Here we are less than a week away from Christmas. Amazingly I think we are mostly ready! The presents are wrapped and under the tree, I just stuck the last of my Christmas cards in the mail (fingers crossed but they should arrive before the 25th), and the smell of cookies fills the air (Mom and C are having the time of their lives making and decorating cut-out cookies). In this one moment at least I am feeling peaceful and enjoying the season. Here’s hoping it lasts. There’s so much to love about this time of year, if I can just manage the hectic schedule and extra stress. Here are a few things I’m loving right now:
I’d heard some buzz about these headphones and my tech-savvy hubby bought me a pair for my birthday. It’s so nice to be able to start music or a podcast on my phone and then go about my business, cooking dinner, doing dishes, folding laundry, or cleaning the bathrooms, without having to worry about my headphone cord getting tangled or dropping my phone in the sink. I tend to wear yoga or flannel pants around the house which don’t have pockets to accommodate carrying my phone with me. This is the perfect solution. Although they aren’t technically noise cancelling I’ve found that they feel a lot like wearing earplugs, which is kind of a nice bonus when the girls are being particularly whiny. 😉
As part of my birthday o’ fun Chris and I took Charlotte to see Moana at our local movie theater. I’d heard great things but I wasn’t too sure what to expect. Oh my gosh I loved so much about this movie. Moana is such a well-rounded character with plenty of spunk and drive, but made real with endearing flaws and doubts. I love how Disney is giving us such great role models for our girls, beyond the stereotypical princess. The story is an adventurous quest, but with so many layers and connections. I don’t think it’s a spoiler, but that part when Moana is packing and her mom comes in the room and sees her…well, let’s just say keep your tissues handy if you’re a mama. The story has important themes and lessons, but they are woven in subtly and it never feels forced or preachy. I can’t wait to watch it again! Note: Charlotte thought it was good, but she didn’t like the the “scary parts” (the lava monster was pretty intense).
3. Soup weather
I am not a fan of the cold, and we’ve had some bone-chilling days already, with temps dipping into the single digits and highs hovering in the teens. Brrrr! So much for a mild southern winter! But the upside to all this cold is it has inspired me to make soup. There are some great single serve soups in the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook, but I’ve been tweaking them to make them even more delicious. My favorite so far is a ” loaded fauxtato soup.” I use about half a package of frozen cauliflower with a cup of chicken broth. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender (about ten minutes). Then pour it into the blender, add a couple tablespoons of sour cream and half and half, flavor with onion and garlic powder and salt, then blend until smooth and creamy. Top with some shredded cheese and bacon bits. It’s absolutely delicious! Next I plan to perfect a broccoli cheese chowder. Stay tuned!
4. Advent readings
I always have good intentions to follow an Advent scripture plan during the month of December, but I usually fall off track a couple weeks in. This year I’m so thankful for our church’s Advent devotionals that have made it so easy. They send out an email every morning with a few Bible verses to read and then a reflection written by various church staff members. It only takes a few minutes, but it’s been such a nice way to start my day with my mind on Christ’s coming before the crazy sets in. 🙂 I printed out an Advent reading schedule to go along with C’s Jesus Storybook Bible too, but we have been pretty hit and miss with it. I’m choosing not to stress about it.
5. Christmas Cards
Call me old-fashioned, but I love getting mail this time of year. Opening up envelopes and finding the sweet faces of my friends and family near and far is such a blessing. I know not everyone has the time or resources to do this every year (I definitely skipped sending out cards two years ago when I was pregnant with Tessa) so if you didn’t get to it this year do not feel guilty at all! But for those of you who were able to make time to send cards I just want you to know how much I love it. Hint: I almost gave up trying to find reasonably prices photo cards this year, but my hubby saved the day as usual by finding a great deal on Amazon of all places. Did you know you can order photo prints and cards from Amazon? Neither did I, but you can, and they are fast (at least for Prime members) and thanks to a 60% off coupon, cheap too! They even printed our return address on the envelopes for free!
Your turn! What are you loving this holiday season? Any special events or traditions that we should know about? Please share!