A Christmas Filled With Grace

entry-way

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. [Read more…]

New and Old Traditions in Michigan

Good Morning!

I’m back to the grind after my first long weekend of a three week span. We kicked off our Christmas celebrations by taking a quick trip to Michigan. It was a bittersweet time and we missed my Dad a lot, but were able to make the best of it by carrying on old traditions and starting some new ones as well.

img_3945

[Read more…]

Christmas Traditions & What I’m Getting My One Year Old

front-yard-viewGood Morning!

I’m officially feeling in the Christmas spirit after a low key weekend. We spent the entire weekend in our pajamas and I did not mind it one bit. I read a lot, we watched Christmas movies and the most productive things I did were make a double batch of cookie dough and stuff our Christmas cards.

Yesterday we had the most magical snowfall and we enjoyed sitting inside as a family lounging and watching the snow out our window. Our house feels like a cabin in this weather and I love it!

I am looking forward to our trip to Michigan this weekend that’ll kick off our celebrations. We will celebrate with my Dad’s side of the family on Saturday then go to my friend Katelyn’s annual tacky sweater party while we’re there as well. Then we will come home and continue with our traditions!

for-christmas-eve

Just like we do every year, we will have a traditional dinner at our house after mass on Christmas Eve. Buel will be tasked with looking for the first star in the night sky before we eat and then after dinner he’ll get his Wigilia gift. This is a tradition I started last year with new pajamas and a new book to read before bed as his gift. As you can see, this year is a “truck” theme.

something-for-collage

When it came to presents for Buel from us this year I wanted something to ground us and found the “something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read” poem floating all over the internet. I actually think I found it on Pinterest first and was inspired to keep things simple.

Since he does not technically “want” anything this year I took the liberty of getting him a play kitchen with some pots and pans to go with it as his gift. He loves the one at daycare so I’m hoping it’ll be a hit.

He needs some snow boots and snow pants, so that fit the bill for his “something they need” gift. I almost opened these this past weekend, but I waited instead.

To wear, I’m gifting him with a cute new sweater to wear on Christmas Day. We got to my in-laws for dinner and then to friends’ for a gift exchange, so he’ll get two wears out of it on Christmas Day alone!

Lastly, to read is The-Not Very Merry Pout Pout Fish. His Pout Pout Fish book is one of our favorites and he already has the Halloween version, so I figured I would continue on with his theme for the year.

from-santa

Finally, I’m looking forward to starting the Santa tradition this year. Buel may not be quite old enough to fully understand yet, but I’m excited to start the tradition in our new house. We have a little wood door on our fireplace that’s meant to store firewood and I’m excited to use it as a “Santa door” where his presents will arrive. Santa got him a Little People Nativity Scene, a Melissa and Doug Latches Activity Board and a lift-the-flap board book. These will be unwrapped to save myself time in the future. šŸ˜‰

Typing this out has gotten me so excited and I’m looking forward to the next few weeks. I hope you have a good one!

 

Getting in the Christmas Spirit

christmas-tree

Good Morning!

This week was the one that I finally felt like a true working Mom. I had my first “my kid is sick and I need to work from home” incident and the week kept with that theme from there. The good news is we’ve almost made it and I was able to crank out a productive work day and ran all my “weekend” errands last night to clear out the weekend.

This year Christmas snuck up on me but it is turning out to be a good one so far. We’ve managed to keep things fairly simple and stress-free while still managing to keep to our traditions. I’m looking forward to a festive next few weeks starting with this weekend.
mantle

I’m doing things a bit differently this year when it comes to presents for Rich and have been gifting him “12 Days of Christmas” presents since DecemberĀ first. I took creative liberty with most of the days and kicked it off with “Buffalo Wings and a Pack of Tees.” (try it in the song!) Today’s gift is “Nine Ladies Dancing in a Christmas movie” and we’re going to watch White ChristmasĀ with takeout and ice cream tonight. It’ll be the perfect way to wind down the week and get in the spirit.

Our decorations are coming together andĀ most everything is out with the exception of our outside lights. I’m still trying to nail down my mantle- I keep adding and changing things without satisfaction. Maybe when our new stockings I ordered arrive it’ll feel finished but for now it’s stumping me.

