I fell in love with this china and crystal soon after I fell in love with Tom, back in the days when brides-to-be always registered for beautiful table settings that would probably spend more time in a china cabinet than gracing a table.
Even though I can count on one hand the number of times I've actually used it, I don't regret asking for it. It makes me smile, just looking at those delicate roses.
And the crystal, with that tinge of pink...sigh. I was never a "pink" kind of girl, until I saw that crystal.
Yesterday, I freed the set from the china cabinet in honor of our Christmas-on-Epiphany dinner with the kids. They're grown now, after all, so there's a little less chance of breakage. But why the heck do I have that beautiful china if I'm not going to use it? Breakage be damned! (Besides, they can pay to replace it now!)
I kept the meal simple and relatively healthy, just a ham, a green salad, and a roasted asparagus dish.
I've never made roasted asparagus in my life and just kind of threw it together which is not something I usually do (with any success) but this was a total hit and I'm going to brag while I can!
Oh, so yummy.
And I say the meal was only "relatively" healthy because I spent Saturday baking cookies. Which triggered small stone #5:
Fingers sticky from rolling dough sprinkled with sugar; the smell of peanut butter and chocolate wafting from the oven; mouth savoring yet another warm cookie. It's still Christmas time.
It was a day full of sweet! moments, that's for sure. Here are a few more from the past week...
Sunday: Mass with your daughter; a successful Craig's List sale; your niece and nephew stepping up to help your parents when you can't be there; prayers, calls, and texts from your friends when your dad has another stroke
Monday: calls from friends; catching a performance of Vanilla Ice on TV; skipping in the rain; only suffering a few bruises when your exuberant 60 pound puppy knocks you down on your rocky road; cell phones for staying in touch when your dad's in the hospital 250 miles away; dancing on New Year's Eve, even if it's in your livingroom while watching Ryan Secrest's countdown with your daughter
Tuesday: stepping into a new year; a productive day, despite sleeping late; black-eyed peas; parents who stick together, forgive each other, and keep laughing no matter what life throws at them; sunshine breaking through gray clouds
Wednesday: playful puppies; hearing from a long-lost blogger friend with assurances that she's okay; a fire in your woodburning stove on a cold day
Thursday: another Craig's List sale; your dad making it through surgery just fine; homemade chicken noodle soup on a cold night; finishing a project you've been working on for months
Friday: husbands who keep the woodpile full and get a fire going before leaving for work; the rain stopping just in time for your walk, especially since you didn't get the snow you hoped for; potential jobs you think you'll enjoy; your dad getting released from the hospital; homemade chili on a cold, rainy night; loud rain after months of drought
Saturday: your mother-in-law's voice on the other end of the phone line; your mom's voice on the other end of the phone line; friends who share their photography lights with you; making cookies for your family; wrapping Christmas gifts; capturing the moments of a sweet 16 party for someone who you swear was just a baby yesterday; your daughter working as your photography assistant; laughing at SNL for the first time in years
Sunday: sipping coffee on the back deck on a brisk winter morning; the unity that comes from joined prayer; laughing in the church parking lot with longtime friends; celebrating Epiphany and Christmas with your kids and husband; using your good china and crystal; a culinary experiment that is a big hit; playing Santa; watching funny videos with your kids;
Monday: pink mornings; having 2/3 of your kids home together three days in a row (even though one is sick); another Craig's List sale; enough leftovers that you don't have to cook dinner; time to edit photos from your last shoot
I hope 2013 is off to a good start for you, full of sweet! moments every day! (And if it's not, open your eyes and your heart a teensy bit wider and I bet you'll discover some shy little sweets just lying there, waiting to be noticed.)