The Most Wonderful Time

And it has been–almost all the way.

A couple of weeks ago, we have our traditional girl trip–two days with pals at Tyson’s in VA shopping, hanging out, exchanging gifts and just being pals.

The gang’s all here! From left: Nora, Laura, Pat, Mary Kay, Elaine and Mary

Jason and Griffin join us the second day for the stupendous lunch the team at Saks puts on for us. The boy is quite the star! And my beloved Azita–whom I’ve worked with for . . . God, it must be a decade now–never fails to put together clothes that suit me so well. (This means a mini closet purge when I got home, but I have no regrets!)

Griffin photos and holiday decorations that are actually amazing gingerbread cookies.
Azita and Nora

Last weekend Turn The Page joined Holiday In Boonsboro with a massive, happy signing. Lots of readers, lots of books, lots of holiday spirit in a town all decked out. We have a great group of authors and fabulous, patient readers who stay cheerful through a five hour event.

Creative event parenting: Kat constructed a pen for Griffin made entirely of unopened boxes of Golden in Death. He still did his best to escape. Some readers offered to take a few books to help.

On Sunday we hold another event focused on kids, and there’s nothing, just nothing as heart-stirring as watching a child light up when Santa ho-ho-hos into the room.

I store up that joy and spirit to get me through Monday and dental implant, take two. Okay, that isn’t a wonderful time, and the weather agrees by turning raw and rainy. Just a little bonus.

But that’s done.

I have to skip my workouts for a week–sore, swollen jaw and my own worry about raising my bp too high in the early healing stage. But that’s done, too, as I–finally–got a good one in this morning.

Still, not breaking to hit the gym means a longer writing day Tues, and that’s nice.

Wednesday, a shorter one as BW and I host our employees at our annual Progressive Shopping Night–with dinner on us at Vesta to cap it off. It’s not only fun, but it gives everyone a chance to see what the other businesses have to offer, and the opportunity to mix and mingle.

Holiday windows at Gifts Inn BoonsBoro.
The fabulous TTP team with Nora and BW.
The Inn in her holiday finest.

Then my pal and business manager JoAnne and Laura and I stay overnight at the inn. Pour the champagne; we’re not driving! And after a fun night, an amazing breakfast, I head home to work.

…and we stayed up late enough to see the 12/12 full moon at 12:12 am. ~Laura

A full day of that on Thursday–yay–then another shortened work day as I’m hosting my annual Managers’ Holiday Party here at home. With the exception of our fabulous Robert at Vesta, all our managers are women. Maybe, feeling outnumbered, Robert skips this event, so it’s a few hours with girls.

Saturday is cooking baking marathon. Kayla’s definitely head baker here now. Just her and Colt to bake this year, and she’s all over it!

I make the sugar cookie dough early so it chills while she–with her able assistant, Colt–deal with the rest. While she’s making chocolate chip, peanut butter blossoms, candy cane kiss cookies, I make a pot of chickpea vegetable soup for the vegetarian. And potato and ham for BW and me.

Kayla and Colt with egg.

First time with this veg soup, which I blend from a couple recipes and Kayla’s choices. She tries a bowl for lunch. Has seconds, so it definitely worked! She has another bowl at dinnertime, and took the rest with her.

Onto painted sugar cookies, and BW joins in. A friend gave me dinosaur cookie cutters, and Colt is all about them. So we have Christmas dinos along with the Santas and bells and stars.

A mandatory photo break.

I should add we all taste test along the way–every type. My girl’s become an exceptional baker. And I’m going to need those workouts even though I sent the kids home with a major supply.

Today, at last, a workout so I feel more like myself. Kayla’s come up to wrap for me for a couple hours–bless her heart! Since we ran out of steam before snickerdoodles (and they’re one of her faves) I’ll bake those shortly.

With the help she’s given me on wrapping this year, I should only have one short session remaining.

My house needs a good shoveling out as it’s been a really busy week, but once that’s done, it’s done.

We have leftover soup, plenty of cookies, and a house that’s ready for Christmas.

I hope you’re all enjoying the holiday season as much as we are!


Note from Laura:

Took this when I headed home from Nora’s Saturday morning. Nothing like muted colors and a dreamy scene.

26 thoughts on “The Most Wonderful Time”

  1. Your week sounds as busy as mine was with our Christmas Young at Heart Church Fellowship, Annual Ladies Lunch at a friend’s who has been hosting this for 12 years, my mother’s 91st birthday celebration on Wednesday, ourChurch Family Group Christmas party last night and our absolutely beautiful special Christmas musical service this morning.

  2. What a wonderful way to get into the holiday spirit! Thank you for another glimpse into your world. I am due for my second stage in my dental implant Tuesday (fingers crossed it goes well). I rely on fabulous dentist and halcyon (I stay conscious and aware but have no memory yay).

    Which rooms did you ladies get to stay in when you had your sleepover at the Inn? Do you and Laura have favorites you always pick or do you like to mix it up and each choose different rooms every time? The inn looks so lovely in the photo. Truly like out of a piece of art or a storybook.

