Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Family Photos & Christmas Card 2014

Two days to go and there are two very excited children in the Larson household! It's hard to believe how fast the month of December flew by, but it has been such a wonderful month full of activities, movie watching, parties, listening to christmas music, decking the halls, and spending quality time together. Our kids are at such a wonderful age right now, I wish I could bottle their energy and excitement! We still have some baking to do, but everything else is pretty much wrapped up around here!

I know everyone is busy finishing up last minute details and spending time with family and friends, but wanted to drop in quickly to share our Christmas card and some family photos we had taken a few weeks back. Our photographer just so happens to be my neighbor (and my bestie), and she did such an amazing job of capturing our family and our personalities. If you are local and you are looking for a photographer, please contact her, or contact me and I will get your her info. You can check out her FB page here! You can check out last year's photos and Christmas card here.

Here are a few of my favorites from this year's shoot!

We will be spending Christmas in KC and it will just the four of us. This will be different for us, but we are excited about it! I think we are going to stay in our pi's all day and hit up the movies on Christmas day. My parents and my sister and her family will be here at the end of the month, which we are looking forward to. I also got some unexpected good news that I will be heading to Singapore to visit my sister and her family in January, which I am starting to get really excited about. More to come on that!

I ordered our Christmas cards through Zazzle this year and loved how they turned out! I bought a Groupon and ended up getting a great deal! Here is the front/back of the card.

I hope you are all enjoying the magic of the season! Wishing you a Merry Christmas and all good things in 2015! I love connecting with you on this blog. Thanks, as always, for reading and supporting! xoxo

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Home Tour - 2014

Welcome to our Holiday Home Tour! I am so happy to be a part of this tour with several other fantastic bloggers. If you are new here, welcome! I hope you will stay and look around for a while. This is such a wonderful time of year, I hope you are enjoying all the festivities this season has to offer!

I am happy to have to have all the decorating done, so we can enjoy a house full of lights and trees and coziness. I don't really have a "theme" for decorating, I just always use what I love. I also try to use what I have in new and different ways. I think simple DIY projects, thrift store finds, bows, ornaments, and fresh greens can go a long way. And clearly, I am not afraid of color! Step inside our front door and take a peek!






Thank you for stopping by! I hope you will all take the time to go view these other fabulous holiday home tours! I love seeing how every family puts their own spin on holiday decor and traditions. Happy Holidays from Kansas City!

Here are a few links if you are interested in any of the DIY projects you have see above…

Holiday Home Tour hosted by www.joyinourhome.com 18 Homes/5 days

A Holiday Home Tour at www.joyinourhome.com Come join us as 18 fabulous bloggers open their homes to you this Christmas!   
- Monday -

A Holiday Home Tour at www.joyinourhome.com Come join us as 18 fabulous bloggers open their homes to you this Christmas!  
  - Tuesday -

A Holiday Home Tour at www.joyinourhome.com Come join us as 18 fabulous bloggers open their homes to you this Christmas!  
- Wednesday -

A Holiday Home Tour at www.joyinourhome.com Come join us as 18 fabulous bloggers open their homes to you this Christmas!    
- Thursday -

A Holiday Home Tour at www.joyinourhome.com Come join us as 18 fabulous bloggers open their homes to you this Christmas!   
- Friday -


Monday, December 8, 2014

Chalkboard Tree with Pom Garland

Happy Monday friends! It's my 35th birthday today and it's supposed to be in the 50's here in KC - best present ever for a girl who dislikes winter as much as I do! No big plans except for a take out sushi date at home with hubby later tonight. My number says 35, but I think I will always, in my head, feel 25, and I guess that's a good thing! :)

Now, onto a quick Christmas post. I wanted to do something a little different on our chalkboard wall this year. I made this DIY pom garland a few years ago and thought it would make the perfect Christmas Tree garland. A little chalk, some black electrical tape, and some fake presents, and we have another tree in our home this year!

This chalkboard wall separates the mudroom from the kitchen, and is directly connected to the pantry (on the right). It's hard to photograph, so I did the best I could!

The mudroom holds the dry erase board that I update every week with our calendar of events. It holds several hooks for backpacks and coats, and it holds the kid's artwork and projects that come home on our DIY Kid's Art Display. Basically, it is a kid friendly space and adding this whimsical little tree fits in perfectly. I made some fake presents to put under the tree too!

I like the pop of color and the added whimsy it brings. The kids love it as you can imagine! Inspiration for the actual look of the tree came from here!

I will be posting a full Christmas home tour on Thursday, so come back for that! xo

Friday, December 5, 2014

Past Holiday Posts to Inspire You

Apologies for my blogging being so sporadic! As I've mentioned before, this is the hobby in my life, and everything else must come first! Including cleaning, cooking, getting the house ready for Christmas, creating a DIY ant costume for a 1st grade play, hosting a 6 year old birthday party, shopping, wrapping, ordering and shipping Christmas cards, etc, etc, etc. I know your to-do lists all look the same and there is NEVER enough time in the day!

