Sunday, December 11, 2011

Happy Now-Dec. 11

1. December 1st Tradition:  I'm starting off my Happy Now 10 this week with a happy moment that actually belonged in last week's post.  As I was getting into bed after writing my post last week, I realized that I had left out one of the happiest moments of the week.  I couldn't just leave it out, so I'm leading off with it tonight.  Ever since I can remember, my family has had a holiday tradition of celebrating Dec. 1st in order to kick off the Christmas season.  Growing up, we would have a nice dinner and my brother and I would receive Christmas pajamas and an advent calendar.  While Darren and I couldn't be gathered around the table with my family this December 1st, we were still able to celebrate thanks to my parents who sent us pajamas in the mail and e-mailed us a beautiful Jacquie Lawson London Advent calendar for our computer.  I love this tradition and am so glad that we have been able to keep it up despite the distance that separates our family members.

2.  Darren's help with trees: I mentioned last week that I was making a set of paper trees for a decoration exchange I had been invited to attend.  The trees ended up taking much longer than I expected, but I was fortunate enough to have Darren to help cut circles and come up with creative solutions.  When the trees were too top heavy to stand up in the thread spools as the directions said they would, I was about ready to throw in the towel.  Darren saved the day (and the trees), however, by suggesting we glue the spools to an extra square of green card stock and then anchor the trees with some extra Christmas saltwater taffy we had.  Here's how they turned out:

3.  Decoration Exchange:  Sara did an amazing job of organizing the decoration exchange and preparing a lovely setting and delicious food in her apartment for the event yesterday.  As much work as I had put into my decorations, I still felt like they looked like popsicle stick ornaments compared to the other crafts that had been prepared.  I would not blame the other girls for depositing my paper trees in the nearest trash receptacle, but I am grateful for the crafts I got from them that I can, and currently do, use.  Here is what I received:

From left to right: felt Christmas tree wreath, snowflake ornament, "Silent Night" musical note ornament, Santa belt ornament, homemade carmel apple dip and an apple, "Let It Snow" painted mug, flower coat pin

Our "family room" with our new wreath and tree ornaments

I wore the flower pin on my coat to church today.
4.  Christmas Pillowcases:  Darren and I have been meaning to put these festive pillowcases on our pillows since we returned home from Thanksgiving.  This week we finally added them!  We received the pillowcases for our wedding last year and I love how it brings a little Christmas into our bedroom.

5.  Dinner with Whitney and Kelly:  My parents knew Whitney's parents before we were born.  Whitney and I have grown up together and then moved to Utah together as she started college at the University of Utah and I went to BYU.  She has been a great friend.  Darren, my mom, and I were able to attend her wedding to Kelly in Salt Lake last August.  Last night we got together with the Whites for dinner and had a great time catching up with these two.  I'm so glad to know that this friendship will continue to grow as we meet together as couples and future families.

6.  Warm(ish) Winter Weather:  A few weeks ago I mentioned being grateful for a thin layer of snow outside.  Now, any sunny, relatively warm day can make me immediately smile.  Today it was 45 degrees outside when we left for church.  That's not exactly balmy, but it's definitely warmer than it has been.  Did I mention that we will be spending our Christmas holiday in CA where it stays in the 60s during the winter?  Can't wait!

7.  Christmas shopping:  I LOVE Christmas shopping.  I love trying to find the right gift for loved ones and anticipating their reaction on Christmas morning.  Yesterday, Darren and I had a fun time walking around the mall and finding little gifts for some family members.

8.  Visiting Barnes and Noble:  Darren and I go into the Orem Barnes and Noble any time we are in the area.  We rarely buy anything, but there's just something about bookstores that we both love.  Maybe it's the smell of the books or being surrounded by other people (kids and adults) who find joy in reading.  We have even talked about how fun it would be to own our own bookstore a la The Shop Around the Corner from "You've Got Mail."  I may even have a name picked out for our little bookstore and a sketch with what the inside would look like. :)

9.  Chats with Parents:  I've had some great chats with my parents over the phone recently.  I feel like I've hit the jackpot when I can have both of my parents on the line at the same time.  We've shared quite a few laughs and have had some inspiring talks about the future this week.  Thank you, Mr. Graham Bell!

10.  Family History:  This week, Darren created an account on and was able to trace part of his lineage back to the 1300s.  So cool!  I wanted to have a share in the fun so I jumped on and started doing some research on my family tree.  I only read names and dates, but I immediately started to wonder about the personalities and lives associated with those names.  Genealogy is such an exciting work, and I am looking forward to learning more about my heritage on-line and through conversations with family members.


  1. love this posting, kate... i am getting ready for the annual christmas lunch tradition with your mom... so, so, so lovely!! i would love to visit your bookstore someday... i was in barnes & noble yesterday (how does an hour go by so quickly when i visit there?!)...i was surprised at how many people were crowding in to select & buy the books. please be sure to include comfy chairs in your shop! ;-)
    much love & season's blessing to you & darren.


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