Snapshots of Christmas 2013

It was with a bit of a sigh that I returned to work today. The holidays always seem to go by in a flurry, but I so enjoyed having some time off and spending it with family. I also received what is likely the best gift I’ve ever gotten, but more on that later…

Here’s how I’ve been keeping busy the past few weeks.



I done decked my halls this year. In fact, the thought of taking down all these festive trimmings and trappings has me bummed. So I’ve rationalized that anything winter-themed can stay another month.


christmas decor

PicMonkey Collage

The adorable tent ornament was a gift from Mike’s parents; the snowman I got at a craft fair.


We spent the actual holidays of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day flipping back and forth between parties at Mike’s parents’ house and my parents’ house, who only live a few miles apart. Convenient! Kiva and Bodie busted out their holiday handkerchiefs.



This holiday, I received some much-needed grown-up gifts—the kinds of useful appliances that I incessantly complain about not having, such as a blender, humidifier, address book, and new vacuum (a gift to Mike that I will use at least once a week), for starters.

Here’s a cute Christmas tradition for ya. Every year, my dad spends a few months collecting tools, camping gear, and other useful do-hickeys. On Christmas day, he spreads them out on the pool table in the basement, and one-by-one, everyone goes downstairs to select their tool before the rotation cycles back to the first person. There’s a lot of pressure to select the right item on your turn. “What will I use more: need needle-nose pliers or a dry bag?!” This year, I picked out a powerful LED flashlight and Mike got a knife set and a tool storage bag.



Mike’s real present from me was a rugged, waterproof outdoor speaker to use on the boats in Michigan and while camping, but I supplemented it with this homemade collage, using photos from our trips. Because boys love collages. Wait, what?!;) I found the print at a craft fair in November, and in other news, Mike is a good sport.






We’ve had a good deal of snow here, so it’s been fun wandering the city streets and the lakefront while everything looks so fresh and new. Also, my sweet grandpa has been visiting from South Dakota for the past week. The man is a true-blue Chicagoan and former Chicago firefighter for 30-odd years; after brunch in Logan Square, he took us to his childhood home, which is only about a mile or two from where I live now. I love hearing his stories.


About that gift I mentioned earlier…

Mike told me my last Christmas gift was hidden on the tree and I had to find it. I started searching the tree branches, unsure of what I was looking for. To be honest, I thought maybe this was the start of a scavenger hunt. Nope.


Lo and behold, it was an ornament with a photo of a tiny pupster! We’d been trying to rescue an Australian Shepherd puppy for months, to no avail. Mike found this little girl from a farm in southeast Iowa and she comes home on February 4th when she’s 8 weeks old. This is a photo of her at 8 days old. She looks like a mix between a gerbil and a mini-pig. Fingers crossed that she’s actually a dog. Best gift I’ve ever gotten.


How did you spend the holidays? Do you have any suggestions for a female dog name?

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  1. LOVE the collage! it is so cute!!!!

  2. Oh my gosh, the little pup is precious! Looks like you had a lovely holiday! :)

  3. Miki Schroeder says:

    Since she was a Christmas gift…name suggestion – Ginger(bread) – saw it on a list of Christmas names for puppies. She may also turn out to be a combo color of Ginger and Bread ! : – )

    • I love that name idea! We are still floating around the idea of “Bailey Belle” but we want to meet her first and see if it sticks.

  4. So many things to comment on in regards to this post :) 1) I love that first picture of the snowy street. So picturesque. I wish we would’ve had a white Christmas but we enjoyed several snows prior to the weeks before Christmas so I guess it balanced out. 2) What a great gift for Mike :) I’m sure he really loved it! 3) A puppy!! How exciting. I can’t wait to see more pictures once you get the little one! 4) I think it’s a great idea that your dad collects those gifts throughout the year and then allows you to take turns picking. I’ve never heard of a tradition like that but I think it is such a wonderful idea.

    Looks like you had such a wonderful Christmas season. Looking forward to more in the new year! :)

    • Aw, thanks, Di! We’ve gotten an unbelievable amount of snow; this is shaping up to be a record-breaking winter in Chicago. I cannot wait to share more photos of the pup when she finally comes home! I hope you had a great Christmas too :)

  5. OMG PUPPY! A little squiggle IS the best gift. How fun! Dog names are the best to try to come up with….

  6. I AM SO EXCITED! You know I love Australian Shepherds so I can’t wait to see tons of pictures of your pup. This is great news! Congratulations!

  7. A PUPPY!!! I’d call her gerbil. Gerbella might be a nice spin to make it more feminine :P

  8. Loving your post – Great captures – thanks so much for sharing:) Oh My Goodness a Puppy – So Stinkin Cute!!! Happy New Year:)

  9. I started tearing-up reading about the puppy! So sweet!

    • Aw, thanks so much, Nicole! I definitely shed a few tears after discovering that ornament. I’ve just wanted a dog for soooo long and I can’t believe it’s finally here.

  10. omg! puppies are my absolute favorite thing in the world!!! if you need a sitter i’m only 90 miles north in Milwaukee!! :):)

  11. Puppy!!!!!! I can’t wait to see more pics of this little one. You could name her Piglet. ;-)

  12. I love the Eat Drink and Be Merry chalkboard, what a great idea. And being able to change it with the seasons or your mood is nice.

  13. Congrats on the new pup! I can’t wait for IG, FB, Blog, etc. photos of her :) Charlie seems to be a popular boys name that is being used for girl pups. I personally love Abigail. Nicknamed Abby, it is a perfect two syllable name and good for training/commands.

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