Friday, April 29, 2011

Traditions: Christmas in April (Part 2)

Today we’re continuing part 2 of “Christmas in April,” which actually follows part 1a and 1b and 2a of a series of posts about Traditions.  So I suppose this is part 2 of part 2… or just 2b.  Clear as mud? :)  In case you missed the first 2 posts about Easter, you can get caught up here and here.  And before you read this post about Christmas, you can read the first half here, where I shared some thoughts about St. Nick and giving, as well as two fun stocking traditions.

Christmas Movie Night
The first official Christmas tradition that Matt and I started together (unintentionally at first) was a Christmas movie night with Matt’s siblings.  When we were engaged, Matt brought his younger siblings (Katie & Zach) to my apartment to watch “Elf .“  (Andrew & Emily lived in Cali at the time).  Each year since then we have continued to have a movie night with Matt’s siblings.  We choose a holiday flick and enjoy dinner and/or Christmas treats.  Over the (6!) years that we have hosted, the demographics of movie night have changed significantly:


Christmas Movie Night 2007 (excuse the photo quality- dying camera)

Christmas Movie Night 2010... Ha ha ha
 Who knows what this will look like down the road.  I can see it either morphing into more of a cousin gig, or into a date night without any kiddos... or both.  Personally, I also love the occasional treat of seeing a movie at the theater.  When we get to the place as a family where our kids are the right ages and a good holiday movie is playing, I think it would be fun to go all out once or twice.  I am sure there are countless other ways to build a fun cinematic Christmas tradition.  Who doesn’t love a good Christmas movie!? 

Christmas Eve Thai Food
When I met my husband, his family would hit up their favorite Thai food restaurant for dinner every Christmas Eve.  Isn’t that fun?!  Matt says he thinks they started the tradition 10 years ago.  Matt & I always look forward to Christmas Eve Thai cuisine with the Morgans!  Our holiday-extended-family-routine is typically to alternate Christmas and Christmas Eve, so the years that Christmas Eve falls with the Morgan clan we get an extra spring in our step with visions of panang curry dancing in our heads.  In more recent years, as we’ve added babies and toddlers to the family table, we have ordered take out and enjoyed the meal together at home or opted for other dinner fare.  I think this tradition might be hanging by a thread, but we all hold out hope each year! :)

Souksan wan Christmas!


Christmas by Countries
A couple of Christmases ago, my Mom (inspired by her longtime friend) came up with an idea to start celebrating ‘Christmas around the world.’  So each year we choose a different country to research, and we collaborate to plan our celebration around its unique customs and traditions.  The first year, we celebrated "La Noche Buena" (Christmas Eve in Mexico).  We prepared a fun Mexican dinner, learned about and implemented some neat aspects of Christmas in Mexico, and played some themed family games.  This past Christmas it was “Buon Natale” and all things Italy.  We were even visited by La Befana!  We have all really enjoyed doing something creative and different, and it is a great learning experience for the older children—actually for everyone.  Some of the traditions we highlight are just fun and festive, but there are also some significant opportunities to emphasize Jesus through the customs of other countries.  For example, in Mexico the nativity scene plays a leading role in the festivities, probably similar to the Christmas tree in most American homes.  They leave baby Jesus out of the scene as they wait for Him; on Christmas Eve, one of the most important parts of their celebration is placing Baby Jesus in the manger.  Love it.  I don’t think we’ve chosen a country yet for this year, but check back in December to read about 2011’s cultural Christmas!

Italia, 2010


And Let’s Not forget…
I have focused on some more unique traditions, but let’s not forget how special and meaningful all the old favorites can be!  Candy canes, decorating the tree together, Christmas caroling, a special trip to look at lights, baking cookies, Advent calendar, Christmas Eve worship, reading the story of Christ’s birth, preparing and sending Christmas greeting cards, and many more...  There are also a lot of ways to use the simplest symbols of Christmas as object lessons to point to our truest reason for celebration.  As I was browsing the web, I came across a sweet little webpage called True Meaning of Christmas.  It is short, so I will just let you check it out for yourself.

Hope you had a Merry Christmas in April!  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Traditions: Christmas in April

After writing about and celebrating Easter, I decided on Monday that I would go ahead and continue a little series on traditions.  The informal part 1a and part 1b are both about Easter.  Today, I thought I would jump to Christmas.

