The most magical time of the year has arrived. We dusted off the Christmas boxes, carefully unpackaged the delicate ornaments and searched for the perfect tree. Two trees to be exact.
The children's excitement is a constant reminder that the spirit of Christmas is what we choose to make it. We make it about love and sharing. We make it about caring for others and reaching out that helping hand. We make it about family and spending time with one another. Grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles. It is so easy to get lost in the sea of materialism that surrounds the holidays. Every day I strive and pray that we may stay on course.
To help us stay on course we focus our energey on those in need. Every year we take a couple stockings from Jon's church that are to be filled with children who have fallen into the system. Children who most likely will not receive gifts. We make sure to stuff as much into those stockings (bags, actually) as possible. And from my church we take two tags from the giving tree. Each tag lists a person and something(s) they need. It's not much, but it's something we are able to do each year.
What makes your holiday season special?
What do you do to reach out and help others?
How do you keep the spirit of Christmas alive?
We've got another busy weekend on our hands, but I'm looking forward to hanging out with my little ones and getting my hands glittery with crafts. We have our advent calendar to make, a bit late, but it will be up by Sunday. We have a Christmas movie night with friends, a brunch with Santa, a baby shower, soccer games, caroling with cub scouts and, hopefully, a relaxing family dinner on Sunday.
Happy Weekend friends! Hope it's relaxing.
Sorry I wasn't around much this week. It was a bit crazy and I fell behind. I've got lots lined up for next week. The boys room tour, my first post on Babiekins Magazine blog and an awesome GIVEAWAY on Monday ;)
Jessica's room was one of the easiest projects we have tackled so far. The first thing we did was remove the carpet and then wash the walls and floors. You'll notice we still have yet to lay flooring. One day, hopefully in the near future, they will be hardwood with the rest of the upstairs (which is partly still carpeted). But for now, they remain plywood with an area rug.
I decided to turn her walk in closet (yes Jessica in fact does have the largest closet in the house) into a small play area. It's a great spot to tuck away her toys and create a whimsical environment. I also love using this area to display artwork and special keepsakes. The lovely deer canvas print is c/o Boom Boom prints. I used wine boxes from the restaurant to house shoes and baskets to hold toys and books.
I will do my best to list where everything is from.
In the play closet:
Deer canvas: c/o Boom Boom prints
Retro Kitchen: KidKraft Kitchen
Painted rocking chair: local artist, purchased at an auction
Wood Cradle: left in the playhouse from previous owners
White Matryoshka Doll: measuring cups from Sur la Table, Jess claimed them for herself
Bubble Gum Llama print: local artist
Fauna Kuma bear: from the Chicago Art Institute
Birds: local shop in Maine, but they are available from Land of Nod
Around the bed:
Ava Print: The Black Apple
Flowerburst Print: from Yumi Yumi
Dream Catcher Painting: painted by myself
Bedding: found online but it was unavailable. this local store located it and ordered it for me. I was SO grateful for their help!
Feather Mobile: made by myself
Chair: hand me down that was reupholstered
Lion pillow: Anthropologie
Bird pillow: Joom
Silver reading lamp: Ikea
Animal masks: local halloween shop. Jon thinks they're creepy, but I'm kinda fond of them
Nightstand: garage sale, I painted it white
Tin on nightstand: vintage, hand me down
Elephant: local shop in Telluride, CO
Pink push toy: Chicago Art Institute
Little Bear books: from my childhood
Canvas painting above toy chest: painted by myself
Toy chest: babies' R us
Wood high chair: hand me down from Jon's mom
Fox Animal: Bla Bla kids
On the dresser:
Girl with balloons painting: La Belle Avenue
Bird Cage: Tj Maxx, painted white
Feather headband: made by myself
Elephant: Little Marc Jacobs, from the West Village in NY
Glass deer: vintage, hand me down from my grandmother
Peter Rabbit bank: from my childhood
Mushroom night light: Target
Matryoshka Doll: Cleveland Museum of Art
The shine was shining all day and I started off my morning with a 5k Turkey Trot race. A race that I was happy with my results, considering I hardly get in runs these days. I brought that sunshine into our home for a morning and afternoon of baking and cooking, storytelling with the kids and playing. Jon played his traditional game of golf, and when he arrived home we packed up the car and headed out for the day.
First stop, my parent's house for appetizers and cocktails, a serious game of limbo and tag and of course, a turkey (free range) dinner paired with mouthwatering sides. Oyster stuffing, herbed brussel sprouts, Jon's famous mashed potatoes, organic cranberry sauce and more. After coffee and a short period of relaxation we headed off to Jon's dad's home.
