The Week In Between

Hello, my friends!
I hope your Christmas was as merry as can be.
We are currently enjoying my very favorite week of the year.
I love this week in-between.
We are home, snuggling, watching movies, sipping coffee, tea, and cocoa, and playing brand new games together. Some of us leave for work but come home as soon as it is done, returning to our cozy little holiday nest. 
The tree remains up and lit, casting a warm glow during the long, dark evenings.  The toys and books are scattered around the family room, and there they will stay. Life will return to normal soon enough, and we aren't in any rush to say goodbye to this cozy, magical time.
I hope you have a wonderful and blessed New Year celebration, my friends.
I will be back next week!



Merry Christmas!

,
Merry Christmas, my friends. 
Have a cozy, blessed, festive time with the ones you love.



Thank you for visiting.
I am always glad you do!


Weekend Plans And It's Almost Christmas!

Well, that week went by quickly! How are you doing, my friends? Are you ready? Christmas comes whether we are ready or not, so why not relax and enjoy these last few days of anticipation? We plan on doing just that. Saturday will be a quiet morning with Mass in the afternoon, followed by dinner. Then we are planning on popcorn and Rudolph to end the night.

Sunday we are having our traditional Rudolph Breakfast. It is a simple, fun breakfast that we consider the official start of our Christmas season. I will also iron the Christmas tablecloth and get out the beautiful, new silverware Nicolas' mother brought me when she visited last summer. I will also wash and fold the "secret" Christmas Eve pajamas so they are ready for Christmas Eve. I have been doing this since the kids were babies, and although they know they are getting them, they always humor me and act surprised. : )

But first...

Weekend Plans

Happy Friday, my friends. I hope your week was happy and healthy and cozy as can be!
Our week was filled with fun, food, and friends.
And plenty of cozy too.

My awesome sister-in-law Beth got Flynn the most fun game for her birthday.
We have played a great deal of Yeti In My Spaghetti!

There's Still Time

Don't worry. Don't panic. There is still lots of time left. Lots of time to watch Elf together after dinner, pop popcorn and drive around looking at Christmas lights, bake snickerdoodle and molasses cookies, drink cocoa by the fire, wrap and deliver presents to family and friends, and read Christmas books from the basket by the couch.

So don't worry if you feel anxious and stressed. There is plenty of time remaining to enjoy every moment of this blessed Christmas season!



Like families used to do.


Thanks, Pinterest for the images.


Things I'm Loving Now

What's not to love about December and Christmas? Here are a few special things I am loving around here lately. : )

 This is so fun!
It is Scrabble but with extra Christmas fun.
We got our game from Santa, but I did see it on Amazon.

Weekend Plans

Hello and happy Friday! I am sitting by the fire this Thursday evening, sipping coffee, as the snow falls outside. December evenings have arrived. Our weekend plans are simple, but fun. Friday evening we will attend mass for the holy day, and then return home to a dinner I will put in the crockpot early in the morning. We are having a beef roast with onions and potatoes, and hopefully, a few carrots if I can find some in the refrigerator!

Saturday is quiet before mass, and then we will probably go out to dinner before returning home for a cozy evening with cocoa and Christmas movies. Sunday is a special day! We are celebrating Madison with a Tea Party Bridal Shower. We are looking forward to visiting with family and friends and showering our bride-to-be with love.

Meanwhile, it is all Christmas, all the time around our house lately.

Our (New) Home At Christmastime

When we looked at this house almost one year ago, I thought of how I would love to decorate it for Christmas. Last week, we finally did. I opted for a simpler, more classic, less cluttered approach this year. I added a few new pieces to some of the special and favorite decorations we have accumulated over the years. We are loving the first cozy days and nights here in our Christmas home.

Weekend Plans

I decided to bring back my "Weekend Plans" posts on Fridays, despite the fact that we usually have little to no plans on the weekends. Go figure. Anyway, this weekend ushers in the magical month of December, and I am happy about that. Sure a little voice in the back of my head reminds me of the gifts that need purchased and wrapped and all that, but now I am able to shush that voice with a cup of coffee and a warm Christmas throw. Thanks middle age. You are awesome!

This weekend Steve and Rhett will continue their hunt for the elusive big buck while the rest of us relax at home with Christmas music playing in the background. Saturday we have mass, and then Madison and Nicolas are attending a Holiday Ball and I plan on a perfectly cozy night of ironing in my Christmas jammies. 

