lifestyle

i’m dreaming of a white christmas.

it’s currently the day before christmas eve (christmas eve eve, as some like to call it), and i’m watching some snow fall from the sky. none of it’s sticking, but i have high hopes that if it lasts long enough into the evening, it’ll get cold enough for the snow to stay. i mean, i know that plenty of people survive christmas with no snow, but i’m from MINNESOTA people. a green/brown christmas is simply unacceptable. there must be snow so when we put on our parkas, it feels like there is a reason for it. so yes, i’m dreaming of a white christmas in a big, desperate way.

christmas-baby-seeing-santa

we’ve got some big holiday plans lined up for the next few days. celebrating christmas with both our families and both our extended families, seeing friends in town, and my favorite: watching amelia open presents and hang out with her aunts, uncles and grandparents. i’m so excited to see everyone and i can’t wait to watch amelia slightly comprehend christmas this year. she’s opened a couple presents already and has REALLY enjoyed that process, so it’s shaping up to be a hilarious wonderful christmas morning. i’m so excited that i’m tingly and a little twitchy and i’m fairly certain i’ll want to stay up all night long until everything starts. totally casual and normal, i swear.christmas-tree-soft-white-lights

and now for the love…

i hope that all of you are with people you love this christmas, and that you feel so much grace and peace surrounding you during this time. i am so thankful for all of you (i’ve said it before and i’m saying it again, because it’s true). every time i get to interact with one of you, whether it’s in the comments of a post, online talking about a recipe or a cocktail that you tried, or in person talking about our lives, it brings me so much joy. i write here for me, yes, but i also write for you, in the hopes that something i make or something i share will inspire you. and so even though i don’t know most of you, i’m wishing you a merry christmas all the same, and i mean it from the bottom of my heart.

may your days be merry and bright, and may all your christmases be white.

i'm-dreaming-of-a-white-christmas

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life lived thoughtfully. volume three.

can we get honest here for a moment? like, really, truly, honest?

i have not been myself this last month. i’ve flaked out on friends (sometimes with reason, sometimes because i’m terrible), i’ve let balls drop that i normally would not, and i’ve been a less than stellar wife.

i’ve had things not turn out as planned, and been disappointed in myself and things happening around me. and i’d like to say i responded with grace and a lot of patience, but i didn’t. i responded with a cranky attitude and far too many bad moods to mention for fear of you all seeing me in a different light.

my husband has taken on far more than his share of things to make up for where i’ve been lacking, and his life hasn’t been any easier than mine…we’re partners living this life together after all. but while he’s been living it thoughtfully, i’ve let my thoughtfulness get lost in the shuffle.

so there is no story this month about buying coffee for the car behind me, no thoughtful metaphor on how happiness can be found by doing things for others. just some real talk about how sometimes, even when we try to focus on it, thoughtfulness is not easy or welcomed. i don’t want to be one more person talking about how all you have to do is make thoughtfulness a priority and it magically changes your life to make you a better wife + friend + mom + person. it doesn’t. the journey to a life lived thoughtfully comes with progress that can sometimes be backwards.

advent-life-lived-thoughtfully

but we can still take that journey. instead of being discouraged, i’m turning towards a fresh start in this advent season, this waiting season. time for more focus on how i can offer up my disappointment as a sacrifice to that holy one who offered Himself up for us. if He can be born a child in a manger, i can surely do the dishes with a happy heart. if He can die for me, i can be content with my disappointments, knowing that there is more ahead planned out for me.

here’s to finishing out the year on a better note. a more thoughtful note. here’s to ending 2015 with the happiest heart i can.

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december goals.

oof. november was not my best month, goals-wise. personal life-wise, it was awesome! i’ve been busy having fun with Amelia, both while Mister Man travels and while he’s here. even though it’s gotten (much) colder, we try to get outside every single day to play, and she has now shown a LOT more interest in coloring and playing pretend with her stuffed animals. our days are very full. it doesn’t leave too much time for goal achieving, but i tried my best!

first things first: november goals update

  • finish the updates for the first year of amelia’s baby book. oh you guys. i tried so hard. this is still not done. why is it that the smallest things are so difficult for me to just finish up??
  • cook three new soup recipes. woop woop! i definitely got this done, and my freezer is very happy with me! you have seen one of the recipes i think, but i am saving a couple to post later this month. here’s a little preview:

cauliflower-soup-preview

  • go to a movie. i’m counting this as done, even though i’m going to the movie today…i technically planned the movie outing in november, which when you count finding a babysitter and a free day, that’s good right?
  • organize the basement catch-all closet. i have no idea how this got done. i apparently had a fit of organizing the other day and just went to town on this closet. i organized my craft supplies, Amelia’s craft supplies, and our wrapping paper/ribbon/bag/box situation. everything is labeled and all in one spot instead of hanging out all over the place. i’m very excited about this you guys.
  • bonus: if i get motivated, run a 5K on the treadmill. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

december-goals-update

 

  • finish the updates for the first year of amelia’s baby book. i mean. if i fail again, can i just call this one impossible?
  • make santa cookies. Christmas is coming and that means one thing for my dad’s family: grandma’s santa cookies! i’m the oldest granddaughter left in the state, so i’ve taken the responsibility for continuing the tradition since my grandma passed away. we’re still picking a date, because a lot of us are spread all over the country, and we want as many people there as possible, but this will definitely happen. DON’T WORRY FAMILY THERE WILL BE SANTA COOKIES!

christmas cookie tradition: homemade santa claus mold cookies.

