Christmas Favorites

The tree is up. The house is decorated. The presents are wrapped. I am slowly getting everything ready for the holiday and the baby’s arrival. In a couple of days I plan to have the nursery all done, and I will post pictures here.

We have been counseled by my OB to have a scheduled c-section (long story), and are currently scheduled for 12/12/12. It was very weird to choose the baby’s birthday. But, we thought that was a great day. So, only a little more than a week to go. In the meantime, I have lots of things to get done. I want this house ready, I need a pedicure, I need to explore a few more Christmas adventures, and I definitely need to watch some more Christmas movies.

Here are my favorite Christmas movies. (I will not try to disguise the fact that I love romantic comedies. I know they are usually not Oscar-worthy. I know they are very predictable. What can I say? I am a romantic.)

1. Love Actually (yes, there are a few, ahem, scenes that are rather unnecessary): such a wonderful film full of different kinds of love stories and great actors/actresses. My favorite story line: Hugh Grant is the Prime Minister and falls in love with one of his staff members. Best scene: Hugh Grant dances. Also, SET IN LONDON.

2. Christmas in Connecticut: this is an old old classic, starring Barbara Stanwyck. Oh my goodness how I love this movie. The large country house in Connecticut is my dream house, and with the snow falling and the horse and buggy ride, it conjures up my non-stop nostalgia for a time and place that I have never actually experienced.

3. You’ve Got Mail: although this is not necessarily a holiday film, much of it takes place in New York City during the fall and holiday season. It makes me wish I had lived in NYC at some point. I am sure it must be such a magical place to spend the holiday season. Also, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks are classic. I love it.

4. Bridget Jones’s Diary: this is not an exclusively holiday film either, but it begins and ends with Christmas, and I always feel like watching it during the holidays. Although I am not really a Renee Zellweger fan, she did such a fantastic job portraying the main character (whom I had already fallen in love with from reading the books) that she won me over for this film. And of course Mark Darcy played by Colin Firth? Well, there is nobody better. SET IN LONDON.

5. The Family Stone: this movie is not necessarily awesome, but a huge part of it hits me as a perfect holiday film. I love the house and the family. I love the way the siblings interact. I love the parents. Sarah Jessica Parker is a bit irritating, but I can get over her because I love the other characters so much. It has some sad moments, but it is a really beautiful picture of a family.

6. Elf: I know that a lot of people think this movie is dumb. And it definitely has some dumb moments. But, I don’t mind that of course it isn’t realistic in any way. I think Will Ferrell is a hilarious guy, and Zooey Deschanel charms me with whatever she does. This is a sweet, kosher, fun movie for the whole family.

7. It’s a Wonderful Life: one of my absolute favorite movie moments of all time: Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed talking on the phone, wanting to kiss. I just adore this film. Such a great message of course, and a beautiful love story. Also, a super creepy scene for me: when they are dancing and the floor slides out from under them and it’s a pool. Yikes! That freaks me out so much!

8. Little Women (with Winona Ryder): I went to see this movie with my dad and sisters on Christmas Day in 1994. The story has always been one of my favorite, and I loved this version. There are several Christmas scenes, and it will always be linked with Christmas for me.

9. The Holiday: this is not the best movie in the world. It’s a bit cheesy. But Cameron Diaz is always fun, and Kate Winslet is always gorgeously wonderful. Jack Black makes me laugh no matter what he does. In this movie he has a priceless scene in the video store singing movie scores. He is so so funny! Also, I really like Jude Law. Best movie moment: when the little girls and Jude Law and Cameron Diaz are in their makeshift tent. Brings tears to my eyes every time. SET IN ENGLAND (part of it).

10. When Harry Met Sally: this movie does not take place exclusively during the holidays, but several key moments are at Christmas/New Year’s Eve. I love the friendship that slowly blossoms into love between Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan. They are sweet.

Honorable Mentions:

Sleepless in Seattle: classic. Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan are so cute.

New Year’s Eve: Like Love Actually, but set in New York on New Year’s Eve. I really liked some of the story lines, but this is not as good as Love Actually. The music is fun though.

P.S. Anything set in London will get me. I really need to experience Christmas in London. Yum.

Posted in Fun

3 Years Old

So this is what a 3-year-old looks like! (Of course she still is the size of a small 2-year-old, barely fitting into 24month or 2T clothing, but that’s okay!)


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Some new, favorite toys from her birthday:
–kitchen and cooking, especially with play-dough and her new whisk
–toy animal figurines
–lady bug watch (“I need to have my watch on, Mommy”)
–playing all of her new musical instruments
–coloring and drawing
–stickers galore
–feeding her babies with the eternally filling bottles
–solving wooden puzzles
–reading her new books
–build a “castle” (otherwise known as a tower) with her blocks
–play catch will all kinds of balls, including the newly rediscovered “sparkly” ball

Favorite apps:
–Letter School
–ABC Music (introduces her to all the instruments. When we are in a restaurant and there is background music playing, she will say: “Mommy, what instrument is that?” Or: “Mommy, I hear a violin!”)
–TED (yes, she watches TED talks)

Something funny she said today, out of nowhere and related to nothing: “Don’t be sillly, Mommy! This is important!” I thought it was hilarious and laughed, so she now says it all the time.

Posted in Fun

2 Years Old


Here are some Juliana-isms for you:

“Maaaaa” = I’m being gentle in petting the kitty / This feels so soft / I am deliberately NOT hitting you.

“Eeeessa doooggy!” = I love that random dog so much and it makes me so happy that I am going to squeal until you two break down and get me my own.

“Howoooo!” = I have just discovered how incredibly awesome the moon is, and I think that I will try to howl at it like a wolf.

“eee” = meow

“ahh, beee, ceee, dah” = Yes, I am singing the alphabet song.

“Mroo” = Please take me down to see the cows in the back yard before they disappear to their “happy home in the country,” because I love every animal so much, even if they don’t know I exist.

“Key-key” = I just saw Sophie run by as she was trying to escape from me, and she totally made my day!

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Posted in Fun

A new cousin

Welcome to the world, Ellis Mark Partlo! He was born on July 14, 2011 weighing 8 lb 2 oz. He’s a sweet, beautiful baby and we are so happy to have a nephew! Juliana’s first cousin! Congratulations to Katie and Justin who are wonderful parents!

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Hmmm . . . look familiar?

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Recent Events


The last few weeks have been packed full of activities, including: moving; a trip to Atlanta to visit Alita, Zach, Paul, Ansley, and family; the HVA Barn Party; Juliana’s birthday party; and visits with lots of friends. Here are some photos from the last few weeks, in no particular order.

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Posted in Fun