December festivities

Forgive me while I catch up here on all the December happenings! It feels like I haven’t had a free day at home to do so all month. Today is the day before Phoebe’s birthday and I have wrapped all gifts and plan to make her birthday dessert today so that tomorrow can be a little less stressful.

The first two weeks of December were busy with wrapping up our last bits of school before taking a nice long break. Phoebe’s choir had a Christmas concert (done safely with social distancing and masks where needed) and it was something special to hear their beautiful voices and various girls’ instruments after such a year of isolation. A few days later Noah and Phoebe had a piano recital, their first one in person after a zoom spring recital. What a good experience for them to play their pieces in front of a (small) audience! My camera was acting up and I didn’t get many photos of Noah playing sadly.

The first weekend of December I threw a very small joint birthday party for Noah and Phoebe. Not one to usually do parties, I’m so glad we did. It was very sweet for them to have three of their close friends over (that we already regularly see). Phoebe wanted to have an American doll tea party, and I wonder if this might be the last year she is into dolls? She did all of the setup, made little place cards and assigned seats, while I prepared a few little snacks for the girls to enjoy. I think it was really fun! Meanwhile, Brandon met Noah’s friends at a nearby mini golf course and they played a round of mini golf together and had cupcakes there. I was bummed to not be able to be there, but the point was to give the kids some time with their friends and there was no other way to make two parties happen this month! I’m pretty pleased with how it all went.

Meanwhile, Brandon and I have started just a small update on our tiny master bathroom. We haven’t done anything to it since buying the home three years ago and it is quite an eyesore. I will share better “before and after” pictures once we finish this first phase of updating (these are all “before”). We hope to eventually remodel the bathroom entirely, but in the meantime I had a can of paint leftover from painting our front door and I felt that it would make a big difference just to repaint the wall above the tile in bathroom, change the mirror and light fixture and vanity. It’s going slowly because theres just not much time this month for working on it, so for now our bedroom is in a bit of a state of disarray. I don’t mind so much because it is so exciting to see improvements!

It has been good to have quieter, simpler days at home, free time to do crafts or adventures and stay in our pajamas all day. I’m still hoping to make some Christmas cookies together and get to organizing some closets and our school room before our break is over. Tomorrow is Phoebe’s birthday and I still need to share photos from Noah’s birthday. Busy, busy. If I don’t post before then, I pray your Christmas season is merry and bright, rich in love, peaceful, pierced with a particular joy that comes from slowing down, savoring God’s good gifts. I pray you can gather with a loved one or two and that whomever you spend Christmas with, you enjoy the gift of each other’s presence.

family + summer happenings

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It’s raining here in these blue mountains and we are all fighting head colds for the past week or so.  Momma’s finally been taken down with it and ain’t nobody got time for that.  So we are taking it easy the past couple of days, thankful that rainy days make us want to lay low anyway.  Listening to quiet melodies, snuggling + movie watching.  Right now the kids are outside getting thoroughly wet + muddy, the baby is sleeping.  I’m taking this opportunity to catch up on sharing some photos from the last month.  My sister + her family from British Columbia were in town earlier in June, as well as my youngest brother + his girlfriend from Charlottesville, so we had a lot of days just being together.  It’s funny how when you’re growing up together, you get so annoyed with each other and can’t wait to get out on your own.  Then you grow older and wise up and realize these people are some of your very favorite people, some who understand you best, some of your closest friends.  These memories together are treasures.  So.. prepare to be bombarded with photos as I catch up.

These, from one of our regular picnicking spots up near Mount Pisgah on the parkway.  My dad’s family has years of pictures from their own family gatherings there when my dad + his siblings were growing up, then my parents spent many of their dating + early marriage years picnicking there.  They spent many summer weekends hauling all five of us kids up there as we were growing up, so I suppose a lot of moments have been shared in that little cove of trees.