Sunday is supposed to be warm here, so I have plans for the guys to decorate the outside of the house with some reindeer and ribbon. We never used to decorate outside, as our old house sat so far off the road that no one could see it. This house lends itself to some tasteful outside decor. Says the woman who has no intention of actually doing any of the decorating. Sunday night we will watch our Steelers and hope the right team shows up to play. You never know with those guys. I am thinking of making a pot of soup for dinner on Sunday too.

So that is that. And now a quick look at what we have been up to here in our cozy little home.

A Newer Approach To Preparing For Christmas


Christmas comes every December. We wait for it, dream about it, and prepare for it. Recently I realized that although Christmas comes every year, I don't have to prepare our family to celebrate it the exact same way. We grow and change. Our lives and family circumstances evolve. It is alright to change the way we choose to enjoy this most special time of year, while still keeping our focus on what is important to us.

When I was a young mother of little children, I found it necessary to schedule our December in a very detailed way. I planned the shopping, wrapping, baking, Santa visiting, and picture taking well in advance. I even made a handwritten schedule complete with dates and events and little festive stickers. And that worked for us. Then.

Now, I am an older mother of older children, and our focus remains the same: Keeping December centered on our family and the cozy time we spend together preparing for the most blessed Christmas Day. My approach, however, has changed. Gone are the detailed lists and scheduled events. Now we are much more relaxed about what we do and when it happens. We are still focused on our little family and spending these precious days together.

So what will these December days look like around here? Well, because these days seem to pass so quickly, I plan on spending them here in our cozy home sipping coffee and cocoa from Santa mugs, playing Christmas games, listening to classic Christmas music and watching our favorite Christmas movies. We will venture out to do some local Christmas shopping and to Mass, and we do have a special wedding shower for a special bride to be! Other than that, we will be right here. Safe and sound. Together.

How about you, my friends?
What season of life are you in?
And how will you spend your December days?

Thanks for visiting!




Disney World At Christmastime

This was our first visit to the Most Magical Place on Earth at Christmas. Imagine combining two of your favorite, festive, happy things and Disney World all decked out for the holidays is the amazing result. Here are way too many photos of our recent family trip to see that very special mouse.

Nine...In Disney World!

My baby turned nine last week. Nine! We celebrated her during our recent trip to Disney, and she was thrilled! Flynn brings such joy to our days, and we were so happy to bring joy to her all week long.

Disney does an amazing job recognizing any special event you may be celebrating...especially birthdays!

Thankful

Thankful for family vacations together~memories made~coming home~being home~families and loved ones~food in the fridge~water and heat and clothing~a church~ a priest~our faith~friends who are really family~health~physical and mental~puppies~coffee~and friends made in this wonderful world of Blogging.

Have a wonderful, cozy Thanksgiving Day, my friends!
We will be watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, cooking a turkey with all the fixings, sharing our first Thanksgiving in this house, eating pumpkin pie, and putting up our tree.

What are your plans?
Whatever they are, wherever you'll be, enjoy every moment with your people.



Monday Morning

We interrupt our regularly scheduled posts concerning cozy November evenings, changing leaves, and cute little puppies. This week is all about a special little mouse who is having a birthday! Yep. We are taking a trip down to Florida to celebrate two very special birthdays...Mickey Mouse turning 90, and our sweet little Flynn turning 9! We are blessed to have some awesome people staying here and caring for our puppies and our home, and are looking forward to spending some family time together, as well as meeting up with some special people too. : ) In the meantime,

Selfies on the way to Mass are still a thing around here.

Friday!

Welcome to the weekend, my friends. This promises to be our first cold and possibly snowy weekend! Just in time for the cozy, dark, early evenings. It is time to fluff those cushions, pull out the soft throws, pop the popcorn, and get out the games. Cozy nights at home are back. : )

Someone helped us clean up the yard this week.

Let's Talk About...Christmas!

I know, I know. We still have bowls full of Halloween candy stashed in the pantry. We have a delicious turkey dinner to plan and prepare. But. Christmas! 

Let's talk about Christmas, shall we?
Here are a few things you should know about Christmastime around here.

Monday Morning

It is Monday morning. The fireplace is on, adding warmth to our cozy livingroom. The washing machine is humming away, and a new week begins. Today we will do our schooling, change the bedsheets, make a good dinner of turkey loin with steamed veggies, and watch the first episode of The Holiday Baking Championship on Food Network. Yay! 

Are you tired of my leaf pictures yet???

