Monthly Archives: December 2014

Christmas Traditions & Ornaments Part II

Last week I posted on some favorite ornaments on my mom and dad’s tree. If you missed it, you can read it here.

This year, as the weather began getting colder, I started painting a picture in my head of our first Christmas together as a little family in our own home. I was brain storming of great holiday traditions that I wanted to start that we could one day tell our kids about and carry on with them.

Our friends have an elf on the shelf that they take turns setting up for each other every night. They have the cutest and funniest ideas. I wanted to make this a tradition for us too.

I bought an elf last year.

I got the elf out this year.

She has moved once…. and it was because she was in my way.


I wanted to decorate a beautiful gingerbread house.

Did we decorate a ginger bread house? Yes.

Is it beautiful? I will leave that up to your interpretation. ha ha


It turns out someone was a little bossy when it came to the creative vision… so we ended up each decorating one face of the house and sharing the roof.  Ill let you guess who did each side.  IMAG2254 IMAG2253

Hint. The snow must have been blowing at a fierce angle, only hitting George’s side.

This is our first Christmas (married and) in our first house. I wanted to decorate our home perfectly. I think I succeed on this goal for the most part. Butttttttt, because I love a good deal, I plan to get most of our Christmas decor on sale December 26th, so this year, our decorations are minimal 🙂 They are still oh so beautiful and I LOVE our tree. Pictures of the tree will come soon, but I am waiting for our Christmas cards to go out first so I don’t spoil the surprise.

In the meantime, I will highlight a few ornaments we have together (and those I snatched from Mom and Dads collection and brought to our tree in KC).

We received a package from our real estate agents last week. Inside was this sweet ornament commemorating our new home. I love these types of ornaments because years down the road when this house is no longer new and exiting, we will pull out our Christmas tubs and for just a minute be reminded of the feeling our house give us now. This little ornament carries the feelings of excitement, accomplishment, and family.


We have a set of these reflective diamond ornaments that were originally my grandpa’s when he was a kid. These puppies have been around for three generations of Christmas morning smiles!


George and I each have our own graduation cap and gown to commemorate hours upon hours of studying.


We painted ornaments as our own “Sips and Splatters” craft last weekend. Not too shabby aye?


Mom  got me this one. Back in middle school I was nicknamed (by my family of course) as the “baby tamer”. I had baby sitting jobs lined up every weekend and could handle even the wild kids my sister refused.

When I travel, I always like to snag an ornament to remind me of my adventure. Here are South Africa and Ireland.



My oldest friend, Sarah home-made me this beauty in 2004. Love it!


Next up a handful of memories of the days of CJA. The beloved itchy plaid skit, pole vaulting, and field hockey.

IMAG2246 IMAG2240 IMAG2239 IMAG2238Last year, my mom and dad gave me this Cinderella ornament for my last Christmas before I got married. 


Now we have a little collection of engagement and wedding ornaments as well!



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I still have a few more fun activities that I wanted to do this year in the holiday season. We still have a week left to make some memories. 🙂 Whether  they are planed or unplanned traditions, I am sure they will develop over time. I am just excited for the upcoming family time with the ones I love!

What are your favorite traditions?


Christmas Ornament Classics

Merry (almost) Christmas! I was so glad I had the chance to head back to St. Louis this past weekend for some long over due family time. In just the 58 hours back home, we squeezed in a LOT of fun. We starting off the weekend we celebratory drinks and pinterest fest for my newly engaged sister, and ended the weekend with the Garth Brooks/Trisha Yearwood concert (which was AMAZING btw!)


We celebrated Garth’s Dad’s Birthday. He’s much to handsome to be this damn old. 😉



Dad labeled us with our alter egos.

In between we celebrated my cousins 30th birthday, showered her with diapers for her soon to arrive twin boys, girl talked with the cousins  and aunts, and loved up on some sweet babies.


The night was complete with our version of sips and splatters ornament painting and twin trivia.



Sunday started off right with some Jesus and Jack.2

Then we decorated Fort Whitney with some Christmas spirit.

Every year at Christmas I am in aww of the beautifully decorated trees on pinterest. Or how about the trees at the mall? You know, were all the ribbons, and lights, and ornaments match perfectly. Well I can’t speak for you, but the Whitney tree is still the most beautiful tree I have ever seen. It’s not because it matches, to be honest. its really a hodgepodge of colors and shapes crammed on to every branch. I love our tree because it is FULL of wonderful memories. Each year we add a memory (or two or three) to the tree. I absolutely love digging out the ornaments each year and laughing at the funny memories and reminiscing of years past. I snapped a few photos this to share some Whitney classics.

First off, Mom was kind enough to hand-me-down the Asian santas to George (remember how he has trouble keeping his eyes open for photos?)  These squinty eyed santas will be a perfect addition to our KC Christmas.


This Christmas will be our first spent with out Zorro.  He used to love the festivities, you could tell my his extra long naps. He especially loved when we put the blow up deer antlers on this head.


Up next, Shannon’s personal favorite: Julie “the brace face”. Shannon was the only Whitney child who never wore braces, which also means she is the only Whitney child that does not have an embarrassing ornament to remember  the awkward middle age years with a mouth full of metal. Mom wanted to make sure we remember ALL the big events in our lives no matter how embarrassing.


The cheer squad. Not only did mom shop for memorable ornaments, but some times the relatives joined in on the fun. I guess cheerleader ornaments are easy to find, because we have a whole squad on the tree. I think we counted 6? I brought a few of the cheerleaders to KC this year too. Below is a personal favorite, we call her DD Cheerleader, due to her large…um…pom poms.


Next up are the photo ornaments. It seems like we made one every year at school. Here are the highlights.

Chubby santa baby 🙂


About 3 years old I think.It’d hard to tell because I wore this christmas dress a few years…then I wore Shannon’s matching dress for a few years after. #littlesisterlove


Christmas Brownie (1st grade?)


1999 was a good year for me. Denim dress, striped turtle neck and sleep in foam rollers. Oh the price of beauty.


I call this one my “Mona Lisa smile”. This was 5th grade I think. I was very self conscious of my pre-braces smile, and tried to smile without showing my crooked teeth. I swear I was not this serious all the time.


Skipping a few years to high school graduation, oh the memories.


Each year it is tradition to get a god-child ornament from my god mother. This little bear for my third Christmas has always been my favorite.


What a nerd!


Seeing my field hockey ornaments and photos in my room really have me missing my CJA team.


Simba and Nala are some long time favorites. We used to play barbies with the Nativity set. Baribe and friends would travel from afar to see their Aunt Mary and new baby cousin Jesus. Sometimes Simba and Nala would come too.


And well close it out with a Mizzou Tiger.We are looking forward to the citrus bowl!  IMAG2211