Holiday Card Favorites & a $200 Minted Giveaway!

A few weeks ago, I did a round up of my favorite holiday card designs from Minted. But today I’m sharing what our family’s photo looks like in some of those designs. I’m getting close to making the decision about which card we’ll use for 2014. I love the design process on Minted and that I can play around with colors and see a little bit of what our family’s card would look like.


Laughing All The Way


Refined Joyful with Gold Foil


Oh What FunĀ 


Very Merry


The Best Is Yet to Come

Okay, so the designs are absolutely fantastic. They’re just so beautiful and clever, and the paper quality is amazing. But the very best thing about this post is that Minted is giving away a $200 credit to one lucky reader! Think of all the Christmas cards you can send!

And all you have to do to enter, is go to this link right here and enter. Easy peasy!

Click here to enter to win $200 to Minted!

Halloween 2014

I’m not always on the ball when it comes to Halloween. There have been years when I’ve thrown something together at the last minute, and years when I’m way ahead and know exactly what the kids are going to be.

This year, as soon as the costumes came out in the catalogs and online, I let the boys start looking so they could decide. I don’t sew, so there was no chance I’d be making anything. Hudson and Hayes went back and forth on a few different options, but ultimately they decided on Buzz and Woody from Toy Story.

Hudson actually loves to coordinate costumes with Hayes, and I’m sure our years of doing this are numbered. But he only wanted to be something that had a “friend” that Hayes could wear. They’ve been obsessed with Toy Story for a couple of years now, so that’s what the decided.

photo (1)

On Friday morning, they were up bright and early, and I got them dressed in their costumes. Then they waited outside for Hudson’s ride to school. They just couldn’t wait! Their school does a little Halloween parade, so they dressed up and I was able to go watch.

That night, we all walked down to our neighborhood cul de sac for a little block party. The boys rode on a hay ride, we ate pizza, and RC and PC joined us for the fun.


RC always makes them smile!


And my little pumpkin heads!



After the party was over, I went to the house to hand out candy while Todd walked door to door with the boys. After about thirty minutes, we traded places and I walked with the boys. It had become pretty dark and Hudson was holding tight to my hand. He was pretty spooked.

And as we were walking on a quiet, dark street, just me with my precious boys, I just prayed that I would never forget that moment. Nothing unusual happened. There’s no real story to tell, except that it was just the three of us and they were trusting that their mommy would take care of them in the dark. And they were so excited to trick or treat. In some ways they’ve grown up so much, but in so many ways they are still so small and vulnerable. And I just loved that I was the one there to reassure them that we were going to be safe. And I was the one to talk to them about the bright moon. And I was there to hold their hands when the cars drove by.

It was a sweet moment, and the first year that we’ve split up. And while I do wish the four of us had been together instead of having to split up, I’m always so thankful for those quiet moments when we can have those sweet conversations and moments of trust.

We came home and sat on the back porch where everyone was allowed to eat five pieces of candy before going to bed. Hudson and Hayes both had the time of their lives. It was so fun to be in our new neighborhood and to get to sit on the front porch and pass out candy while our kids walked around and met the neighbors.

It’s true that kids change everything. I was never a “Halloween person” until I had kids. And experiencing it through their eyes is one of my favorite things now.


31 Days of Breaking Bread: Halloween & Hospitality


We’re wrapping up our 31 day challenge, and I didn’t come close to posting every single day, but I have so loved this topic. With Halloween coming up on Friday, I’m already thinking about the opportunities for connection and community. I know that for many of us, community is the biggest barrier to being an inviter and opening up our hearts and homes.

How do these wonderful, magical communities seem to fall into people’s laps? Who am I supposed to invite?

I’ve been there, and it took a lot of work and intentionality to get that sense of community. It took inviting and inviting and inviting when it feels repetitive and like it might even be a little annoying. But it’s worth it.

We’ve been in our neighborhood now for almost a year, and we’ve tried to be “front yard people.” We spend a lot of time playing in our driveway and riding bikes in front of our house. Because of this, we’ve had great opportunities to meet our neighbors and continue those conversations from one day to the next. Even Boudreaux has welcomed himself into a neighbor’s home. (But that’s a story for a different day! Crazy dog!)

Our neighborhood is having a little cul de sac party before trick-or-treating begins on Friday night. I’m excited to get to know some of our neighbors that we haven’t gotten to know yet. I’m looking forward to learning their kids’ names. It’s such a great opportunity to make connections and then invite people over for chili and cornbread the following weekend. Why not?

I’m going to be thinking of some easy, intentional things that I can do and ways that I can invite, and just invite. That initial invitation can be the biggest hangup and barrier to community, but I can assure you that people want to come!

The first time one of our neighbors invited us over for dinner, I was truly surprised and also so touched. It was so special to us that they said they wanted to get to know us.

When your neighbors stop by and trick-or-treat, memorize their names. Learn something new about them. And maybe even extend an invitation for them to pop by for supper one night. You never know what could come of it!

This post is part of 31 Days of Breaking Bread

31 Days of Breaking Bread

31 Days of Breaking Bread: an easy Thanksgiving centerpiece

Today, I’m posting over on Every Day Cheer and sharing a very easy idea for a fall or Thanksgiving table centerpiece using things you already have in your home. It’s a low fuss way to add a little punch for a special occasion that leaves you plenty of time to focus on what matters around the table. Head over to Every Day Cheer to see more!




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