Tuesday, December 11, 2018

November/December Goals

It's that time again to look at monthly goals and review how I did last month! Now that it is December and I did this every month, I have to say it was a great experience and so much more effective than doing annual goals!

November goals
- make pumpkin french toast
- have a small medical procedure taken care of
- host Rachel's Challenge class for Friendsgiving and service project
- set a fun Fall table for my family - maybe Thanksgiving breakfast?
- make pumpkin bread, how can it be almost Thanksgiving and I haven't made any yet?!
- do something crafty just because
- watch a cozy Thanksgiving or Christmas movie, any suggestions?

All of these were completed and it feels good to have been intentional about a few Fall things I still wanted to do!

Now, with December already upon us - my goals for this month are very simple: take a trip to see my parents {we are in Colorado right now!} and enjoy lots of slow, down time together as a family over the Christmas holiday.

What are your goals this month? How will you find time for slowing down?

Monday, December 10, 2018

A Welcoming Haven

{written last week}

Today, we drove 8 1/2 hours on our way to Colorado - we saw the sun about ten minutes total all day, it was varying shades of gray, varying amounts of rain and drizzle. I thought about how going on a trip is such an act of faith and even though, as Mary did, I have more than a donkey {lots more horsepower!}, I still rely on God to see us through varied weather, unknown delays, trusting we will be able to find gas stations, etc.

Some friends opened their home to us even though they weren't in town this time, and their home was such a welcoming haven for us. This is the welcome Mary must have longed for after her long and difficult journey.

We turned on cozy lighting, got in our pj's, heated up homemade chicken noodle soup I'd made ahead of time and just enjoyed this haven. There was something so incredibly comforting about the sight of the bubbling soup on the stove while rain fell outside. The smell greeted children who washed hands and were drawn downstairs by the news that the meal was ready.

Such a simple thing - soup: but what it symbolized to me tonight was comfort, warmth, home, nourishment. Feeding on His Word was also a nourishment to my soul after a busy week and a long day.

Lord, I want my heart to be as warm and welcoming to You as this place to stay has been for us tonight. A place where You are invited, honored, welcomed - a place that is cozy, warm, inviting and a haven.

Later in the evening, I read the lyrics to God Rest You Merry Gentlemen and that phrase even reminds me of the rest of God and then the chorus is like a warm, cozy hug: O tidings of comfort and joy!

Like soup and home were for me, what is it for you that is inviting, welcoming and comforting you this season?

Friday, December 07, 2018

Sister Swap

My sister, Carrie, and I have had fun hosting a Christmas Cozy swap recently! My boxes are waiting at home for me to open them - that will be so fun when we get back from Colorado!

Meanwhile, the friend I was paired with also has two daughters so we did a sisters to sisters swap and a mom to mom swap! So fun!

I wrapped everything and realized I didn't get a bunch of good photos - but here are a few pictures.

For the daughters - the girls and I made a 12 days of Christmas Advent wreath with activities for the sisters to enjoy together.

You can see the activities we included above - and then wrapped and numbered the supplies for each of these activities in cute little Christmas bags!

I hope they have so much fun doing these holiday activities together as sisters!

Now, for my mom box!

I recently found a stack of these handwriting boards at a thrift store and knew I wanted to make some sort of Christmas sign out of it. This is fun because she can change the words on the hoop  just by unpinning the tag and adding a new one.

Other items included fun socks, a devotional book, magazine, stack of cute homemade cloth napkins, dishcloth, mug {not pictured - already wrapped!} and some other little goodies.

Thanks to all the gals who joined our swap, made a new friend and brought cozy to their lives this Christmas season! We invite those who participated to leave a comment with a link to their blog post, Instagram photo or other post about their swap!

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Gifts of Beauty

Christmas lights in kids rooms.

Leftover Thanksgiving flowers gifted by a sweet friend and enjoyed for days!

Leaves in the Chick-fil-A parking lot in Atlanta on our road trip last weekend.

As many times as we've driven across I-70 across Kansas, I don't remember ever seeing this church before which is right on the Interstate. The wind turbines right behind it give an unusual contrast.

A pile of plowed snow in the parking lot of the gas station was quite an amusement to these southern kids!

If we stopped every time I wanted to take a picture, we would literally never get anywhere - but I did want a picture of some hay in a field so we had to pull over and get a quick shot. When I looked to the other side of the road - I saw this gorgeous sky:

What simple beauties have you enjoyed lately?

Wednesday, December 05, 2018