Santa
As I mentioned in my "Easter" post, I like this article by Mark Driscoll about what to do with Santa Claus.  The premise of the article is that we can reject him, receive him, or redeem him.  For the Driscoll Family, redeeming Santa looks like telling their kids the truth about the real person of Saint Nicholas and the origins of the cultural traditions surrounding his persona.  They encourage their children to enjoy the festivities and make believe, but they also distinguish the pretend from truth.  Plus, Santa isn’t all myth and magic.  Driscoll ends his article writing:
“In sum, Saint Nick was a wonderful man who loved and served Jesus faithfully. So, we gladly include him in our Christmas traditions to remind us of what it looks like for someone to live a life of devotion to Jesus as God. Our kids thank us for being both honest and fun, which we think is what Jesus wants.” (http://blog.marshillchurch.org)
Now I am sure, like most things we teach our children, giving the scoop on Santa will be a somewhat on-going process.  We won’t sit Reed down next Christmas (at 21 months old!) to give him a history lesson on Saint Nick, set the record straight, and check it off our list.  Ha!  Our early efforts will be more focused on living out authentic celebration of God’s gift of grace to the world.  Indeed, the story of the first Christmas holds plenty to marvel and wonder at!  As a side note, one resource Driscoll does recommend for parents of younger children is the below Veggie Tales movie Saint Nicholas.  (Has anyone viewed it?)

Veggie Tales: Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving

*My disclaimer is that I do not hold my way of “doing Christmas” as the perfect or only way.  Besides, my hunch is that what we emphasize and embrace will impress our children even more deeply than what we downplay or ignore, so let’s keep rolling…

Giving
Our first Christmas with Reed (this past Christmas) originally prompted some discussion about what we would do in our home to help our children understand what Christmas is all about.  One thing we decided to change right away was our gifting habits.  For the last several years, Matt and I have been less intentional about exchanging gifts.  For example, this year we got smart phones and just declared them our Christmas to one another… and we didn’t actually get them until March!  (In defense, we do always fill stockings for one another!)  We decided we want to be very purposeful about modeling giving in love...  We celebrate with giving to others because God gave us the greatest gift—His Son Jesus.  Mommy loves Daddy, and she picked out this little gift just for him.  Daddy loves mommy and he got her this gigantic diamond necklace… just kidding. :)  But you get the point.  We thought it would be a good idea to be more intentional in all of our giving (family, friends, others in need), making the giving—picking out something to bless someone—even more fun than receiving.
We also bought our first family gift from the World Vision Catalog.  We actually let Reed “pick out” what he wanted to send- it was great!  As Reed gets older, we want to help him understand more and more of what the gifts are and how they help families in other countries.  How fun if giving, especially to the neediest in the world, became one of his most treasured parts of the Christmas season …or life!

Stockings
I have a couple of beloved traditions for stockings, both of which I came across several years ago and have modified, but I have no earthly idea where I originally read about them- apologies!

Notes: First up is an idea where each family member writes down a favorite memory from that year about each other family member and puts them in the respective stockings on Christmas Eve.  I love this, and I hope that my kids treasure their little notes more than their other loot.  I know I will!  As an alternative, you could do something like this as a New Year Tradition.

Buttons: The second tradition is to give each person a button for Christmas that represents something special and unique about that year for that person.  For example, a bike button for the year Reed learns to ride a bike, or a lizard when he gets (never!) a pet lizard... or whatever stands out from each year.  You sew these onto the back of the stockings before you pack them away, and as your children grow, they end up with a keepsake that tells a special story.  You could even make a fun evening of taking down the Christmas decorations together and include this tradition.  I think the original idea had a button under each person's plate at dinner.  I started this 2 years ago and put a heart-shaped button in Matt’s stocking and in mine, to represent our last Christmas just the two of us.  This past Christmas, I got each of us (Matt, Reed, and myself) a shamrock button to remind us of Reed coming into our lives in 2010!  (Reed was born on St. Patrick's Day).  This all sounds so corny when I write it out, but I love it!

As I’m writing this, it is becoming apparent that just this Christmas post could be broken down into several different days, so I will leave you with the above traditions ideas and wrap it up tomorrow with a few more.  Plus, Reed just got up from his nap and is standing up on his own holding a cardboard box over his head...  How lame if he learns to walk while I am blogging--and about traditions and memories.  Ciao!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ice Cream Cake

Happy Birthday to my favorite person in the world-- Matt Morgan!

