Monday, January 7, 2013

A Pink Christmas (and Rose-Colored Glasses)

Between Mike's and my sidewalk run-in with a thug who seemed to be looking for a fight December 22nd, a hacker's theft from my checking account Christmas Eve and the ongoing hassle that that's caused, a round of food poisoning for me beginning December 29th, and a stomach bug for Mike that started New Year's night, the past two weeks with their combination of anxiety, illness, and lack of money have made our humble little apartment seem even more of a safe haven than usual.  "Nothing can bring a real sense of security into the home except true love," Billy Graham believes, and I nod my head in agreement as I type his words here.  I believe that true love, in whatever form it takes, blesses everyone and everything in its path.  It bettered our holidays, and it brightens our "everydays," and it is always bigger than our troubles and troublemakers.  "What are we gonna live on this coming week?" Olivia Walton anxiously asks her husband in The Homecoming (one of my all-time favorite movies, any time of year) after he's spent his final paycheck on Christmas presents.  "Love, Woman," he replies, cradling her face with his work-worn hands, making my spirit soar every time.  John Walton is wise.  And after a holiday season that's tested peace-on-earth-and-goodwill-toward-men for so many around the world, it is a blessing to start this second week of January still believing in the power of goodness and love. 

This Christmas, our second together, Mike and I shared our now-traditional Christmas breakfast of cinnamon rolls and egg casserole and took special refuge in all the simple joys of home.  The pink and white church was a gift from Aunt Laurie this year.  The miniature pink tree was from my friend Madai last Christmas, and the snowflake tablecloth is a treasure from my younger brother.  The vintage pink house, cream tree candles, small cream bottlebrush tree, and pink reindeer were all from my mom.  
Mike and I opened our presents from family then ate breakfast before opening our gifts from each other.  I made the cinnamon rolls and Mike made the egg casserole this year. 
The tiny pink cupcake ornaments came in a surprise package from my aunt Heidi this year, and the gorgeous pink snowflake cookie ornament was one of my favorite gifts this Christmas.  Mom gave it to me early when I visited the weekend of December 21st.  Love, love, love. 
Pink and pink gingham always make me happy and just seemed right for this Christmas morning.  Last year's breakfast table was aqua, and it was pretty, but I think I just needed the extra warmth of pink this time around.  The cinnamon rolls saw a generous sprinkling of pink sparkling sugar and Mike's mom's recipe of buttercream frosting.  
The pink quilted gingerbread mug and pink-rimmed dinner plates were Goodwill finds.  I had had a similarly sweet mug set out for Mike's coffee Christmas morning but knew he'd rather use his usual navy blue one, so I switched them.  That sounds trivial, but I had told Mike a few days before Christmas--the night of our encounter with the Sidewalk Thug, actually--that I don't want us to be a couple that argues over stupid things.  Every couple does, I know, but as I told him, I just want us to get into the habit of shaking off dumb little things and not wasting time or energy fighting about them.  If he wants a navy coffee mug instead of the prettier cream-colored one:  Who cares.  It's our Christmas morning and a breakfast together, not a photo shoot.  I wanted hash brown-style potatoes in the breakfast casserole; he did not.  If he was the one making it, who was I to argue?!  The years I make it, I'll add potatoes, and the years he makes it, he can skip them:  Big deal.  We are blessed to have whatever time we have with our loved ones.  Let's not waste it.   FlowerLady, if you're reading this, please know that remembering you and your dear husband is what really made this click for me this Christmas.    I've only been married a year and a half, and it is always surprising to me that just as it is easier sometimes to be good and kind to strangers and acquaintances than to one's own family, it is also easy to find myself treating others more gently than I do my own husband.  My senseless complaints about the breakfast casserole--a dish that my husband had kindly and even enthusiastically offered to make for our Christmas--made me ashamed of myself.  Hearing myself harping about hash browns and then remembering sweet Lorraine and Sandra and others who would happily eat glass if it meant getting to share a morning with their husbands again. . . .My goodness.  I knew better, so why wasn't I acting like it?  Navy blue mugs and potato-free casseroles:  Fine and good. 
We watched the Christmas Story movie while we ate.  Both the cinnamon rolls and egg casserole were wonderful.  The almost-bare wall around the hutch and tv is one of the new year's projects.  We have an ever-growing collection of posters and photos of artists, writers, actors, musicians, athletes, thinkers, and people-in-general who inspire us, and once our frame-buying has caught up with our art-acquiring, the wall will sport more than Mike's Yankees baseball pennants.  :)
Although we had a nice Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner too, it is our Christmas breakfast that has become my favorite part of the holiday now that I'm married.  This year's found us more appreciative of the safe haven we enjoy in our home and in each other, and it saw me become at least that much better of a wife.  Fine gifts, indeed.  And love will save the day. 


