Thursday, January 1, 2015

Fall-ing into Christmas Spirit

This post is long overdue.  As you may have guessed, we have been quite busy here with projects, gifts, and gearing up for the holidays.  I've sat down to write this many times, but with family losses and fall projects, I've struggled to finish it until now.

A dear friend, who loves to garden, had a birthday in October so we created a glass dish flower for her to put in her garden.  I think it turned out really neat and was a relatively simple project once we found dishes we liked the aesthetic of.  

All the pieces

Put together and ready to ship

Love it with her flowers!
A precious boy joined our lives in October (remember the football blanket and puzzle) and we have been greatly enjoying loving on him and his folks over the last couple of months.  After he was born I got to take over dinner and snuggle him.  I also took over a onsie for him to grow into.

We had another craigslist score this fall as well.  A bathtub (free!!)for the dogs to swim in instead of their plastic kiddie pool.  It's much easier to drain and clean and we are excited to build it into our landscape design next spring.

New tub for the girls

Aria loves her tub!

We enjoyed some wonderful fall walks and I had a great birthday celebrated with family and dear friends.  

Beautiful fall walk
My folks also finished their walkway through the yard.  

I think it turned out great!
Halloween came with mild weather and lots of trick-or-treaters.  The dogs wore their Halloween scarves and greeted all the kids when they came to the door.    
They're so sweet!
We completed a few minor finishing touches in the laundry room which I love and improve the ease of function in the room.  

Holder for partner-less socks and other laundry accesories

Hanger for clothes while folding

Folds flat against the wall when not in use

And a new rug
My mom and I went on several beautiful fall drives around the lake and saw some beautiful places and lots of turkeys!

Cool barn shop by the lake
Lots of turkeys
Lovely fall colors

Fall here was mild and quite sunny punctuated by bitter cold and final farewells.

Cold end of fall
Aria even wore her coat
As did Cassie
And Aria discovered she loves laying in front of the fire!
We stayed in town for Thanksgiving with some of our family and celebrated pre-Thanksgiving with dear friends at a 1950's themed Thanksgiving Eve party, what a blast!  I whipped up some quick hostess gifts as a small thanks for having us; pumpkin spice soap.  I think they turned out great.  You can find the recipe here.

Soap in the molds
Finished soap

In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving we lost a few of our elders.  During the Thanksgiving season, we found ourselves acutely aware and profoundly grateful for the impact they had on us and the love they brought to our lives.  Through the years they had laughed and cried with us, hoped and dreamed with us, grieved and celebrated with us.  They taught us of love, courage, compassion, strength, and faith.  And the greatest lesson we cherished, the importance and simple beauty of listening.  Listening outside oneself and all the hustle and bustle of the everyday.  Listening deep, being fully present, even when it hurt.  Such a wealth of wisdom our elders have to share when we listen.  They gave us countless gifts, the most cherished of these their time and their beloved memories.
The day after Thanksgiving, we loaded up the dogs and headed south for memorial services.  Our journey began with beautiful sunsets, followed by pouring rain.  But right before we arrived at our destination we were treated to the most beautiful double rainbow over the river.  And I couldn't help but think what a perfect metaphor this was for our grief.  That those we had loved and lost were smiling down from heaven on our journey and were now at peace.  And what a beautiful honor for us to carry their stories on in our hearts.  
Roadtrip Sunrise
Rainbow over the Columbia
Cold, windy drive home
Early Moonrise

When we returned home, my husband requested our own Thanksgiving dinner just the two of us.  So we created one while we started the Christmas decorating process.  It was delicious and pretty much everything turned out great, especially as it was our first time making everything from scratch (and gluten free).  The next day was a Christmas tree cutting adventure and we found this year's tree just as the sun was setting.  
Thanksgiving Round 2
Sunset tree search
Cassie is loving it!
Growing dark
Found the tree just in time
The Christmas season kicked off with a cookie exchange at a dear friend's church (and multiple times through The Gift CD of course).  So, us ladies got together for a day of baking, talking, and laughing.  I can't think of a better way to get in the Christmas spirit than to spend a day with dear friends and their amazing kiddos.  I made gingerbread cookies from an old family recipe book and they turned out wonderfully.  We also worked to get the house all decorated up so we could celebrate early with some of our family.  And we were greeted with the return of mild weather for most of the month.

Gingerbread Cookies
Finished Gingerbread man
Finished cookies
The pups helping with outside decorations
Puppy snuggles
Front decorations (these are new this year)
The whole frontscape
Lights up
New Mini Tree that was Nana's.  

This year's tree

Up Next: Homemade Christmas Lands Again

No comments:

Post a Comment