Thursday, December 29, 2011

Leslie's house.

About this time last year, I took you on a Christmas house tour ... there was mine, my sister Spring's and my sister Courtney's.  But I do have another sister, Leslie, who missed the house tour last year, so I decided to feature her home on my blog this year.

I absolutely love the way Leslie decorates.  She is our family's own Martha Stewart.  If Leslie is in charge of an event, you know it will be beautiful.  She is a wedding coordinator by trade (among other things), and every wedding is as beautiful as the next.  (You might want to peek at the one I posted about here ... just in case you missed it.)

Even as you approach her front door, I think her porch is adorable and inviting ....

You never know what Leslie's living room tree will look like on any given year ... but it is always stunning!

There is a peaceful feeling in her living room too ... this is where she displays most of her nativity collection.

Her family room is more of a Country French/Nordic theme ... (well, that is what I would call it anyway.)

And in her kitchen above her cabinets is a display of cute wintery white things ... LOVE.

And if you aren't too tired of seeing Christmas houses yet, you can see last year's houses ...
here, here, and here.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cookies for Santa.

My kids were with their dad on Christmas eve ... they beat me home that night.  When I walked into the living room, this is what greeted me.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas wishes.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday weekend and a

Very Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 22, 2011


When I was cleaning up my office a while back, I went through several boxes of pictures.  It was actually really fun.  I kept running different pictures into where my girls were and we all had some good laughs over the nostalgia.  (Especially my old family pictures with my mom in her wigs.  My girls roared!  Remember when moms used to wear wigs?  My mom had two plus a "hair piece".  She kept them on styrofoam heads in her closet and I thought they were SO cool and loved trying them on.)

Here is one of the pictures I came across from those wig wearing days ... late 60's.  What was so fun for me about finding this picture after all these years was seeing my little Thumbelina doll again. (That would be the doll in front of the lady bug place mat, right next to the slinky.)  I have been asked a few times what my favorite all time Christmas gift was and she was definitely one of them.  (It is a toss up between her and a couple of other dolls ... I was so into dolls. LOVE them still!  I used to tell my older sister that she was missing out because she didn't really like dolls.  I told her the same thing about the Osmonds:  You are missing out on so much fun because you don't like the Osmonds, Leslie!!!  (She liked the Carpenters way more.)

My family had friends who owned an ice skating rink not too far from our house, so on several Christmases, we would go ice skating on Christmas day.  What I remember about the Christmas that I got Thumbelina was that I sent her home with my friend Kathy that day, and she sent me home with her Barbie kitchen carousel.  Kathy's family was at the staking rink too and we both loved each others presents so we made a temporary trade.

My mom didn't like us playing with Barbies so I didn't have any of my own. I thought Kathy's kitchen carousel was pretty much the coolest thing I had ever seen.  There was an oven and sink and dishwasher all in a round, with cabinets above them ... pink and yellow, I think.  The cabinets had tiny dishware that I wanted to eat it was so adorable!  I am remembering water and sound effects for the appliances too .... anyway, I did love that carousel but was also happy to get my little Thumbelina baby home.

She had a string on her back that you pulled and she would move around and wiggle like a little baby.  She was so tiny and so sweet ... I wish I still had her.  I do still have my Velvet doll.  Do you remember her?  She was Chrissy's little sister?  Chrissy had red hair and Velvet had blonde.  They had buttons on their back that when you turned changed the length of their hair.  Turn it one way, and hair from the center of their head would grow.  Turn it the other way, and the hair disappeared again into the doll's head. You could make their hair any length you wanted. It was pretty ingenious ... maybe it is time for a come back.  I don't think there is anything like that now - and they were sooooooo pretty!  I probably wanted to be Velvet!   ;)

And speaking of the Carpenters .......

For a little while Leslie was a member of the Carpenters' fan club.  One year she got this Christmas card from them.

I was D.E.A.D!
(I am such a groupie.)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas glimpses.

