Christmas Card Rejects.

It’s that time of year again.


Time to roll out the holly, fill your cup up with egg nog, bake something and send out the Christmas Cards!

Now, we’ve talked about our card already here, about how, regardless of our small little family, I chose a photo of Husband and I sitting on a cooler at a music festival after a few drinks and a few hours in the sun and dust.

Christmas card 2

I think it’s festive in its own way, you know, minus the roaring fire, twinkling tree and coordinating Christmas sweaters.

It will do just fine I think. It has to.

Because it was our only choice.

I’ve mentioned this before, a few years back, that each time the holidays roll around I’m faced with the dilemma of finding a suitable photo of my Husband and I that doesn’t make our friends and family concerned for 1) Our Relationship and 2) Our Mental Health.

It’s a tough task.


And after spending the last few years traipsing around the countryside photographing beautiful families and beautiful couples and sending them off into the holidays armed with at least one or two catalog worthy shots, I have yet to coordinate my own JCrew photo shoot for me and my man.

We are not photogenic.

We are awkward.

And this is our catalog…

IMG_2733Merry Christmas (and no, our house still isn’t done)

Happy Holidays from my nose and his beard

DSCN6339Warm wishes from Florida. We’re not tourists. And no, this isn’t Husband’s first time to Disney World, no matter what the button on his polo says. 

Celebrate! The Dweebs have been released from the ranch!

IMG_2434 Happy Festivus…IMG_2510 No,no, we haven’t been drinking.  

Aww, cute, we should cuddle up in front of the tree…take off your cap and act like you like me…
Nevermind, put it back on…
Uhhh, Happy New Year?

Good tidings from the Scofields…and the creepy guy behind us…

Sweet dance moves…
Sweet dance moves…
  IMG_6143An attempt before…IMG_6258  It all went horribly wrong…(and I’m not just talking about my hair)

IMG_9481Do we love each other? Yes. Are we having fun? Of course. 
Does it look like it? No. No it does not.

IMG_8243Aww anyway…IMG_8244 Here’s to good cheer. 

Happy Happy Christmas Card Season One and All!
Hope the catalog of your beautiful life has more options than ours.

Peace, Love and awkward family photos,
Jessie & Chad

(Oh, and the dogs too)



Happy New Year Life is Beautiful

Happy 2014 everyone. Looks like we made it another year, despite my overconsumption of champagne and cream based party dips over the past several weeks.

We rang in the New Year with style and class as always here at our humble abode under homemade party hats constructed out of Red Solo cups, because these are the things we resort to when there’s not a New Years headband to be found for miles.


And we’re crafty, you know.

That’s my cousin on the left. And now he’s gonna kill me.

Or something like that…

Anyway, yesterday when the smoke had cleared from the unsuccessful egg bake I attempted to make for my guests, Husband and I shuffled around the house, ate leftover dip and pasta and reminisced a bit about the year we left behind us.

We both came to the conclusion that it went too fast. So fast, that most of our memories are a blur.

But there are some favorites we could agree on, fun little tidbits of 2013 that will hang on with us forever.

Like making a bon fire and attempting to curl on the stock dam and sled down the big hill outside our house with all the friends we could convince to come and visit us,

the long trip to Montana to sing under the mountains,

my cousin’s wedding that brought all the relatives together,

the arrival of the cabin on the spot the old house used to sit,

the construction of the deck and celebrating turning 30 under the stars.

It was the year of the wild berries and impossible hornets,

Pops’ Trail 90, a Disney Extravaganza, the slow destruction of my windshield and the pug’s motivation

and what feels like a million words written and a thousand songs sung.

It was the year of Juno,

a big March snow storm,

so much rain we never got out of the mud,

the coldest December of my life, a master bathroom project that threatened to end me and some of the best horses we’ve ever had on this place.

It was the year we didn’t quite get what we wanted but tried our damnedest anyway.

It was a good year, one, as always, spent behind the camera.

Because life is beautiful.













Thanks for all the love friends. Here’s to good friends, good wine, good tunes and good times in 2014!

Sunday Column: Oh Christmas Tree, spindly Christmas Tree

Husband and I don’t have many traditions. Unless you count paddlefishing in May, sending him off to pheasant hunt in October and sometimes remembering our own anniversary enough in advance to buy a bottle of Champaign, I would call us sort of go with the flow type people.

Unless it comes to Christmas. We have traditions at Christmas. We eat pancakes and prime rib. I dip pretzels in chocolate and make a holiday shaped cheese ball.  I dress the pug in a Santa suit.  And we cut our own Christmas tree.

