So this is Christmas…

It’s a different kind of Christmas this year. Our first ever a married couple not in Illinois and Alex’s first ever ever not in Illinois. A B&B and small children will do that to you I guess. Lots of coming and going over the past few weeks still trying to figure out our new roles and responsibilities but here are a few images of the merriment that surrounds us and the sliver of life that we’re in. Praying for peace and joy for all those near and dear to us…Merry Christmas from Williamsburg!



It’s Beginning to Look…

You all know how the line ends…”Like Christmas”. I loved my Christmas decor last year (you can see it here and here) but wanted to do something a little different this year so I actually spent a little money (gasp!) on a few new Christmas decorations this year and am quite pleased with the results. I’ll be ready for them to come down in a few weeks when we get back from our annual holiday travel but they’ve been a pleasant backdrop for the handful of gatherings we’ve hosted over the last few weeks.



I love Christmas cards – this year we got one from Taiwan!


My DIY chalkboard reads – “unto us is born a SAVIOR he is Christ the Lord”. ’tis a great reminder of the reason for the season


This year we let little J help put up the ornaments. He had a good 10 minutes worth of fun with it and has been a champ all month leaving the tree alone.

The surest sign of the season at our house though is the last minute to do list that is currently on my front door and the suitcases in the back of my car. We’re starting our drive to Illinois when Alex finishes school today. Praying little J is as much of an angel as he was this summer, that the weather is kind to us through the mountains, and that our visit is blessing to the family who we are traveling almost 2,000 miles (round trip) to see!

The Best Things

I spent a lot of time planning and preparing for and what felt like a lot of money on Thanksgiving this year. And as I’ve reflected back over the last week on Turkey Day 2015 two things stand out as the best things and I spend money on neither of them. Isn’t life funny like that?

Summed up in the last two images below – the best things about the start to our 2015 holiday celebration were seeing little J so happily enjoying the sweet gift of friendship throughout the weekend and being able to enjoy November warmth and sunshine with two of my best friends while we waited for our turkey to cook. The food was fine and sure my decorating was nice backdrop but the weekend together was the main event and it was so pleasant but not in the way I expected.



Have you heard that newer Zac Brown Band song called “Homegrown“?

It’s been in my head a lot recently as a way to describe my life right now. Lyrics include the following…

I got some good friends that live down the street
Got a good looking woman with her arms ‘round me
Here in a small town where it feels like home
I got everything I need and nothing that I don’t
Homegrown, Homegrown

Williamsburg may not be a small town to everyone but it’s the perfect kind of small for me. It takes 10-15 minutes to get everywhere and has enough things to occupy one’s time with if you’re up for a simple life. Take our Memorial Day as my proof.

In between little J’s naps we took a two hour excursion to the James River beach that’s three minutes from our house and then crossed the street to Jamestown and briefly toured the museum and let J climb through one of the ships. {total cost: free! residency perks!)

Needless to say, he’s happy he’s homegrowing in Williamsburg. {and yes, in case you’re wondering he had a wardrobe change…he somehow couldn’t manage to keep himself dry with the waves calling his name 🙂 }

IMG_2061[1]Our day ended with friends, a grill, a fire in our new fire pit. s’mores and the confirmation that yep, this small town sure feels like a wonderful place to call home.

Christmas – Part 1

Today was a whirlwind day of co-hosting the semi-annual Ladies Tea for my church {thankful, so thankful for a helping husband who is willing to hang out with little J on Saturdays so I can do things like this!} and starting new family traditions.

We opted to stay in Williamsburg for the weekend after Alex finished school this year so he could teach another Sunday at church and so for the first time, we have a weekend to catch a breath before heading off to Chicago to celebrate with family. Since we’re housing Elaine and little J is getting older, I thought it would be a great time to start some traditions.

So…we ate burritos on our fine china {classy, I know} and pulled out the crystal champagne flutes for a toast over dinner. We also had some treats that were used at the tea earlier in the day and then after dinner was cleaned up, we read the Christmas narrative from Luke 2 and opened presents.

Elaine wrote us a sweet card and made an adorable goldfish ornament for us along with some really thoughtful gifts including some adorable gloves for little J. A fun and memorable evening indeed.




Mid-December in Williamsburg looks like this


42 bags of leaves at the curb ready for pick-up.

and this


and it feels busy between preparations for the two Christmas events I’m hosting this year – my community fundraiser {tomorrow} and my church Christmas tea {next Saturday} and packing and shopping for our trip to Chicago {only 9 days from now!}. Add to the mix that I spend SBJ’s wakeful hours chasing him because he’s now learn to run and life is a little exhausting.

I’m looking forward to time off work and Christmas cheer and time to spend with family and friends. In the mean time, I’m savoring the season through advent readings, peppermint hot chocolate, and opening my mail box with anticipation of holiday greetings from friends far and near.

14 months and Christmas at 1-oh-9

SBJ celebrated turned 14 months at the start of the week and we decorated our house for Christmas over the weekend. It now smells like boxwood and our mantel is pretty pretty 🙂

IMG_1553 IMG_1554Our “no touch” policy of the tree has been working well so far and frankly I’m impressed the SBJ hasn’t made a move for it yet. He’s proving to be quite obedient.

Here’s the face and the sound of 14 months…