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Dearest Val ~ What a sweet post in words and photos. I am so sorry to hear of all the stuff that happened to you and Mike in such a short period of time. I'm glad you have your happy little haven filled with color, joy and love to ease your burdens.

You are so right about not wanting to argue over 'petty' stuff. I wish I could take back all of that from our 43 years of marriage. Thankfully, as it says in the Bible, Love covers a multitude of sins. * Love grows with nurturing, love is forever.

May you and Mike have a wonderful 2013, filled with many blessings.

Love ~ FlowerLady

Thistle Cove Farm said...

"I just want us to get into the habit of shaking off dumb little things and not wasting time or energy fighting about them."
Dearest Val, you are One Wise Woman!
Your second Christmas with Mike, my second without Dave; that makes me smile for some odd, very odd, reason.
I missed the news about the attacker and hope you've both recovered fully from that and from the epizootics.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
May the worst of 2013 be claimed from the best of 2012.

Lisa said...

Val, I thought something was up - you are having the right attitude, though. Glad you're feeling better.

Nellie said...

I love your post, Val! Goodness! You've had quite the distressing events occur during the holidays, though. We have been married 43 years, so this was our 43rd Christmas to share as a married couple. I'd love to have 43 more!

Pink dishes, cinnamon rolls, egg casserole - all great Christmas morning treats!

I hope the problems with the hacker and the bank account are being resolved in your favor!

Happy New Year!

Val said...

Thank you all. :) Happy new year to you too. ♥

Carol said...

I'm with Mike on the navy blue mug! Pink is just not my color, but to each her own. :-)

Glad you are okay despite thugs and thieves, Val. Belated Merry Christmas and have a wonderful New Year. Please give Mike our best--

Love and hugs,
Carol and Jean

asmplelife said...

Val, what a great post! You are a very wise woman. I wish I was that wise about such things back when I was a bit younger. But I shall take something out of your words and put into action, "shaking off dumb little things."

Love, love, love your decorating. Your home looks so lovely and warm and inviting. Happy New Year to you and your Mike!

Rev. Jim said...

I never thought of pink as a Christmas color before - love it!
"Would you rather have times or things? ... Things alone are very unsatisfying ... But times would be bad without some things. We cannot enjoy ourselves if we are worried over how we shall pay our bills or the taxes." These words, from Laura Ingalls Wilder, pretty much sum up the outlook that we need to have throughout 2013. We know that life is full of unexpected troubles, but we also know that how we respond to those troubles will determine our joy. I pray that your year will be one remembered as full of joy! :)
God the Father, had no regrets sending His only begotten Son into the world to die for all sins. If we could see the end from the beginning, as He does, we might have a better outlook on things. But it seems you are doing a pretty good job with your attitude! Go ahead! :)

Val said...

Thank you all. 'So much to read and think about in all your comments here. ♥

Creative Breathing said...

Hello Val, I can't tell you how happy I am to meet you through following your comment on my blog. I have so enjoyed reading through past posts. You write from a heart that is true. I have a daughter near your age who has just celebrated her second Christmas with her True Love. These are the Newlywed Days, and they are most special. You will treasure them always!
PS Your sugar cookies look scrumptious. Do you share your recipe? I would love to make them. Elizabeth, Creative Breathing

vicki said...

Val - I have just loaded your blog in for the Grow Your Blog party -- I look forward to meeting you and reading your special post on the 19th. Ihope you make lots of new friends!


Annabelle said...

Hello Val - I have joined your blog via Grow Your Blog and love the eclectic pics and posts!
Visit me and enter my giveaway. I so enjoyed 'your' Christmas. x

Val said...

Elizabeth: Thank you. :) I will email you and share the recipe, sure.

Vicki, thank you. :)

Annabelle: That's a name I've always loved. 'Happy to meet you too, and I'll visit your blog, yes. Thank you. :)

Jenny said...

Val you have a very warm blog. I enjoy reading it. Your photos could be bigger so they would stand out more to see. I like your creative world. You remimd me of me when I was your age. Sweet memories. xo Jenny

Val said...

Thank you, Jenny--That's sweet. I'll see what I can do with future photos. Any of them can be enlarged by clicking on them, but I'll see what I can do better from now on with them. Thank you. :)

Jenny Holiday said...

Ohhh this was just so so lovely Val!!! :) So sweet and touching! And everything looks so magical and fun! :)

Thanks so much for sharing!

Happy Happy New Year!!
xo Jenny

Val said...

Jenny, thank you. :) Like you, I love the combo of pastels and holidays.

And I emailed you earlier this evening. :)

Love to you and Aaron,

Val ♥