That Christmas tree thing, that’s my favorite one.

And since we moved back to the ranch we have held true to it being a magical sort of process, one that starts with a dreamy vision of the perfect cedar waiting lonely in the coulees of our favorite pasture in the sparkling snow and ends with us laughing and smiling under its boughs covered in twinkling glitter and lights.

And that’s how we remember it no matter the snow drifts, the chill or the one time when we got stuck miles from home and big brown dog puked in the pickup.

We remember it that way because our hunts usually end with a great tree. A tree that spoke to us under a beam of light. One that whispered “pick me, pick me” as we slowly walked toward its light shining down from the prairie sky. One that reached out its arms and asked to be ours, filled our house with the scent of holiday and became the backdrop to many nearly perfect Christmases spent on the ranch.

That didn’t happen this year.


This year we had one day. One hour on one frickin’ freezing Sunday before the sun went down to head out into the -25 degree sunset and find our Christmas centerpiece.

Because in the middle of a life that we seem to insist on overbooking, Christmas seemed to have snuck up and bit us in the ass.

So we had no plan. We had no direction. We just had our coveralls, a saw, each other and one mission.

To fulfill our Christmas tradition.

And what we brought home isn’t pretty.

No, not really.

It’s sort of twisted and it leans and turns to the left. The branches are spindly, they gap and sag and have grown so accustomed to the relentless prairie wind that they have yet to relax so that while it is perfectly calm in the little house we’ve built, that tree, safe and sound under our roof, seems to make us believe that the wind is still blowing.

But you know what else it makes me believe? That Charley Brown, Grinchy little cedar covered in bulb and lights?

That it doesn’t matter.

That it’s sort of perfect for us, really.  Perfect for us and this year we’ve spent muddling through plans that just don’t quite turn out right.  Perfect for a man who falls of ladders and a woman who falls of ledges into snow banks in the middle of Main Street.

Perfect for a couple that doesn’t make time to keep up with the laundry or the dishes and spends way to much time eating noodles and not enough time doing sit-ups.

So when I reached for the 175th Christmas bulb, that carbohydrate loving, overly ambitious carpenter husband of mine told me to stop.

No more bulbs.

The tree is good.

The tree is his favorite.

Because it’s like us.

Just happy to be here and trying its best.

Coming Home: A perfect Christmas includes plenty of imperfections
By Jessie Veeder
Fargo Forum

A Christmas Eve Eve Winner and your beautiful, winter photos!

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!
It is snowing here at the ranch and we’re hunkered down, working on checking off the construction and pie making projects on our list. Between the hammering and measuring and baking, I want to take a moment to thank everyone who shared your favorite winter photos as part of my little holiday contest.

The world is truly a beautiful place, even in the chilly, snowy temperatures of late December (or tropical temps for some!) and you’ve proved it to be true all over the place! Being transported to your backyards through your photos has been a wonderful Christmas gift.

It was a difficult task, but Husband and I have chosen our favorite winter scene. I will tell you, this decision was thought out over a cup of coffee, discussed, narrowed and determined with the most serious consideration. We almost had a tie. We almost had an argument. Things got heated, but we were able to narrow it down.

Little Drummer Boy, will you please take a moment out of your “Par rum pu pu pumming” to roll that drum!?

Thank you.

And the winner is: Sybil Nun for bringing Husband and I to the coast of Nova Scotia!

Photo submitted by Sybil Nunn. “Winter at Peggy’s Cove.” Nova Scotia.

Sybil, your photo is so exotic. You brought us to a world so similarly frozen and so full of wonder. We could imagine standing on those snowy rocks feeling the cold damp air blowing off of the water, freezing our eyelashes and flushing our cheeks. We love it!

You’ll be receiving a signed copy of my new album “Nothing’s Forever” and a matted print of one of my favorite winter scenes!

To honor the time each of the participants and the beauty of our winter world, I decided to post the submitted photos here for the rest of you to see in case you missed them on Facebook.

Thank you everyone for playing along and sharing your frosty world with us. Thank you for reading. Thank you for showing up here week after week with your encouraging words, relatable stories and positivity.

Merry Christmas! May your holiday be filled with love and obnoxious sweaters, family and friends who are like family, beauty and laughter and delicious food and drink on colorful holiday themed platters!

Peace to you and yours, now enjoy the show!

Photo submitted by Faye Baker “Merry Christmas from Mercer County!”

