{Board and Brush // 2022}

For our work Christmas gathering this year, we chose to go to Board and Brush again. This was our fourth consecutive year having our party here. I personally love it because it's a fun time and you get to bring home a piece that you'll actually use! I love any chance to work on some crafts. 


{Christmas Home Tour // 2022}

I've been meaning to take and share these photos for a while! I recently shared our home's exterior decorated for Christmas, so today I am sharing some of my favorite spots inside of our home. If I am being honest, my heart is getting sad knowing that this is all about to come down soon! I love this season so much! Does anyone else feel like their home looks so bare after the holidays? I sure will miss these twinkling lights. 


One of my favorite Christmas traditions is to drive around and look at lights. After we visited Santa's Country Christmas, we dropped off my in-laws at home and then drove around some nearby neighborhoods' Christmas lights. Then we drove to see our downtown area all light up! I love where we live so much! 


We tried out a new Christmas light drive-through this year. Nate's mom had seen it on Facebook and it looked so neat. And, it was! It was a "Country" Christmas type of place so there were animals galore, along with lights and buildings with Christmas exhibits. It was so pretty and I loved the variety it offered. 

{Friends Christmas Gathering // 2022}

 I mentioned in my post about Nate's work party that we had a pretty close-knit group of friends. It's been so beautiful to see these friendships form and deepen over the last year. We are really like one big family just doing life together. All of the guys work together and the wives have become the best of friends. And as a bonus, all of our kids get along so well and are friends. We had a "Friendsmas" and it was one of my favorite nights with some of my favorite people.


For the last several years, I have taken off on a Friday in December so that we could go to the Gaylord Ice exhibit and tool around Grapevine. I know I say this about all of our Christmas traditions, but this is one of my favorites. This year's ICE theme was the Polar Express. Nate and I agreed that it was one of the best ones yet! 

{Nate's Annual Work Christmas Gathering // 2022}

Every year Nate's work friends gather for a Christmas celebration. There's really nothing Christmas-y about it except for the fact that it's always in the evening after their Christmas luncheon at work! However, it's such a good time just hanging out with all of his work friends. For the last two years, we've gone to Fat Daddy's. It's a great location for this crew! 

{8th Annual Family Baking Party // 2-22}

I've shared on here before but every year all the ladies on my mom's side of the family gather for a baking party.  While it is a baking party, it really is so much more. We bake treats, play games, eat some delicious food, drink some festive drinks, do a white elephant gift exchange, and so much more. My aunt chooses a theme each year and then that's what all the decorations/games/gifts are based off of.


{Unmet Expectations // Church}

I recently shared this on Facebook but wanted to have it here on my blog also. I know that I may need to see this reminder again one day.

{Stars Game #2}

Nate came home from work a couple Thursdays ago and asked Mason and me if we'd like to go to the Stars game! That was an immediate "yes" from Mase and me. We love the Stars game and will take any opportunity we can to go watch them!! 

{The Polar Express // 2022}

The Polar Express looked a little different for us this year. Mason opted to not ride, which meant that Nate and I wouldn't be riding either. Ty & Michelle opted out as well. It made my heart sad even though I knew this time was coming. Mason's getting older and these days are fleeting. However, there was a last-minute change in plans and I was able to go on the Polar Express.  PawPaw gave me his tickets because Nana wanted me to come and take pictures. 

{The Grinch's Lair // 2022}

No trip to Palestine is complete without visiting the Grinch's Lair!! Ever since I captured this photo of Mason and the Grinch, they've had a pretty great bond! Over the years we have gotten to know the owners and love to see them each Christmas season! Mason even got to play a part in the Grinch's Lair one year

{Palestine 2022 // Camping & Around town}

We have been traveling to Palestine, TX since 2015 for a weekend full of Christmas fun! We camp (in the camper), shop the antique stores, have lunch at the same restaurant, visit the Grinch, and ride the Polar Express! Each year brings new memories and fun. It's one of my favorite weekends of the year.


