A Christmas Filled With Grace


Good Afternoon!

Looking back on our Christmas, it was a wonderful one. It was filled with peace and quiet, time with family and friends and lots of great memories. However, in the thick of it I found myself a bit sad and stressed but luckily I was able to realize it and own it as the days went on. It helped me get through my first Christmas without my Dad and now looking back I will have good memories.

The weekend kicked off with the best present ever, our remodel completion! It felt pretty surreal as things came together and we worked our butts off all week to get to that point.

Come Friday night we were all ready to relax, so after Rich got home from work we put Buel to bed and enjoyed time together. I made short ribs for dinner and afterwards we relaxed in our new family room.


Our Christmas Eve started with a family workout at Rich’s Crossfit gym. It was a Twelve Days of Christmas themed workout that consisted of twelve exercises including eight burpees, seven deadlifts and more! I was still a bit sore when I woke up this morning. It was good to start the day both spending time together and fitting in some activity before our preparations began.

After Crossfit Rich and Buel ran some last minute errands while I worked on Christmas Eve preparations. I learned from my Thanksgiving experience and spread it out for a few days so by the time the afternoon rolled around the only things left to do were set the table and make a few last minute dishes. I made my Grandma’s cheesecake recipe for the first time and it turned out perfectly despite having to You Tube how to get it out of the springform pan. I also made my Mom’s mushroom soup recipe which is a tried-and-true favorite.

I had some time left after prepping dinner to take a long shower and get ready in peace which was much appreciated. When the boys returned our neighbors stopped by for a bit and then we went to mass, which was absolutely jam-packed. We hung out in the vestibule, thank goodness, because church with a toddler is a bit of challenge.


The Church service was nice as always and we came home to enjoy our traditional Polish dinner. It consisted of mushroom soup with mashed potatoes as an appetizer, salmon, green beans, both potato and kraut perogies and both raspberry and apple naleshiki. It was a lot of food, but it was nice to enjoy leftovers the past few days!


Once Buel was in bed Rich and I got into elf mode watching Christmas movies and wrapping presents. Things got a bit stressful when we opened Buel’s play kitchen to find how complex it was to build. Lesson learned to prep a bit more ahead of time for next year and also a good lesson that Christmas morning does not have to be perfect to be memorable. I was a little bummed the kitchen wasn’t ready for the morning, but in the end it worked out.

We were up bright and early on Christmas morning with Buel. His parents were exhausted and we each had three cups of coffee and egg casserole for breakfast as we took turns opening presents. Buel seemed to enjoy all of his gifts, but man, trying to wrangle a toddler to open presents is a bit of joke!


Since I did the Twelve Days of Christmas presents for Rich this year, I only gave him a few things in his stocking on Christmas morning. I got him a new ornament and some finishing salts for steak and other than that he opened presents from Buel and Penny. She got him a headlamp beanie for their adventures in our yard and he got him matching car shirts for them to bond over once Buel is old enough to play with matchbox cars.


I got a few ornaments I was lusting over from Anthropologie, the perfect throw for our new couch and some beautiful copper votive candles to light by the bath in our new bathroom.


Once we were finished opening presents and eating, we cleaned up and made our way downstairs to relax in our family room. Rich worked on finishing up Buel’s kitchen while I wrangled him until it was time for his nap.


During Buel’s nap I was finally able to slow down when it hit me how hard the past few days had been. It was easy to stay busy in an attempt to try to distract myself, but once I stopped to slow down and acknowledge how hard things were I felt a lot better.  I had the urge to re-read most of Grace Not Perfection and fill out the workbook sections which gave me a bit of reset. I realized how much I was trying to force perfection and once I was able to let that go and give myself grace I was able to stop and enjoy the little moments a lot better.

Buel woke up to his new play kitchen ready to go! He was so excited and spoke more than he ever had before as he explored. It was too funny- it was almost like he was trying to tell us all about it!

Around 3:00 we all got ready and then went to my in-laws for Christmas dinner. I brought some mushroom soup and mashed potatoes which we ate with a beautiful prime rib roast that my Father-in-Law made. Yum! After dinner we exchanged gifts and then we were off to our friends Pat and Christina’s for their annual White Elephant gift exchange which was fun as always.


Today has been a day of total relaxation. Rich is at work and both Buel and I are still in pajamas, just hanging out and relaxing. I spent some of his nap time mapping out our January calendar and writing this blog post. Other than getting our stuff ready for tomorrow I do not have much else planned. We have chili in our slow cooker and I plan on playing with my little man and enjoying some time together before we’re back to our regular every day life tomorrow!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend!


  1. Robin Fraczek says:

    Hey, Katie…Buel’s kitchen looks nicer than mine!๐Ÿ˜Š

  2. Wow, that’s a nice kitchen! That must be so hard, having your first Christmas after the loss of your dad. Christmas this year was a little difficult for me too, but for different reasons. Thanks for the reminder of grace!

  3. I feel like basically every blogger I follow got their kid a kitchen for Christmas. Good thing R doesn’t read blogs so she won’t feel left out. ha! That is such a fun gift, and your house is beautiful! Congrats on getting everything finished!

  4. I love your house and everything about it! It’s looks so cozy! And Buel’s kitchen is adorable! I’m glad you were able to enjoy the weekend! Boo for everyday life, I’m so not excited for the rest of the work week, ha!

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