The cycle began again, appetizers paired with a tasty German Riesling followed by turkey (free range, local), stuffing, homemade applesauce, braised carrots and more. To top off the evening we ate our desserts (mostly gluten free, some vegan and some definitely not) and sipped our wines and coffees while watching Star Wars. It doesn't get better than that!
I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving. I'm still recovering from my food coma over here! The next couple weeks are busy busy. Tomorrow I'll be kicking off the week with a room tour of Jess' room. The week will (mostly) be dedicated to our home and the renovations we have been working on. I'm excited to share and I hope you are too. If you're not into the home tours make sure to come back the following week....I've got a great giveaway lined up.
Also, I have so much fun looking back through my archives. Sometimes I sit around late at night sipping my green tea (or wine) and read old posts, laugh at old pictures and sometimes even get emotional over how fast time has gone by. THIS is the reason I blog. I have all my memories, my words, my photos stored in one spot where I can continue to journal and document.
Here is our Thanksgiving last year. I just started shooting in manual, and I think I am slowly getting better. Now I just need that camera upgrade and I'll be well on my way ;)
Every day I am thankful.
I know that I don't say it enough, perhaps don't even think it enough, but at some point every day it crosses my mind. Whether it's my morning run when I have time to collect thoughts, a hot shower where the sound of water calms my day or when I sit down and say our blessings with my children.
Every day I am thankful.
I have been blessed with a beautiful family. The kind of beauty that starts on the inside, in the heart and in the soul. The kind of beauty that is sewn together with love, thoughtfulness, hope, passion, selflessness and compassion. These are traits that have trickled down from our parents, shed light on our lives and now I see these traits in my children. I am blessed to be such a part of an amazing family.
I have been blessed with a husband who has stood by my side, in good times and bad. A husband who has always been my friend and my soul mate. We are blessed to have been together for eleven years and I can foresee many many years ahead on our journey. We are happy and in loved. I am thankful everyday.
I have been blessed with a wonderful home, food to fill our table and a healthy body that I value and challenge daily. I am grateful that this body carried me over the finish line of my race this morning. I couldn't help but tear up when I ran side by side with a man in a wheel chair. We are all blessed in different ways and we should all be grateful for what we have in life.
I could go on and on for what I am thankful for, but I wanted to also mention that I am thankful for you. For each and every one of my readers. I know that I don't say it, I know that I don't write it, but please know every day I am thankful. This little blog of mine has allowed me to meet some amazing people and I value those friendships and relationships that have formed and are being formed. I am thankful for opportunities that have come about because of my blog.
I hope you enjoy this day. I hope that you are able to spend it with the ones you love.
Happy Thanksgiving friends.
when life is busy
when life is overwhelming
when you're tired of feeling behind...
you just need to sit and have a tea party
you need to play
you need to forget
and most importantly
you need to enjoy these moments with your children.
Today I forgot about the laundry
I didn't respond to emails
I let my projects go
and my dishes go
and the bed that needed changed.
I let them all go.
And I sat and played.
I know I have "catching up" to do
I know I'll pay the price
life is too short to care about laundry
it's too short to create stress
over things that don't really matter.
What does matter is time
the time I spend with my loved ones
time I give myself
time that I will never get back.
Some days call for color.
Color and stripes.
Today we wore red
Today we wore green.
It made me think of the holidays
waiting around the corner
with it's trees and lights
pretty little packages
the scent of evergreen
lingering throughout our home.
Some days call for color.
Color and stripes to wrap
around our thoughts
to bring smiles across our faces.
We took these colors
we took our stripes
and ran in streets
laughter bouncing off buildings
and filling the empty air.
Some days call for color
and today was one.
I hope you enjoy your Monday. Our weekend was a busy one, but a good one. My parents invited the little ones over on Friday night so I took full advantage and had a girls night in. Saturday brought us two soccer games and a day filled with birthday parties. Which, remember when I said three in this post....well, it was actually two. The other party was last weekend. I completely forgot about it. Or misread the date. Or something like that. Does anyone else have a mom brain like this??
Sunday was everything I hoped it would be. A day spent at home with the family. My sister wanted the kids to come up to her house for the afternoon so I cleaned, fell asleep on the couch and got a run in. After our big Sunday dinner, a tradition in our home, it was baths and off to bed. I couldn't have been happier to lay lazily on the couch and indulge in Dexter and a glass of wine. Thank you Sunday for treating me so well.
I had so much fun snapping these photos of Jess. These Polkadot What leggings are just the cutest pants I've seen. Very versatile and they can be paired with anything. Next time I'm thinking a plaid button down and cable knit sweater.
Leggings: c/o Polkadot What // Blazer: Target // White Shirt: Janie & Jack // Shoes: Keep