Christmas Break Begins Now

17, yes, 17 days of Christmas break begin today and this, by far, is my favorite time of the year. Time to fit everything in, while also purposefully scheduling absolutely nothing on the calendar. Down time. Busy time. All built into the same break.

Christmas Break Begins Now.

Christmas Break Begins Now via grateful simplicity

Raynes sang at a local retirement community (then came home feeling under the weather).

The hubs and I had a Garden Club Christmas Party. And no, there was no flower arranging by the men. Although that certainly would make for an entertaining evening.

Trader Joe’s greenery is holding up well (fingers crossed)

 

 

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Shaping Perspective

Shaping Perspective

Winter has officially blown in with holiday lights, frosted roofs, hot cocoa and gold Christmas trees everywhere. We all sported our ‘ugly Christmas sweaters’ recently and Raynes came in third place for his Epic Christmas messaging. I love this photo that my friend Kim took because his face captures the look of speechless which is one I haven’t seen (or heard) very often. Thank you, Amazon Prime!

Last year was 12 days of Christmas parties and this December isn’t shaping out to be any different. Office parties, birthday parties, holiday parties, Elf parties, cocktail parties, Garden Club parties, party, party, party. ‘Tis the season I suppose.

We drove to Gainsville for Kenley’s routine cardiac exam and were pleased to have another “uneventful” visit. Uneventful in the midst of all these events is appreciated in more ways than one. We were reassured with words like “normal” and “healthy” and “not overly concerned” as we drove back to Tallahassee. I’ve said it before, but it never fails- the waiting room at the Children’s Specialist Clinic at Shands Hospital has to be one of the most humbling places. Look around and you see children with rare, severe and obvious struggles. And parents, their caretakers, their cheerleaders – pushing them in their wheelchairs and holding them in their arms with tubes and bags strolled alongside- as if wearing invisible armor. It makes all things petty in world quickly fade into the background and bring into focus all that really matters. Faith, family, friends and health.

Ugly Sweater Contest

 

Our lemon tree produced hundreds of lemons that were more the size of oranges this year

 

Holiday Coffee

 

Impromptu Girls Dinner

 

11 year check up

 

Longlife Pine Outdoor Classroom

Our school recently planted a Longlife Pine Outdoor Classroom- a first of its kind in the country! There were 1500 trees and shrubs that needed to be planted. Raynes and I contributed by digging holes and planting trees on Saturday. The weather cooperated with December sunshine (scared to look at the chilly weather headed our way later this week). My boy is quite the green thumb- loves getting his hands dirty. A boy that likes getting dirty? Why am I not surprised?

Longlife Pine Outdoor Classroom via grateful simplicity

Those thick legs (wink, wink)…. Get me every time.

Longlife Pine Outdoor Classroom via grateful simplicity

Longlife Pine Outdoor Classroom via grateful simplicity

Longlife Pine Outdoor Classroom via grateful simplicity

Longlife Pine Outdoor Classroom via grateful simplicity

Longlife Pine Outdoor Classroom via grateful simplicity

Saturday Behind the Lens

Saturday Behind the Lens

I got behind the lens this weekend– a couple of times already (rare these days).  Christmas countdown has begun so I stopped by Coco’s new (beautiful) home to get some quick Christmas-card-worthy shots of her children, Downing and Catie Tyler.  With a two year old you never quite know how it will go. “CT” seems to be the exception to the rule. Then again, it makes it easy when they’re cute- throw in some golden hour sunlight and a beautiful orange tree, fall foliage and– whoila!  Don’t want to ruin whatever shot she chooses- so here’s a couple of the outtakes. I think she could make some Christmas change by charging people to use her new back yard for family photos. But that’s just me….

Saturday Behind the Lens via grateful simplicity

 

Saturday Behind the Lens via grateful simplicity

 

Saturday Behind the Lens via grateful simplicity

 

Saturday Behind the Lens via grateful simplicity

 

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