Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Charlie Brown

Christmas tree photographs submitted from some of our favorite guys in Richmond! Keep the pictures coming! Merry Christmas & the happiest of New Years to you both!
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Celebrations

I look forward to Phil’s company party every year. I always have so much fun & this year was no different. It was at the Westin Oaks at the Galleria again this year. There was a band, some carolers, great dinner and dancing. We hosted the “preparty” for Phil’s lab at our house; it's always so much fun to see everyone all dressed up. I wore my new dress that Phil gave me for The Nutcracker; I just love it so much that I have worn it to every event this season. Between the bands sets, the company gives away door prizes & we havn’t won anything since 4 years ago, when we won a very nice engraved poker set, but we don’t play poker. But this year we won $100!!
Someone very handsome brought me these flowers at the beginning of the evening; what a nice date I had ;-)
Some of the food that I had at the "preparty". We didn't need more than a few snacks because we were going to get a large dinner at the Westin.
Here I was trying to get artsy with my camera & the punch bowl glasses.....I have a ways to go before I am considered a photographer. Kellyn, your punch recipe was a hit- it was gone before I could get a picture! Thank you!
Here are the carolers at the party. They were so great! I loved how well they got into character with their costumes. (Hey Lindsey, don't these look like the carolers you saw at the Dickens on the Strand?)
Us in front of one of the trees at the party.

For 3 weeks in a row we have had a theatrical production to go to: the Nutcracker, the Grinch, & our churches Christmas Pageant, “Celebration.” On October 16th, Phil stood in line for a couple hours while I was co-hosting a baby shower for tickets to Celebration. It was totally worth it- Thank you Phil! We invited my friend Beth & her husband over for dinner and then we all went to the show. We had a fabulous time; the show was purposeful & spectacular. The portrayal of Jesus’ life always makes me tear up. Houstonians, if you have been missing this Celebration, as our pastor says, “You need to get your head checked.” I highly recommend it next year, but if you didn’t get to go, the CD is on itunes- "All is Well: Songs of Celebration 2010" (No. 7 is my favorite! In fact, I'm listening to it right now). Thanks Beth & Erik for joining us!! We had a blastie-blast!

This was the only picture I got from the evening. You're just going to have to take my word for it: we had a great time!

xoxo Darby

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Nutcracker and the Grinch

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, Phil & I went to see The Nutcracker. He surprised me with tickets on my nightstand. The ballet was beautiful & I absolutely loved it. The Arabian dancers are always my favorite. I will be seeing the Nutcracker again in a week or so with my mom & sister in Richmond. Can't wait!
I woke up to a Nutcracker looking at me with 2 tickets for a wonderful date :-)
Outside of the theatre was decorated beautifully for Christmas
Not only did Phil get me the tickets, but he also bought me this gorgeous dress (side bar- the beading matches my wedding dress. Needless to say, I think Phil is the best husband in the entire world!)
Waltz of the Sugar Plum Fairy
Arabian Dancers- my favorite!

The following weekend we went to see the musical The Grinch. Phil said that he liked this one more because there were words hehe. This was by far the most hilarious musical I have ever been to. My cheeks were hurting when we left because I laughed so much. The Grinch, the character not the behavior of course, was phenomenal! The costumes were spectacular! I want to see it again! Click here for a link to a little montage of the show.
Check out the Grinch- fabulous costume and face paint! It reminded me of Cats.
xoxo Darby

Christmas Shopping Pit Stop and Canned Food Drive Open House

Do you think I tried to cram too many themes into one event? Ha! Probably, but it was still a successful event. You know when you do your mass Christmas shopping and, not only does it take forever, but you tire easily from the crowds & excessive spending? Well since we live at the mecca of Houston shopping, I opened our house to our tired Christmas shopping friends. During the day when shoppers started to get weary & needed a moment to regroup, they could stop by our house for some warm drinks & snacks. This way they didn’t have to spend any more money on snacks, could spend time with friends, & could rejuvenate for the next leg of their shopping. Also to make it a little competitive, for every 2 canned goods that a guest brought for the Houston Food Bank, they were entered into a drawing for an awesome prize. We got more donations than I had even hoped for; thus I think it was a very successful event. Thank you everyone who stopped by!
Here is the box that I wrapped to hold the cans. Little did I know that they would quickly spill over the edges. Of course I forgot to get a picture of that, but take my word for it: there were a lot of cans!
The price was a Scentsy with 2 Christmas scents. Remember me referring to Scentsys before? I almost kept this for myself, but congratulations Becky!!!
Of course we had to have lots of warm drinks! There was warm tea, cider, hot cocoa, and my favorite, coffee :-)
This is not the norm in our house, but just for special occasions, I had sweet coffee stirrers: candy canes and Rolos.
To eat, I served chicken salad tea sandwiches, 3 kinds of cookies, fruit with dip, and cheese with crackers.
Of course it isn't a party unless you get to take home a treat! For favors I gave away Christmas tree ornaments. There were several shapes (e.g. trees, snowflakes, angels), but the heart was my favorite.
xoxo Darby

