It has become somewhat of a tradition for Becky to come visit the weekend of the Creche Festival and my party. And it is always so fun to have her that weekend. She helps me with all the last minute stuff for my party, she attends the Creche Festival with us and admires all of the nativities, ( I think I have over 15 of them now--14 or so of which she has given me) and she goes with us to see the lights down at Shore Acres. It has just been one of those things that we look forward to at the start of every December. We love it.
This year, the Creche Festival came with a little surprise. Back in November, I mentioned that Brian and I had gone down to Ashland where Brian was running his first trail marathon (and he did amazingly well, by the way). While we were there, I looked around in a couple of shops while Brian and Rob were registering for the race. Well, in one of the shops, I saw and then pointed out to Brian the Three Wise Men figures from the Department 56 Krinkles line. I had never seen them before and they were stinkin' cute. I started kinda collecting Krinkles about 7 years ago after Diana gave me my first one for Christmas back when I was managing the candy store. (You're awesome, Di.) So anyway... I saw the Three Wise Men, and just wanted to show Brian how darling they were.
O.K. now back to the Creche festival...I got there around noon on Saturday with Becky and the girls and talked with people and introduced myself for a while (I was one of the hostesses for that hour) before going around to look at all the different nativites. Immediately, I noticed that Amy Wade had been able to grab a magnet board from her house to display a magnetic nativity set that Becky had given me last year. As I neared it though, I also noticed that the name card labeling it as mine had been erroneously (or so I thought) placed in front of a set just next to the magnet board. I felt bad that I was getting credit for someone else's beautiful nativity, so I quickly grabbed the place card and went to put it in front of the magnet board. Right as I was doing so, I realized that the place card said, "Ann Lacouture's new nativity--2010" and the set it was sitting in front of was the Department 56 Krinkles set--the WHOLE set. Could this be a coincidence? I turned to look at Becky, who smiled back at me, and I quickly realized (as Amy snapped pictures of me and everyone else in the room smiled on) that the set was mine. It had been a surprise and a birthday gift from Brian and Becky. Oh my heavens. I couldn't believe it. It's not good to brag, I know, and Brian's not perfect, but because this blog will (hopefully) be really special to my children, I have got to say that I love my husband. He makes me feel taken care of. He makes me feel loved. He loves to spoil me and make me happy, and I am SO grateful to him. I am a very lucky girl. And I recognize and have thanked Becky many times because I know Brian is this way because of her. Anyway...the Creche Festival was wonderful, and my new Krinkles just made it more so.
Later that night, we (Becky and I) continued getting ready for my party. Brian had gone to the Civil War game and was on his way home, and the girls had both fallen asleep. Becky was even so wonderful as to return to the church to pack up my nativities so that I'd have time to vacuum and take a shower. It's so funny because I've found that just about every time I throw a party of some sort, I finish cleaning and cooking and getting stuff ready just in time to look down and realize that I look like poop--I'm wearing paint-stained sweats, I'm unshowered, and I stink like crazy. Not this time, though. This time I was clean AND there were lines in my carpet. What a treat! And the party was fun. So, so fun. It is fun every year--at least it is for me. I tell everyone--and I'm not kidding--that of course I love and look forward to the party each year. It's all about me. :) That's why I recommend that every girl throw a favorite things party for herself. My philosophy is that each of us should be able to do whatever we want for our respective birthdays. Isn't that reasonable? Totally. But anyway, we ate and talked and I went through my 32 favorite things (blank note cards, 3M velcro strips, baby wipes, Bath and Body Works lip gloss, baby powder, mudrooms, google.com, allrecipes.com, Costco makeup, my green book, Sarah Richardson, Christmas decorating, sweats, my red pot, Biosilk Smoothing Serum, my blue earrings, bedding, Christmas light remotes, my red shelf, baking soda, olive oil, BH&G magazine, Brummel and Brown butter spread, aprons, my two hallway rugs, my pan scraper, clean carpet, my pot rack, bag clips, Los Amigos Burrito tacos, ziplocs, and the Youtube video of Antione Dodson's interview), AND most importantly, we danced. And I loved every second of it. Just for old times' sake and to commemorate my favorite things of the past (which is ever so important), we first danced to Mark and Chelsea's Bleeding Love, and then The Best Wedding Entrance Ever, and THEN we danced to Antione Dodson. (It's way better if you watch the interview, and THEN the song. ) I'm smiling big just thinking about it. (As a side note, I've gotta say--these videos affect me in an almost spiritual way. It's like my blood starts pulsing at a different rate. And I'll tell you what--I'm not a super big romantic, but that wedding dance? THAT is romance, my friends. ) Becky was able to come back( from having been with Brian and the kids) just in time to have dessert and open gifts, and then she and I and several of the girls stayed up forever just chattin' it up. So anyway, I'm so grateful to have friends at all, and especially friends who are willing to humor me for one night. And I sincerely hope that I wasn't the only one who had fun.
So that's the scoop. I'm going to go straighten the family room (so that it will be clean tomorrow morning when Amy comes over to take our family picture for our Christmas cards) while I listen to a little Mannheim and Transiberian Orchestra. Wish you were here, Mom. I love you all. Thanks for reading.
P.S. Just one more thing. I'm not sure I've yet mentioned that Camp started Boyscouts and he LOVES it. He's a total scouting nerd, and it is the funniest thing. But anyway, the other night, he told me that he wanted to go "scouting for food." I asked him what that meant and he told me that his troop (which Brian leads) was doing a food drive. I suggested that maybe we wait until we could talk to Brian so that he could fill me in on a few more of the details. Camp didn't go for that. Instead, he outfitted the girls with backpacks and out they went into the night. After about a half hour or so when it had gotten dark and the kids had not yet returned, I got in the van to go track them down. When I was unable to find them, I returned home briefly to grab my phone and start calling a few neighbors to hopefully figure out where they had gotten stopped up. As I headed back out to the van, though, I heard their voices coming around the corner, so I readied the video camera and went to meet them. There they were, trotting along in the complete dark with backpacks loaded with canned food. Three little kids--ages 7, 5, and 3--in the dark, with no coats, and no adult, but smiling and bearing 20 lbs or so of canned food. I asked Camp what he had actually done and he said he had knocked on each door and said, "May we please have some canned food?" Oh, man. I was laughing so hard. At the very worst, I was going to have Child Protective Services contacting me any day, and at the very best we were going to have neighbors praying for our well being and leaving piles of food and other goods (like coats maybe) on our doorstop. This must really have been a slow year for the Lacouture's I could picture them thinking. It was so great. I will admit, though, that later Camp did say that he did introduce himself as a scout and tell them about his purpose as well. Let's just hope so. But man, what funny kids. Oh, and the reason I hadn't seen them when I had gone around the block was because all of the neighbors (who are all senior citizens) had invited them in to get out of the cold. Ohhhhh boy...