So. How are things?
I hope y’all had a wonderful Christmas. We had most of our family here with us in Birmingham, and even though my kitchen was in about seventeen states of disarray on Christmas Eve, Sister came to my rescue and helped me get everything presentable for Christmas Day. We had people working on our kitchen the week leading up to the 25th, so it felt like a huge relief to finally clear away some of the piles and make that end of the house a little more livable. We’re still not finished with the kitchen – cabinet doors are hopefully being installed tomorrow – but I’ve already enjoyed our countertops and backsplash so much. Having actual cabinet doors (and hardware!) will feel very fancy after the last couple of weeks of the “open shelving” look.
(There are some people who were born with the organizational skills to have open shelves in the kitchen.)
(I am not one of those people.)
We actually ordered our Christmas meal this year since we didn’t know if we’d have a fully operational kitchen, and while I don’t know that I’d want to do the same thing every year, I have to say that it was very nice to just warm up some pans-o-food and call it a day. My sister and sister-in-law were kind enough to supplement what we’d ordered, so we ended up with more than plenty. The best part was that clean-up was a dream, and I didn’t even have to load the dishwasher because my brother went straight to the kitchen and GOT AFTER IT when supper was over. We all missed Mama but did our best to focus on the happy instead of the sad. Sister and I had some good laughs on Christmas Eve about how alarmed Mama would have been about the state of my Christmas linens. Ironing has never been one of my spiritual gifts.
Everybody headed home the day after Christmas, so after I straightened up the house a little bit, I found me a spot on the couch and watched an obnoxious amount of football. First was the Bulldogs and their bowl game, then a replay of the 2007 Egg Bowl, then the Cowboys vs. the Lions. Tuesday I managed to stay in my pajamas all day long (glory!), and I spent a good part of the morning listening to every George Michael song I could find (I have been so sad about his death – and I have such happy memories associated with his music). After I listened to “Freedom 90” for roughly the 16th time, I took down all the Christmas decorations, put everything away, washed a couple of loads of laundry, and basically tried to be slightly more productive than the previous day’s football-a-thon.
Baby steps, you know.
Yesterday David and I went to see Manchester by the Sea. The language was terrible, but I really loved the structure of the story. Lots to talk about afterwards, too. I got so tickled when we were leaving the theater, though, because a lady who’d been sitting in front of us was standing in the hallway (breezeway? corridor? I am unsure of the terminology), and she turned to her friend and said, “Well, I have never seen so much HURT in my whole life.” That’s a pretty good description.
Today we went to see La La Land, and OH. MY. GOODNESS. I loved it so much. I would even go so far as to say that I was captivated by it. Also: there were a couple of parts where I had to will myself not to cry openly. It is visually stunning, crazy compelling, and such a treat all the way around. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack ever since we got home, and I think I may need to see it again. For whatever reason it was completely inspiring to me. It’s nostalgic and modern all at the same time – just a beautiful movie all the way around. Big thumbs up from me.
And oh! How could I forget to share some of the biggest news of Christmas 2016?
A couple of podcasts ago Melanie and I had a discussion about how she wanted to create a coffee bar in her new cabinets. She ended up going with a different plan, but I kept thinking about the whole coffee bar idea and wondering if there was a better spot for the coffee stuff in our kitchen. I don’t have a whole lot of counter space, and I’ve never really had all of our coffee stuff arranged logically, truth be told. So when Sister and I were trying to bring some order to the kitchen chaos on Christmas Eve, I said, “Hey – do you think it would work if I moved the coffee stuff to the desk by the breakfast room table?” It’s not next to the sink, but we always fill up our Keurig with water from the refrigerator – and the desk is right by the refrigerator. There’s also a cabinet above the desk that I’ve always used for cookbooks, but there was no reason why I couldn’t rearrange a little and move all of our coffee mugs to the bottom shelf of that cabinet.
Well. Y’all. IT HAS CHANGED MY WHOLE LIFE.
It’s the best thing ever. I put a little trash can under the desk to make it simple to throw away coffee pods and sweetener packets, and we have WORN OUT that little area in the last week. It was so nice when we had a house full of company because they could fix coffee without being in the middle of the kitchen traffic, not to mention that I felt like I gained a few square feet of kitchen counter space just by moving the coffeemaker off of the countertops.
And that little framed saying above the desk? My aunt Ginger gave it to Mama before I was born. It used to hang by Mama’s breakfast room table when I was little, and it’s been fun to pay a little more attention to it over the last week or so.
So. That’s Christmas 2016 for us. Lots of family, lots of football, a couple of movies, and a new coffee station in the kitchen.
Can you even stand all the excitement?
We’ll probably line up some naps and a re-watch marathon of the last season of Sherlock for New Year’s Eve.
We like to keep it crazy, you know.