Christmas is over for another year. It's not always an easy time for everyone, but I hope yours had more peace than stress.
Last Friday, Ella turned 5. That's so hard to believe. We celebrated her birthday by going to see the new Grinch movie. Christa made the cutest Grinch cupcakes. But then scraped the red frosting off before anyone ate it, because although it looks good, sometimes that paste food coloring is yucky.
I made some last-minute pillowcases--aka gift bags for new pajamas for the grandkids.
Haha, Part 1.
Haha, Part 2. Just a thought...
We alternate our Christmas celebration time with Christa's family. This year it was our turn for Christmas Eve.
We had some snacks (Grinch fruit skewers especially for Ella) and opened stocking stuffers.
We played Christmas Family Feud. I purchased an interactive game from Etsy, and it was actually pretty fun--and easy enough for all ages.
Then we ate dinner, a red and green dinner: stuffed pasta shells (marinara sauce, stuffed with ricotta and spinach), fruit salad (strawberries, kiwi, raspberries), and spinach salad (with craisins and feta cheese).
After dinner, we went to the Christmas Eve service at church, a lovely low-key service with familiar carols and candlelight.
Then it was back home for snacks and gifts.
Aaron made this cool Christmas tree (he wasn't able to find green flour tortillas, but the red ones were just fine). I forgot to take a picture, but he also made awesome cranberry bliss bars--as good as the ones you get at Starbucks.
Somehow magnetic snowman was turned on his head.
Our adorable Christmas Santas.
Mark had the funny idea of telling the kids they were each getting their own iPad. At least when he told them, they were thinking "iPad." However, what they each got was really just an "eye pad." Haha. They were good sports about it.
It was such a fun and relaxing evening. The adults don't exchange gifts. But every year, I know that the best gift I could ever receive is time spent with these dear ones whom I love so very much.
On Christmas morning, Mark and I did what we do every year--head over to Dennys for breakfast. We always look around and secretly pay for someone's breakfast. And yes, I often feel like this...
Later in the afternoon, we went to Reedley and had dinner with my father, and then drove him and my aunt around town to see the Christmas lights. I'm not sure how long he will remember it, but it was a fun evening. I forgot to take pictures, but Aaron, Christa and the kids went there yesterday and took these.
Today I was ready for Christmas to be packed away.
I always get a sentimental about this ornament--the first one we received shortly after we got engaged, handmade by a very dear friend.
My favorite Christmas wrapping paper this year.
Mark made this nativity scene over 40 years ago. We should have taken a picture of it before we took it apart, because then we couldn't remember how to get it back in the frame.
Before the calendar turns over to 2019, I'm organizing my fabric and reflecting on the goals I had for 2018. Hmmm....I didn't make much progress. Although I did make several quilts that were not even in my dreams when I made this list.
I want to document by far the most unusual thing that has happened to me on social media, as it is unlikely to ever happen again. I had posted my Christmas in the City quilt on Instagram in late November. It's not a new quilt--people have seen it before. But as I walked through our dining room one afternoon, the room looked so pretty. I didn't spend any time staging the picture, didn't do any editing, and didn't add hashtags. It then ended up getting by far the most "likes" of any picture I posted the entire year, over 1,100! Which just goes to show you--you can try to figure out the Instagram algorithm, but you really can't.
Then Make Modern Magazine (an excellent digital magazine written by three oustanding quilters from Australia) reposted it on their Instagram feed. And what?? Nearly 6,000 likes?? Mind blowing.
I still hope to write some posts about quilts I completed in 2018. If that doesn't happen, then I'll see you in 2019. :)