Thought I'd post an ice cream cake "recipe" today in honor of the hubs' b-day.  I usually make one, but this year my Mom surprised Matt with a delicious oreo ice cream cake from Bruster's when we celebrated Easter together, so we will probably have something different today.

Ice Cream Cake

1 pkg. Oreos
Butter (calls for 1/2 stick, but I try to get away with the least amount possible)
Ice Cream (any flavor- mint chocolate chip was my family's favorite)
Set out ice cream for several minutes to soften
Hot Fudge, one jar
Whipped Topping, thawed

Crush entire package of oreos, mix with melted butter, and press into bottom of pan
Layer ice cream evenly on top of oreo crust
Next, add layer of fudge
Spread whipped topping evenly on top
Freeze for at least 6 hours

Set out several minutes before serving

Yum!

Monday, April 25, 2011

This Time Last Year

Last night, I decided to glance through last year's Easter pictures when Reed was a tiny 2 1/2 weeks old, (which also means I cried).  So just for kicks:

Easter 2010

Steal my heart, sweet baby Reed!

While we are on the subject of this time last year and happy tears, this date last year (April 25th), we were celebrating Reed at North Metro Church's Baby Day.







Okay, dry your eyes- we need to move on... Since we've been talking about Easter traditions this week, I thought I would just go ahead and start a series of posts sharing other traditions.  So watch for a Christmas in April post later this week.

In the meantime, comment with or email me your traditions ideas!  I would also really love to hear any family traditions that you have in place, want to start, or enjoyed as a kid.  I will even compile the shared ideas to feature... if I get any... from my 5 followers! :)


Hold on to your Hats!
Danielle :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

After all my big talk about Easter plans and ideas, I thought I would report back with how we actually celebrated this year.

Easter Party & More Fun Easter Ideas
On Thursday, Reed & I attended a super-cute play group party.  We started with a craft: "Thumb bunny loves me" magnets.  Using some bright paint on Reed's thumb, we made two small prints in the shape of a "bunny" on a simple piece of paper.  Add some ears, an eye, and a white cotton-tail and voila!

Oops!  I left Reed's craft on Thursday, so this image is a stand-in... same basic idea for the bunnies though.

Next, we fixed "rabbit sandwiches" for a lunch/snack.  Um, so cute!


Ingredients:
Flat pita bread rounds (For the face and ears)
Cream cheese, white/regular and pink/strawberry (Face and ears- see picture above)
Gum drops or other similarly shaped food (For eyes and nose)
Matchstick carrots (For whiskers, of course)

We ended with a quick Easter egg hunt... Reed's first ever!


Before going outside, Luanne (hostess) told a really cute story about a little bunny who lived in Gethsemane Garden and witnessed the burial and Resurrection of Jesus.  It was an interesting way to lead into the egg hunt, as she tied some events in the story concerning a basket and a fallen egg to reminders (for the bunny and now for us) that Jesus rose from the dead.  So she told all of the kids that whenever they see their baskets and eggs to remember, like the bunny in the Garden, that Jesus is Alive!

Saturday with Family
On Saturday, we visited with my family.  (We sure missed the Altizers!)  We shared a delicious Easter meal, and my Mom prepared an egg hunt fit for an army of toddlers... but for two crawlers.  Reed and his cousin Cameron surprised us all and were very adept at egg hunting!  Also, apparently we have trained Reed well; he gathered all of the eggs that contained cash.  Boo-yah!

crawling cousins

Easter Sunday
Sundays are busy mornings for us (about to get busier- more on that to come), so we started the morning with a hug for a PJ-clad Reed, and plopped him down near his Easter basket.  Can you please just take a look at his cute face as he swept the living room and spotted it?

love.

 I ended up using a beach bucket for Reed's basket (someone remind me to buy a basket on sale this week!), since he's making his first ever visit to the beach next month!  The bucket and sand tools are from Reed's Gram (thanks, Mom!).  The foam cards with words and pictures are for the bath, and let me just tell you- he LOVES them.  Reed is learning new words every week, so I saw these at Target and decided to use them to fill his basket. 

