“Christmas” Vacation in Atlanta for New Years


A couple of my siblings have work schedules that make vacation time around Christmas a little difficult so sometimes we can’t all get together until the first week of January.  This was one of those years.  Since my parents moved to Atlanta 10 years ago, we usually change where we go for “Christmas” each year.  Some years we have done destination locations, but most of the time we go to someone’s house, since we are all spread out across the country.  We have actually come to Seattle more than any other location.  This year we decided to go to my parent’s house in Atlanta, since this is the last Christmas they will spend there before they retire and move to Seattle this summer/fall.  (Yay!!!!!)  It was Vu’s first time going to Atlanta, and it’s a good thing he made it before they left, as both my mother and his mother like to point out.  We flew nonstop from Seattle to Atlanta on Friday and UW was playing in the final four the next day in Atlanta, so there was a lot of UW spirit on the plane, including a tailgate party at the gate before boarding and a camera crew talking to fans as they boarded.  I think 80% of the passengers were in purple.

We had a relaxing week, hanging out and playing lots of games.  We got Chick-fil-a as much as possible since they are everywhere in Georgia, and I am still waiting for the one and only one we have in Bellevue to not have a huge line.  Probably not going to happen.

0-31-2 0-31-3

We had a pretty low key New Year’s Eve.  Rachel and Andrew went to the UW football game.  We slept in (hello West Coast time and recovering from colds that unpleasantly messed up our heads all week thanks to the flight), watched “The Lord of the Rings” and played games until we watched the ball drop with some sparkling cider.  It was my first New Years actually spent on the East Coast.

1-2 Continue reading

Christmas Advent Video

Christmas is my favorite time of year and I love all of the different advent activities to do to make the whole month of December feel festive.  For some reason Advent seems to be one of those things that most people just do with kids, but I love finding ways to celebrate my favorite holiday.  🙂  I designed some advent magnets for my scrabble quote board that I love and it was a very meaningful Christmas this year as we tried to find ways to serve to “Light the World.”  I have found that it can be a little difficult to find advent activities for every day that are for adults so if you are like me and looking for inspiration here is a list of the activities we did this year.

Dec 1 – Ward Relief Society Christmas Dinner, the perfect start to the month, hearing about how to make Christ the center of Christmas and “Let Him In”

Dec 2 – Bellevue Festival of the Nativities, this is one of my favorites every year, since I collect nativities from around the world I love seeing hundreds from all over as well as the Christ room beautifully depicting the life of Christ


Dec 3 – Girls Christmas Craft Night

Dec 4 – Hang ornaments on the tree and watch the 1st Presidency Christmas Devotional


Dec 5 – Build Christmas Lego’s, it also snowed all this week which was so beautiful, I have really missed the Utah snow

6-4 Continue reading

12 Month’s of Holiday Décor: December

December Decor (1)

Yay, it’s December!  Christmas is my favorite holiday and I have been so excited for the Christmas decorations!  I actually made most of them last year, I was really busy and productive last November. But I love the changes that I made this year even more.  Also, be warned, there are lots of pictures.

December Decor (2)

I love boxwood and wanted to use it around the mantle, but I haven’t ever seen any boxwood garlands.  So I bought a wreath from Trader Joe’s and then took it apart.  My friend Wendy also let me get some free holly clippings from her dad’s property, which was so nice.  I love the holly and boxwood together.  (When I told Vu we were going to get the holly he said “What is that?” seriously? How do you not know what holly is?)

December Decor (3)

This Olive wood nativity is from Jerusalem.  It was my first nativity.  It was a gift Vu gave me long before we were married.  He went to a lot of work to get it for me.  The wood comes from 1 of 4 olive groves that could be the garden of Gethsemane.  Of the 4 groves there are 2 that have a much higher likelihood of being the actual grove.  And then of those 2 one is a little more likely than the other.  This wood comes from that 1, the one believed to be the most likely to be the garden of Gethsemane.  As I understand it, it takes years and lots and lots of work to get wood from this grove.  Vu knew someone who managed to get one, and was making it into a piano.  Vu asked him if could buy the cut off pieces.  And then found a carver in Jerusalem that could then turn them into this nativity.  And each step required some intense kind of documentation to make sure it is still the same wood from that original olive tree from that one grove.   To me, it is kind of like the ultimate nativity.  It is very special to me, not just for it’s individual value, but also because of the effort and thought Vu put into it, and the representation of how much he loves me.  And because Christmas is my favorite.  After this, I decided to start collecting nativities from around the world, to represent my love of travel and my love of Christmas.

December Decor (4) Continue reading