.holiday snippets.

Although it's the day after Christmas, the holiday isn't over for me yet. My family is getting together this Saturday to celebrate, and we'll be heading to hubs' grandma's house to exchange gifts with her on New Year's Eve.

This morning I went to Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby and Target and stocked up on some clearance Christmas items. Since hubs and I are hosting Christmas with my family at our house, I used some of the decor I bought to revamp our tree.

We spent Christmas day with my in-laws. It was supposed to snow, and although it was frigidly cold, we didn't see one single snowflake. The family time was great, as always, as was the food and gifts exchanged. My vintage Pyrex collection grew by four bowls yesterday! But the best gift, my most favorite of all, was the time I got to spend with my husband, pug and our families.


I also wanted to post a few pictures from the past couple of weeks. I enjoyed some fun holiday activities such as decorating cookies at my sister-in-law's, making salt dough ornaments for my students, and a White Elephant gift exchange party with some of my BFF's.

 Looking forward to my sister getting into town tomorrow, brunch and presents with my family, New Year's Eve with friends and family, and enjoying the rest of my Christmas vacation. I'm always sad to see this time of the year come and go, so I'm glad I get to hang on to it a little bit longer.


.2012: my year in review.



Overwhelmed by another year full of so many blessings.

Anxious and eager for what lies ahead because through Christ, all things are possible!


.christmas card pictures past.

I thought it would be fun to take a look back at our Christmas card photos over the past five years.

It's fun to see how we've changed (and Simon, for that matter).

For the record, Simon has been on all our cards since we got him in 2008. The pictures you see without him were just one of multiple pics on our card that year.

Obviously, this year's picture is my favorite. Simon is wearing a bow-tie, for goodness sake!


.it's beginning to look a lot like...

...Christmas 'round here.

All the seasonal decor is out.

Hubs did all my shopping today and got all my gifts wrapped.

I made some paper flower/snowflakes for gift wrapping pizzazz.

I also determined from these pics that we desperately need some curtains.

I am happy.


.small business saturday.

Small Business Saturday is my jam.

I didn't do Black Friday this year. There was nothing I wanted bad enough to fight the crowds. Instead, we tailgated in Fayetteville and watched the last game of the Razorback season.

Today, though. Today was awesome. So. Much. Fun.

All the locally-owned businesses, including flea markets, offered discounts as well as refreshments (which meant free lunch for my mom and me - bazinga!). 

I didn't get to go to half the awesome little shops in my area, but I took my time at the ones I did go to and with the little spending I had, felt I hit the jackpot.

I went to two flea markets and two "gift" shops.

With all the special markdowns, I was able to walk away with some great deals. Here's my loot:

.metal basket: ~$11.
.spool of moss green velvet ribbon: $1.
.large pine cone: $1.
.grapevine cone tree: ~$2.
.fossil watch box: ~$3.
.homemade jar snow globe: ~$3.
.anchor hocking loaf pan: ~$5.

 +++ Not Pictured:

.IKEA large glass canister: ~$3.
A couple of Christmas gifts.


Shop local, y'all. It's more fun.


.thanksgiving: celebration two.

Since we celebrated the night before with my family, we spent Thanksgiving Day with my husband's family. Our sweet puggie got to come along with us, which made the puggie's grandparents very happy.

If you want to talk about a bountiful feast, this was definitely one of those. More food choices than there was room on my plate and desserts galore.

We always gather at Leslie's grandma's house, and as she ages, it gets more and more sentimental each year. I made sure to take candid shots of the hustle and bustle around the kitchen as well as all the familiar faces we see each year at this holiday.

After we ate, we decided to take a walk. Simon wasn't the only pug in the mix this year, so Honey (the other pug) got to join us on the walk as well. There was quite the group of us that went. The air was nice and cool and there were lots of leaves on the ground.

After the walk, everyone just gathered around in little groups on the front lawn and on the porch and talked before heading back in for round two of food.

Hubs and I left after dark. As always, another peaceful day spent laughing and chatting with precious family. I'm so blessed with the family I married into.


.thanksgiving: my family.

Oh, Thanksgiving. This is my favorite time of the year!

We celebrated with my family Wednesday evening at my brother's house.

The menu was traditional and yummy.


The gathering was smaller than usual since my brother-in-law had to work this holiday, and he and my sister live about 3 hours away. We definitely missed them. 
After we ate, we sat around and talked, played with my nephew and took some family photos.

But first, of course, Aunt Martha had to brush her teeth so she could put her Invisaligns back in. Levi wanted to join me in my routine, so we got these sweet photos while doing so.

Basically, it was a peaceful evening full of fun, lots of cuteness from my nephew, and lots of precious family time together.

The night ended on a silly note.

And when I say silly, I mean wacky silly. Like, we all grabbed a random prop and posed for one last family picture. The result was pure magic in my opinion...

And that was Thanksgiving with my side of the family!

I love 'em.


.christmas card sneak peek.

I am so excited to share a sneak peek from our Christmas card photo shoot.

This year was really fun. I wanted outfits just a little quirkier than we'd wear in everyday life, pops of color, and a natural setting.

Oh, and the pug had to have a bow tie. Of course.

So last Sunday after church, we picked up my mom (who graciously played photographer for us), changed at home, grabbed the pug and camera and headed out to a wooded setting (AKA the museum property).

Literally, no more than 15 minutes later, we were done. We had a few "money" shots to choose from, so we called it good.

I'm not going to show off the picture that will be on our card, but here are a couple of snapshots from our fun, easy shoot.

The tutorial I used for Simon's bow tie is from Simply Homemade.

Only 2 days until Thanksgiving!