Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Morning

My two favorite quotes from Christmas morning are:
Ben, "I'm so happy!" said with sincere joy,
and Will, "This is the BEST Christmas all year!" ;)

I couldn't agree more with both of them. 

I love this photo of the boys in glow of the Christmas tree lights.

Let the fun begin!

The theme for this year's Christmas was Disney Cars.  The boys collect them, and they play with them so Santa knew exactly what to bring to our house. Some of these are very difficult to find so it was extra special that Santa brought them to Will and Ben.  They must have been extra good this year. 

Ben got a car that he's been wanting and wanting--Leland Turbo.  You can tell that Will is really excited, too.  He knows that one is a hard one to find.

Will was excited about getting Cars from the 2014 series (I told you they are serious collectors. They even have the official Cars encyclopedia book.)

Ben is all about Lego Chima.  He loves the cartoon (notice the pajamas that are not Christmas theme...that was a battle I didn't want to fight so the boys didn't wear Christmas jammies this year.)  I'm thankful Mark has the patience to put together hundreds of Lego pieces.  

 Ben is still really into Imaginext superhero toys and was super happy Santa brought him the Joker Tank he's been wanting.  

The boys got some new cartoons and movies in their stockings along with candy, fruit and a squishy ball.

What a fun morning!
Lego Chima, Disney Cars and Planes, Imaginext toys, Disney Infinity for the Wii and baseball bases.

I know what these guys will be busy doing!  
Time to play!

Merry Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas 
from our family to yours!

If you didn't receive a Christmas card from our family, please take a moment and look at our family photos below.  Some of these were used on our Christmas card. 

Merry Christmas!

With Love,
Mark, Michele, Will and Ben

Photos by Lauren 

Friday, December 20, 2013


InstaDecember 2013

Like so many people I'm obsessed with Christmas cards and I love going to the mailbox during the month of December.  "Happy Mail" as many call it.  I love all of the photo cards.  Each year it amazes me to see how families grow and change. I also love the sweet handwritten notes inside the traditional cards we receive.

Will has an opportunity to buy gifts for our family at the Santa Store at school.  He picked out this beautiful ring. It's priceless to me.  He earned the money to buy the gifts by having good behavior at school.  He told me it cost a whole $1!  He bought his dad some erasers. 

I'm a follower, and I bought the IKEA mug I've seen all over Instagram and the blogosphere. 

Letter to still my heart.  LOVE!

Our small town's football team made it deep into the Texas High School Football playoffs.  Y'all know all about Friday Night Lights so this was huge! It was really fun to support the team and travel to the games. The last game (State Semi-Final) was played north of Ft. Worth so we stopped by the Stockyards to eat before the football game.  We planned to eat at Joe T Garcia's, but the line was just too long.  We went a few blocks down to Cooper's Pit BBQ.  It's like the one in Llano, Texas.  We all enjoyed it!  Ben is a picky eater, but the boy can eat some Texas BBQ.  

It was FREEZING at the game!  We stayed bundled up and tried to stay warm.

While going through Christmas decorations, I found this latch hook Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer that my grandma made me.  What good memories!  Sentimental for sure. 

We had "Ugly Christmas Sweater" day at school.  I didn't have an ugly sweater, but my mother-in-law loaned me an old Christmas vest that she had.  My teacher BFF borrowed an old vest from her grandma.  I intentionally wore the flannel shirt under it to clash as much as possible.  There's definitely a lot going on with my outfit, ha! Tis the season to be tacky!

To balance out the tacky in the photo above, here is a photo of something lovely.  Angela sent me the sweetest package and surprised me with this pretty necklace.  I wore it the first chance I got.  

I don't get to see my cousin, Laine, as often as I'd like, but we did manage to meet up this week.  Our kids had such a fun time playing.  Her kids are adorable! 

I posted this on IG, but somehow it didn't save to my phone in a square.  I'm sharing it anyway.  It's been a struggle to get Will and Ben ready for school this week.  They want to lay on the couch all snuggled up and watch cartoons.  Can you blame them?  

This photo is from this morning!  The boys are ready for Christmas parties at school. They are so excited that Christmas break starts today!

(Linking up to Life Rearranged)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmastime Is Here

The decorations in our home only change once a year, and that's for Christmas.  Most of our Christmas decorations are things Mark and I have picked out since we've been married.  Each year I add a little more.  There's no theme in my Christmas decorations.  I like the traditional colors for Christmas--red and green.  Sometimes it's red and silver or green and gold.  

