Been a busy day here in Deerfield, Illinois, across the board. Up early to go and work out and then off to pick up Mikey’s birthday cake. The best cakes are in Northfield, so it is about a ten mile drive to pick it up. It is worth it. The cakes are beautiful, look too pretty to eat, and are worth every penny, none is ever wasted! Then back home and pulled the Christmas tree into the house and set it up, watered it, put on the lights, and decorated it. Quick lunch and then we went to the store to pick up the birthday/Christmas celebration dinner. Since Mikey will be out of town as will Christian, his older brother, wife , and child; today is Christmas chez Koerner.
We are always late in setting up the tree. Late that is, compared to others in our area. We generally do it about a week before Christmas and then keep it up until just past New Year’s Day. There IS no question about having an artificial tree, Mary Kay and I have fortunately or unfortunately created such traditions that we are not allowed to change. Our Fraser Fur shall do the trick and it looks pretty nice. Most of our ornaments have some sort of meaning: bought in Hungary, handmade by some family member, or perhaps purchased at some point because we just really liked it. Tinsel is not done, ever. We have done popcorn garlands and sometimes put cranberries in, but this tree is not an example of that.
This year we have a lot to celebrate. Samantha is having her second Christmas and it shall be a fun one as she is almost two. Mikey is in town, we miss him terribly and he has had much trauma in the past year since divorce was a part of it and there have been ups and downs with his job. The older boys’ business dissolved but each young man is moving in a positive direction job wise. Richie and Emily are engaged, that is the biggest celebration of all and we have a temporary stocking for Emily on the mantel. Temporary in that Mary Kay has taken it upon herself to hand make each individual stocking. The only ones not currently made by her are hers and mine and Samantha’s.
Although the youngest son we have is now twenty-six, we still do stockings at Christmas. Apparently I am so good at it they will not allow me to stop. I must say, my mom taught me all I know about shopping for stockings. Although funds were never over abundant when I was growing up, my mother really knew how to stretch a buck and stockings were her forte. She would find all sorts of things that you often don’t think of buying for yourself: pens, pads of paper, your favorite candy. I find cool things like mini things of super glue, tools, funny things, all usually under a couple of dollars. I start first thing in January and collect all year, then assess at Christmastime. It is a lot of fun.
We were going to have a ham dinner, but Mikey begged for something simpler: Rib eye steaks, twice baked potatoes, salad, rolls, and, of course, a Three Tarts Cake. I am pleased, as ham is great in sandwiches but not my favorite main course.
We are all looking forward to it and I am hoping that I will get my chance to get a picture of all of us. Doing that has never been easy. I have been taking pictures of everyone since they were born, driven them all crazy even. You would think they would be used to it, but that isn’t always the case. I would like to blame it on my father who was an amazing amateur photographer. I document just about everything I see and do.
An aside here, I was pleased to receive an e-mail from a very dear French friend I haven’t heard from in a while who told me she was so enjoying keeping in touch with our activities through my blog. My response is, “Bisous à tous, vous me manquez tellement, j’ai hâte de pouvoir vous rendre visite… » I am also so pleased to be in touch again with a long lost friend from grad school. I cannot wait to visit him in Boston, we have so much to catch up on.
More info later, have to get ready for a joyous get together!