this is marvelous // oh holy night.

I know Christmas is over, and it’s 10:45 on Friday night, but have you seen this yet? I wanted to share it, and put it here for me to come back to for all the Christmases to come.

My favorite holiday song ever and this rendition is I N C R E D I B L E. GOLD, honestly.

And goosebumps! All the goosebumps in the world.

{A double fist-bump for Boston. And the people who made this magic.}

a merry little christmas.

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Yesterday we had our own little Christmas in Boston. We woke up, put the record player on, brewed up some coffee and plowed into unwrapping some gifts. It was everything a Christmas before Christmas should be– festive, relaxing, and happy. Zan made out with some new sweaters, monogramed coasters, ski socks, and a fishing gadget to make his own lures.  I came away with a brand new ski helmet and a mini-iPad! What. A. Treat! This morning I’m on the road driving to Connecticut for the week. I’m so excited to spend time with my family. And to experience the magic with little Hope!

Here’s to wishing you the happiest Christmas. {And all the cookies you can eat.}

Much love to you and yours today, tomorrow, and always.

And remember,

“Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.” ♥

the weekend before the weekend before christmas.

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I think I actually want to title this post, “A 50 MM DREAM.”

What do you think?

Now I don’t mean to toot my own horn by any means, but I’d be lying if I said my jaw doesn’t drop to the floor when I scroll through these photos. They’re not perfect, but still. I TOOK THESE? (!!!) That lens is obviously some sort of MAGIC. It’s honestly kind of amazing that my filter cracked this weekend. Sounds strange, but I’m actually really glad it did. Funny the way it is.

//

So these are the photos from our venture to Harvard Square last weekend. It was a cold, wet day just on the verge of snow. We went to all our favorite spots, the Book Store, Black Ink, Urban, Anthro, Burdick’s and Border Cafe. We even went to the one and only Curious George store for some gifts for the littles in our life. Oh! And Bob Slate Stationer, too. We stopped in to get some calligraphy pens for the holiday break since my Aunt Heidi offered to teach us while we’re in Connecticut for Christmas. The customer service in that little shop is completely refreshing. We had the kindest French man helping us out with our pen decisions, and a lovely man running the cash register too. Honestly, the nicest!

I found all my goodies for a Christmas city swap I’m participating in on Saturday, too. You can read about the swap here, and consider next year if Allie does it again! I loved being a part of it and will post soon about the items I chose to give– buying local was part of the concept (two thumbs UP) and I got really into it, which is just the way of it with me and these types of things. Such fun.

Now I’m ALMOST done with all my shopping. A few more stores to pop into and then I’m also DIY-ing a bunch of gifts this weekend. It’s about to get super crafty up in here.

2 more days of school!

LET’S DO THIS, CHRISTMAS.

//

A Merry Mix I’ve been listening to lately.
It’s perfect.

on the first real snow and cameras and instagram.

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One more week of school and then 12 whole days of footloose and fancy freeeeeeee.

This weekend we got our first real snow fall. By first real snow, I mean it was the first time we had to go out and shovel the driveway. Do I love it? No, but kind of yes. I get in this ho ho ho spirit when I’m out there and just power through it while singing Christmas music quietly under my breath. I would sing them louder, but sometimes wonder what the neighbors might think. The shoveling gives me a back-ache and I seriously get SO hot and sweaty, but the coming inside after to hot chocolate part makes it all worth it. Oh, joy. It snowed a little bit early last week, and certainly stuck in most places because of the cold, but the storm this weekend was the real deal– the white all over, magic kind of morning. Today I didn’t even make it outside except to wrestle with the mounds of heavy white fluff in the driveway. Other than that it was present wrapping, and movie watching, and a stay-in-your-pajamas all day sort of Sunday. And I didn’t feel guilty one bit and that is the best part of all.

On Saturday my sister and I went to Harvard Square and had a full day shopping and eating and loving that little gem of a place that is part of our city. Before we were leaving the house I grabbed my camera and discovered that {what I thought was the lens} was cracked! The lens cap was on, but it seemed that I had jammed it on improperly and when I took the cap off I discovered THIS. Oh, no. I thought to myself. No no no no no. So I did get sad, but I didn’t panic. I looked up the lens and found that it wasn’t too expensive should I have to get another one, and then I looked up a camera store in Harvard Square and I grabbed my small lens {50 mm} to use that for the day and off we went. LUCKILY I discovered at the camera shop that the lens of the camera was actually fine and that it was just the filter that had cracked. HUNTS PHOTO SAVED THE DAY. And my heart. Also, the plus side was that I got to play a little more with my 50 mm lens, which I haven’t done as often as I’d like. I still find it a little tricky for me to focus and I often find later that my pictures aren’t perfectly crisp. Any advice from the photographers out there? I’ll post some of my photos later this week, but that’s going to be one of my goals for 2014, which is an ongoing goal for me in general. Keep on keeping on.

Besides being excited about Christmas soon, and snowfalls lately, and giving gifts to people I love, I’ve also been really excited about my instagram following growing rapidly these last few weeks. Instagram has always been my favorite– I love how it is an extension of this blog, how truly it reflects me and my life, and my love of photography, and more than anything I love the connections it gives me to friends near and far. I spend a lot of time curating my feed, not to make it seem perfect, no not that at all, but to make it feel real. Be YOU, I always hear people saying, and this is me being me absolutely. And I know that having lots of followers doesn’t matter in the bigger picture of life, but I do like the idea of a community, a community of friends and nice people that feel connected and so hooray for growing a following– for people appreciating my photos and my words and just all around for KINDNESS and LOVE and LIFE. Amen.

I hope YOU had a happy weekend and warm wishes for a quick work week!

9 DAYS TIL CHRISTMAS! JOY TO THE WORLD!

//

P.S. for those of you that have asked, I edit my instagram photos with VSCO cam.
I’d been thinking of doing a tutorial, except for that I recently found one by Mary Beth that is AMAZING. So just go visit her post and she wonderfully explains it all.

Happy picture taking!