a beautiful day

another wonderful Christmas celebration at bethlehem! it is one of my favorite days of the year. kristen and i braved the winter storm to set up our table on friday night (and grab a quick dinner at the good earth afterward! delish.).

you can see our table from last year here. this year, kristen got things rolling with those beautiful blue chargers and the rest came together from there. it's great to team up with her. she's a really gracious table host. very calm under pressure. but the lunch was great—the musical program is always Christ-exalting and creatively done. i like that we get to sing along to some of the carols. such rich theology.

on a side note, my poor canon powershot sd400 is on its deathbed, i believe. but it has served me well for five years (i think it was my college graduation gift)! now it sells used on amazon for 45 bucks. funny. as things currently stand, i would like to find a smaller lens (possibly non-zoom, like this bad boy?) for my canon 50d and a more streamlined bag (that is not too girly, because ben uses it, even though this bag is fabulous!). i'd love to be able to carry it with me more often. but these things are so expensive. plus, i'm slow to make decisions so i gotta save up and mull it over.

after the lunch me, kristen, and my mom headed over to the nicollet mall for some christmas shopping. it's really fun to be downtown around the holidays. it feels a bit old fashioned somehow. man, i miss marshall field's. kristen and i used to go to their eighth floor christmas display each year on a sister date. now i think macy's just repeats the "day in the life of an elf" display every year. quite disappointing.

we capped off the day with a pizza and casino royale viewing at kristen's apartment with a scattering of friends. i think kaylee said it felt a bit like college, and she was right! what a fun day with family and friends celebrating the Christmas season. Christ is why we have Christmas. what a beautiful Savior.

back again!

i took an unintentional two-month break from blogging! to be honest, i kind of just forgot about it. i've been encouraged by the people who have urged me to update. it makes me happy that people are reading this.

friends have been asking us if we're done with the house yet. the short answer is both yes and no. we're done with a phase of it, but i realize we'll never be "done" entirely. it is a work in progress, and even when we have the home furnished and decorated, i'm sure i'll want to keep playing around with things. but that is the fun part of being a homeowner! for now, we are going to enjoy the holidays and pick back up with our master bedroom in february.

so in honor of being "done" with this first phase, ben and i went and spent a weekend at a hotel in minneapolis. our room was beautiful - on the top floor, corner room, with two walls of windows looking over the city! i got plenty of decorating inspiration, especially for our upcoming master bath remodel. it was an incredibly restful weekend, and a blessing to spend such quality time with my husband.

we went to the james j. hill house on saturday, which was super fun.

in other news, today was our church's women's Christmas brunch. kristen and i decorated and hosted a table. i'm glad she remembered to snap some photos, because i completely forgot.

my mom, sister, and i have gone to this brunch for many years...it is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. more family and friends come each year, and it was a joy to celebrate the birth of our Savior with these precious women.

i'll try to remember to be back tomorrow with a few snapshots from the house. until the future!