Champagne Parties and Family Love

I know the holidays are not over for most, but for me, they are. My daughter headed home today; then we dismantled our crispy Christmas Tree. I’ve been missing in action from my blog for the last week because I wanted to soak up every family moment I could, and a lot was going on.

Time spent with my daughter is precious beyond words.Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle blog for women over 50

I love her Joie Mauro Metallic Jacquard Blouse. The soft blush shade is perfect for her delicate beauty, and so I’ll be scouring the holiday sales for one myself.

We gave a very special dinner party for one of my oldest, dearest girlfriends who I’d lost track of for several years. She’s also a family friend who has shared the ups and downs with us through some powerful times.Beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog for women over 50

For this dinner party, we served several types of Champagne, heavy hor d’ oeuvres and a simple gluten-free pasta entree. After dinner, we women gravitated to my upstairs den to schmooze and talk about everything from new makeup trends to career paths. Heavy stuff indeed.

The following night we went to a dear friends house for a delicious crab feed, more champagne and knitting by the fire. My daughter finished the baby hat she was knitting, Champagne notwithstanding:)

The following day we headed to my son’s house. He was feeling weak from the flu, so we sent him to bed earlier than usual and the ladies took over. My daughter and I stayed up late into the night assembling a table and work bench for my grandson, which was a HUGE hit with him in the morning!

That’s us crawling around the garage floor trying to make sense of the 600+ parts it came in.

Christmas morning arrived very, very early…as it usually does when there are little ones involved.

I’ve always enjoyed seeing loved ones open what I’ve chosen for them. This year, my children’s gifts to me, made me cry.

My daughter made a picture book that captured the fun, high points of our family trip to Iceland last summer. The captions were hysterical and brought the whole trip back to life!

My son’s gift was a set of electric salt and pepper grinders. I adore cooking, but arthritis in my hands has gotten so painful I can’t open jars or use our regular salt and pepper mills. When I saw what he chose for me, I just lost it.

This is an emotional time of year for me for many reasons. I’m so grateful I could spend it with my loved ones.

Is this an emotional time of year for you too?

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32 Comments

  1. Trish Hertsgaard
    December 29, 2016 / 4:47 am

    What a lovely Christmas you had with your family! I love the dinners leading up to the big day and the time you got to spend with your daughter. Warm wishes to you and your family for a happy, healthy 2017!

    • Jennifer
      December 29, 2016 / 8:37 am

      Wishing you good health, joy and love in 2017, Trish!

  2. brenda barker
    December 29, 2016 / 5:02 am

    Jennifer -I am so sorry to read that the pain in your hands and elsewhere is continuing. You may want to have a simple blood test (Rheumatoid Factor -RF which would confirm if
    your pain is Rheumatoid or Osteoarthritis). If it were to be RA the sooner you are put on a medication to put the Rheumatoid into remission the more comfortable you will be long term. In the meantime I use *bean bag mittens* I heat in the microwave and rest my hands while wearing for 20-30 minutes. It really does help with the pain. Sounds like you had a great Christmas and best wishes for a Happy New Year and 2017.

    • Jennifer
      December 29, 2016 / 8:35 am

      I did not know about that blood test, Brenda! I’ll ask my Dr to order it. I have discovered warmth helps so rather than hold my hands under running waster I like your mit idea. Where can I find them? Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it!

  3. Andrea Nine
    December 29, 2016 / 5:44 am

    Oh Jennifer, this made me so happy to see you smiling and hear about your beautiful family and your Christmas with them! Your daughter is just as beautiful as you are and I know she has the same heart of gold! I understand what you’re saying, the holidays can be very emotional, we have lost two people very close to us this past year which makes it even more difficult. I’m so glad you enjoyed so many joyous moments! I know that 2017 has some wonderful things in store for you beautiful lady! xo

    • Jennifer
      December 29, 2016 / 8:30 am

      You’re so sweet, Andrea! Thank you. She is a total delight. I’m so sorry you’ve lost loved ones this year. It makes the holidays so empty and sad. Sending you love and best wishes for a fabulous 2017! xo

    • Jennifer
      December 29, 2016 / 8:25 am

      Thank you for being here, Melodee. Your comments make my day!

  4. Renée
    December 29, 2016 / 6:26 am

    Your daughter is such a beauty–and it’s easy to see where she got her looks. Your evening of women’s talk and champagne sounds delightful

    • Jennifer
      December 29, 2016 / 8:23 am

      Thank you, Renee! She is such a delightful young lady too. That evening was heartwarming and so fun. I need to schedule more of them. Happy New Year!

  5. December 29, 2016 / 6:29 am

    Sounds like you made some wonderful memories in the last week, Jennifer! I’m so glad you got to enjoy time with your family!

    That workbench is fabulous – what little boy wouldn’t love it! And your children’s gifts to you are just perfect!

    And, yes, it’s a very emotional time of the year for me. For many years, my parents visited us during Christmas and we spent it together at the Central Coast. After my dad’s stroke last year, they can’t come anymore, and I have missed them dearly in the last week.

    Wishing you health & much happiness in 2017!

    • Jennifer
      December 29, 2016 / 8:21 am

      Thank you, Andrea. I’m so sorry to hear about your Dad’s stroke!! Changing family dynamics and traditions are tough for me to get used to. Wishing you a fabulous 2017 and much joy and love. xo

  6. December 29, 2016 / 6:36 am

    Looks like such a great time with a beautiful family!!

