Around These (Short) Parts

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Hey. I feel like it’s been a hot minute since I’ve sat down to write. I find it hard to consistently blog in December, so I allowed myself the grace to just not. ūüėČ Instead, I’ve been reading, working on projects, listening to the second season of Serial, eating far too many cookies, buying Christmas presents and taking an obscene amount of trips to the post office. Oh, and working. I’m looking forward to January when retail holiday season is over and things quiet down.

Continue reading “Around These (Short) Parts”

Christmas at Home

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Jordan and I stayed in Nashville for Christmas. Our Christmas traditions have been evolving over the years, but¬†this was the first year with just the two of us. While not exactly ideal, we found a way to make the day special. ūüôā

After arriving home from work, we made a simple brunch while White Christmas played in the background. It’s my favorite classic Christmas movie and I couldn’t conclude the holiday season without watching it.

We were able to FaceTime with our families throughout the day, which made the distance seem not so vast. Jordan’s family always watches Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back on Christmas afternoon at his grandparent’s house, so to keep with tradition we did the same!

All in all it was a great day spent with my love.

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Merry Christmas

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Wishing all of you¬†a merry and bright Christmas from our family to yours! And wherever you may find yourself on life’s journey, I hope we all can¬†find comfort and hope in the¬†birth Christ.

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.¬†Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord‚Äôs glory surrounded them. They were terrified,¬†but the angel reassured them. ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt be afraid!‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúI bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.¬†The Savior‚ÄĒyes, the Messiah, the Lord‚ÄĒhas been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” Luke 2: 8-11

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Weekend Links / / Gluten Make Up

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/ / I did a little gluten-free baking this week: chocolate chip cookies and banana bread. I was pretty proud of myself for how they each turned out. Baking is really all about the recipe you choose to use, so the¬†originators get all of the credit. I still have several more bananas that need to be used, so I think Minimalist Baker’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread¬†is next on my list.

/ / My photography journey has been trial, error and a bit of luck. I have found that using food as my subject¬†allows me to try different angles, settings, and locations without the fear that the item will walk away. Elizabeth shared several¬†great tips that I’m excited to begin working on.

/ / Serial Parody on Funny or Die.

/ / Make up and hair tips for glasses wearers. My favorite look is a top knot with a bold lip.

/ / Five, easy, DIY garlands from A Beautiful Mess. I’ll be visiting after¬†Christmas sales to purchase bauble ornaments to make one of these!

/ / Bek wrote beautifully on Advent.

“This is what Christmas is. It set the stage for how He would save the world. Joy & pain. Faithful & forsaken. Silence & angels. Darkness & light. Loved & hated. Miracles occurring & treks across deserts. Fully man & fully God. Death gives birth to life.”¬†

Wishing you a beautiful and relaxing weekend.

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/ / Linking with Meagan.

Weekend Links / / Eggscussions

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/ / Are you caught up on the Serial podcast? The penultimate episode was released yesterday morning and last night Sarah Koenig appeared on The Colbert Report. She gave insights to why she decided to tell this specific story in a serial format.

/ / My friend,¬†Kate, shared several wintry photos on her blog¬†last week.¬†Chicago during Christmastime is extra magical. I’m not exactly going to miss the harsh weather realities of January and February (and March and April), but I will miss the extra glow illuminating the¬†city streets from the twinkle lights.

/ / I love listening/watching people being interviewed about their¬†craft. During each awards season,¬†The Hollywood Reporter¬†gathers actors, writers, directors, and producers together into groups for¬†roundtable discussions. These conversations are interesting, candid and remind me that no one is living without challenges¬†(even big Hollywood stars). Did you know that the writers for Dallas Buyers Club began working on that screenplay 20 years before the movie¬†was green lit to be filmed?!? I’m pretty sure I would have given up. Assuming that if my script¬†wasn’t¬†selling it must not be good. Talk about perseverance!

/ / After eliminating¬†dairy (except butter) and gluten¬†from my diet, I have become hyperaware of people who live¬†with severe allergies/intolerances.¬†I won’t break out in hives or be admitted into the hospital if I eat¬†bread (I’ll just wake up with a new pimple) but I know people who will. I’ve become all too familiar with vegan recipes and generally flax seeds are the replacement for eggs. When Amy shared her cornstarch version I was really intrigued. Have any of you experimented with flax or cornstarch “eggs”?

