Our Christmas Card with Paper Culture

I’m passionate about Christmas cards! I love figuring out which design works best with our photo, stamping and sending them, and receiving them! Call me lame, but I LOVE checkimg the mail! Ha! Checking it in the month of December is extra fun because we usually have a card or two in the box! 

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I am SO EXCITED about our Christmas cards from Paper Culture this year! I was interested in finding a different Christmas card company this year and after a few searches I came across Paper Culture and quickly reached out to them to gush over their card designs! Once I got our fall photos back from Lauren Flowers Photograpy I quickly picked a card and they were here within a week! I went with a gold foil card and the quality is amazing!  

 

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Paper Culture also offered free address printing and I was ALL OVER THAT. I actually ended up picking a design that wasn’t free, but from this year on I’ll never be able to go back to writing my own addresses! Ha! It’s so convenient to be able to stuff and stamp and then put them in the mailbox! I do have a few more I need to write and send today because I didn’t have addresses ready when I ordered, but overall this is a service I WILL take advantage of again! 

 

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Something really neat about Paper Culture is that they use all recycled materials and every order plants a tree! So I was able to “dedicate” a tree through my order so I dedicated it to my babes for our first Christmas as a family of four. :) I love that they are a thoughtful and sustainable company! If you haven’t ordered your cards yet, I think there’s still time for you to get these in before Christmas! You can get 40% off through tomorrow! 

Linking up today with Victoria and Sarah!  

I was sent our Christmas cards for free to review, but all opinions are my own.  

Christmas Day in the Life

I'm so excited to be guest hosting today with Victoria and Sarah for their "It's the most wonderful time of the year" linkup!  Today's prompt is "Christmas day in the life" and I'm thrilled that I get to help host this day.  When I first starting thinking about hosting this day I thought about all the fun activities we could do.  Visit Santa, bake cookies, have friends over, work on crafts, etc.  In transparency, I even started to document us doing some of those things on a day last week, but then I got frazzled and never finished.  I woke up Monday morning and thought "TODAY!  I'll document today!" I had a sink full of dirty dishes, laundry all over my floor, and random baby things on the kitchen island.  I didn't have anything "Christmas-y" planned and GASP my children were going to wake up NOT wearing Christmas pajamas!  Ha!  Yet here I am... hosting a "Christmas" day in the life and, you know what, it was still a sweet and meaningful December day, even though it was a simple day.  In this season it's easy to get caught up in our "to do" or "want to do" lists and even walk away from the holiday season feeling discouraged that we didn't make more "magical" things happen.  I want you to know that it's okay for your days to be simple, it's okay if you don't get to complete that Christmas "bucket list".  What matters are your people.  What matters is spending intentional time loving the people around you, even if that just means turning on the Christmas tree lights and sharing a blanket on the couch.  Don't feel like these December days are any less meaningful if they aren't full of cookie making, santa visits, and hosting holiday parties.  These December days can be meaningful for the simple fact of choosing to love your people... no matter how that may look!  So!  Here's a look at a simple December day in the Cole Household!

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My alarm went off around 5:50 so I got up to make coffee, get my bible and give me Jesus journal out of the car from community group the night before, made cups of coffee for Tyler and I, and then crawled back in bed to have my quiet time!  Tyler and I have been walking through 1,2,3 John with the help of a Jen Wilkin printable bible study and it's been AMAZING and it's really helping me learn how to study scripture for myself! 

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Around 7:15 Campbell and Crawford were up, changed, and comfy with their bottle/sippy cup!  I usually sit right between them and we watch the today show for a little while!  After they finished their bottles they played, I cleaned out the pantry, they had breakfast, and then we went to pickup our walmart grocery order!  If you aren't using the FREE walmart grocery pickup option... YOU SHOULD BE!!! It's a major gift to my life.

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After getting groceries we came home for morning nap, I unloaded groceries, and then worked on sending out some cards to my mini session families!  This year I really wanted to do something to love on my families a little extra, so I hope getting a few prints of their sweet families will be an extra happy this holiday season!

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After morning nap they got up, had a snack, and then we went to get Christmas books at the library!  I LOVE taking them to the library and I hope it's something they grow up loving to do!  We came home with a bag full of fun books to read this month!

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My brother was studying for a nursing school final at the library so we gave him a quick break so that we could go have lunch together!  Also... a certain little boy is in MAJOR need of a haircut! Ha!

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While Campbell and Crawford took their afternoon naps (I LOVE the two nap life while it lasts!!!) I worked on some blogging stuff, read up on Victoria's blog, and had on Harry Potter!  I worked a ton the past couple of months so that I could take December off from photo sessions + editing and it's been so great to have some down time! 

