Merry Christmas {2016}!

Merry Merry Christmas!

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{our Christmas card via Minted, photos by The Happy Film Company}

I have heard a lot on the interwebs about Minted, but never perused the selection of cards until this year. There are lots of different card printing companies but I loved that Minted included address printing (on the envelopes) as part of the deal. I enjoyed hand-lettering Christmas card envelopes in the past, but I just don’t see that happening for the  foreseeable future! (Ahh, life before kids!) And this is the exact card design if you are interested, plus I added the infographic on the back.

We are in Seattle again this year spending Christmas at home. We had such a fun time last year celebrating the holiday here with Eloise and not feeling like we were hustling and bustling for our entire Christmas vacation! Plus, since I am almost 32 weeks, we figured it was easier just to stay at home.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and holiday!

Merry Christmas from the Lowers!

M

{see our past Christmas cards here: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, & 2015}

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#LowerChristmas2016

Merry Christmas Eve! I just wanted to pop-in to share a few photos of our Christmas celebration shenanigans this year.

{We went to WildLights again at the Zoo this year and it was so fun! Eloise was much more into the lights this year though she was disappointed that we couldn’t see any animals, especially the tigers!}

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{I LOVE photos in front of Christmas trees and was so excited when I knew this bump would be around for Christmastime this year!}

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{And before we decorated the tree, Eloise played in all of the lights!}

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{If you know me, you may know that one of my mama dreams was to have matching family Christmas jammies! Seriously. And I am so lucky that Aaron is such a good sport about it. Plus, Eloise is at the age that she LOVES to match mama – can this last forever?}

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{And finally, I wanted to share our new fireplace that Aaron has been building! I know he wants to do a more in-depth post about the actual design and building process, but I wanted to share our Christmas mantle this year. We haven’t had a mantle since we lived in our old townhouse, so I have been dying to have one to decorate and hang stockings from. I don’t love TVs mounted above fireplaces and in an ideal world we wouldn’t either, but it didn’t make sense to change the entire layout of the living room at this point. So Aaron built the fireplace to house all of our electronic equipment (all of the front panels open up) which is so fun.}

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We hope you have a very Merry Christmas and joyous holiday season!

M

And you can find our matching Hanna Andersson jammies here! Note: Aaron is wearing the adult long johns and I am wearing the kids long johns.

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Pinterest Christmas {2016}: Teachers’ Presents.

Welcome back to week three of Pinterest Christmas! {See week one here and week two here.}

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This is the first year Eloise has had teachers and I wanted to be sure to do something special for them for the holiday since they are so wonderful. There are so, so many ideas on Pinterest (to the point of being overwhelming!) but I managed to find one that was super simple and fit with E’s teachers’ styles. I made the original DIY project even simpler by buying mugs that already had initials rather than painting a plain white mug.

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{original Pinterest link – Earnest Home Co. blog}

While I really liked the look of Anthro’s Gold Initial Mug, it really isn’t the style of Eloise’s teachers (who lean towards the hippy side!). So I found these beautiful Petal Palette Mugs instead which were perfect!

I found burlap at Jo-Ann’s (I used less than a quarter of a yard), small organic rosemary plants at Trader Joe’s, and small plastic cups in our party supply stash – easy peasy!

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I love that these gifts will last for some time – E’s teachers drink lots of tea and rosemary is super hardy, even I have trouble killing it! – plus they were super easy to put together. And, my kitchen smelled amazing after having re-potted that rosemary; the move from one pot to the cup must of activated the leaves or something!

Once I had everything in the mug, I placed them in Christmas-y paper bags and taped our family Christmas card to the front. Eloise was so excited to take them to school to her teachers last week!

And be sure to check out what Kendra’s up to all December long over on The Gilbertson Family! {Here’s her first Pinterest Christmas post!}

Do you make or buy teachers’ gifts for you kiddos for the holidays?

M

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Pinterest Christmas {2016}: Toddler Ornaments.

Welcome back to week two of Pinterest Christmas! {See last week’s post here.}

Sidenote: Sorry guys, this post was supposed to go up last week and I apparently never posted it!

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Eloise does a lot of art projects at school, comes home covered in paint, and then we hang all of her creations on the front living room window. I love that she is doing art at school because it is one activity that this type-A mama can have trouble doing at home. But, I thought it would be fun to make a few simple Christmas ornaments for the tree this year with Eloise.

Cute button tree ornament for the kids to make

{original Pinterest link – Hands On As We Grow blog}

pom pom christmas tree craft

{original Pinterest link – Happy Hooligans blog}

I knew that I needed to keep things simple, so I kept the supply list short: felt, ribbon, buttons, pom poms, popcicle sticks, and glue.

I cut out the Christmas trees and wreaths out of felt and then had Eloise point to where she wanted to put either a button or a pom pom. Then I put a big drop of glue and she placed the button or pom pom down. It worked pretty well, although Eloise was much more interested in holding (and squeezing!) the bottle of glue… anyone know of toddler-friendly glue?

