"For You O Lord are a shield about me, You are the glory and lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3

"For You O Lord are a shield about me, You are the glory and lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas is Coming

Today was a snow day.  It was glorious, in fact I'd say that Chris and I were possibly more excited about it than the kids.  I found myself peeking through the curtains early this morning in curiosity and excitement to see blankets of snow covering the yard with powdered flakes continuing to fall.  
Dreamy, just plain dreamy.  Add it to the list of things I love about this season.
As much as we are happily settling into December in anticipation of much to celebrate and enjoy, the end of November delivered weeks of thankfulness for holiday and celebration, a birthday for our Sophie.
Our girl followed big sister and had her own dance parent watch session and we happily applauded and watched this little dancer flutter across the floor.  She's our daughter who is constantly dancing and tumbling off of every piece of furniture in our house, everything is a dance to her.  I love this about her.  I love getting to know her and discovering the piece to her character that is always dancing.
We celebrated our girl at school, at home, and at our favorite breakfast diner.  We have a tradition of watching birth slideshows and sharing with each girl the story of the day she came to us.  Each has her own unique and special version, my sweet Boo's has a special place in my heart.  My girl came into this world loud, cuddly, and sweet.  She came in a season of sadness and she brought so much joy.

Every day she brings joy.

It's an honor and a joy to be her mama and watch her become the little girl He's created her to be.  Every diaper, bubble bath, pink birthday cake.  The choice to relish in the privilege of being a mama and being her mama.
We wrapped up school, parties, and activities and prepared to head to Texas to see Chris' family for Thanksgiving.  A few friends and I made a commitment to do Clean Eating for 6 weeks leading up to this week.  While we do eat pretty healthy, I was content in my nibbling on cookies and drinking large amounts of diet coke on a daily basis.  The removal of such items in addition to other things made for a cleansing of sorts.  I feel better, have more energy, and all of the above but I'll be honest I was day dreaming about Thanksgiving platters and my sister in law's gravy.

So after a few days of laundry and cooking we were off.

First item whipped up, Betty's pumpkin pecan pie.  I cheated and bought the pre-made pie crust dough but then our refrigerator broke for the 10th time and the crust fell apart before I even got it out of the box.  So I faced my fears of real pie dough making.  It's my arch rival.  I've tried many recipes and even the ones that promise to be fool proof I still manage to botch.
Williams Sonoma to the rescue.  This recipe was easy, simple and made in a standing mixer.  If I can make it with a half naked toddler climbing on the counter than anyone can make it.

Glorious indeed.
We loaded up with babies, 10 pounds of mashed potatoes and a few pies and set out for Texas.  A few days of a house full of cousins and family.

Confession time.  This year I was one of those people who decorated before Thanksgiving.  It was wonderful.  I came home with a tired crew after 4 days of 1am bedtimes and I walked into a decorated house.  And nope, it didn't take away from my Thanksgiving experience one bit.

We decorated our tree and talked about the ornaments that seem to tell the story of us.

After decorating and setting the scene, we moved onto traditions.  I feel like I'm still tinkering with setting our traditions for Christmas.  For sure we're on the home stretch for deciding what brings joy, what feels life giving, simple, and most of all celebrating.

Simplifying to celebrate Christ.

Advent Wreath
I love this tradition.  For the Sundays leading up to Christmas, we read through scriptures, light the candles, talking through symbolism of hope, joy, anticipation.

Jesse Tree
This is one that we've done for years and the girls look forward to it all month long.  Keeping with the theme of focusing on the stories leading up to Christmas, it's a sweet way for us to be reminded of His faithfulness and character.  The girls color the ornaments and we read each night together.  This year I'm trying to find different ways of revealing the story and it's been fun, we've youtube'd stories, read from my iPhone, acted them out.  Simple but fun.

Advent: Daily readings and fun
For just plain fun, I made a simple advent calendar for every day until Christmas day.  At first the idea overwhelmed me but the more I looked into it, the more I loved the challenge to keep it easy and light.  Read extra Christmas books, go sledding, visit Santa, make hot cocoa, glitter homemade snowflakes.

It's growing and becoming the thing they first ask about when they wake up.  It blesses my heart and has helped bring peace when I'm tempted to compare or stress about the season.  Little reminders of truth and joy, the grateful anticipation of expecting His coming.

Now back to food.
We love us some major breakfast on Saturday mornings.  Lately we've had a few snow days and layers of ice on the roads so I took it upon myself to tweak some recipes and try some new ones on my little guinea pigs.  Currently my favorite cookbook is anything Pioneer Woman.  When I'm looking to ditch our norm of yogurt and fruit for breakfast, I know where to look.  
And may I say her cornmeal pancakes with blackberry syrup were amazing.  She scooped them out with a small ice cream scooper and I swear it pushed 'em over the edge.
We liked them so much we ate them 2 days in a row.  Deliciousness.
Onto some snow day fun...

Snow Ice Cream
This tends to be a crowd favorite around here.  Again, simple but wonderful.  All you need is a large bowl of snow, half a can of sweetened condensed milk and a teaspoon of vanilla.  We topped ours with some syrups and gobbled it right up.
And since I love food and I can have cheese again, we made quite a few pizzas for family night on Friday.  Again, this crust recipe is easy and as much as I like making a quick phone call and having a guy walk that piping hot morsel to my front door, we love our homemade pizza even more.
Turkey Pepperoni Pizza
2 c. whole wheat flour
2 c. white flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 c. olive oil
1 packet yeast dissolved in 1 1/2 c. warm water
1. in a standing mixer with hook attachment, mix flour and salt
2. drizzle in olive oil
3. add in water with yeast until dough forms a ball
4. oil a bowl, drop dough in bowl and refrigerate
5. divide dough in half
6. spread marinara and mozzarella cheese
7. top with organic turkey pepperoni 
I like to sprinkle some garlic salt
Bake at 475 for 10 minutes or so and enjoy!

Tomorrow brings more, more of everything.  More laundry, more cleaning, more carpools.  
More opportunity to simplify and celebrate.
More time to relish in this season of life and not wish for the next.
Christmas is coming and we can't wait.


  1. Great post! Always love your thoughts and words.

  2. Beautiful, Megan. Warms my heart

  3. Loved reading and catching up with your fam! Hugs!