I was talking with my mom a couple of weeks ago and asked, "So are you guys all decorated for Christmas now?"  (New York is, sadly, too far to run over and see what they have done.)

And she answered,  "Well, you know your father.  He just keeps getting boxes out of the barn and bringing them in to find places for more and more decorations."

I know just how that is ... we tend to just keep on going in our family.  My sister Leslie has said there are years that she has added things to her tree, or set something out as late as Christmas eve.

Another sister has said she even likes to find places for the items that she buys at the after Christmas sales before she boxes everything up for the season.  We really get into the merriment of decorating.  I don't think we have come to the realization yet that enough is enough.

Although I have been decorated for awhile now, I haven't gone around my house to get pictures yet this year, but here are some glimpses into some Christmas joy at our house ....

(I loved a little message about spreading joy over at bluebird notes today ... click here to see.)

... are you ready?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tidings of Comfort ... and J.O.Y!

Last night, my four kiddos (still at home) and I went to get our pictures taken for our Christmas cards. I know, I know.  It is a little late to be getting our pictures taken, but as long as cards are post marked by the 24th we're good, right?  I love Christmas cards SO much that they can keep on comin' all the way through the new year as far as I'm concerned and I would be tickled pink to get them.

Chloe happens to be working with a photography studio during this Christmas season, so she scheduled our appointment to be the last one of the day.  That way, she could leave her post to be a subject in the photo without a problem.

Since Mike, the photographer, knows Chloe, he took all kinds of time with our family.  Mike posed all
of the kids and took some serious shots of each of them.

I don't ever take serious shots of my kids.

Chloe doesn't often strike serious poses.

She prefers to take photos like this one ....

pure joy.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pottery Barn Christmas.

Last year I mentioned how much Pottery Barn had inspired me to switch up my Christmas decor just a little bit ... this year, it is just as inspiring.  I think I have been to the Pottery Barn store at least six times so far this season.   (And it isn't even that convenient to my house.)  I think I could just move in and be really content.

I always look forward to getting their Christmas catalog too.  There are SO many ideas on those pages - it is just earthy and pretty.  Last year after visiting their store in Salt Lake, I put the garland on my stairs without any decorations on it.  I added some boxwood (which is all over PB) to my (really old) evergreen garland, white lights, and that was it.  Same for this year, and I am loving it.  Haley walked into the house the other night and said, "Oh I just love our garland on the stairs!"  Nothing like greenery and lights to make your house feel festive and Christmasy!

I walked over to the Pottery Barn Kids store too and was dying at how cute their window displays were.

(these kids! these toys!)

One of these days I decided that I need to ask Santa for some Christmas bedding.  I know it's a little impractical, but I have been eye balling this set for a few years now.  I am C.R.A.Z.Y. about it!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mr. Snowman.

I just LOVE all of the cute little pictures and crafts that come home with your kids from elementary school around holidays.  Especially at Christmas. (I have at least three burlap banners with wreaths made out of little hand prints.)  Sadly, those days for me are long gone, but as I was organizing my office recently, I came across this picture Chloe made out of torn construction paper.  I did a blog post a while back where I shared an organizing tip about this very subject.

The "experts" suggest that instead of hanging on to all of those projects, that you don't know quite what to do with or how to store, take a picture instead.  It's much more manageable and the memory is kept.  So before the colors completely faded on this adorable little snowman, I captured it's cuteness on film.

Oh, and speaking of snowmen .....

dear snow, 
come already.  it's time.
love you,
polly dove

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Christmas helper.

I had a chubby cheeked little jammied up Christmas cherub come over the other night.  She wanted to help me decorate the tree ... and she did.

She piled lots of silver balls on branches of the tree.

As I was trying to take pictures of it, Libby said, "No pictures Grammie."

Not until she was finished, that is.  She was quite proud of herself when she had placed all of those balls on the tree.  And then she wanted pictures taken!

(My decorating is still a work in progress.  I want to be done already.)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I heart you.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hot chocolate.

