our sweet 9 year old.


My deepest gratitude always goes to the chief for making eating out feel 'normal' for my girl. Isn't it beautiful?


Abigail ate these beautiful tea sandwiches prepared allergy free just for her.


And chocolate covered strawberries.


Along with homemade raspberry sorbet. Isn't that glass so pretty?



We enjoyed ourselves oh so much



and lingered lingered lingered.


over the most delicious scones I've ever had at any tea ever. (yes, better than the 4 seasons in Boston, The Plaza in NYC or Monoa on Waikiki)




All the while sitting in front of a crackling fire and listening to live harp music. (best Christmas present we buy each other)


Small, quaint, elegant described the lobby with a sweet gingerbread house.





It was decorated so beautifully even the back stairs were lovely.



Each room was a suite and our windows overlooked the town.



When it got dark we spent the evening walking around the town and enjoying the bookstores.


Please forgive me for not taking any of the town. All of that good tea good had me sleepy and I think I had forgotten all about my camera. There were a few lovely old churches and a beautiful clock tower. And that's the inn all lit up there in the back.



and a toy shop too! (a pom pom on top of her hat and walking into a toy shop, she's still little)


After we got back Abigail noticed (how did we not before) that there was a fireplace in our room!!!


And after some exploring we found one outside too.



But we were all sleepy by then. Time to cuddle up for a story.




or a few books she found at the bookstore.


more to come tomorrow... good night, sweet dreams

Monday, December 5, 2016

~ Monday Morning Delight ~


Perhaps just going about our business, thinking small, thinking HOME, thinking "what do I have to give?" is the true secret to a happy life.

That and your Grandpa's bird feeder strung with colored Christmas lights, a little bird, and snow fluttering down.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Putting Up The Tree

This song came out the year Anna was home for her first Christmas. I remember the first time Scott had heard it and played it for me. I sobbed and listened to this song again and again and again. Most of the time dancing with Anna in my arms around around our living room, thanking God that she was home.

Anna missed her first Christmas. I am quite certain that she was in a crib all day long and night on December 25th 2003. I'm quite certain she was hungry and had given up hurting from lack of love. I am quite certain that she by then, had shut down.

She was six months old. I don't have a picture of my first baby's first Christmas. But I did love her, from a world away.

Each year Third Day is Scott's soundtrack for doing the lights. They take him all evening. And we hear these songs again. I forget each year that this song is on the CD. And each year one teeny tiny note brings me right back.


Right back to that feeling of me being 31. It was 2004 and Anna was now 18 months and it was her first Christmas. And still now after all of these years I am so so grateful that she is home.



Thursday, December 1, 2016

I Could Go For Years on This

I was tired and feeling worn out. I asked God for a sign of encouragement that day. Just something so I would know He was right there with me.

And then this...


Which reminds me that He is always there right beside me. Guiding my path. And suddenly all was right with the world again...

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Advent Weekending

It's a special weekend when Thanksgiving is on Thursday and it is also the first Sunday of Advent.

After all of the dishes were put away, the dining room back in order, it was time to head out for our tree.

I wrote about the story of 'our Christamas tree' back here.

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I remember how happy I was on Saturday afternoon. Our family was outside, just at dusk, walking through row after row of trees, and we were having fun. So much of life is so serious. To have fun together makes me happy.

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Mommy, take a picture of our 'suffie ornaments'



Could this be our Christmas card? (thanks Anna)

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After Mass on Sunday morning we made our Advent wreath. Usually we make it at church in the Urban Center but it was so so busy that day, so we decided to take our materials home and work on it at home. Always such a nice family project. Simple and easy.




Usually I plan from a few Advent books but this year I'm taking it easy and we are going to work through the sheet they gave us at church. Works for me!




Scott spent some time with his Mom on Sunday afternoon while the girls did craft kits they had. Peaceful and lovely.



That night we lit our first purple candle and prayed together.


Welcome Advent!

Scott also spent the nights on the weekend outside lighting up our house. He was super excited to show the girls. They were already in nightgowns but we all bundled and went outside anyway.



And although it was just white lights in the bushes out front we loved it and cheered for Daddy!

Cozy and warm inside we watched as he lit up my bird feeder for Christmas. Everything is more magical at Christmastime...


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It's hard to believe that we are half way through this week. Tomorrow is December so officially I can say, Merry Christmas!

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