Our December 2014 Pt. 1

I have to admit that the end of December was tough for me. Work was more difficult than normal and I shed some tears. I wasn’t excited about Christmas or the birth of the Christ child and I felt a lot of guilt over that. And now the new year has started and I’m wondering what it has in store for me. I’m going to spend the first half of the year fasting in different ways and I’m praying that God will use it as a time of worship and preparation for what’s coming in my life, whether things will change externally or not.

Anyway, besides that, it was a good month! Lots of time with friends and family and food!

At the beginning of the month, Monica had her annual ornament exchange. Mama came up and spent the night and Sarah and Pease came. We had a lot of fun and we always strategize to get what we want. It usually works out!

We also had Ryan’s work Christmas party and our Sunday School Christmas party, both of which I took zero pictures at. In the moment, I never want to stop and take a picture (plus, I feel a little awkward doing that), but then I end up wishing I had. Oh, well. It did all end up working out that every Christmas party we had was on Friday and then we had Saturday night to chill and hang out. And lest I forget, watch tons of basketball. And by that I mean Ryan watches while I read.

Of course, we put Jolene in an Arizona t-shirt. She actually tolerated it, unlike the Falcons jersey Ryan put her in. And yes, she always sits back on her butt like that with her legs kicked out. Other people think it’s hilarious, but I just always wonder how their dog sits on the sofa…. Isn’t that normal?

Sometimes I worry we won’t like our kid as much as we like the dog.

Of course, my favorite party of the year is always Kathleen and Avery’s Tacky Sweater party. This year is actually the first year Ryan didn’t have an excuse to get out of it (jokes) and we had a great time!

I think this picture may make our Christmas card for 2015. It’s too bad Jolene’s not in it because then it would be a sure thing. I probably shouldn’t spoil the surprise, but let’s be real. No one is going to remember that. Ryan is totally obsessed with that sweatshirt though and I’m quite sure it will be seen a lot more this December.

Because I am a lame blogger, I use the same picture collage that I posted on Instagram here. But that bottom picture is totally my favorite ever and I’m thinking of having it blown up to put over the toilet in our hall bath because Ryan likes having things to look at while he’s in there.

The next night I made Ryan take me to Tanaka because we hadn’t had it in a while and it seemed like a good way to kick off Christmas. (He got a vest for Christmas when Monica took him shopping and when he wears that vest with his hat and the beard, oh man. He’s the cutest thing.)

Christmas Eve was spent at church with Pete and Monica and then dinner with them and Kylie and Mama R.

Christmas morning, we woke up in our house and opened presents. I got Ryan socks and he got me a trip to the Grand Canyon so we were both happy.

We went up to Ryan’s parents and had breakfast at Waffle House, which is our new tradition. It’s awesome and totally one of my favorite things. Those hashbrowns are the bomb dot com. (I realize no one says that anymore, but it was the first thing that came to mind and I’m sticking with it.)

This was another one of my Christmas presents from Ryan. I’m somewhat obsessed with it.

All of Ryan’s family came in for Christmas and we had so much fun with the kids. After dinner, Ryan and I went downstairs and wrestled with them. Too much fun. Until Ryan took their side and helped them get my shoes off to tickle my feet. And while I was tickling Carter’s feet, things got a little crazy and he kicked me in the face. Totally worth it though, when he came up to me later, put his arms around me and said, “Aunt Sloan is my favorite.” Kid, you can kick me in the face anytime.

Well, that wraps up our month through Christmas Day and this is long enough. Stay tuned for part 2!!



2014 Christmas Card

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is all of the Christmas cards! I love sending and receiving them. Of course, this year, we got to include our newest family member.

(I do wish that I had put the year on there. I will have to remember that for next year.)

First Christmas in Our New House

Our first Christmas in our house! Crazy! I didn’t do a ton of decorating, because we just don’t have a ton of stuff to decorate. But I did do the big stuff- wreath, mantle, tree. Along with a few other things like towels in the bathroom. Mama used to do stuff like that and it just made me happy. My new thing I want is Christmas china. Maybe one day.

