Christmas Cookies

We’ve been all about baking and decorating Christmas cookies this year. Gosh, its honestly been years since Ive done things like this……I love how our babies bring back the joy and wonder of the Christmas season. This Christmas has been so much fun with Ezra. He’s all about the lights, snow, Polar Express, wrapping presents and of course……COOKIES!

I won’t tell you how many cookie + movie nights we’ve had……but I’ll tell you this…..we’re racking up hours [and calories].

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Christmas Tree Ornament Tradition

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Its that time of year again were we head over to Stumptown Art Studio, just walking distance from our coffee shop…..and Ezra makes his very own Christmas ornament to hang on our tree!

We started this tradition in 2012, Ezra’s first Christmas at 5 months old.

Ezra really enjoyed this activity this year. He loved picking out his ornament, which was a TRAIN of course. Our love for the Polar Express runs real deep in our family!

He wanted to make one for grandma [Reeds mom] this year….so he was really in a creative mode. I love the way he picks out his own colors, dips the brush and swirls it around in the water and makes wild strokes in every direction.

We were all pretty proud of how his ornament turned out this year! Such a fun tradition we’ve started. Between cutting down our own Christmas tree and making ornaments…..December is one of my favorite months of the year.

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Hunt and Cut 2015

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We gathered once again with friends….and hunted for the perfect Christmas tree. I leave the cutting down the tree part to Reed. It’s a lot of hard work, but he’s certainly the man for the job!

This annual Hunt and Cut has looked different for us every year [check out 2013 & 2014]. The locations and the friends who have have gathered and hunted with us have varied as well. I’ve enjoyed every single year for their own reason……all have been special….and this tradition will always hold a special place in our hearts.

This years Hunt and Cut was with the couples in our AMAZING life group [plus the Brandeberry family]. One couple had NEVER cut down a tree before- so it was wonderful to see the sparkle in their eyes as we trekked through the forest, looking for the perfect tree.

There was a fantastic sledding area for the kids…..so their laughter became the soundtrack of the day. It was perfect.

Ezra was a trooper, walking through the snow……but eventually he got tired and momma had to carry him back to the car. Oh MY ARMS!!! He’s almost getting too big to carry, but I still take the chance to hold my baby as much as he’ll let me. He was a really big help this year….he loved adventuring in the wild. He’s good at that!

It’s been a while since I’ve brought out my camera- the iPhone has been so much more convenient, but when it comes to special occasions…..I bring out the best. I always enjoy documenting our life….and the annual Hunt and Cut always delivers such beautiful and memorable moments.

We found the perfect tree. Its tall and a little more like a Charlie Brown tree, even though every year we seek out to find the fullest tree in the woods. HA. Everything looks bigger and fuller with snow on it. Right?

Our day ended at the Red Caboose, where coffee and hot chocolates were passed all around.

Im so very thankful for the fiends in our lives here in Montana.

Do you cut down your own tree? Do you put up a fake tree? Theres pros and cons to both……what is your tradition?

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Thanksgiving 2015

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The last time we were in Boise for Thanksgiving was 2011. Reed and I sat around the table with my sisters and mom….and we told them we were expecting a baby. It was a pretty exciting season for us.

This Thanksgiving looked a lot different.

Mom wasn’t at the table this year. However, I was with my sisters and I know that my mom would be happy about that.

[We also celebrated my sister & aunts birthday while we were all together…..and went bowling too!]

Our Thanksgiving table was beautiful….one of my sisters works at Pottery Barn and I loved how she decorated…..all the details were so wonderful.

I am thankful for the reconciliation that has taken place within my family this year….and I am thankful to have even more family [aunt, uncle and cousins] living in Boise now.

Although it was bittersweet…..it was good to be near the ones I love.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving !
xoxo

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12.7.15

Amy - I’m really glad to hear this….especially that there’s been reconciliation. :) God is good.

Artifact Uprising

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I’ve been a fan of Artifact Uprising since they launched their business. I love everything about their brand, their story and their vision. I mean….their tagline is incredible “Inspired By The Disappearing Beauty Of The Tangible.” They had me at that right there.

I’ve printed the wood block set, as well as the Instagram Photo Book [for Ezras 52 week series]. Both products were beautiful.

My most recent print project was the Square Photo Print Set.

This project is a special one. I usually print gifts for other people…..but this one was for me. I printed images that I took on our drive to/from Montana to Boise…..right after I received the call that my mom passed away.

The drive was heartbreaking. There were moments of silence and tears and sometimes laughter….as we talked about my mom.

Since this was my 4th rodeo in the past 5 years…..dealing with the loss of a loved one….I knew that I needed to focus on Gods Word. It’s the only place that brings peace and keeps me from losing my mind. I know what I need most in times like this….and that is to focus on Eternity, otherwise….this situations can easily be turned inside out and upside down. Its a slippery slope……and so this project was born.

I began taking photos of the landscapes throughout the drive. All shot on my iPhone. Some shot through the car windshield [due to inclement weather] and others with the windows rolled down. It wasn’t so much about a perfect photo…..but capturing something that demanded my attention and pairing it with the Truth that was anchoring my soul, in that moment. I posted these on Instagram all throughout out my trip. It was how I was processing each second, minute and hour of the day.

Its a fact. If we don’t write it down….we will forget. Forgetfulness is the enemy of Faith.

This road trip may not seem to be one for the books, but it was for me. I was reminded multiple times of Gods great love. God was near and tending to my broken heart, as He promises to do so in Psalm 34:18.

I don’t ever want to forget the things that I have learned and experienced, especially while in the trenches. These trials shape us and make us into better versions of ourselves. Nothing is wasted. Pain is a Microphone.

I took a self-portrait an hour before my moms Celebration Of Life service. A wave of grief had come over me and my mind was so full that I couldn’t even put words on paper. So I took a break and a deep breath. As tears streamed down my face I knew I wanted to remember this moment. I wanted to remember what I looked like. And what I felt like on the inside. They say our eyes are the windows to our soul…..and in capturing this moment….I would remember all that I needed to from this day.

So, I decided to print this series….which was truly inspired by the disappearing beauty of the tangible. Today marks six months since I received that call that took my breath away. I love you, MOM.

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