Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Twelve years ago today, while watching The Breakfast Club with our orchestra friends, while the snow fell magically outside, I held my best friend's hand for the first time.  There was no talking...I don't think we even looked at each other at that moment. We just knew it was right. 
Twelve year ago we knew we would be together for ever because that's what happens when you meet your soulmate.  You're filled with hope and wisdom no one thinks you can have because you're only 18, but we knew and oh how glad I am that we knew.
I know we don't really celebrate our 'dating' anniversary anymore, but to me, this moment twelve years ago, was the start of everything that we have today.  And that's worth celebrating a million times over. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Two Christmases {2014}

This year we were lucky enough to be able to celebrate Christmas twice.  Once at the beginning of the month with my family and then on Christmas Day with Martin's family.  Both were beautiful and special.  Here are a few (haha) pictures from our celebrations.  
Reunited at last!
 The ongoing Christmas morning joke...whose buns do these resemble the most? :) 
Enjoying her first taste of fried dough
The most magical way to end a wonderful Christmas day! 

Saturday, December 27, 2014


"a portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Everdeen Kate: a final portrait from the year 2014. Coming to the end of this project always brings about sentimental nostalgia and great affection for the past year.  You have changed so so much this year. You no longer look like my little baby, but a sweet little girl ready to take on the world! It's been an amazing adventure. 

The first picture I took for our 2014 portrait a week. We've come full circle...back to snow pants with so many wonderful memories sandwiched in between:)  

 Linking up with Jodi :)

Friday, December 26, 2014

It's Snowing

It started snowing yesterday just around noon.  I got that excited feeling at the pit of my stomach...snow on Christmas is just about as perfect as it can get.  We woke up to a winter wonderland of white this morning and couldn't resist going out to play.  Everdeen spent her time eating her weight in snow and I finally had to bribe her to come inside before her fingers turned purple :) 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Peppermint Eggnog Shake

My mom whipped up a batch of these delicious shakes last weekend for our early Christmas celebration with my sisters.  They taste just like Christmas should and are so very simple to make!  

You will need:
2 parts Peppermint Ice Cream 
1 part Eggnog 

1 part Ginger Ale (you can add more or less depending on how thick you want your shake)
Crushed candy canes to sprinkle on top 

Blend the ice cream, eggnog, and ginger ale together, pour it into a glass and enjoy! 

Sunday, December 14, 2014


"a portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Everdeen Kate: Playing doctor :)    

 Linking up with Jodi :)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

warm december

This afternoon we went for a long walk to the park. It was such a beautiful day, much too warm to be December.  As I was pushing Everdeen in the swing she said, "Mama? Your hands cold? Put them in your pockets!"  This little girl takes such good care of everyone around her.  She had run the entire way to the park and then insisted that I carry her the entire way back, but I didn't mind because she patted my head and gave me kisses as we watched the sun dip behind the mountains. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

smells of christmas

This afternoon Everdeen and I made orange pomanders (which have been around since the middle ages-for all you history buffs) and wow our house has the most delicious aroma of orange-scented cloves! I've been trying to come up with some inexpensive, timeless, and natural ways to decorate for Christmas and this seemed perfect. Plus it gave Everdeen and I a chance to spend some sweet quality time together.  

You will need:
     Oranges (lemons and limes would be pretty too!)
     Whole Cloves
     Toothpick (you'll use this to pre-poke holes into the orange skin)

Let your imagination be free as you create beautiful designs! 

Friday, December 5, 2014

magic of christmas

There's something enchanting about that first Christmas where one truly starts to understand the magic :)

sending love

One of my most favorite things is opening my mailbox and seeing a sealed envelope, beautifully addressed, and mailed with care and thought. Everdeen has been one little lucky lady and receives cards from her auntie and a very special friend of my mom's for almost every occasion. It is the sweetest thing to see her face light up as she carefully opens the envelope, curious to see what it holds inside.  But I think what makes it even more special is that someone took the time to choose a beautiful card, handwrite a sweet note, and send it off.  You know that person was thinking of just you and that can make anyones heart swell with joy. 

The art of handwriting a letter seems to be slowly dying and I think in this day and age where technology is our way of life, sometimes the idea of sitting down and writing out our correspondences seems daunting or time consuming. There's just something about reading a note on a bright computer screen that feels impersonal. It just doesn't have the same effect as a handwritten note...I think there's something nostalgic, even romantic about holding a card or letter in your hand and knowing that there was time, thought, and care put into writing it. I always picture the stacks of yellowed letters tied with string written between two people in love or two kindred spirits separated by distance. Their thoughts so eloquently put down onto paper. I think there needs to be more of that. 

My sisters and I were raised to write thank you notes...even for the smallest of gestures. When I taught in the suburbs of Denver, my students would bring me some very unique gifts...mostly from the dollar store. My all time favorite was a candle of the Virgin Mary, because who doesn't need at least one of those in their home :) I remember my assistant principal sitting with me as he helped me translate my thank you notes into Spanish. A few days later, one of my parents came up to me and gave me the biggest hug after she had received my note. Something as simple as a thank you note had broken the language barrier between us and it made us both feel good! 


I'm so excited because my twin sister has been in the process of creating her own sweet little greeting card shop to encourage people to send some love just because. And one of my favorite on-line photo shops has a new site for personalized greeting cards called Treat that has a lot of fun options too! There are always a million reasons to send a thoughtful handwritten note to someone you care about and trust me, it will completely make their day.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

With all the glittering festivities of Christmas swirling around in my mind I had forgotten to give Thanksgiving a proper post :) 

We had a wonderful celebration with my family (just missing my twin sister and brother-in-law...although they will be here in 1 week!) We enjoyed my dad's homemade raviolis and loved watching the little ones chase each other in circles until they were zonked out.  We have so much to be thankful for.  Everdeen at this age has been reminding me so much of myself when I was little.  We have one home was 1988 and my sister and I were turning four. My mom had rented a video camera from the local video store and she recorded our birthday and Thanksgiving. It's funny how I hear my voice in Everdeen and see myself sitting at the dining room table 27 years ago eating my ravioli...making the same inquisitive looks. Although, she's a much more adventurous eater than her mama was :)

I love that our children get to experience some of the same special moments that we did as kids...there's just something so amazing about family traditions that become ingrained in our souls and become part of our culture as a family.  We long for these moments all year long...the familiar smells, the familiar sounds, and stories told year after year. It's such a reassuring feeling that next year we can look forward to it all again.