{Go Stars!! // Mason's first hockey game}

A couple weeks ago, we went to the Dallas Stars game with our group of friends (guys from Nate's work + their spouses) and we had so much fun! There were 20-something of us, taking up three rows in section 330! 


{Elf on the Shelf // How we do it + Planning}

Let me preface this by saying that Mason is still a believer. I'm holding on as long as I can and will do everything in my power to be a magic maker for him! With that being said, I've shared on the blog before about how we do the Elf on the Shelf around here. Our elves are used to encourage good behavior, help bring extra magic to the season, teach random acts of kindness, etc.,  all while pointing Mason back to Jesus and the reason for the season.  Sure, our elves may get a little silly at times but they are not here to make messes and bring mischief. They are used as a tool to spread light and love throughout the Christmas season. 

{Christmas Magic // Max, Millie, & Cubbie // 2022}

They're back...

{Branson, MO Trip - Part 3 // Around Town & Celebrity Car Museum // 2022}

On Saturday, we decided to head to the shops downtown in Branson. I wanted to see a specific area I had seen in pictures. I later realized that we weren't even in the right spot. That's okay, we still enjoyed our time/day.

{Branson, MO Trip - Part 2 // Silver Dollar City // 2022}

Next up on our Branson trip was Silver Dollar City!! We've read that no trip to Branson (during Christmas time) was complete without a stop to Silver Dollar City! And after seeing so many photos, I knew they had to be right. Over 6.5 million Christmas lights? Yes, please!! We loaded up in our vehicles and headed to SDC, which was just a few miles away. As we are approaching we see signs that say "all parking lots full - come back after 6:30 pm," Excuse me? What???? We had just purchased almost $300 in tickets for the park for that specific day...


{Branson, MO Trip - Part 1 // Road Trip & Bass Pro // 2022}

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to visit Branson at Christmas time. I've always seen pictures of how beautiful everything looks around this time of year and it looked like a place I needed to experience. Christmas is so special to my heart and my favorite time of year. So, this year we made that happen!! 

{December 2022 // Goals)

 Last month I shared some goals on the blog for probably the first time. Well, the first time in a long time. I think I might keep this up! Here's a look at both what I accomplished/didn't as well as new goals for the month of December. 

{Thanksgiving // 2022}

We had a lovely Thanksgiving this year. We celebrated the holiday at Nate's parent's house with his entire family, aunt, and Grandmother. It was a sweet day filled with precious moments. I didn't get to see my parents & siblings this year and while that made me a bit sad, I knew they were exactly where they needed to be. My dad was in Tennessee celebrating Thanksgiving with his dad. I know that filled his heart to the brim and so my heart was happy for them. We weren't able to travel to Tennessee this year due to work. I had to work Mon-Wednesday and then had to work 3-4 hours on Thanksgiving morning. My heart was there in spirit! 

Nenaw & her boys


 Christmas lights just make my heart so happy! I love pulling up to the house in the evening and seeing it all lit up! This year we opted to buy new Christmas lights for the exterior of the house.  I think we have been using the same set of lights since we bought the house (in 2007).  It was time! While I love looking at all lights, I love all white for our home. Nate was so kind to get them up before Thanksgiving so that I could enjoy them longer!! 


{Currently // December 2022}

Linking up with Jennifer for the "currently" series. For December, we are sharing what we are currently loving, gifting, wrapping, hoping, and attending. 

{ADVENT // 2022}

Advent to the Christian family is a time to prepare our hearts for the celebration of the birth of Christ. It reminds us to set aside some time during the busyness of the season and to reflect on the miracle that is Jesus. He is the reason for the season. 

If I am being honest, we do many different types of Advent calendars around here.  There's something special about counting down to Christmas in different ways that make my heart so incredibly happy! Of course,  the most important is a scripture calendar. We do several of those along with a Lego Advent, candy advent, and sometimes a book advent. Here's a look at our Advent calendars for 2022 and how we do the Advent season.