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ruby Trees

November 4, 2009 my Granny, Ruby, lost her battle with brain cancer. During her last days, I prayed diligently for her to no longer experience pain, & when she passed I was relieved to know that she was now walking with our heavenly Father, pain-free. My family was very close to her; literally, we lived 2 doors down the street. Granny had one of those huge traditional southern homes, & we were always at her house. Her house was so big, that there was a room in her house that was only used for Christmas; we called it The Christmas Room (clever, I know hehe). Last Christmas, the first since her passing, the family pulled out all of Granny’s decorations & decorated the entire house. We quickly realized that for a big house you need a lot of decorations. My aunt Karen thought we should decorate each room with a theme; I was totally down with that idea, everyone knows I love themes. We had a bird tree, a blue tree, a candy tree, a mini tree, and on and on. There were so many themed-trees in Granny's house that we could have easily burnt the place down in a matter of minutes. Thank goodness we didn't though. Here are just a fraction of the trees that were up last Christmas:
The famous Christmas Room with a candy themed tree
The dining room
The blue tree in "yonder" (or the family room if you don't speak southern)
A mini tree a the top of the stairs
On the flight back to Richmond after Christmas, I was thinking about my granny & all the wonderful memories I had with her, especially at Christmas time. Then I remembered that I had 2 Christmas trees that have been sitting in boxes for a couple years. At that moment I decided that I didn’t want them in boxes during the Christmas season anymore. I decided that I was going to turn them into themed trees & call them My Ruby Trees (again, I am so clever at naming things, aren’t I? haha). For my themes, I decided that one tree would be a candy tree, just like Granny’s, & for the other tree, I decided that since Granny practically lived in the kitchen (& made the best New York Style Cheesecake that has ever graced my lips!) and I love to bake as well, that I would have a baking themed tree as well. Since last Christmas I have been hunting for tree skirts, tree toppers, ornaments, & garland for my Ruby Trees. It has been such a fun way to honor & remember her throughout this year. So, in addition to our regular tree, this year we have 2 Ruby Trees.
My Candy Tree
My Baking Tree Miss you Granny and we love you! Thank you for making my childhood so bright!
xoxo Darby

A Hawley Jolly Christmas

Can you believe that it has taken me this many years to think of the "Hawley Jolly" rhyme?! haha I'm so slow!

Anyways, it’s become a tradition in the Hawley house to spend the Friday after Thanksgiving ignoring the frantic Black Friday shoppers & transforming our house into a winter wonderland; this year was no different. We got our tree & decorated the entire house on Black Friday. I just LOVE to wake up a little extra early in the mornings, when the world is still quiet & the house is still dark, to sip my coffee in front of the lighted Christmas tree. Such peace fills the season & it brings me such delight to take time each day to make sure I’m focusing on what matters most, celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior.
I love this nativity scene. There is corresponding scripture for each piece.
Here is the mantle. This was the first year that I made my own garland. I think I did pretty well for a first-timer. Clearly I was on a bird kick when I was making it though. Aren't the his and hers ice skating stockings so cute?
The coffee table.
It's hard to see, but there are snowflake crystal votives on each side of the bowl filled with red Christmas balls.
The dining room table
This little Santa helps us countdown to Christmas, but no matter how many times I put the little candy cane on the correct day, I always seem to find it in his mouth later. hmmmmmm, no wonder Santa is a little on the chunky side.
I got these snowflakes, but I can't figure out where to hang them. I'm open for suggestions. I tried to hang them in the living room, but even standing on the bar stool I couldn't reach the 15 ft ceilings. I thought about putting them outside, but they are so glittery and pretty that I'm concerned they will be ruined. So my last idea was here, but I don't like them here.....they are not symmetrical. Again, I'm taking suggestions.
Here is part of the living room.
Do you see our "fire"? "They don't have white Christmases in Houston" :-)
Everyone loves Christmas sweets, right?!
Our Tree :-)
Two other trees that I will tell you about in a later post.
Can you tell that we're ready for Christmas? We are!
xoxo Darby
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