Christmas Part One. (I've missed you!)
Hello blogging friends! Boy, have I missed you! My real world people and blogging world friends don't usually intersect…occasionally a real life person will ask me about a post but most of the time I'm not quite sure who reads or when. So with that said, it has felt very quiet not connecting on the blog the last week or so! We are well, have enjoyed Christmas immensely, and are ready to move on towards a new year. You?
I've titled this "Christmas Part One" because we traipsed to four different Christmases this year. Your immediate reaction is probably stress and lots of scheduling. The holidays actually weren't at all like that for us. There was a lot for me to do as far as buying and wrapping presents, getting snacks to the girls school, delivering and mailing Christmas cards…all the usual. But nothing that didn't need more than just a bit of daily discipline.
Our first Christmas celebration of the year took place at my Grandma and Papaw's house. Now, I will have to eat my words a bit here because they are most definitely my real-life people AND read the blog and keep up with every single bit of art I make. They even have a few pieces of mine hanging on the wall at their house. Isn't that just the nicest thing you've ever heard?
I grew up spending a lot of time at their house as I've mentioned on here before. It is a very, very rosy place for me. The girls and I go visit about once a month which has been so lovely because Anna Ruth and Betsy Grace have really gotten to know Grandma and Papaw quite well. When we all gather for a Christmas celebration (my sisters and I), there are 10 children between the three of us. So things are just a bit more busy than on a normal day at Grandma's.
I was asked to read the Christmas story, which was a favor that kept up at the other Christmases too. Perhaps it's my "teacher voice" that's still in there somewhere? (I used to teach fourth-grade..)
Our family's Christmas, all four of them, wouldn't be much of anything if it weren't for pausing to reflect on the amazing birth of our Savior, Jesus.
Brett took over the camera more than normal over the break because Betsy Grace is still a total Mama's girl. She's quite like superglue at times. I've developed some extremely strong arm muscles from this little season of life for that very reason!
I adore both of these captures of me with my girls…..
Isn't he a cutie?! We had a little Variety Show for the kids to participate in and my nephew played his harmonica a bit. I *may* have gotten a bit confused about the actual Christmas this was to take place on and came rather unprepared for my girls to perform. No surprise there, seeing as scheduling and remembering dates and making lists is something I work very hard at, but still fall a little short sometimes on.
This is my sweet, talented niece. Isn't she beautiful? She's even performed in two shows at our local theater (that requires tryouts even!).
One of my most favorite things ever at my grandparents house is to watch my girls play with the same toys and dress-up clothes I enjoyed as a little girl. Such wonderful memories I have of getting all dolled up, my girl cousins and sisters and I….and then we'd set up an elaborate "store". Maybe I do have a bit of a business side in me huh!
To top off the wonderful Christmas, Papaw even put up lights outside their house this year! He said he hadn't done that in about 15 years I think? I was ever so glad he did…
if I ran a town or city I think I'd require everyone to leave their lights up at least six months out of the year. Wouldn't that be magical?
As is "tradition", going on year 2 at least, Brett took extra time off around Christmas so we could really ease on into the celebrating. He and I even got to have an evening at the cabin on our farm, with a dinner date beforehand! It was so deeply relaxing.
We celebrated our family of four Christmas on Christmas Eve, starting with some fun little stockings for the girls. Anna Ruth kept saying everything was "so cool". :) Thanks Target Dollar Spot and Dollar Tree for making stockings very easy for this mama!
I never knew how jolly it was to drink coffee out of a jolly mug.
I think I'll be on the lookout for more of these mugs in the next year.
Isn't that just the most cheerful face you've ever seen?
I've already made mention of the fact that my one little word to focus on for the year is "slow".
Doesn't that sound unpopular? It does to me…everything in America seems to be about fast. Fast food, internet, change in health, mail delivery, success…..
I admit, when God began to whisper and yell and tuck the word "slow" into every nook and cranny of my world my first reaction wasn't joy or relaxation. It was sheer panic!
Surely slow means I'll get behind? Become invisible?
But no, that's not what I'm learning at all actually. This picture sums up so much of what I've already learned of the word. Time at the table, warm coffee in hand….(Brett's hand here obviously, ha!), letting conversation ease in and out of the morning.
I did most of the present buying but Brett really wanted to treat his girls to something that he picked out all on his own. He did a super job getting them this neat farm set at Tractor Supply!
Those are definitely some country girls right there…
they both knew exactly what each piece of equipment or trailer was for.
Raising them right! :)
I failed miserably when it came to photographing the presents I wrapped but here's a little sneak peek. I have a few more pictures on my Instagram (which you can find a link to above).
Wrapping paper is so expensive so instead I bought a roll of Elmer's Poster Paper for $7.99 at Target. It was 75 feet long of white paper, wrapped every single present in our house, and still left us with plenty leftover for playtime later!
I also embellished the paper with some watercolor paintings I'd done, red doilies, and the use of my own homemade stamps!
(and yes, our rug really looks that dirty most of the winter….we are a wood-burning, two fireplace family! We are in the market for a new rug this spring and I'll be needing your suggestions!)
And at last, we've reached my favorite photos out of the day.
Sweet little Betsy Grace playing basketball for the first time.
She reached real high...
made a basket!,
and then got her victory dance on and be-bopped all over the place!
Get it sister! :)
This is exactly how enthusiastically I hope to enter the new year..
I'll be back with more Christmas posts, results from the reader's survey which you can still (pretty please!) fill out in the post below this one, a whole group of new items for my shop, an easy DIY winter tablescape, and more!