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Oh December Daily, how I totally love you. This is the FIRST time I’ve fully completed an entire December Daily project which is basically just an album full of photos and stories from each of the days in December leading up to and including Christmas. You can read more about this project here, but I basically chose to go with a minimalist approach (as far as embellishments and rules go) and I’m so glad that I did. I’ve been posting the pages on Instagram, but thought I would do a quick wrap-up of the project here to keep all of the photos together.
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Day one included all of the back story of decorating our house for Christmas for the very first time. It was so fun to be able to choose lights and decor for our space. Like a champ, Kevin took care of all the outdoor lights while I snapped the photos. As I was doing this project, one of the first things that stuck out to me was how self-conscious I was with my camera outside of my home/comfort zone. I feel like DSLRs can feel really intrusive to people, especially if you’re shooting in their general direction so I tried to get more comfortable carrying it with me. The pictures from my DSLR really do show such a difference in quality compared to the photos that my phone takes, so I think dragging it around was worth it. photo 5E58C32B-3634-4CCE-85B0-41F4F3286CBA_zpslxccirxe.jpgI spent day two, three and four in St. Louis with my family. The girls’s shopping weekend that we were planning in Kansas City didn’t end up working out, but we got some shopping done at home instead. I indulged in my first red cup drink of the season which was particularly enjoyable because I chose two of my favorites and let my mom pick her which one she liked best because she had never had either of them. It was really important to me to document this weekend without sharing it with the whole world (or even guests who may want to take a peek), so I added a note card with tab to the top pocket protector with some more details. photo AC0D2C14-C001-4CC1-B321-4F1623915368_zps1iumf45p.jpg

On day three, my Dad and I grabbed some Kolache, a type of pastry filled with meat, a dollop of fruit, or a combination of things, after my Dad heard Dave Glover talking about them on the radio. The shop pairs the traditional Czech Kolache with some STL favorites –  Pappy’s Smokehouse and Byrd and Barrel, to name a few. They were so delicious that we went back the next day to get enough to share with the family. photo 2F8D46E7-8FE5-4F8D-9F76-2D48A8AD0EFD_zpskbudikry.jpg

On day four, I got a new ornament for our Christmas tree, which prompted me to write about a tradition that my parents started when Eric and I were kids. Each year, we would go to Hallmark as a family to pick out one new ornament to add to our collection. Those ornaments would always go front and center for that year so we could show it off. Eventually, we started receiving catalogs in the mail, so we would know which ones were coming out and we would have ours picked out before Hallmark even began putting the Christmas stuff on the shelves, which we all know happens about halfway through the year. Since Kevin and I finally have the room to store them, my parents gave me all of the ornaments I had picked out that had been accumulating on their tree for 25 years. This means that our tree was full of Barbie, Gone with the Wind and other girly ornaments to go with Kevin’s sports collection, it really did make a perfect combination. photo A1597D9D-4654-4CBF-9DD6-7779C2B0684C_zpsckgbprpv.jpg

Day five was pretty quiet, so I printed out instax of Kevin and I at Christmas each year that we have been together. I am so thankful for how easy it was to pull these photos up so that I could see them all together in one happy bunch. They are in order on the page starting with 2009 and going up to last year (2015). Hard to believe that this Christmas was our eighth together.

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The writing says, “Tonight I discovered the world of sappy Christmas movies while Sarah wrapped presents. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the ridiculousness.  We also made the most delicious chocolate chip cookies and chatted about  goals for 2017. I am so thankful that Sarah is quick to remind me of the important things in life. Love that girl.”

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Day six is the day I sent out Christmas cards. For the last two years, I’ve tried to get photos early in order to take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales when I purchase them online because dang those things can get pricey quick. If you even think about having the corners rounded it’s another $0.10 per card. Even though they can get expensive, I always intend to send them out because they are just so much fun to receive. I love getting mail, so receiving all kinds of cards from my family and friend’s truly adds to the magic of December.

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Day eight is a plain and simple list of some of my favorite Christmas songs. I keep a running playlist and update it each year with new albums that are released. I particularly loved Jennifer Nettles and Francesca Batistelli’s albums this year. photo 53C3AD8F-F420-48C2-81E7-8BB25E740E49_zps5grzq4kt.jpg

We take Christmas pretty serious at work, so we got to celebrate with two Christmas parties. One for our department on the 9th and one for the whole company on the 10th. On the 9th, we celebrated our accomplishments of the year and played lots of fun holiday team building games. The snowman in the picture is a cookie that was about the size of my head.

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The 10th of December is Kevin’s birthday so at the end of his run on the trail, Chloe and I were waiting for him! I was so glad that I got to snap that picture to commemorate. Also, as I mentioned above, the 10th was also my company’s Christmas party. Kevin kept joking that they were putting on a party for him with his closest 2,000 friends.  photo 8FEB8473-DB86-4FBA-971F-95C3956370EA_zpsxurz6ypr.jpg

The next day was a day of relaxation and hanging out at the house. I started leaving blankets scattered around so that there would be one  in every room. I can’t stand the freezing cold. For the twelfth, I did a little wrap of my word for 2016, which was nourish. I was so excited to say close the door on this word and open it up fresh to my new one.  photo 6FAB3990-15DF-4FB6-BAD4-92CE7B81D032_zps5tiokmad.jpg

On the thirteenth, I participated in an ornament exchange with some ladies from work. I have to be honest in saying that I guard my time pretty hard and often times can’t make it to extracurricular events that happen in the evenings, but I’m so happy that this one worked with my schedule. I took the ornament on top and came home with the one on bottom. I probably wouldn’t have chosen it for myself, but I love the eclectic style and the fact that it could be used as our Christmas tree topper. The next day, Kevin and I decorated gingerbread houses. We decided to turn it into a tradition after we had so much fun last year, but let’s just say that these didn’t work out as well. This kit came with four little houses so we intended to finish them up and ask for our friends and family to vote on their favorites. Unfortunately, between the two of us, we were only able to get one complete because they kept falling a part. I think next year we’re going to need to go with the pre-built ones or just super glue the sides and roof on. Either way, I’m sure I would have won.

Thanks for checking out part one, I’ll be sharing the rest of my album next week, so stay tuned!

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