Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Oh December

extra.layers
stripey.snuggle.suit
refreshed.bath
made.n.ready
koufeta
myelenis
Mary.Anna.Baptism
baptized.girl
How did you get here?  Our days have been so very full.  With Mary Anna's Baptism planned for Saturday after Thanksgiving it wasn't until midday Monday before that I remembered something about a big meal on Thursday involving poultry and extra people in my house.  Oh yes.  That's right.  Additionally for a few weeks Jeff and I have been working little by little on our hall bathroom which has sorta been ignored in all of our years here.  I somehow can only see fit to make changes if I am allowed to gut and start over.  All or nothing.  But really this bath didn't require a gutting, just some thinking.  And scrubbing, scouring, scraping, plastering, sanding, painting, papering and prettying.  And I love it.  That paper snippet up there is a detail of this utterly too gorgeous to pass up wallpaper.  It was worth it since it covers such a small space but carries all the impact.  Anyway.  I would love to show you the whole room here soon. With that done I was ready to tackle the housecleaning for two days.  The baby was strapped to the front of me while I picked up or watching the washing machine from her bouncy seat while I folded clothes or asleep in her swing while I did the nittygritty.  We got it done her and I.  Once the kids were home for break I of course had to verbalize their share of cleaning to them repeatedly until it was done or until I verbalized it so much that I could have done it twelve times myself.  But that's how it works.  Anyway.  Our house was spiffy.  Which always makes me feel so ready to enjoy myself and enjoy our company.
Juliana flew in Tuesday night, and was attacked at the door by, well, all of us.  For a few hours each of the kids had to show her something they have been waiting to show her whether it was a new suchnsuch that she hadn't seen yet or a youtube video that hadn't been laughed at together yet.  I bought new sheets for the bed she uses in the nursery now when she's home.  They were freshly washed and tucked in place ready for her to plop down on that bed and sleep off the big city.  I think that was my favorite preparation.  I loved watching Mary soak her in slowly then the recognition warmed her to her biggest sister.  Sister cuddles.  So very wonderful.
Thursday brought my Dad, Jeff's brother, Dad and stepmom all for dinner with us.  Naturally it was all about food that day, but I didn't go too crazy.  I made my standard scalloped potatoes, turkey, ham, salad, and tiropita while my girls made two pumpkin pies, two pecan pies and a sausage apple stuffing.  In between cooking steps I joined the kids in front of the Wii a few times to dance my rear-end off while they laughed and beat me at the dancing game thingy that I can't remember the name of.  Mary Anna watched everyone all day.  She even threw her limbs around a little from her bouncy seat while we danced.  Certainly that was on purpose.  She's smart.  She watched and studied the less familiar faces.  She didn't miss anything.  Dinner was followed by what Nicolas likes to call a hootenanny.  Jeff, and his dad and brother joined forces on their guitars to play some bluegrass favorites.  Jeff sang more than normal as he has some DrivebyTruckers in his repertoire now.  Grandpa Jack serenaded MA and she couldn't take her eyes off of him.
Friday brought my sister from South Carolina who quickly got to the store with me to buy flowers for the reception tables.  If my sister Eleni is anywhere within 500miles and you need to do anything with flowers, either keep them alive, or talk about them or arrange them, she is your girl.  We had such a nice time picking them out.  I had such a nice time not arranging them.  She enjoyed every minute of me not helping her with that.  My brother was also in town by then from New York with his two oldest girls.  He and I made baklava.  I only wanted George to do the baklava with me so that mine would be better.  Which it was.  Then we all went to the movies including my dad who has not been to the movies in a million years.  Most of us were a little disappointed with the 2nd Hunger Games movie, some of us were just glad Papou paid for all of it, and others of us only went for the popcorn.  I imagine it might be another million years before he goes back.
The morning of the Baptism started with me putting ice in 120 glasses, placing my sister's bouquets on 15 tables then letting the caterers take over from there. The Baptism was so beautiful.  Her Godmother Kiki is such a tender and loving woman and we are so fortunate that she joins our family.  Mary Anna practically sprang from the font after being submerged three times without a tear or a wimper, only to begin talking to the 100 or so in attendance with giggles and joy.  It was remarkable.  Everyone noticed.  How blessed and sweet and unusual her response to the Sacrament was.  It was as though she wanted to know what was next because that was all just really fun and extraordinary.
Remnants of goodness are all around.  Extra beds with flannel sheets still set up that cousins slept on.  Couches shoved this way and that to make room for dancing. Handwashed knits drying flat and waiting for the next cold day.   Savory smells of past dinners being warmed and enjoyed again (and again).  Sweet bundles of jordan almonds from the Baptism. A gleaming ivory embroidered  baby gown hanging from the shelf that holds a picture of her Nani and me. 
Everything in and out of place and we are winding up the last of this year's strand.  So much more to go still.
xoxoAnna

25 comments:

  1. Just. So. Beautiful.

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  2. December has arrived suddenly, and with all you have seen and done in November, no wonder it snuck up on you! Your baby girl... blessed be, is she beautiful. Merry December, Anna Maria... may it be as lovely and full of family joys as last month!

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  3. So sweet to have you share with us. Your Mom was watching from above. ♥

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  4. Anonymous10:17 PM

    i love your stories...and i stumbled upon this on etsy today...you might need it for your bathroom.

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/125435989/dictionary-art-print-life-is-a-balancing?ref=shop_home_active

    Lydia

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  5. FULL and ALIVE . . . your fabric, your life . . . thanks for sharing. Enjoy

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  6. I just love your writing.

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  7. I so enjoy reading your posts, Anna Maria. Thank you for sharing your wonderful family and beautiful life through your words. Truly inspiring and joyful! Wishing you and your family a warm, cozy December, a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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  8. I truly enjoyed reading this post, thank you for sharing your littlest ones big day :)

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  9. Να σας ζησει η νεοφωτιστη.
    Precious moments
    Elena Andreou xx

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  10. How beautiful Anna Maria, this was an exceptionally lovely post. Lovely photos and such moving writing. It sounds blissful.

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  11. Your writing is so sing-songy and beautiful. I feel like it's being read to me like Little Women and all the characters are perfectly lovely and real. You love every one and every detail it seems. Mesmerizing to read. Thank you for sharing your gift!

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  12. What a blessing family is and Mary is such a beautiful baby. Lovely post.

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  13. I loved this post. Family life is just so rich and complex isn't it? Your photos are beautiful - especially the one of baby looking at the candle.

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  14. I love this blog imaging pictures.

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  15. Such a beautiful post and so lovely to share your gorgeous little girls big day with you. I am sure your Mum was watching over you all. Your home is so beautiful too!! xoxo

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  16. Oh my, what a lovely ,so enjoyable post. Wishing you and your family all the best at holiday time!

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  17. Enjoyed your post…..

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  18. Ahh blessings to beautiful Mary Anna. How the Holy Spirits works instantly. I was only speaking to my friends about the gift of our baptism. The holy spirit stays with us forever, even through our turmoils and gets us through them. It sounds so wonderful having your family around. Thanks for sharing the love. Where do you find the energy? xox.

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  19. Nice post images in this blog looking great thanks for sharing like that pic.

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  20. What a sweet retelling of a beautiful occasion. Loved the idea of bluegrass music surrounded by loved ones, a precious baby being baptized with love abounding. Oh that all children could feel that kind of support and love...

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