December wasn't also without some sadness, though. After close to two years of fighting ovarian cancer, Nicole (for whom I created the fiercegrrl fund, if you remember) passed away. Her passing has weighed heavy on my mind and heart. I hadn't spoken to her since March, after a challenging and heartbreaking change to our friendship. It's been profoundly difficult processing the magnitude of my feelings; I wasn't there for quite a lot of her more difficult months, weeks and days. It's really solidified for me the intensity of friendships, however. Whether you see them or you don't, whether you speak regularly or not at all, there are people who weave themselves in your heart and you carry them with you forever. I wish her peace like she never knew on this Earth, and rest, and an abundance of glittery pink craft supplies.
The Annual Cookie Party went off without a hitch, by the way. It is quickly becoming my favorite thing ever. Despite seven straight hours of cookie baking on Saturday night, including some delirious fights between Em and me at 1:30am about cookie shapes and baking times, it was a wonderful day. Twenty or so friends stopped by, including baby Bella (who let me snorgle her a little bit, despite her 17-months-going-on-17-years independent streak), and there were so many sprinkles. So many. I have incredibly creative friends and I genuinely delight in what they create year to year. Em made an incredible Bruins hat, for example. Joel created a DC sandwich, layering sprinkles and icing until his cookie sandwich stood approximately four inches tall. Ruby made me a disco bear, complete with side-swiped bangs and a hot pink glittery dress. Stacey made Bart and Lisa Simpson. and so on. I told my gals that I want the Cookie Party to become one of those events that has people clamoring to attend. Every year I grow closer to making this happen. I hope to have some pictures from it after the new year. No time for editing right now.
I'm winding down the crafty projects for gift giving. A knitting project for one guy and stitching Angry Birds ornaments for my future mother-in-law. Almost every gift is wrapped and nestled under the tree. There is so much warmth and love in my house right now. I feel like I did Christmas right this year. I decided that, just like wedding blogs, I needed to step off the Idea Train and focus on what I love. This means that my gifts are wrapped with Hallmark and elementary school fundraiser paper, my stockings aren't handmade but monogrammed nonetheless and my tree is fake and filled with ornaments I cherish. I love the Christmas my parents created for me year after year and this is the year I embraced it fully. This is my Christmas.
Happy Holidays to you and yours, folks. I'll be back in 2012 with more and better. Until then, this is Meaghan, out!