"By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge it's rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." Proverbs 24:3-4

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Wonderful Christmas

Hello again!

I really hope and pray you had a nice Christmas!

Where did you go?

...........

What did you eat?

...........

Can you believe it's all over?!

All of the hours of forethought and preparation, and just like that, it's done! 


I really tried to slow down and savor every minute!

But that's hard to do when company's coming!!!

I set my table...


My Roman, who's eight, made the place cards:


Didn't he do a great job?!

If you read my last post, you'll know that my first attempt with these flowers was a giant fail! Haha...

When I got the second batch, I decided to try a different approach.

I put them in the fridge overnight.


If you're decorating with fresh flowers, I'll give you this helpful tip.

I don't know the science behind it. I just know from personal experience, that I can get fresh flowers to last days longer if they're given some fridge time first. 

I put the arrangement together Christmas Eve morning:


And once I was happy with it, I placed it on the table:


YES!

This is how I want it!

(If you're stubborn enough, you'll usually get what you want. Haha... I tend to always think that I know exactly how I want things, and will do whatever it takes to achieve it. That has proven to be both a good and bad thing in my life, hahaha!!!)

Aside from fussing with flowers, I was also making a Christmas Eve morning breakfast:


And preparing the food for our Christmas Eve dinner:


Of course, to have the happiest Christmas, you need to have Children in the mix...

Licking beaters:


Playing in the snow:


And stringing lights in their room:


It takes all these little moments, all woven together, to make a wonderful Christmas!

And, because at Christmas, too much of a good thing is wonderful... We need to add on top of all this, some good-quality family time!

The ham's been cooking, the drinks are set out, the fireplace is on, the back steps have been swept...

Time to light the candles! 


They'll be pulling in soon!


We're ready!


All of our hard work was well worth it!

We had a wonderful Christmas...






Puppy was begging...


Cousins were playing...


And we all gathered around to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus!


Christmas morning we got dressed up and went to church:


Then it was off to Micah's parents' house to visit with his family:


I found time to snuggle with some kiddos before it was time to head home...


Yes, we had a wonderful Christmas!




How about you?

I think about all of you often, and pray that your time spent here on my blog is worthwhile to you!

I look forward to blogging in the New Year!

I love Winter and hope for my next few posts to be about enjoying Winter at home!

Until next time...

xo,

~ Courtney ~



























Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Eve Preparations

Christmas is almost here!!!

Yippee!!!!!

Are you ready?

I've been working toward getting ready for the past few days.

I'm about to crawl into bed for the night, but wanted to record some things, first. 

My table tonight looks like this:


A big improvement from just a few days ago, when it looked like this:


Yes, I had my work cut out for me!

SO much to do!!!

Where do I start?!

Well, first things first, I like to jot down an itinerary so that I have something to guide me:


My thoughts written out on paper make me feel better, like I'm not as likely to forget something!

My next step was to clear off surfaces and tables:


My mom came over one of the days. We worked together pulling dishes and silver out of the china cabinet,


and hand-washing everything:


Even the candlesticks were washed, so that they would sparkle!


Thanks for your help, Mom!

Piece by piece... each item was layered on...


My table is being set for twelve this year, but I don't have twelve of everything. So, you'll notice in these pictures that the place settings are mis-matched.

Every year I think, "I really should purchase a matching set of everything!" But then when the table is complete I notice that it's beautiful anyway!

See?...



The kids had fun helping me set up the "kids' table".


We played Christmas music while we worked...


And just had fun with it!!!


Ta Da!


We also have a "Little" kids' table:



"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..."

I made my annual pre-Christmas Eve run to the store for the fresh flowers:



and Birthday cake:

(Red roses have become my signature look on Christmas Eve.)


When I was paying for the cake the cashier said, "So, is it somebody's birthday?"

I said, "Well, YES! It's Jesus' birthday!"

She looked a little taken a back, but then we laughed!!!

I was thrilled with how my flowers turned out, and went to bed with my table looking like this:


But I woke up this morning to wilted hydrangeas!!!


Oh no!!!

I was SO upset!

I should've known... :( 

(I have enough experience with hydrangeas to know they are extremely fussy!)

I tried all the tricks I could in an effort to revive them,



but it was too late. 

I had to pitch them.

:( :( :(

So, I came up with this arrangement instead:


I was sad to see the hydrangeas go, (it felt like such a waste) but I couldn't stay down in the dumps for long...

A very sweet friend of mine had offered to take my kids for me today so that I could have the house to myself to work!

What a treat! And what a special friend!

She planned an art project for them to do:


And even fed them lunch before returning them home!


(Thank you, Jenni! You are a Christmas miracle! Haha...)

If all this weren't enough, she even brought me chocolate, (because she's awesome like that!) 
Good grief, I don't deserve a friend like her! 

(We've been friends since we were fifteen! Old friends make the best friends, which is a gift from the Lord!)

By this afternoon, the Lord was blessing us with this beautiful snowfall:



And I was really beginning to feel my spirit lift...

The food was prepped/ The presents wrapped... 


The bathrooms were clean/ My To-Do list accomplished...


Phew!

Things were coming together...

But I was still a little bummed over those hydrangeas, though.

 I told Micah the bad news about them when he came home from work.

He said, "Don't worry about a thing! I'll run up to the store and buy you more!"


And he did!

My hero!!!

I am one lucky girl to have so many wonderful people in my life!

I can't wait to celebrate Christmas with them tomorrow!

But for right now I think I'll stuff my face with some of Jenni's chocolate and throw myself into bed!

Have a very Merry Christmas friends!

Good night.

xo,

~Courtney~