Thursday, December 8, 2016

Scenes from a Blessed Life : My latest food obsession and Christmas

Dear friends, I wanted to check in and see how you are doing. I hope you are warm and taking good care of yourself. I can hardly believe December is a week old. The cold weather is making its way to these parts. Rain has fallen off and on for a few days, and we're not done yet. I know the cold won't last long, so I'll enjoy it while I can, with cozy socks, a crackling fire, and something good on the stove.

I know it's not very Christmasy, but you're looking at my latest food obsession. The backstory is this: A good while ago, I heard someone talking about avocado toast, so I looked into it and discovered it was exactly as it sounds: avocado and toast, generally sprinkled with red pepper flakes over the top and a tablespoon or so of fresh lemon juice. But in recent weeks, I put a fried egg on top of my avocado toast and now I'm kinda hooked.

Amidst sinus infections and other annoyances, I've managed to get a bit of Christmas up. I'm doing far less than usual but just enough. It's the third or fourth year that I've used a pencil tree, a skinny tree, as I call it. Maybe one day I'll buy another big one but this one is working just fine, thanks to twin sister who generously gave it to me after buying a new and bigger one.

My dated ornament collection grows every year. Most years I only buy one ornament that represents a highlight of that year, but some years require more than one ornament, especially during our years of traveling extensively. I have to say though, no matter where we went or what we saw, there's nothing sweeter than pics of babies on a Christmas tree. 

In the above photo, our darling cupcake was barely a day old and of course my 2015 dated ornament was going to have her picture on it. 😃 I bought the frame and had it personalized during my and twin sister's Smoky Mountain vacation last fall. Speaking of that, my heart has been so grieved over the recent fires and loss of lives in that area. Life is fragile and unpredictable. Make every day count.

Our precious Julian in 2008. 
He turned 11 in June. 
I can't even.

My grand-niece, the one I call sugar plum, entered the world in 2010 and has her place on the Christmas tree. 

And my other grand-niece, the one I call pie. She entered the world in 2013 and also has a place on Aunt Dayle's Christmas tree. 

Last year, Arabella wasn't quite old enough to enjoy the tree, but she fell instantly in love with it this year. This sweet photo came about unexpectedly. I had been working on the tree late one night, and heard her jabbering, wide awake. Afraid she was going to disturb her mother, who has to be up and out early, I went and got her out of bed. When she saw the tree, she rushed over, completely mesmerized. I adore how she walks around it every day and touches the various ornaments I've collected for four decades. 

Not a day goes by that I don't realize how blessed I am that she and my daughter are here, that I get to share these sweet and fleeting moments in time. Life isn't perfect and seldom turns out as we planned, or even hoped. Dreams don't always come true. But I'm reminded of the old saying that the stars shine brighter on the darkest nights. I think it's the imperfections in our lives that open our eyes to those good and perfect gifts that the Bible speaks of. On any given day, despite the imperfections, there's no place I'd rather be than right here, right now. My heart is full to the brim.

One of God's greatest gifts to me was the gift of an identical twin sister. I love this picture of her and Arabella on a recent evening. I don't think a child can get too much love, and I'm grateful that Gayle not only loves me, but she loves my kid and grandkid, and they love her, which makes life sweeter all around. Anytime I say, "Aunt Gayle's coming over," Arabella starts clapping her hands and running to the front door.

Until next time, sweet friends, I leave you with these images of cupcake and Ba-Ba. We bought this lamb for her while in Branson in November and the minute she laid eyes on him/her, she said, "Ba-Ba," which, of course, is the sound she makes for sheep. The name stuck and she is never far from Ba-Ba, even when she's asleep.



  1. Oh, my word! She is beyond precious. It is just so heartwarming to read of the close bond you have with her, your daughter, and your precious twin sister. God has created you all a very special family, and it blesses me to see how you all pull together, no matter what you are going through. Sending you much love this beautiful Christmas season, my friend. :)

  2. And this is why Christmas trees are a necessity for families with children...the wonder of it all...

  3. Your thoughts never fail to make me smile ... or set my own musings in motion.

    That avocado-toast-egg dish looks really yummy. I'm going to give it a try!
    Arabella's wee rose-bud mouth is too precious.

  4. Hi Dayle! Oh, what a sweet precious post! Love the story of your little cute granddaughter and your tree! How blessed we to have our little ones around us! Your tree is beautiful too. Thank you so much for popping in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  5. LOVE your tree and the memories it holds with each ornament collected over the years. I've got a very similar one and it's a "skinny one" too. Your grand daughter is soo sweet. So wonderful to have a little one to enjoy during Christmas time.'ve got me thinking about that avocado toast, I am going to have to try that. Have a good week!

  6. I love everything about this article, especially the photos. Yes, you are definitely blessed!

  7. Your little 'cupcake' is absolutely adorable and love the way she holds her little lamb. And I agree, pics of babies, kids on the tree is the best. I think it's what makes the holiday great. Happy Thursday, Dayle. Stay warm out there.

  8. Oh, my word. Be still my heart she is adorable and so is your reflection on what is really important. Loevly indeed!! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

  9. Your avocado toast with egg looks so yummy. A fine way to start any day.

    And those sweet photos ... such treasures for the heart.

    Wishing you a beautiful week ahead... and Merry Christmas from my heart to yours.


  10. There's nothing like seeing the world and/or a Christmas tree through the eyes of a child. Beautiful photos!! I like your breakfast and it's healthy too. I hope you and your loved ones have a blessed and very Merry Christmas!


  11. Oh gracious, Dayle. Just read this post. The photos of Arabella are so darling. The one with the little bah bah looking out over the table is the most precious of all. You are so right. We must savor every second and appreciate this gift called life. Merry Christmas to all! Susan

  12. Merry Christmas dearest Dayle!
    I am going to try your avocado toast and egg.


  13. Sweetness. Love Ba-Ba. ;) And Ba-Ba is well-loved! I hope you had a Merry Christmas!

  14. Dayle,
    It is so fun to see how Arabella has grown. You captured a "Hallmark card" moment, when you brought her in to see the tree. What a wonderful picture.
    I hope you had a warm and loving Christmas with your family.

    (I posted earlier in the month, it didn't take.)


Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle