almost december.

Here we are. Almost 10 months with Ophelia. I am so excited for Christmas with her. Her first one! I love her so so much.

From the beginning, I’ve been reading to this girl. Reading in the mornings, in the afternoon light, and before she gets tucked in for bed each night. I put a bookshelf in the living room so we have easy access to stories wherever we are in the house. She sits for them now– still and focused. I couldn’t love her more if I tried. For December this year, and hopefully for years to come I’d like to do a Christmas book advent calendar with her. I remember seeing this on Rachael’s blog before and knew in that moment, that I would someday do this too. And even though Phea is not even one yet, I’ve just gotten so excited about it. So, here we go.

We drove to the library last week and loaded the stroller with books. I didn’t worry too much about what they were just so long as they were board books and short stories about winter and Christmas. I’m hoping to collect some favorites as the years go by. This year is a trial of sorts. For me, for her, for both of us.

25 books all wrapped up and ready to begin.

Happy Christmas, world! Sending out wishes it’s merry and bright.

the great christmas tree hunt // 27 weeks

Another year, another Houdes tree hunt!

This year, we had Thanksgiving in Connecticut, and then headed to the tree farm on Sunday. I like getting our tree so early in the season because then we have many weeks to enjoy it. We got two trees (again!) because you need one tree in the living room AND a tree in the bedroom, I always say. Two trees or you’re not doing it right. :)

And here I am at 27 weeks! I realized this weekend that I landed in the 3rd trimester just in time for all the holiday eating. So amazing! I am feeling good and feeling bigger. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, right? I am still sleeping well through the night and only have a little back pain at the end of the day — which I contribute to my body just being beat by 7 PM. It’s hard to carry around another human inside of you while you’re on your feet all day.

It was such a nice few days celebrating the start of the coziest season. So much to be thankful for like family and feasts, but most of all for a growing bump and a growing baby. ♥

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! And happy December! XO

the first christmas letter.

christmas letter 2015

Happy Christmas, everyone!

Our very first Christmas card! Our very first Christmas letter! Our very first Christmas spent together! It’s all so exciting, I love it. Here’s to what I’m hoping is an annual tradition— an update of sorts and a wish for the happiest of New Year’s to one and all. We have had the busiest, most exciting year together yet– An engagement, a wedding, and the cutest puppy you ever did see. :) With the internet these days, and my devoted love for instagram, an old fashioned piece of paper seems hardly necessary, but I have looked forward to writing my own typed letter to friends and family for years and YEARS and so I will begin our tradition right here, right now because dreams are always best when they come true.

Speaking of…. ! We’ll start this letter off on the very eve of the New Year, 2014. Zan and I made plans to head into the city for Boston’s First Night before we’d be hosting our own New Year’s party with family close to home. While walking through the Public Garden, Zan surprised me (yes, very much surprised me!) with a beautiful diamond ring. We celebrated eight and a half years together with the promise of forever and I cannot remember a party so joyful.

From there our days were thrilling and b-u-s-y. We knew the way you just know that summer is our season, and so we set the date for June. Six months to sign seal and deliver and we did it with sparklers to boot! I had the best time planning our day, from designing the invitations with my Aunt Heidi to dress shopping with my mom and Meg. I printed (almost!) every single piece of paper on our home computer, and spent plenty of hours with the paper cutter after school.

If you were at the Mandana Barn that pretty summer day you know that the sky was bright and a little bit drizzly, that flowers were placed in every nook and cranny and that love filled the space like magic. We said our vows under a beautiful (Zan-made!) arbor and danced and danced until the very last chord of “Don’t Stop Believin’. We loved that day and the people who were part of it. The Best Day Ever, the Twentieth of June.

Do you know what happened next? We took ourselves to Europe! 21 days in Italy and Croatia the best company, the best sights, the best food! In Italy: Venice, Rome, and Positano. In Croatia: Dubrovnik, Korcula, Hvar, Plitvice Lakes, the hills of Istria and Rovinj. Our time away was fantastic and overwhelming and exhausting and amazing. Rome was agreeably our favorite, and the water off the coast of Croatia! We have never seen anything so blue. Bitten by the travel bug, we’re already pumped for wherever our adventure will lead us next. Suggestions are always welcome!

August brought us lots more excitement and a little bit of scoundrel when Pennylane Winchell became part of our family. Zan’s aunt Crissy rescued her in L.A. and sent her east to be a companion for Nell’s dog Rue. Except, lucky us! After a weekend in New Hampshire we brought that cutie pup home to our house and can’t imagine it any other way. She’s the sweetest fluffiest little love.

After Summer came Fall and we’re back into the everyday swing of things. We are still living on the 2nd floor of the big house on Summer Street, where I’ve enjoyed creating the coziest space to call home. Zan is doing well and keeping busy at work and I still love teaching those littles– my third year in 2nd grade, having fun every day of the year. On weekends we like to explore, both near and far and every place in between — we spent time in Nantucket, Denver, New Hampshire and the Berkshire’s, Tampa, NYC, Maine, North Carolina and Syracuse, New York! When winter comes we’ll be on the slopes in Vermont, Zan loving the mountains and me, the hot chocolate. :) I can’t say I love the cold but I do love the cozy. Cozy we are and happy we’ll be.

We love you all very much and think about you often. MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY 2016!!

Wishing you the happiest! Lots of love,

Anna and Zan

christmas card-10christmas card

Merry Everything.
Happy Always.
Joy to the World.

the making of a tablescape // a photo journal

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