November 30, 2015

These Moments


This year I am feeling rather emotional about the holidays. With Maddie's wedding next October, there will be a lot of changes. We are so used to our little family and traditions. It's been just us for a long time and while in the beginning I wished so hard for big family gatherings, eventually I got used to our party of 4. It's hurting my Momma's heart a little to think of the changes ahead of us, while at the same time I am just so thankful for the memories and our ridiculously tight bond.


I know it will all be just fine and I have to adjust my thinking but I'm rubbed a little raw at the idea of it all right now. Her guy, Daniel, has celebrated so many occasions with us for the last five years so it's not like we aren't used to having him around. We are. Plus we kind of love the big lug. But still, it will be different.


So I find myself just wanting to tuck the memories from this last Christmas, that belongs to just the four of us, deep in my heart for safe keeping.


This has been a crazy month for us, hence the lack of blog posts. Plus my laptop and I were in a deep spat. I'm feeling happy to say goodbye both to November and to my old Windows laptop and to say hello to December and the world of my new Apple laptop. I feel like I'm learning a new language. One that has it's own alphabet. For instance you wouldn't believe how long it took me to find the pictures I just uploaded from my camera. I've got some serious googling ahead of me.


We kicked off the Christmas season on Sunday by visiting my favorite tree farm. Of all time. If you are local, you've got to head to Dull's. I'm telling you, it was the very best day.


I'm so thankful for these girls of mine.


This may have been my favorite Sunday of all time. At the very least my favorite Sunday in recent memory. I was so happy that the weather didn't cooperate with us on Friday or Saturday so we were forced to wait which allowed Maddie to go with us.


This is a pretty magical place and it was just right for putting us all in the spirit.


 A boy and his dog.



A girl and her cow. This was taken right after Jane the cow give her a big kiss on the face. Her name isn't really Jane the cow. That's just what Maddie imagines her name is. Maddie was ecstatic. I thought she might cry with happiness. I don't know if I've mentioned how strange our family is.


 See? Did you think I was kidding?


 Jane. She was the cow version of Millie. You see it right?


We came home and watched A Christmas Story, had a feast of leftovers for dinner and decorated the tree.


And then the yearly tradition of sorting, shaking and stacking presents began.


This has been going on since Emma was two and first become obsessed with stacking and sorting things. I remember vividly that Christmas and how those presents were her favorite toys leading up to the big day. She must have been so disappointed when they all got opened. I love that this tradition is still going strong.


This house is decorated, the presents are stacked and I am looking forward to the weeks ahead of me with a joyful heart and very little on my to do list or calendar. It makes all of the work of November worth it. I hope that these days will be filled with family, friends, laughter, baking, movies, crafting and soaking up every moment that we can.

22 comments:

  1. looks like such a lovely day, jen! i've loved watching the holiday glimpses of your home pop up on instagram... and that tree farm looks amazing! i've always wanted a live tree... this year won't be the year for it... milo won't leave ours alone... ornament-less again this year... so sad!

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  3. Oh my word -- LOVE this post and your most adorable family and traditions! Rather happy to say goodbye to a nasty old November too! :) Yay for December!

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  4. Your family is adorable, that's all there is to it.

    By the way, you have all of your gifts purchased & wrapped?? Whew!

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  5. all of your wrapped and stacked christmas presents are making me feel very holiday challenged :)!!

    love all of the pics, especially those of emma!! she looks like the heroine of some fabulous british adventure/fantasy/boarding school novel-- she is awesome!

    looking forward to all of your christmas creating and wonder making posts!

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  6. all of your wrapped and stacked christmas presents are making me feel very holiday challenged :)!!

    love all of the pics, especially those of emma!! she looks like the heroine of some fabulous british adventure/fantasy/boarding school novel-- she is awesome!

    looking forward to all of your christmas creating and wonder making posts!

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  7. What a wonderful post, Jen. Yes- even when you love the newest "members" of the family- it really does change things when they become a permanent part of your family. You will do just fine as you find your new normal. What great pictures. I have to tell my daughter about that place -not sure if they got their tree yet or not...She sure loves living in Carmel....xo Diana

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  8. What a wonderful family day! Looks like everyone had a great time!

