Friday, December 14, 2012

Of Tea's, Carolling and Bubbles


Oh man. I cannot believe it is already December 14th. Since about February of last year I have been dreaming of moving, and dreaming of what our new home may be like. And now we get the keys tomorrow! This means lots of packing, cleaning and organizing. Our goal is to move on a budget, that includes being able to thank helpers with great food on a budget.

On top of that we're full into the Holiday Season - my mom's birthday is coming up on Monday and we threw her a ladies tea this past week (more on that below). There are also many dinners and events to go to for Christmas, as well as all the Christmas Festivities with family and an upcoming trip to Oregon to see family just after Christmas. 

And further onto the top of THAT is regular life - church, lifegroup, family, friends, etc. No matter how busy life is I am unable to stop from seeing people - it brings me joy. Life may be busy but my friends are awesome. On top of that, when things are the busiest and the craziest, hanging out with my sweet nephews also brightens my day. Nope, I can't avoid the "regulars" in life no matter how busy!

Every Thursday night I have a scheduled hang out with my sister. I get there early enough to play with Austin and Connor, then read some stories with them, then wrestle them into bed. I get to cuddle with them, say prayers with them, and then go hang out with my sister/best friend. Thursday nights are good. 

Last night Connor grabbed my face with both hands, looked at me intensely and said, "Tara, I really like you." I felt so loved! It amazes me how much love you can receive from a kid. It reminds me of how God feels about us. As Connor gets older he becomes more “useful” but there is still so much he can’t do. But I don’t love him because of his usefulness or ability, I love him because he is Connor and he is worth loving. When Connor does say he loves me, it isn't long or flowery or eloquent but it is honest and it means so much to me. I imagine this is similar to how God feels about us. We aren't that useful to Him (only in that He could do all things without us, but chooses to use us), we don’t have amazing superpowers, and I for one can’t wax eloquence about God without being repetitive, but He loves us wildly, completely and abundantly anyways, just for being us. That is good news.

I'm excited for Christmas - it'll be low on presents and high on good times. We will be totally moved by the 23rd, and will be going to church (I'm hosting the service, and our LG is hosting coffee) and then heading out to David & Carol's for a couple nights in Surrey. I love being out there at Christmas, it feels like family and holidays and it's so restful. We play board games and watch movies, and I love it. 

We'll leave there just after breakfast on Christmas Day and be heading back into Vancouver to spend the day time at the Maxwell's with my parents and Jodi. Connor and Austin will open our gifts and we'll all watch Elf and hang out. Then we'll be heading to my Auntie Debbie's house for Christmas with the whole Mitchell Clan, minus LeAnna (and her family) and Grandma. We haven't all been together on Christmas Day in years, so that will be a treat. 

Then bright and early Boxing Day morning we'll be heading down to Oregon with Katie's boyfriend Joel. We'll be leaving by 6am (gross) and hopefully arriving into Eugene by 2pm or 3pm! There we will get to see all the Eugene relatives as well as Nancy and Cris. And then on the 29th we will be heading back to Vancouver, stopping in Portland (Gresham, specifically) to have Mexican food with some friends. Busy but enjoyable. 

And back to consumerism.... This year I have done all of my Christmas shopping online and I'm SUPER pleased with my purchases. I only have two stores to go into for a final gift but both stores were already on my list of places I need to go in the last week before Christmas - Ikea and the Liquor Store. So they don't even warrant an extra trip!

While I was doing my online shopping for gifts I realized the necklaces I'd been loving online were on sale...I got 4 for $23!!! The originals retail for $150 and you can find them on etsy for $15 to $20, but a website called Pick your Plum had them for super cheap and I scored big time! I got them in turquoise, red, yellow and white/cream. Love. 

Here I am getting ready for Mom's birthday tea.




Then I realized how disgusting our mirror was and cleaned it. 


Phew, much better. That was gross. 

I tried wearing the turquoise one to work this week.


