Friday, December 24, 2010

the advent letters

It may be hard to believe, but my husband and I hardly ever exchange gifts. Not for Christmas, Valentine's Day or even our anniversary. Don't get me wrong, it's not that we don't like stuff, but we would much rather spend the money on a trip or a really fancy dinner. Our love language is food and some good wine of course;)

But this year we decided to do something a little different. I was inspired by this post. In a nutshell, she made a plan to write her husband a little note or letter for the month leading up to Thanksgiving to show him how she was thankful for him. And since I had read it after Thanksgiving.... I decided to morph it into an Advent tradition. (I love starting my own traditions) After discussing with Chris, we decided to write each other a letter each day of Advent as a way to prepare for Christmas and as a present to each other. So this year we will exchange a nice, fat bundle of handwritten letters on Christmas day. How sweet is that?!

Not only does this make for a really special gift, but it was an amazing way to prepare our hearts for Christmas this year! Each day I got to share my heart with my husband by telling him how much I loved him, or how hard my day was with the kids, or a fun memory from the past or a prayer for the Advent season. It helped me remember what I loved about him on days that are hard. It made me laugh when I wrote about silly things we did when we were in college. It made me cry when I realized how I didn't do a good job loving him that day. It brought me joy, it made me thankful and dang... it put me in the Christmas spirit!

What I realized though is that when I started writing these letters I was excited that I would give him something special. But as it turns out the most special part of writing these letters is how much more I grew to love my husband. Not only did these "advent letters" (as we so named them) prepare my heart for Advent but they prepared my heart to love my husband better. You better believe this is one Advent tradition that will stick around for many years to come!

So I encourage you (even though it's technically the last day of advent) take some time today to prepare for the coming of our Lord at Christmas by writing a letter to the one you love. It might just be the most special gift you give:)

This is what I will be doing with my hubby if only we had a fireplace to enjoy these by;)Cheers!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

coffee and family

some of my favorite things in life. I'm drinking my coffee and watching this:)
I've vowed to not cut her we just have to get through the shaggy phase
stella loves her bible. She walks around saying "amen". She's my little missionary in the making
My not so little one. Happy 3 months Jude!
My mom made this hat for me when I was little and now stella loves it! She just likes the flaps in the front:)
now back to life: coffee, toys everywhere, wrapping paper thrown around and my husband singing carols to a screaming baby:) Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

diy advent calender

I don't know about you but the advent calender was one of my favorite things that got pulled out every year in preparation for Christmas. My sister and I used to argue everyday about who got to move the star one day closer to Christmas.

I thought it only necessary to bring that fun tradition into our home this year. Advent is a beautiful time of preparation and waiting for the coming of Christ at Christmas and the Advent calender makes for a fun way (especially for kids) to count down the days!

So, in the spirit of being frugal for Christmas this year, I decided to make my own Advent Calendar. After scouring the internet for ideas and diy projects I really could find what I wanted or should I say anything in my price range.

So...I winged it.

I gathered up all my old religious Christmas cards, holy cards or sacred images (I even cut some out of old calendars) and I used these as my inspiration. I tried to focus on images of The Christ Child, The Holy Family or Mary and Jesus. Then, I simply added numbers to the different cards (25 in all) and then punched holes and used a thick piece of yarn to thread them all together. I even sent my husband on a hunt for a nice large branch that I could use to hang them all together.

And tada! It came together very nicely. It may not stand the test of time, but it's a great way to reuse old Christmas cards and makes for a pretty child-friendly advent project.

Each day you can say a different prayer or even read a part of the Gospel leading up to Christ's birth as a way to prepare our hearts for Christmas.

Happy Advent!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

craving the homemade

I love learning how to make things from scratch, discovering new recipes or old ways of doing things. You want to know a secret? (Even though it is one of my most favorite things to do in life) I would love to one day not even shop at a grocery store. Now given this would probably never happen...but I love the idea of sustaining my family on things that could be grown, made or raised.

I am far from a farmer, but I just crave living off the land. Hmmm kind of hard to do in my townhouse, but we'll get there.

In the meantime, look what I learned to do tonight :)

a season of change

my little man slept through the night last night (and for the past three nights). I am over the moon. We are turning a new page. I feel alive again.

Winter is rolling in and it's time to hunker down and stay at home. I love it. Here's to a new season, a season of blogging!