    Happy holidays! And may it be a fabulous New Year!

    1. Nora’s stayed in them all but definitely prefers Westley & Buttercup in the winter (fireplace). I mainly use the second floor rooms. This go round it was Eve & Roarke.


      1. Oh my goodness I would love to stay in Eve and Roark- just to look at the Button!

        1. Sounds totally awesome !! I would take any room & expect amazing thrills!! (This will forever be my favorite series in Nora’s book List ….) thank you for another Christmas update!

      2. Oh my goodness I would love to stay in Eve and Roark- just to look at the Button!

      3. Thanks for your update, Nora. As busy as you are, you still think of us, your loyal followers. I wish you and yours, and Laura and her family, the merriest of Christmas and a most healthy and happy new year. May God bless all of you.

  3. Wishing everyone a very Happy and Blessed Holiday Season🎅🏻🌲🎅🏻🌲

  4. What a time you’ve had! Hope the dental part works out, I just hate that. I used some of my bone broth to make vegetable soup just yesterday. It’s that time of the year. Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday. Laura, that last picture is a keeper!

  5. Sounds so wonderful. We are battling the flu here and we don’t even have our tree up and not a single decoration in display except some Christmas cards from friends.
    I have my daughter and her family living with us. 4 grandkids the oldest is a 12 year old boy, then girl 11 and 2 more boys 5 and 2. I can shop for everyone but my oldest grandson. I have no idea what to get him for Christmas. I hate giving money because it feels so tacky to me. Like I really didn’t take the time to shop for a gift. How ever he likes that Fortnight so I am told EBucks is a good gift.
    Have a wonderful Christmas Nora and Laura I love your photos. You have a wonderful Christmas to ❤️. Beth Reed

    1. Beth Reed I can understand you feeling money is tacky. I look at it this way. If I have no idea what to get the person, I would rather do the money or gift card thing than get something they don’t like.

      1. There are many people who enjoy gifts of money.
        One friend managed to buy a much coveted pair of heels with money gifts from four aunts and uncles.

  6. Wonderful holiday cheer! And a huge shout out to the amazing staff at TTP…great job!!!!

    Here is to everyone having their healthiest, happiest holidays ever!

  7. You have the most energetic schedule of anyone I’ve seen. But, as Roarke would say, ” it suits you.” 😁

    I hope you enjoy every minute. (Minus dentist time.)

    Thank you for all you give us. 💕

  8. Such a busy time and you cram everything into it and then some! Have a wonderful Christmas and I know the New Year will be good to you all.

  9. hanks to you and your family (including Laura) for the pics and stories of the season. Happy Holidays to you all.

  10. what a busy schedule you have. Your employees are so lucky to have you as their boss. Ditto for your family- i’m a great cook, but always bomb at baking. making your own sugar cookie dough?!! I’d love to know what you are are bad ?
    I’m glad the dental business worked out. I’m having my second extraction soon, but i’m passing of the implants. Imagine having to pay and go thru that more than once!! no way.

  11. Fabulous pictures. Loved Kayla and Colt as baker and assistant. You always have wonderful holiday adventures. Thank you for the pictures of the Inn Boonsboro and the Gifts Inn Boonsboro. I hope to make it there some day. You, Laura, your families and friends have the best holidays ever.

  12. You have been a busy lady. The soup looks wonderful. The Inn is really pretty for Christmas.

    I hope that you and your family have a blessed Christmas. Thanks for all of the joy you’ve given us. Merry Christmas!

  13. I love reading about your adventures. Thanks for sharing.

    Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year.

    Laura, thanks for sharing your amazing pictures.

  14. Merry Christmas to you and all of yours from me & all of mine ! Love the glimpses into your busy life. Cant wait to get over for the “Golden in Death” book signing! And just finished my , much anticipated signed copy, of ” The Rise of Magics”! Loved it ,of course. Blessings for a Safe,Healthy & Happy 2020…

  15. Merry Christmas and thank you for giving us a look into your holiday. I love the photos and updates and wish you and your family the best holiday ever.

  16. Merry Christmas! I hope you and your family have a wonderful, peaceful, and restful holiday. As someone with some mouth/teeth/jaw issues myself, I completely sympathize with what you’re going through, and I hope everything continues to heal fast. I just finished Of Blood and Bone this afternoon, and I think it’s my favorite book I read in 2019. It felt like reading a classic fantasy novel of my youth–so comforting and exciting. Danger and magic and romance and ahhhh! I have The Rise of Magicks waiting for me for tomorrow, and I’m equal parts excited and scared! I don’t want anything to happen to these characters!

    I hope Christmas Day sees you well, Nora. Thank you, as always, for the hours of entertainment and joy. (And thank you to you as well, Laura! Happy Holidays!)

  17. May you be blessed
    With the spirit of the season, which is peace,
    The gladness of the season, which is hope,
    And the heart of the season, which is love.

  18. It was thrilling to see the photo of the Inn with Christmas weather and decorations- beautiful!!!

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