 

The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His NameThis Easter, we also gave Reed his first Bible, the Jesus Storybook Bible.  Love. This. Bible.  It is technically for ages 4 and up, but I think it is never to soon to introduce children to God's Word!  The tagline is "every story whispers His name."  It contains 44 stories that not only retain the essential meaning of each account (as opposed to just a paraphrase), but each one also points to Jesus, our Savior.  I highly recommend this Bible.  You can check it out on amazon by clicking on the picture to the left.  In 13-month-old-ese, we simply told Reed Happy Easter... that today we celebrate that Jesus is alive... We looked through some of his picture/word cards of things that God created for us to enjoy, and then I flipped through His new Bible with him and showed him the pictures of creation, the Fall, Christmas, Easter, and the Ascension.  That about covers the cliff's notes version of the Good News for 13-month-olds, right?? :)
 
After church on Sunday, we spent the rest of the day with our Morgan family-- more cousins, grandparents, and fun.  We had an absolutely gorgeous weekend here in Atlanta, with temperatures in the 80's.  Mimi even busted out a rocket sprinkler that provided entertainment for kids and adults alike for a good part of the afternoon. :)  Unfortunately, I don't have any pics, but you're sure to find some here in the next couple of days.

Hope you had a blessed Easter!
Morgans Easter 2011


 The greatest day in history
Death is beaten, You have rescued me
Shout it out- Jesus is alive
The empty cross, The empty grave
Life eternal, You have won the day
Shout it out- Jesus is alive
He's alive!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Some Pictures and Treasures

This picture post is belated, but I wanted to showcase a couple of fun 1 Year pictures of Reed.  These shots were taken on a pretty March afternoon during a visit by my dear friend Nicole.  You can see more of Nicole’s photography work here, and several more of Reed’s 1-year shots here (online album).




Last weekend, for Reed’s 13 month day (or just because), we bought this awesome blue guitar at a garage sale for a buck!  Reed strums on it pretty much every day.  Love it.  And since it was only a dollar I don't worry about whether he will break it or anything- Bonus!



We also scored a jogging stroller for $30.  (No, I don’t really plan to jog with it, and I will save the actual reason I bought it for a future post). :)  It is in great shape and has lots of compartments and features!  Reed really loves it.  Any time we get in or out of the car, he cries as we bypass the jogging stroller for the car seat/house.  Ha.  This morning, Reed accompanied Matt to set the trash cans outside for pick up.  They had to walk by the stroller on their way through the garage, and as you can see from the alien PJs on the passenger, we didn't make it back upstairs before we gave in and took a stroll through the hood.



Sometimes I forget how fun garage sale-ing can be!  My tips: Hit up community sales where an entire neighborhood participates, and arrive early.  If there is something you have your heart set on, start shopping sales well before you “need” the item.  It is probably out there.  If it's a big-ticket item (like a stroller), then do your research and know the features that are most important to you.  Having a price goal in mind helps too.

...I leave you with Reed’s dress rehearsal (what?) for Easter Sunday. :)


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"Vegging"

Today I would like to pass on a couple of healthy recipes.

1- Baked Kale Chips 

source: www.fitsugar.com

This week, inspired by my friend Lisa, I made kale chips for the first time.  They were pretty good, but I think I made the pieces too small.  Reed mostly wanted to crumble them in his hands since the texture was so fun and flaky… and Matt mostly wanted to know what in the world he was ingesting.  Kale is a super food!
According to Wikipedia:
"Kale is considered to be a highly nutritious vegetable with powerful antioxidant properties; kale is considered to be anti-inflammatory.[1]
Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and reasonably rich in calcium.
Kale, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical believed to have potent anti-cancer properties.[citation needed] Boiling decreases the level of the anti-cancer compounds; however, steaming, microwaving, or stir frying do not result in significant loss.[2] Along with other brassica vegetables, kale is also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells.[3][4] Kale is also a good source of carotenoids.[5]"

(This kale chips recipe is from www.fitsugar.com.  See the entire post here).
 Ingredients
1 large bunch Tuscan kale (10 to 12 leaves)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 275°F.
  2. Remove stalks and ribs from kale. Rinse and dry leaves.
  3. Toss leaves in a large bowl with olive oil. Sprinkle leaves with sea salt and ground pepper.
  4. Arrange leaves in a single layer onto a baking sheet.
  5. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until crisp.
  6. Transfer and let cool onto a wire rack or paper towels.

2- Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts


Brussel Sprouts happen to be in the same vegetable species as kale, which means they have similar nutritional benefits.  This recipe was passed on from my mom and dad.  Matt claimed he was too full to eat his serving, but I thought they were great.  I even ate them as leftovers straight from the fridge for lunch.  Yum!
 
