Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The First Noel

 "The First Noel" - David Archuleta

This is the scene at this very moment...
Twinkie, right beside me.  Covered up with Muffin curled up in a deep, deep sleep above him.
The shimmer and lights from the tree keep catching my attention.  Causing me to lose focus on the computer and instead, stare to my right. 

Our beloved kitties.  Our Christmas tree. 
They add to the stillness and peace of tonight. 
I'm soaking it all up.  For the feeling of Christmas lasts well after the day comes and goes.
I think once all the hustle and bustle settles down - that is when it really seeps in.

Christmas Eve day was an eventful one.  As we were just about to cross off the very last (minute) item from our list, our car decided not to start.  In a shopping complex.  Thankfully, there was a *Tire's Plus* seconds away.  A nice man came out to our rescue, jumped the battery, and we were on our merry way.  For a whole .24 miles.  It wasn't the battery.  It was the alternator.  Within a minute, we were put put put-ing down a back road until our car completely stopped.  Steve didn't even give me time to say something smart-assed.  Without notice, he put the car in neutral, got out, went to the trunk and started pushing with all his might.  Screaming, "STEER TO THE RIGHT, STEER TO THE RIGHT, MARIA!!"  I don't know what was funnier - seeing Steve's beet red face in the rear view mirror, grunting and looking angry as ever as he attempted to push our 5,299 pound suv up a hill...
Or me, laughing hysterically-my hyena cackle, as I "steered to the right"- knowing I totally looked like I was in a scene from a really bad movie - the kind where there's a canvas behind the car and a very obvious fake road...and you know - that car ain't goin' nowhere. I watched as all the passerby's heads kept turning to the left, looking at us like, "Merry Christmas, suckers!!  Thanks for the laugh!"
It wasn't long before I stopped "driving" and told Steve this ain't gonna work.
Our amazing friend, Adam, took time out of his day to come and save us.

While him and Steve jumped the battery for the first of 3 times in order to get it to somewhere safe (ie - Kelly's house, since she is awesome and we were in her neck of the woods.)

I practiced my best Grinch faces.

Last night, I picked this up.
Well, Merry Christmas, hunny!! A brand new shiny alternator!!


Friday night, the kitties and I stayed up late again.  Putting lots of love into gifts for 2 special ladies.

Muffin...always keepin' an eye on me.

Back in October, my super talented, ever so crafty friend, Jessica, and I got together for a *make a wreath date.*  You can see - HERE.
I have to give her major thanks.  She taught me the ropes and inspired me.

I set myself up on the floor with a blanket and all the goods. A cup of coffee.  A cinnamon candle. The kitties.  Of course, a few LMN movies.  Lotsa yarn.  Trusty glue gun.  Doodads galore....

I made this one for my Nani.

She's a fellow crazy cat lady.  So, the winter kittens were a must!

And this one, for my Mom.  She loves her some country tunes too! 

Ohhh, Mr. are amazing.  I was feeling the same by the time I was done.

Christmas Eve night.


Christmas morning, we headed to my Dad's house (in our pjs) for gifts, coffee, and cinnamon rolls.
Elmer pup and Gibson pup were anxious to wish us a Merry Christmas...
Muddy paws and all.

Would you just look at those faces!!!  Elmer is totally smiling!

Brigid and Dad

Dad Me Steve and Nicholas

Remember the rocking chair I wrote of in THIS emotional post...
That's my Dad sitting in it Christmas morning.

While we were opening presents, he told me he wanted me to have it.
I can't explain what it means to me - my Dad's words...that old rocking chair and all the memories it carries.
Such a special gift. 
I get teary-eyed thinking about it...for many reasons.  I hope know it will be a huge part of the years to come.


When we came home, it was time for the kitties to open their presents.

They loved their catnip mouseys.

With all the excitement, Krimpet and Twinkie needed an afternoon nap.  Steve and I decided that wasn't such a bad idea.  Mr's back wasn't feelin' too hot after all the suv pushing he did the day before.  And my stomach muscles were sore from all the laughing and cackling.  So, we took a Christmas nappy.

And when we woke up, we found this...

Poor blue mousey...torn to shreds.  He lived a short but exciting life.

(This was blue mousey's last happy photo.)  And this fancy toy -all for $4.19...a wind up ball that spins a rod with feathers at the end of it.  They are in love with it.

We visited my Nani.  She wasn't feeling too well earlier this month. 
She's getting better each day.


Christmas night at our house

I spot a Muffin.

Merry margaritas

We kept it nice n' simple.  Fajitas, rice, and beans. 

Look who I found in my chair!

Muffin says, "Let's get this party started!!"

Nicholas and Mom began our annual tradition of opening gifts.  We all sit in a circle and go around until there's a bag full of wrapping paper and bows (and kitties pouncing and sleeping on tissue paper and in boxes).

So very thoughtful of my Mom...who do these guys remind you of?
I have the perfect spot for this beautiful gift.

(Twinkie was about to bust loose! HA!)

I learned a long time ago - not much in this life is flawless.  So many of us want things to be "perfect."
Time is precious.  You can use it wisely.  You can squeeze the most out of every minute...
And still, there might be a few missing checks off your list.
But, I find, rarely do those missing checks go noticed...
If you surround yourself with the ones you love - the ones who love you back - who love you good...
None of those little empty boxes matter.
Forget about those "things" you wish you had time to do.
And always remember,

"The best things in life aren't things."

Our car broke down on Christmas Eve.  I didn't bake those sugar cookies I wanted to.  We were all tired.
But ya know what, our car will be fixed.  Sugar cookies can be baked another day.  And Christmas...
Well, it still feels like it.  As I sit here, comfortable, in one of my many "crazy cat lady" pajamas from my Mom, eating way too much candy for this time of day, typing the last few sentences to this post...
I'm thankful that...

It was a good one.

I scratched one of the lottery tickets in our card from my Mom before going to bed, Christmas night.
We won $25.  Not too shabby.  But besides the extra loot,
It's message was loud and clear...

I am lucky.

I am blessed.

We all are.

There's still a few days of 2011 left on the calendar. 
Wishing you GREAT days ahead.

I'll be stopping by one more time before the close of this year.

Merry Wednesday,


Anonymous said...

Good job on the wreath. I still want to try making one of those. Your dinner looks awesome! And, your Grinch face was pretty good! Looks like a good Christmas!! Thx for sharing....

Steve said...

It was a good one, darn Alternator.....

Steve said...

Yes, and thank you for not going crazy over the car.... I love u, and the kitty pics are adorable...


Kelly @ Stay at Home Trader said...

Awww Maria... My favorite quote on this post:

If you surround yourself with the ones you love - the ones who love you back - who love you good...
None of those little empty boxes matter.

That is so true, and so exactly how I have felt this year.

I have to laugh about the car, and just remembering you hysterical on the phone with me "asking" to leave your car at my house. PLEASE! You KNOW we would not have cared! LOL!

I can just picture Steve in the back window, with the cheezy movie back drop mental picture you painted. OH MA GAAA! hahahahahahaha! That stinks so bad that your car broke down on Christmas Eve, but you handled it so well.

Your Christmas looked so nice, and I was so touched that your dad gave you that rocking chair. I love sentimental gifts like that.

And what's with this SECOND "Crafty Maria" post????!!! Jessica and I are transforming you into a wreath making diva! :) They look SO PRETTY, Maria!!!

Of course, I loved all of the pictures! And I love that your cats actually sleep on GIANT "doggy beds". hahahahahaha! SPOILED ROTTEN!!!!! :)

I'm so sorry I keep cancelling on you. My poor kids and this darn stomach bug. I won't have them tomorrow - and I plan to get out of this house and go SOMEWHERE. Even if it means going to the mall or the movies by myself. I'm determined! :)

Well, I'm taking up your whole comment section :)



~ Kelly said...

