on christmas eve

It’s Christmas Eve, and as I type this — with my hands smelling of butter and vanilla — the pumpkin pies are baking in the oven, the cornbread dressing has been prepared and is awaiting its final bake tomorrow, the sugar cookies for Santa have been decorated, there is a fresh batch of fudge cooling on the counter, and the kids are riding their bikes outside.

It’s unseasonably warm — close to 80 degrees this last week. I’ve done my fair share of complaining about the warmth, but truthfully, it’s great weather for sending the kids outside to play. And, boy have mine needed to get out and run some energy off.

Our Elf on the Shelf, Ollie, has been probably been filling Santa’s ear with enough fodder for years to come. Madeline has been the sweetest child ever, but Oliver…well, Oliver is a boy and he’s five. That’s probably all I need to say for you to understand what we’re going through. Ollie the Elf got ticked off this morning at Oliver’s behavior and took a hike back to the North Pole earlier than planned. Turns out that Ollie leaving early seems to have helped matters some.

I’m just thankful that the Elf finally had a positive impact on behavior. We’ve sure waited long enough.

So, tomorrow is Christmas. What I’m most looking forward to is spending tomorrow with my family. The kids will wake us up early, but the excitement on their faces as they open their presents and dig through their stockings will be worth any amount of aggravation from lost sleep. My parents and in-laws will come over for an afternoon meal, filled with more food than any of us can eat. I’ll be thinking of my sweet brother, who won’t be with us tomorrow but who I’ll hopefully get to see again in the spring.

The beauty of Christmas is that there are no expectations for the day, other than to relax, enjoy each others’ company, feel blessed, and of course, to eat well.

And, of course, we’ve mastered the eating well part.

My wish to you is that — whether you’re celebrating Christmas or not — you enjoy a day filled with love, joyfulness, beauty, and peace. Thank you for being a part of my life. I’m grateful to you for that.


*Photos by Shandon of Lifeprints Photography.



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13 Responses to “a few updates and a bit of housekeeping”

  1. Paula — December 13, 2011 @ 9:13 pm

    Thank you for posting a pic of your shoes. They are as pretty as I had thought they’d be. I don’t know how you or anyone walks in a stiletto heel…I know I can’t though I wish I could sometimes (5’2″ could use all the help:) Happy belated birthday to your daughter. What a lovely birthday present for her! Going to check out your guest post now, I like your kitchen *style*

  2. Adrienne — December 13, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

    Those are gorgeous. But look oh-so-painful!

  3. Winnie — December 13, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

    OMG. Those shoes are crazy beautiful, MJ! Thanks for keeping us posted as to what you’ve been up to, and I will check out the guest post now 🙂

  4. Brian @ A Thought For Food — December 13, 2011 @ 10:18 pm

    Who needs food when you have such fabulous fashion to post about? 🙂

  5. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — December 13, 2011 @ 10:47 pm

    Those gold stilettos are GOR-GEOUS, MJ!! You will definitely rock them. I am all for fashion over comfort. 🙂

  6. DessertForTwo — December 13, 2011 @ 11:06 pm

    Oh the shoes! Oh my! Gorgeous! (just like you!)


  7. Denise @ Creative Kitchen — December 13, 2011 @ 11:28 pm

    We love Disney!! Glad you got away as a family. Love your kitchen…we also have an island and love it!

  8. Lillian (Unstitched.) — December 14, 2011 @ 3:06 am

    Aw, thank you so much for the sweet words! 🙂 And, of course, thank you SO MUCH for sharing your lovely (and yes, STYLISH) kitchen!!

  9. tina — December 14, 2011 @ 6:49 am

    So focused on your shoes that I don’t know what dish you wrote about. My calves hurt and I am dizzy, but those shoes are gorgeous!

  10. tina — December 14, 2011 @ 6:50 am

    Just realized you wrote about about Brussels Sprouts on Unstitiched.

  11. Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — December 14, 2011 @ 8:47 am

    Wow, those are seriously amazing shoes! They would make me at least 6’2″ so I’ll live vicariously through you and your hot shoes 🙂
    Love your kitchen too, btw!

  12. Nicole — December 15, 2011 @ 9:56 pm

    Those shoes are hot! Love them.

  13. Anneliesz — December 30, 2011 @ 7:52 pm

    Those gold stilettoes are glorious & fun! Perfect souvenir from

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