  • finish Christmas shopping. i really have to get this one done, don’t i? whatever, i’m throwing myself a bone here. if you’re still working on gifts, here is some inspiration for you.
  • go to brunch with my family. Amelia has been hilarious during mealtimes lately, and she is such a hoot to share a meal with. plus, she is an amazing eater. so i want to take her out to brunch at our favorite neighborhood place, for one because we haven’t been there forever, and for two because i feel like she will really groove on it at her age.
  • bonus: if i get motivated, run a 5K on the treadmill. we can try this one again. we’ll see what happens.

i threw myself a few softballs, but hey, it’s the holidays and i want to be free to enjoy my friends and family without too much hanging over my head. december is busy enough as it is…my calendar has writing all over it and i’m excited!

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coffee date.

did you all have a good thanksgiving? are you guys black friday people or are you stay inside + cuddle with hot beverages people? i myself am a stay inside + cuddle (or go outside + play) person. whichever camp you fall into, i hope you have enough coffee/tea/cider to last you through the weekend.

on this coffee date, i’ll be drinking an americano, mostly because it makes me feel fancy to order one, even though it’s not really fancy at all. i just think that before the festivities continue into the holiday season, i should take it easy on the fancy drinks. there will be enough of that in the coming weeks, right? eggnog and all that?

coffee-date-in-november

i have to tell you, i am SUPER pumped for christmas this year. amelia gets it a little more than she did last year (but not enough that i can’t buy her christmas presents in front of her), and i’m excited for her first visit to see santa, and for her to see our christmas tree, and for all the fun family time she gets to have. also, i’m THIS.CLOSE to being done with my christmas shopping, and i’m basically giving myself an award for adulting so well.

this month has been crazy busy, but in a great way. lots of cooking, some crafting, and a lot of (maybe too much?) contemplation about what’s in my closet. i can’t wait to see what the next month has in store…i’m just hoping i can stay present enough while it flies by. i have some really fun posts planned for december to get us all in the christmas spirit. i hope you’re all ready to get some christmas cheer going, because now that thanksgiving is over, it’s on!

do you guys ever think how incredible it is that we get through the holidays without going crazy? most of us are busier during this time than we are the whole year, and yet we live through it. not only that, but we enjoy it, we thrive on it. i have a theory that it’s because we’re busy doing things that matter, instead of busy doing things that aren’t important. it feels better to be busy with family and friends, with cooking and baking for loved ones, with celebrating the reason for the holiday, so we don’t see it as a burden. i wish i was better at acting like that all year. because a full life isn’t so tiring when it’s full of the right things.

i hope that you all have a wonderful weekend! make sure to tag your weekend coffee date activities #withloveandcoffee so i can keep up with all the fun festive stuff in your lives. i know some of you are getting christmas trees and putting up decorations, and i want to see all red and green and gold!

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on the perks of solo parenting.

hi and happy saturday! if you’re new around here, you might not know that Mister Man has a pretty intense work travel schedule. he usually travels about two weeks out of the month, depending on the time of year, and so that means that i solo parent that same amount of time. we’ve been on quite the run here this month, so it’s on my mind more than usual. he does such a good job taking care of us, from making the sacrifice of being away from home, to being so FULLY present when he is here. it makes it so much easier for me to solo parent when i have him as a partner. it can be tricky at times…like when i have to take amelia with me to church choir practice, or when she is just NOT.HAVING.IT one day. but even on the tough days, there are still perks to solo parenting.

LIKE…

i get to do my christmas shopping without sneaking around.

i can eat an entire bowl of popcorn and watch the paradise on netflix without being interrupted.

i can do weird blogging things (like my periscope on thursday!).

i get quality mother-daughter time with little miss amelia.

the-perks-of-solo-parenting-mother-daughter

i have more time to dig in and catch up on my blog reading. speaking of which, here are some good reads and things from around the internets lately, in my humble opinion:

  • on making self-care a conscious choice: this is a great read for all of us “recovering people pleasers”, i suggest you read it.
  • on being welcoming: “but there’s days when i see the tea cup holding my bracelets in it’s china hull and i wish she’d said, you’re welcome.” a simple phrase, but one that can make all the difference.
  • on the refugee crisis: “[the church is] always open to families coming to the United States who need help, and we are going to continue to do that.” makes me proud to be Catholic, i tell you what.
  • on new beginnings: casey’s dad is getting a bone marrow transplant! yet another reason to join the bone marrow registry with be the match (that link takes you straight to the donor registry page, go on, it’s easy…even i was able to join!).
  • jordan smith, a wondrous unicorn with the voice of an angel (he gives me full-body goosebumps EVERY TIME):

so you see, there are all sorts of good things about solo parenting. you just have to look a little harder for them when you’re working and running after a toddler on no sleep because her molars are coming in. maybe i should have included something about drinking wine and taking baths up there too…?

have a fabulous weekend folks!

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