Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Friday, December 21, 2018

Isabelle's Colorful Winter Birthday Party

Isabelle's birthday was on Saturday this year, so we celebrated on her actual day. Fun fun! There were some hiccups because of basketball (and the fact that there is STILL no schedule posted so we have no idea from week to week when her games are, ugh), but we were able to bump it up from an evening party to a mid morning one, and that worked really well. It was so nice to see the sunshine!

And even though you'll never escape Christmas decorations at your birthday party when you're born in December, you can still bring in pretty and fun colors! Those darling snowflake cookie cutters came as a set (Wilton, I believe) and they added the perfect touch to the table.

I like the twinkle that the lights on the side table give...

Favors were so simple and easy and FUN: fuzzy Christmas socks for the win! We put in a few candy canes and kisses, and I think it beats the junk that everyone throws away anyway.

The girls enjoyed making hot cocoa, too. I put out some marshmallows and whipped cream, and they loved the thick peppermint sticks to swirl around in the mugs. I think those came from WalMart when I was shopping for gingerbread house supplies. :) 

I dislike plastic tablecloths  all opened up too, but I think they make a great runner when kept in half. Easy, cheap, and adds perfect color!

Our birthday girl!

She had asked for a camera and new yoga pants. I don't think she's put the new camera down all week! :)

You know how I feel about sharing pics of other people's kids online, so no party pics, but isn't this hooded blanket the absolute best thing ever?!?! Her friends gave such fun and thoughtful gifts!

The basketball game was an hour away, so Caleb drove Bill and Isabelle out there, and it was really quiet here at home. I don't think I have to tell you that I didn't mind one bit. The game was a tough one, but Isabelle scored three points in the last minute! We ended the day with goodies and a movie all snuggled up in our fuzzy blankets. Such a good day! I can't believe my baby girl is TWELVE!

 Some of my favorites from over the years...

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Caleb's Birthday Week!

I wish I could say that I'm all ready for Christmas, but it generally takes me a few days to recover from birthday party central over here. Now I remember why I used to space their parties out, to give me a break, ha! The weekend before last, we had a family party for Caleb and Isabelle. Super low key, but everything looks fun and festive this time of year, right?

The day before Caleb's birthday, he had driver's ed and THEN a two hour drive time, so I picked him up a little something to get through the afternoon. Lest you worry, he ate a full dinner when he returned home at 7:45, ha ha. :)


And then on 12/12, we celebrated who I thought would always be my "baby boy's" sixteenth birthday!!! Someone was up too early and knew that we had donuts...

ha ha ha ha ha

I don't have pictures of Caleb to share here because if you don't know teen boys, well, they are generally not wearing much clothing at home. HA But here is his birthday donut!

Letting little bro blow out the match :)

I got him out of school a bit early and surprised him by meeting up with my parents at Dunkin for some treats. That was fun!

It had been a really busy day, but I knew that he wanted a cheesecake more than anything, so I made it happen. Barely. ;)

And then we went on our annual pajama cocoa drive. There are some really decked out houses this year, they look SO good. Doing this tradition for the very first time without Ethan here was hard. I wonder if it's something that you just don't ever get used to. But it was a lot of fun!

This shot is crazy but just look at all the blankets and things Isabelle must bring with her! ha ha! So naturally Levi insisted on bringing a blanket too. Of course. :)

Then the guys went to the movies on Friday night. I guess none of it seems terribly exciting for your 16th birthday, and truthfully, I do wrestle with that. The whole idea of celebrating someone and having it be meaningful but at the same time, choosing to keep from going nuts. I know lots of his friends got cars for their birthdays, and new ones at that. That just isn't our reality, which is fine, BUT I do wonder about it and feel guilty about maybe not doing enough. I think we all feel like that as Moms, don't we? Ugh, it's all so hard sometimes.

And then three days later, party central turned pink and purple and aqua... I'll share details from Isabelle's pretty party soon. I'm down to just two orders and then I need to get my act together!! Are you guys ready yet?

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Our Christmas Home...And a Birthday Boy!!!

Today is our Caleb's sixteenth birthday!! It feels completely unreal. How is timing moving by so, so quickly??!!

Since I'm having such a hard time keeping up with posts, the shop, everyday life...everything in general, ha... I thought I'd share some photos of our home all decked out for Christmas. We moved into this house three years ago today- yes, on Caleb's birthday!- and while we've done lots, it still feels like there's so much to do. Including a mantel!!! Every time we get ready to make that happen, some life catastrophe happens and it gets pushed back. That's how it goes, I guess. But we are healthy and well, so no real complaints from me. :)

I'll share the family room first...

These were taken last Friday, when I was home ALONE. I dropped Levi off with my Mom so I could get some major sewing done. Yeah, right. I started to clean up a little, and one thing led to the next, and then the sun was shining for the first time in 800 years, so I pulled out my big girl camera to snap a few pics. #priorities

No themed tree for me, at least not while my kids are still living with us. It's a smattering of homemade and other special ornaments that I wouldn't dream of not putting up. Some years we put up our big artificial tree and I have more of a "theme" with that one, but this Mama ain't got no time for that right now. ha ha

I have two of these precious snowflakes from my Nana, who passed away twenty four years ago when I was living in Spain. Talk about time marching forward! Now I'm feeling very old. ;)

I'll have to update this shot because I moved all the stocking and the blue chair, but it represents our daily life pretty well. :)

And this turkey. Many a morning spent playing in here, and everything just seems magical by the tree's glow.

Occasionally I do sit down with a good book. Love this view too.

Onto the dining room...

I decided to start a new little tradition of making a big to do out of the first morning of December. Only it was the second morning because Jonah was working, and Caleb had plans. One thing I've learned after all these years: improvise. Our Dec 2nd special breakfast was great!

That little tree in the corner used to go in one of the boys' rooms when they were small, and Levi is a bit too small for it, so... it works nicely in here. He plays with it a ton, rearranging (and hiding or losing!!) ornaments on the daily.

He looks like such a big boy here!! And I didn't even notice that wrapper until now, ha ha ha!

Then we had our family birthday party for the two December babies. So fun!!

We had our annual gingerbread house making night, so these cute houses are now on display around the dining room. I got a huge kit, which was great, but there were SO many houses that I may have left a couple out back for squirrel food. They were completely gone within twelve hours!

Our back deck- the kitchen window overlooks this, so washing dishes has a pretty view at night. :)

Isabelle's pink tree. I've blogged about its significance several times, but just know, it's a very special tree.

Just a few holiday touches in our room...

Yesterday was a super long day for Caleb, between school projects and then driver's ed, so I surprised him with a few things from good ole McD's before his class started. He willingly posed with me, AND shot up to greet me and give me a big hug in front of everyone! Aww. Obviously NOT my best picture, but I'm sharing because that's how much I love him. We've got a big day planned, I'll try to blog about it before Isabelle's birthday on Saturday!! ;)

Joining in the fun here and here!  I just love seeing everyone's homes this time of year!

I post much more frequently on insta @bethanylivs_life so come find me and say hello!

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