Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A time for family



This past weekend has been full of so much change.
Not only for so many of us in our personal lives, but also for our country as a whole.

 I've defintely taken some time off from the blogging world over the weekend.

Mostly, because I have been spending precious time with my family.
Whom I love so dearly.

 My brother is officially home from SC for a long Christmas vacation.
 And it just feels like old times.

Being able to gather at my parent's house and tell stories and jokes.
 Laughter, sometimes to the point of tears. Being able to share good food. Sitting around the lights of the Christmas tree.

How many times have I taken these blessings of family for granted?
I am so grateful for them.
And I am grateful that God has placed me in both of my families.
With these people.

I know I have been challenged and reminded this Christmas Season to cherish my time with all of them.
To not spend my time on lesser things. Pursuing things that are temporary. Chasing after things that are materialstic.
Instead, I plan on remembering the very things and people I take for granted.
I encourage us all to do that.

My prayers are still going out to all of those affected in Connecticut. 







Thursday, December 13, 2012

He Came

How is your Christmas Season coming along? 
I know, at this point, a lot of us are busy being festive. Attending Christmas parties and Christmas events. Attempting to finish or start Christmas gift shopping. Spending time with family that is either near or far. Maybe even putting the finishing touches on events or the Christmas dinner menu. 

I was reminded a few days ago, as I was busy feeling the pressure of finishing up Christmas shopping, that I was forgetting the whole reason why I acknowledge Christmas at all. 
I was too distracted. 

 Sometimes in the midst of decking the halls, and watching insane amounts of Christmas movies, and going to celebrations, and even serving in special ways, we miss the quite stillness. 

We get caught up in the materialism that sometimes surrounds Christmas. 
And while I believe that giving a gift and serving are all forms of sacrifice and gratitude, do we even think about why?
  
We were given a precious gift in the form of a tiny baby. A gift that we do not deserve. 
And because of that we can now give. We can celebrate.
Shouldn't that be the source of my joy this Christmas season? 
Shouldn't that be the source of my hope?

He came so quietly. 
Of all the ways He could have come, He chose a stable. 
He came humbly. The Savior of the World. Our blessed hope. 
He came!

"For a child has been born--for us! The gift of a son--for us! He'll take over the running of the world. His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Price of Wholeness."
:: Isaiah 9:6 (MSG)

He came for me. He came for you. He came for the whole world. 
During the distractions of this season I am choosing to remember that He is my joy. 
He is my whole hope. 

Joy to the World, the Lord has come!

Monday, December 10, 2012

handmade, with love

Christmas is coming upon us so quickly! 
I spent a few days last week organizing gifts and putting packages together.
Like so many others, I have found a lot of inspiration through homemade gifts. 

I have found so many free printables through pinterest (you can find my boards here). 
And that has been my source for all of my gift tags this year.

My mother and I took some time this past summer and early fall to can preserves and make homemade salsa which is going into a lot of my gift baskets. 
This feels special to me because of all the work that goes into picking and preserving fresh fruits and vegetables.
Along with that I am including the easy (and tasty) idea of compiling my own trail mix in jars. 
This is about as simple as picking out your favorite nuts, dried fruits, and chocolate.

The cinnamon ornaments that my mother and I also worked on together are being attached to a lot of my packages and pay homage to our state. Ten points for the mitten. 
Plus, these ornaments invoke memories of opening my Christmas decorations box as a child. 
My whole room would smell like cinnamon.

 And I couldn't resist compiling mugs that contain my favorite variety of teas.

I've had a lot of fun wrapping and stringing these gifts together.
Sometimes the presentation is just as special as what is on the inside of the package. 

What ideas are you implementing for gift giving this year? 
Have you jumped on the handmade bandwagon?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

let's rock princess hair




This has to be the easiest way to do your hair if you are feeling particularly lazy (like I was last night) and you would like your hair up and out of your face.
Every time I have wore my hair like this it is dubbed "princess hair".
So, there ya go. 
Apparently, the easiest way to rock princess hair is with the headband of your choice.
I add hair pins where needed and a good dose of hairspray. 
This hairstyle can really be as loose and messy as you like. 
It all depends on how tightly you tuck your hair into the headband.

So, tuck away and spend the day allowing your inner princess to come out.
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