Friends, we are leaving tomorrow for a glorious ten days in New England. We'll be visiting our families in Connecticut, heading to the Berkshires in Massachusetts, skiing in Vermont, checking out Portland, Maine for a couple of nights, and finally (finally!) heading down to Block Island to ring in the new year. Poor New Hampshire -- it's the only state not represented. Maybe we can arrange something...
I hope it is relaxing and restful and really, really fun. Wishing you all the happiest of holidays. See you on January 4!
The fabulous house we'll stay at in BlockIsland! Eeks! So excited.
Anyways! She is lovely to talk to about work. I find I'm always thinking about the next step, the next big thing I want to try. I like to constantly explore new options and do research. I'm always telling Peter about my (awesome!) ideas to start a little business so that I can work from home (never mind that I have no idea what that little business would be), or leaving our jobs in NYC to travel for a year after our wedding, or buying a house in Portland.
This friend is so great because she thinks exactly the same way. It's so comforting to hear that she has these same thoughts and half-baked ideas. When she says, "I want to run X foundation, and become a professor, and move to North Carolina," I say, "YES!" Because I don't want those exact things, but I totally understand how she could -- and at the same time, no less.
I think I often baffle Peter with how much my ideas float and scatter about, but I think that's because he takes the things I say so seriously. Which is lovely in it's own way. But it's also great to have someone just say, "That is so smart! You should do that!" and know that they will certainly not hold you to it, or be alarmed in the least if you just ship with your formerly brilliant plan.
I get this weird feeling whenever I see my name or Peter's attached to someone elses. Who is this Deirdre character, and what is she doing with Peter? And Daniel?! So wrong. They should get together actually -- Deirdre and Daniel sound like a cute couple. The Double Ds! Hmm.
I have a very similar feeling about my parents, and even my sister's name and mine going together in some kind of cosmic way.
A few months ago, my mom told me she met with potential clients named Julie and Peter. I remember asking if they looked like us. Ahh, no, Julie, they do not. (Too bad for them! Ha ha ha.)
P.S. I labelled this New York because New Yorkers are neurotic, and this is perhaps a glaring sign that I am one of them.
I made this little stocking ornament last night. I used the pattern for these paper stockings to get the shape right. Super easy, and really quick. I think this took about an hour, from tracing the pattern to hanging it on the tree.
My mom made a bunch of ornaments when she was first married about 30 years ago. You can see one in the left hand side of the photo -- that plaid little bunny. Her ornaments don't have the stitching on the outside where the the stuffing goes in. How did she do that?!
Total aside: is this not the best photo I have ever taken? No idea how I did it. None.
Peter and I got into an awesome discussion last week about the music we'll have at the wedding. A older gentleman from a band in Boston gave me a call, and he sounded nice, so I could have been 100% ready to book him after chatting for 10 minutes.
Peter was like, "Umm...do you think maybe we should hear them first?"
Fair point, fiance. Fair point. I knew there was a reason I was marrying you.
The truth is, I could be perfectly happy listening to Tony Bennett on repeat throughout our entire reception. Peter could not. Our guests are probably happy to hear that.
We are thinking more about bands and DJs and iPods. How to decide? The only thing I know is that I want moments like the ones above. I love these photos so much. The first is from Holly Burns' wedding, of her siblings doing a dance routine to "Baby Got Back" (note to siblings: you should all get on this). The second is Peter and me at a wedding earlier this fall.
The last one is my favorite. I love all the photos from this wedding, but this is the best. Look at the bride's attitude. And all her cute friends! So awesome. And so fun looking.
And it felt so good. Highly recommended. Two thumbs way up in the air for Up in the Air.
(Is it just me, or is the media totally bombarded with weddings and relationships these days? Just me? Okay.)
American Airlines, which plays a role in the movie, has a really warm, down-right inspiring holiday video out. I think you might enjoy it. Click below to watch. If you are like me, you may cry. But if you are normal, I have complete faith that you'll be able to hold it together while watching at your desk.