 

mudroom

Speaking of our house, our remodel is almost done! Next week while we’re in Michigan the floors are being done and hopefully next week the finishing touches on our master bathroom. Then I plan to fixer upper style put everything back together just in time for Christmas Eve. I am so ready for our furniture and stuff to be in it’s place. The past four months have been a true test of my patience as I am used to having everything organized. Well, I passed and I’m ready for order again in my life.

christmas-cards-2016

Speaking of order, this week I’m hoping to get all of our Christmas preparations complete and I’m looking forward to it. I will mail out our cards tomorrow that I ordered fromĀ MintedĀ – I love them! If you look closely you’ll see our permit hanging in the window- a glimpse into our real life!

I also plan on making a quadrupleĀ batch of my go-to Hot Chocolate Cookies tomorrow. I’ll freeze the dough so I can make batches for teacher’s gifts, my team at work, holiday Book Club and our New Year’s Eve party without any extra work.

Last but not least I hope to get Buel’sĀ presents wrapped tomorrow! I had intentions to keep things simple this year and while I wouldn’t say I went overboard I also can’t stop buying more presents from “Santa” and this morning ordered him this adorable Little People Nativity Scene. I’ll be sharing my plan for presents with him while he’s little next week.

Besides my Christmas prep, not much is on the agenda this weekend! I’m looking forward to a low key weekend before traveling and celebrating next week.

How are you getting into the holiday spirit? Are you doing any preparations this weekend?

Christmas + Scenes from the Weekend

Good Morning!

Our Christmas festivities continued last week on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

IMG_2728.JPG [Read more…]

Christmas Eats + Traditions

Good Morning!

I hope you’re week is going well and that your Christmas preparations are not too hectic! Things have been going well over here and I’m spending the day picking up a few last minute gifts, grocery shopping and food prepping. My Dad has decidedĀ to drive up tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to that as well!

IMG_2236.JPG [Read more…]

Christmas in Michigan

Good Evening!

We are back from our annual pre-Christmas trip to Michigan! We drove out last Tuesday and got back yesterday evening. The six days were a whirlwind and this year’s trip was extra special. It will be one that I will remember for years to come!

While we were there my blog hosting crashed and the site was down for a full 48 hours. I took that as a sign to unplug and loved the break so much that I am going to dial back the next few weeks to take some to truly enjoy the holidays.

This post is a bit of a photo dump, but I had to document it all. I hope you like baby pictures!

IMG_2531.JPG [Read more…]

December Goals and Holiday Bucket List

Good Evening!

Here we are at the end of the year. Now that I have been a Mom for a full five weeks, I feel like things have clicked and I’m no longer scrambling through my days. So, since I’m starting to feel like myself again I’m ready to get back to monthly goal setting. I’m looking forward to ending the year on a good note!

IMG_2212.JPG
[Read more…]

Holiday Recipe Repeat Offenders

Good Evening!

Today was an epic day of lounging and a relaxing start to 2015. I have goals to share for the year, but those will wait for tomorrow. Right now, my mind is on food!

This holiday season we did a lot of entertaining. We hosted Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and last night had a few friends over for New Year’s Eve. Our friends brought a whipped ricotta toast appetizer that was out of this world (I’ll be snagging that recipe to share soon) and we served lamb chops with rice pilaf and roasted asparagus on the side for dinner. For dessert I made my favorite easy but impressive dessert- pots de creme with homemade whipped cream! And wine, lots of wine…hence the epic lazy day today!

When I put our breakfast casserole into the oven this morning, I realized that it was the third time I made it this holiday season. It also dawned on me that now that I’ve perfected my holiday hosting menus and a few key go-to recipes for occasions, entertaining has become easy and enjoyable.

20131105-200033

[Read more…]

How I’m Staying Balanced This Holiday Season

When it comes to health during the holiday season, my perspective has changed a lot over the past few years. Two years ago, I started moving towards intuitive eating and this year I set my intention for the season to use this time to learn to slow down. Before that, the holiday season was always a mix of trying to diet and going way overboard.

The past few weeks have been a blur of work holiday lunches and dinners, family and friends parties, pounds of gifted chocolate and lots of things I used to think of as “temptations.” In years past, I would “challenge” myself to live a certain way during the holiday season and ultimately end up depriving myself.

This year, I’ve enjoyed the season without much thought to health and fitness. It seems I’ve finally found the balance I’ve been striving for all these years by not trying. Instead, I’ve been focused on taking care of myself and the rest just fell into place. This is huge for me, so I took a few moments to realize some things I’ve been doing naturally to take care of myself and stay balanced during these crazy weeks.

IMG_8719.JPG [Read more…]