Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Summary of 2014

In 2014...

We celebrated 10 years of marriage.

We made an offer on and went under contract on our future home. 
Our favorite little redhead turned 3, and we celebrated for the first time without a big party
Violet's 3rd BirthdayViolet's 3rd BirthdayViolet's 3rd Birthday

Stain & Paint
{Many thanks to all the family & friends who helped us move,
refinish our floors, and paint!}

We bought our first chicks
Ducks & Chicks

The Little Yellow Coop

Our favorite little guy turned 1! We celebrated with a rainy Wynken, Blynken, and Nod themed party
Paxton's 1st BirthdayPaxton's 1st BirthdayPaxton's 1st Birthday

We got our first egg!
For the Birds
Bushel & a Peck 

Justin left his job at ListenUp to seek out a new opportunity...

We did our first homeowner projects, like installing this new window which started off our kitchen makeover.
Kitchen Makeover - Part 1


Justin & I turned 30! We've been together for about 1/2 of our lives now. 

Our oldest, Eisley, turned 6! We celebrated at the Downtown Aquarium
Eisley's 6th Birthday at Downtown AquariumEisley's 6th Birthday at Downtown Aquarium

Justin went back to ListenUp and we all celebrated!

We decided to upgrade from our '04 Volvo with 180k miles on it to a newer, peppier version that will {God willing} take us on road trips in 2015. That car was good to us, 90k miles and two babies home from the hospital. What lies ahead with new Volvo? Here's to the next 80k. 


We completed our kitchen makeover with new countertops, a new sink, a new window, new tile, and lots of fresh paint. 
Lark & Lola House Kitchen Makeover
We got our first-ever flocked tree, and the kids' first-ever real tree. 
Christmas Decor 2014 

We celebrated the holidays well, especially one night when we had my parent's friends and our pastor's family over. Good times in the new home!
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The year came to a wonderful close, as it often does for Christians, as we celebrated the birth of our Savior. One day He will return and we celebrate that promise as well. 
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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Our Love,
The Erickson-Sanders


Auld lang syne...and all that...

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Shopping & Santa

Grandma, Papa, & Santa
Yesterday my dad (aka Papa) invited us to go Christmas shopping with him at Aspen Grove. Men just loooove holiday shopping and crowded malls, see? They can't get enough of it this time of year.

He even insisted on buying Pax this adorable newsboy cap at Gymboree.
Grandma, Papa, & Santa
It was the first hat Pax has worn willingly and didn't try to take off. It is worth noting that the only other hat he wears makes him look like a cartoonish fox boy complete with ears and a nose...it has a strap so he can't take it off. I imagine that the seriousness of this newsboy cap gave him a feeling of freedom. Plus, he looked like his Papa.
Grandma, Papa, & Santa
The truth is this: one of Papa's childhood chums was playing Santa at Cali & Mo {which just happens to be the shop I used to sell my handcrafted paper goods to!} and Santa's caroling friends were going to be there also.
Grandma, Papa, & Santa
My kids loved watching these carolers. They were really good carolers too. They did more than just sing, they entertained.
Grandma, Papa, & Santa
Tis the season for puffy vests!
Grandma, Papa, & SantaGrandma, Papa, & SantaGrandma, Papa, & Santa
Cali & Mo is a delightful store. If you need a unique gift idea, check them out for sure.
Grandma, Papa, & SantaGrandma, Papa, & SantaGrandma, Papa, & Santa
Grandma & Papa bought Eisley a newsboy cap too, and she hasn't taken it off yet. Violet opted for a headband with a big ruffly bow. This, friends, is a perfect example of their personalities via the millinery.
Grandma, Papa, & Santa
When it was time to see Santa, their true colors started showing.
Grandma, Papa, & Santa
Paxton was a champ and tolerated it for a few photos, but his face slowly became more pouty with each second. Papa pulled him away just in time before he lost it.
Grandma, Papa, & Santa
Eisley was all over this Santa business. They had serious wish list items to discuss.
Grandma, Papa, & Santa
Violet put one foot in the shop, spotted Santa, and proclaimed, "I DON'T WANT ANY PRESENTS!"
Grandma, Papa, & Santa
Hopefully Eisley put in a good word for her sister, who refused to go anywhere near St. Nick. Even if she thought it meant no presents for her on Christmas.
Grandma, Papa, & Santa
She did, however, accept a candy cane.
Grandma, Papa, & Santa
And we got this awesome picture. I didn't notice Eisley's pose until I got home and uploaded my photos. This kid cracks me up!!
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This was WAY better than going to one of the big and busy malls and waiting in line to see Santa while some disgruntled elf took the kids' photo. Santa will be there on December 20th too, so if you'd like to see him and his friendly caroling friends, mark your calendar!
Grandma, Papa, & Santa
Oh, and free horse drawn carriage rides! Forgot to mention that.

Cheers,
Heather

Monday, December 8, 2014

Decked Out

You know how I previously said that I wanted to experience a flocked tree at least once in life?
Christmas Decor 2014
Well, see? It turns out that once you've gone flocked, you're not going back. I've decided.

