oh, but I thought I'd ask you just the same
what are you doing
new year's, new year's eve?
what are you doing new year's eve | she and him

Usually, once December 31st rolls around, I shake my head and wonder how another year has flown by. I can honestly say that this year, I don't feel at all like it flew by. In many ways 2011 was the best year of my life so far. I have grown more than I ever thought I could as God brought different challenges my way and as various chapters of my story unfolded before me. There were endings and beginnings. Relationships changed- most, I can happily say, for the better (by far). All in all, it was so very good. 

This year I stretched myself, did things I never would have expected myself to do before. I traveled and saw people and places I had missed dearly, with people I love. I saw waterfalls, beaches, campuses, mountains, and more, yet found, as always, that I am most content at back where I belong, surrounded by the people I love most. I prayed hard- more than I ever have- for many, many things. You could say that it paid off. 

Easily, one of the single most monumental "events" from the past twelve months was the end to my scoliosis story.... and since I could ramble about this forever I'll kindly spare you and just let you read it for yourself over here. The fact that I am entering a new year without a. a plastic shell around me or b. the knowledge that I have to be measured for my first one (as was the case in 2009) is inexpressible; there simply are no words. 

Over the past twelve months I received my first "big" camera. I told you all {and many friends who never knew} about my scoliosis for the first time. I renewed promises that I had made to myself. I traveled to the beach. I took a closer look at a treasured heirloom. I realized how much I love the woods. I started a new project. I bought my first lens. I became more comfortable with who I really am. Oh, goodness.. I experienced freedom. I went to the farmer's market for the first time. It was a full, exciting, difficult, fresh, beautiful year. 

And I cannot wait for what the next twelve months hold.

So, tell me. What are you doing this New Year's Eve?

Happy New Year everyone.




It is here, finally. Christmas Eve-- full of anticipation and joy and family and love. Christmas is officially one day away.... the climax of a beautiful season. To say that I love this day and the days to come would be an absolutely enormous understatement. I honestly think that the next week is the happiest one out of the entire year.

Wherever and whoever you are, I'm wishing you a very merry, merry Christmas. Remember, please, the true, real reason for this oh-so-special time of the year-- Jesus Christ. It is all because of Him. Merry Christmas friends!





Oh goodness. It's been a bit too long, friends-- sorry about that. Life has been crazy but good, especially with finishing off school for the semester. But the bright side? Guys, I'm officially on Christmas break-- as of Friday. Oh. So. Good.

maybe the best book I've ever read // memorizing. so much wisdom.

inspiration wall // twinkly lights

collages // sweet girl

In any case, I wanted to fill you in a little on my life, recently. I have a really Christmas-y post in the works, but for now, here are some Instagram photographs from the past few days. I always love the feel of Instagram photographs; the laid back, relaxed feeling is unbeatable.

oh hi there. // lemon tea

oh Christmas tree // sparkle toms

gingerbread house day

Merry Christmas, friends!




This past weekend, we finally did one thing that I had been waiting to do since -ahem- the day after Thanksgiving. Yes, I have always loved picking out our Christmas tree.... I remember trips from years past to local tree farms, where my family would chop down our own tree, then munch on candy canes and sip hot cider while it was prepared for us to take home on top of the car. It is easily one of my favorite and most treasured traditions.

This year was no different. We poked around a local shop, looking at possible options and examining them all in the chilly December air. We settled, as usual, on a frasier fir, and let me tell you, this tree is beautiful. 

Last night, we decorated the tree.... another one of my favorite traditions. The strings of lights cast such a pretty glow, luminating the ornaments we hang on the tree year after year. As I've written here so many times, this season is one of my favorites. The idea of a "merry little Christmas" has always appealed to me; nothing too over-the-top nor too simple. As is usually the case, I somehow like the wait and the in between moments of this season, like these, a little more than the actual holiday. 

What memories do you have of picking out a Christmas tree? I'd love to know.


ps: new frequently asked questions page is up and running! take a look?




December is tradition. Decorations we have had for years are now perched on their usual places, our favorite Christmas music is almost always playing, and plans have been made for some serious Christmas cookie baking over the upcoming break.

December is anticipation. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the first real snowfall. So far, only flurries have appeared.... and that first snowfall is so pure, so special, and has always has occupied a special place in my heart.

December is newness. Adding to tradition is also a good thing.... I am going Christmas caroling for the very first time ever this coming weekend, and could. not. be. more. excited. Afterwards comes the annual Christmas concert at our church, another favorite occurrence of mine.Trying new things, simple though they may be, keeps life full and exciting-- especially when it comes in the form of new peppermint tea as a sweet surprise from my equally sweet mother. {She knows me well.}


December is decisions. I love finding, buying, and wrapping {especially this part!} gifts for those I love. I toss ideas back and forth in my head, weighing options until I stumble upon that perfect gift. I kind of like love gift-giving.

December is inspiration. It is combing through magazines and lookbooks with a mug of steaming cocoa, finding new decorating ideas, cookie recipes, and ideas for the season. And yes, I am most definitely a nerd because I like these things. ;)

December is music. Oh, yes. I always have some playing. My current favorite is the first on this list.... it never fails, I tear up every time I hear it. The tenderness with which Mary's thoughts are portrayed is nothing short of beautiful. More to come on this.
be born in me (mary) // francesca battistelli
hallelujah (light has come) // barlowgirl
o come all ye faithful // amy grant
winter snow // audrey assad
he has come for us // merideth andrews
you're here // francesca battistelli
silver bells // reliant k

December is joy. Taking time to slow down and smile at those little things, laughing about nothing with best friends, and spending lots of time with family. I so like this season.

What is December to you?




The leaves have mostly fallen from the trees, and now lie on the ground, lacing the floor of the woods. Wearing such accessories as scarves, hats, and coats is no longer an option, but a necessity.... the brisk, chilly days are here to stay.

December is here. The days of autumn are growing few, and winter is coming soon. Brief days. Snowflakes. Christmas on the way.

I like the hope and the feeling of December. More to come.