Watching my 20 month old daughter play with toys that I, myself, used to play with as a child and absolutely loved playing with, makes me feel completely warm and fuzzy.
As soon as Thanksgiving is over, the first available evening that all five of us can be together we reserve as “Decorating Day”. It takes a good chunk of the night, so it takes commitment, and some years the kids are more gung-ho than others. This year it fell on Monday the 26th. The success was mediocre, with Rudy Mae and Calum both falling ill right before we started, but our home still looks lovely and festive and has helped push me further into the holiday mood than ever.
Complete side note: I did a post a bit back about some vintage nativity pieces I found at a thrift store. One thing that I can say is really, really me is most things vintage-y, treasure-y, olden-days-y, etc. I don’t love things/possessions (okay, I might have a slight love-affair with my books, but I digress) but I really do feel like all of our holiday decorations, and home decorations in general, really reflect who we are. I am extremely happy with our collection of decorations and I hope my photographs have done them some justice.
On Saturday, we visited Caleab’s family. Carolyn, my mother-in-law, asked if I wanted to join her shopping at some local shops in Fremont, Ohio in support of “Small Business Saturday”. Of course I said yes; we love to support local/small businesses and even display a lovely “BUY LOCAL” bumper sticker on our vehicle. There were some wonderful little shops and I had my camera ready to go, but I got so wrapped up in talking and chatting and browsing! and bonding and laughing, that I completely forgot to take any photographs, save for the two I took when we stopped at a local coffee shop for a quick refresher (hot chocolate for her, chai tea for me, and a cookie each). It was really quite a splendid time.
I got such a kick out of displaying my vintage Christmas decorations, and honestly have been planning on showing more elements of my home some time or another, so today while I was making some lunch for Rudy Mae and I, I decided to snap some of my favorite elements of my kitchen. Some are purely for decoration, some are functional, but all are thrift store finds, or as I call them, “treasures” (and as I pronounce it very obnoxiously, “tray-sures”).
Ever since I can remember, my style has been of a very vintage quality. I credit that to my mother who has always had a wonderful sense of style, shopping mostly at thrift stores, slightly because that’s what we could afford, and mostly because one can find super awesome vintage things there. When I refer to “my style”, I am speaking of my personal style, my clothing, etc, but also my home decorating. One of these days, I will have to document through photography some of my favorite vintage home decorations to give you a feel of what my personal taste is; I’m not tooting my own horn, but golly do I have some incredibly amazing house decorations.
As a person who loves to add personal touches through decoration in my home, I am very much in love with decorating it for the holidays. My holiday collection always feels to me like it is complete, until that day when I walk into a thrift store and see some vintage Christmas decorations screaming my name, which is exactly what happened last night. There were six figures and they were .99 cents a piece, which totaled $5.94. I had an internal debate for quite some time, that was a little hard for me to pay, but the more I looked at these guys, the harder I fell in love, and the more I knew that my house was the home they belonged in.
The other morning, Caleab made a big, hot mug full of hot cocoa with cinnamon sprinkled in. It was delightfully delicious and it was a community-cup, with most of the family sharing it. After a little while when it was cooled enough, we had our eyes momentarily on something else and Rudy Mae decided to take a nice big gulp. She didn’t even make a noise, she just stood still looking a bit shocked, but when I next looked back at her, she just looked at me with her huge blue eyes as if to say, “Help, Mama?”
The boys are plenty old enough to get themselves ready and off for school by now, but since I work second shift three days during the work week, I rather cherish our morning routine. I don’t really help them much, I just am there, but the hour that I start every school morning with (usually) puts me in a lovely mood and starts my day out wonderfully.
There are a few things that I am notorious for, and I would surely say that one is being a board game lover and another one is being an all-things-Tolkien lover. I will have to show my board game collection some day; I own well over 100 board games (yikes). I also own quite a number of Tolkien’s books and related items. This being true, I can understand, and am incredibly grateful for, my sister-in-law Lynn snagging me a Trivial Pursuit: Lord of the Rings Edition when she saw it for sale. When she first gave it to me, Caleab, the boys, and I read a few of the cards for a sampling, but we were out of town and had a 3 hour drive ahead of us, so we decided “Later, later…” Then of course, life happened and we never play our board games as often as I wish we would, so we still, until this day, had never sat down and actually played it.
When Rudy Mae went down for her nap, I knew we had at least 2 hours, possibly 3, so I suggested giving it a whirl. The boys were busy with their own versions of games (one was on the computer, one was on the PS3) so it was just Caleab and I, but my word, we had such a wonderful time. When she awoke, we had to just call it a game without it officially ending, but Caleab was the winner with 5 pie pieces to my 4. I can guarantee you that we will be playing this one more often. Not only was it terribly fun, but being the one who introduced Caleab to Middle-Earth, I need my chance at redemption!
Being the youngest in a family where even your siblings are 10 years your senior, you almost live as an only child. Rudy Mae’s brothers are extremely involved with her, but they are almost more like a second set of mini-parents than siblings. When it comes to peer-interaction, Rudy is lacking, and sometimes that worries me as far as learning important life skills like sharing, playing nice, etc. Luckily, I have a friend in town in a very similar situation whose baby daughter is 3 months Rudy’s junior. Therefore, we try to get the girls together often so they can play and learn. Mostly this was being done at a house, or even a local coffee shop, but a couple Wednesdays ago, Victoria asked me to join her instead at a local playgroup that meets at a playground for approximately 2 hours in the morning. It is attended by kids from about 11 months up to almost 3 years old. It was a lovely time and Rudy Mae and Ainslee Mae continued to solidify their friendship and thoroughly enjoy each others company.