Our Christmas Table

The last few Instagram posts I’ve made have been all about Christmas traditions my family has. Going to a candlelight Church service on Christmas Eve. Singing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus before we open gifts on Christmas morning. We have more… The “Tree Trim” party at my grandmother’s house with literally my entire family (60 people and all). Opening presents with my mom’s side of the family on Christmas Eve. Advent Calendars, Christmas Cards, special ornaments on the tree that only I can hang. These are all special, but the last great tradition we have for the holiday season is quite possibly the most important. Every year, my parents and I eat a steak dinner (I have vegetarian chicken). We have a red and green plaid tablecloth and green napkins that we use over and over. We use wine glasses with an evergreen winter scene painted on them for our drinks. My father always gets a rare-and-red T-bone steak paired with Coke out of a glass bottle. There’s broccoli with cheese sauce, potatoes, and Texas Toast.

This year, I’m engaged to be married. If all goes as planned, by the end of next December I’ll be finished with school. Lots is going to change in 2018, and this Christmas may be the last year of the old “normal.” And that’s a big deal. Because in my family, our traditions are repeated and executed in the same way every year. They are engraved into our lives like decorative grooves in a family heirloom. That is why this year is so bittersweet for me. I can’t wait to be married and to share a household with my husband. God has a plan for us, and it was definitely different that I always thought it would be. I wasn’t planning on entering the adult world this abruptly, but I wouldn’t change a thing. However, this big and happy change has a lot of growing pains. The fact that I may or may not wake up in my childhood home next Christmas is one of them.

Just like life, our traditions are never Currier and Ives perfect. As you can see in the pictures of our Christmas table, the tablecloth is wrinkled. There’s butter in the form of Country Crock margarine. It is, however, ours. And therefore, it is sacred. Just as sacred at the Savior that we celebrate on this day, who we sing to first thing in the morning. With all the changes this coming year will bring, I’m putting a lot of trust in Him to guide us to next December. But I’m not worried. I have faith, because His love is just as constant and engraved into our lives as our family traditions that carry us from year to year.

Great is your faithfulness.  – Lamentations 5:23

L

Top 5 Vlogmas Vloggers!

Hello everyone!

December is truly one of my favorite times of the year. It’s my birthday (21 in less than a week!!). Christmas music is playing everywhere (Dean Martin anyone?). But one of my favorite things is watching Vlogmas vlogs on YouTube. Personally, I would rather watch a good vlog than watch a tv show. So I have my list of subscriptions that I like to watch on a regular basis. And since it is also the time of year for winter break, which means us college kids have a lot more free time on our hands now that finals is over!

So if you want some fresh new faces on your YouTube feed, here are some of the people I’ve been watching this season! Or, since Vlogmas is nearly over, here are some vloggers to binge watch (another favorite winter break activity of mine).

1. Fleur DeForce

Fleur is an old favorite of mine. I think she was one of the first people that I ever subscribed to in middle school when I discovered the joys of YouTube. Her vlogs are always so entertaining and fun. This year is especially extra special because Fleur is expecting!

2. Naomi Smart

I discovered Naomi a few years ago and I love her warm personality. She’s super sweet, and she’s always up to something interesting.

3. Sierra and Alex

This is my first Vlogmas watching this cute couples vlog. They live in LA, so they’re having to battle the LA fires right now during their vlog this year, but they still manage to bring the Christmas cheer.

4. Cody & Lexy

Yet another set of couples vloggers. What I love about these two is they always keep it real. When they’re not daily vlogging, they’re making videos about their relationship and relationships in general, and giving real advice.

5. Tess Christine

Tess is a super grounded yet super successful fashion vlogger, but her vlogs are always fun to watch! She lives in NYC, so of course, there’s always lot to do… Especially in the city! She doesn’t post every day, but I live vicariously through her weekly vlogs!

Those are my top five! If you have a favorite, please feel free to leave a recommendation in the comments. I always have room in my subscription box for fresh new faces! My fiance and I have also been toying with the idea of starting a vlog channel together, just for kicks. So, if we end up sticking with it this winter break, T.G.I. will be the first to know. Until next time, happy watching!

XOXO

L

Featured image courtesy of Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash

21st Birthday Weekend!

Hello everyone!

So, as all of you who read my last blog post know, I turned 21 on Saturday! So, this past weekend was filled with fun birthday activities!

//FRIDAY//

Before the big day on Saturday, I actually had to stay at school until the last day of the semester, on Friday. I didn’t have any more tests (I was finished on Thursday), but I needed to do a couple shifts at work before I left! After I clocked out I grabbed a few things I needed from my room and headed home. I was lucky that I was able to drive back to Lancaster when I did, because it started to snow pretty steadily just as I was settling back into the house. I hung out with my dad until I conked out and napped for a little (finals, man.) until dinnertime when my mom came home. Tanner drove to his hometown to pick up his new car (!!) before coming home to stay, and I was so relieved to see him since it had gotten a little icy outside with the freezing temperatures and the slushy snow.

//SATURDAY//

We slept in pretty late, and had a breakfast brunch with my parents. My mom made cinnamon buns with cut up strawberries and it was divine! Especially compared to the breakfast food at school. Mom’s food is always without a doubt 1,000,000 times better!! After that, we just hung around and talked before I went upstairs to get ready for my birthday dinner. Tanner and I went to go pick up my best friend Sammie from her house, and we drove into the city for dinner at Rachel’s Creperie! It is one of my very favorite restaurants, and it was especially perfect for my 21st because it is BYOB! So, my mom bought me a couple pink wines to pick from, and we ended up having Barefoot Pink Moscato, which is my favorite. It was the perfect evening, with my fiance, parents, and best friend all in one place for dinner! Dessert was the best, too, because we all shared a Death by Chocolate crepe, which was absolutely delicious. Highly recommend.

