Monday, December 16, 2013

Insta-Monday...Cause Insta-Friday Wasn't Happening

The last week is a blur.

A wonderful blur of a happy, full life.

A blur of decorating...

A blur of fleeting moments of childhood awe...

A blur of red neck Santa pics...

A blur of sweet Santa letters in kid writing...

A blur of the magic in believing that that letter is making it to the North Pole...

A blur of childlike hope and wonder...

A blur of chasing this high energy 2 year old all over the place...
A blur of starting a sewing project and working into the wee hours of the morning...
A blur of finishing sewing projects...
A blur of packaging orders...

A crazy exciting blur of this girl knowing all her letters and sounds...

A blur of first limo rides...

A blur of awesome kid art...

A blur of cleaning up after that high energy 2 year old...

A blur of Kindergarten registration...

A blur of emails...

And that's all I can say.

It was a blur.

Thank goodness for Insta-gram.

Or I would lose these moments in the blur of this busy life.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

O Christmas Tree

Every year we venture up to the mountains, trek through a forest, and cut down a tree out in the beauty of nature.

Andy grew up with this tradition.

I grew up assembling our artificial tree in the warmth of our home.

Some years I have been pregnant and gigantic roaming the mountains for our tree.

Some years we were extreme hiking up vertical inclines for our tree.


Can I just say that a tree naturally growing in a forest up in the mountains never has a good side.

All sides have lop-sided branches...all sides have bare spots...all sides indicate that an animal probably took up shelter there for at least a brief moment.

It's a interesting feat to make a tree you hiked up a vertical incline, in a forest, up in the mountains look glamorous.

Every year I point out that it is possible to buy a real tree at...Walgreens...King Soopers...Costco...or Aspen Grove where they will even flock it pink for you!

Every year Andy tells me to stop being a hater and find all our snow gear.

Well, this year we have been experiencing record low temps.

And have 3 small kids to bundle up and hike through the mountains for a tree with.

Andy said maybe we shouldn't go up to the mountains, hike through a forest and cut down a tree with 3 kids this year.

This was the year I was going to get my pink tree from Aspen Grove!

This was monumental people.

I have wanted a pink tree for 10 years.

So we loaded everyone up in the truck sans all the snow gear and headed to Aspen Grove.

This chick was spastically, over the moon excited and filled with glee!

We arrive at Aspen Grove and walk right up to the tallest tree in the lot. Granted it is like 4 foot shorter than we are used's the biggest they have.

Then I turn over the price tag...


I did a double take because surely my mind registered that wrong.


Folks, let me just say that damn tree better come delivered to my door, decorated, with presents under it for $399.99.

So we load back up into the truck and head to Costco.

My dreams of a pink Aspen Grove tree dashed.

The kids are getting feisty by the time we arrive at the truck of trees in the Costco parking lot...all out civil war erupts by the time we get home with our store bought real tree because although 3 kids can fit in daddy's truck...3 kids can all touch each other in daddy's truck. So the hitting and hitting back always reaves up. Privileges are threatened. Privileges are lost. Tears are shed.

It was turning out to be a lovely night.

Whatever. $48 spent and we have a tree!

We proceed to throw some corn dogs in the microwave for the kids and unwrap the tree.

Here it is unwrapped.

Nothing happened.

Beautiful branches did not gracefully fall into place as I envisioned.


We have a frozen solid real tree cone.

Quick google search says put it in the garage...wait 3 days for it to unthaw.


Not gonna happen. I was decorating that tree that night.

So out came the blow dryer...

Fire place turned on, space heater pulled out...

Hour and a half later we have some progress...

Then the entire living room went black.

NBD. Andy puts on his slippers, throws the breaker, and we are back in business.

Then I hear a scream from Andy & AJ yell, "TIMBER!!!"

I turn to see a tree on the floor, but no Andy.

Then he's yelling help and I realize he is under the tree.

At this point I lose it. Laughing till I can't breath or pick up a heavy tree that is on top of Andy.

Finally I pull myself together and pick up the tree.

Assessment of the tree stand indicates it's completely broken.

So at like 9 something Andy heads to Home Depot.

We went to bed at 1am with decorated tree.

It was a fabulous tree experience.


Friday, December 6, 2013

Insta-Friday Advent Edition

Cue the sleigh bells, we are getting ready for Christmas!

This week I've been crafting like crazy.

I mean crazy...every spare second and into the wee hours of the morning kind of crazy.

I've been working on this memory quilt for a friend. It is made from printed family photos and her mother's clothes. I finished the quilt top over the weekend.

Such an awesome way to honor someone's memory.

We pulled out all the Christmas boxes and things started to transform.

But I felt like my Christmas decorations were blah this year and needed something new.

So went back over my Christmas pins for some inspiration...

And inspiration I found!

Gotta love something new and sparkly and free!

Heck yeah.

I finished a custom order for Christmas garland.

I love a mix of funky and traditional during the holidays.

Makes me darn right giddy.

We have an elf. I love him.

He adds to the magic of Christmas.

I don't get anti-elf peeps.

Haters gonna hate. I guess.

But man they are missing out on some fun!

Frisbee is our elf. Man I love that creepy looking little elf!

He returns from the North Pole every year and brings back our Christmas books and a treat.

This year he brought little cans of Sprite and gifted the kids with their own nativity.

