It has been a little quiet here since the Thanksgiving break! I intentionally took a break to spend time with my family and relax as much as possible, and it was glorious. We had a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with family, our son hung out with friends, we did a little shopping on Saturday. It was so nice to have unstructured time together to play, craft, read, cook, or do whatever we wanted.

Since it has been awhile I thought today would be a good time to return to Thinking Out Loud on the wonderful Running With Spoons blog (if you’re not familiar, head over because you need her recipes!). Thinking Out Loud is a blog series that encourages fun, unstructured writing to just get your thoughts out there!

One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions of ours is actually on Black Friday – that’s the day we set up our Christmas tree and decor. I love our assortment of tree ornaments especially! We have many really cute ornaments that our son has made over the years, both at home during our crafting sessions or at school during art classes. John and I both have handmade ornaments from our grandmothers, which are beautiful remembrances of them and their artistic abilities. We have store bought ornaments too, both from our parents and ones that John gave us during our first Christmas together. All of these together create a festive, visual history of our families and I love the memories that come along with assembling our tree.

I had a moment when Cian measured his fingers against the snowman finger prints when he put this on the tree! He’s gotten so big!

 

My grandmother had beautiful crochet and knitting skills! I absolutely love ornaments like this one that she made.

 

My husband’s grandmother carved this Santa out of a pencil. The detail on such a tiny piece is just incredible!

 

Currently reading: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. As the new year approaches, I’m always eager to clean, declutter, and start the coming year fresh! I’m not much for very specific resolutions (since they usually get forgotten by February!), but I do like taking some time to organize both my stuff and my thoughts, and to assess where I’ve been and where I want to go in terms of the current year and the next. As my son is getting older, these are fun conversations to have with him too and I like to hear his perspectives on the past and hopes and expectations for the future.

Currently watching: Stranger Things, Season 2. We started this show much later than everyone else with the goal of finishing by the time Season 2 was released, but we’re just now getting started on it. I blame late night studying on my lack of Netflix-ing! 😉 The first season really sucked me in, with such an interesting story I had to keep watching and find out what happens! The characters are believable and I’ve become so invested in what happens to them in the next season (like where is Eleven? When does she come back? She’s on the ads for the second season so she has to be there…thoughts like that!). The clear 80s influence/setting and music helps a lot too!

Currently crafting: Ornaments, a scarf, and a gift for my mom that will remain a secret because I think she read here sometimes! I’m vending at a craft fair this weekend, selling my wood slice astronomy ornaments and clear ornaments filled with dried flowers and herbs. Painting night sky scenes is really fun and relaxing and I absolutely love the subject matter. And filling the ornaments with flowers and herbs just smells amazing while I’m working on them! I love the ability with both of these styles of ornaments to bring a bit of nature indoors at a time of the year when we’re mostly bundled up inside. The scarf is a basic pattern in black and purple, and I hope to finish two by mid-January. At that time, there is an event in Baltimore where crafters (or those who want to purchase scarves or other winter clothing) bring them to be placed on a fence where anyone in need of warm clothing can come take them for free. My grandmother used to knit and donate hats, scarves, and mittens so I’m happy to follow in her footsteps and I’m already learning some new knitting (originally typed this as “knew knitting” – I guess I have knitting on the brain!) skills along the way!