Oh Christmas Tree

Snow gave way to rain just as Thanksgiving came and went. Thank goodness for the chilly air and boxes of new twinkle lights to keep things happy. We went to hunt down our tree for Christmas with my sister Amy and her boys last week...my favorite tradition. Forever rows of beautiful greens and wagons pulled by red-bowed horses hauling away fresh cut trees. Sappy fingers and red baby noses and the stirring feeling of nothing but lighter hearts and a season of hope to come.

snowy days and celebrating big news

 we've had an amazing few days...christmasing and tucking ourselves away in a new blanket of snowy weather. we spent the day all together yesterday, celebrating good things and introducing phoebe to all the beauty of our winters. she's a little snow bunny, that girl...not wanting to come inside and scrunching up her little red cold button nose with happiness.

the boys threw snowballs and shoveled driveways and we all forever basked in the goodness of the season...and this season of our lives together.

my matt asked me to marry him christmas morning....he and phoebe together. 
and in a moment the realization came...that something i never thought i needed again was the very thing i needed most. there is redemption and healing in a second chance so profound that it erases the old with only a memory of new. in that moment he saved me and the small bits of my heart i had unknowingly hidden away. 

and i said yes. always and ever yes.

little light of mine

phoebe sue is 5 months old this month and sis is coming into her own!
lots of sweet talking and lovin and orneriness and forever trying to crawl. she's learned to show a bit of affection with gentle pats to the face or the most delicious slobbery kisses in town.

she's a curious gal with a whole world opening up to her. those tiny little fingers of hers are into everything within reach these days...and if it's not she'll make a dive for it. it's been such a joy to see her discover some of the tiny and funny parts of life...and then try to fit it all into her mouth.

the name phoebe means "bright and shining" and she certainly is our little light.
she's a book-reading, hat-removing, one sock always missing, shriek screaming, belly-laugher who refuses to eat solids and prefers her brother over most people. also, her bottom lip has been missing for a month now and probably won't resurface again until those tiny teeth come in already!

5 month bee is my favorite bee. 
but i can't wait to see what else we have in store.

skate away

yesterday was a much needed family day--time for last minute hilarious self-timer family christmas card pictures, ice skating in the rain, and a visit to santa's lap for bee. 
(i tried to get max to sit with her but he told me he wasn't interested in setting on an old man's lap...hmph! i guess i can't argue with that.)

ice skating is much more his cup of tea...and it's one of my most favorite traditions this time of year. now if only i could skate without keeping a death grip on someone's hand...

ringing it in

happy happy new year, everyone!
i hope all of your celebrating was safe and happy! 
max was with his dad this weekend, so matt and i got dressed up and went downtown to have dinner with friends...then ducked home early to lay in bed and drink fake champagne and eat cherries out of a bowl and wait for the ball to drop. 
it was my very favorite new years eve (even if i was asleep by 12:05)! 
just me and my guy and our baby bump (and lots of wishing max was there...especially every time one of his favorite bands started playing on dick clark's new years eve show)

this year is off to a good start!

christmas morning

i can hardly believe how quickly christmas came and went. 
this year's was such a funny one...full of christmas firsts and lots of traditions and one happy little man. 
max woke us up bright and early...squealing that santa had come. (and marking the first time he has ever woke himself up voluntarily on a christmas morning!)
santa brought him all sorts of odds and ends...a joke set, funny socks, a football uniform (which he wore all day long), a drum set...
we spent the rest of the day with family...eating good foods and remembering the truest reason for celebrating.

oh how i love this time of year! but it goes too fast and fast and fast.

merry merry merry

just popping in to say happy happy monday!
i woke up this morning to find our little christmas house covered in bits of wrapping paper and ribbon, scattered toys and sweets and the sounds of a little boy and his first real drum set. these are the good and happiest kinds of messes!
i hope you all had a beautiful christmas day! we didn't get even a flake of snow...but it didn't seem to matter one bit.

i'll be back tomorrow with a few more snippets of our day! today is devoted to cleaning and smooching and soaking up my boys being home all day...

cookies for santa

max and i have been busy christmas bees this afternoon...making messes and baking cookies for santa.
baking with buddy is something i cherish...especially this time of year. i've never known someone to use so much icing...or sprinkles. or to insist on baking in his underwear. he's surely my kind of guy!

this year has been funny with max and christmas believing. 
he's always been a little leery of the idea of a man breaking into our house at night...presents or no presents. he's just never trusted santa. 
(remember this christmas when he wore a ski mask to bed and hid a plastic sword under his pillow? and this one where he stalked santa at the mall?)
this year he is full of belief and trust! he even has justified the improbability of santa delivering presents to the world by theories of worm holes and time freezing. it's been a real hoot! a gift, really. 
i hope all of you celebrating have the happiest happiest christmas! 
sending lots of love and peace and joy to your family from mine. 


float away

happy happy friday, friends! 
would you believe i haven't done a lick of christmas shopping yet?
there's been lots of planning and scheming...but not one bit of buying. matt and i are marathoning it tomorrow while max is away, weekend adventuring with his dad.

fingers crossed i don't throw in the towel and get everyone socks.

have a wonderful weekend!

picture taken by my beautiful friend and photographer amanda lazier.

thriller christmas

max recently discovered the wonders of micheal jackson on vinyl!
and it's started a brand new tradition of thriller christmas family dance night...

 watching max dance is one of the highlights of my life! i wonder if i could talk him into doing mother/son tap dancing lessons?

goodnight, friends!
enjoy this awkward and slightly embarrassing video...

winter mornings

there's something really wonderful about a cold and quiet morning.
lucky for me, both of my boys are sleepers...so i usually spend the morning to myself. today has been christmas carding and eating cookies and tea before breakfast.

my sister amy surprised me monday morning with that beautiful white mug and some special tea. for no good reason at all! 
there's something really wonderful about sisters as well.

happy happy wednesday, loves! 
12 days until christmas! i'm trying to teach max the 12 days of christmas song...but i end up adding "calling birds" to every number.
p.s. cards from rifle paper co.
they are just the most!

skate away

the weekend was a lovely one spent with my little family. our schedules have been so hectic lately, it was such a treat to finally slow down together.
we did lots of laying in bed watching christmas movies, eating good breakfasts, warm lunches out, lots more bundling up and painting the town. 

saturday we spent the afternoon downtown ice skating. 
dayton has the best outdoor rink right next to the river. it's fun to see how much max grows each year we come here. his progress is really something...and my, oh my, does he love the ice! his little feet move so fast...he definitely leaves me scuttling about in his dust. 
at least matt can keep up with him!
happy monday, friends!

p.s. kinfolk volume 2 came out today! the website is updated will all sorts of beautiful new photos and videos. i got lost there for hours yesterday.
for those of you curious about my work and paintings, i have a few in this newest issue! you can see a peak of one here. but oh, i'm so anxious to get my hands on the printed volume!

max's christmas room

i love helping max get his room ready for christmas...digging out old christmas books and finding treasure troves of preschool hand print wreaths and cotton ball snowmen.
we have all sorts of odds and ends this year...homemade snow globes, an old plastic christmas village with hot wheels parked in the driveways, plastic snow every which way you look, and a nativity scene with the main players missing. 
(really only the sheep and a camel and a wise man are left. max confessed to taking baby jesus outside to play during the summer and threw him over the fence. mary has no hair and now lives at max's playmobile grocery store..hmph!)

p.s. i only seem to pin things around holidays or parties...but some of the things in max's christmas room came from inspiration on my christmas pinterest board.
p.s.s. the ho ho ho banner and merry christmas tree are from target!

hope your tuesday was a happy one!