merry Christmas!

christmas breakfast with family before heading off to grandparents’ house.


the night before Christmas…

…the stockings were hung by the “chimney” with care…
… I finished preparing one of my favorite Ina Garten recipes from Barefoot in Paris: yellow and red beets made with orange, raspberry vinegar, and thyme…
…and we celebrated Jeff’s 23rd birthday!! we ate a delicious dinner at Elements with my parents and then opened presents by the fireplace! don’t his presents (and my socks) look good?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, wonderful husband, Jeff! and MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE!

getting our little home ready for Christmas.

my early Christmas present to jeff, from the beautiful Paloma’s Nest, one of our favorite shops. our first (married) Christmas ornament, as well as our wedding ring bowl, are from there, too!
(white craft) paper packages tied up with string (or repurposed ribbons).our ornament from south africa, made by women in the cape town townships.

christmas music has not always been my cup of tea, but recently we’ve found some amazing songs to help put us in the spirit of the season. i’m so excited to finally have caught that “Christmas-is-in-the-air” bug. here is some of the music we’ve been rocking out rocking-around-the-Christmas-tree to:

Phil Wickham, Songs for Christmas – you can hear The First Noel (beautiful!) and his original song Christmas Time, as well as others, on YouTube.

Hey, It’s Christmas! Volume 1 – download here. our most played song is The Oceanauts’ rendition of Christmas (Baby Please Come Home). this cd helps to round out a holiday playlist.

North Point Christmas– great renditions of classics, as well as our favorite by Eddie Kirkland, Everything Changed, which you can have a listen to here.

hearblack Christmas – available for free download. (thanks hearblack!) the Rosie Thomas songs (Why Can’t It Be Christmastime All Year and Silent Night) are our most-loved, as well as Winter Song, by Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson.

…and lastly, i can’t help but get pumped for Christmas when listening to tobymac, christmas this year (feat. Leigh Nash) –  super fun. makes you dance. it just may have been playing on repeat for a time. just maybe.