Photo submitted by Vicki Overvold

Photo submitted by Barb Grover “Children and the wonders of winter” Oslo-Norway

Photo submitted by Jeanne Ramsay “Merry Christmas from Denver”

Photo submitted by Christie Jaeger “Winter photo of our cows” Esmond, ND

Photo submitted by Susan Price Slehofer “Winter from just across the border in Montana”

Photo submitted by Karen Grosz “My favorite calming photo.”

Photo submitted by Hugh Long “Merry Christmas from beautiful Key West!

Photo submitted by Lillian Crook “Buffaloberry Bushes, Painted Canyon, c, December 16, 2012”

Photo submitted by Dan Grogan. “Southwest Virginia, two seasons ago. Happy Holidays!”

Photo submitted by Annika G. Plummer. “Merry Christmas!”

Photo submitted by Rory Guenther. “Merry Christmas!”

Photo submitted by Rachel Dwyer. “Frozen cattails 🙂 Merry Christmas!”

Photo submitted by Rebekah Engebretson. “Fog’s friend left behind last week in Watford City.”

Photo submitted by Ed Barth.

Photo submitted by Robin Wahl. “Merry Christmas to you and yours. God bless.”

Submitted via email.

Photo submitted by Holly Mossberg. “This is my mare Elly and her offspring Dreamer in Feb. of 06 after they were pent up in the barn for two days.”

Photo submitted by Jess James.

Photo submitted by Jess James.

A Very Veeder Christmas

A very merry first day back to work after Christmas to you all. I hope you all had a lovely time working on polishing off those sugar cookies and have packed a turkey sandwich, a leftover noodle salad, a piece of prime rib, some chocolate kisses, peanut brittle and maybe a holiday orange or two to get you through a full day away from the kitchen.

We celebrated in Veeder style out here at the ranch beginning with mimosa and husband’s famous caramel rolls in the morning and ending with our first attempt at homemade pie for dessert.

Yup, I (helped) make this

And so I would like to present to you some of the highlights of our big day in my 2nd Annual Very Veeder Christmas Re-cap.  It must be done. Because, as always, it was a holiday to remember at the ranch, filled to the brim with traditions that have warmed our souls and lifted our spirits year after year…

Traditions like the holiday themed cheeseball:

I know it's hard to believe he's edible considering how absolutely life-like he is, but it's true. And he was delicious.

The “quick, take a picture of the cat under the tree with the presents isn’t that so cuuutteee oh my gaawwdddd” photo:

The beautiful tree:

The forced, awkward holiday photo shoot, under the direction of yours truly…which never works when she who is to be directed is my annoying, shutter happy little sister:

Let's do this people...

I hope that wasn’t as painful for you as it was for me.

Let’s cleanse our pallets now with an explosion of cute…

And one of our newest and most favorite traditions yet: watching Little Man take in the holiday while Pops follows him around helping him open presents, pry into the fourteen layers of plastic packaging then disappear in a full out investigative search in the garage for the appropriate sized batteries, assemble the toys and proceed with his instructional session with the one-year-old on how to scootch a toy truck along the floor while making “vrroommminnng” noises as the rest of the family watches in anticipation of Little Man following suit…

It must be a grandpa thing.

Awww. Christmas just isn’t Christmas without adorable little children playing at your feet and… well…the annual presentation of the pug in his Santa suit…

Load him up Cowboy

Don't look at me like that...this is your Christmas duty...

Ta Da!

Nothing spreads holiday cheer like the glare of hatred coming from the one-eyed pug who refuses to move on account of the outfit.

I’m not positive, but I think might be the only one in our family who finds this type of pet humiliation utterly hilarious….

bwahahahahaaa…(tap, tap, is this thing on?)

Yes, it was a holiday to remember at our house filled with love and laughter, snuggles and eating, just the right amount of humiliation and maybe one Christmas cookie dough fight. But in all of the familiarity of the season, there are some traditions that just couldn’t be fulfilled, and this year it was snow.

Ah well, I don’t hear anyone complaining really, considering last year at this time we were trudging our way through snow drifts up over our heads to get down the road to Mom’s and Pop’s for Christmas morning.

But the lack of snow isn’t the only thing that’s changed around here since we celebrated Christmas 2010…

What a difference a year makes!

Cheers to a wonderful new one ahead, filled with beautiful memories and at least one less than embarrassing photo to match.