The only thing we did outside was a wreath. Next year, we’re going to have to step up our exterior game because it looks so dark and dreary at night. But I love our live wreath and I even like the bow I made for it, although it probably needs to be bigger.

Our TV unit has this connecting piece that we’ve been procrastinating doing. Ryan didn’t think he would like it and I thought we were going to have to take everything down to put it all together. However, I knew I wanted to use it like a mantle because we don’t have a fireplace, so it forced us to do it. And it wasn’t as hard to put together as I thought and Ryan really likes it. We should have done it months ago. Oh, well.

But like I said, I’m using this as our mantle. It’s not ideal because it’s deeper than a regular mantle, but it works. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.

Trees are just impossible to take pictures of. They never look as pretty as they do in real life. This year, I layered regular lights with bigger, outdoor lights and I love how it turned out. I’m of a heritage that believes you can never have too many lights on a tree.

I didn’t have tags when I bought this tree, so I used post-its for now. Classy, I know. I do try to coordinate all of my wrapping. I’ve bought so much after Christmas at Target for 75% off that I’m never going to run out. And the cords are a mess, I know. Type B+ over here- lights are perfect, but the cords are a disaster.

This little vignette on the dining table is probably my favorite part of the entire house. Love the old ornaments, those tumbling Santas that were Mimi’s, that little reindeer in my Christmas cactus, the whole thing.

We hung our Christmas cards in the window of the kitchen. I love how it looks, but it’s impossible to take a picture of. And we’ve already gotten more since I took this picture. I may need to add an extra string below.

And that concludes our little house tour! Y’all come back, now, ya hear?

Christmas and New Years 2013

So is it too “late” to do a Christmas blog post? Well, if it is, they’re my memories and I want to remember them.

Because we spent Thanksgiving with my family, we spent Christmas with Ryan’s. I took embarrassingly few pictures, so most of these are “borrowed” from Facebook.

I worked 8 days in a row up to Christmas Eve. It was crazy, but good. I was glad to have my week off after that. Ryan went to Virginia to see his dad and family up there. He got back Christmas Eve. Present buying was stressful and I have vowed that this year all of my shopping will be done before Thanksgiving. Here’s hoping.

Christmas Eve we went to church with Pete and Monica and then out to dinner at Milton’s. Mama R came and met us at dinner and Kylie met us on her way home. It was delicious, but the two appetizers at the bar kinda killed my appetite.

We spent the night at Pete and Monica’s. Christmas morning, we were trying to figure out what to have for breakfast and decided to go to Waffle House. It was awesome and I think we may have found a new tradition.

After breakfast, Ryan and I ran home to wrap all of our Christmas presents. Never again will I do that.

We then went to Yia Yia and Papou’s for presents and lunch. This is the only picture I took.

It was fun and the food was delicious, of course. We had lamb and pastiza (I have no clue how to spell it, but it was some kind of pasta dish. “You don’t spell it son, you eat it!”) which is not our traditionally Christmas, but it was fun to have something new.

The next day, Ryan worked and I slept in and laid around like a sloth. We went to dinner with Brendan and Megan, who were in town from San Fran and then went to Jillian’s for the oyster roast.

The next day, we headed to Greensboro and went to visit Tori and the Fagan’s and then went to dinner with Mama. Saturday, we got up early to go see Lala and Big Daddy and then head to Charlotte to see Mama’s family. Eula has gotten so big! We ate dinner at a pizza place that was nice a quiet.

It was a little weird and sad because Mimi wasn’t there, though.

The next morning, we woke up and went to see Papa again before we left. He’s so funny. I’ve started asking him all of these random questions that I want to know about him. Like how all 12 of them ate dinner at the same time while he was growing up. (They sat on benches and there were always more than 12 of them because the farm hands ate with them too. I just think it must have been so chaotic and fun.)

