baby's first christmas ... a gift guide

i had planned on doing this post much earlier, but good grief time got away from me! ... with rufus only being four months old during the holidays, we decided not to overdue the gift giving for him. of course, he has to have a few wrapped goodies under the tree though ... i think if we didn't buy him anything, his big sister would not be happy! she is so protective and worries often about her brothers and their little hearts. 

anyway, some things were already wrapped, but will be included on the list below ...

that's it! ... now that i linked all of those, it does seem like quite a bit ! 

if you are wondering about the square prints - you can go here!

i also wanted to include a couple of photos of the gingerbread house eleanor made ... she had the best time putting it together yesterday while her brother's napped. such a sweet girl, my eleanor. :)

merry christmas to all who is celebrating! now i am off to play santa ... and maybe have a sangria or two. ;)



i have been feeling a bit "in it" lately. when i was little, if my brothers and i were being quiet or off, my dad would ask us what we are working out in our heads ... and i guess that's been me lately. 

it really began on friday at eleanor's school christmas program. i sat in the middle of what seemed like a million folding chairs in the gymnasium. it was dark and all you could hear between songs were whispering parents and the squeaking sound a tennis shoe makes against the floor when a little kid changes sitting positions ... i sat there alone, scanning the room for eleanor. i knew she was in there, but as soon as i locked eyes with her and she gave me a big, smilely wave, it was only then that my heart began to beat a bit slower ... she was safe. the fifth graders began to play carol of the bells on their xylophones and my head went somewhere. suddenly i knew exactly who i am and who i have always been ... and i missed everyone i had ever known ... my nostalgia slowly flooded that room. i was a little kid again. it's amazing how much we lose of ourselves once becoming parents ... maybe i shouldn't say lost - but forgotten ... so then i caught myself scanning the room again, only searching for the seven year old version of myself. i wanted to walk up to her, tap her on the shoulder and scoop her up and hug her until we became one again. because i miss her ... her innocence and curiosity. her patience and hope. 

yesterday morning, i woke up still yearning for myself. my bedroom was always such an important and safe place for me growing up. i spent most of my days sitting on the floor of my bedroom, looking at my things and listening to music or just sitting there ... 

i hadn't officially made this room in our new house mine yet. sure it has my things in it, but gosh i hadn't even put a stereo or a record player in it yet. the record player along with all of my favorite records are sitting on top of some boxes in our basement ... and i hadn't gotten around to painting yet either. the color was like a blueish gray and yea it's okay, but on a dark, rainy day, it is sort of fluorescent in color and i just wasn't feeling it ... so yesterday, i began the process of adding kristen to my bedroom. i painted the walls a soft white and ordered a new bed frame. the record player will be moving up soon ... and my days during quiet time hours will be all about me ... im gonna worry less about what needs done around the house during those hours and just focus on who i am and what i need .. it will be good. 

here are some photos that i took throughout the day. we stayed home all day and it was so nice. my favorite kind of day. 

*paint for bedroom is du jour by valspar and you can see my new bed frame here  ... also, ru's adorable bunny ears came in the mail yesterday and it had us all "awwwwing" you can find that hat here

p.s. i want to thank my readers for following along here. i haven't been feeling very confident lately on social media and often times worry too much about what i post on instagram, but i never feel that way about this space. it feels so safe to me. it feels like me. and i love that. xo

p.s.s. below are some photos of the seven year old me


ten more days till christmas and some chocolate chip cookies

this morning when i woke up, the first thing i heard was eleanor shouting, "mommy! ten more days til christmas! just ten more days, mommy!" ... i put on my big, fluffy white robe as i always do and sleepily kissed the top of her head and said something like, "oh no, it's one hundred more days" and then she giggled, said "noooooo" and ran away. 

daddy rushed her off to school and the boys and i enjoyed a lazy day at home. i wrapped gifts on the butchers block while the boys soaked in the sink. wolfgang told rufus all about thomas the train and i swear rufus looked at him so attentively as if he knew exactly what big brother was talking about ... during those moments of watching them together, i honestly think that was the most thankful i had ever felt. it's as if in that time, everything in my life was in exactly the right place, ya know? like i was actually living my dream. 

when eleanor got home from school, we decided to bake chocolate chip cookies. we knew daddy wouldn't be home until after bedtime, so we figured we'd spoil our dinner by stuffing ourselves with some sugary goodness ... these cookies do not take long because i have been making them for many years now. they are my go to dessert if i need to whip something up quickly ... i have made them so many times i even have the recipe memorized ...

 i love baking with my kiddos. they are so good at finding magic in the simplest tasks ...

anyway, here is how to make our chocolate chip cookies: 

makes about three dozen

  1. mix 2 eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 2 sticks butter (room temp) and 1 teaspoon vanilla. set aside.
  2. sift together 2 1/4 cups flour and 1 teaspoon baking soda.
  3. combine wet and dry. blend well. 
  4. stir in one bag semi sweet chocolate chips. we always throw in some chopped walnuts, too but you don't have to. 
  5. drop spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. bake at 375 degrees on the lowest rack for about 11 minutes.