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By the time we were done decorating the trees and wreaths, Eloise had pretty much lost interest since I wouldn’t let her handle the glue, so the triangle popcicle stick ornaments are pretty bare. For those I just glued three sticks together on the ends to form a triangle and had Eloise place the pom poms. Once all of the ornaments were dry (overnight), I had Eloise pick out the ribbon color and I strung each ornament onto a piece of ribbon. She was excited to hang all of the ornaments on the tree which made all of it worth it!

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This was definitely a super-easy toddler craft and I am really glad we did it.

And be sure to check out what Kendra’s up to all December long over on The Gilbertson Family! {Here’s her first Pinterest Christmas post!}

Do you have homemade ornaments on your Christmas tree?

M

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Eloise meets Santa {2016}

Per tradition, Eloise and I joined her friend Beatrice and her mama earlier this month to meet Santa downtown at Nordstrom. We loaded the girls into the car and headed down in the morning with Starbucks in hand hoping to beat the rush. The line wasn’t awful this year and it took just over an hour.

As we got closer to the front of the line and Santa came into view, Eloise was super interested in seeing the other kids sit on his lap and ask him for what they wanted for Christmas. I was hopeful but since Eloise had already told me that she didn’t want to sit on Santa’s lap, I knew I wasn’t going to push her.

And by the time we got up to Santa, she was clinging to me like a baby monkey. Her friend Beatrice went first, but ended up in tears which made more Eloise upset. Somehow though I managed to get Eloise on a rocking horse and the photographer distracted her enough to move her back towards Santa and actually get a smile! And Eloise asked me to tell Santa what she wanted, so I made sure he got her list: 2 monkeys, a pickle, and a giraffe. Seriously. She talked about it the entire week before we went to see him!

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Maybe someday Eloise won’t be terrified of Santa? But then she also has been talking about Santa ever since she saw him… it’s a little confusing. And she kept asking where he parked! I told her the only place the sleigh and his reindeer would fit was on Nordstrom’s roof.

At what age did your kiddos get excited about seeing Santa?

M

And see Eloise with Santa for the past two years: 2015 & 2014.

my {long Christmas} weekend in pictures.

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{Our little elf loved wearing her Santa hat around & also discovered the jingle bell on our Christmas tree! I would like her to wear these Hanna Andersson Christmas jammies for every Christmas!}

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{Aunt Cari – Aaron’s sister – sent Eloise this doll whose name is Misha! She came with a finger puppet that Eloise loved.}

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{Look what Santa brought Eloise for Christmas this year! I will be sure to share more details of this Ikea hack soon since a lot of people have already been asking.}

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{I think the kitchen was a hit! I was a little nervous she might be too young for it, but she loves to play with it now & she can grow into it too.}

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{Aaron made Christmas pancakes for Christmas breakfast – a new Lower family tradition!}

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{We went to a Christmas brunch & Eloise charmed everyone there.}

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{Even though it was just the three of us at Christmas dinner this year, I couldn’t help but decorate the table!}

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{We watched the Huskies win their bowl game in Dallas. Go Dawgs! I will be so thankful next season when the quarterback is a sophomore so I don’t have to hear the commentators say “true freshman” one more time!}

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{Uncle Ben & Aunt Sarah joined us for dinner the day after Christmas to continue the celebrations. There were lots of shenanigans happening!}

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{& once Eloise was asleep, we had to play a few rounds of Fibbage & Drawful which are pretty much a requirement if you come over for dinner at our house!}

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{Aaron was showing Eloise a magic trick. Now you see it, now you don’t! She LOVES it!}

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{Apparently Eloise got tired of sitting on the floor & reading books because she pulled her little chair over to her book stash & started reading!}

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{Eloise’s Nana sent this ornament handprint kit & we were able to sneak it in before bed tonight. It isn’t the best handprint ever, but it still captured that little hand & we will cherish it every Christmas!}

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays, if you prefer)! It was lovely to have Christmas be at the end of the week this year so that the entire long weekend felt like Christmas! We had such a wonderful time celebrating with Eloise, & creating our own holiday traditions for just our little family. Thank goodness for FaceTime so that we could catch up with family all over the country. My family is headed into town & will be spending the next week with us, so it still feels like Christmas at the Lower house, & I intend on leaving the decorations up until the New Year!

How was your long, holiday weekend?

M

merry christmas {2015}!

Popping in to say Merry Christmas!

Holiday Card 2015 - Lower Family

{our holiday card via The Happy Film Company}

This year I really wanted professional family photos – of all of us, including Sadie! Luckily, we were able to work with The Happy Film Company & they were running this great holiday special that included a short photo shoot (short being the imperative word!) & holiday cards! So, I decided to give myself a break this year from designing & printing cards, & I am really happy with the results!

We decided to stay home this year & celebrate our first ever Christmas at home in our own house! It is fun to actually be in our decorated home this time of year since normally I put up all of the decorations & the tree just in time to head out of town… We do miss our families dearly, but at the same time it is fun to make our own Christmas memories & traditions.

Merry Christmas from the Lowers!

M

{see our past Christmas cards here: 2011, 2012, 2013, & 2014)