{And yes, since some folks have asked, let me assure you that this is a REAL live Christmas tree. It's a noble fir. We have to water it and worry about fires and mites and all that good stuff. It's great.}
Christmas Decor 2014
But boy...does she shine or what? Decked out with all our Christmas ornaments. I love it. I had no idea what a difference the flocking can make. Our Advent season is off to a great start in every way.
Christmas Decor 2014
Yes, Advent. A lovely part of Christmastime that we observe as part of the man-created church calendar, in anticipation of the big 25th. In our house, we decorate for the Christmas season and observe Advent, despite some liturgical worshippers thinking it can't be done. Justin and I think it's best to keep Christmastime Christ-centered, attending Advent services and looking forward to His second coming {there's been lots of that lately}, while also not nitpicking or criticizing others about home decor and carols. In fact, I enjoy seeing how other Christians observe Advent differently. In our home, we're going to be bringing out the nativity in stages. ;-) 
#adiaphora #notlaw #letspickourbattlesfriends 

"Nor is it necessary that human traditions, that is, rites or ceremonies, instituted by men, should be everywhere alike." - The Augsburg Confession
Christmas Decor 2014Christmas Decor 2014Christmas Decor 2014Christmas Decor 2014
So you can betchabottomdollar that I enthusiastically decked this flocked tree with our collection. As you can see we've got a bit of a sweets theme going on. 
Christmas Decor 2014
The girls each picked out a new ornament this year at Hobby Lobby. I let them choose glass ornaments and Violet, of course, picked the princess. Eisley picked this adorable snowman with eyelashes longer than mine.
Christmas Decor 2014
Pax is too little to be trusted with glass {which is why the top 1/3 of our tree has most of the ornaments on it} and so I just enjoyed pulling out those baby ornaments I picked out for his first Christmas last year.
Christmas Decor 2014Christmas Decor 2014
Don't you just love ornaments and how they can carry such good memories? This is Dopey from the 1950s. It was my dad's ornament, on his tree during his childhood. Yes, it is actually Dopey from Snow White. Disney looked different back then, huh? Dopey is very fragile, despite not being glass.
Christmas Decor 2014
I also love new vintage ornaments, these ones I've picked up at antique malls.
Christmas Decor 2014Christmas Decor 2014
In the 1980s Bristol Ware reproduced these antique "roly poly" tabacco tins from the 1910s. You know, back when tabacco companies were allowed to entice children with sleazy advertising? So my parents have one of these Santa roly poly tins. Every year during my childhood, mom would fill him with those Brach's peppermint nougats with the Christmas trees in the middle. He was part of my childhood, every Christmas. Anyhoo, a couple years ago I thrifted one of my own! Then last year I found the mini version next to him.
Christmas Decor 2014
Then, two weeks ago I found this matching roly poly ornament! It's becoming a thing.
Christmas Decor 2014
Speaking of Santas you can hide your tabacco in, last year I found these two sets of matryoshka Santas and the girls tried to make them their toys. So this year, we displayed them where they can't reach them.
Christmas Decor 2014
It's not that I'm a grinch, it's that they can be choking hazards. 
Christmas Decor 2014
Okay, I'm a little bit grinch too.
Christmas Decor 2014
I love seeing how other people decorate for the holidays, so if you blog please link up with me if you do a Christmas decor post!
Christmas Decor 2014
All of this was thrifted except for the cute stockings Grandma Holly made the kids last year.
Christmas Decor 2014
My bust girl gets in the Christmas spirit too by wearing a Santa hat marketed for cats!
Save a cat this Christmas: repurpose pet costumes.
Christmas Decor 2014
Justin bought us tickets to see the Colorado Ballet's The Nutcracker next weekend. I'm so excited!! It's been several years since we've been. I love The Nutcracker. I love Tchaikovsky, I love fairy stories, I love the ballet, and I love the sugarland decor!

Obviously, I've channeled some Sugar Plum Fairy in my house this year.
Christmas Decor 2014
Erickson tradition states that you should provide crudités and liquored up egg nog and play The Christmas Revels and/or A Prairie Home Christmas with Garrison Keilor whilst you decorate your tree. Well, this year we were in a bit of a time crunch and so the kids helped with the lights and then went to bed while Sander and I finished---without our booze and crackers and Christmas songs from Lake Wobegon--and so the kids woke up to a living room sugar land that just appeared.

Paxton didn't take it so well.
Christmas Decor 2014
That is, all morning he tried to get his hands {and mouth} on all the ornaments decking out the lower 2/3 of the tree.
Christmas Decor 2014
When I scolded him and wouldn't let him desecrate the tree, he had himself a pout-fest.
Christmas Decor 2014
I tried not to laugh at his over-the-top pity party. He called me a grinch.
Someone is getting nothing but coal in his stocking. 

Anyway, hope you're enjoying the season as much as we are. 
For God so loved the world... 

Cheers,
Heather


P.S. Sorry if sound snarky about Advent. Sort of. 
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