Friday, December 23, 2011

Can You Keep a Secret???

I'm really terrible at keeping a secret. Ask my 16 year old daughter. On multiple occasions she's made the mistake of telling me the boy she has a crush on and usually within the hour I've spilled the beans to everyone I've come in contact with.

So you can imagine how difficult it is for me to keep THIS a secret. If you were going to be giving your husband a puppy this cute for Christmas would you be able to keep it to yourself? I didn't think so!

Luckily, he doesn't read my blog so I can safely blab my news all I want, trusting YOU to keep it a secret.

The kids and I wrapped up a new collar and leash with a picture for him to unwrap on Christmas morning and later that day we'll pick up the puppy.

We came up with a secret hand signal (scratching next to our lip) when we want to tell each other that we're thinking about the puppy. So far my husband hasn't suspected anything's up, although he might think we've got an outbreak of eczema in the family.

Do you think I'll make it two more days without telling? I hope so.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Merry Whatever: It's Time for a Contest

It doesn't matter what you're celebrating this time of year, one thing we can all get excited about is a contest... and it's been a while since I've had one. So with just enough time to squeeze one more fantastic give away in before the new year rolls around I'm going to be giving away a piece of original artwork.

I hope you want to win it for yourself, but even if you don't, just imagine the regifting possibilities. Up for grabs is "Lone Chickadee", an original painting on vintage paper from the late 1800s (shown above).

To Enter: all you have to do is to leave me a comment below telling me what present you would buy if you had unlimited funds and who you'd give it to. (Today I was wishing I could buy a new car for my favorite checkout girl at Fresh Market.)

All of you new followers, don't forget to mention that you're new to my blog and I'll throw in an extra entry for you.

As always, I'll give extra entries for spreading the word. So if you blog about my contest, post it on facebook or tweet about it, I'll throw in an extra entry for you too. Just don't forget to tell me that you did it so that I can give you credit.

The contest will end on the stroke of midnight December 31st. And I'll be posting the winner on New Year's Day.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Cheer and a Few Swear Words

Yesterday I almost turned into one of those parents whose children grow up to lament them. For a moment the future flashed before my eyes (if such a thing can really happen, although I assure you I saw it vividly) as I imagined my children telling the story about the time their mother ruined Christmas by taking a chainsaw to the tree.

I didn't intend to spoil things. We were all happily gathering in the living room to decorate the tree. My oldest daughter was in the kitchen fixing hot chocolate and my husband was picking out Christmas music on the stereo (well, really ipod, but that sounds less romantic).

And everything was going fine. I'd been put in charge of stringing the lights on the tree, which I suppose we all should have had the foresight to know might not end well, but... there I was anyway, untangling lights and checking to make sure that they worked before I put them up. 

It seemed like everything was going well. I'd asked my husband to find an extension cord so that I could plug all the lights together and turn them on while I put them on the tree so that it would be easier to see where I was placing them, but for some reason (maybe the music selection was distracting him), he didn't get me one.

Well, by the time I got to the bottom of the tree I'd royally messed things up. Somewhere along the line I'd plugged in the wrong end of a strand so when I got to the bottom we were left with the socket end instead of the prong end. Of course my initial reaction was to roll my eyes and blame the person who was supposed to have gotten me an extension cord. Said person then became angry at being blamed and stormed out of the room for a "time out".

After much cursing underneath my breath (and maybe over top my breath too), I finally stormed out too and went to lay on my bed to contemplate divorce during the holidays. Luckily, when I came back my twelve year old son had fixed all the lights and the happy evening that we'd been imagining commenced along with some cups of hot chocolate and a heaping helping of apologies from me.

The moral of the story is: don't attempt to put up the lights. Some things are better left to more competent people.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My Top Ten Favorite YA Books of 2011

Okay, so I know that the year isn't over yet and I could probably still fit in anther few books before 2012 rolls around, but I thought I'd post a list of some of the best YA books I've read this year.

I always love finding lists of other people's favorite books, especially if I see that they share my same tastes. And we all know how much I love me a good, tasty list.

I must preface my list by saying that although many of the books I read this year were also published in 2011, the books from my list are compiled from books that I read this year, regardless of the year they were published. Man, there were a LOT of good ones, but here are my top ten (in no particular order).

So many amazing books to choose from. I hope you love some of these as much as I did. And if you read something great that I just HAVE to read. Please let me know. I'll add it to my list of what I must read next year (or if I can sneak it in, maybe this one).