Friday, December 31, 2010

December Wrap-up Part 3

Wow, am I finished yet?

Christmas Eve (or Christmas Eades as Reagan Spence called it) rolled around and found Patrick too sick to participate in the festivities. The kids went on to the Christmas Eve service at Redeemer Presbyterian while Patrick and I stayed home. We did meet up with the kids at our church for communion before they headed to our friends, the Wilkersons, for an oyster roast.

Alyssa: talking with her oyster knife. Should she be allowed to wave a sharp object like that?

Popping in an oyster. No one loves them more than Alyssa.

Not sure why there is no picture of Victoria...but she really was there too.

Christmas day rolled around and once Kevin finally dragged himself out of bed, we opened presents, ate breakfast and then prepared lunch for Patrick's family. Everyone chipped in and we had a small feast.
,Passing out the presents - someone's gotta do it.

Car speakers...just what he wanted. A fun project for he and Patrick later.

Her children are so going to make fun of these boots some day.

That's really all she wanted for Christmas...a picture of Zenyatta.

Victoria looking surprised

My Christmas morning piece de resistance:Gingerbread cookies from Cathy Dart

The kids had been groaning about me giving away several dozen of her cookies so they were very surprised to find a plate full on Christmas morning.

On the 26th we were thrilled to hear from Becky and Patrick, so they stopped in for a short visit on their way to Jacksonville from Beaufort.

,Patrick and Becky with Grandma and Grandpa

The whole crew minus Patrick and Mark.

It has been a wonderful Christmas season filled with special memories. I continue to be so thankful for all our family, far and near. I am blessed beyond measure.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

December Wrap-up Part 2

After deciding we simply couldn't have crammed any more into a weekend, we reflected on the Nutcracker, church play and luncheon for about, well.. a few seconds and then moved on to the next big event: the Holly Jolly Christmas Ball at Stately Eades Manor.

Prep for the Christmas ball is unique in that I don't obsess about how clean the house is (they're teenagers for goodness sake, and they won't notice whether it's clean or not), but I do have a tremendous amount of work to do to prepare the dance floor. Serious amounts of furniture moving, rug rolling and general rearranging has to happen in order for 2o or 30 people to line dance in the living room.

Alyssa and Nikole Brown were the masterminds behind this year's ball. They pared down the number of invites this year in order to achieve a more intimate group. Look at the pictures and see how they fared. Not sure what the criteria was for making the A list, but apparently I'm still on it. In keeping with the event being Alyssa and Nikole's baby, Alyssa made much of the food, and the Brown family rounded out the menu with their additions. I LOVE having big kids take over some of my former duties.

Yes, that's a sofa in my dining room, and my table with ALL the leaves removed. Odd looking, but it clears the dance floor.

Slide to the right?


Kevin and Lauren...aren't they cute?

Alyssa and Samantha Walton - good friends for, oh my, nearly 18 years.

Kevin? Hanging out with the girls? Surely not?

Raegan and her "creeper eyes"

The end of a long night, but still smiling.

A bit of clean up happened and then the next day we moved on to Patrick's birthday and the Shady Oaks Christmas Party. Every other year they dress up the horses and have a costume contest. I had been mulling an idea over since the last contest two years ago: surely I could combine my Nutcracker costuming skills and this contest. The result: Lacey the Sugar Plum Fairy WINS!!!

First we gave her pointe shoes.

Then we added a tutu, a feather boa, flowers and a tiara.

We tried to give her stage make-up, but she wanted nothing to do with lipstick.

And, the final touch was going to be me braiding her tail and tying it with a pink ribbon. Guess she told me what she thought of that idea. I was tenacious and finished (after Hannah scooped up the presents Lacey left us).

Here they are: off to be judged!

We couldn't stick around for the Low Country Boil as we had to move on to the next event - birthday dinner with the whole Eades clan at Longhorn's to celebrate Patrick's and Chrissy's birthdays.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December Wrap-up Part 1

It seems I always do this. Fail to make time to blog and then blast my readers (my precious few) with whirlwind trip through December. Sorry, so sorry. Here it is again.

Once the Saturday trip to Jax to see the Rockettes passed, everything seemed to move at warp speed. Amazingly, I kept my paws out of Nutcracker costuming, and it turns out to be God's grace and mercy that I wasn't involved. The Sunday before Nutcracker our dear former pastor, mentor and friend, Don Johnson, went home to be with the Lord. While not unexpected, it still seemed sudden and shocking. We grieved but also celebrated a life well lived. I think I would have completely melted down had people actually been depending on me to fulfill costuming responsibilities.

Nutcracker weekend was also Children's Play weekend. Yep, our little actress and dancer had four performances in three days. She amazes me - the ease with which she handles the pressure of performances.

In the church play, "It's a Wonder-Full Life", Victoria played Miss Tune, a character roughly based on Miss Darbus in High School Musical (thus, the salt and pepper wig to give her some age).

Victoria hams it up as Miss Tune.

Choir member in the second part of the play.

Yes...Victoria is IN that box.

Harlequin Doll


And as if THAT wasn't enough for one weekend, Monday rolled around and was the famous Staff Luncheon at Stately Eades Manor. The menu came almost straight out of the 2005 Christmas with Southern Living book. I'd been longing to try the coffee crusted individual beef wellington (for 5 years you ask...yes, I'm a little gun shy about something that sounds so sophisticated) and finally worked up the courage. They were incredible, if I do say so myself; but then when isn't filet mignon wonderful? If you come to my house for dinner any time soon, that is probably what I'll serve you.

Ready and waiting for them to arrive.

Chocolate Creme Brulee for dessert!