I know we are all busy this time of year enjoying the magic of the season, and for me it's seeing it through my kid's eyes for this short window of time. We still have two believers, but I'm afraid our years are probably numbered. Don't get me wrong though…we always will "believe" around here! These are the days and moments in time I hope to never forget. And for that reason, I'm trying not to stress, I know everything will get done. I'm teaching my kids about the real meaning of Christmas, about giving and being careful not to ask for too much. I want our holiday "to-do" list to really feel memorable, and not like we are just checking off boxes. I hope you are all enjoying special times with your families!

I wanted to share some past holiday related posts in case you are new to LLL or are just looking for some inspiration. I usually like to keep things simple and use what I already have. Here goes!

We are going to visit Santa this weekend and I hope to get a little baking done too! See you back here next week for my Christmas Home Tour!  xo

Linking my projects here!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Holiday Tradition : A Real Christmas Tree

If you are coming from I Should Be Mopping the Floor, welcome to the next stop on the Christmas Traditions Blog Tour! I hope you are enjoying the tour, the magic of the season, and spending time with family and friends. A big thank you to Rachel at Like a Saturday for inviting me to join along, it has been so fun looking down memory lane to create this post!

When I think of Christmas and holiday traditions, one of my favorite things to do is decorate the Christmas tree. Something changes in the heart with a tree enters a home. My whole life, I have decorated real Christmas trees, and the same goes for my husband. We got lucky, because that meant we both wanted to continue with the tradition of getting real trees after we got married. It's funny how those things really stick with you. When you grow up finding, bringing in, and decorating a real tree, it's hard to ever do anything else. And we don't intend to!

One final shot of last year's tree before it hit the recycling pile!

In my family, we always did the same thing around the holidays. We would got to church on Christmas Eve, head to Grandma's house for dinner, wake up in our own house with just the four of us (my parents and my sister), eat pecan rolls, open presents at home, then head back to Grandma's house to spend the rest of the day with family. It was that way my whole childhood and it was glorious.

Christmas Tree 2013, Overland Park, KS

Then, I graduated from college and moved to a different state with my husband and things became very different. There was no consistency, sometimes we didn't see family because of work schedules and being long distance. Other years we traveled to see family, but rarely did we wake up in our own home on Christmas morning. We have also moved a lot with Steve's job and one Christmas came and went while we were living in a hotel room. Thankfully we were able to drive to my sister's that year and enjoy her real tree!

Kate was born the day before Thanksgiving in 2008. This is us just one week later picking out our Christmas tree. Even newborn babies can't stop us! And yes, this is what having your kids 15 months apart looks like :).

But one thing we have always, always done is get a real Christmas tree. Even when we lived in small apartments when we were first married, we managed to bring trees home. I remember one year Steve was out in our apartment hallway with a real Christmas tree and a kitchen knife sawing down the tree trunk (because at that time we didn't have any tools!). I'm lucky I married a guy that was as dead set on a real tree as I was.

Choosing our tree in 2009, Columbia, SC

Columbia, SC 2009

I know so many people are allergic to real trees or don't want to deal with the hassle and mess and watering, but for us and our family we will always have real. There is nothing like the smell of a real tree. There is nothing like the beauty of a real tree. There is nothing like choosing that perfect real Christmas tree.

I wish we had some amazing story about how we cut down our Christmas trees (Griswold style), but the reality is that we usually choose one from Lowe's. With small kids and moving so much, this has sort of become what we do, and now I feel strange changing that up. Maybe one of these years we will cut down our own, but for now we are happy to just get one in the house without any spiders or animals inhabiting it! We also love a Frasier Fir, and those don't grow in Kansas!

Christmas tree in 2010, San Antonio, TX

This year marks our third Christmas in Kansas City and we are so thankful for adding a little consistency back into our lives!

Christmas tree 2012, Overland Park, Kansas

Christmas this year will look a little different as it will just be me and Steve and the kids, and we couldn't be more excited. No travel, no entertaining, just sitting around our Christmas tree and making memories! We made another trip to Lowe's this year in frigid temps, but managed to find the perfect tree for our little family (hubby was the photographer since we were the only ones there)!

Christmas tree hunt 2014, Overland Park, KS

This will always be on our yearly bucket list…

Next, head on over to Decor and the Dog for more Christmas Traditions! Thanks for stopping by!

Here is the line up for the entire week!

Monday, Dec. 1

Tuesday, Dec. 2

Wednesday, Dec. 3

Thursday, Dec. 4

Friday, Dec. 5
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