Friday, December 28, 2012

Westward Ho

This morning we set off Westward. Our family has a special love for the mountains and the state of Colorado. We are lucky enough to get all four of our schedules to coordinate for some much anticipated skiing. I am especially excited that where we are going this year is getting socked with the white stuff. Goody! 

Here's to a snow filled, coffee fueled, family centric weekend. I hope yours is equally wonderful.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

Merry Christmas to you and yours! 

I hope you enjoyed the blessings of the day and prepared a place for sweet Jesus in your hearts. Oh and I hope you made lots of room for cookies in your tummy, too!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

(Almost) Home for Christmas

As I type this, my big brother is traveling over 8,000 miles home. 8,000! I am so excited to see him and truly start the Christmas celebrations. I never feel it's the real deal until we're together. Will you get to see your loved ones this holiday? I certainly hope so and that you are surrounded with those that care for you.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Homemade Advent Calendar

Were you as enamored with all the gorgeous countdown calendars floating around on the web this year? I certainly was, so much so, that I just had to create my own.

Supplies Needed:
close pins
gold spray paint
little brown envelopes
off-white card stock
edge rounder
white paint pen
brown Sharpie
string of lights
**All supplies purchased from Hobby Lobby

I laid out the plain close pins and coated them with the gold spray paint. (Make sure you are somewhere well ventilated!) Meanwhile, I cut the card stock to fit the little envelopes and rounded the edges off with the edge rounder. I used the white paint pen to write the numbers 1-24 on the front of each envelope. I then came up with a list of favorite Christmas/winter related activities and wrote each one on a card. I then stuffed the envelopes and pinned them to the twine. Finally, I added the light string and wha-lah! A pretty, advent calendar to help remind you to enjoy the special days of anticipation!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Still Learning

Something hit me square in the face today. Metaphorically speaking of-course. 

I had a moment when I realized that you get back in this world what you put out there. 

I know, brilliant, right? 

It's such a simple concept and on some level I always knew this, but I took on this day exuding positiveness. It came natural as I kept a smile on my face and a bounce in my step and lo and behold, what was the reaction from those around me? Smiles, kind comments and a universal good mood in the air. Now maybe it is the Christmas spirit embedding itself in our lives, but it struck me as being so very nice to experience kindness and happiness in this sometimes difficult world. Whether a powerful lesson or a strong reminder, I am so grateful.

P.S.- Don't you love this print? It's from this fantastic shop.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Cookie Day

Thumb print and peanut butter dough

Ready to press into the peanut butter cookies


 Cinnamon bread for the lucky neighbors

Today was cookie baking day for the Christmas 2012 season. I know this is a tradition for so many families, but I think, as I am sure everyone does, ours is so special. 

It was a very relaxed day. No rushing, no harried feelings to stress the special tradition. We tied on our aprons, mom poured herself a whiskey sweet (inappropriate? never), we turned on our mellow Christmas tunes and began the process. It is a wonderful process with the best results. Warm, sweet, melt-in-your-mouth results.

With more than a week from the big day, we are waiting on the sugar, baklava and biscotti, but the thumbprints, peanut butter, fudge and cinnamon bread are ready for delivery to some very luck neighbors.

Have you baked your cookies, yet?

Friday, December 14, 2012

It's Beginning to Smell like Christmas

After finding a rather sad looking apple in my bunch last weekend my mom suggested a lovely way to use it. 

Select any apple that is overripe or just seen a better day and cut it into slices. Add water to cover the slices, add a little ground nutmeg, a cinnamon stick and a few cloves. Then just put it on low on your stovetop and savor the delicious "warm-apple pie" scent throughout your kitchen. So comforting and cozy. This batch should last you about a week, being sure to add water when necessary.

(Sorry, for the less than desirable phone photos. Does anyone else dread the lack of light this time of year?)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Shining with the Christmas Spirit

It is not my goal to entice the snow to fall with this picture, but I just adore my snow-smore man. He is a sweet reminder of the whimsical season that is Christmas. (For the record, snow for the 24th-25th would be most welcome!)

Do you wish for snow on Christmas too?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Colorado Weekend

This past weekend I had the adventure of jetting off to Colorado yet again. I find myself so excited to board the plane for the quick trip. Seeing those beautiful mountains always makes me sigh in appreciation. The classic Colorado blue sky didn't disappoint upon touch down either.
We were able to make it out to Winter Park on Saturday. We stopped for a much needed Starbucks break and the first flurries were floating down. So perfect with hot coffee in hand!
We made it after a slightly difficult drive. I love skiing, but the process to actually get to the lift line is usually pretty lengthy. After about 45 minutes, we were to the lift and bundled up heavily as the wind started to really pick up in intensity.
We managed a few runs, stopped for lunch at the top and did a few more runs before deciding that we liked our faces and should stop before they were windblown off.
It took about 5 hours before I warmed up again, but it was wonderful to get a little slope time in and some fresh mountain air. Thankful to be able to swish down a mountain!
The little town at the resort has been buildt adorably. I love the cobblestones, hanging lights and fire pits. I hope to go back and grab a cup of steaming hot chocolate and stroll the streets at night. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas at Union Station

My mom and I made it down to the old train station here in Omaha that is now a museum. As you can see a local family from the area donates a tree for the gigantic lobby. The picture does not do it justice, but it is stunning! I think it gets prettier each and every year. (Sorry about the random people in this photo- it was crowded!)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Technically it's still fall

I didn't want these pictures from our wonderful annual trip to Nebraska City to be forgotten in my iPhoto files, so here is one last hurrah to autumn.