Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas: Christmas 2013

I blinked and Christmas has already come and gone. I always seem to start planning and anticipating this holiday earlier each year and then I take a breath and I am gearing up for the new year. 

This year was much like the ones past and I am entirely alright with that. Lots of family, too much food, and the realization that another Christmas season has quickly come and gone. 

Christmas Eve was spent at Vintage City Church for a service and then we went on to celebrate with my side of the family. 

Christmas Eve Aftermath 

The big difference this year was the fact that we are currently childless, with one on the way. Next year will be completely different. I am very excited to live this season through the eyes of a child because I remember all of those years of hardly sleeping on Christmas Eve and anxiously awaiting the presents, laughter, and good food that arrived the next day. It will be a whole new world for us and I can't wait. 

Christmas morning was quite and peaceful at our home. Ryan had brought home donuts the evening before for his pregnant wife. The lady at the bakery was out of sprinkled donuts and made some especially for me! We also enjoyed a french press of Starbucks Christmas Blend, which year in and year out is a favorite of mine. It was slow and wonderful. 

New Christmas Jammies and a Growing Baby Bump
Give the pregnant lady all of the sprinkles.

I did try to soak it all in this year. I tried to not ask for any baby stuff and kind of make this my last big Christmas hurrah before we have a little one running all over the place. I received gifts that will help me reach my goals in 2014 (hello Fitbit!), accessories to make me feel like a human being when I find myself becoming a frazzled mama, lots of kitchen items (including one that has been on my list for years and I was shocked to receive), and Ryan and I bit the bullet this afternoon and bought ourselves new iPhones. I couldn't have asked for a better season with a better bunch of people. 

Christmas Day was spent at the Hollen's. We ate meatballs and mashed potatoes. It was awesome. 

I am ready for the new year. I am realizing that I am 44 days away from my due date as I type this and our nursery is in the room next to me in piles. There's is much to be done. I don't want to lose myself in all of it. I want to be a good mom and a good wife. 2014 will be a crazy year. But, for this evening, I want to dwell in all that 2013 has been. 

We have a few more days of this year to embrace and I want to soak it all. 

Christmas Decor 2013

I finally bought our very own white Christmas tree this year. Every year before has showcased a hand-me-down tree. This one is ours. I bought it in October. The guy at Walmart thought I was crazy. I love it. I'll take crazy. 

Hardly anyone has graced out doorstep this holiday season so I figured I'd post some of our decoration for the Christmas season. I probably decorate all of this far more for myself than anything else. I like it. I spend most of my days making sure Geoff the Cat doesn't destroy anything. So far, so good. The tree has remained in mostly one piece. 

This season has been busy. We have spent quite a bit of time at home as a couple, which I am totally fine with. Being exhausted and pregnant also helps with the hermit mentality. Our lives are going to be much louder and crazier in just a few weeks (holy cow!!!!) 

Geoff, plotting his destruction.

I love this wrapping paper from Target.

I will be sad to take all of this down. 

Hollen Family Christmas Cards

We accomplished something this year that we have never pulled off before....sending out Christmas cards! I probably had way too much fun picking out the design and figuring out the photographs for the card. It is difficult when you are both photographers and don't have anyone to take your own photos, go figure, but we managed! As long as you have a picture of your cat somewhere on the card to keep things real, you'll be fine. 

This also means I can cross another item off of my 28 Things List! (Click on the link to see where I am at in that whole process....) 

On the Back Blurp: 

Merry Christmas from the Hollens! 2013 was a year of many changes for us. We are expecting a daughter in February. Her name is Marin Ryan Hollen! We have spent the year playing as much music as time allows, keeping busy with work, photography, and film projects, and tolerating our cat, Geoff. We want to wish you joy and peace this Christmas season and pray for many blessings for you and your family in the New Year! 

It has been very enjoyable to receive cards from so many of our friends as well. Snail mail is pretty much the best thing ever. I will definitely try and keep this up as a tradition for the next few years. 

I hope all of you that we sent cards to received them. My handwriting is pretty horrible, but I really tried to keep addresses legible! Fingers crossed....

Merry Christmas!

Thanksgiving 2013 (Better Late Than Never)

It's officially Christmas Eve and I'm just now blogging about Thanksgiving. I think that little fact is a great representation of how insanely fast this season has flown by and how preoccupied I have been with being pregnant over the holidays. My mind is in about a million places at any given time. But, even in the midst of the chaos, I know once thing for certain: We have been blessed with amazing families and the fact that we are bringing a child into that family is very comforting and exciting. 

One of my goals for the New Year should be to take more pictures of Ryan and myself. We are always on the other side of the camera. Always. 

Happy Thanksgiving (On Christmas Eve)!

Better late than never. Right?