Or, you know, you could just go with it…

The Christmas Card Crisis…

Hello, hello…happy Sunday everyone. I come to you from under my favorite blanket on my favorite recliner in my favorite sweatpants and fleece shirt while the snow blows and drifts outside the windows of this little house. The heat is on, the music is playing, the laundry is rolling in the dryer downstairs. All should be well shouldn’t it? I mean, this is the best place to be on a cold and dreary December day.

.Except one thing.

I just realized it is December.

Like December 9th or something right?

Sweet mercy, it’s almost Christmas!!!!

I’m in crisis.

I have been so consumed with photo taking, eating, working, writing, snuggling, and planning for the arrival of our new house (yeah, that’s happening in like a week or so, but we’ll talk more about that later) that  I have completely neglected the whole process of making it look a lot like Christmas around here.

I have no tree. I have no baked goods. I have no lights or tinsel or twelve-foot inflatable Santa riding a motorcycle on my front porch. My gift ideas are still ideas (the inflatable Santa and is one of them…but don’t tell my momma) and I haven’t even dug out Chug’s santa suit yet! I know he’s pretty damn disappointed.

I am very upset with myself. I am. But wasn’t it just yesterday that I was jumping in the lake in my swimming suit? Now I am digging in our chest full of winter gear to find my favorite mittens and scarf. Wow, time flies when you’re working, crafting, photographing, riding horses, chasing cattle, drinking margaritas with friends, swimming in big lakes, walking around aimlessly in the hills, yelling at the pug to get off the couch and planning the house you are going to live in for the rest of your life.

Anyway, today I woke up with every intention of making a dent in this holiday season. And the first item on the list was this:

1) Make and order our Christmas Cards

Pretty simple. Pretty straightforward.

That should be checked off in a good 20 minutes…

All I need to do is find a relatively decent photograph of husband and I. No problem. We’re together all the time. I have a camera I take with me wherever I go. I am sure during the course of the 360 days since we ordered our last Christmas card someone has taken a semi-decent photograph of the two of us in a khaki pants and holiday sweaters by a crackling fire with perfectly placed stockings with our names on them behind us as we smile with the warmth and love of the season.

I am sure someone has captured us clinking wine glasses together in a nearby vineyard as we gaze lovingly and knowingly into each other’s eyes.

Or maybe they caught us on top of a mountain in our Eddie Bauer ski clothes, with cheeks perfectly flushed from the crisp mountain air, arms around one another as we took a moment to sip a hot chocolate and pose as the clouds rolled by in the bright blue sky before we “swished, swished, swished” down the face of the powdery mountain.

I think I have that photo around here somewhere….

Or what about the one where we were caught together in a delightful fall day, raking leaves in our matching fleece shirts and mittens, finding it so refreshing and romantic to be outdoors together that we just couldn’t contain our joy so we began playfully throwing leaves at one another. I could use that one with a card that says something like: “Joy to the world, the yard work’s done…”


Or what about the one with us in that hot-air balloon sailing over the Grand Canyon? Didn’t we do that this year? Didn’t someone document it?

Or on the beach with our perfectly sculpted abs from all of that P90X we’ve been doing. Yeah, I think I was wearing a bikini with one of those sarong things and my hair was blowing in the sea air while husband scooped me up in his arms as the waves crashed against our legs. I KNOW someone captured that moment. That would be a perfect Christmas card photo…

Funny, I can’t find that one anywhere…

And now it has been a good two hours and all I have is more snow, less coffee and thirty-seven thousands photos scrounged up of the two of us either double-fisting drinks at a concert, holding an awkward pose with forced smiles in a scenic place or captured moments of annoyance…

But I have lots of photos of hubby. Gorgeous photos of him riding through the prairies so stoically handsome or standing on a horizon somewhere looking masculine…

Maybe I could just scrounge up a semi decent photo of myself and, well, you know, smoosh them together. People do that don’t they?

Yeah, this ain’t gonna happen is it?

Seriously, if anyone was on that hot air balloon ride with us, can you please send me the photos?!!

Maybe I’ll just call it good with this one this year. I mean, it has holiday cheer written all over it.

Happy Holiday preparation everyone. I’ll be in the bathroom practicing my classy, warm, inviting, Eddie Bauer model smile if you need me…

It might be a while…

Goodbye Summer





Turkey, ping pong, a cheeseball and memories…

I hope the holiday weekend was good to everyone. I hope the sun rose bright and warm and flooded your kitchen with streams of light while you or your momma or your gramma or pops or sister or mother-in-law basted the turkey and rolled up their sleeves, saying something like “whew, it’s warm in here isn’t it?” as you cracked the window open, letting the crisp fall air billow in from outside.

