Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Last year I shared the video of Baby, It’s Cold Outside– Idina Menzel and Michael Buble kids dancing as part of a list of my favorite Christmas songs.

 After letting the dogs out early this morning (Ari had a sleepover with a friend), I began singing this song, much to the pups’ dismay.  and decided I needed to share it again.  It’s an adorable video. The kids are cuter than anything and let’s face it- Idina’s and Michael’s voices blend beautifully together.

But then the scene from Elf popped into my head and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share one of my favorite songs along with a little humor. This movie was my introduction to Zooey Deschanel and it was very disconcerting when I started watching the the tv show New Girl, seeing her as a brunette. It’s amazing how different a person can look when she changes her hair color.

It’s not really a Christmas song, though, is it? My dad sang this song when I was growing up so it’s one of those I’ve always known. Gosh, how many times have I said that? There’s no mistaking where my love of music came from or how many songs (or partial songs) my father introduced me to throughout my life. Unfortunately for my kids, I inherited (?) that habit and they have spent their life hearing parts of song. Even more unfortunately for them, unlike my dad- who sang parts of songs but never really told us what they were- I have felt the need to provide my kids with probably way too much background information. Oh well.

I hope you’re keeping warm, wherever you are!

Have a great day!


Approaching the Sea of Swirly Twirly Gumdrops


I love the movie, Elf, starring Will Ferrell, James Caan and Zooey Deschanel. It was released in 2003 and my kids were at the perfect ages- 13, 10, and 8- for this movie. They had grown too old for the classics- Rudolph and Frosty- but I have high standards for what I deem quality Christmas viewing and nothing was making the grade.

And then Elf came out.

It was an immediate with the entire family and made its place on our favorites list after one viewing.

And it arrived at the perfect time. It renewed my love of Christmas. I love everything about this movie and so do my kids. Just recently, Andrew texted me that he was going “through the Lincoln Tunnel” and that launched an exchange that made me smile all day.

There was another time when that same quote saved us during a stressful time. Andrew and I were driving to New York City to visit music schools. It was our first time there and we were driving in NYC during rush hour and as the sun was at that dangerous level where it’s peeking just under the visor, blinding you. I have driven in downtown Chicago for 30 years so I have experience with big city driving but this was extreme! As I was swearing and ranting, getting beeped at by cars and yelled at by pedestrians, I was seconds away from stopping the car, getting out and walking away- right in the middle of Times Square- which was nowhere near where we were supposed to be! I can only imagine what thoughts were going through Andrew’s head, besides dreading spending the rest of the week with me. In his quiet steady voice he said, “Maybe next time we should come in through the Lincoln Tunnel.”

That was all I needed. It diverted my attention from the chaos outside the car and we started listing out all the places that Buddy visited in the movie, discussing which ones we might get to see.

I wrote about an experience I had last year, which always brings a smile to my face when I think about it in the post- I’m Singing

Seven year old C.J. loves the movie and has been asking to watch it since June. Because he’s growing up in an era of instant gratification, I’ve told him that Elf is a movie that is only to be viewed at Christmas time. After Thanksgiving last week, I asked him if he knew what holiday was coming next and of course, he knew. “Do you know what movie we can watch now?” I asked.

His face split into the widest grin and he nodded. “I wonder if Beej will like it!” His little brother just turned two years old. I smiled back, “I’m sure he will.”

As a parent… a mom, this time of year is especially exhausting. The pace is frenzied. There is so much going on. Decorating, shopping, Santa, baking, social functions, relatives…. it’s a lot. (And as an introvert, well, I’m not even going there!) But taking the time to slow down and sit with my family, laughing at the same things we are entertained by every year (“I just like to smile. Smiling’s my favorite.”) is a priceless tradition. It fills my heart and soul and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

There is a part of me that is taking deep breaths and trying to mentally prepare myself. The seven levels of the Candy Cane Forest weren’t too bad but you know what’s next, right?

“Buddy the Elf. What’s your favorite color?”

“You sit on a throne of lies.”

“Francisco. That’s fun to say. Francisco.”

“Deb, you have such a pretty face you should be on a Christmas card.”

