I'll be honest, I was/am nervous about this holiday season. It's the first Christmas we've had with someone very noticeably absent. I realize while typing that how incredibly blessed we are that I'm nearly 30 and this is the first Christmas experienced in grief. I know we're fortunate in that manner. My first instinct was to skip Christmas....just screw it all and go to Vegas or something. But then, no....we need to celebrate. It will be healing for us. Last Christmas AJ and I didn't put up a tree or exchange any gifts. We had just moved, spent a lot of money on new furniture, we just found out we were expecting, and I was throwing a surprise birthday party for AJ in January. So...low-key holiday for us. This year, though, we are exchanging gifts (and stockings...my fave part!) and we decorated the house and got a tree. I am sort of obsessed with sitting by the tree with a hot beverage. It's so cozy and delicious smelling and festive and I love it! I shared some of our holiday decos in this post. Here's some more:
|I discovered peppermint mocha creamer. Annnnd now my cup of joe is festive AF|
|Oregon and Utah ornaments....and yes, a hot dog: in honor of Halloween costume 2015, ha!|
|a decent amount of our ornaments is from the Christmas shop in Lincoln City, including this one we bought on our Honeymoon|
|to remember our jetski adventure in Tahoe!|
|Sand from our engagement beach|
I am so excited to give our family and friends their Christmas gifts this year. I am adding "Grinch Day" to my usual December lesson plans (Gingerbread day is my fave!), and have holiday music on constantly. I'm feeling festive and loving it! I'm succumbing to the crazy that is elementary teaching in December and just rolling with it. I'm working on just being calm and letting the energy (and negativity) bounce right off me. #goals
We also went to the Festival of Trees with our friends Matt and Tracy. Their sweet baby Claire had a tree on display there and it was gorgeous. It was fun experiencing that with them.
We are officially DONE with holiday shopping. I know I've been saying that for weeks, but I kept adding to my list, picking up things for gatherings, package toppers, and white elephant gifts. We ventured into the mall last week because of "candle day" at Bath and Body Works....I waited in line just to get in the store and once in, it was insanity, but you just have to laugh: the things we do to save some bucks. Ha!
Some other holiday fun we have planned: driving to look at lights, convincing AJ we need to buy the Starbucks gingerbread cafe (we need it, guys), cranberry bliss bars, donating to an Angel Tree or holiday drive, make mulled wine, hosting a family dinner (I am doing a "Southern Fare Feast"....deets to come later!), mail holiday cards, make our traditional French Toast bake for Christmas morning breakfast, and take all the decos down before we head to Oregon on winter break! What goes up must come down. Ha!
I'm working on some posts this month that I'm excited about. So Ho Ho Ho and Jingle Bells to you...enjoy this season, friends.
PS) I just had to post this Hadley pic because I recently found it (there are the standard 50 or so I look at every.single.day. and then there are a few others sort of stuck in my phone). This is her eating her hands about 12 hours after she was born. Girl be chowing down! And can we discuss her cute hair? For a 31 week preemie, she was big and had a nice head of hair! I am in love with my Princess Baby.
Savor your Sparkle,