hey Fort Worth, you’re a lot colder than I remember

unnamed-2Oh hey Fort Worth, you’re a lot colder than I remember! Last time I visited was in November when it felt like SoCal weather, but this trip is a different story. Still, I love the feelings winter brings, that sense of encouraged hibernation and coziness. I’ve had such a relaxing few days already, and it’s just the start of break. Below are a few photos from around town if you’d like to see!img_2328img_2303img_2268img_2266img_2253img_2252unnamedimg_2364img_2346img_2323img_2270img_2457img_2456img_2447img_2428img_2433img_2434img_2390

A Little Thanksgiving Film

I stalked everyone like a crazy paparazzi this break, which resulted in this little Thanksgiving film! Even though they were probably annoyed with my incessant filming, I think they are ultimately grateful to have these special moments captured in perpetuity. I hope you enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

img_5469How was your Thanksgiving? I’m still recovering from a food coma today. I had a great time with family friends, and someone brought the most adorable puppy (above) I’ve ever seen. We had fun taking way too many photos with it 🙂 Below are ten things I’m particularly grateful for this year:

  1. Family- not being with my immediate family this year made me extra appreciative and grateful for them.
  2. Sunshine- yesterday was the perfect weather, sunny and 75.
  3. Girlfriends- they are the sweetest.
  4. Delicious food
  5. Brothers- miss my brothers!
  6. Dessert- especially cranberry bars
  7. A home
  8. The opportunity to attend university
  9. Gracious hosts and hostesses
  10. Photography 🙂

To My Mother On Mother’s Day

21919_4865068426884_1815226297_n.jpgThe other day I ran into one of my neighbors from my childhood home. She asked about my family and how everyone was doing and when I mentioned my mother, she said, “Ah, I remember watching your mother sitting out on the cult de sac. She was holding a baby in her lap, reading a book, and making sure you and your brother were playing nicely all at the same time. She always remained so calm and collected, no matter what!”

This memory did not surprise me one bit. My mother has always been a calming presence everywhere she goes, yet still manages to get a million things done. She is the only one who can talk me down from whatever ledge I’ve worked myself onto that day, and knows me well enough to talk sense into my head when all sense is gone! She brings perspective, focus and energy to whatever she does, yet never overwhelms or calls attention to herself.

Once when I asked her how she does it all she said, “My highs aren’t too high and my lows aren’t too low.” She takes the middle road. Her mild disposition helps get her through the rocky times and brings stability to those in her life who tend towards the more dramatic (AKA myself). But she is also a great cheerleader when something wonderful happens, and knows how to throw a killer party!

This is her first Mother’s Day without her own mother, something that is utterly unimaginable to me. So I want to say it loud and clear while I still can– HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY MOM! You were made for this exhausting, all-consuming, often thankless job. I hope it has been rewarding and that we kids make you proud. You deserve to be celebrated every day.12036433_10207725380994838_1930396417096778528_n.jpg

A Christmas Quiz

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Happy “Christmas Eve” Eve! How are things friends? I am writing this from my couch at home while watching a movie marathon. Life is good. One of my favorite blogs Unlocking Kiki posted a little “Christmas Quiz” to give her readers a better idea of how she celebrates the season. I loved hearing about her thoughts and traditions in more detail, so I thought I’d do the same for you! Enjoy:

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Wrapping paper is my preferred medium for gift concealment. I just love ripping it open layer by layer- the suspense adds to the surprise!

2. Real tree or artificial?
Real tree all the way baby. My family has never had an artificial tree, because no matter how practical they are, they just don’t smell the same!

3. When do you put up the tree?
Usually the week after Thanksgiving. I wasn’t able to help put it up this year because I was away at school 😦

4. When do you take the tree down?
Usually the day after Christmas! If we leave it up longer, it just reminds me that it’s not Christmas time anymore.

5. Favorite gift received as a child?
A Barbie dream house when I was eight or nine! I can still remember playing with it for hours on Christmas afternoon.

6. Hardest person to shop for?
My dad. I want his gift to be personal but also useful!

7. Easiest person to shop for?
My little brother. We have many several interests, so it’s not hard to think of something he’d enjoy.

8. Favorite Christmas film?
Elf. Always. Favorite quote: “I’m sorry I ruined your lives and crammed 11 cookies into the VCR.”

9. Favorite Christmas food?
Potato pancakes, or Latkes. We eat them for breakfast on Christmas morning, and they are pure cheesy, fluffy goodness.

10. Colored or clear lights on the tree?
This year colored, last year clear. Just depends on our mood when we decorate!

11. Favorite Christmas song?
“Baby It’s Cold Outside.” Never gets old.

12. Travel at Christmas time or stay home?
Both are great, but I actually love to travel somewhere cold and snowy at Christmas time. Some years we go to Iowa or Nebraska to visit my dad’s extended family, and I always enjoy the cold weather!

13. Favorite Christmas cookie?
Peanut butter blossoms– peanut butter balls covered in sugar with a Hershey’s kiss stuck in the middle. They are holy, I tell you.

14. Favorite Christmas tradition?
Decorating the house, especially setting up the miniature Christmas village!

15. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Morning, for sure.

16. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
The crazy traffic in the area. I live near the airport, which makes it ten times worse.

17. What do you want for Christmas this year?
A polaroid camera!

Well friends, I hope you learned a little more about me and my Christmas traditions. What are a few of your Christmas traditions? I’d love to hear, and have a happy “Christmas Eve” Eve.

P.s. Photo from here.

Deck the Halls & Happy Weekend

IMG_2540Hello friends! How are you? I am finally home after a long semester, and man does it feel good. Home is always wonderful, but it’s even more so this time of year with all the festive decorations! I helped deck the halls a few weeks ago after Thanksgiving, but wasn’t around to help choose and decorate the tree. It was a fun surprise to walk in and see it twinkling, full to the brim with beautiful (and a few odd) ornaments! Below are a few pictures if you’d like to see:
IMG_2534IMG_2539^I miss playing piano when I’m away at school!IMG_2537^My great grandmothers nativity scene.IMG_2553^I picked this out for my mom at the Heidelberg Christmas market last year!IMG_2555IMG_2554IMG_2559IMG_2542^There she is.IMG_2543IMG_2544IMG_2546^Mine is the red one with the two angels because, you know, I’m an angel :pIMG_2550IMG_2547^Our snowman collection always lives on top of the mantel.IMG_2594IMG_2588IMG_2582IMG_2572IMG_2552IMG_2557^A lovely sunday school ornament featuring my little brother. Wasn’t he cute? What happened? ;pIMG_2567^Presents! Hopefully the big one’s for me.IMG_2608^Even our couch is red! We are always prepared for Christmas.

Tonight I am seeing Star Wars with a friend, so I am avoiding social media in fear of spoilers. What are you up to this weekend? Have a good one.