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Crawford was up around 2:30 so we did some things around the house until Campbell got up around 3:30 or so.  They had a snack and we played for a while!  I don't have many photos from the afternoon, but we played, I made tomato-basil soup, Tyler came home, and then my parents came over to play! Tonight it worked out for me to feed them dinner early so we could play with my parents so dinner is to come for us later!  A certain little boy took his VERY FIRST steps!  We have some really sweet videos that I'll cherish forever.  It was a really reflective night for me and I thought a lot about how sweet it is the be their mama.  So many little things really don't matter.  What matters is loving my people.  And I want to love them well! 

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At the end of the night we got them in jams, Crawford got a bottle, Campbell got a sippy of milk, and we read our advent story for the night from our Jesus Storybook Bible!  We love our advent Crew + Co. cards and I know we'll use them for years to come!

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The babes go to bed around 7 and we cozied up on the couch with a bowl of soup and last week's Fixer Upper! Shortly after I helped Tyler with some Christmas lights outside, I worked on my Powersheets, and then we snuggled in bed with an episode of Parks and Recreation before I fell asleep around 9:45 or 10.  I'm SO TIRED by the end of the day! 

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It was a sweet but simple day for our family that made me so thankful for the opportunity to do life with them.  Of course the santa meeting, cookie making, party having days are SO FUN, but I'm learning to soak in these simple days, too.  So grateful for these days with my family! I can't wait to see what a Christmas day in YOUR life looks like! 

Want, Need, Wear, Read

In my last few years as a Vinson before I got married my mom started approaching Christmas a little bit differently than when my siblings and I were small.  Instead of a ton of random gifts, we started to get four main gifts:  something you want, something you need, something you wear, something you read.  I LOVE how this simplifies gift giving and it makes shopping (and asking for things!) so much more intentional.  Now Tyler and I do this for each other and we do this for the babies!  I thought I would share a few ideas of things we've got our eyes on this year! (Minus Tyler- I don't want him to know what I'm getting him! Ha!)

 

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I'm SO EXCITED about getting the Ikea play kitchen for Campbell and Crawford! They won't really "get" the kitchen part right now, but they will love opening and closing the doors, taking things on and off shelves, etc.  I think it'll be such a sweet gift that they can grow with in the next several years.  And you can't beat the Ikea price tag!  I'm considering getting my dad to help fancy it up again, but the jury is still out on if that'll happen or not! Ha!

As they are getting bigger I know I need to think about some different meal things that will help them transition to using bowls, plates, utensils, etc.  I have my eye on the gootensil, some disposable mats for when we're out, silicone plates, and an extra of our favorite sippy!  I also picked up some sleeved bibs at Ikea when we bought their kitchen.  Crawford in particular is SO MESSY so if we are in a situation where she doesn't need to be naked to eat, this will be a lifesaver! Ha! 

The Beaufort Bonnet Company Night Nights have been on my dream list for a long time.  I don't really have "fancy" style for the babes, but my love language is sweet pajamas!  The price tag is something that doesn't really work for me, but when Victoria called me on black Friday to say that they posted my favorite pair for CG in the sale, I immediately got on and bought them!  And then I called a boutique and snagged a pair for Campbell!  I'm so glad that I was able to snag these for such good deals!  It'll be a sweet treat for mama to see them in these! Plus, Crawford is having a pajama party for her birthday so now I don’t have to look for another birthday outfit.  Win win!

I've seen Risen Motherhood post about these Baby Believer books recently and I think they are SO CUTE!  Both the counting primer and the movement primer  will be really great additions to our library! 

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I probably reminded Tyler to order the Seasonal Meal Planner no less than 10 times because I wanted this SO BAD! Ha!  This is a year long intentional meal planner and hospitality planner and I think it's going to be a game changer for our family.  Natasha is releasing a few more copies today so GO GRAB ONE!!

I would really love a new pair of house shoes!  I wear mine almost all day, everyday (hey, I stay home a lot! Ha!) and my current pair now has a hole in the toe so... I think it's time for a new pair! I love this pair from Bass Outlet.  The ones I have now are from there and they've lasted 2 years!

I'm slowly trying to learn what kind of clothing really fits my season of life.  It's been a long journey for me after becoming a mama to figure out what I really feel comfortable in and I feel like I'm really starting to get to a point of knowing what works for me!  My go-to right now is a boyfriend fit/flowy fit button down with jeggings.  It's comfortable enough for me to wear at home all day, but I feel more like a normal human when Tyler gets home instead of just being in a t-shirt and leggings all day!  I think button downs will work great through most seasons because in the spring I can wear lighter ones and in the winter I can wear thicker, flannel ones!

I've heard a ton of people recommend this book by Paul David Tripp and it's on my must read list for 2018!

I’m SO excited to be linking up with my friend Victoria and Sarah for their Christmas link up!  There are lots of fun prompts to come in the next two weeks!