The Forgotten 14th, which doesn't count, really.

I love Christmastime. Love it. To an obnoxious degree. I love the smells and the cold and the gray skies and the bare tree limbs and the way my nose and fingers and toes are always icy and the fact that there's constantly an excuse to drink hot tea or hot chocolate while snuggled up with someone you love. Of course, in with this, is the love of Christmas. Not so much the buy-buy-buy, commercial, mall-Santa type of Christmas, but the nutmeg and cinnamon and eggnog with family, cookies and tree-trimming and playing Scrabble under a blanket by a fire kind of Christmas. The togetherness is what I can't get enough of, and it just happens to be a bonus that all the lights and songs and smells just make me feel all warm and snuggly by association.

See? I wasn't kidding. Obnoxious rambling.

I've found myself diving headfirst into the holiday this year, since I didn't do anything last year. I was moving at the time, so I didn't even bother to put up a tree. Overall, an underwhelming holiday with too little time to spend doing all the Christmas things I love.

(This post was sadly abandoned and forgotten until 1/1/2008. Sorry)


Thirteenth: The Overdo List

I've been getting lots of requests for my Christmas list lately, and rather than call everyone who has asked and read it out, which sounds obnoxious and greedy to me, I'm just going to post it here. Do with it what you will. :)

*Yarn/Needles/Gift Certificates to knit stores (Knitch or Elann.com are recommended)
*Cool, quirky jewelry
*Books (preferably off of my amazon.com queue to buy)
*New sports bra/workout clothes
*A pretty key chain
*Essential fit jeans from Gap
*Lotion & pillow mist from Bath & Body Works (aromatherapy collection, Eucalyptus Spearmint or Orange Ginger)
*Keihl's baby balm lip balm (my FAVORITE and most necessary item on this list - my lips are dying since mine ran out!)
*An auxilary cable for my iPod to hook up in my car
*A cell phone charger for my car

So, there you go. Those are a few things I want/need. Really, the baby balm is the only thing I need, but otherwise, they're wants.

I've had a lot of fun Christmas shopping for others this year. It's the first year that I've really had money of my own to spend on others, and I'm loving it. Love love loving it. I can't wait until all the presents are wrapped and under my tree.

Any ideas for super quick knits for older brothers? I'm stuck...

(please don't skip post 12, newly added below. it's more than a gimme-list!)


Twelfth: Puppy Love

There is something so unavoidably lovable about new things. We all know that babies are made to be extra cute and cuddly and lovable so that you don't mind waking up with them at 4:00 in the morning EVERY NIGHT, but it's a phenomenon that extends to other new things as well. Whether you love them or not, you at least NOTICE them. This draw towards perceived newness is something that I've realized since I started running the studio. You don't necessarily have to get new retail in or spruce up your space at all to get your clients to notice things, and more importantly, buy them. You just have to break their routine, say by reorganizing your boutique display. Being drawn towards the new is an evolutionary adaptation that we have as humans. We notice when things are different in our environments, because if our ancestors didn't, they got eaten. Failure to notice new wolf tracks in the area where you're camping doesn't make for a high likelihood of survival, you know? So, when things are new and different, even by the littlest bit, we're hard wired to pay attention.

I can't help but wonder if that's why my brain has been in absolute, manic overdrive for the past several weeks. Everything in my world is new. It's like a stimulus overload.

First and cutemost, there are puppies. Not my puppies, of course, but Jesse's sister, Carter's puppies. She's fostering five irresistible little beasts from the Bahamas. The 'breed' is known as the potcake, because that's what the people there give the dogs, who are generally wild, if not feral, to eat. If you're interested, you can learn more about them here or here. They're incredible dogs, so much so, in fact, that I've been engaging in puppy therapy almost every day since Carter got the dogs. There's something about having having five new, squirmy puppies on your lap that keeps even the surliest person from being grumpy. What's that? You want proof, you say? Well here, I have proof for you.

See that? Yeah, that's Jesse, a boy with the capacity to be surly at times, looking completely mollified by the presence of puppitude. But you know, I think he needs more puppy to TRULY get the effects of puppy therapy going.

There it is. A smirk. A blurry smirk, but a smirk nonetheless. Love it. Puppy therapy.

I'm writing this, and wondering what day it'll post under. I know I started this entry several weeks ago, but I'm bad about starting an entry and then walking away from it without finishing it. Anyway, the next new and exciting thing is still new and exciting, at least to me.

Meet my new car, a 2008 Nissan Sentra that I've taken to calling Sonny in my head, though I'm not sure why. I've been driving a 1994 Ford Taurus since I could drive, so a brand new car is definitely wild to me. I still walk out to the parking lot and get a little confused sometimes. The best thing about a new car, at least for me, is its capacity to add a little brightness to a bad day. When I walk out of the studio after a long, exhausting, frustrating day or work and get into this car, it's a conscious reminder of the fact that I'm happy. I'm a really lucky girl with a lot going for me. I'm fortunate, and this car is a reminder of that. Granted, it doesn't take a new car to make me realize these things, but it's a tangible reminder, which is nice to have. It has 500 miles on it, all but 12 of them driven by me. Crazy.

The newness doesn't stop there, though. The details will, because this entry is already ridiculously long, but There's so much more going on. The studio is undergoing major renovations and expansion for our five-year facelift, and of course there's all the newness and excitement of the holiday season, complete with Christmas tree and presents (though that, of course, is its own post). Not to mention new knitting, both projects and goals.

Change is overwhelming, but I'll be darned if it's not exciting.