    • Jennifer
      December 29, 2016 / 8:19 am

      It was wonderful Pam!

  7. Allison
    December 29, 2016 / 10:47 am

    Dear Jennifer,
    You have a lovely family! Your daughter is so pretty! Christmas this year has been very emotional for me as it was one year ago I unexpectedly lost a very dear friend and later this past year we are supporting my brother after his devastating brain tumor diagnosis.
    On the bright side my ninety year old parents were able to travel from Toronto to Ottawa for Christmas. Although it is a bit of a challenge (my mother has dementia and Dad is rather weak) they so enjoy sitting under our huge tree with all the lights so every moment is worth it. I do not know how many Christmas’s we will have them with us.
    I wish you a very Happy New Year and many blessings!

    • Jennifer
      December 29, 2016 / 10:57 am

      My Dear Allison, I am so sorry to hear about your friend! That is shocking and so very sad. I am sending prayers for your brother’s improvement and your continued strength. You are indeed blessed to still have your parents with you. How wonderful they could be with you this year, I know you are appreciating every moment of their time with you. Thank you for sharing and being here, I appreciate you! Wishing you a healthy, joyous 2017!

  8. Susan
    December 29, 2016 / 2:15 pm

    Thank you for all your wonderful and much appreciated advice on living well and stylish. Happy New Year to you and your lovely family. Looking forward to your thoughts in 2017! God bless!

    • Jennifer
      December 29, 2016 / 5:38 pm

      Thank you, Susan! Your comments make my day. Wishing you a blessed, healthy and joyous 2017!

  9. Joanna
    December 29, 2016 / 2:35 pm

    Those were sweet, thoughtful gifts from your children. I can see why they brought tears to your eyes.
    Wishing you all the best in 2017.

    • Jennifer
      December 29, 2016 / 5:39 pm

      I felt like a sap, but couldn’t help myself. My children are so very thoughtful!! Happy New Year, Joanna. Thanks for reading.

  10. Susan
    December 29, 2016 / 2:46 pm

    Beautiful family! I know you enjoyed your time with them. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jennifer
      December 29, 2016 / 5:40 pm

      Thank you, Susan! Happy New Year.

  11. December 29, 2016 / 3:49 pm

    Family and friends…they make our lives so much richer.
    Your daughter is gorgeous and there is no doubt that she got her looks from you!

    I did not know that you had arthritis…and your sons’ gift will get loads of use. I have a vintage jar opener called Top It Off and it works like a charm. You might find one on ebay or etsy…I have terrible trouble opening jars too.

    Those memory picture books make me cry too…I have several from our son and DIL with the grand children, I look at them frequently.

    We have a tendency to expect that holidays will be perfect and as we know life has its ups and downs…I hope that the New Year will be a healthy and Happy One for you and your family.

    XO

    • Jennifer
      December 29, 2016 / 5:49 pm

      I’m so glad I’m not the only emotional one 🙂 My hands seem to be getting worse very quickly so I’m looking into options for pain relief and have made an appointment with a hand doctor. That jar opener sounds like a treasure, thanks for the idea. I’ll go on a hunt for one.
      Life’s ups and downs are the only constants we can count on sometimes.
      Wishing you a healthy and happy 2017!
      xoxo

  12. Miriam
    December 29, 2016 / 11:05 pm

    Your daughter is lovely, just like her mother. I look forward to your posts in 2017. I was at a loss on where to find advice on staying stylish over 50 until I found your site.

    Thank you!

    • Jennifer
      December 30, 2016 / 12:31 pm

      Thank you so much, Miriam!! I’m honored you are here! Happy New Year.

  13. brenda barker
    December 30, 2016 / 3:29 am

    Jennifer – the *beanbag mittens* can be found in a lot of drug stores where you find other beanbag options that can be heated in the microwave or your drug store may be able special order for you. also , here in London, Ontario, Canada we have Shoppers Home Health that sells walkers, specialty recliners, medical beds plus *health related specialty items*,etc and they also have a section with kitchen and cooking items that have been adapted for *arthritic* hands – utensils with thick handles – almost any item you can think of. Your local Arthritis Society should be able to direct you to a local source – you may also benefit from consulting Occupational Therapist – their job is to help you adapt your home and life to accommodate your developing disability – another item I couldn’t live with is my hot wax bath for my hands daily. Good luck and my thoughts and prayers are with you on this journey you don’t really want to take but you have no choice.

    • Jennifer
      December 31, 2016 / 10:54 am

      Thank you so much Brenda! You’ve been so very helpful. Bless you. xoxo

  14. December 30, 2016 / 4:26 am

    What a lovely time you shared with us Jennifer!
    Have a wonderful New year!

    • Jennifer
      December 30, 2016 / 5:37 pm

      Thank you so much Robin!
      Wishing you a healthy, joyous 2017!!

  15. Barbara Shapas
    December 31, 2016 / 4:53 pm

    I so understand your emotions during the holidays. This year I cried when my daughter gave me a calendar with our granddaughter’s photos on it, and a little tea towel she had made with my granddaughter’s footprint, which she then added paint to to make a moose head. Simple gifts, but so meaningful!

    Happy New Year to you and your family, and may 2017 be filled with good health, happiness and peace for you.

    • Jennifer
      December 31, 2016 / 6:49 pm

      I’m tearing up just picturing that little moose head, Barb. Simple gifts that are so moving. Happy New Year my friend. I’ll miss Yarnies and seeing your beautiful smile. Happy New Year XO

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