I'm sorry about your car! That kind of stuff always stinks. I am glad you saw past it enough to enjoy your Christmas. And a great Christmas it looks like! I hope the rest of your 2011 is great. I am sure you, like me, are ready for 2012. I love how the new year feels like a fresh start. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Mrs. E said...

Oh my goodness, that car story had me cackling (okay, snort-laughing) right along with you! (serious haagaaaa!) Boo for car troubles, but yay for getting a good laugh out of it! It looks like you had a great Christmas. I'm so glad--you looked adorable by the way! You put my xmas outfit to shame...I would post a picture, but googling "pajama bottoms" and "oversized top" would probably give you a better idea ;) xoxoxo~~

Maria said...

You have an awesome Grinch face! Seriously! It looks like you had a pretty awesome Christmas! Those wreaths are lovely! You'll have to teach me! The wreaths and the grinch face... I want you to teach me how to do both! Merry Christmas!

Ashley said...

Looks like you had a great Christmas (aside from the car)! I love the idea of fajitas and margaritas for dinner on Christmas... yummy! Our car wouldn't start either on the day after Christmas... turns out it needed a jump and that got us through till the next day when we had to get a new battery.

Judy Haughton-James said...

Hi Maria,
Very beautiful Christmas pictures! I love your Christmas tree and decorations. Your cats certainly were comfortable amidst the wonderful Christmas scene and I can see they enjoyed the season too!:) I am sorry to read about the car troubles you had but I am glad you were able to have a good laugh. It helps to ease the stress in such situations!:) It is great that you are able to make such lovely Christmas wreaths. They are special decorations indeed. Christmas is definitely a time to spend with family. You captured these moments and have the pictures to remind you of the good times. I hope your Nani continues to feel better with each passing day. Oh by the way, your parents' dogs are so cute! Lovely post as always. The ending is so inspirational. It certainly has lifted my spirit. Lots of Love and best wishes for great things for you and Steve in 2012!

Stephanie of Gumdrop Pass said...

HA! I had to laugh at your car adventure on Christmas Eve, because we had one of our own! Jake was SIMPLY going to change the break pads with his dad's help... shouldn't have taken more than an hour, right? Nope. It was a full 9-4 day of work. It turns out something else was broken and they ran into some other hassels along the way due to their, shall we say, butterfingers. :)

I love all of your pictures. You look like you had a wonderful Christmas -- I'm so glad! :) Your family (including kitties!) is just so adorable -- you can tell that there's just SO much love!

I hope that your last days of 2011 are great ones! Bring on 2012! :)

KERRY said...

Wht a great looking Christmas, all of it looked like a wonderful time with all of your precious family!! you can see the love radiating from all of you in your pics.
So glad you had a good time over Christmas enjoying the little things (;)) and taking it all in. It's a wonderful season and one I look forward to every year.
Your wreaths turned out beautifully and that was a funny story about Steve and the SUV, although it is easy to laugh when you're not the one pushing 5000 or so tons of metal lol
Enjoy the last week of 2011 and thankyou for entering my life this year xoxo

LOVE MELISSA:) said...

What an eventful Christmas of for you! I loved seeing all these pictures. I am sorry to hear about the car but am glad it did not stop you from enjoying! What a perfect gift- the radiator, lol You are incredibly talented- your wreaths are beautiful! I wish I had half of your talent! You are always so fashionable and of course, incredibly beautiful! Merry Christmas my friend!

Aleisha McD said...

Goodness gracious! There is so much to comment on after reading this post. First of all, SO SORRY about your car!! But what a great attitude you had! I loved the wreaths; they turned out terrific. I laughed out loud at your Grinch face picture. You are such a nut, I love it! I can't even handle how beautiful you looked in all your pics! Woo-wee, you are hot stuff!!! SO happy to hear your Christmas went well. It looks like it was wonderful. Much love, chica!

neverthesame said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
waitingforarainbow said...

