Since Emily isn't doing too much blogging these days - leaving us all in the lurch - I asked her if I might be able to guest blog and give you a behind the scenes look at her life. The idea really came to me while I was staying at the Bonners for Christmas vacation and got to be with Emily on what is undoubtedly the most frenzied and intense night of the year for every creative mother - Christmas Eve!! And since I've gotten the question many times in my life, "How DOES she do it all?" I thought this might be the perfect opportunity to give you an idea. Se here is Emily on Christmas Eve:
Returning home from the Christmas Pageant (for which she dug up three fascinating white dresses for our angels, as well as a shepherd's, wise man's and innkeeper's costume in about 10 minutes) Emily started in on dinner - fresh homemade bread topped with goat cheese and a grape olive tapenade!
The rest of the family went to work tidying the house, moving as a squadron from the front door to the back (Emily says she relies on her older children to do a lot of the tidying these days) and then she let the kids... watch TV! Yep, you heard it. They sprawled on the couch for a well deserved episode of Wild Kratts.
After dinner the Christmas elf got to work on her very long list of projects, the most pressing item being the matching flannel PJ's the 4 girl cousins would be wearing bright and early Christmas morn (the boys' PJ's were thankfully already sewn)!
Then she moved on to the doll sleeping bags, tents and campfire scenes that she and Asa had been dreaming up for weeks (the felt marshmallows on sticks part got dropped for the sake of time), and then to the felt coffee cozies for friends and finally the adorable penguin birdie for Renne before setting up for breakfast for 20 and starting on the wrapping! Emily says the secret to her speed is never sitting down while sewing...
I think there are probably a few other secrets we could uncover... I'm still hoping to discover her stash of fairy dust, but in the meantime here's what I've gathered:
Besides the efficiency, decisiveness, organization and discipline - which for our sakes I hate to admit are the true secret to Emily's genius - she did on this occasion have the help of two, charming husbands to get the kids ready for bed and help with the wrapping.
And Emily has also developed some handy traits:
1) an ability to allow certain parts of the house to remain... shall we say...neglected...
(a rare glimpse of the laundry room floor... as in you can see the floor!)
2) a healthy pooh-poohing of perfectionism,
(This might be Em's example. Though adorable, the penguin didn't quite turn out as pictured)
and 3) a (reluctant) willingness to sacrifice sleep ( I meant to get a picture of the clock face during this vigil, but got too tired...)!
In the end Christmas morning was delightful, Emily was cheerful, the top 10% of the most essential projects list got mostly accomplished , and the pj's were completely charming! How did she do it?
I feel so privileged, not only to call this amazing woman my sister, but to have spent this time at her side as elf in training and adoring fan!
Addendum from Emily:
This is so fun! Oh, I just laughed and laughed. Thank you, Carrie, for being so good to me over Christmas--you are the best partner a sister could ask for--I so often wish you lived next door!
I clearly can't do it all, which is why I've taken a break from blogging. Maybe it will slide back into the rhythm of things, but for now, enjoy the guest post...and maybe there are a couple more?!
Also, the recipe for our current favorite appetizer:
Grape and Olive Compote
1 Large Jar (or equivalent) Kalamata Olives, Pitted
Seedless Red Grapes – equal to the amount of olives
3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Fresh Chopped Thyme Or 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme (optional)
Mix all ingredients in an oven proof dish and bake uncovered for one hour and 20 min at 350◦, turning the fruit every 20 minutes with a spoon to reconstitute them with the oil and vinegar. Serve warm or cold with soft goat cheese on crusty bread or crackers. Or use as a side dish with fish or poultry.
And no, I didn't measure a thing....just toss and enjoy!