Sunday, December 18, 2016

Clementine's art

I love finding pictures like this:
The sun, grass, sky...
She said it's our family + Sophie, a very loved babysitter. :)

Saturday, December 17, 2016

My Favorite Christmas, part 2

Monday was a surprisingly mild day,
so we headed to the zoo.
I love our zoo. 
We fed the giraffes,
watched the gators be fed,
touched a monitor lizard,
fed the chickens,
saw an owl practice flying,
and watched a zoo keeper train a bird to go inside a crate for transport.
We all learned so much!

On the way home,
we stopped at The Christmas House at the Broadmoor.
They had free hot apple cider and it was fun looking at all the extravagant decor.

Alice collected a chicken feather at the zoo
and decided she wanted to make it into a quill...
just like Sarah.

We were invited to a playdate at my friend, Kelly's, house on Tuesday.
The kids made and decorated ice castles while the mamas chatted.
It was good for my soul!

Wednesday, the girls and I decided to take Ben on a Christmas date.
We had appetizers and tasty beverages for the adults at the Golden Bee,
then walked over to see the gingerbread house and the lights.

Then, while Ben went to see Star Wars Thursday night,
we had hot chocolate and watched The Snowy Day,
which is SO sweet.

A non-Christmas related thing:
My digital photos are OUT OF CONTROL.
And, as I was reflecting about this,
I realized that it keeps me from updating here,
and even keeps me from pulling out my camera out of fear that I'm just adding to the problem.
It's like an episode of Hoarders...on my computer.
So, this is me documenting my goal:
Organize my freaking photos.
In the past few days, I've taken them of 55k to 48k, so progress!!

My Favorite Christmas

It might seem a little early to claim that,
seeing as Christmas is still over a week away,
but I'm claiming it anyway.

This year, we slowed WAY down.
My goal was to leave a ton of margin in our days;
to read books and make things. 

We decided not to add any weekend commitments,
and that has helped maintain the peaceful and calm Christmas my heart SO desired. 

No Christmas to-do lists like I've done in the past. 

Empty space.

Just going through these pictures makes it look like we've been super busy. 
"Margin!? What the heck, Melissa!? Y'all have done a thousand activities!"
But, I'm telling you:
Empty days have left room to do the things we really want. 

{"Margin is the space between our load and our limits. 
It is the amount allowed beyond that which is needed. 
It is something held in reserve for contingencies or unanticipated situations. 
Margin is the gap between rest and exhaustion, 
the space between breathing freely and suffocating." 
-Richard Swenson, M.D.}

It has made a huge difference in our days!

Lots of Christmas crafts-

Gingerbread playdough-

Added battery candles to our MagnaTiles-

TONS of Skillshare classes-

More crafts-

Visiting Santa-

Left our shoes out and St. Nicholas filled them chocolate coins-

Then we headed out to share the bounty-

Learning how to cross-stitch-

Decorated cookies at Villa-

The girls make these cozy beds by the tree...then Jack takes over-

Decorated Gingerbread houses!

Painted Daddy's fingernails-

I took the girls on a little Christmas date to Toy Station's Santa night-

Had our small group over-