I hope you helped make something wonderful to eat, like a cheesecake or pie or a cookie salad (yes, such thing exists). I hope you played games, took a walk, laughed really hard, maybe even danced a little before dessert.

I hope there was ping-pong or a game of spoons or maybe even a friendly round of poker on your list of things to do.

I hope there was a cheeseball. I really do.

Because these are traditions aren’t they? The ping-pong? The kitchen hot flashes? The cheeseball? Every family has them, the things that are constant in an ever-changing and unpredictable life. It’s my favorite thing about the holidays, to know that I will be in a kitchen somewhere with my mother and that there will always be turkey and pie…that I won’t be judged on this day for unbuttoning the top button of my pants…

Yes, some things remain constant…but some things sneak up on us. While we’re busy with that extra slice of cobbler things are tweaking and evolving and changing the world we know little by little until suddenly you find gray hair mixed in with the black ones and you look around to find that those who used to sit with you at the kids table now have kids of their own.

How the hell did that happen?

My handsome nephew

And as the family tree branches out, so do the holidays, turning aunts into grammas, grandma’s into great ones, best friends into uncles and cousins into mommas who are now wearing aprons and hosting their own Thanksgiving meals hundreds of miles away.

So our lives change taking with them some of our traditions. When I was growing up Thanksgiving was always held at my aunt K’s in South Dakota. It was one of my favorite holidays because it meant that we got to see my cousins and run in the hay bales, sing songs we made up and put on ridiculous plays about pilgrims and how the first Thanksgiving may have gone down in our naive and theatrical heads. One year we put my little sister and cousin in ridiculous hats, built them a homemade ship out of a cardboard box and sent them sailing over the living room as we subjected the rest of the family to our version of the story of how our great land was settled as I stood on one leg (the other was in a cast) waiting for the “pilgrims” to make it to shore.

That was one activity that thankfully never made it to “tradition” status.

I miss those days and my ugly sweaters. I miss my aunt’s cheesy potatoes and how watching her work in the kitchen made me feel like my grandmother was in the room . I miss listening to my brilliant cousins whine and moan while their dad requested one more song on the piano. I miss that music.

But now the turkey is in my cousin’s oven and she is the momma proudly requesting a performance from her gifted children and I am miles away with my nieces and nephews opening the window for my mother-in-law before scooping her gravy onto the hot turkey she’d been cooking since the early morning hours.

And I smile to myself because my mother-by-marriage reminds me a little of my aunt K. They way she effortlessly pulls it all together. The way she never loses her sweet and calm nature even when it’s 87 degrees in the kitchen and there are thirteen kids scrambling at her feet, the way her cheeks flush after her first glass of wine…

the way she forgot the sweet potatoes in the microwave until 10 pm….

Because even as time changes our circumstance, taking people we love from us, bringing into the world new little ones to adore,  making us brave enough to try new recipes, to host our own Thanksgivings, to introduce someone to the family, even when weather snows us in, throwing us a sledding party after dessert, or gives us the gift of a 50 degree day in November, I love knowing there are a few things we can count on during this holiday:

One of them is turkey…

and the other is memories.

I hope you made some good ones this holiday.

Next year, the memories are at our house…

our new house.

And get ready, because the cheeseball will be epic.

P.S. It looks like our photography show may have to become a “day after Thanksgiving” tradition. If you missed it, no worries, our things are up all week at the Visitors Center in Watford City, so stop on by take a look and maybe, you know, finish your Christmas shopping 🙂

From the lake…

Greetings from far from the ranch on a lake somewhere in Minnesota. Our vacation was extended due to an issue with a wheel baring and a pickup that is well over the 200,000 mile marker. But you know, I’m ok with that, no matter what it costs.

Because I think it was a little blessing as we got to exist one more day here with family and water and sun and sailboats and fireworks and fireflies and campfires and enough mosquitoes to literally pick you up and drag you away.

Ahh well, it’s a small price to pay to be able to soak all of this into a heart full of celebration for the freedom to wear whatever you want, eat whatever you want, sleep as late as you want, pick up and smooch on this adorable little nugget whenever you want…

and maybe get drug behind a boat or two with your feet strapped into two 64 inch pieces of slicked up plastic just to say that you can.

Or you might chose to fish.

Or sleep in the hammock.

Whatever, it was Independence Day and in this family we’re all about celebrating that freedom to the fullest…

Hope your weekend was safe, full of sunshine and just the happiest.

