December 29, 2016

Our Third Christmas.

So, Christmas has come and gone. There's no more cars driving around dressed with an antler on each side and a big red nose in the grill, and Christmas music on the radio is nowhere to be found! 😢 I very much believe that Christmas music should be played until New Years Eve; half of us still have Christmas family gatherings and get-togethers after the 25th of December, so what gives? (Perhaps it would confuse the little ones if they heard on the radio that Santa Claus still has plans to come down the chimney at 12 that night...AGAIN?)

Christmas of 2016 was definitely one of a kind! I feel like Christmas for me isn't centered around the actual day of Christmas--I think it's the days and weeks leading up to it. I believe I really started getting into the whole "Christmas spirit" thing at the very beginning of December when I was flipping through radio stations on my commute home from work and came across a station playing ONLY Christmas music, and I was instantly hooked. For some reason hearing those first Christmas songs instantly cheered me up and enveloped me in a warm hug of nostalgia. 😇

The following blog post is dedicated to our favourite memories of our third Christmas together: Christmas of 2016. 💗

Firstly, one of my biggest dreams came true when I got to see New York City at Christmastime! This was my first trip to New York City where we actually stayed the night, which was also a dream of mine (because I've had one too many "day trips" there).

 You know those decked-out "shop windows" they all sing about in Christmas songs?! I got to see them and it was amazing! One of them even featured Canadian geese so that was a lovely surprise.
And see that giant green thing surrounded by scaffolding? Yep, that's the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree being set up! I looked up the details of this tree, and it's a Norway Spruce from New York, and this year it was 94 feet tall! WOW. (Tallest on record was 100 ft!)

There was this one weekend near the beginning of December when I was feeling exceptionally cranky--probably because I spent my Saturday morning cleaning the entire bathroom and doing laundry all on an empty stomach and before coffee! (Bad move...) And I don't know if this is a human thing, a woman thing, or simply just a Jenny thing, but when I'm upset about one thing, it somehow connects to something else and something else again and again, therefore making me upset about EVERYTHING and henceforth coming to the conclusion that my whole life is falling apart. (Am I crazy?!)

So, me being upset about one thing lead me to believe that we probably won't even celebrate Christmas this year in the form of finding a Christmas tree and decorating our apartment and what not. No Christmas for me this year. I thought as I poured my tears detergent into the laundry machine. Now here's the amazing part! A few days before we'd looked everywhere for our Christmas tree stand! We couldn't find it and therefore thought we left it at our old apartment to be garbage-ridden. I don't know about Jarryd, but I certainly didn't feel like spending the money on a new tree stand, something we'd only use one month out of the year, so I thought for sure we wouldn't be getting a tree. But in the midst of my tears, Jarryd comes up and gives me a long hug--all the sudden he says "HEY! There's our tree stand"! It was hidden behind the laundry machine between the broom and vacuum. "Let's go pick out our tree now, ok?"
Me: "OK!!" 😅 💕
Off to pick our Christmas tree! (See! You can't even tell I was crying! 😆 ) Also, let's talk about how glad we are braids are back in style.
This is the breed of tree we picked out, "White Pine". (Is "breed" the correct term here?) I LOVE it so much, and I think it may be the only breed of tree I'll ever want for the rest of my life! Our tree only cost us $35--apparently because White Pines don't hold heavy ornaments very well, they're not in demand, which explains the uber low cost. And since I'm not the kind of person to put alot of ornaments on a Christmas tree, it totally works out for me. (But who knows, I'm sure my tree style will change over the years, you know?)
Bringing our tree home was a bit of an adventure--we borrowed my father-in-laws red truck and loaded it up in the box of the truck. That part was easy, it was the getting-it-set-up-in-our-apartment part that was rough--you see, we thought for sure we had 9 foot ceilings! So our 8+ foot tree absolutely did not fit vertically. Jarryd ended up cutting a few inches off the top of the tree with my serrated KITCHEN knife. (I was cringing the entire time because that knife came in my knife-kit from culinary school and it's made of high carbon German steel! 🙈 ) It was quite the adventure getting this big fat tree set up, and despite how stressful it got at times we couldn't help but laugh at ourselves.
Moving the hutch out of the way to make room for the Christmas tree called for serious hutch-trinket rearrangement. 

I had some serious goals for this tree and pink Christmas balls were on the list! (Shoutout to Jarryd for being the best husband ever and letting me put pink decor up in our apartment!!)

I bought the pink Christmas balls at Target, the gold balls at Big Lots, and the poinsettia flowers from Dollar Tree! I'm absolutely in love with the color scheme of pink, gold, and white.

