holidays

End of year thoughts and other musings








Hello there, end of 2015. How the year has passed by already, seems as if it was actually on fast forward. I know everyone is saying it, but as I quickly glanced through some photos of the year, it was hard to believe the time was so long gone already. This has been an interesting year for me, I'd say. Interesting in the sense that I've felt as though it was a year dedicated to figuring things out. Maybe it is every year, but more-so now than ever. A lot of growing is mixed up in there too, mothering, wifey-ing, and learning new things. So much learning, in fact, that I can officially say I am three classes away from graduating, and am 90.99% certain I'm going to pursue a graduate degree next. All this to say that I've spent considerable time weighing options and trying to figure out what I truly want to do with this phase of life. It sure is interesting, isn't it? Getting older. I recently told my mother that I was going to think of it like this: I'm grateful for this next birthday, for getting to turn another year older - because not everyone is given the honor. It's still a funny thing though. But I like what I learn and I love the freedom to make choices with my husband for our family. I don't have big plans for the upcoming year, but I have a few ideas of things I'd like my family to do. I don't intend on making goals or resolutions, I simply want to ease into January and do my very best to be present and mindful. I want to document those moments, as I usually do, but with even more intention, love, and grace.

I wish you all a very wonderful last few days of 2015 - what a year! I wish you all the very best in 2016!

Independence Day

 
 

Independence day is best spent as a family. At least in our book. Every year is pretty much the same as the last, and we wouldn't have it any other way. We wake up slowly, make a big breakfast, dress to impress, head out to the town festival, eat lunch, (and this year, pick blueberries too!) pick up fireworks, and head to our best friend's! It's that kinda good.

We made sure to include my mother-in-law this year, we took her to the festival with us, and she was sure to spoil us and the kids with lunch and Hawaiian shaved ice. Not one single complaint. Although, it was one of the hottest days we've had this summer, and compared to last. Still, we're happy campers!

We love the 4th of July. Sharing our patriotism is one of our favorites. My husband flies a big ole' flag on the back of his truck, we're decked out in red, white, and blue, and off we go! Our hearts swell with pride. We love our country and we love to celebrate it! Happy Independence Day America!

An Easter without candy






Easter this year was much different for us. We love tradition, but it just so happened that Easter and my husband's birthday were on the same day! We had booked a trip for the two of us months ago, not realizing the two dates coincided (it's never happened before). Well, we still went on our trip while the kids spent the holiday with Grandma. A few days later, we had some fun ourselves!

It all started with a map for a scavenger hunt to find their Easter baskets. Our yard is pretty open, but the flowers in my garden worked great to hide them! Again, because we didn't go all out with an egg hunt and family around, we really tried to amp up the excitement. I can't let my babies down! We also made a small and delicious Easter dinner together.

As you see in the title, we didn't buy a single piece of candy this year. We are all naturally sweet tooth kind of people, but we value our bodies and what goes in them. It's something we want to teach our babes as well. Of course, we don't deny the things we love either (Grandma gave them all the treats this year!) So in case you might be wondering what was in their pails, we included: a small book, a Spring clothing item that was needed, Annie's fruit snacks and granola bars, and flower seeds.

Our kids were just as happy as they've ever been, and I am so thankful for positive life changes and the simple pleasures we share together. Hope your Easter was wonderful!! xoxo

A quiet day










It's hard for me to really sit and take a quiet day. Working from home, it's easy to work constantly. Between school, editing, and emails, I'm in my little office pretty regularly during the week. I got tired of looking at the bare Christmas tree my husband was hoping to find time to get out of the house for us. He works 12+ hours a day, so as I sat staring at it I decided to take it into my own hands. Kate and I scoured through the garage for various tools we could use and after using a random assortment, we got the majority of it cut up small enough to get a fire going in our backyard. City living, I tell ya!

When we have a fire going, Kate thinks camping is involved. So we "camped" and decidedly just had to cook up some hot dogs over the fire. We've never burned an evergreen before, but I see why having bonfires after Christmas is so popular! One of these days, we'll have the space to do that. Until then, we'll have quiet silly days together in comfy clothes and enjoy winter weather that feels like spring.

Cheers!











Shortly after publishing my last post, my husband came home to discover his truck had been broken into. It had been completely ransacked. He had been storing the gifts he'd been ordering for me in there, and since his truck is lifted, has tinted windows, and is in front of so many houses, we'd never had a problem. It was an ignorant choice to leave valuables in there, but there's no point in placing blame. It happened.

So for the next three days, he eagerly ran around trying to replace those things for me. It was all I was receiving for Christmas, and I knew his heart had been broken. I'm going to be honest, I didn't want him to. I didn't want those things. I knew that it was going to strain our Christmas budget. I knew stress would go up, and well, I just didn't want stuff. He outdid himself and did get a couple things that are now irreplaceable, that are so thoughtful, I was truly left stunned and speechless.

For days I was bitter. It wasn't just the gifts, but personal items my husband left that had been taken. Things that are more than just 'things,' that are irreplaceable. How heartless those thieves had been. I hoped in the end, they needed those things more than we did. I pray someone was more grateful than I could have been. I'm not sure, but I needed to see a silver lining.

We spent the holidays with our family. A couple of friends surprised us on Christmas Eve with incredibly thoughtful gifts for the kids, not knowing what had been stolen. And so many people who got gifts for them, kept our wishes in mind. I was so humbled. Blessed. Grateful. The rest of Christmas Eve left our minds at peace, maintaining our tradition with a dear friend who accepted all of my family around a bonfire, it was just what we needed. I always know, but it was over this Christmas I realized that we do have truly great people surrounding us in our lives - and really, what more is there? To be with others. To be thought of, remembered, loved... That's all we need.

I'm already thinking of next Christmas and how to continue on our path of less things. How to completely change the face of how we approach gift giving and how exactly to offer experiences with those we love, including our own kids.

So it's now a New Year! Cheers to all the life and love and memories coming in 2015. I am beyond excited for a full year ahead. My mind has been reeling with all the things I want to approach, I look forward it all. Happy 2015 my friends!