Happy Weekend, all!

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/ / Linking with Meagan.

A Night at The Symphony

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Jordan and I value time spent with each other and our loved ones. I’ve seen far too many people live a lonely existence as they allow friendships to fizzle with age. We’ve realized that being proactive in planning¬†special¬†events throughout the year is essential. Life gets busy and unless you really think in advance, date nights or get-togethers with friends become infrequent. Because of this, Jordan and I fill our calendar with parties, day trips, vacations and concerts sometimes six months in advance.

Back in September, our friends mentioned that the¬†Nashville Symphony¬†was putting on a special Christmas production of¬†Home Alone. While I wasn’t even thinking about Christmas in September we decided to purchase the tickets and make a double date out of it. I love how, after a busy couple of weeks preparing and traveling for Thanksgiving, we already had a fun night planned to reconnect.

The¬†Schermerhorn Symphony Center is located downtown and we arrived a little early so we could walk around the city. December in Nashville is downright perfect. I haven’t had to wear my winter coat yet!

Even though I’ve seen Home Alone countless times, watching it communally with¬†live music renewed my love for this holiday classic. Laughs were shared during the McCallister rush to the airport, shrieks echoed throughout the hall as¬†Harry and Marv stepped on Christmas ornaments, and happy tears were shed when Kevin and his mother reunited.

I hope they do this again next year because it was such a great experience.

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/ / Have you have seen a production like this before?

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Currently / / December

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Making / / Granola (this & this), chili and my grocery list.

Listening / / Christmas music of course, but also Colony House. I listened to their album four times in a row the other night!

Wrapping / / More like purchasing the presents to be wrapped. I always have intentions to be more organized, but somehow time slips away from me! ūüôā

Watching / / Jordan stayed¬†in Illinois longer than I was able to¬†after Thanksgiving, so¬†I¬†rented¬†The Fault in Our Stars while I had a few free evenings. I read TFIOS¬†earlier this year, so I wasn’t expecting to get emotional. Wrong! I was totally that girl crying on the couch alone.

Anticipating / / Cuddling on the couch watching holiday movies with Jordan, decorating our apartment for Christmas, and fresh starts after a busy and challenging year.

What are you currently doing/making/enjoying?

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/ / Linking with Anne and Jenna.

Siblings Reunited: A Christmas Story

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We’ve been spending more evenings at home than usual this January, juggling between two polar vortex’s and several snow storms, so Jordan and I opted to keep our small Christmas tree up for a little while longer. The cozy ambiance that the tree lights add to our living room has been much enjoyed! So in honor of the Christmas cheer that is still present in our home, here is my very late-to-the-party Christmas post!

Christmas 2013 was highly-anticipated: reflecting on Jesus and the story of his birth, spending time with friends and family, watching our favorite movies and listening to plenty of carols! This year was particularly exciting because it held the long-awaited Short family reunion. A portion of Jordan’s family lived overseas last year and returned at the start of 2014.

In the meantime, we spent Christmas Eve with my parents enjoying my mom’s famous homemade pizza. I will never forget my nieces greeting us that night by proclaiming,”IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME!” Yes, little ones it really is ūüôā¬†Christmas Day we drove to Jordan’s grandparents house and enjoyed Christmas part one with them. I’m still wishing for another piece of grandma’s killer cherry pie! Yum Yum!

A little over a week after his family’s arrival, once the jet-lag lifted and the weather cleared enough, we loaded up our cars to celebrate a belated Christmas.¬†We packed this day full with a second road trip to his grandparents house, yummy food, Dutch Blitz tournaments, naps, scouring for the lost nativity scene (^ the above was the alternate version), and exchanging special gifts to one another. The early morning sunrise slowly melted into a cool evening sunset all unnoticed as we continued sharing stories, laughing and generally catching up on the full year 2013 was for us.

Experiencing the siblings reunited was a very special sight to see and what better time than under the Christmas lights.

Merry Christmas

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Wishing you all a beautiful and warm Christmas from my family to yours! We’ve been very blessed this year and we are looking forward to 2014.

In the meantime, I have a little treat for you. Below is a cover of WHAM!’s “Last Christmas” that my husband’s band, Hallows, recorded. Enjoy!