Sunday, January 5, 2014

date 12: it's a wrap!

on my last date of christmas 2013, i wanted to share some of the festivities my family did during our week together. (i guess i had over the twelve dates originally planned. whoops!)
my family attended the south bend symphony, drank santa baby's at the chocolate cafe, painted our nails with sparkles, glitter & designs, hosted a christmas feast, visited breweries and wineries. we also laughed a lot, cried (some), ate && slept in. 

i learned quite a bit from christmas this year. 
i learned christmas isn't perfect. it can be stressful, and at times, tiring. it can mean missing someone you love. making the best of a situation & holding those who surround you close. it can mean loosing your temper & saying your sorry. 
it can also mean being real and totally a hot mess. 
christmas is about: not being perfect. 
nothing about it is perfect except for the true gift that God sent for each of us. 
Jesus didn't enter a perfect world, and yet, sometimes i try making this life perfect (an impossible task.) 
i am thankful i don't have to be perfect and the people in my life don't have to be perfect either. 
i am, however, in awe, taken back, speechless that a perfect God knows me, knows my name, and sent his Son to be born into this chaos to die for me, and for you. 

i can't understand why He would do this, but i am so thankful He did. && for this reason, christmas is so much more than what a picture, song, or movie portray. christmas is accepting this free, gracious, undeserving gift && loving on those around you because of this gift. 

merry christmas 2013. you have taught me a lot. 

date 11: baking!

no bake cookies, fudge, peanut butter with kisses, sugar cookies, chocolate cake. 
christmas would not be the same without a summers' baking day. 
full of chaos, flour everywhere, no ingredients in the cupboards, borrowing essentials from neighbors, "hard candy" christmas playing in the background && stomach aches towards the end. 

i love this day && look forward to it every year. 
however, this year, our baking day ended with a much different surprise. 
my dad came home with a special treat. 
he walked into our house with not one, but two legs. 
now for most people, no big deal right. 
yet, BIG DEAL. i have never really seen my dad walk with two legs. his new leg has a movable hip and even allows him to cross his legs, easily walk && play golf. 

it is quite amazing. i am so thankful.
i don't think another baking day will be quite the same. 

date 10: southport grocery

this year, i finished my dates with my family. 
i am a homebody- it's true. i love, love, love being home. 
so i wasn't too disappointed when my parents picked me up in chicago. 
we dined at southport grocery (my favorite breakfast spot!)
((i am obsessed with their bread pudding pancakes && bruschetta egg dish. if you live in chicago and haven't gone, GO!)) 

i wish i could go back to this place, this moment in time. 
(not only for the delicious food, but these precious moments go by too fast.)
this meeting place, this moment marks:
my first official day of break (!!!)
&& furthermore,
christmas had not yet passed & the best was still to come.
baking to be completed, windingbrook christmas lights to be viewed, friends to see, santa baby's to drink && the best part, it was only beginning of it all! 

i love moments like these. (time traveler, take me back!)

date 9: celebration a little early

in the middle of the week, caleb found out he had to change plans for work & wouldn't be home for christmas. 

we did some switching && celebrated a couple weeks early.

the nyboer tradition is fondue on christmas eve so of course on our "mock christmas" we tried our beautiful wedding fondue set. chicken and steak, cheesy potatoes, pumpkin bread & a salad. 
it was a bit of a smaller table than caleb is used to, but i think he liked it :)

and in the morning, SANTA came with red velvet pancakes, of course. 
i love that christmas can be celebrated any day. when i was younger, i thought santa only came on december 25. i suppose i am really getting old and realizing the joy of christmas truly is the whole season (& year in my opinion). 

christmas has meant something totally different to me this year. i have found comfort in the candles lit, the songs sung and heard, and the true fellowship of friends && family. i don't want this feeling to go away. i sometimes wish christmas lasted the whole year. 

happy nyboer christmas!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

date 8. bryant park.

"wondering" is what caleb && i do best. 
when we were aimlessly walking from times square, we ran into bryant park
&& a lovely christmas village (where i purchased my beautiful rockettes ornament which has seen better days, unfortunately)

and of course, a pickle stand caused caleb && i to become obsessed (leading to not one visit, but two. 
I am not kidding!!)

and, you do not even want to know my response when i saw a stand selling cronuts. 
no line out the door. ready at my fingertips! yes, please. 
it took me five minutes to decide which flavor i wanted. 
and yes, it was delicious. 

date 7. my half a century birthday.

it's hard to believe, a quarter of a century for caleb && me. 
celebrating in nyc was a dream. 
sarabeth's for breakfast. (who doesn't want a candle in their waffle!?)
&& a stroll around central park

i am thankful for 25 years, and here's to another 25. 

^^^ my kind of pop :)

^^^^  a lovely stroll