.Little Things Bring Smiles Part 2.

This December brought many smiles.

- Waking up to our beautiful Christmas tree and lights.
- Wearing warm, snuggly clothes with slippers!
- Hot morning coffee.
- Nat King Cole Holiday station on Pandora.
- Long back rubs from the hubs ;)
- Snow.
- Snowdays!
- Spending time with family.
- Filling my belly with scrumptious foods!
- Always being on the same team as Adam.
- Planning/preparing for the arrival of company.
- Embracing family.
- Laughing at Colden's reaction to his new "Christmas" toys.
- Down comforters.
- Road trips.
- Netflix marathons with Adam.
- Playing "parents" for a weekend.
- Watching Colden in the snow.
- Completing tasty meals for loved ones.
- The few mornings Adam and I slept in!


.Oh What A Night.

Let me rephrase--"Oh What A WEEK!"

I am about 99% positive everyone can relate with the statement above, well, the exclamation above. Holidays are wonderful yet they always leave me feeling one way--TIRED! It is a "good tired" though--the feeling when you lift your feet off of the ground for the first time in hours, the slight burning sensation when you shut your eyelids, the "I do not have to do anything right now, just sleep" feeling, the feeling of knowing you can sleep in, yes I said it, SLEEP IN. Adam and I are close (very very close) to reaching our "good tired." Just a few more days of fun with the family playing games and eating..and eating..and eating ;) Have you reached your "good tired" yet?

Adam and I spent a beautiful Christmas up in snowy NJ with the Morrow family. The greatest gift given was simply being together. My entire family (it's rather small BUT we all live hours and hours apart) were together and my parents could not be any happier..they had their kids, their "new" kids (Adam and Kim), and their one and only grandbaby home. Emma is the first grandbaby and my first niece on the Morrow side of the family. It was so special having her there and soaking in every moment we had with her--she is changing so fast! I held her as much as I could but it was a challenge fighting off the new grandparents. Emma stole the hearts of everyone who saw a smile come across her perfect, precious little face. Christmas was special this year. It had it's major "hiccups" (sickness, migraines, snowstorms, stalled vehicles, etc.) but none compared to simply relaxing and living life with family. One of the best things the Morrow family can do is relax--we love to sit and talk while drinking Dad's awesome coffee (please say those words aloud in your very best NJ accent) and eating Mom's delicious goodies. We enjoy telling stories and laughing at the same old jokes. We love to sit in front of the fire watching all of the new movies we got for Christmas. Christmas was special this year.

My family spent Christmas Eve at my Aunt Linda's house. This was the most relaxing and fun year. Everyone was there--all the important people ;)--and it was simply perfect! The food was delicious, the house was decorated beautifully, and our loved ones were all accounted for! This was the first Christmas in 6 years my grandparents from SC joined us. I remember feeling thankful and so blessed for my family this night. My grandparents became great grandparents and lovingly held Emma in their arms just smiling and in awe of the little bundle. My cousin Taylor and I had the same idea for gifts--framed pictures! I framed a recent picture of us and he framed a picture from 20 years ago which brought me to tears..which brought him to tears..which brought Aunt Linda to tears..which brought my mom to tears..yes, Christmas was special this year.

Christmas night was celebrated with more Morrows at my Aunt Anne's house. We had a great dinner (thanks to my amazing mother) and enjoyed being together. While the men smoked cigars on the porch, the women were inside ooing and awing over the babies present. It still amazes me how much joy can come from receiving a smile from a baby, it melts my heart. All through the night, I could not help but think of my Aunt Anne and wondered if this was our last Christmas with her. She has been very ill and her body has been slowly shutting down on her. I was able to hold a conversation with her when we first arrived and had her answering questions and talking about her day but by the end of the night she was gone, just a body sat in the room with a smile and wandering eyes. My heart was crying out to the Lord to give her comfort and to give my Uncle Will strength for each new sunrise they share together. Everyone smiled and everyone poured their love on Aunt Anne, she felt it..her soul and spirit felt it. Christmas was special this year.