After that, we went back to my house and just hung out, with the three of us playing Animal Crossing and laughing together until about 10, before we had to take Sammie back home. After that, Tanner and I had wanted to go to Target but they ended up being closed, so we drove around and got Arby’s (for him) and Burger King (for me… the only fast food restaurant with a veggie burger!). Then we just drove around a development near me to look at Christmas lights. Now, we’re blogging together before bed, planning the month-long break stretching ahead of us 🙂

//SUNDAY//

Today we woke up late (again, still recovering from finals!) and went to Cracker Barrel for brunch. It was a fruitful breakfast, I got that dumb peg puzzle down to one for the second time in my life! Then I had some good sunny-side-up eggs and some hashbrown casserole, which made me a happy camper. What made me even more of a happy camper was the fact that we went to Target afterward. I made a bunch of great home decor purchases, which I have decided to make into a haul post (coming soon!). But let me just tell you guys one thing: Hearth&Hand by Magnolia Farms is everything.

Then we went to a cute little shop in Strasburg that I like called Blue Dandelion by Tiffany, and roamed around there for a little while. I love that shop because it always has cute trinkets and things, but it’s gotten increasingly expensive and out of my price range. But it’s always fun to look! Maybe even get some ideas for a DIY project (or post?).

Then Tanner and I went to Michael’s so that he could pick up some paint brushes and smaller canvases to work on this break, and then we headed over to Community Aid to roam around and look at the “bric-brac” section. Today was a little strange because we both walked out feeling a little grimy, like when a thrift store isn’t too clean, but we did find a couple more cute things to include in the home decor haul! Then we came home for dinner, and we introduced Tanner to one of our family favorite TV shows, Warehouse 13. After a couple of episodes, we finally were able to trim the Christmas tree all together!

Now, we’re blogging together again before we head to bed. Tomorrow we are road-tripping up to Honesdale to hang out with Tanner’s family, which is always exciting! Our road trips are always fun, and we’re definitely going to do a diner date somewhere either during the road trip or while in Honesdale.

This weekend was so very special. I’m so thankful that I got to spend my birthday weekend with my family, fiance, and best friend, who made it all very very special! I feel I should also say, it feels pretty awesome to be able to enjoy pink Moscato legally. It’s my favorite 🙂

In the meantime, I have a bunch of posts lined up for the rest of break, so stay tuned! It’s been so great to be able to blog freely again. If you have any requests or blog post ideas, please feel free to leave them in the comments, or find me on my socials!

XOXO

L

 

21 Things I’m Thankful for on my 21st Birthday!

Hello everyone!

Long time, no write! As I was surviving the most challenging semester I have ever had to endure, I spent a lot of time over the last couple of months focusing on school, and forgetting to count my blessings. Now that it’s my birthday, as well as my first full day of winter break, what better way to celebrate than to think of the things in my life that make everything worthwhile. So, without further ado (and in no particular order), here are 21 things that I am INCREDIBLY thankful for on my 21st birthday!

  1. My mother, who 21 years ago today pushed me out with no drugs and without saying a single curse word while doing so (as my dad says). God bless, momma. Thank you for my life, and for being my best friend!
  2. By extension, my dad. For all his continuing advice, love, and support.
  3. My incredible fiance Tanner, who is my love, life, and my rock. Without him, I would be absolutely lost and definitely crazy. A big thank-you to him for keeping me grounded this semester, and loving me at my crabbiest. I love you with my whole heart.
  4. My family. All of whom are the foundation of who I am as a person.
  5. Best friends.
  6. Both old and new friends. Each and every one of you are so wonderful and I am so thankful to have each of you in my life.
  7. The opportunity to learn at college, even if it is often the reason why I am stressed and crabby.
  8. God and my relationship with him, which is often rocky but always steadfast.
  9. And, by extension, Christmas and the fact that I have my birthday during such a wonderful and cheerful time!
  10. Music. It has always been a huge part of my life, whether it be through chorus or listening to it to keep sane throughout the day.
  11. Books, and the impact they’ve had on my life. I’m not a literature major for nothing! Books are one of the most wonderful things in life, in my opinion anyway.
  12. Autumn. It’s my favorite season and it makes my heart and soul happy.
  13. Dancing. Especially slow dancing.
  14. Counseling. I will probably do a blog post dedicated to my positive experience with using counseling to deal with my body image issues. But counseling has helped me deal with these emotions tremendously, and I’m in a much better place mentally because of it.
  15. The fact that I am blessed enough to have a roof over my head, food to eat, clothes to wear, and shoes on my two feet.
  16. The fact that vegetarian food has come so far since I became a vegetarian when I was 9 years old. Seriously, the vegetarian options have come so, so, so far in the last 12 years.
  17. Coffee.
  18. Laughter, and how it can brighten up even the most dreary of days!
  19. Netflix and warm blankets, since the two are often used together in my life! Preferably with Tanner.
  20. Pink Moscato. And the fact that I can legally buy it at will.
  21. And lastly, those who choose to take whatever precious time out of their day in order to read this blog! I have been blogging since my freshman year of high school, and I’ve recently had my 2 year anniversary on WordPress! I love blogging, and I am so appreciative to whoever reads these posts and supports the blog! Thank you!

I can’t quite believe that I’m 21. It’s a big one!! I’ll be posting a weekend-wrap-up on Monday to show you guys all that I did on this special weekend. Until then, have a wonderful rest of your weekend!

XOXO

L