Traditions

As our little family has grown from just the two of us to a crew of four, each year we have picked up traditions we look forward to every Christmas. Here are a few of them:

FUN

Christmas Tree Hunting / After years of getting our tree at Home Depot, last year we found the sweetest little family-run tree lot in Pacific Beach, and we are hooked. They serve hot chocolate and give you a free tree stand if you promise to come back the next year.

Christmas Lights / There is a street block in our neighborhood where every single house is decked to the max with lights and decorations. What began as one of our very first dates years ago, has become a tradition every single December. We get a hot drink to sip and enjoy all the spectacular displays.

FOOD

Saltine Toffee / Our go-to holiday treat I make for friends, family, and neighbors.

Green Chili Sausage Bake / The Mr requests this family dish for Christmas morning every year (here’s a recipe similar to the one we follow).

Nutella Bread Pudding / I found this recipe last year, and it is AMAZING. Just like the dish above, it can be assembled the day before and popped in the oven on Christmas morning. We fry up some bacon on the side, add mimosas and coffee, and we’re sufficiently stuffed!

MEANING

Advent Calendar / Now that we have little ones who can start to grasp the meaning behind why we’re celebrating, we’re on the lookout for a meaningful Advent activity (apart from our typical chocolate calendar, which we love).

Devotional / We just got this Christmas devotional and it’s been a wonderful way to start each day, remembering to stay grounded and present in this season’s purpose.

Do you have any favorite traditions?

 

 

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Mindful: Rest

For years we knew that making our Sundays an official day of rest, with no set plans or to-dos, was important to us as a couple and something we should strive for. But for some reason we could never get into a groove (Should we go to church? Work on house projects? Run errands? Do nothing?).

And then, we had kids. While having children certainly makes life busier and more chaotic in many ways (whew), it also slows certain parts of life down. Sleeping schedules and limited stamina of little ones forces you to stay home more (which, being a home body, is perfectly fine with me!). And so over time, our Sundays have naturally become an intentional day of rest. We go to a morning service at our church (which we found earlier this year and finally feel settled into), and apart from that we make no plans – anything that must get done is taken care of during the rest of the week. We take naps, read books, enjoy each other’s company. In the evening we might walk down to the park for a picnic (complete with wine), or stay home for a movie.

These days, rather than facing a weekend of infinite to-dos and social plans, where “rest” may come in fits and starts (if at all), it is so comforting to know that whatever the week brings, on Sunday, there will be rest and no obligations. It has truly been good for our family’s hearts and wellbeing, and I highly recommend it. I think it will be especially important to hold tight to our Sunday habits now that the Christmas season is in full swing. What more important time of year to take the time to rest, remember, and enjoy!

Late Fall Wardrobe Staples

Since having little ones, long shopping excursions are a thing of the past, so about twice a year I scour the internet for a few seasonal items. Yes, it is a pain to shlep to the post office to make all those returns, but in the long run I end up finding exactly what I need, and don’t get sidetracked by anything that might tempt me from store windows. :)

Capsule wardrobes are really appealing to me, and although I don’t strictly adhere to one, I naturally lean toward an edited closet. As I’ve gotten older and my daily life has become simpler (i.e., no need for several weeks’ worth of work attire), my style has become laser focused: relaxed but polished, urban but comfortable. Here are a few favorite cooler-weather items I’ve added to my wardrobe this season:

Utility jacket / It took me a bit of trial and error to find the perfect utility jacket. This one is so comfy but still has structure, and is light enough to layer over a sweater. I’ve already gotten so much use of it!

Crew neck sweater / Target does it again. This sweater looks and feels more expensive than it is, and it’s been the perfect fall basic.

Detailed leggings / While these technically cross over into athleisure, they are so unbelievably soft I can’t care. The ruched detail on the side makes them a bit fancier (and they’re currently on sale!).

Black booties / These flats add polish and structure to any outfit, but are still functional enough to run after toddlers.

Everyday necklace / I’ve never been a jewelry person, but I love this tiny, minimal necklace for every day. (Tip: whenever purchasing inexpensive pieces, I always look for “gold-filled” over “gold-plated” – they keep their shine.)

Tomorrow we are driving 13 hours (!) to spend Thanksgiving with the Mr’s family. I hope you have a very happy holiday week, and find lots to be thankful for. xo