Frisbee loves baby Jesus too.

I'm super excited that we started a couple advent traditions this year! We lit our first advent candle and put our first ornament on our Jesse tree!
Our Advent candles are safely incased in a lantern...because my children cannot be trusted around open flame. If you know them, you know this to be true.
I had the honor to participate in a Jesse tree ornament exchange this year! Jesse trees are so cool.
A Jesse tree represents Jesus' family tree. It has an ornament and scripture meditation for each day through Advent to help prepare for Jesus' birthday!
The kids look forward to hearing the story and adding the ornament each night. I love how they love this part of our night.
They love it so much they fight over it...we now have a rotation of whose turn it is to put the ornament on each night.
There is just something so wrong about getting into a fist fight over who gets to put a biblical symbol on the tree.

Frisbee brought the kiddos a movie about St. Nick!

AJ said it was the best movie ever.

Did you know Rainbow Dash was there at Jesus' birth?

Ab teaches me something new everyday.

We watched Elf a couple times this week.

I love this movie.

There are not many movies I can watch more than once.

But this one cracks me up every.single.time.


I just like to smile, smiling's my favorite.

I love kid-created ornaments.

And nativities.

And kid-created nativity ornaments.

It has been freeze your butt off cold up in Colorado this week.

The awful kind of cold where the garage door opener doesn't work properly on the day your husband takes your keys to work in his coat pocket so you get to crawl under the one foot opening of the garage door in your white winter coat.

That kind of cold.

Lots of hot cocoa has been in order.

The thing about a quilt is that finishing the quilt top, although it is a major accomplishment, is only a fraction of the work that goes into finishing a quilt.

After the top is done comes...piecing the backing, sandwiching the layers, the actual quilting process, making the binding, and then actually binding it.

It's a process. A long process...

But man the finished product is so worth it.

I love, love, love, just love Christmas cards.

I love planning them, picking them out, stuffing them in envelopes, sealing them with festive colored washi tape, sticking labels and stamps on them, taking them to the post office and putting them in the little pull down flap door, and walking away knowing so many peeps are getting fun mail.

It just feels like such a happy accomplishment.

Look at that crisp stack of happiness right there.

It's one of my most favorite parts of Christmas.

Getting cards in the mail is pretty cool too.

I mean how often is it that someone actually sends you something, a real physical, tactile, paper something in the mail?!

Christmas cards rock.

St. Nick did indeed come to our house.
My children did have candy canes and chocolate for breakfast this morning.
And that's okay.

We also purchased and put up our Christmas tree last night.

Which I am just plain freakin' giddy about!

It was quite the spectacular night.

One, so spectacular, that it deserves its very own post in order to do it justice.

It was that spectacular.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Posting real quick because I have at least ten other things I should be doing right now.

I can't believe Christmas is in 22 days.

Life is overwhelmingly crazy right now.

I'm trying to manage my freak outs and take in the season.

I'm a bad procrastinator, and I'm a planner...

Dangerous combo this time of year.

I procrastinate and procrastinate

and then I FREAK OUT that every little detail isn't planned and prepared.

Poor Andy. Pray for that man. He lives through it and still loves me.

Here's Ab trying on mommy's lip gloss.

Love that girl.

Somebody please tell Brody that the drawers on the hutch are not stairs built in just for him to get to things mommy puts out of his reach.

His sense of adventure and determination may exceed that of his sister.

Which is a terrifying thought. And usually result in my heart stopping at least three times a day.

Andy and I had a date night last weekend.
It was delightful.
We had lunch with grandma Joyce, grabbed Starbucks, walked around stores...

picked up Wingstop (my fave!)...

had dinner and dessert, and played games with good friends.

It was so refreshing.

Then we picked up a sick Brody and Abby and AJ who over the course of the next several days followed suit...puking all over the house. It was a fun Thanksgiving break.

And can I just say $5 for a bottle of Pedialyte?! What's wrong with this world?! Seriously that's redonkulous. Yes my child is sick...I'm dealing with projectile bodily fluids...please rob me in order for me to rehydrate him.

Dear Pedialyte,

Santa is watching.

So is Jesus.

And they know your profit margin.

Just saying.

We crafted...for about ten minutes.

The smaller paper plates would have better matched the attention span of my crafters.

But half-way done wreaths are still half-way festive.

Love how he plays in the windowsill.

It's so sweet and peaceful how content he is there.

This girl comes upstairs from the basement in the best outfits.

Totally Fairy Godmother attire girlfriend.

Love that he is starting to get pulled into books.

We had a lovely play date with friends one day. Us moms even got to sit on the couch for a few brief moments and chat over coffee.
That was the most delicious cup of coffee in my entire life.
It was good. Like close your eyes and the world melts away kind of good.

This was Thanksgiving morning.

Me in my pj's. Drinking a cold Dr. Pepper. Andy slaving over food prep.

I am so blessed.

He always has lots of helpers.

That leave brooms and step stools and tractors scattered around the floor.

And sometimes serenade him.

Thanksgiving was amazing.

I ate a lot.

Then it was Black Friday.

Andy and the kids went to Home Depot.

And came home with this gigantic stuffed dog.

What the heck Andy?

Side note: I strongly dislike stuffed animals.

I even more strongly dislike gigantic ones.

But the kids are over the moon about gigantic stuffed animals.