And with stripes



For these next pictures I have been most excited. 
I seem to have a thing for Chambray under a Sweater/Cardigan.
It makes sense because I've always loved a regular blouse under a sweater, so the Chambray  love is a natural progression for me. I keep pinning outfits that have those elements.


For the first time ever I feel like I finally understand how to dress, what loooks good on my body, and how to hit an appropriate level between comfort and style. I love getting dressed lately. 

I had never shopped before knowing what exactly what I wanted...now I go in with a list and an idea of how that list will look once I'm home. It helps me so much. Everything I've bought, I've bought because I have at least 3 or 4 ideas of how I want to wear it and how to make it work in any setting; work, church, home, etc. I love it. 

The best wins from the past while would for sure be my Chambray shirts from Old Navy in Blue Chambray, Grey Chambray and Polka Dot Chambray. I also love my brown boots from Steve Madden and my leggings and skinny jeans from Reitmans. 

Speaking of learning new things, the other night when we were at my mom's birthday party Leanne showed Jenna and I something that has blown my mind. First you should know that I am a chip fiend. I would way rather receive a bag of Lay's Salt & Vinegar on a date than a box of chocolates. Paul knows this and it's standard gift procedure around here. But chips are bad for me, hence why they aren't a daily food as I would prefer. Second you should know that I LOVE to cook with the microwave and any chance I get to use Tupperware or Pampered Chef or other brands of awesome that allow cooking in the microwave and make it tastier or easier than other types are my favorite. 

So, Leanne showed us the Pampered Chef Make-Your-Own Chips Set. You make healthy version of chips in the microwave within 5 minutes. I am in love. 



Then the very next day I was reading Erin @ Living in Yellow's blog and she mentioned using this chip maker as well! The internets know me so well! The set is $65. You can get just the two plates for less but I don't have a mandolin for cutting potatoes, so I would need the set. I bet you can guess what I'm saving up for, eh? OH MAN. It's like the invention God's read my mind! Microwave? Chips? Healthier chips? Ahhhhh!

Ok, I need to focus or I'll keep going on tangents. Really I mostly came here to tell you about my mom's birthday tea. I'll save my "I love my mom post" for her actual bday on Monday. 

My Mom's Alzheimer's has changed what birthdays look like. First off, my Mom used to LOVE big parties. But now the noise and craziness is too much for her and she can't follow conversation in big groups. She needs a more intimate setting. Second, my Mom has always had a lot of friends. She loves people and invests in relationships, but moving to Vancouver to be closer to us has meant a change in friendships, especially as she learns to builds new friendships while having Alzheimers. Thankfully the women of our church love mom so throwing a party for her was easy - actually trying to keep it small was the hardest part! We knew if it was any bigger than 10 she'd be overwhelmed or left out, so it was important to keep it small.

We decided to do a Christmas Carol Tea. That is a tea and a time of caroling. My Mom LOVES to sing. And she love sweets. Win Win. 

Leanna hosted us at her house.
The ladies all chipped in to bring food...


We enjoyed Tea and Coffee


And then Jodi came over to lead us in Carol's.
I forgot how much fun caroling is!


Here is Mom and her friend Lulu (Elizabeth) from Elementary School. They grew up together and now that they are both in Vancouver are good friends. 


Lulu and I


Me, Lulu, Mom and Jenna.


Mom's friend Linda was in town from the Island. My parents have been friends with Linda and her husband Dan for as long as I can remember. I think Mom and Dan were friends in College? Either way Linda and Dan were in town this week so Linda joined us for the party. 

Linda, Mom and Leone.


Us!
Me, Mom and Jenna





The party was a huge success - I love working with my sister to plan things. Not only was Mom blessed - she kept beaming and saying how great it was - but we also got to hang out with some awesome ladies and have great conversation. There were 8 of us in total and it was perfect. 

And once work ends I'm off for a weekend of house stuff - we get our keys tomorrow and pick up some free or cheap furniture. We start painting some rooms and making more plan. We also have a birthday party to go to AND a church Christmas party. Then 5 days of work, our big move and it's CHRISTMAS TIME. WOOOOO. 

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Black lace top. Hot. Love. Jealous.

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