Category Archives: holidays

before it gets put away.

i’m always a little sad to put away all the christmas decorations, but excited to start the new year with fresh and clean rooms. wanted to post a few pics before it all gets put away. sniff, sniff.



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dessert buffet.


i am almost always in charge of dessert for family functions, and this year was by far the easiest as i included decorated sugar cookies and fudge (popular with the kiddos), cuties (popular with anyone after a huge and heavy meal), and a gifted fruit tart.  one thing i’ve learned is to not overdo it when it comes to holidays. too much pressure=less fun and less time to spend with loved ones, no?


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some pictures from the last of 2009.


{a day of much-needed rain}

{cookies for santa}

{a visit from santa, of course. apparently he vacations next door. who knew?}

{a huge christmas eve meal with andrew, j, and his kids.}

{and an even bigger meal for christmas.}

{santa brought j a ludwig set. needless to say, he was a very happy boy.}

{santa brought me a few cool gifts, too. needless to say, i was a very happy girl.}

christmas was filled with love, togetherness, and relaxation. and it was beautiful and warm enough to wear flip-flops. we played with all our toys, then spent the day after christmas not fighting the crowds at the mall, but using up our annual passes at the aquarium.

all in all a fabulous christmas. tonight will be very low-key. have a safe and wonderful new year’s eve!

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Filed under celebrations, eat, family, gratitude, holidays, images, me, outings



j is still a bit young to totally understand the idea of an advent calendar, but he’s loving that he gets to open a box every day to see what’s inside!

the first week was filled with so-not-creative no-sugar lollipops since we were busy party-planning, but this past weekend i finally got it together to add some meaningful things to the mix.

the holidays class i recently took had us list all the activities that we’d like to do in the month of december. i basically just typed those activities on cardstock and cut them out. very easy. next year, however, i think i’m going to print them out on super cute labels like dandeedesigns.

other days include a treat coupon that i downloaded from jenn. super easy and andrew and i could decide on a healthy treat for j.

but loads and loads of ideas can be found here.


Filed under celebrations, holidays

start a revolution in gift-giving.

“we can tell our values by looking at our checkbook stubs.”-gloria steinem

this quotation hit me hard, guys. i have a complicated relationship with stuff. it’s a constant struggle of godliness vs. worldliness. i’m starting small. i looked at the non-essential things i spend my money on, things like movie rentals, mani/pedis, and magazines (i have a mild addiction to magazines). i am cutting down on these things so that i can sponsor a child through tumaini. it’s such a small sacrifice to give.  donating to this or another like organization is also a great idea for a christmas gift.

and while we’re on the topic. want to give something more? buy fair trade gifts that are unique and helpful for something truly in need. see trade as one. i have a feeling that santa is bringing me a few things from this organization…

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be still.



we’ve had a fun and crazy first weekend of december to get the holiday party-going started (a really, really fun co-ed shower) but now, well now is the time to be still.

i’ve been slowly reading mitten strings for god: reflections for mothers in a hurry by katrina kenison. it’s one of those books that you just need to keep on the bedside table to remind you of what’s important. the essay that most touched me is on peace where she says, “In stillness, we find our peace. Knowing peace at home, we bring peace into the world.”

brooke from inchmark echoed the same idea with her idea to take the first week of december to stay in and talk about the real meaning of the season. since all our gifts are bought and wrapped this will be an easy one for us to do. hope you enjoy your week!

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Filed under around the homestead, celebrations, holidays


{image via real simple}

remember i told you to sign up for this class?

if you didn’t i’ll share a little of what i learned to help me focus on what the holidays really mean.

i love this time of year. i love finding the perfect present for someone. i love the lights and decorations, the music, the food, everything that has to do with the holidays. but that doesn’t mean that i don’t get caught up in the materialism, too. this class, among other things that i’ve done lately, helped me to look at what i love about it, so that i could focus more on those things amidst the chaos of doing and buying.

what i value…




Togetherness and Friendship







the next step? incorporating activities that reflect these values. this means making something or doing something. it can little or big. for example, i plan on reading the Christmas story to j. this takes little time but means so much, no?

what do you value this holiday season???

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