Our journey home was delayed by a snowstorm. We will not lie, Adam and I were both extremely happy. We wanted more time with my family..with baby Emma. The snow continued to fall leaving the Morrow house looking beautiful and the fire inside feeling better than ever. Everyone slept in, stayed in pajamas all day, ate (and ate and ate), and spent time together.. Christmas was special this year.

This amazing week is still not over, Adam and I are going strong and looking forward to reaching our "good tired" very soon. More posts to come on the end of this week and the new year with the Holm family :)

One last thing..did I forget to mention Christmas was special this year? 


.Christmas in New Jersey.

.Snowy Christmas in New Jersey.
 No matter where you live..
No matter what house you choose..
There will always be that one special 
house you call "home"..

Your childhood house.
"There's no place like home."




Today we remember the true reason to celebrate
this very special day..the birth of our Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ.


.Felt Fun.

Can I just say--

I have some wonderful crafty ideas for girls of all ages! Just in time for Christmas too, so grab those stockings and prepare to fill them by following this special blog post containing not one-not two-but THREE tutorials!!!

Time to create flower magic:
Materials needed for this DIY Craft:
     - Headbands
     - Alligator Clips
     - Pins (with a flat edge on top)
     - Felt
     - Hot Glue
     - Hot Glue Sticks
     - Scissors
     - Pen/Pencil
     - Buttons
     - Various sized circular items (I used a cd, drinking glass, a vitamin jar, and
       a spice holder--look around your house for circular items to trace!)
Let the FUN begin! I originally saw how to make these flowers here, and actually created my very own wreaths! They, however, cannot be posted until after Christmas as a very special someone will be receiving them:) It is always fun to learn a new method of creating from other blogs and it's even more fun when you can put your own spin on it. I will show you all the steps and hints you need to know!

Making Your Felt Flower: Rose Style

1. Gather all of your materials and set up a nice, clean work station.
2. Pick out your first piece of felt and your circular item. (size of item is up to 
3. Trace your circular item onto your felt using a pen or a pencil. 
    Hint: It is a good idea to use ink of the same or 
    similar color as the felt so it does not show up on
    your final felt flower. I used a darker ink on the 
    tutorial so it is easier to see :)

4. Simply cut out your circle.
5. After your circle is cut, take your scissors and cut around and around your 
     circle creating a spiral effect or a little pig's tail! It will look like this:
6A. There are now 2 ways you can create your flower. The first way is to 
        begin on the outer end (where you made your very first cut) and begin 
        rolling the felt strip keeping one side aligned throughout the rolling 
7. When you have finished rolling your felt spiral strip, simply add a little dab
     of hot glue on the end and stick it to create your rose:
Hint: When starting to roll with the outer edge, it will 
         create a fuller, shorter (in height) rose.
6B. The other way of making your rose, is to begin your rolling process using  
       the inner end (where you made your last cut). This will create a taller, 
       thinner rose.
Notice the sides of this style rose do not stick out, rather they stand straight up.
It is up to you which step (6A or 6B) to use. I personally liked the way 6A appeared but it is fun to mix them up by completing both styles!

Making Your Felt Flower: Petal Style

This is the portion of the tutorial I put my own spin on this method of creating flowers. I enjoy the look of the Rose flower, but I wanted to make it look more realistic--it needed petals! After pondering for a few minutes, I found a solution!

