Merry Christmas!

{the Browns}


Homespun Advent {Part 1}

My newfound obsession with Pinterest has lead me to consider myself perhaps more crafty than I truly am. Even so, it has become my vision to add to our holiday decorations with a variety of homespun crafts.

I adore all the bookpage craftiness that is floating around the web these days, as it appeals to both my literary nature and our "vintagey" home decor. My first project became these flowers delicately crafted from an old book, the inspiration for which can be found here. The addition of a few holly berries {I've since added three berries to the middle of each flower} and a red crocheted garland made these flowers the perfect touch for my beloved grapevine wreath. I thought the crocheted garland was inspired by this homemade creation, but as I look now at the original wreath I find myself wondering where my mind's memory began to stray. To give credit where credit is due...

I never know how to decorate my {extremely} limited kitchen countertops. Enter a cinnamon stick candle, an empty Oberweis milk bottle, and a few stray pinecones and... vuala! A little bit of Christmas cheer is born. Stay tuned for more homespun tidings...


Christmas Cheer

"The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear."
- Buddy the Elf
{Elf, 2003}

As you may have read about here, Christmas cheer needed a little kick-start around our home. Enter... iPod playlist.

Point of Grace "A Christmas Story"
I picked this album up off the clearance rack at our local Christian bookstore MANY years ago. Having recently found the CD, I have been enjoying all the tracks once more this season.

Amy Grant, "Home for Christmas"
I am actually NOT an Amy Grant fan, but find I must make an exception for the Christmas albums. Just look- the cover has a beautiful white birch tree... it must be amazing!

Amy Grant "A Christmas to Remember"
Hearing the title track begin this album makes me happy every single time.

Amy Grant "A Christmas Album"
This is the album probably responsible for the massive over-representation of Amy Grant in my Christmas music selection. We had this on a record when I was small... visions of pink-nightgown-clad girls swirling around with their daddy are in my head each time I listen. (Besides, who could resist the fabulous Christmas sweater and ski sunglasses?)

Keith & Kristyn Getty "Joy- An Irish Christmas"
You should get this album... immediately. This is the best Christmas collection I have ever encountered. Instantly affection raising. Seriously, you need to visit their site right now to purchase it.

There you have it. The music Baby Girl and I danced to all day long as we endeavored to gain our Christmas spirit. Do share- what music puts you in the Christmas mood?


The Versatile iPod

Most common use of the iPod before kids...

{utilizing the shiny reflection to entertain the dog}.

Most common use of the iPod after kids...

{utilizing the shiny screen light to distract the crying baby}.

And who says owning pets isn't good practice for having a kid?


Time Flies...

... no matter what level of fun you may or may not be having. Everyone says this, but I cannot believe my baby girl will be five months old next week. What happened to the pregnancy? I am now fully convinced the older you get the faster time seems to go... I never used to believe adults when they made such comments. Just yesterday I was thinking about something that happened when I first began working in the restaurant business (which feels like just a short time ago), and it occurred to me that as I am just shy of thirty said incident took place nearly HALF MY LIFETIME ago. Sheesh...

In a totally unrelated theme, I am so not ready for Christmas. Can we just back up a few weeks and allow some time to "deck the halls"? With the adjustment of working-part-time-from-home-teaching-baby-to-sleep-at-night-trying-to-cram-all-my-housework-into-naptime-traveling-for-the-holidays-for-the-first-time-with-a-baby, I haven't even begun to prepare for the season of good tidings and great joy. Good thing it's not really about the gifts for which I have no idea what to even put on my list. Not only do we not yet have a Christmas tree (note the date of this post as December 1st), but when I went in the basement yesterday with the intent of retrieving our holiday decorations I decided to thoroughly purge a massive amount of clutter instead. Yep... those decorations are still in their clear plastic totes! I'm half tempted to succumb to the "bah, humbug" voice in my head and try for better luck next year. If it wasn't baby girl's first Christmas...