We’re mostly done with Christmas! While I still have to finish up Dad & Janet’s quilt, as well as a top-secret project for Mike’s mom, there are no more time frames! I can make stuff I just feel like making again. 🙂

This having been my first “crafty Christmas,” I did a lot of stuff just Wrong. Next year, I’ll be better prepared. I’ll have gift bags and tags made ahead of time, even. Mike’s family was so sweet about my little handmade items – they even noted how I’d Frenched the seams on the bags (not very well, mind you, but they were sweet to notice and comment.) Stacey loved her actual bag, which I can finally show here, once I get the photos uploaded. Mike’s Mom, both grandmas and his brother-in-law’s mom have all done a lot of sewing, and they’re apparently happy to see me doing it, too.

Here are the little gift bags and tags I made up for the family:

And the felt tags I whipped up one night:

Both are reusable, so better options than paper. The tags/ornaments only took about 45 minutes apiece, the bags perhaps the same. Marshall really helped out both nights – so many strings and shiny things and stuff he needed to lie on and dig his claws into…

I ran out of steam the night before Mike and I exchanged gifts, though, so most of his were just wrapped in swaths of fabric. It’s difficult to make them look neat and tidy, but still more fun than just getting stuff unwrapped, right? Mike’s stash from me:

Stuff I got for Mike included a foot massager/warmer thing for his platar fasciitis, nice warm, cushy slippers, a Serenity model, a Battlestar Galactica DVD, two t-shirts and some chocolate. I’m still trying to work out how to do/if we can do the big present I wanted to get him, a trip to a VIP Opeth concert in New York City in the spring. There were some odds and ends I wanted to make for him, too, but those will have to wait for later, I reckon, because I’m still figuring out how to Do This Stuff, and there’s one piece of fabric I’ll be using which I really cannot replace.

Mike & his family were terribly generous. Among the prized gifts this year: A really nice immersion blender, an awesome bat house, some gorgeous Leanika Pink fat quarters, many books pertinent to my interests (One-Yard Wonders, The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible, Let It Rot, The World of Flavors, and more!) including one that shone like a beacon to Mike’s mom when she saw it by pure accident: How to Raise Chickens for Dummies – No kidding! I’m about a third of the way through it, and it’s a pretty darned good book.

Mike’s main present to me couldn’t be wrapped – he’s going to either build or buy a full closet organizer for my sewing room! YAY! \o/ Currently, it’s a train wreck up there from all the frantic throwing around of stuffs, but even on its best days, it’s still pretty ugly. That will be completely fabulous – yay, Mike Neir!

There were many other very thoughtful and very snazzy gifts all around, and spending the day with Mike’s wonderful family was the best part. Theyr’e a fun, smart, close-knit group of people with sharp wits, good stories and more than their fair share of mischievousness. We had Mike’s mom and dad (Phil and Sharon,) his sister and her husband (Stacey and Jay,) his two grandmas and Jay’s mom (Pat) all sharing presents and a delicious candlelight meal around the table.

Grandma Neir said the dinner prayer, and as she was speaking, I didn’t listen so much to the words, but basked in the glow of everyone together, sharing a quiet moment of appreciation. How lucky I am to have found these people, all through complete random circumstance! As with all things in life, meeting Mike Neir was a fluke, and tackling him was certainly never guaranteed. His family could have been awful or boring, but they’re awesome, too, and they’ve been so generous including me into their circle right from the beginning. I’m a fortunate girl.

Speaking of families, my mother called Wednesday night after I dropped off her quilt. Looking at my phone and seeing it was her, I strongly contemplated letting it go to voice mail, but fought back the urge. She loved it, she gushed on and on, she marveled. That was nice, but I know it’s temporary. Still, she really appreciated it, and that’s what counts. She didn’t notice (or at least mention) all the cleaning I did for her, but that’s ok.

My dad, Janet and I will do our gift exchange sometime this week. On Christmas day, they were in Bay City at Janet’s folks’ house, and we were in White Lake.

And now, the relaxation after the holiday madness. We may have a short vacation in our future to help with the destressing. Of course, in the springtime, there will be even more busy-ness to be concerned with… getting the chicken set-up built and fenced, getting the birds themselves, keeping up with their maintenance, wiring the coop up with water/power/wireless connectivity/Mike’s weather station, planning the garden, making the beds, netting in the whole affair, planting it all, maintaining it thereafter….uff-da. It’s going to be a busy, but productive life – I hope. 🙂


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9 responses to AAAAhhhhhhhhhh

  1. Sandi

    Sounds like a great Christmas to me. You got a lot made, especially since you started relatively late. It’s great when the recipients are appreciative.

    • Erin

      Thanks! It’s nice they made such a fuss over my stuff, although I still think it was unwarranted… the bags and tags could have easily been done better by a child of 8. 😀 Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Thanks for stopping in to this Pear! I love your gift bags and that you made it a crafty Christmas. I hope to post all our handmade gifts in the next week. I think next year, I’ll start in June!

    • Erin

      Jane – I need to get a *much* earlier start next year, too! While I’m not going to commit to a fully-handmade Christmas next year, there will surely be a healthy portion of crafty things. 🙂 Thanks for stopping in!

  3. It sounds like a REALLY nice holiday time for you guys. I’m so glad! What, EXACTLY, is a bat house?? I mean, do you plan to house actual bats in it? LMAOOOO! So what all books did you get? Is that the full list of them, or were there even more? I have your things all done… just waiting for my lazy self to get to the post office for a box and stuff. 😀

    • Erin

      lis – we had a great time. 🙂 a bat house is, oddly enough, a house for bats. 😀 we’ll put it up either in a tree or on the side of the house to encourage the little guys to move in. they’ll help with the huge mosquito population we’ll have in the spring/summer next year, and are just generally really cool. as for books, let’s see: raising chickens for dummies, one-yard wonders, the vegetable gardener’s bible, let it rot, the world encyclopedia of cooking ingredients, and classic vegetarian cooking from the middle east and north africa – total score!

      no worries about not getting to the post office – it’s going to be awhile yet before i figure out what precisely i’m going to do with this fabric i have for you. 🙂

  4. A Bat House! I’m glad you told my why you would need one, because I was wondering. LOL That was my one newly learned thing for today. 😀

  5. marie rowley

    visiting from pear. I am so glad that i was able to stop by. love your blog. the material that you got looks amazing. 🙂 have a great day. 🙂

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