Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas in.....


I think I might have mentioned already that we spent a few years in Connecticut.  In fact, Connecticut was where the Bionic Man and I spent our first Christmas as a married couple.  We discovered this movie at the video store one night that first year, and thought it was so hilarious that there was a movie about us.  We tried to convince our families back in Utah that they needed to watch it.

The Bionic Man carried this enormous Christmas tree home on the top of his tiny Geo Metro.  
I'm not sure how he did it. That's why is he the Bionic Man. Some other time I'll tell you about
the telephone pole he carried home in a minivan.

The tree dwarfed our tiny apartment.  We had no ornaments.....and not much money for buying we had to make do with a few lights and approximately six ornaments that were given to us for our post-Christmas wedding the year before.  Hmmm, looks like we got a humidifier for Christmas. 

Living in the Land of Martha (Stewart, that is) inspired me to cook this delicious holiday dinner.  Wow!
Note the shrimp cocktail in goblets and the artfully arranged veggie tray.  I'm totally impressed with myself.  Also note the very unflattering sweater and--I can't believe this, it is completely shameful--stirrup pants!!!!!!!!!  I was actually pregnant with Endeavor in this picture, but I'm pretty sure I really didn't need maternity clothes.  And no woman--pregnant or not--needs stirrup pants!  (Seriously, though, they made a brief return to the market in Fall 1998.  Don't as me why I felt compelled to buy them, much less wear them.  Pregnancy is so hard on the brain.)  Speaking of maternity clothes, for some reason I was so anxious to wear them during my first pregnancy.  By my fourth, I held off for as long as possible.   I managed to wear the same favorite pair of jeans I'd worn pre-pregnancy until the day I delivered.  Ahem, not every day.  But I wore them to the hospital on the day I had the baby.  I'm still scratching my head over how that worked.  (Old Navy, Flirt style, stretch, for anyone who is pregnant and wondering.)

Back to Connecticut.  The weather in Connecticut positively guarantees that you will have a white Christmas.  We always had piles of snow by Christmas.  We had a couple of children by the time we purchased our first home, so finding one with a good sledding hill was absolutely necessary.  After all, Christmas isn't the only time there is snow in Connecticut.  It is there at least 7 months of every year.  You better love snow if you move to Connecticut.  I'm sure Martha does.

By now I'm feeling very nostalgic.  I can't find any snowy pictures of our sledding hill, so I'll show you one taken in the summertime.

What a hill that was! One of the reasons Bionic Man is so Bionic is because 
he had to mow that. And what a view we had from our little Connecticut cottage.  
Below, the view from my front porch.

Do you want to see inside?  The Bionic Man and I worked soooo hard on our little cottage, I might as well show it off while we are on the subject of Connecticut.  These are the pictures we took to market it. It sold in 13 days.  By owner.  Sigh.

This was our sweet little kitchen. It didn't look anything like this when we 
bought the house. Originally, the only cabinetry in the kitchen was flanking the sink.  
There was no dishwasher, and 4 total linear feet of counter space. The Bionic Man 
and I plotted for days. Then we bravely knocked down one wall and put up another.  
We found counterspace.

Lots of counterspace.  I loved designing my own kitchen.  It took us a long time to do this reno, but it was sooooo worth it.  I thought through everything very carefully, and was able to place everything just where I needed it.  This kitchen was about 9x15 feet, and it was far more efficient than my current 15x27 feet kitchen space.

This was the side of the kitchen that had the original, only cabinet and countertop space.  We tore out the cruddy lower cabinets, but left the original upper cabinets because they were just too darn charming to toss.  We took the doors off and covered them in nine coats of white paint.  I loved having the open shelves in my kitchen.  The wall color was Valspar's "Star Lily" and the counters were Formica's "Fresh Paint."  Still love those colors today.  The cabinetry is Kraftmaid.  Cost of the entire kitchenreno was under $4K.  (It helped that the only new appliance we had to purchase was the fridge.  The others we found in the paper or bought from friends who were updating.)

This was the other side of the kitchen.  The doorway to the right is the one that we put in.  The Bionic Man made sure it was arched, like the other doorways in the house.  I love arched doorways.  When we weren't taking pictures to sell the house, the pegs over the bench were full of coats and jackets.  No one ever came to our front door.....they always came to the least, they did until the Bionic Man dug flagstone out of our backyard and made this pretty little path to the front door.

He fit those pieces together, almost singlehandedly.  I helped by planting my very pregnant self on the front porch and overseeing the placement of the stones.  It was like a giant puzzle.  Can you believe those rocks were all from our yard?

If you came in through the front, you would have seen our Red Room.   With its arched doorway.

The doorway wasn't there when we moved in, because this was a bedroom.  We turned it into a Red Room using Valspar's "Cabin Red."  I love "Cabin Red."  I have vowed to have a Red Room in every house I ever live in, thanks to "Cabin Red."  It is the perfect red.  See that very New-Englandy and oh-so-colonial couch set?  My dear friend Kelly (shout out to Kelly!) picked it up from the curb and let us have it.  We'd already painted the room, it matched like we'd found the furniture first!  I should mention that Kelly didn't find it on some random curb, it was in front of another friend's house and hadn't been there long.  So no funny smells or stains.  Our other friend was just tired of it.  It is very comfortable for short people like me.  I'll never put it on the curb.  But I will reupholster it someday.

Thanks for taking this trip down memory lane with me today.  Lucky for you, I can't find any more pictures of our little Connecticut Cottage.  But I can find Bing Crosby, singing about a white Christmas.


  1. Ah, yes . . . Christmas in Connecticut. You just have to love those old movies. We just watched White Christmas and I've got Holiday Inn coming from Netflix soon. I never did get to see your house. Looks cute! At least you still have a chance for a snow on Christmas in Ind. I don't think we'll have it here in AZ!

  2. Ruth, I love you! Every sentence I read makes me love you more! Your humor, your way of thinking... and I love that I hear your voice with each word! Keep posting--I love the updates and that I can get into your heart/mind even though we're miles apart in distance. Love ya, Hyd

  3. Oh we miss you guys! Thanks for the Christmas card! Your cottage was one of my favorite places to visit while you were here. Once I babysat at night while everyone was sleeping and you had a book for me to read in the Red room on the beautiful colonial couch. You said it was one of your favorites - something about a prince in a nursery at the beginning - I didn't get very far but always wanted to find it and read it. Do you know what it is so I can find it now? Your English major is nothing compared to the wit and wisdom that you already have that led you to that major! Thanks for the inspiration.