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Category Archives: Holiday

Sweet Cincinnati: Photo #243

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It was back to work for both Randy and me today.  I was sad to go back, but Randy, a lover of schedules and routine, was glad to return.  We both arrived at our respective offices to find virtual ghost-towns – Randy even had to turn the lights on – and we learned really quickly that we really dig working in a mostly deserted office.  It feels special and less stressful.  But also a little lonely – so we met for lunch downtown.  On our way to the bank in the Carew tower we came across a display of Cincinnati buildings done in gingerbread.  A nice surprise on an otherwise ho-hum day.

Carew Tower

Freedom Center


Joyeux Noel: Photo #240

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Randy and I were so tired (and a bit Christmassed out) that we climbed into bed with The Weens (our current pet name for Zipper) at 8:00pm and settled into the big slice of comfort and joy that is Muppet Family Christmas – a sweet little 42 minute film from 1987 in which all the Muppets and the Sesame Street gang descend upon Fozzy Bear’s mother’s farmhouse for Christmas AND featuring a live-action cameo by Jim Henson himself (perfection).  Sadly, the film is out of print right now and an unopened DVD will run you at least $64, although you can score a VHS copy for around $7.  (Ours is VHS and its the only reason we still have a VCR.)  Everything about it makes me happy – from the Christmas Turkey trying to convince The Swedish Chef that Big Bird would make a great Christmas dinner to Animal answering the phone “Peace on earth, give me presents”.  I can’t think of a better way to close out Christmas day.

Santa Claus Comes Tonight: Photo #239

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Merry Christmas Eve!  This year we did most of our celebrating today, starting with sleeping late. watching Miracle on 34th Street, and staying in our flannel pjs until 2pm., and ending with dinner and gift exchange at the Marksberry homestead followed by dessert and give exchange at the Mayo ranch.  The day turned out to be really enjoyable and filed with quality, quirky, precious interaction time with both of our families.  We got a lot of really thoughtful gifts, including a tripod (watch out, photo blur – I’m coming after you) from Randy’s parents, a beautiful portrait of Randy, me, and Sara drawn by Sara, an adorable bird necklace from my sister and Doug, and the first three blocks of a quilt my Mommy is making for me 🙂  All in all, a happy day with good, sweet memories.

And Presents Under the Tree…: Photo #238

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Today was present-wrapping day and I was in quite the mood for it.  As in – not in the mood at all.  I had envisioned a cozy night with the fireplace going, sipping tea, watching Miracle on 34th street and getting all kinds of creative on my stack of presents with ribbons and embellishments.  But by the time I made it home from my errands I was just feeling irritable and markedly uncreative.  I started attacking the presents assembly line style  with no fireplace and no movie on, and when I couldn’t locate my cute To/From tags I said ‘screw it’, and Sharpied the name of the recipient directly on the wrapping paper.  Half-way through I was so done with it all that I stopped taking the effort to write mine and Randy’s names and instead lazily scribbled initials like so:  T: Mom P.   F: K&R.  I did get ribbon on every package but I went with the bare minimum – and they ended up still looking pretty good.  Best of all, I didn’t stress over it or let myself feel guilty about it.  I kept it in perspective.  I just rolled with it – following some good advice I got about getting through the season this year.  Roll with it.

Skate Away: Photo #237

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Brother and sister skating (with a bagillion other people!) on Fountain Square.  My ankles were not meant to stand on thin blades of metal, so I played the part of paparazzi until I got too cold and scampered off to Macy’s where Sara eventually joined me, leaving only Randy to brave the ice.  He seems to be the only one of us cut out to enjoy the winter pastime.  But we were all cut out to enjoy our traditional Christmas-time trip to Graeter’s for peppermint (or vanilla with sprinkles if your name is Sara)  ice-cream afterwards.

Its Comin’ On Christmas: Photo #236

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Its comin’ on Christmas and try as we might to be jolly and glean the same joy from the season as usual, I think this year will be a more sober affair.    The heaviness of the world seemed to hang about us – Randy and me – today as we went through the motions of holiday preparations that seemed, at least to some extent, futile.  I thought I’d be knitting my last-minute gifts this year with my swollen feet propped up, 8-months-pregnant  – tired but happy, and hoping the baby would stay put at least until after the new year.  Waking up every morning to this alternate reality always stings a bit – even now, 7 months hence.  

The ongoing baby issues are manageable – nothing new.  But this year we also seem to be getting depressing health news about family members almost weekly.  My brother-in-law is loosing his mother (his young, kind, sweet mother) – she’s slipping away little by little each day, succumbing to the cancer she’s had to struggle against for too many years now – they hope she can hold on through Christmas.  Other family members, particularly the eldest members, are being diagnosed with cancer, falling, getting injured, loosing hope, and generally having a hard time with life.  It’s hard for us to keep hope ourselves, when we see in these dear people foreshadows of our likely  future, laden with a good deal of pain and hardship.  Finding purpose in life and the universe is very difficult when looking through these lenses.  This Christmas will be okay – but its hard to feel very merry this year.

Candlelight Service: Photo #235

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Over the Rhine: Photo #234

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Walking in the snow through crowds of merry people on Fountain Square amid the sweet sounds of a children’s choir singing Christmas carols.  Warm and cozy dinner with good friends in a restaurant overlooking the ice rink and twinkling lights of the city Christmas Tree.  Rich and sultry tones of eclectic music performed by Over the Rhine – peaceful, relaxing, and contemplative.  Suffocating, sweltering, dripping heat of the Taft Theater where all the water fountains were broken and bottled water costs $2.75.  So not everything was perfect during our annual Christmasy night out on the town – but we still had fun.

Christmas Plunder: Photo #223

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My craft gift  staging room is out of control. 

Last Day! Photo #232

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Just finished my last day of work before Christmas vacation!  Laptop, get ready to spend a lot of time resting in your little green case, on call only for blog-reading and last-minute online shopping!