Life Carries On, Even in December

Currently// Volume Four

While my heart feels tender this week, not to worry–I’m just full of pondering, full of soaking in this new season of Advent. And yet real life still keeps going (you know how it is, no time to wallow). I keep doing what I know how to do–shopping for Christmas tree lights, cramming in some Cyber Monday shopping (since I did absolutely no Black Friday shopping), figuring out what’s for dinner even though I don’t feel like cooking (and yet I always feel like eating, what’s with that?), managing too many loads of laundry, you know the drill.

So today I share with you just exactly what I’m up to while my body keeps working even though sometimes my heart wants to take a break.

Making// Landis and I trekked up to the Goodwill on Monday, where I grabbed a big frame for 3 bucks, with plans for my new Advent Calendar from Naptime Diaries. When we got home, I ripped off my shoes and sweater and headed outside in the cold and wind to spray paint the frame silver with the remains of my previous spray painting frenzy…It really was the worst spray painting job ever, but it got the job done. Really, take it from me, don’t try to spray paint in the wind, it’s a recipe for all sorts of bodily contortion and chasing paint that’s blowing in the wrong direction. But for my purposes, I just needed this project done because I was determined we would be doing the Advent together that night and would not start the month a day behind. So once that lovely wind dried my frame, I cut strips of decorative twine and hot glued it to the sides, in less than 5 minutes, because I had to rush off to take a kid to the orthodontist. And thus our Advent Calendar wall was made. Most women on instagram are hanging all the cards up at once, but I think that takes away from the anticipation of each new card and each new message, so we are adding one card per day.

Listening// As much as I’d like to be listening to my Christmas music playlist, including all my Harry Connick, Jr and Michael Buble’ Christmas favorites (apparently I like the swooning type), mostly I’m listening to Landis’s Christmas program CD…People, this is torture. I mean, the music choices are perfect and sweet, and Landis loves it, but this is just a practice copy, filled with a couple of songs that are cut and pasted, complete with their music teacher’s voice dubbed in at various points in the middle. And, friends, this is the same CD we had to listen to last year at this time. Which magically disappeared as soon as the program was over, don’t ask me.

Wrapping// Are you kidding me? Are people really wrapping their gifts at this moment? Please. I’m still shopping, and have yet to receive the first shipment of orders in the mail. Every time I’ve passed my wrapping paper bin in my closet lately I’ve been in denial that it’s time to re-stock…I’m kind of feeling this tug recently that we put so much effort (& money) into making packages look so beautiful, and it honestly feels like such a waste. I’m not a tree hugger, by any stretch of the imagination. But I just think the massive waste we make year in and year out is becoming repulsive to me. Yes, I broke down and bought 3 rolls of pretty paper at TJ Maxx, paper that honestly could fit right into my home decor, but I’m hoping to use all the scraps of paper I have from last year as well, and maybe even invert some birthday paper, and limit my buying of paper to what I absolutely have to have (am I turning into my grandmother, who always wrapped gifts in newspaper? she was on to something, I tell you).

Watching// Let’s see, we’ve already watched both Home Alone 1 & Home Alone 2, Holiday Inn, and A Muppet Christmas Carol…and I really think I’m forgetting something. We are all about the Christmas movies around here. I can’t even believe we haven’t watched Elf yet, a problem I will remedy as soon as humanly possible.

Anticipating// Well, apart from completing the Advent with my sweet family, stuffing their stockings with little goodies (apparently Landis thinks I always put mittens in stockings, does this mean I need to again? I think not), and enjoying two weeks off of school routines, I’m most looking forward to celebrating our 15 year anniversary by whisking ourselves off to a resort in January for one week, without the kids…need I say more???

I truly hope your December is full of both the ordinary and the special.

*I’m linking up today with In Residence and Dearest Love…., and also on Flower Patch Farm Girl...

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  • Love the advent calendar! Your display is perfect for it. I always think of them after December has started and then it feels a little late to get going… but this is such a lovely one, I’m tempted. And we’ve already caught Home Alone and Elf when flipping through the channels – just can’t help but stop and watch if those are on. Thanks for linking up!

    • Thanks for doing the link-up, Anne (I love that it’s once a month, because I just can’t keep up with some that are weekly!). And thanks about the display for the advent calendar. I’m loving looking at it every time I walk by. I’m so glad I came across this one (p.s., I think they are discounted right now on, so you could totally order one and just catch up, the shipping was super fast too!)

  • That Advent calendar is beautiful! Love that you don’t put it all up at once, I think that’s a great idea. Hope you get your shopping done soon so you can relax ๐Ÿ™‚ that’s my only incentive to get it done early!

    • Thanks Kaylan–Yes, I see how shopping ahead would be nice…I’m always in a bit of a panic at this point, and wishing I was more of a planner…but hopefully I can finish this week and then relax too!

  • love the decorations!

    hope the Spirit of the Season stays with you and yours,I have been praying for Him to keep me in the Spirit this year,too. I love this time of year!!

    • Oh thank you so much…I and praying the same thing–the treasure is Jesus, and I so so so want that to describe our celebrations this year.

  • Hey Gabrielle, I caught up on the internet today, and I wanted to let you know how funny I thought this post was. I can relate to a few things…like, for Gwyneth’s Christmas program we don’t have a CD, but we have lyrics (to a song I don’t know) to help her learn. I googled it (“Tell me when was Jesus born”), and YouTube gave me a fast country song by a bunch of guys with long beards. I really tried to replicate that for her, but she clearly isn’t used to that version. I can’t wait to see her performance and to know just how much I actually helped her with that. And gift wrap. I am using the box of clean newspaper we bought 3 years ago to wrap dishes when we moved. I bought some pretty clearance ribbon to make it festive. I walked right past all the rolls because I just can’t. I remember my mom always putting socks and/or mittens in our stockings… What else are you supposed to fill them with?

    • Crazy–we have more in common than we even thought! I love that you are using newspaper…I’m sure I would be too if we had any!

  • Oh, I love anything Naptime Diaries and love how you’ve displayed the advent calendar. (And the spray paint looks good to me–all those gymnastics must have gotten the job done.) ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks–yes, surprisingly the spray paint job looks fine on the wall, so at least there’s that!

  • Haha, don’t worry–I’m still shopping too! I’ve only purchased a handful of presents, and only wrapped one! We don’t even have our tree up yet! Ha. I love your advent calendar! Such a great idea!

    Thanks so much for linking up!!

    • Good to hear! Sometimes I feel so behind compared to everyone else! And thanks for hosting!

  • It’s embarrassing to admit, but I only saw Elf (in it’s entirety) for the first time this year! I happened to catch it on tv finally, so now I can cross that off my bucket list. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I hope you have a wonderful anniversary trip this winter. 15 years is certainly something to celebrate!!

    • Well, I guess it’s not the worst thing in the world to only just now be seeing Elf! Thanks for the well wishes!

  • Well, we must be soul sisters.
    I feel ya, all the way around.
    (Even down to the TJ Maxx wrapping paper!)

    • Good to know I have a partner in crime when it comes to all this stuff–we’re in it together, as I always say!