Steps 1-3 are same as above tutorial.
4. When your circle is traced completely, take your pen or pencil and draw
     petals around your circle using the edge you drew a guide.
5. After your petals are drawn, begin cutting! This part is a bit tedious but the
     slower you go, the better it looks :)
6. Using your scissors, cut around your circle creating a spiral (or like I said 
     earlier, a little pig's tail.)
7. I chose to use method 6A from above to roll my flower with petals.
8. Continue rolling until there are no longer any petals on your felt spiral 
9. Simply snip off the extra felt and place it aside. Hot glue your end onto the
     body of the flower.
10. With the leftover felt spiral strip, simply roll it up and hot glue your end
       to create a rose! It's magic--two felt flowers from one felt circle.
Two completely different looks! Both equally fabulous ;)
Hint: Your Felt Flowers with Petals can appear two 
        different ways, just like your Rose flowers. Using
        step 6A from the Rose tutorial, it will appear like 
Hint: Using step 6B from the Rose flower tutorial, it
        will appear like this:
It will resemble a star formation and will be taller and thinner.

Are you ready for even more options? ;)
Following the Felt Flower with Petals tutorial, instead of drawing and cutting rounded petals, change it up--draw little triangles to create this look:
Enjoy your beautiful Felt Flowers!
Now that your have your flowers made--GET CREATIVE! I decided to hot glue my flowers onto Alligator Clips:
And Pins (with a flat edge):
We are not finished yet! If you are still reading this post, I thank you. It is long, but I hope you are being motivated by these different varieties of felt flowers! Here is the last type of Felt Flower:

Making Your Felt Flower: Flat and Layered Style

Steps 1-5 are the same as above tutorial.
6. Continue using steps 1-5 to create numerous flowers. Feel free to use all 
     the same color felt or different colors.
    Hint: Use different sized circular items to create a 
    small, medium, and large flower. 
7. After your flowers are cut out, simply hot glue the three layers together.
8. Add a button in the middle and your flower is complete:
Another finished flat and layered flower:
Hint: Instead of using a button, I made a mini Rose 
        and hot glued it in the center! This is my favorite 
        look :)
9. Hot glue your flower onto headbands, great for girls of ALL ages!
 Ideas on how to use your Felt Flowers:
      Hot glue them onto..
       - Alligator Clips/other hair clips
       - Pins to create a beautiful broach for your shirt, jacket, or hat!
       - A headband
       - A picture frame
       - Decorative pillows
       - Bags, purses, sacks, pocketbooks, backpacks--whatever you choose to 
         call them :)
       - Wreath made out of twigs (I did this and it turned out great, pictures 
         coming AFTER Christmas)

If you can think it, you can do it! How would you use these felt flowers?


.We Survived.

Good news--Adam and I made it through another weekend with the girls!
Bad news--The precious little ones gave me bronchitis :(

This was genuinely one of the best weekends Adam and I have had in a long time. It was filled with so many smiles, laughs, crafts, presents, reading, cleaning, washing, and kisses! (hence the spreading of the illness) Even though we were all coughing a bit, EVERYBODY had an amazing weekend, even Colden!

Friday consisted of:
     - Numerous crafts, some more difficult and others perfect for two toddlers!
     - Movie watching, thank you to Hulu and their wonderful variety of family
       Christmas movies!
     - Snuggling and reading story books, how I LOVE children's books..the feel
       of the thick pages, the smell when you open the cover, and the beautiful
       beautiful illustrations!
     - Bathtime until every last finger and toe became wrinkled!


Saturday consisted of:
     - Special surprises under the Christmas Tree.
     - Trip downtown to meet Santa and his lovely wife, thank you Lynchburg 
       and our Community Market Place for a great morning!
     - 3 hour naps, yes!!
     - Sugar cookies! Sprinkles, stars, beads, oh what fun :)
     - Snuggling on the couch before bed.
     - Bedtime at 730pm, and then relaxation for the husband and I.

Sunday consisted of:
     - Sleeping in, just kidding!
     - Pancake breakfast.
     - Lazy morning playing with new presents, brought back so many memories
       of my brother and I growing up on Christmas morning.
     - Special photo shoot for Mom and Dad (In case a certain Mom sees this,
       we will keep the final pictures secret until they receive their gift!)

The weekend sadly went by fast, even waking up at 650am. Adam and I love these girls and we are honored their parents let us keep them for weekends they are away. Before I end this very long, very picture crammed post, there is just one more thing I forgot to mention...