My very silly wait staff. Next year I should require them to be more properly attired.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The girls and I FINALLY saw the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. For years we've talked about catching the show in Nashville over Thanksgiving weekend, but we never want to miss any of the precious little time we have with the grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins all together. We took along Victoria's friend Dana. What a privilege to take her at her first big show. At intermission the house lights came up and the voice boomed "We will now take a 15 minute intermission before the remainder of the show." Dana's face lit up as she incredulously said, "It's not over? There's another half?" That was a priceless Christmas gift.

Pre-show they look excited?

Something must be very interesting in that book about the Rockettes. Aunt Cynthia is always game for a show, and this time we dragged her and Patrick's parents along, too. the roasted pecans and cashews weren't as good as the Nuts for Nuts vendor's wares in NYC, but they were close.

We've discovered the lower balcony is the only way to go for short people who can barely see over the heads in the row in front of them.

And the next show on the "must see" list is.....

Friday, November 19, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

It has come to my attention that Patrick's staff Christmas party (a luncheon hosted by moi) is the Monday following the weekend in which Victoria performs in the Nutcracker AND the children's play at church. Soooo, I'm tackling Christmas decorating this weekend and then will only have the tree to do after we return from Thanksgiving break in Tennessee.

Oh, and I'm open to suggestions for creative lunch ideas (ideally that can be made ahead of time or are amazingly simple, yet elegant).
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Sunday, November 14, 2010

No Good Deed...

Goes Unpunished

That's our saying for those times when you think you are doing a good turn to your fellow man, but instead the tables turn and you find yourself being punished for your virtue. For whatever reason, I seem to be on a roll lately. Today's lunch episode was the perfect example.

I haplessly walked toward the drink counter and discovered a young family who had turned on the peach tea urn only to find themselves unable to turn it off. After filling all their cups with the sweet amber concoction, it quickly overflowed the black mat meant to catch stray drips, started running all over the stainless steel counter and would soon be flowing off the front of the counter onto the floor. While they fiddled with the nozzle I instinctively shoved my water cup under the flow to stem the tide of tea which was pretty much covering a good portion of the counter. My quick thinking husband managed to adjust the spigot but not until my cup had overflowed. As I pondered how to move my cup that was filled to the tip-top with a drink I don't even like, a Shane's employees finally showed up, and the family explained what had happened. I was thinking I needed a tray or something to catch the inevitable spills that would occur when I tried to carry the cup to the trash can to dispose of the tea, so I say "Uh, I don't want this drink, so...." Without even letting me finish my sentence, she retorts, "You know that's a water cup and you're not supposed to have tea in it."

What can I say, guilty as charged. Honest to goodness, what happened next was a complete accident. As I reached toward the cup thinking I didn't care if it spilled all over the place I said, "Well, I was just trying to be helpful..." and somehow I bumped the cup and spilled the contents all over the counter. No, I didn't even apologize since that's where the tea rightfully belonged. Certainly it should NEVER have been in my water cup.

So does this happen to anyone else, or am I the only one who finds myself punished for my attempts to do a good deed?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dance Revolution 2010

A host of kids from the dance studio attended Dance Revolution in Orlando last weekend. I've never tagged along, but Victoria always comes home with stories of amazing instructors and hilarious tales of the ride to and from their destination. This year she rode down with a dear friend of mine and her daughter. Victoria and this particular friend always seem to bring out the silliest side of each other. A few days before the trip Victoria suggested I make sure she has extra batteries for the camera. Hmmm...wonder what they would need that for?

Victoria with one of her dance teachers and a friend (the one who is not camera shy)


Victoria posing with some instructors - fun times!

The big surprise came Sunday afternoon when Victoria was selected from all the junior dancers who auditioned to be the recipient of a full scholarship to a Dance Revolution convention next year. Woo hoo, Victoria. Great job!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My youngest (who fancies herself a queen) has started a blog. I think she just wants a place to record Caitlyn's antics, and that's good. Someday we might actually have a record of the funny things she says and does as opposed to what my kids have: memories treasured in the heart of their mother. Unfortunately those priceless moments are subject to their mother's ability to recall them. Sad, but true.

Here's Caitlyn practicing for Halloween.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The McGladrey Classic

Saturday, Patrick nabbed a couple of free tickets for the McGladrey Classic, a new event on the fall PGA tour. While I have been in Sea Island's Lodge (see above photo), I'd never set foot on one of the golf courses. I've only been to one other PGA event, the Heritage Classic on Hilton Head, so this was a real treat for me.

Five Favs
1. The weather = perfect. Couldn't have been better. Honestly, that picture above - that's how it looked. Blue skies, sunshine, slight breeze.
2. The fans. I've been to more than my share of sporting events, but golf is like no other. What other professional sporting event has a crowd of several hundred people who become silent because some guy inside the ropes wearing a polo shirt raises his hands? We joined the very large group following our local hero, Davis Love III. Despite the jockeying for a nice vantage point, you never saw anyone being pushy, rude or cross. Lovely, golf fans are lovely.
3. The pros. What other sporting event do you get to be so close you could touch the celebrities you are there to watch? Matt Kuchar, the pro Davis was paired with,was genuinely kind to the fans. He gave an autographed ball to a young boy after sinking a putt on the 5th hole, and he signed autographs after he finished his round. He looked fans in the eye, acknowledging that we existed. Kuchar is this year's leading money winner on the tour. I can't picture the highest paid player in any other sport chatting with fans and signing caps after they have put in a full day's work.
4. The venue. I'm not even going to try to describe it. Nathan Green, the pro that was in the foursome Kevin caddied for in the pro-am on Wednesday, said the course was nicer than some other places that host PGA events.

5. The company. I spent five wonderful hours with my dear husband. What a fabulous way to spend an October Saturday. I'd post a picture of us...but no such thing exists. The list of forbidden items was long and included cell phones and cameras, so you'll just have to take my word that we were actually there.