When I left my house this morning it was 19 degrees outside.  BRRRRRR!!!!  Two thoughts crossed my mind:  I still haven't turned off my water main yet and I might have missed out on the window of opportunity to hang my outside Christmas lights.  Doggone it.

Then I got to my office, saw a post over at Amy Atlas' blog featuring this adorable "haute" chocolate party, (I wanna come) and then I went to McDonald's and got a peppermint hot cocoa ... it was delish!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A clean office.

Believe it or not, I have a reputation for being extremely organized.  This is a picture of my office that I took about a year ago.  I have mentioned (a time or two) that I renovated my basement last September, and I now have renters.  My basement is around 1,300 square feet and part of that square footage was a really good size storage room.  However.  A downside of being a good organizer, is that I fit a LOT of stuff in that room. Now where was I supposed to put it all?  It was no easy task.

In fact, it is still a work in progress.  Somehow, even though I have sent car loads of stuff to the thrift store and given away tons of other stuff, and put some in a storage unit, and filled my third car bay in the garage with shelves of stuff ... one year later, I still have stuff that needs to find places to rest.

After my divorce, I put my house on the market. When it didn't sell,  I took that as a sign that maybe we were meant to stay put for awhile.

A couple of weeks ago I got a call out of the blue from a guy who goes to my church asking if I was still interested in selling my house.  We had held a church pot luck and outdoor movie in my back yard a few years ago and this particular couple loved the size of my back yard and wondered if I had any plans to move. (The wife had said to her husband, "I don't think she's selling her house Josh." Her husband's reply was, "Oh, everything's for sale.")

When I got the call from him, I answered, "I am always interested in selling my house."

"Great. We have family coming into town for Thanksgiving.  Can we come over and see it and take some pictures?"

Um, well?  Nothing like a home tour to get you motivated to clean up is there?!?!?  Although I still have corners of rooms that need attention (you know how that is), the office was the last remaining COMPLETE disaster of a room that finally had to be addressed.  It was one of those projects that was so overwhelming and daunting to me that it was just easier to close the door.  It became the new storage room, but it was anything but organized!  Frankly, I didn't even know where to begin.

(At one point during the course of the past year I did enlist the help of some rather large, rather heavy shelves from IKEA.  My brother helped me put them together and they do hold a lot of stuff .... I filled those puppies up in no time.)

Have you heard that saying, How do you eat an elephant?  And the answer is, One bite at a time?  This was my elephant, and my game plan was just to pick up one item at a time and decide what to do with it.

Several trash bags later ....

Ta Daaaaaaaa!!!!

You can see my carpet again!  Let the Harold Angels sing, ALLELUIA!!!

And while there is still some fine tuning left to be done on those shelves and in those baskets, almost every single item in that room was touched and analyzed.  It felt good.  And as an added bonus - I came across almost $500 worth of gift cards.  SWEET!  (Even better than finding a $20 in the pocket of your old jeans.)

Monday, November 28, 2011

FM 100.

One of my very favorite things about this time of year is the music.  There are two local radio stations that start playing Christmas carols the day after Halloween, which for me, even as much as I love it, is a little too early.  Why is it that retailers find the need to completely overlook Thanksgiving and jump right into Christmas?  (Okay, that is probably a rhetorical question.) 

But one of those radio stations, FM 100, also puts on a series of free Christmas Concerts at the mall a couple of times a week and my girls and I went to the first one of this season about a week ago and I will admit, it was a great way to get me into the Holly, Jolly spirit!  There are a lot of local artists who are incredible and play to sold out concerts here, so we are lucky that they take the time to fit in a free concert during the day too.

I have been going to these for years.  Some of the bigger name artists that have come before are Jim Brickman, an amazing composer, who I LOVE ... Collin Raye, who I also LOVE (and happens to sing one of my favorite Jim Brickman songs, The Gift ... and Donny Osmond, who has also happened to sing with Jim Brickman (here).

