It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

(Does anyone read that line without hearing it in their head as the song?! Now that I’ve written it down it’ll be playing over and over in my head for the rest of the day, I’m sure!)

We had a long, warm fall, and only a couple of minimal dustings of snow, so we don’t really feel like winter has settled in yet. But that seems about to change overnight, with the potential of waking up to 5 or 6 inches of snow. We’re ready — we want a white Christmas and last year cut it a bit close with the snow only arriving on Christmas eve!

ChristmasTreeBut, snow or not, we’ve got our tree up — sparkling with colored lights this year rather than white for the first time in probably thirty years! — and more lights tracing the deck rail all around the house, so we’re feeling Christmas-y finally.

Chris and Louise brought a gingerbread village kit for Avila right at the beginning of the month, so we gals had a great time building and decorating multiple buildings. We had some technical challenges and I don’t think we met building code, but it was fun!

Last year we had trouble keeping GrisGris from jumping up, trying to get at the gingerbread house, but his age has caught up with him and he’s moving pretty slowly these days. One of the few benefits of that is that the village is now safe on the piano where we get to enjoy it!

We’ve collectively agreed to keep the Christmas shopping substantially reined in this year, but it’s still fun to find the few gifts we are giving and this week will hopefully see it all wrapped up — figuratively and literally! — and we’re anticipating having a low-key, delightful holiday.

BrideAndGroomCollin and new wife Katy will be here, so we’re looking forward to that. Hurricane Joaquin arrived the same weekend in October as their Bald Head Island (North Carolina) wedding, putting a kibosh on the planned beach ceremony. But it worked out beautifully, the bride took the change in plans with grace and good humor, and a wonderful time was had by all. The rain let up in time for some beach wedding pictures which I think helped offset any disappointment and it was truly all so lovely, I can’t see that the adjustment of the venue harmed the event in the least.

Although no one, of course, is supposed to “show up” the star of the show — the bride! — Avila came close in her spectacular flower girl dress and poised processional, carefully tossing her rose petals — first to the left, then to the right, then down the middle, just as she’d practiced.

FlowerGirlThe only unexpected challenge came as a result of that venue change — the “aisle” as planned on the beach would have been a straight shot, so that’s what she’d practiced. The new location meant people entered from the back, but off to the side, so it required walking a bit and then making a 90-degree turn to go down the actual aisle. Since no one thought to explain that to Avila, she just kept walking, right across the back of the seated assembly.

Luckily someone re-directed her and she completed her task charmingly. Nana (Larry’s mom) made the absolutely gorgeous dress and aside from looking adorable, she had a wonderful time at the wedding. You should have seen her flouncing around on the dance floor to the 70s and 80s pop music! More wedding pix down below. ;-)

HenryFirstHenry turned one on the 7th and was appropriately underwhelmed by his party! Everyone else thought the party was lovely — Jen put on a great hot cocoa bar, several of us brought food so there was lots of yummy stuff to eat but not too much work for any one person, and just a nice crowd of folks.

Henry is such a total munch-mouth, eating pretty much any food item that crosses his path, Jen was hoping he might be more interested in his birthday cake than Avila had been, but no, not the case. Oh well. Hard, really, to complain that the kids aren’t that crazy about cake!

Seems like there’s other miscellaneous “news” to report, but actually none is coming to mind and this is plenty long already. So I’ll sign off with a bunch more photos and simply send the wish and hope that you all will experience a joyous holiday season, spending time with loved ones, appreciating all the gifts in our life (and I don’t mean those presents under the tree!), and PLEASE comment! I love comments!!  ;-)

Mr. Henry was looking pretty dapper at the wedding, along with his parents.

Mr. Henry was looking pretty dapper at the wedding, along with his parents.


Two lovelies — the bride, Katy, and the flower girl, Avila


Jen set out a pretty spectacular hot cocoa bar for Henry’s party!


Breakfast with Santa at Jen’s office!


Our Christmas angel

Our Christmas angel

And her baby brother, looking slightly devilish here!

And her baby brother, looking slightly devilish here!


Our Christmas Cuties

Our Christmas Cuties


Parents of the groom!


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11 Responses to It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

  1. Deborah says:

    Hi, Arden!
    It’s been a while since seeing your grandkids and, boy, how they have grown! Henry is cute as a button (did I really just write that?) and Avila is looking like a stunning little girl. I’m sure you are proud of both of them.

    Winter seems to be quite slow coming to most of us evidently. No one here remembers it being this warm this late in the season other than one other time and that time they were slammed with snow during January and February. I’m hoping that won’t necessarily be the case this year but…

    Hope you continue writing more. It’s great hearing about how things are over on your end of the country!

    • arden says:

      Hi, Deborah — Yes, the kids are growing like little weeds, although still comparatively little peanuts (for which my arthritic hip is grateful every time I carry either of them!) and they are, indeed, cute as buttons. ;-)

      We DID get the predicted snow, so have around 7 inches or so on the ground at the moment and still coming down. It’s beautiful and we now have a 4-wheel-drive vehicle, so no complaints!

      Much more writing is hopefully coming with plans to seriously activate two other blogs I’ve been letting languish. More on that soon. And same to you — keep the posts coming, I’ve been loving hearing about your adventures.

  2. Deanna says:

    Been a while…… sure are blessed with a great family!! Happy Holidays to you and yours. We just finished Hanukkah celebrations. You may or may not know we moved to Fort Payne, Alabama in October. I love it here. Out of the heat of the desert and back to a land that has trees and grass. :) Pray your coming year bestows many blessings.

    • arden says:

      Hi, Deanna — So nice to see you here. And great that you moved and are enjoying your new home! Even after almost 4 years back from Costa Rica we *still* are thoroughly appreciating being back and enjoying the four seasons. Even today, with fresh snow on the ground — it’s beautiful, we’re warm and cozy inside, and once the snow stops and the sun comes out it’ll even feel warm outside! Hope you have a wonderful holiday season and all the best during the coming year.

  3. Martha B. Higgins says:

    What lovely photos! So glad things are going well in your family, all’s well here in Maine, too. The children are getting so big, how time slips away….. Merry Christmas to all.

    • arden says:

      Hi, Martha — Great to hear from you and glad all is well there! It is remarkable to think that we’ve been back nearly 4 years, and Avila is getting SO grown up. It’s amazing simply listening to her talk — the “connections” she makes in her mind, the thought processes, she can be so funny! And little Henry is really turning into a little “person” so we’re having a blast with him, too. Merry Christmas to you, too!

  4. Hi Arden! Good to see a blog post from you, and I adore all your pictures (especially the bride with the flower girl – how beautiful are they BOTH and the hot cocoa bar – oh yum, I so love a good hot chocolate!). Cheers & happy holidays to you! — Jen

  5. Jim Hall (& Ursula Kroll says:

    Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Have followed updated on the g-kids via Jen’s FB page (and yours, too). Ursula will have to update you concerning us and the kids.

    Des’ comment to Ursula, Saturday morning when we dropped him off back to his parents, after she asked him if he would be joining us for dinner Christmas Eve was: “Oh, if I have the time…” lol – kid loves to spend time with us but still hasn’t grasped the time-thing… chuckle. Then, of course, he said it was time for a family hug.

    Merry Christmas to all and give the ol’man a hug from us.

    • arden says:

      Hi, Jim — So nice to see you here! And, yes, would love an update from you guys (Urs) when you have the chance. Yeah, it seems like EVERY day that we’re with Avila (3 or 4 days a week) she says so many things that just make us look at each other and laugh!

      Merry Christmas to you all, too, and big hugs!

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