Holiday Prep, Pledge and Photos

Thursday, November 7, 2013
I love this site called The Art of Doing Stuff.  The author  (Karen, I feel like I know her) is very creative and funny.  In fact, consider yourself warned..DO NOT CLICK over to her blog unless you have hours of free time to laugh.  You will want to read each and every post and you will want to become friends with Karen too.

But I digress...Each year, my friend, Karen posts about the Christmas Pledge.  She suggests that everyone pledge to get all the "work" of Christmas done in the month of November leaving the month of December for the fun stuff like sitting by the fire sipping cocoa and watching Christmas movies or whatever else is fun for you.

Last year, I gave it a try.  And it was wonderful.  I attempted to get my shopping, cards, and decorating done so that I could focus on spending quality time with my family and celebrating the birth of Jesus and all of our Christmas traditions.

I am doing it this year too.  I told my kids to get their lists ready and I have already made a decent dent in the shopping. This year, we are trying to focus less on gifts and more on God.  The peanuts are allowed to ask for something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read.  Surprisingly, they were fine with that.  We will also pick a few philanthropic projects to do as a family.

So-- one of my biggest stressors each year is my Christmas card.  I LOVE Christmas cards. LOVE them! I save all the ones we get from year to year.  I start looking at all my favorite sites months in advance.  Sometimes, I fall in love with a card first and other times, I pick a photo first.  And as much as I love cards, I also love crossing this particular chore off my "to-do" list.  And it brings me great pleasure to say today that my cards are ordered!  Hurray!

In just a few days, the company I used is offering a fabulous giveaway here.  So, be sure to check back and enter.

I like to use a photo from our vacation some years but this year, I did not get one due to a sudden rain storm the night we decided to do beach photos.  So much to my kids dismay, I hauled them out for a mini session this past Saturday evening.

We arrived at the nature center at 5:51 and the sign said the gate closes at 6:00 p.m.  That did not leave us a lot of time. Luckily, I shot two outfit changes and a handful of poses quickly and I had several to choose from.  Here are a few that did not make the cut.  And I got a lot of fun bloopers that I'll post soon too.






So, take the Christmas pledge and start your list of November chores and be sure to check back within the next few days for a chance to win your Christmas Cards.


  1. Wow, Kate's hair has gotten SO long. I just love the shot of the boys holding Kate - the colours are lovely!
    I just did my shopping yesterday... for the girls. Not much left to do. I also so strongly dislike shopping at the last minute... because it seems the rest of the city has the same idea! :)

  2. I can't believe you took all of those beautiful photos in nine minutes! You amaze me!


  3. If these didn't make "the cut" I can't imagine how lovely the one(s) that did must be! I always LOVE receiving Christmas pictures/cards in the mail and hope for more and more each year.

  4. If these didn't make "the cut" I can't imagine how lovely the one(s) that did must be! I always LOVE receiving Christmas pictures/cards in the mail and hope for more and more each year.

  5. If these didn't make "the cut," I can't imagine how lovely the one(s) that did must be! I always hope for more people to send our family their Christmas picture/card each year because they are so beautiful to see!

  6. Good luck with the pledge! ;) ~ your friend karen

  7. Good luck with the pledge. ~ your friend Karen ;)

  8. I love the art of doing stuff! Thanks for turning me on to it! What a great idea for the Christmas Pledge. I'm gonna do it!

  9. SUCH a beautiful family! Your boys are so cooperative. My brother would have NEVER done this growing up! :)

  10. Great plan -- will check out that blog. Have started my shopping too and hope to get a lot of it done. Love the photos -- your kids are SO photogenic and adorable and cute and sweet!

    Have a great weekend!

  11. Your kids are beautiful!! I've already wrapped gifts, ordered containers for all the yummy treats, putting up the tree this weekend...I too want to sit back and relax and enjoy what Christmas is all about!!!

  12. Love the pledge! I need to follow it too! Also love your pics... I have a fond spot for the Nature Center. We adopted this past August and were stuck in your town for a few weeks. Instead of going stir crazy in our hotel, we got to know your parks and Nature Center. In fact, we got caught in a summer storm (unfamiliar to us in CA!) and got drenched along w/our five day old son. Luckily I am a third time mom and didn't freak out about it... laughed instead!

  13. Love it! I love taking time to enjoy the process, too!! We are already watching the Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas:)

    I'm intrigued by the 4 gifts/child... good idea! I haven't really started shopping yet, but I do have my Christmas cards ready to address :) Too soon to send to my friends, though!

  14. Great photos! Now I am thinking I better get busy! Ugh! Not enough time this year!

  15. wow, you're DONE?! yikes, we were going to take the photo today but it was dreary out and the light was so flat! hoping tomorrow it's better! you got so many great photos - your card photo must be amazing! kate's hair is so long! and your kids look so grown up. sigh. they keep doing that!

    love the challenge to be done in November - this year it is extra important since thanksgiving is so late! and the 4 gifts is exactly what we're doing too - however i didn't allow them to ask this year - prompted by the fact that tia made the statement "for christmas this year i'm getting . . ." my 15 year old loved that they couldn't ask - she said it will be fun to be surprised.

    have a wonderful sunday!

    xo ellie

  16. Okay, I want Kate's outfit.... boots and all. Your three are precious. Love your style and your pics. Blessings my friend. xo

  17. I love this idea. Im usually pretty good except for wrapping but last year (Coco's first year in all day school I wrapped as I bought and wow. it was wonderful to go to bed before 2am on the 24th. I did pictures this weekend and given the extra time before Thanksgiving Im really going to try to put it all to bed before 12/1… or at least 12/7 ;).

  18. LOVE this idea - like so many of the others that you share! I also loved seeing the pictures of Will, Harry & Kate - if these didn't make the cut, I am sure the one/ones that did are fabulous!

    Blessings, Ashley

  19. LOVE this idea too... just wish I could fit all the shopping into a one month budget. I don't have credit cards, so everything is cash, which has taken A LOT to get used to over the past year! Great pictures, as always! I will have to beg, plead and bribe my 3 over Thanksgiving to allow me a family photo op for Christmas cards... wondering if this will be the last year as my bigs are out on their own now. I am not sure yet how to feel about this new stage in my life. This growing up stuff has to stop!

    PS... Kate and Sophie both are looking so big all of a sudden... and both with long hair! How far are you from Dallas? I am making my first ever trip to TX next summer and would love to meet up!

  20. You kids are just the cutest- and boy have they grown up!
    -Linda, ny


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