“I’m sorry I ruined your lives and crammed eleven cookies into the VCR.”

“I’m singing. I’m in a store and I’m singing.” 

There are so many more quotes I could share but I’ll stop here.

Do you have a favorite Elf quote?


Y is for “Yesterday Once More”

Blogging From A to Z Challenge: Y

Yesterday Once More– The Carpenters- 1973

“When I was young I’d listen to the radio waiting for my favorite songs…”


I still have my original album and CD. 🙂

I didn’t have to look far to find my original album and CD. The CD was close by, along with Purple Rain, Grease, and a stack of other old favorites.

Even when I was young listening to the radio, I knew. Music was that much a part of my life that I just knew that this song about other songs was the real deal. I knew that there would be songs that I would always associate with certain peoples, places or events for the rest of my life. I was right. As I’ve worked my way through the alphabet with the A to Z Challenge, I’ve time traveled through my life, hopping back and sometimes way back, to revisit so many songs that have touched my life.


I remember laying on my bed, listening to this album over and over again. I loved the sound of Karen’s voice and how beautifully it blended with Richard’s. The first version of Ticket to Ride that I heard was the Carpenters’ so it took me awhile to get used to the Beatles’ faster version.

I cried when I heard that she had died. Knowing a girl in my class who struggled with an eating disorder, Karen’s death hit close to home. Little did I know that Karen Carpenter would be the first of many incredibly talented people whose lives would end much too early.

Thanks for stopping by!


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J is for “Just Friends”

Blogging From A to Z: J

Just Friends– The Tonight Show Band led by Doc Severinsen

The Tonight Show Band led by Doc Severinsen was the house band that played on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson from 1962-1992. It was officially billed as The NBC Orchestra or Doc Severinsen and The NBC Orchestra. The jazz featured on the show was popular on American television at that time. People often associated this song with The Tonight Show.

Dropping off and picking up for rehearsals.

Finding black pants and trying to get those wrinkles out at a minute’s notice.

Scouring the house for two  black socks- they didn’t need to match- just be black.

School concerts, public performances, competitions, solos….. more than I can list over a 10 year period.

Hearing this song brings back memories of my kids’ days in jazz band (where all three played this song) in high school. It makes me smile. It tugs at my heart, causing me to miss those days that seemed to be lasting forever while they flew by way too quickly.

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Hugh’s Photo Challenge: Week 2 – What’s in the Cupboard?

Hugh’s Photo Challenge: Week 2 – What’s in the Cupboard?


Growing up, the china only came out for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and since there were so many adults, I rarely got to eat off of it even then. My time with the china was getting it out of the cabinet above the refrigerator, where my mother kept it. If I was lucky, my mother “let” me set the table and I could place the plates on the table. After the meal was done, my aunts and girl cousins would gather in the kitchen to clean up. (You know, the womenfolk jobs while the men rested in the other room after a hard day of……..I’m not sure what they did exactly. Carve the turkey, maybe?) Counting my mother, there were 7 adult women and then as we kept adding girl cousins, well, the kids were invariably shooed out to make room. Our kitchen wasn’t big enough for even the 7 adults. Most of the girls were more than happy to be off somewhere else playing or talking or whatever.

Not me. I stayed in the kitchen. The aunts either usually forget that I was even there or didn’t mind because I was so quiet and as they relaxed they would more open, revealing more of their true selves. I loved listening to their gossip and small talk. I learned more about my extended family’s dynamics. I observed my mother and her sisters’ closeness. I saw how the two sisters-in-law fit into the mix. After the stress of preparing a meal for 30-40 people, it was nice to see everyone so relaxed and calm, just laughing and enjoying being together. And while this was taking place, I was silently taking the china as it was handed to me, drying it carefully and then stacking it to later be transferred back to the cupboard  for safe keeping.

Since I have become the owner of the china, we have hardly used it and I jokingly said we were going to start using it every day. What’s the point of having it if it’s never used???

This post is my contribution to Hugh’s Photo Challenge: Week 2- What’s in the Cupboard? You can click on the link to find out how you can take part. 🙂