Ingredients
1 to 1 1/4 pounds Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt

Preparation
Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove tough outer leaves of the Brussels sprouts, rinse well, cut off the stem end. Slice in half vertically (through the stem end).
Toss sprouts with olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a bowl. Pour onto a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil. Sprinkle sprouts generously with 2 to 3 pinches of kosher salt. Roast for about 20 minutes, until sprouts have begun to caramelize on the edges. Note: These can be made up to 8 hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate, then warm in a 300°F oven for 10-15 minutes prior to serving.

Reed can eat both of these recipes, but we have a couple of other go-tos for super greens that he could eat when he was a little bit younger (8m+) as well.  I’m a big spinach fan.  It is nutrient rich and a GREAT source of calcium.  Whenever I fix eggs for breakfast, we scramble them in the magic bullet with a few spinach leaves before cooking them.  Reed probably thinks eggs are supposed to be green!  Love it.  We also add fresh spinach to smoothies in the magic bullet (or blender) for an extra (secret) burst of veggies.  I add spinach to almost every salad we toss around here, and it also wilts beautifully into spaghetti sauce (or if you have little littles you could puree the spinach before adding to the(any) sauce, even freezing an ice cube tray full so it is always on hand).  When Reed gets older, I think it will be fun to freeze yogurt and fruit (+ spinach!) smoothies into popsicle molds and serve him “popsicles” for breakfast!  Who doesn’t love getting in a super veggie before 9am!?

Any "vegging" tricks of your own to share?  Comment away!

Hold on to your hats!
Danielle

Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter

Easter is this weekend, and I have been thinking a little bit about what that might look like in our home.  I LOVE traditions and I love the idea of establishing some fun and meaningful ones for my family.  I want our Easter celebrations to be about our resurrected Savior!  About hope and life and the Good News.  I don’t want to ban the Easter bunny or egg hunts or anything, but I also don’t want to invite furry celebrities and sugar and surprises to overshadow our true reason for celebration. 

So, I have 4 thoughts to share and a question:

1.     This past Christmas was our first as a family of 2+, and Matt and I had some good conversation around Christmas traditions and changes we wanted to make (perhaps more on that in a future post).  I found (and liked) this article by Mark Driscoll about Santa that helped put words to my own thoughts on the matter, and I think it also sums up my position on el Easter Bunny.  Check it out and see what you think: link

2.     I started googling “Christ-centered Easter ideas” during Reed’s nap the other day, and came across one mom’s blog about a cool way to use your kids’ Easter basket and colored eggs to teach through the Easter story during Passion week.  It is pretty detailed, so I definitely want to spend some time appropriating it.  And, of course, you could make some adaptations here and there to remain age-appropriate.  (Click on the link above to see post)

3.     Resurrection Rolls are also a fun idea.  These are basically biscuits you can make with your kids on Saturday night that end up hollow (like the empty tomb!) when they bake on Sunday morning.  I can picture sticky, smiling kids excitedly biting into their “tomb” to make sure that it is empty.  Just google for a recipe and find one you like best.  Some include detailed talking points, or you could simply emphasize the main idea of celebrating Jesus’ empty tomb (especially if you go with the basket idea… both might be overkill).

4.     For the record, I am not of the opinion that there is any one right or wrong way to approach traditions and holidays.  Honestly, I think a lot of parenting will come down to the state of my own heart and what I authentically live out in front of my kids.  This Easter, am I genuinely most excited about remembering His sacrifice and celebrating his resurrection?  Is Christ my everything?  Am I treasuring and seeking Him daily?

5.     What are some other fun and meaningful Easter ideas?


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Date Night and a Monumental Milestone

As mentioned previously, I do know that blogging is old hat, but I decided to throw my hat in the ring anyway and perhaps make a hobby of rambling on about various things.  We’ll see.  I will keep you… posted.  Har. har.

I had all these lofty ideas about a blog schedule and categories and such and I told you I would tell you what you can expect around my blog, but I’ve decided to wait on all that and start slowly by posting when I can/ want to.

__

Anyway, last night was monumental for the Morgan family…  We left Reed for a date night, and someone else put him to bed for the night—successfully!  This is big.

