Christmas is here!

I think it’s safe to say my children start counting down till Christmas all year long. Me brothers and sisters all travel home each year to my parent’s home in St. Louis so we can spend a few wonderful chaotic days all under one roof for the best day of the year. The best moments are kept in good memory with no need for camera captures, but here are is just a glimpse of the days that carry me through the new year and till the time we all can meet again…


Christmas Eve carols with a bossy 3 year old choir director.^^

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December morning with Anthropologie

In Honor of Design + AnthropologieIn Honor of Design + AnthropologieBreakfast in bed | IHODSaturday mornings | IHODBreakfast in bedmorning light

As you all know, December has been slow down month for us. It has been a really good time of rejuvenation and getting ready for the new year ahead. I especially look forward to weekend mornings. They are never quiet mind you (hello little miss morning bird Veronica!), but they are easy paced and always involve a hot breakfast and a record player.

Recently, I got the royal treatment in bed which hasn’t happened since mother’s day! My little ones love to surprise me lately even if it means a scribble scrabbled note they made the moment before. So when Gabe schemed up a breakfast plot, they were beaming with smiles to deliver it. I love how they can’t really keep surprises either since they can hardly stand to keep it to themselves.

I would say my husband can cook up a better breakfast than I any day. Scalloped potatoes with over easy eggs, sauteed tomatoes, cranberry orange juice, and fresh fruit. Still thinking about it…ahhh. Although, I don’t believe any mother has every really eaten breakfast in bed without a few hands tackling it before she does;)

We have a few more weeks before we head to St. Louis for Christmas. I am hoping I get a few more mornings like this (no breakfast needed, maybe just coffee) with my little ones. It has been so good to have more time with them.

Also, so grateful to Anthropologie for helping me re-vamp our bedroom! It was time to give it some much needed attention:) Will be posting more photos soon! Details of the room: Enmore Embroidered duvet c/o and shamsEmbroidered Aravalli curtains c/o, frames via Frambebridge, end tables made by Gabe,  Anthropologie candles and hardware c/o, rugs by Momeni via Home Brands USA c/o

Advent detox. (And a playlist!)

DIY Boxwood Wreath via Poppytalk
(Hoping to tackle this project on Poppytalk!)

Gabe always asks me in the weeks leading up to Christmas day if I want to open up my one of my gifts early. I am ALWAYS tempted, but the answer is always the same. It would take the fun away from the actual day of Christmas! He waits all year for this holiday, so I don’t blame him, and I often feel like a little kid who wants to peek through the wrapping paper to find out what is inside while no one is looking.

I am learning with each year, that the peace Christmas promises has to be fought for.  Every time the temptations come to unwrap the party early, to buy, eat, shop, or be merry, I have to ask myself if it will actually make room for more peace, and less chaos. I don’t want to fall for the traps this year of the fancy bells and wrapping. I know you can fill yourself full of all very good things, but there is no room left for the great things. The things you cannot quite verbally describe but fill your body and soul with an unearthly joy. That joy that beamed out of a humble stable on that first Christmas over 2000 years ago…

I guess this is why it is more quiet than usual on the blog and social media these days. Just trying to make room for inner renewal, and make as much time as possible to encourage  more purpose filled traditions in my little family.

Here are a few concrete ways we are trying to make this happen this year. An advent detox of sorts;)

1) I said no to Christmas cards. Gasp! I know, its horrible. But they are always a challenge for me to organize every year, and get them out the door. Going to find alternative ways to keep in touch with family and friends this year. 

2) Kept my calendar clean. Hustle and bustle is so easy to slip into. I had such a whirlwind year that I decided to keep my calendar free and take each day as it came. No commitments, but a true effort to do what was best for my family each day instead of the month turning into a string of events. We have many things we want or hope to do this, but keeping only the most important as a priority and the rest can come as it may.

3) Minimal shopping – Gabe and I LOVE to give gifts, and usually bite off more than we can chew with who we want to give gifts to. We decided that instead of spending all the time running errands, standing in line, and shopping online for gifts, we would keep the list very minimal, BAKE gifts,  and use the rest of the money for our favorite charities and spontaneous giving. (This has already brought us some incredible experiences!)

4) Saving the best Christmas movies/music for last. My personal favorites like It’s A Wonderful Life, White Christmas, Bishop’s Wife, etc. always deliver the Christmas spirit on a platter for me, and so I am trying oh so hard to save the best for the last week before Christmas, and the 12 days after.

5) Service. We hope that starting the tradition to serve our community, neighbors, family, etc. will become something our children look forward to. We looked into different opportunities in surrounding areas, and found places to volunteer and donate items or time. When Gabe and I first started dating, we met a very lonely women in meager circumstances who we would visit each week just so she had someone to laugh at her jokes and make sure she was okay. I think there are so many people who just need to know they are loved. This is my goal for not only in the coming weeks, but for the coming year. To let people know they are valued.

6) Reading. I don’t ever take time to read anymore and I am a former bookworm. Words move and shake me like only music can, so I am setting aside time each morning to read Ann Voskamp’s The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas, and it has been such a good way to keep me focused. The book for little ones is what we take excerpts from for the kids each night to help connect the dots for them about what Christmas is truly about.

Would love to hear some of the ways to add to this list! How do you all serve your community, or what projects you do for friends and family to give around this time of year? Leaving you all with an advent playlist with songs that are great for this preparation time for the 12 days of Christmas:) Any I should add to the playlist?