christmas, brought to you straight from my iPhone

yes, it's true. i slacked off this year...brought my camera and didn't even take it out of the trunk. ya ya...bad photographer, you don't have to tell me :) i do however own an iPhone 5 now, so the quality of pictures will be drastically improved from past posts. and my app editing skills far surpass the beginning days of instagram filters. but just you wait, one of these days i'll turn mega-blogger on you and whip out my fancy pictures when you least expect it.

who am i kidding? that won't happen *wink

so, if you don't follow me on instagram this post will be way more interesting to you...and if you do, just hang tight..maybe i'll fit in more than 150 characters for my pic descriptions and surprise you with my charm and wit, or is it whit? no that's a name. it's definitely wit.

we started out the morning at my nana and grandpa's house with all my extended family. we've had pretty much the same traditions since we were little, when we celebrate Christmas morning at nana's. as  littles we were especially antsy to run upstairs and see what lay under nana and grandpa's tree as soon as we arrived to nana's. we usually showed up between 10 and 11, said our hello's and merry christmas's, then darted up the white stairs into the living room with the view you see below. where we would then frenzy into an "every man for himself" Christmas present opening event.

my grandparents have literally the coolest house i've ever been in. and i never fully appreciated their house until i started dating jeff. i mean honestly, who sees this view every single holiday for 24 years and doesn't appreciate it until the last 5 years? i guess you just take things for granted when you're young. i feel truly privileged to spend my holidays, birthdays and family parties at this house. i have so many wonderful childhood memories here, and just as many in my adult life. i can't get enough of my fun family these days.

me and my and my little cousin while we were opening presents 

the BEST Christmas breakfast we've ever had. that would be bacon quiche with bacon chunks on top. my belly is still content from this meal 24 hours later.

cousins doing dishes...don't mind the vampire eyes. i'm still convincing my mom that she doesn't need to use her flash indoors ;)

It was the perfect Christmas with family and fires in the fireplace :)

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and a couple pictures from Christmas Eve with Jeff's family, of the kids opening our presents to them. love how excited they were!

merry christmas!

Sharing a bit of Christmas around our home, wishing you a very blessed, and Merry Christmas with your loved ones!

I've thoroughly enjoyed all things jolly and bright this year. I've soaked up all the Christmas decor in my house, drank in the beautiful sight of Christmas lights with each house I pass, and thanked my Savior for coming here to this earth in a wee little manger for me.

It's a time to be thankful and celebrate with family and I plan to do just that over these next two days. Not everyone has that luxury this time of year though. To the soldiers serving overseas and on duty away from their cozy homes, to those serving on our law enforcement, to the UPS drivers, to the firemen, to the Starbucks barista's who are working this Christmas Eve, and day...thank you. Thank you for protecting us, thank you for serving us, thank you for driving around to give us presents that we ordered too late, thank you for keeping us caffeinated. I know you'd rather be home with your families, sipping on hot cocoa and watching your littles run around...or maybe playing a game of scrabble, possibly Christmas caroling..whatever your traditions are this holiday season. I wish you could be doing those things. Thank you though, thank you for the sacrifices you're making to bring us a safe and happy Christmas.

To the families of those serving, to the family of the UPS driver, to the family of the barista, to the family of the walmart worker, to the family of law enforcement..I'm sorry your loved one is working today. I wish they could be with you, sitting by the fire enjoying this holiday. Thank you for your service, thank you for raising a dedicated worker. Thank you for your sacrifices this holiday season.

Our hearts have been heavy the last couple of weeks and I can't begin to fathom the ache in the hearts of all those affected by the tragedy in Newtown. I can only hope and pray they feel the vast amount of prayers flooding their way, especially over these next two days.

Thinking of the precious angels Heaven gained a little over a week ago. You will continue to be in our prayers, Newtown families.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays wherever it is, whatever you celebrate!

christmas randoms | traditions | updates


I'm sure I've mentioned in past posts that our best friends live right down the street. It's been so much fun and over the last few months I feel like I've become even closer to those boys and John's girlfriend, Nicole. I'm so blessed and thankful to have such great friends in my life. But I'm not one for sappy things so let's move on ;)

John and Nicole cut down trees a couple weeks back and later that night all the boys put the tree up together. I asked them if we could play Christmas music and drink hot chocolate while they figured out the tree. But apparently that's not what boys like to do? With beers in hand, they strung lights and screwed the base into the tree. 

I played Christmas pandora anyway and I think they secretly liked it. 

Jeff's unit had a Christmas was run by men, in a cold hangar. You can imagine how that went.

I came home from work one night, surprised to find Christmas lights hung on our house. Sometimes those husbands do surprise you. I'm a lucky lady.

And last but not least, our mother-daughter Christmas baking day. We successfully burnt a round of peanut blossoms, added too much butter to our lacy oatmeals, cooked in an uncalibrated oven and burnt ourselves twice. Oh, and neither of us really like to bake. But it's tradition, and it's fun so we do it :) Love you momma.

There it is. My Christmas updates rushed into one post at the end of the year, miserable fail...but it's here none the less :)

little bitty photographer

a little bit of happy to start your week off with a bang :)
this makes my photographer heart happy on SO many levels.

oh, and more to come on events that happened this weekend.... some awesome and some not so awesome...but update worthy none the less. Jesus has come through in some amazing ways this weekend and I can't help but share it all.

so much to blog about i can hardly handle the excitement... just a quick preview, we almost got in an awful car accident, i've had photography related sessions every day since Thursday, we were surrounded by all things Christmas, and my car got towed. YIKES.

that was a lot. come back for more later? I promise it's good. and if I let you down with my stories, at least I'll have pretty pictures for you to look at.

art that i want in my home

I don't know what it is about this picture, but I absolutely adore it. The uneven lines, the colors. Oh the colors are just perfect. They're so calming. Makes me want to pull out my old paint brushes and watercolors. I think I might!

Nothing more profound today, just pretty art.

[I found it on Pinterest and there was no link back to the artist, otherwise I'd note that here. But if I found this picture in print would be hanging on my wall]