** I accidentally left this comment on my friends name somehow. WEIRD. She was over here logged into her email, maybe that did it? Anyway, let's try this again!
I never knew I could have so much enjoyment at 5:00am. I am sitting on my couch, under 2 blankets, with a box of double stuff oreos next to me, reading your blog.
SO as I am going to town on these oreos (that I TOTALLY forgot I bought) I realize I need to put them down because your blog is making me laugh too much.
OMG I could picture the whole Steve SUV scene perfectly. As soon as I read, "MARIA STEER RIGHT" I started laughing, and never stopped. I'm seriously still laughing right now, with cookie crumbs all over my shirt hahahahaha.
As for your kitties, mine do the same thing with their mouseys. I wake up in the morning, and the mouse "guts" are all over the place. I have got to get one of those ball thingys, omg that looks so entertaining!
I'm so happy that your Christmas went perfectly. Your Dad wants to give you the rocking chair?? Maria that's beautiful! Speaking of beautiful, you looked just as gorgeous as always on Christmas!! I always want to go shopping in your closet too.
I'm seriously about to leave this comment, and go read your post over again. You and Steve SHOULD have your own tv show. hahaha :) Hope your New Years is fantastic!
Lots of love! <3 <3 Michelle

Camille said...

you looked fab with that red lipstick!!!

i love the wreaths as well!!

glad to see your Christmas was merry and bright! :)


Mrs. Pancakes said...

Christmas definitely sound eventful!!

Heather Nelsen said...

Great pictures! I love the title of your blog! I'm following you from Thirsty Thirsty. :) I'd love for you to stop by sometime and say hello!

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

Hi Maria,
I was looking forward to reading your next post! I love your attitude about your car. I might have cried, though the whole image you painted along with Steve's red face and your hyena cackle made me laugh. But your grinch face was impressive!

All your pictures and sweet cats always make me smile.

And what a beautiful message about the best things in life not being things. A great reminder for me!

Jessica Blankenship said...

I'm your newest follower. Would love a follow back.

Karren said...

Hi Maria I found your blog from a comment on Stay At Home Trader, to funny, had to come visit your blog. Love the tree, reminds me of grandmothers tree, always perfect. Love the cats, I have 2 that keep us entertained, love your smiling dog, they look so friendly, great greeters. Sounds like you had an awesome Christmas. Heres wishing you Happy New Year!! Keep having fun!!
Oh! My Heartsie Blog Library 

Erin said...

I knew you would have a lovely Christmas. I was laughing while picturing you and Steve trying to move the car. But you kept such a great attitude about it and I loved your Grinch face.
I pray this next year is full of blessings and joy for you and Steve.
Happy New Year!!!

My Baby Sleep Guide said...

I'm stopping by from the hop and am a new follower. Would love it if you'd visit my Facebook page

blog rss

and twitter page!/babysleepguide/


bailey said...

hey im your new follower! i hope you can follow me back at

Iana said...

Looks like you had a GREAT time!! :)

Happy New Year!

I Just Hopped Over From The Weekend Gathering Blog Hop, And I'm Following You via GFC.

Feel Free To Stop By And Check Out My Blog, And Follow Back If You Like! =)

Have A Great Weekend,
- Iana


LOVE MELISSA:) said...

Happy New Year to you and Steve! I hope 2012 is the best year ever!!

Anonymous said...

Okay, I am in LOVE with your kitties! And, girl, you have a kick-ass sense of style! But, most of all...I love love love your attitude. It's nothing short of inspirational...keep it comin'. :-)

P.S. I've nominated you for an award. Feel free to pick it up on my blog, or leave it where it is.

LOVE MELISSA:) said...

Just want to tell you every time I see a comment from you, you make my day!! I just want to personally thank you from the bottom of my heart:)

Jorge said...

you looked fab with that red lipstick!!! i love the wreaths as well!! glad to see your Christmas was merry and bright! :) cheers.

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