Christmas Family Traditions

    Christmas and holiday mood board.


    Christmas family traditions, this is one of my favorite things to learn about my friends. I love hearing what they do! Christmas is my favorite time of year (if you hadn’t gotten that already), so bring on the hot cocoa and let’s talk traditions!

    1. Secret Pajama Santa
      • At the end of October, or beginning of November, my family draws names for Secret Pajama Santa. This is just my immediate family, parents, siblings, and us! The pajamas always range from wonderful PJs you’ll love forever (thanks, mom), or insane ones you’ll wear Christmas morning and then never again (*cough* my partner in crime likes to gift these). We open them on Christmas Eve and then run to put them in the wash so everyone can wear them on Christmas morning. It’s hilarious because you wait in anticipation to see who your Secret Pajama Santa was… and then break out into nervous laughter when you open to see if you got some nice soft PJs you’ll love, or crazy panda onesies. #truestory
    2. White Elephant
      • We do this with both sides of the family and it’s always a lot of fun.
    3. Watch The Santa Clause movies, The Grinch, and Elf
      • These must be watched every year.
    4. Christmas breakfast
      • Always consists of homemade donuts or monkey bread, eggs (or an egg casserole), and lots of coffee.
    5. Take a picture in front of the tree on Christmas morning before we start opening gifts.
      • Kids
      • Mom & Dad
      • All of the above
    6. When you open presents on Christmas morning, you have to open one at a time.
      • And I mean, one person at a time. We go around in a circle so everyone can see what you got. We also don’t start opening gifts until at least 10am, because we are not a morning family. sorry babe. And we usually last well into the late afternoon. It’s fabulous.
    7. Big stockings!
      • We save them for last, and always take a short break to get some food because we’re always starving by that point!
    8. The dogs help us open gifts.
      • Until they get bored, then they fall asleep.
    9. Everyone has to sit on the floor when we open presents.
    10. Baking… all the baking.
      • Way too many sweets, that leave you craving green juice smoothies. But we just can’t stop baking all the things!
    11. Drive around and look at Christmas lights
      • You must bring hot cocoa with you, or drive through Starbucks.


    Things I love but we don’t always do: 

    • Decorate a gingerbread house
    • Bake cookies for the neighbors
    • Take pictures in the snow
    • Christmas morning pranks
      • Storytime: One year we (me, the partner in crime, and brothers) found over half of my sisters presents under the tree, took them out and put them in the basement. When morning came and we started opening gifts it kept getting harder and harder for my dad to find Jess’ gifts under the tree. (remember how we all go around in a circle and open one at a time?) Well, we kept getting to her and they had to dig and dig to find her gifts. My mom kept saying “this doesn’t make any sense” (because she always buys the same amount of gifts for everyone). Eventually, we were had, and crying laughter ensued.


    Tell me some of your Christmas traditions. I love to hear them!


    Thanksgiving in Lynchburg, VA

    If you had asked me a couple of weeks ago what we were doing for Thanksgiving I would’ve told you it would be much different this year. Brannon and I had it in our heads that we would be in our little home, we’d make a run to Trader Joe’s for our Thanksgiving Feast, and we’d spend the day relaxing and watching Christmas movies. Sounds fun, but it would be the first time we wouldn’t see any family for Thanksgiving. We are big family people so while we’d be fine, we were both a little bummed.

    Due to a last minute change in our schedule, the week before Thanksgiving, we found ourselves in Virginia the week of Thanksgiving. Guess what? I have a first cousin – once removed (someone has had to explain this to me so many times), that lives in Lynchburg, VA with her husband and 3 kids! We actually work together on a magazine that she owns in Lynchburg, VA, and we had planned on stopping by during our travels, but never did we think it would land on Thanksgiving. They graciously took us in – and we had such a wonderful time.


    Holidays while in an rv


    So, the magazine that we work on together is all about the community of Lynchburg (and surrounding towns). I am Read more


    It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

    winter mood board


    A tradition in my family is to start decorating for Christmas on Halloween or the day after. Yes, we are THAT crazy Christmas family. You can thank my mom for that, and I don’t even mind it. It’s the beginning of November and my Christmas vibes are shimmering like tinsel.

    This year is a bit different though because this year I am living in a RV. . . by choice.

    ok, she starts Christmas at Halloween, and she is living in an RV by choice. Yep, it’s time to send her to the loony farm. 

    If you haven’t read the full story about why we are living in an RV, you can check it out here. For now, though let’s focus on Christmas. Our current home is definitely a tiny home, i.e. 108 square feet. Not exactly a whole lot of room for Christmas decorations! So, to satisfy the Christmas part of me that must get out or I will be depressed all winter, here is my plan: Read more


    Hello, November

    Autumn-fall mood board.


    Some interesting things that have happened since I last blogged here:

    • I now live in an RV. (yes, by choice. yes, to travel. yes, I’m 1/2 crazy.)
    • I had a job and I lost it, and it still bothers me even though it wasn’t my fault. One day I hope to write an amazing story about how because of that xyz happened.
    • Thrive is getting ready for its 4th annual conference, and it’s growing to be an online resource.
    • Since we’re traveling full time, I’m not sure where we are going to live after the trip. As in – which state.
    • Freelance graphic design and Thrive are still where it’s at for me right now.
    • I became the Creative Director my second cousin’s print publication – I still do this, but it’s freelance.
    • I got a business coach and it has been one of the best things for my business.


    Things that haven’t changed: Read more


    Sometimes, you just need to write

    An update post of sorts. I have missed writing, a lot a lot. There has been so much going on though, and it makes it really hard to find the time.

    I keep a journal beside my bed, its a nice big one (shout out to Marshalls!) Big, faux leather, feels nice and soft in my hands, cobalt blue with gold foil and says “Big Dreams” on the front. perfecttt

    I am also a chronic notebookaholic. I have a problem, and I admit it. I want all of the notebooks. Other office supplies, not so much, I have a certain brand of pens that’s my favorite, and I stick with it. I have necessities that I use everyday for work like post-its, folders, and binder clips. But nothing shouts-out to me from the store shelves like notebooks. Anthropology, Target, Marshall’s, Paper-Source, honestly, I’m not picky. Read more