I'm sure I break all sorts of decorating rules, but really does it matter?  I don't think so.  As long as I love my home and feel happy in it, then that's all that really matters.  At least that's what I tell myself.  I always feel silly sharing photos of my home because it's not pin-worthy, but I share them anyway because I know that people love to see inside other people's homes.  We're all a little nosy like that.  It's ok, that's why I started reading blogs.  I loved seeing how others lived and getting ideas and inspiration. 

So, welcome to our home!

Come on in!

The first area I'll show you is our kitchen.  Strangely, it's the room that I like the most.  I feel like I spend hours washing dishes so I decided to put a little tree behind the kitchen sink.  It has salt dough ornaments made by Will and Ben.  

Also behind the kitchen sink is this stack of cream colored bowls.  They belonged to my great aunt.  The tiny ornaments inside are sweet and festive.

On the windowsill sits this vintage Santa decoration that belonged to my grandma.  It reminds me of Christmas at her house. It used to sit on the mantle at her house during Christmas.

Here's my kitchen tree decorated with cinnamon salt dough ornaments.

I've managed to find two snowflake platters over the years.  I like the bright pop of red in my mostly white kitchen.  The cute kitchen towel is from Crate and Barrel.  

They are pretty and useful.  Perfect for taking cookies to holiday parties.

My first attempt at growing paperwhites.  One side seems to doing better than the other. 

This mirror hangs in our entry. Joy--one of my favorite Christmas words and "Joy to the World" is one of my favorite hymns.

This is on the bookshelf in our entry.  The framed Isaiah 9:6 print was free from Jones Design Company several years ago.  

The console table in our entry/living room displays photos of the boys at Christmas.  Seeing these photos each year when I take them out of the box is one of the best things about decorating for Christmas.  I'm sentimental, if you couldn't tell.  The Robert Sabuda popup books in the background are amazing.  Each one is like a work of art.  Now that Will is 7, he's finally mature enough to look at them without destroying them.

The fabric Christmas tree was handmade by a family friend.  It's one of Will and Ben's favorite Christmas decorations.

Our tree!

The photo ornaments are so special.

Really all of the ornaments have some special significance.

We don't have a fireplace in our living room, but we do have a built-in entertainment center so why not make it as Christmassy as possible.  The stockings were hung by the flat screen with care, ha!

This is my second favorite area in the house.  My great-grandmother's sewing machine usually displays family photos on top of it, but at Christmas it's full of all sorts of Christmas trees. (I confess that I lit the candles for the photo and then blew them out immediately.  All of those fake tress are flammable!)

Here's a better view of this corner. 

Last but not least is the play room.  This is the tree with all of the handmade ornaments that Will and Ben have made at school.  It also has all of the silly ornaments that the boys love.  For example, a Wheel of Fortune ornament.  What can I say, we really like game shows!  The tree skirt was made by my grandmother, and I love getting to use it in this room.  Underneath the tree are wrapped Christmas books. Last year we started a new tradition, starting December 1st we unwrap a book each night until Christmas.  It took a few years to collect enough Christmas (or winter) books, but I always look for them after Christmas when they are 1/2 off.  Some are classics like The Polar Express and others are not so classic like Disney Cars Mater's Christmas.  I put the books away after Christmas and each year take them down.  It's like getting a new library of books during the holidays.

One more view.  The fabric on the chest is Charlie Brown Christmas.  We love Peanuts, too!

Merry Christmas!

Linking up to The Nester.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Santa! We know him!!!

Each year we go to The Shops at Willow Bend to visit Santa.  I always think about the scene in the movie Elf, where Buddy finds out Santa is coming to the store and he freaks out and says, "Santa!!!  I know him!!!"  The boys were excited to see Santa.  Maybe not as much as Buddy the elf, but they were very happy to see Santa and tell him what was on their Christmas list.

While you wait in line to see Santa, there's a giant snow globe.  The theme changes each year and this year it was polar bears and the arctic.  The fake snow is a lot of fun for the boys to play in, but it's a mess to get out of your hair.  

 They took a photo of our family as we left and emailed it to us.   It looks like we are in a winter wonderland.

It's the most wonderful time of the year!


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