Holiday Highlights from Around our Home... {Life}

We're back to routine this week, which is bitter sweet. The holidays were wonderful, but routine again (and healthier eating) was welcomed.

I'm surprised school wasn't canceled today given how the snow is coming down.. so we all put on our snow pants and embraced the day (we walked to school, because this mama loves her exercise, and the kids adore the snow even if their breathing hard to get through it). I came home and shoveled the driveway, which feels like a hopeless task as the snow fell even harder. So after a very Canadian morning, I'm drawing my blanket and tea close and enjoying these holiday highlights from around our little home:

1. Who are we without a diy Christmas gift? We're proud of this homemade gift we made for our almost 2-year-old niece. And she loved it. It took us about 2 hours and cost us $8. Should I do a small tutorial? 

 2. Our spread for Christmas day... candy, chips, guacamole, veggies, and fruit.. we snack all day between presents and games.  And in the middle of it all, our Advent.. Mary and Joseph have arrived to Bethlehem and Jesus is born! And we're reminded of all the joy, and peace, and love we experience because of this. 

3. Their faces and these classic toys. An etch-a-sketch for her, and a remote control car for him. Okay, so the latter isn't so classic, but a remote car is always fun. We swap and play with them all, and it's so entertaining. 

4. A snow globe, one for each child, to mark our first Christmas together as a legal family (our adoption went through in September... and we're still amazed by this). 

5. My most lovely gift, The Nesting Place. This book is teaching me so much about loving my home, even in it's imperfect condition... and as a bonus, it's inspiring me to tweak my home (when I had almost given up), and to be okay with the mistakes along the way.

6. Oh, how we loved our tree which we cut down and strapped to the roof, and breathed a sigh of relief when it made it home. The handyman and I do the lights, and the kids take care of all the ornaments. Then we have the advent which we colored through the month of November and added each day to the tree.. as we eagerly anticipated the day we celebrate the birth of Christ. How glorious when this special day arrives. 

7. The handyman loved this stocking stuffer, "Pass the Pigs." We had hours of fun with that. And, a gift from our son, a candy train, that he bought from school and so carefully wrapped for daddy. It makes for a melted heart..

8. So attentive, with heads down, for an electricity experiment from daddy the electrician. Who could resist lemons and electricity?

9. And their first hockey helmets.. now there's nothing holding them back on the ice. We went to the Storybook Gardens ice rink and had so. much. fun.

10. My new birch candles.. because we hardly go a day here without the warm glow of a lit candle.

11. And finally (because I have to stop somewhere).. ping-pong on the office desk (a gift for the handyman), because we don't want to take ourselves to seriously around here. A reminder to find balance with work and play. 

How wonderful, and priceless, and special are these moments... our hearts are full as we begin 2015