Christmas Traditions

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What an amazing few weeks it has been prepping for Christmas!  I hope all of you have enjoyed the little moments as much as we have. It truly is a beautiful time of the year.

As a young family, it’s been super important for us to try to build our own traditions.  John and I think about it often and try to make an effort to create consistent moments that our kids can look back on and feel the love in their memories.  Since our extended families have drifted away from our old traditions, we both wanted something on Christmas Eve that we could start this year and build on each year as our kids grow.  So, we had a full-on Santa Cookie baking day  — full of Christmas music, lots of yummy decorations, a yummy warm meal at the end of the day, and our Christmas Jammies to wait for Santa.

I started with prepping all of the materials before my sister and her family arrived.  I pre-made the dough 2 nights prior so that it was nice and chilled for rolling out. The recipe we use is here (without the baking soda).  I also made two types of icing that morning in several colors each —  one batch of Royal Icing and one batch of softer cream cheese frosting (I figured this would be easier for the kids to work with).  Then, I had way too much fun setting up a beautiful display all of our our goodies and decorations (a feast for the eyes!).

I bought us all coordinating aprons from Williams Sonoma so that we could get super festive and in the holiday spirit (I love that they make them in Kids’ sizes…the kiddos looked so adorable in them!).  I rolled those up and tied them in ribbons to display on a cake stand to surprise the kids with some fun when they arrived.

When everyone arrived we got to work —  rolling dough, cutting shapes, baking cookies, and eventually decorating each one.  I just love how the kids’ cookies turned out. The personality of each one is so fun to see.

It was a TON of work, but so worth it. It really was such an amazing day and such a fun time. The kids had an absolute blast playing in the background and they thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the process with us (and sneaking LOTS of cookie dough bites!). The best part is we all had beautiful cookies to leave out for Santa that night.

Hopefully we can continue to build new traditions with our other holidays and Christmas will also continue to evolve. It is so fun creating these moments for our kids!

A New Chapter

Today marks a new chapter in my life’s journey.  Fair warning: it’s about to get real.

After almost 10 years of working at IMG in the corporate world, I am taking some time off to focus on family during the early years and to start a little business of my own at the same time.  To say this was a difficult decision is an understatement.  It has been a lot of weighing options, looking at pros and cons, and going back and forth about where we ultimately wanted to be.  But in the end, it’s my gut that led me to this decision.  And it feels so good and so right.

I recently looked back on some journal entries I had 4-6 years ago.  At the time, I was SO TORN about the direction of my life.  In my mid to late twenties, I was thriving on youth and success…and I wanted as much as possible. I didn’t think I could have kids and focus on a career — I knew that either my career or my children would pay the price.  The funny thing is, I still come to that same realization. I can’t have both.  But what I want is so different than what I thought I wanted during those earlier journal entries. From the moment I learned I was pregnant, my entire world shifted.  I know that sounds so cliche, but it is the only way to describe it.  Since becoming a mother, I no longer thrive on self-fulfilling elements….I truly care only for enriching the life of my son and family.

While being the best mom I can be is obviously the MOST important thing to me, there are other dreams I am seizing at the same time. It’s been my ultimate dream to build and run a business of my own, so this opportunity is an incredibly exciting moment for me. It is definitely going to be quite a journey, and I’m not sure where it will go. Will it be a success or a failure?  Will I be happy out of the corporate world or miserable?  Will I have the time to be a mother and build a business?  There’s still a lot  of unknowns and lot of work to do, but I am excited for the challenge… and happy for the chance to be doing it while giving my son everything he deserves.

I hope to use this blog as a sounding board for my journey and I look forward to sharing it with you all.  It may not be pretty, but hopefully it’s true to me.

As I close this chapter, here’s a fun look at some of my fondest memories from my decade with IMG (they could literally go on and on).  I am eternally grateful for the lifelong friends I have met all over the globe and the amazing business skills I have gained along the way. I am a richer person in the ways it matters most.