Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Cheer

We had an incredibly cozy, lovely and joyful Christmas together. We missed our families a lot, but it was kinda fun to celebrate with just the two of us in the morning. We woke up early, flipped on our electric fire place and turned on Nat King Cole while delicious scones baked in the oven. (Fisher fair scones to be exact. The most moist and delicious scones you will ever have!)

After opening a few gifts and watching a couple Christmas movies, we headed over to Alan & Cynthia's house for card games, Grandma's macaroni & cheese and lots of laughter. Our only set back the whole day was keeping an eye on the weather app on Matt's phone after hearing about some tornado outbreaks near his family in Alabama. Thankfully, the storms passed and they were kept safe. Praise the Lord!

We're excited to see them all in a few short weeks when we head out there for some family time!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Rustic Wrapping

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is wrapping up gifts! I love a little sparkle as much as the next girl, but this year I went with a more rustic vibe. I went on a walk through one of my favorite parks and gathered up a few branches, pine cones and twigs and placed them on my brown paper packages tied up with string. 

My favorite one so far is not pictured below but involves a sprig of rosemary from our plant outside.

I'm still working on making some gift tags, but these gifts look right at home tucked under our little tree all the way from Oregon. 

Bring the outdoors in! (Spiders not welcome.)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

 Although we're only a few days into December, Christmas is in full swing around our house. After church on Sunday morning, Matt and I ventured out in the rain (California pretty much shuts down if it sprinkles, so this was pretty risky) to find a Christmas tree. We learned our lesson last year that we need to go straight to the places that sell trees from the northwest. It's pretty laughable to stroll around some parking lot and point to a wrapped up tree that just got pulled off a truck from Oregon, but hey, it's one of the small trade offs you make around here for 50 weeks of sunshine annually.

Don't be fooled by the patch of blue sky and Matt's squinting eyes in that picture, it was surprisingly wet and chilly all weekend! Our yard suddenly has grass now and I don't have to avoid eye contact with my neighbors when I water my garden (I've been getting intimidating looks from people who are rudely reminding me that we're in a drought this year; thank you rain!) We stayed indoors, drank hot chocolate and decorated our house. Matt "offered" to put the lights on the tree for me this year, and let's just say it looks incredible! 

Last night we drove into Hollywood with Dan & Bean to go see "The Surjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant On Ice", or essentially, Sufjan Steven's Christmas concert. It was incredible! He released a new box set of Christmas songs this year and it's wonderful. He played a combination of songs from that, songs from his old albums and classic Christmas songs. We were handed song books when we walked in and invited to sing along to any and all songs that he played. It was amazing. I can't explain how it felt to look around a venue, in the middle of Hollywood, filled with hundreds of people who are loudly singing about the hope of Jesus. Oh, and everyone was dressed a bit ridiculous, including us! (If you can't wear leather pants in Hollywood, where CAN you?)

Let me tell you, that man seriously loves Christmas. Probably more than anyone I've ever witnessed. Except maybe my mom. Sufjan demands a serious presence, it was indescribable. He would look up from his piano and boldly sing the lyrics about his faith to the audience. He even laid out the gospel pretty clearly after singing a hymn. If you haven't enjoyed any of his Christmas music yet, I encourage you to listen to it! Sufjan is a genius.

I will be crafting my life away to catch up on Christmas cards, gifts and some inventory for a holiday bizarre that's coming up in a couple weeks. Why can't December be six weeks long? I wouldn't mind!