I went to see Collin Raye with my friend Shelley. After the concert, we headed to the drive thru line at McDonalds.  Collin Raye just happened to hop out of the car in front of us and walked inside the restaurant.  I might have freaked out a little bit and said, "SHELLEY!  Oh my gosh! When he comes back out, get out and ask him if he wouldn't mind taking a picture with me!  Tell him we just saw him at the FM100 concert and he was fabulous and your friend loves him.  He won't mind, he'll be flattered.  Just get out of the car when he comes back and they can just pull over until I get through the line!!!!"

Shelley didn't want to.  She said, "I'm not like that.  Here, switch seats with me and you do it."  I was boxed in next to the wall.  We would have had to climb over each other. I was doing my best to talk her into it but, meanwhile, Collin Raye walked back out, got into the car and off they went.  Photo opportunity missed.  BOO.

But when Donny was going to be performing, I thought ahead that day and took a Christmas card for him to sign for my friend Diane.  I took pictures of him signing it and put one in the card and sent it to her.  I even had a guy address the envelope so she would be completely surprised when she opened it up and found her Christmas card from Donny. Now that was a happy little thing.  It was so fun to do it for her because I don't know anyone else who would have appreciated it more.  :)

Let the CAROLS begin!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Breaking Dawn Premiere!!!

As I mentioned in my last post, my Nelson nieces are die hard Twilight fans (affectionately known as "Twihards").  At our last family gathering they were SO excited because they were heading down to L.A. for the Hollywood premiere of Breaking Dawn.  "Yay!  We are going down for the red carpet event!"

They didn't really have a plan, but they had the desire and doggone it, they wanted to get a glimpse of those Twilight stars!  Now, I am pretty sure they were going to be five of several hundreds of fans all trying to catch that same glimpse, so I was crossing my fingers for them that they would find a good spot along the fan route.

As it turned out, Yahoo was hosting a big event for the fans who were doing just what the Nelson girls were doing. My nieces had heard there were wrist bands so the first goal was to GET A WRIST BAND!  (Wrist bands are always a good thing when it comes to crowds.)

They arrived in L.A. at around 12:30 in the morning and checked into their hotel .... the hotel being their place to shower and hold their belongings.  They had heard about "Tent City" so they also had a tent.

Bright and early the next morning, those girls GOT those wrist bands and secured their spot at the premiere .... which was four days later, and said HELLO to their new resting place, TENT CITY!!!  Let the party begin!

The girls said that once they got there, they realized they were in a completely different league as far as Twihards go.  So they got busy getting with the program by making posters and shirts .....

(Paige, Taryn, Taylor, Brynne, Lindsay.)

.... which got them a little bit of media attention.  Every day there were cameras!

And some days ..... Twilight stars came by to say hey .... like "Emmett" who brought 50 boxes of donuts, hugs, and thanks for being great fans.  (He's the girls' new favorite.)

.... Carlisle Cullen - who the girls said was SOOOOO handsome in person.

... and Seth, one of the wolf boys!

..... Stephenie Meyer who brought some autographed copies of her books!  (One night, Yahoo also put on a concert for the fans with the various artists who sang on the soundtrack from the movie.  Bonus!)

Then, as if it couldn't get any better, IT DID!!!!  On the night of the premiere, with a great spot on the carpet, those lucky little girls got filled to the brim with celebrity sightings - including (but by no means limited to), Emily, Alice, Kate, Seth, Samantha, Lucy, Eric, Billy, Sam, Felix, Renesmee, Esmee, Jasper, Charly, Rosalie, and ...

Jacob .... Bella .... and Edward!!!!!!

And all three of them signed Lindsay's arm!!!!!

But I am pretty sure that what I got the biggest kick out of, was seeing the professional pictures, shot by the "real" photographers that showed up on and with a familiar face beaming in the crowd!!!!  (Hey, Paige!)

No doubt, the trip of a lifetime for these Twihards .... they dubbed Tent City, The Happiest Place on Earth!
(And then they were surprised with a ticket to attend the premiere with all of those stars!!!  Sigh.)

Dreams really do come true!!!