Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Just a little lately....my cute white tray, cookies, those city lights aaaand that's it.

We've been stringing dried oranges and playing Christmas music and baking cookies.
{...and eating too many cookies...but tis the season, right?!}

Little plug for one of my favorites!!!
I love my white tray from Grove Collaborative.
P.S. It was Free. They give presents all the time.

They are a natural company I have been with for the past two years and am SO happy with!
I love the fact that I never have to worry about purchasing cleaning products at the store.
Once a month, an order I create, is delivered right to my door...
..who doesn't love when the UPS man pulls up?!
Even if it's only dishsoap. ...it's the excitement of the box, right?!

They have all sorts of fun things...not just cleaning products.
You can check them out HERE. ...you will also get $10 off your first order of $20 or more.
You'll love them. I do.
End little plug.

Moving on...
We're watching as many Christmas movies as we can squeeze in...tonight is Holiday Inn.
I'm so glad my kids love all the old black and white classics.
If they didn't...well they'd be forced by their mother to sit and watch anyway!!! {wink}

We took these cool cats to see Straight No Chaser at the opera house this past weekend.

While the group is amazingly talented and their music is really fun...
...I was disappointed by all the adult humor in their show.
Not appropriate for children!...or young men for that matter.
I definitely would have rather taken my daughter to the Nutcracker...which is on next year's agenda.

After the concert we walked over to State Street to see the windows and the Walnut Room at Macy's..
....which I still want to call Marshall Field's . {sigh}

Chicago is so beautiful at Christmas time.
The hustle and the bustle and the lights and the crowds and the street music...it's the best!

I tell Jeff every year that I want to buy a house and live in the city for the month of December.
...and July...and maybe October too. Ha!

But here we are..in our small town an hour away.
...and I love this too. Especially when it snows...which it did a little yesterday.
Now if only a big snowstorm would roll on through...that would be wonderful and Christmas-y!


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Advent.Old Fashioned Peppermint Sticks...and a few links for you to click on.

It's so easy to get lost in it all..the busy and present buying and
comparing and worrying that we're not doing enough...
...when really the only enough we should be worrying about is the enough of Jesus.
After all...it is His day. His season.

It's because of Him we're celebrating and baking all the cookies and decking all the halls and
drying all the oranges and giving all the gifts...it's because of HIM!

...The arrival of a noteable person or event.
...The coming of Christ at the incarnation.

We are in the season of Advent...waiting for the arrival of a King!

The girls, Frankie and I decorated all the December envelopes this afternoon.
I fill each envelope with a card...written on each card is something special to do that day.

Most days are simple...like reading a Christmas book, baking a batch of cookies
or stirring hot chocolate with old fashioned peppermint sticks.

There will be a couple of big things..like going to the movies, driving around looking at Christmas lights and we will be attending a concert in the city.

We also read the books from Arnold Ytreeide.
It's been an Advent tradition in our house for the past eighteen years.
They are SO good!!!
I promise your kids will be begging you to continue reading when the chapter is over.

We're reading Ishtar's Odyssey again.
We rotate the books each year...there are four to choose from.

I wanted to...but didn't this year follow...  Slow + Sacred.
Lots of visual inspiration HERE.
Next year! ;)

This time is about coming up with your own traditions...
...what works best for your family and your family's schedule.

Don't get caught up in trying to do everything..you can't do it.
I wrote about 5 Ways Not to Spoil Your Joy This Season ....a few years ago.

Happy Advent-ing.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Where we walk and walk and walk and search and choose 10,000 different times until...

....we find the perfect one.
We were missing Tyler that day {sad} and it was quite chilly and dark
by the time we finally cut our tree down...a Christmas tradition we all love!

Photos from the great hunt.

Merry Christmas Time!!!
We're just a little excited over here...{smile}

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Thanksgiving at our House....and thus concludes the season of Fall.


{all the cousins minus one...}

Turkey. Stuffing. Corn Pudding. Cheesecake. Cannoli Dip. Family.
The kids putting on a Thanksgiving Day play called... "The 30th Thanksgiving"...it was so cute!
{...they worked hours on their scenery and costumes!}

Thanksgiving was a great day.

....and thus concludes the season of fall on this little space of mine.
Lighted trees and greens and sugar cookies and snowflakes and
candy canes coming soon!!!


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

This week...THIS week! ...where we wrap up fall and have the best of times.

This week is one of my favorites!
This week holds so much excitement! So many traditions.
So many fun things we do together, the kids and I...and then Jeff starting on Wednesday night!
I know one day I am going to miss all of this...
...so I am trying to enjoy every second I have at this stage of life...
....even when my house feels so messy and stress levels are running high!

This afternoon we are cutting down our Christmas tree!!!{happy, happy, happy dance}

Tomorrow morning is cinnamon rolls and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!

We host Thanksgiving diner at our house...this year I think we're up to 55 people.
Our menu has been the same for 14 years.
The only thing that changes is a dessert here or there.

We usually go shopping Friday and then decorate our tree on Saturday....
...this year however, we will be catering a wedding. a very big wedding.
I am excited to see all that the bride has planned for her day, it all sounds amazing...
and we get to be a part of it.

But! you can bet your bottom dollar, no matter how busy I am...or how much sleep I lose,
the tree will be in my living room, garland will be hanging in doorways and at least one
Christmas movie will have been watched before Monday morning!

Here are a few photos from our fall....

I will never, ever tire of watching the sunrise!

Meet Cyndie....Tyler's girlfriend. She is the absolute sweetest! and so beautiful.
They've been together for a few months now.
We had the pleasure of having her here for a week..she lives in Florida.
That's a million miles away for the two of them. Long distance love is tough.

We'll just be sitting right here...in front of the wood stove until May.
He's so big...but still little...but getting big...but still so little... I love toddlers.

Give thanks in all circumstances....
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for YOU!!! and me. all of us!
So much to be thankful for. So many things..both big and small,
good {and even what we think of as bad} to be thankful for.
God uses everything to draw us closer to Him.

Happy Day before Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

It was frosty and sparkly and moody and we took pictures of my pretty sister who is having a baby!

{chatting with his sister...<3}

From a distance... the foggy air, the frosty trees and the sparkling grass look so beautiful.
...but the closer and closer you get, the more and more detail there is to see.
God's creation is amazing.

Late fall in this part of the world can be stunning. I have a deep love for November.
The crisp air, the first hard frost, the coziness of a fire inside....
....this all makes my heart skip a beat.

The other morning my sister Stephanie and new sister Molly
went to my sister Dana's house and took pictures of her cute little tummy
at sunrise out on her property. {did I use the word sister enough?}
The air was brisk and chilly and perfect!

Dana is expecting a baby girl in just a couple of weeks...
...their first girl after five little boys!
To say we are all excited is an understatement. {wink}

Is she not the cutest pregnant person ever?