Last Post of the Year! *sniff sniff*

I have always relished the unreality of the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Not quite back to normal, or business as usual — and there’s New Year’s Eve to look forward to. As a teen, I had this fantasy that someday I’d throw a fabulous black-tie NYE extravaganza. It’s yet to happen, but the party’s not over yet! :)

In a way, I’m so glad that Christmas is over. It was great fun, but it was stressful to me, coming off of the surgery. The recovery for that surgery was much harder than I had anticipated. I’m happy to say that four weeks out, I’m feeling almost entirely back to normal. Still no heavy lifting for me for 2 more weeks, and I feel really frustrated by that, but I’m determined to have my life back!

Also, I can’t believe that I’m already 1/3 of the way to my second surgery. We’ll go back to Mayo at the beginning of March probably. I’m really looking forward to it – while the ileostomy and accompanying appliance (ha) aren’t absolutely terrible as I’m getting used to it, it will be nice to have my body back to myself, in a way. I’m struggling a little bit with dressing around the darn thing. It’s right where the waistband on my jeans normally lies, so I’m living in leggings and long tops.

Anyway. Enough talk of that. Jude has been moved to a big boy bed since I can’t lift him and I was determined to be back in our own home. This way he can crawl in and out of his own bed without  my assistance. This comes with its own set of challenges, but we’re back home, and he’s understanding that he is no longer the captain of his own destiny the way he once was while staying with his grandparents. :)   There’s a new sheriff in town: her name is Momma.

Yesterday I made my first foray to Target. We had zero diapers, so it was an absolute necessity. Look at this gorgeous Victoria Hagan lamp I picked up! It was 50% off because it has a slight chip on the base. We have this lamp’s “big sister” in our room, and I love it. This little one is perfect in the entryway.

Victoria Hagan for Target lamp. 50% off!

Simon got me another of my beloved Fringe Studio plates for Christmas. I need to hang it up with all its friends. :)

Christmas present from Simon. Fringe Studio plate.

Oh, here’s us at the Shingleton Christmas. Jude is holding his Papa Keith’s cell phone (OBSESSED).

Christmas Family

Back to the snow — here’s the view on December 26th, leaving my parents’ neighborhood. Such a pretty snowfall. This photo does not do it justice.

Snow in Mom & Dad's neighborhood. Oklahoma.

View from inside my parents’ dining room on Christmas Eve, out onto the snow. The drifts were huge!


Chrysi made all the little kids the cutest satin capes for Christmas! Each one has their own initial on the back, and a matching mask. Now we are a two-cape family, so I imagine that we’re going to be superheroes all year long! :)  Maybe next year we can be The Incredibles for Halloween.

in his cape

This next photo is for Kathleen. Here I am, the masked crusader.

Masked Crusader

Is this not the goofiest look you’ve ever seen on a kid’s face? He was enthralled.


feelin' proud in his cape

I hope everybody has a fantastic and safe New Year’s. Jude is staying with Simon’s folks and we’re goin’ out on the town!

Goodbye, Christmas tree. We’ll see you next year!

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Here’s nephew Luke’s Elf on the Shelf. His name is Jack. We found him by the Nutella jar this morning. A good place to be, non?


The weathermen in Oklahoma are particularly amazing when it comes to Oklahoma-specific weather, such as tornadoes. Or thunderstorms. But snow? Well, to be fair, we’re just not that good at it. They tend to … overpredict. So when they told us that there was a chance of snow on Christmas Eve, I think  the entire state heaved a collective bellylaugh.


But the weathermen got the last laugh, because we got 14.1″ in Oklahoma City alone, a record to end all previous records. I cannot ever remember a Christmas like this. It totally made the day amazing!


Here’s Dad, enjoying trying his first-ever piece of Slim Jim beef jerky. He says once was enough.


Jude, enjoying Wingo’s choo train (Wingo is what he calls my mom.)


Hmmm. Is it ever going to be time for us to go outside and play in the snow?


YES! Yes, it is TIME TO PLAY IN THE SNOOOOOOOOW! Simon, Eric, and Earl each individually went out into the snow, and each said that it was absolutely awful. It was whiteout conditions, apparently and visibility was terrible. People were stuck, stranded in their cars in the snow. Suddenly all those people in their 4-wheel drive SUVs didn’t look so foolish anymore for having big ol’ cars.  Simon brought Jude some warm snow clothes, however, this green fleece outfit was a year too small for him. He was absolutely stuffed into that, but he was warm!


Ready for snow.


First, trepidatious steps into snow.


Now this is sad. I didn’t have warm mittens for my child, so he had to put on his own socks on his hands.  Pitiful.



Uncle Eric brought the sleds from their house. WHEEEEEE!  Darn it all, if i hadn’t had surgery, I would have been ALL over those sleds like nobody’s business.


This picture is for my mom. As a kid, she would wrap me up in garbage bags so I wouldn’t get wet when it snowed.  Earl made her proud: he covered his shoes in plastic Target bags and secured them with duct tape. Niiiice.


Afterwards, it was time for hot cocoa with the cousins.



When it snows, might as well make crafts! I made a pipe cleaner garland/necklace.


Meanwhile, where were the guys? Matthew, Simon, and Eric continued to sled down the hill in front of Mom & Dad’s. It was like a giant slip ‘n slide: they started running and then hit the ground on their sleds. Hilarious.



I shot all these photos from my childhood bedroom window. Simon below –


Weary sledders, heading back inside.


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An Oklahoma White Christmas

I hope you are all having an amazing Christmas Eve! For quite possibly the first time in my life, it’s a white Christmas!

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Chez Larsson’s Sugar Cube Building

After last year’s semi-disastrous gingerbread/grahamcracker house fiasco, I have an all new respect for any kind of edible cottage or building. Martha makes it look so easy. I assure you, it is most definitely not.

Today I hopped over to Chez Larsson’s awesome blog to catch up on all of her Christmas happenings and my jaw fell to the floor when I saw what she and her family had created. I swear, if I ever get to Sweden, I’m going to Benita’s house. She is awesome. Traditionally, she says they always make a gingerbread house, but after seeing this little sugar cube lovely from Martha Stewart, Benita decided to try her hand at that.

Cute, non? Of course it’s cute – it’s Martha!

So her family said ok, but then they raised the bar. Substantially. Inspired by all things New York City, they created what may be the most awesome sugar cube creation ever. EVER.

It’s a sugar cube Empire State Building! But wait, WAIT! Look at it all lit up!

I can’t imagine ever trashing this lovely creation. I hope they keep it forever. Do sugar cubes rot? I don’t think they do… hmm.

And you know, I think they also just told Martha to bring it, sistah.

Instructions, more photos, etc. here.

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