Now, first of all, let me tell you about our date night rotation.  You should totally try this.  With two other couples from our small group (who also have little boys), we scheduled out 6 Fridays this spring for a date night rotation.  So 2 Fridays we keep all 3 boys at our house, and 4 Fridays we get to go out on a date.  We opted for open drop-off/pick-up between 6:30 and 11:00, and each family brings and sets up their pack-n-play.  You could, of course, set different guidelines, even weekend afternoons instead of evenings.  Then, you just go to dinner followed by coffee or a movie.  Or, if you are like us, you end up on a romantic stroll hand-in-hand through the aisles of your local Target.  You might even find a good sale on toilet paper and buy a new sippy cup for baby.

 Max, Reed, and Haven

Now, back to the monumental milestone.  We have left Reed plenty of times in his 13 months, but if it was ever in the evening we almost always either picked him up before bedtime (meaning we ate a "grandma dinner"), or we put him to bed ourselves and left after he was asleep.  Two main reasons for this strategy: 1- I nursed Reed until a few weeks ago and it was just easier to maintain at least one constant at bedtime (as opposed to different home, different bed, different caregiver, and bottle instead of the real deal—the last two went together, of course).  Reason 2- Reed is a little bundle of separation anxiety.  He cried when I left him from about 3 months on.  He didn’t make it in the church nursery without crying so hard the sweet workers called me to get him (or examine his hives) until about 9 months.  And at that point he (we both) just cried it out.  He is famous at church.  And I should also say he has always had the most awesome caregivers in the nursery from day one.  It is the best when other people love on your baby!

 Exhibit A: Grammy Murry reading Reed a book that says "Boo!"  Judge reaction for yourself.

We also went through this whole stage where I got to get away every Thursday evening for me-time, while Matt and Reed had “man time.”  Matt would give Reed a bottle and put him to bed.  This was purposeful in a lot of ways, not the least of which was getting Reed used to a nighttime bottle weekly, so that we could use a sitter seamlessly.  Soon we realized he was 8, then 9 months old and it was time to phase out bottles anyway.  Obviously I could ramble on about this endlessly but the point is (is there a point?) that before last night someone besides Matt or myself had put Reed to bed only 3 times in his 13 months, and these instances were all prior to 6 months old.

So last night was a big deal.  Last night was our first night out since he had been completely weaned and it was an experiment of sorts.  I was actually really excited to see how Reed would do (and really thankful for friends who would volunteer for such an experiment).  We were planning to just come get Reed after dinner when his piercing cries started echoing through the Bowman’s home, but instead we got this text:

Just put him down and he already stopped crying!!!  He cried for like 45 seconds—sweet Reed.  I think you’ve turned a corner :)”

We celebrated after dinner by perusing Kohl’s.  Hand-in-hand, of course.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hold on to your Hats

Hold on to your hats… I don’t want to get all wild on you with my originality, but I’m starting something called a “blog.”  Have you ever heard of blogging?  Don’t feel bad if you haven’t.  This must have started last month when Matt and I got cutting edge with Internet on our phones.  (Yes, Granny Clampett, on. our. phones.)  Snowball effect, perhaps.  Can’t stop this trendsetter!  I kid.  Actually, I follow lots of blogs.  When my sister recently started a savings blog (hers is super useful, unlike the outlook for mine), I felt kind of inspired to join in the fun.

As much as I’d love to have a single creative passion or a marketable skill to blog about, like say photography or design, I most assuredly do not.  You can call me a jill of all some trades and master of none, I guess.  Still, I (like most of us) wear many different hats in my everyday life as a woman, wife, mom, and friend.  I figure I will mostly post about life in these “hats.”  So I’ll just be sharing some random thoughts and ideas as I go about my hat-wearing days.

My first thought was to call the blog “Hat Hair” …kind of cute, but I was won over by the double entendre of “Hold on to your Hats.”  As the expression suggests, marriage, mommyhood, and life can just plain be a wild ride!  More than that, though, I am learning to hold my hats close to my heart in the sense of embrace.  I am truly grateful for the roles God has entrusted to me.  My goal for this blog is to learn as I share.  And my hope is that the process of posting will inspire fresh motivation and intentionality for me (and maybe you too) to sport my hats with style and grace.

I hope you’ll read along.  And leave a comment or two along the way; I’d love to add your blog to my reader.

Hold on to your hats!
Danielle

PS- See you next time for a description of my first pass at what to expect around here.  Oh, and more hat puns, likely.  :)