    Judy

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  9. Hi Jen,
    Oh change is hard, but your little family will grow and you will still be 'tight'...if your photos and posts are any indication I get the sense that you are one amazing mom!
    It looks like you all had a wonderful day, and I love that you got to bring Millie along to! And I do think that Jane is Millie's sister from another mother! ;)
    Love that old truck, so amazing for your photos!
    Oh Apple, well, I don't like change so I have not taken the Apple leap yet! Google will be your friend for awhile but you will figure it all out!
    And your tree is beautiful all up and decorated!
    Have a wonderful week!
    Kimberley

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  10. Goodness. Presents under the tree already. You are organized. The tree farm looks like such a lovely place. Definitely plenty of photo opportunities. Love that old truck and the barn. Millie is just the sweetest thing and cow kisses, how wonderful! Sometimes the change that takes place when our kids grow up is the hardest. This will be the first Christmas that my college boy doesn't come for a visit. He's going to California to spend time with some of his buddies from high school. And next year, my youngest will be gone. Lots of change coming in 2016. Happy holidays!

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  11. I certainly understand your feelings. We were always such a tight knit clan too. People grow up move away, thankfully find a soulmate, and come back for short visits. It seems time is measured according to when someone is either coming to visit or we're going there. I guess this comes with being a bit of a homebody and loving traditions. I never decorate the outside until right after Thanksgiving. Today's the day!!!!! Thank you for the beautiful photos and thoughts.

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  12. Hi Jen, thanks for sharing your day! It really touched my heart, since my oldest son will be leaving for college next fall and I'm also working on my feelings of things changing. Enjoy the holidays together creating wonderful memories to cherish. Milena

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  13. Such a great post with so many memories to cherish. My heart goes out to you for the changes that are about to come. We've been through so many in the past couple years. Life goes on. Not better, not worse, just different. It's all good,

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  14. Your daughters are so lovely, just like their mom!! This made me a little sad, too.....it's hard to watch our baby girls grow up, isn't it?

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  15. Life moves on and we create new traditions. When our children were out of college, we began a tradition of family ski trips for Christmas. This year we are all (son, wife, daughter, boyfriend, Steve & I) going to Kauai for Christmas - no shopping, no gifts, no wrapping, but we are looking forward to new traditions with a larger family.

    I have been a Mac person forever. One trick that it took me a long time to discover was how to do a screen shot (PC's have a key). Shift Command 4 will give you bull's eye. Just drag that bull's eye over the area you want to take a shot of and click. Also, just google "how do you ... on a Mac" and you willfind how to do everything you need.

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  16. it all looks so wonderful, i just love reading about your days and your little village it always puts me in a cozy peaceful mood :)
    i hope your christmas season is a special one

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  18. Jen, change is hard and sometime all change comes at once so making it just that little harder. Trust me I so hear you, Mr Mc leaving the Army after 24 years last year was a change we both struggled with very much ....gosh I'm getting teary just thinking about it now. But remember change also gives way for new and wonderful experiences & traditions ....some you may never thought of before.
    Anna xx

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  19. What a great tree farm. I miss going to them, but sadly we don't have a good one here.

    The last years of the kids being home is always so hard. Soon it will be my Annie's turn, so like you, I'm treasuring every moment.

    (((hugs)))
    rue

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  20. Lovely family photos that bring us back to simpler times. It's hard to "share" your children with their in-laws during holidays, but I remind myself how lucky they are to have extended family on both sides to support and love them. We often have holidays on the weekends following the actual holiday, and that's fine with me as long as we can be together. I know you'll find a way to make it work, because you've taught your children well, Jen. Enjoy all the special moments together- but I don't have to tell you that!

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  21. Oh change is hard...especially when it involves a child.
    The Christmas tree farm looks amazing and the last picture of your family is beautiful.

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  22. I wonder if it's too much to ask of Brent to Christmas tree shop at your place next year and drive a tree back to Mississippi?!?! That is seriously the dreamiest looking tree farm I've seen! Also, so glad you shared your feelings about this Christmas--I remember feeling similar thoughts when I got married (the oldest of four) and while the adjustment is sometimes tricky, the joy of our extended family growing with each new addition has been such a blessing! (But I do the same thing about making memories at certain stages to hold on to!)

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