Friday!

Happy Friday, friends. Halloween is packed up for another year, but the memories and the candy remain. Because we had trick~or~treating last weekend, our Halloween was free to celebrate however we wanted. Peyton, Flynn, and I took a late morning walk with the dogs, and enjoyed the fact that it looked exactly how Halloween should! The sky was a weird shade of pinkish orange, the leaves were blowing in the wind, and the air smelled like crunchy leaves. Do you know that smell?? It took me right back to my childhood, walking through the piles of fallen, crunchy leaves while trick~or~treating.

Halloween in our part of the world...

November

“November comes

And November goes,

With the last red berries

And the first white snows.


With night coming early,

And dawn coming late,

And ice in the bucket

And frost by the gate.


The fires burn

And the kettles sing,

And earth sinks to rest

Until next spring.”




― Clyde Watson





October slipped away last night, much like the faded leaves slip from the trees and float to the ground, their job complete for another year. We awoke to November, a month that begins in quiet and calm reflection and ends with excitement and anticipation of all things Christmas. November is a bridge of sorts, carrying us from the ordinary days of autumn to the festive ending of another year. Life passes quickly, especially if we forget to savor each and every day. So today, I choose to take a deep breath, look around, and settle into this most wonderful and cozy time of year.

Happy November, my friends!



Trick~Or~Treat



Read a spooky book ~ Eat too much candy ~ Watch a scary movie ~ And a cute one too ~Listen to some creepy music ~ Wear some orange and black ~ Drink some warm cocoa with some colored sprinkles on top ~ Today is Halloween! 












(Pinterest is all about Halloween too!)



Friday!

Here we are, my friends. Can you believe we have arrived at the last weekend of October? Take a deep breath, because the fun is about to begin! Tomorrow we start the festivities with Trick-or-Treating, followed by pumpkin carving on Sunday. 

So...this happened last weekend!

Cocoa And Cookies

This time of years lends itself to all kinds of festive fun. The evenings are cooler and longer as darkness falls sooner.  We embrace this seasonal shift by continuing simple traditions started years ago.

Just for fun!
I found these oatmeal place and bake cookies at Walmart, and the orange colored cocoa packets right
here on the McStevens website.  We will enjoy this little treat while watching one of our favorite Halloween movies...like Twitches or Halloweentown.

What are some of your family traditions, my friends?
Have a cozy day!

Pumpkin Spice Lattes And Caramel Apples

This is my time of year, my friends. Some people live for those hot summer days with barbecues and boat rides. Others wait all year for picnics in the park on a spring afternoon. Still others are all about hot coffee in the snow while skiing and sledding. Me? I enjoy few things in life as much as being inside on a blustery fall afternoon. Something about a cozy afternoon with soft throws, warm drinks, and my people together brings peace and joy to my soul. 

This Sunday was such a day. I awoke early and filled my crockpot with delicious pumpkin spice latte ingredients, turned it on, and waited for the amazing scent of fall to fill our home. Little by little, my people awoke and we enjoyed a morning together in our jammies. Marian was here, and soon we were playing games, watching movies, and drinking pumpkin spice lattes with homemade whipped cream. Later in the day, we gathered in the kitchen and made some yummy and festive caramel apples. 

Outside it was windy and cold. Inside, we were happy and cozy and warm. And blessed.


Friday!

Happy Weekend, my friends! And for those of you who share my love of  obsession with the Halloween movies...Happy Halloween Movie Day! I have loved the original Halloween forever and have waited for this movie just as long. Marian is coming up for the weekend, and yes, I have a party planned and t-shirts purchased. What can I say? I'm weird like that.

It is all fall ~ all the time ~ around here.
I broke out the boots for Mass last weekend.
My sweet bloggy friend Danielle posted almost the exact same picture on her blog right here!

Autumn Mornings

           Autumn
           Early mornings
            Steaming Pumkin Spice
            Soft throw~warm fire
           Two snuggly puppies
           So quiet
          Cozy






Pumpkin Patch 2018

Last weekend, we loaded up the cars and headed to the pumpkin patch! We visited the one we have for the past several years, even though it meant driving a bit farther, because you know me...tradition and memories, right? We were so happy my mom was with us, and we also picked up our dear friend Mary for the trip too. It was also Nicolas' first time at a pumpkin patch!








Pumpkin Patch Crew
2018

It was fun to decorate our new home for my favorite season!




Happy Happy Happy
Pumpkin Time, my friends!!!