Holiday Mix is Here; Happiness and Cheer

[dropcap]I'[/dropcap]m sitting in my living room with a new addition — our Christmas tree, of course. It took a little longer to find “the perfect tree” this year (the guys who are working in our neighborhood were insistent we waited for their next delivery) but here we are, listening to Christmas carols on my iPod, playing video games (James), and napping (Pepper). It seems like the perfect time to unveil one of my favorite blogging traditions: the annual mix because oh my god if I could, I would listen to cheery, jazzy wintery tracks all year long. (Isn’t it ironic that I’d rather listen to songs about snow than actually have it be snowing? Ha.)

To be honest, most years I’m so looking forward to the new albums released in October before the season is officially upon us. But this year, not so much. I’ve downloaded a few tracks here and there (I highly recommend Stevie Wonder’s “Someday at Christmas” with Andra Day) but it seems this year is destined to be one where I enjoy old favorites. Not a bad thing at all. So I hope whether you’re at work today, decorating this weekend, or online shopping and wrapping presents, you’ll give my latest a listen. (James and I gave it a listen two nights ago, and it’s a good one; I swear.)

⇒ It’s that time of year (RBR 2015)

Have a super weekend, and remember to enjoy! (Oh, and don’t forget to share your favorite tunes below. I might be missing one in my collection!)

More fa la la fun holiday mixes: 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014

Thankful Hearts

Friends,

It’s that time again. That little holiday smushed between the grinning pumpkins and twinkling lights — a little day dedicated to sharing our appreciation, taking time away from our daily stresses, and spending it with people who make us smile.

Before you go off to enjoy your holiday, we thought we would share a little bit about our own.

(Are you hungry yet??)

estelle.

The past 3 or 4 years have brought a ton of change to the traditions I’ve loved since I was a kid. (Something I never imagined happening, sadly.) But I know I can expect an early morning wake-up call to catch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (no matter how late I get in the Wednesday before the holiday), a freshly made pie from my husband (before him, we had primarily store-bought baked goods), and a sweet potato dish I make without fail even if no one loves sweet potatoes except me. (It’s not a selfish thing; I promise. It’s more of a tribute to my grandma. We were the lone sweet potato lovers!)

Baby Estelle at Thanksgiving Way Back When

Baby Estelle at Thanksgiving Way Back When.

I have to say after a long year of so many obligations making it hard to see each other, I’m looking forward to some uninterrupted time with the family. (And watching Santa usher in the holiday season I love so much. Cue the tears.)

Thanksgiving 2013. Photo by Husband.

Thanksgiving 2013. Photo by Husband.

magan.

Magan-and-Family

These are my people (circa 2008); please excuse my questionable hair choices.

Every Thanksgiving, our schedule is completely different. Crazily so. Dustyn and I are so, so grateful to have our grandparents and parents to spend the holidays with. Luckily they all live within a 25-ish minute driving distance from one another. This means we spend a lot of time in the car, driving between houses, and eating three entirely different meals because FOOD. Full disclosure: the driving does stress me out. Making sure we’e divvied up the day equally and not cut anyone short means a lot to me.

But truthfully, I know this isn’t forever. So we do it. And we treasure it.

Magan-and-Grandmothers

My two grandmothers and me at my college graduation lunch, 2008

In fact, this year will be a little different because there won’t be a big gathering with Dustyn’s grandparents. We’ll visit with them here in Austin at my brother-and-sister-in-law’s house before driving to their hometown to see my paternal grandparents. It seems like things are shifting a little bit and I’m nervous. Our grandparents have never seemed to age and time has sort of stood still, but this year…things are different.

My Grandpa is a die-hard Aggie. The fact that I graduated from UT is unfathomable to him.

My Grandpa is a die-hard Aggie. The fact that I graduated from UT is unfathomable to him.

♥

HAPPY (early) THANKSGIVING!

What will you be doing? What are your family traditions?