Sorry, just had to plop him in there one more time...

See you back at the ranch. 

A very non-Martha tradition

This skiing hippo has nothing to do with anything, but he's cute so I thought I would give him some face time...

Merry Christmas! It’s here I suppose. All signs point that way. The Christmas tree is up, the snow is on the ground, the lights are on the fence, the pug is hiding out in his Santa suit and my little sister came home yesterday.

Complete with holiday sweater and jingle bell earrings.

So we kicked off the weekend and broke in the holiday like it was meant. While husband was at work (bless is little heart) we lounged it out like only a tried and true college student knows how to do.

It didn’t take me too long to snap right back to those days. We filled our snowman mugs with coffee and shuffled around in our wool socks and sweatpants as we fried up some bacon and eggs and I told her all my troubles in like, three breaths (I don’t have too many these days) and then we moved on to her life plans really quick, and her latest boyfriend, and then some embarrassing little tidbits–like how I fell on my face in a restaurant and unintentionally bared my floral underwears to the entire occupancy and how she dropped a bottle of bread oil while out with her friends trying to be fancy, shattering the entire thing all over the floor and splashing oil on her fellow diners, sending them packing and saying things like “someone doesn’t get out much.”

And then we plopped down on the couch and watched a movie that involved a love story and inner conflict and cute boys while the pug made his way to a new lap….and so did the lab…and the cats…little sister was in heaven.

So were the pets.

When the movie concluded, we stretched and contemplated doing something constructive, so we took two steps to the kitchen and whipped up a batch or two of hard candy…because I found a candy thermometer somewhere and I was going to learn how to use it….

…then I painted white snowflakes on her tiny, nubby fingernails….

…and then we melted some cheese and salsa and dipped half a bag or tortilla chips in it and got back on the couch to refresh our memory of how the Grizwalds spent their holiday.

Then Momma called.

She wanted to make Christmas cookies.

So we peeled ourselves out from under the blankets and obliged.

See, the women in my family have little traditions like these. We are not bakers. We do not attempt bread dough or pie crust or elaborate gingerbread houses with gingerbread men and women standing outside hand in hand in little dresses and overalls.

We do not make beautifully decorated and personalized delicate treats in tins with fancy wrapping and beautifully piped frosting.

No. We do not do these things.

But we do raid momma’s liquor cabinet and find what we need to mix our selves a fancy cocktail…

…and dip things in chocolate…

…and pops sometimes helps and makes things like this…

"My chocolate covered pretzel glasses, my chocolate covered pretzel glasses, without them, I am powerless."

..and then we dig out the cookie mix that comes out of a bag or box and proceed to exercise our creativity by cutting out holiday shapes and decorating the cookies into tie died peace signs, Santas in green and blue suits, multi-colored churches and green stars, all the while wondering why there is a sailboat mixed in with our Christmas cookie cutter collection.

Why the sailboat every year? I don't get it. I just don't get it.

There have been multiple explanations. None of which I accept.

By the time it’s all over momma’s kitchen looks like this:

A Christmas war zone complete with frosted walls, sprinkle coated floors, cranberry vodka puddles and half eaten Santa cookies. We might be in the middle of an argument about who has the most beautifully creative cookie and then we might make pops make the final decision. He usually picks the top five, in no particular order, so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings. And I might stomp my foot and say something like “No, that is not acceptable. Pick one. You must pick one and only one!” while presenting to him, in the least obvious way, my best effort.

And then, when he doesn’t chose mine, I might accidentally throw flour in someone’s hair, or wipe green frosting on someone’s ear or chase someone down the hall with both ingredients, threatening a full on food fight….while screaming “I am not a sore loser…I. Am. Not!”

No, this is not a Martha Stewart Christmas cooking experience.

Cocktails anyone?

But it’s ours.

And the cookies are delicious, out of the box or not.

But they are always out of the box.

And there is always laughter.

And lounging.

And that’s how we get ready for Christmas around here.

It’s my favorite part of the whole ordeal.

So Happy Christmas Eve everyone.

I hope your little sister comes home in her sweatpants with a matching pair of jingle bell earrings for you…

…and if you have another sister, with a new baby and a nice husband, I hope she comes home too.

Cause this Christmas I miss my big sister that has a new baby a nice husband…

But, you know, she usually wins the cookie decorating contest….

…hmmmm….so I should have actually had a chance this year…

I demand a re-count!

Oh well…

Merry Christmas!

See ya at church.