After that, we got back on the road for Jacksonville. The Dawgs were playing in the Gator Bowl down there, so we went and relaxed for a few days beforehand. Mostly, we walked on the beach and read. Mama and I went shopping one afternoon. It was perfect, except I wish we’d had one more day.

This picture is a tribute to all of Iz’s “creeper” pics she took in Europe.

I finished one book, read two more and started another on this trip. Success. I actually read part of every single book I brought, which never happens.

New Years Eve, we went to dinner with Mama and Daddy and some of their friends. We went to a few bars after and were in a cab home at 12:15. Have I mentioned that I’m not a NYE fan?

Taking pictures in a dark bar isn’t easy.

The game was the next day, so we piled in and headed to the stadium. Of course, as we were walking in it started raining and didn’t stop the entire game. And then we lost. It was lame, but none of us really cared that much.

After the game, we headed back home to real life. I started my new book (LOVE IT) and it was back to work the next day.

A very successful holiday, indeed. Family, food, relaxing, football, shopping, reading. I’m not sure I could have asked for anything more.

Our First Christmas Card

Last year about this time, I was addressing our save the dates and Ryan and I were talking about Christmas cards. I told him how excited I was that next year we would be married and could send out Christmas cards together. But he told me that he didn’t want to do that and I promptly freaked out. Later, he told me he was joking, but he couldn’t believe how much I freaked out, so he kept going.

Needless to say, we sent out a Christmas card this year.

Christmastime is here!

Merry Christmas from our family!

I didn’t go too crazy with Christmas decorating this year. For one, we are in a small apartment and don’t have much room or a lot of stuff to decorate with. Plus, the season is kinda short this year and Christmas is my busiest time at work. So just simple decorations were the order of the day.

This is our “front door.” The wreath reminds me of something my grandmother would have had in her house at Christmas, so that’s why I love it. It’s not perfect, but it is sentimental.

On the other side of our door, we’ve been hanging our Christmas cards as we get them. Ryan is in charge of that. (I still need to finish addressing ours! Next year, hopefully I will order before Thanksgiving. But probably not, let’s be real.) I love seeing all of these sweet faces.

This little vignette is in our “hall.” I love that we can see it from the sofa. I painted the saying last year and the glass trees are from Target after Christmas last year- 70% off!

The little red flowers are left over from our wedding. They were on pins for everyone to wear. Lots of time spent making those, but I loved it!

Annnd the living room! I just hung some felt ball garland from West Elm over our pictures to make it a little festive.

Another glass tree with a football helmet topper. (Ryan put it on there and I just left it.) More red flowers and I love the reindeer in the plant. An easy way to add some cheer without having to change out all of my regular stuff.

And the other side of the room.

Our little tinsel tree. I love how it reflects the lights on it. I’m a “real tree” person, but when I got this one out and set it up in less than 3 minutes, it sure was nice. I also just added a print from Lindsey Letters above the tv and the Noel is from Target. The little nativity beneath the tree was a gift from a friend at work.

I bought us stockings from West Elm and hung them on the book case. Ryan is not a fan, but I like the “homemade” look. I just wanted stockings and couldn’t find any that I liked very much.

These are two of my favorite ornaments.

Thanks for visiting!

New Christmas Traditions

Being that this is our first married holiday season, Ryan and I are am trying to establish some of our own traditions. First up, I decided that we would each pick two Christmas movies that we would watch every year. Some people have been talking about their favorite Christmas movies and are listing 20 movies that they watch every year. Um, yeah. I’m more realistic than that. We may not even get around to watching all four of these movies. But that is the goal. And of course, we will probably watch a few more than this, but these are the ones we want to watch every year.

My picks:

Ryan’s picks:

I’m trying to think of a few more that we can do as a new family. Church on Christmas Eve, driving around to look at lights with hot chocolate and decorating a tree together are a few others that I’ve thought of.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!