Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Year of the Wreaths

Since I have this desire to be a crafter but don't think I really am one yet, I have made myself a crazy goal this year....I have recently gained a fascination for wreaths so my goal is to make a wreath every month, either for the front door or to hang somewhere in the house, some that are a little different, some that will just be copycats, and granted, some that no one else will like.  But here goes.  Oh, and each wreath has to be made for just $5!

January's wreath is definitely under the category of something a little different:  (and not the best picture since I took it with my cell phone)

This "wreath" is made from a DI frame which I took all the glass and hardware off of, painted blue, and hung snowflakes from with white ribbon or glued on with the hot glue gun.  So the price break down:  $1 for the frame, $1 for the blue paint, $.75 for the white ribbon (post-Christmas sale), and pennies for the snowflakes (I had a bag leftover from Christmas decorations).  For a total of about $3.  I like it.  So there!

Here's my plan so far for the rest of the year:

February:  I purchased a heart-shaped wreath form at the DI for $2.  I'm planning to cover it with gray yarn and make pink, white, and red flowers from cupcake liners.

And that's as far as I've gotten.  If you have ideas, please let me know.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

"Getting through the holidays"

Over the past month I've contemplated the phrase people frequently use, I'm just trying to "get through the holidays."  I understand what people mean when they say it, but you have to admit, if you stop and think about this phrase, it doesn't make much sense.  Generally when people speak of "getting through" something, it's a negative, unpleasant experience through which they want to get and see the end.  The word "holiday," however, is a positive, joyful word with several meanings including: any day of exemption from work, a religious feast day, or a period of recreation, vacation.  All of those things sound great to me, don't you agree?!  Sorry to get all English-teachery on you, I just wanted to point out, perhaps a few days too late, that maybe when people want to get through the holidays, they're focusing on the wrong things.

The blessings I have in my life made the holidays a joyful time.  Thanks to modern technology I spent a great deal of time skyping with family in North Carolina.  I'm so blessed to live in a time that I can be thousands of miles away from my family and still get to see them everyday, especially my Mom and Dad who I can count on seeing on a computer screen at least once a day.  Now Morgan just stands in front of the computer and squawks at it even when no one is there!

On Christmas Eve we read the story of the birth of Christ from the Bible and the Book of Mormon and used our little people nativity to act the story out.  With little hands grabbing the pieces we didn't make much of a production, but at least we tried.

Having a toddler in the house definitely makes the holidays a festive time.  She didn't help much with the tree decorating this year, mostly with taking ornaments off the tree, but she seemed to enjoy having it around.  I keep our tree looking pretty old-fashioned which is what I like, not too fancy for me.

Here's our tree after Santa visited and left some fun surprises for Morgan.

Santa also left a really cool surprise for me which I wasn't expecting!

 We all enjoyed unwrapping presents, but the thing we definitely enjoyed the most was spending this special time together.
 Morgan and Dad enjoyed some time watching a family favorite, The Muppet Christmas Carol.

A Christmas tradition my family has always had is Christmas breakfast.  For as long as I can remember, my Dad and Mom made a yummy breakfast of ham and eggs with some rolls from Sissy Carol.  Since I've been in a new home for Christmas, Nate and I have adopted this tradition.  I added homemade hashbrown casserole to the menu and had to make the rolls myself since I don't have the luxury of Sissy Carol next door, but it is still just as yummy. 

As we sat down to eat on Christmas morning, I offered a blessing on the food and got a little choked up on my words.  As I sat there thinking of the blessings in my life, my Mom and Dad, though far away, who love me, a wonderful husband who works so hard for his family, a beautiful baby girl, even a crazy dog who barks at everyone, the safety of a home, and most importantly, the knowledge of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, as I thought of these things, I became overwhelmed.  There was a time in my life when I was not making good choices, and even now, on a daily basis, I continue to make mistakes, never living up to what my Heavenly Father would have me be.  But because He loved me, because Jesus loved me, He came here, He lived and died for me,  and now I can enjoy these blessings on Christmas morning.  That's how you "get through the holidays."  You remember His sacrifice, His love, and the hustle and bustle no longer matter.  Maybe we can just "enjoy the holidays" instead.

 Okay, to leave the preaching behind for a second, I will admit that a holiday with a toddler can also be really hard because of the change in schedule, less sleep, lots of outings, etc.  The only time we could get a picture of Morgan in her cute Christmas outfit was if she had the cell phone.  Still so cute!

As a side note, a part of enjoying the holidays for me and my family includes watching the best Christmas movie ever:

If you haven't watched this one yet, do it, do it now, right in the middle of January even though Christmas was two weeks ago.  You won't regret it!