on christmas eve

It’s Christmas Eve, and as I type this — with my hands smelling of butter and vanilla — the pumpkin pies are baking in the oven, the cornbread dressing has been prepared and is awaiting its final bake tomorrow, the sugar cookies for Santa have been decorated, there is a fresh batch of fudge cooling on the counter, and the kids are riding their bikes outside.

It’s unseasonably warm — close to 80 degrees this last week. I’ve done my fair share of complaining about the warmth, but truthfully, it’s great weather for sending the kids outside to play. And, boy have mine needed to get out and run some energy off.

Our Elf on the Shelf, Ollie, has been probably been filling Santa’s ear with enough fodder for years to come. Madeline has been the sweetest child ever, but Oliver…well, Oliver is a boy and he’s five. That’s probably all I need to say for you to understand what we’re going through. Ollie the Elf got ticked off this morning at Oliver’s behavior and took a hike back to the North Pole earlier than planned. Turns out that Ollie leaving early seems to have helped matters some.

I’m just thankful that the Elf finally had a positive impact on behavior. We’ve sure waited long enough.

So, tomorrow is Christmas. What I’m most looking forward to is spending tomorrow with my family. The kids will wake us up early, but the excitement on their faces as they open their presents and dig through their stockings will be worth any amount of aggravation from lost sleep. My parents and in-laws will come over for an afternoon meal, filled with more food than any of us can eat. I’ll be thinking of my sweet brother, who won’t be with us tomorrow but who I’ll hopefully get to see again in the spring.

The beauty of Christmas is that there are no expectations for the day, other than to relax, enjoy each others’ company, feel blessed, and of course, to eat well.

And, of course, we’ve mastered the eating well part.

My wish to you is that — whether you’re celebrating Christmas or not — you enjoy a day filled with love, joyfulness, beauty, and peace. Thank you for being a part of my life. I’m grateful to you for that.


*Photos by Shandon of Lifeprints Photography.



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11 Responses to “our yellowstone summer vacation”

  1. Mary Anne — July 2, 2014 @ 11:30 pm

    Would love to see and hear about itinerary.,Scott and I are planning a trip in the next year or so and would love to get your destinations.

  2. Kathryn — July 3, 2014 @ 5:51 am

    That last picture – I could stare it at for hours and hours. Such a sense of peace. I’m so glad you had a wonderful trip xo

  3. Mallory — July 3, 2014 @ 8:11 am

    I keep staring at the last picture. Those clouds and the blueness of the sky and the reflections in the water and the land, rolling on for what seems like forever…it is crazy to think that the picture doesn’t do the landscape justice. Glad you had a wonderful trip!

  4. Di — July 3, 2014 @ 9:21 am

    Sounds perfectly wonderful. Would love to hear about your itenerary and see your pictures. I don’t know quite why this post brought tears to my eyes but it did. I believe your sentiments just rolled off the screen and into my heart, because they were heartfelt.

  5. Natasha — July 3, 2014 @ 10:57 am

    It looks beautiful and so very calming. I’d love to read of your itinerary – I have many dream trips, and Yellowstone is most definitely one of them.

  6. Colleen — July 3, 2014 @ 1:30 pm

    That sky! WOW!

  7. cherie — July 3, 2014 @ 3:20 pm

    seems like a good trip for the soul 🙂 I’d love your itinerary as well – it’s on my list to take the kids though mine are older

  8. Paula — July 3, 2014 @ 5:07 pm

    I’m so happy to read that this vacation was such a wonderfully perfect success for you and your family. Your photos are beautiful and the accompanying words are poetic. I hope you do post your itinerary. It worked out great for your family and I’m sure other families would benefit from it as well.
    What a magical way to have started off your summer!

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