December 31, 2013

Looking Forward

Well we made it. Most of you know that we recently moved from Pennsylvania to Colorado. As you can imagine it's all been a little overwhelming. We've been in our new place just over a week, I believe, I often struggle with knowing when and where I am. We started out strong with our unpacking, knocking out the kitchen the first night. That's always most important to me, it really makes you feel like you can function when you have your kitchen unpacked. Then the second day we started dreaming up Christmas decorations. We have a lot to celebrate this year. A new home, being together, good health, employment, of course the birth of our Savior...  We were blessed to have a moving company coordinate our move. It really is a blessing even though having others handle your stuff can be nerve wracking. We had them set aside all the Christmas boxes in a corner and while they were moving us in I worked on knitting a festive bunting for our fireplace. If you ever have a moving company move you my best advice is to distract yourself with something. I poured all my nervous energy into knitting and I don't think I've ever knitted so fast in my life.
The Christmas decorating all started with the bunting and then we just had to have a tree. One of our favorite things about living in Colorado before was that we would get a permit from the National Forest and go cut down our own tree. So that's what we did the 2nd day we were in our new place.
It can be pretty challenging finding a Christmas tree in a National Forest and they are always rustic and natural or as some people like to say Charlie Brownish. I love the way ornaments hang from these trees!
Our kitchen was unpacked and we had Christmas decorations up after being in our house for only 3 days! The other rooms may have had boxes stacked to the ceiling but we didn't care. All of us gathered around the fire and enjoyed the season.
We've never had a fireplace before and it has quickly become our favorite spot to be.
Since we had the kitchen unpacked I was looking forward to fixing a special Christmas meal. I was so happy to be cooking again and thrilled to even have friends to share with. I made a prime rib for the first time which turned out EXCELLENT. Of course I made deviled eggs, one of my favorites and I made mashed potatoes in a crock-pot! I've never done that before but thought it would be wonderful to not have to babysit boiling potatoes and to have my stove-top free. It was wonderful and they turned out perfectly. I can't wait to share the recipe with you. I also made roasted Brussels sprouts and cheesecakes in a jar for dessert. I even set up the bar cart with beverages.
It was really nice to put some energy towards something other than stacks and stacks of boxes. I really wish I had remembered to take more pictures of the celebration.

Now that the New Year is staring us in the face and all the distractions of the season are starting to dissipate. I'm getting slightly depressed and anxious. I just want to decorate my house and make it pretty I don't want to keep unpacking boxes and find places for everything. I just want everything magically organized and then I can dream and decorate and paint. It will take time and this is such a roller-coaster of a process. I find myself doing pretty well until I see a picture of the farmhouse we just left or I go shopping and find something that will fit perfectly in a spot that I realize isn't in my new house but was in my farmhouse. Oh there were so many dreams I had for that place. It's hard to let that go. But I will. It's a New Year. A fresh start. A time to move forward.
What are you looking forward this New Year? 

I'm looking forward to more days like this
time spent in the mountains enjoying God's beauty.

I'm looking forward to more walks out my back door and seeing how the seasons change.

I'm looking forward to being settled and being part of a community. There is so much to look forward to this New Year. I hope you too can spend time looking forward instead of backward; I wish you the happiest of New Years filled with many many blessings!

December 15, 2013

Slate Christmas Tags

Christmas is definitely a little weird for us this year considering we're moving halfway across the country again. Many of you are probably going to be wrapping up gifts for Christmas soon or at least start thinking about it. That's one of my favorite things about Christmas is the wrapping. I love to wrap gifts! It's always fun to add something to the outside that is also a gift. Last year I made Christmas tags that were also ornaments. 
You might remember reading about my farmhouses old slate roof. At this point it's not my farmhouse anymore which is still not real to me yet since we're in between homes right now. I made Apple Brie once and served it on a piece of the slate, you can read about it here.
Slate Christmas tags are super easy to make and not only mark who the gift goes to but make cute ornaments. If you don't have access to slate consider using some small tiles or even rocks.
First you're going to want to make sure that you break your slate into smaller pieces then drill a small hole in the top, I used a Dremel tool. A diamond tip will work best for drilling into slate and tile.
Next use paint pens to decorate one side with trees, snowflakes and other designs. On the other side write the name of the person you're giving the gift to.
There you have it a slate Christmas tag and ornament.  Just add a ribbon and tie it to a package. Do you have a signature way of wrapping gifts or do you do a different theme every year? I'm generally known for brown paper no matter the occasion. I love wrapping in basic brown paper and then adding special touches with tape and ribbons.  HAPPY WRAPPING!

December 5, 2013

Letting Go & Things I've Learned

Have you ever heard the phrase "Let go & let God?" Well that's much easier said than done. I'm spending my last days enjoying my farmhouse in PA. I feel like I'm preparing for a death instead of a move. I'm trying desperately to let go but it's really hard. I poured my heart and soul into this place and realized that it's what I've always wanted in a home. How often do people get that in their first house? There are going to be so many things I will miss. I will miss the refreshing spring water that just comes up out of the ground. I will miss our yard and all the critters that visit. I feel so sad for my dogs that they won't be able to run forever at our new place. There are so many plants that I planted that I will never get to see bloom and grow. I don't understand why we lived here for such a short time, I really wanted to settle down. My belief is that every experience we go through in life shapes us, molds us, strengthens us and grows us. This one hundred and eleven year old farm house did teach me some things. I will never once regret pouring myself into this place and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to have lived here. Here's to hoping that I take what I learned with me and will be a better person because of this experience.