Our Christmas card photo this year! We were literally in our PJs right before this, hopped into some nice clothes, set up the camera on self-timer, took like 10 photos, and then hopped back into our PJ's again. I promise one day we'll get professional photos taken!

Yes! We rearranged our living room in honour of our Christmas tree, which was a funny story actually. Jarryd wanted more seating in our living room, and that grey L-shaped couch was always kept in our office/second bedroom as more of a futon. So I told Jarryd, "trust me babe, I've rearranged this living room in every way possible trying to get those grey couches to fit in beside the beige couches and it's utterly impossible". Well, he's a persistent guy and really wasn't having any of that, LOL. I then told him "fine, go for it; I just don't want anything to do with're on your own." (What a nice wife I am...). And low and behold he created this super cozy u-shaped living room situation which I absolutely LOVE! The beige couch acts as a room divider which is fantastic. So I ended up apologizing to Jarryd for not having faith in his interior decorating skills, because boy was I ever wrong!

I think we'll keep it like this forever (arrangement wise, not cleanliness wise--you should see the coffee table right now...).

Christmas chocolates are always a big deal. These Guylian seashells are amaaaaaziiing, and Ferrero Rochers of course, and Ghirardelli sea salt chocolates are a MUST.

Christmas card photos were sent out to our immediate family along with gift packages for our nieces and nephew! I'm seriously praying that one day we'll live close enough to our nieces and nephew that we can buy them gifts and give it to them in person without having to worry about how much the shipping will cost! Maybe one day. 💖

This was our one and only snowfall, On December 17th. It was rain, then snow, then ice, and then melted away with the rain a few hours later. So far, there isn't any call for snow in the upcoming forecasts which is just fine with me! I live for the warm weather!

Yes, I wore my Home Alone sweater on Christmas Day. Speaking of Home Alone, that movie is a HUGE Christmas tradition for me--my family and I would watch it every year! This year, Jarryd and I watched a ton of movies leading up to Christmas. We randomly watched The Santa Clause (LOL), Four Christmases (which is hilarious!), and every year we have to watch The Family Stone. If you haven't yet seen that, I highly recommend it--you'll laugh, you'll cry, and all the actors are amazing and very well-known.

Both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were spent at the in-laws, where succotash is always a staple dish (cooked corn and lima beans). In the photo above, this was one of my favourite moments; when we looked through old photo albums of Jarryd's growing up years. What a cutie. There's something about watching old home videos and old childhood photos that give me the warm and fuzzies.

BAKING. On Christmas Eve I did so much baking! Firstly, I made these sweet dinner rolls.

Secondly, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies. (Which I'd say were the biggest hit at the family gatherings!)

And thirdly, I made this Peanut Butter Crisp Triple Chocolate Pretzel Bark. Very rich, but very good. And bark isn't really my ideal dessert, but it was fun to try something new and expand my skill set!
Earlier in December I made these Unbaked Chocolate Cookies--these are definitely my ideal dessert, as I could probably eat a thousand of them in one sitting!

OH and the "Layered Cookbook: Baking, Building, and Styling Spectacular Cakes" by Tessa Huff was my early Christmas present from Jarryd. The only way I had even heard of Tessa was when I stumbled upon her Instagram page and totally fell in love with her baking style. To give you an idea of her amazingness, in the Good Reads Choice Awards, her book was #5, and she was the only one not associated/made famous through a TV show. She's just pure baking talent!

One of our Christmas traditions is to pick a movie saga to rewatch. Last year's was Star Wars (in honour of the Force Awakens) and this year's is Harry Potter!! Next year will probably be LOTR/The Hobbit, but we'll just have to wait and see! (And hopefully next year's Christmas will be in Canada!)

In full disclosure, Christmas this year turned out better than I expected it to because being so far away from friends and family over the holidays is tough. And despite Jarryd being horribly sick the entire weekend, and us being so busy having hardly any time to breathe, it was a great Christmas! God has been so good to us and we have much to be thankful for!

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over His kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time for ever." Isaiah 9:6-7


  1. "costed" this tree "costed" $35?? lololololol

    love youuuuuuu

    1. Haha! Thank you for your watchful eye. Typo is now nonexistent!

  2. I love your tree! I wish I could've seen it in person. That would be amazing. I wonder what kind of tree you'll get if you move to Canada? Do we even have that "breed" up here?

    1. Thanks!! I wish you could have seen it too! But actually it's not too late, it's still up. ;) In Canada we will let you and Cody chop a surprise tree down for us.