I was going to share one last gift guide today, focusing on giving this holiday season to worthy causes that hold a special place in my heart. But the problem with me compiling that list is that it will include all the organizations that are near and dear to me -- not to you. And I feel so confident that you already know who you would want to share an extra $20 with this season, if you are able to.
So let's just move on, and chat about the weekend for a second. I am so excited because we are just staying home, and have no plans to speak of. Well, no plans with other people. I'm going to:
1. Make cranberry-lime syrup to use in fun drinks for our party.
2. Finish writing my Christmas cards.
3. Attempt to make a gingerbread house from scratch. Is this hard? Let's watch Queer Eye Carson and Martha make one! That will surely make it less intimidating.
4. Wrap up all the presents I've gathered so far, and try to fill in some remaining gaps.
5. See Up in the Air or Christmas Carol. Suggestions?!
6. Start reading Personal History by Katharine Graham for the next book club meeting. I love book club so!
That's probably more than enough for 36 hours. Let's hear it for stay-at-home weekends!
1. Primrose slippers: somewhat embarrassing to admit, but I actually wear hand-me down slippers from my mom. These are darling.
2. Brooklyn umbrella: I've been using a very bright, very loud Vera Bradley umbrella for years, and let's just say it's seen better days.
3. Streamline Editor Series luggage: Peter, would you be excited to wheel that awesome pink leather-lined bag? Yes? Awesome. Me too!
3. Italian floral wine glasses: These can added to the long list of things I don't need but really want. But aren't they adorable?
4. 2010 Calendar -- Paris: A Love Story: We're planning on going to Paris for at least part of our honeymoon, and this would be such a fun way to get excited.
5. Flower ear warmer: I have a serious NorthFace hat for skiing, but I hate wearing it because it always falls off when I wear my fury hood. I think this would help solve the laying problem, and besides, it's much, much cuter.
6. Lunch tote: I'm super into bringing my lunch to work everyday, and one of my New Years resolutions is seriously committing to using fewer plastic bags.
7. Gourd bird ornaments: Maybe I have a little bird thing going on? Regardless, love these cute ornaments.
8. The Flavor Bible, by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg: I tend to find recipes very constricting; this book lists all sorts of ingredients and the things that go well with them.
9. Wii Resort: Peter keeps trying to get me to play more Wii Tiger Woods golf, but settling in for 18 holes of virtual golf is sort of intimidating. Shuffle board sounds way more my speed.
...from the gift guides to just say: friends are really neat, aren't they?
We had friends over for dinner last night that we've been trying to get together with for a while. They are both a lot cooler than we are, and hence harder to nail down.
They brought yummy wine and a beautiful pointsettia. For dinner, I made buttered chicken with extra butter (gluttenous! delicious!). I had promised them pumpkin crunch, but then didn't come through. My sweet friend was disappointed, but tried really hard to hide it. Neat, see?
* * *
Since we've been back home after Thanksgiving, I've been feeling anxious about the holidays and wedding planning. I want to do all the holiday activities I enjoy, like shopping for the perfect gift and decorating the house and making cookies with my Mom's old holiday cookie press. But annoying wedding things are invading. I'm tired of re-organizing the guest list and addressing save the date cards, when what I really want to be doing is sending Christmas cards out to our friends.
I want to be moving slowly enough to remember this season, and I already feel like all the sparkle and joy are whizzing out the window onto the snow-less sidewalk.
All this to say, having a few dear friends come by to eat peppermint bark and chat about skiing was a really awesome way to spend an evening.
When we got back to New York on Sunday night, I couldn't fight the holiday decorating urge any longer. I put these cute star lights up on the mantle in our bedroom. I turn them on every morning when I'm getting ready. They cast a very flattering glow for putting make up on! And only $1.99 from Ikea!
My paper whites are in bloom. I must not have given them enough gin though, because when I came home last night, they were completely toppled over. Time to start again with new bulbs.