Also, 2012 was our second Christmas without my mother-in-law, and honestly, I don't know how to do Christmas with her family without her. Since I married Will eight years ago, it's always worked out for us to spend Christmas Eve and several days after with her, and the days leading up to New Year's with my family. Phyllis loved Christmas and took care of everything, I just helped out when needed. As I stood at the sink peeling potatoes on Christmas Day with her three boys and my own two children in the next room, all I could think was, "Phyllis should be here." She should be, but she isn't. How to move on? I don't have the slightest clue, but you can bet that I'll be spending a whole lot of time in 2013 reflecting on our Christmases with her, and figuring out what our new traditions might look like. It will never, ever be the same, and I would never even dream of trying to fill her shoes - nobody ever could. But I think we can come up with some fun new traditions while still honoring some of hers. I'm definitely not expecting this to happen all at once, but hopefully some year in the not-so-distant future we'll be able to find some sort of rhythm. We'll see.
Yes, she's wearing a lot of pink. I promise it just worked out that way. I definitely didn't plan that. Ahem.
After we got home, she turned into Baby-Zilla and decided to hop in the barn and squash all the animals. I tried to stop her, but she was determined. She's awfully independent, that girl.
On Friday night, Tommy, Annabel, and I (poor Will had a meeting and couldn't come) headed to the city with my in-laws for some outdoor ice skating! I love ice skating and hadn't had a chance to take Tommy yet, so I was beyond excited for the chance to take my favorite boy out on the ice. The entire night was completely hilarious with Tommy's feet going every which way but straight. It was like that scene in Harry Potter (yes, I'm a huge fan of HP...come on, who isn't?!) when Ron is facing the Boggert that turns into a huge spider, and to get rid of it, he imagines it with roller skates. Remember that? When all eight of the spiders legs start rolling all over the place? Yeah, that was Tommy. Here are a few things I learned from this experience:
1. Ice skating is much harder than it looks. At least when you've never even been on inline skates before as was the case for my father-in-law (who did much better than I thought he would!) and Tommy.
2. 30 is decidedly not the new 20 when it comes to holding up a 45lb five-year-old while simultaneously trying not to fall yourself. My right shoulder is still sore.
3. I'm much better on ice skates than I thought. I didn't fall once, even when Tommy lost his footing and slid right into my ankles...on more than one occasion.
4. Wearing a helmet while ice skating may sound crazy uncool, but it turned out to be crazy necessary for the few times that I didn't manage to catch my flailing boy.
5. Ice skating outside in a city on a cold winter night is SO FUN. I highly recommend it.
|Down he goes...again!|
|Laughing hysterically and unable to stand up.|
On Saturday morning, after all that skating the night before, I woke up wanting bread. But not grocery store bread. Real, homemade bread. So I opened up my Bread Bible to the recipe for Vienna Bread (one of my favorites - butter and milk give it a great flavor) and got to work. There's not a ton of hands-on time if you're working with a stand mixer like I was, but it has to rise for a total of four hours. So several hours later, I pulled these beauties out of the oven:
I wish I could hand you a hunk slathered in butter and apricot jam. Or a thin slice toasted up with butter, radish slices, and salt and pepper. Or a big thick piece with mashed avocado, lemon juice, salt and pepper. But since I can't, you'll just have to trust me on this: it's good.
We ended Saturday at a 3rd birthday party for a sweet friend of ours. There ended up being six little boys there who got into a legit twenty-minute wrestling match. Tommy loved it!
On Sunday we spent the entire morning at church, came home for a quiet afternoon of movie-watching and playing with trucks (Annabel took a three-hour nap!), and then we headed over to a friends house for an after-Christmas/Redskins-watching party. Annabel was getting pretty tired by 6:45 so we headed home for the sad conclusion of the game, but it was fun to watch the beginning with a big crowd.
At any rate, we had a great weekend! What were you up to? Have a great first full week of 2013!