To our family, friends and every single reader…..we really truly do wish you a Merry & Blessed Christmas full of good tidings and cheer and a wonderfully joyous, raucous and Happy New Year. May 2012 be the best year for all of us, and all our hopes and plans moving forward towards each and every one of our destinies. We love and appreciate all of you.
Happy Holidays to you all!
Story Behind the Story….
This week was full of activities, and making this video was just a natural extension of living life. Here you see us as we got the opportunity to volunteer at the Labre Society with their Holiday Backpack project which distributes bags full of essential items to homeless and underprivileged people in our community. And of course, home life is prominent as it is the week of Christmas. It really doesn’t take Heather that long to eat a caramel apple, especially since this particular one was so delicious. And it was nice to capture some footage of Bo’s family actually relaxing and all together. It was a wonderful Christmas night, although Mister Emory had quite the attitude. We think we was a bit overwhelmed by the hustle & bustle of the holiday. We also got to see Christmas lights, although the Interlochen display is more waiting than actually viewing. However, it is free unlike set-up displays around D-FW. All in all, it has been a week of getting ready for the weekend where we get to be with Heather’s family and truly enjoy the most wonderful time of the year.
We had planned a few months back to take Christmas card pictures and get them out pretty soon in plenty of time for the holidays. Yeah, so that didn’t happen so much. But we made Emory endure the Texas heat during a brutal autumn, so we thought at least we could put the results up now? So, from us to you, Happiest of Happy Holidays.
Speaking of the holiday, Christmas cannot get here soon enough as this week is dragging on so very slow. It’s time to hit the road, see family, nosh on sips & bites and see what adventure await us on the road ahead. But, to pass the time, we did our best to amuse ourselves mid-week by enduring the long traffic to see the Interlochen neighborhood lights of Arlington. Needless to say, Emory loved it more than us and the inflatable attractions did abound. We are blessed, and every day we are reminded of it.
The first of our many Christmas celebrations started this week. Christmas #1 was at my family, the Liles’ parents house. My family is very food oriented so a “roast beast” and many sides were in order, along with a table full of desserts including my personal all-time favorite, chocolate peanut butter balls. Think Reese’s but more decadent. Coffee and wassail were passed around from hand to hand. Heather got to wear her new Christmas outfit, that surprise, I myself picked out for her. I am biased, but I think she looks as beautiful as ever. Emory joined us for the second part of the festivities, and despite his little attitude resulting from being overwhelmed by Christmas spirit, the traditions were followed, filmed and documented. And yes, Emory got spoiled even more than the rest of us. Art and literature and creativity were the themes of the day, and everyone seemed to have a good time around the Christmas tree. We love Christmas, and it was just what we needed to get past the pre-Christmas Eve/Day lag and get excited about fun, family and the big day. We are very blessed, and we always know the source of all the good things in our life. So, cheers to the Holidays. And on this first day of Hanukkah, we have much to be thankful for.
Christmas week is here, and what better way to start it off than the opportunity to give back to our community by volunteering for the Christmas Backpack event by The Labre Society here in Fort Worth. This holiday season, after a year of a LOT of change, struggle and growing pains, we really felt it was important for us to give back to the community. And not just give back, but to begin a lifestyle of giving back more to our community than what we take. The event was to prep and pack over 700 rucksacks for adults and over 40 backpacks for children with a lot of the essential items that people in need may need on a daily basis. For the kids, school supplies, toiletries, snacks and cold weather gear; for the adults, cold weather gear, bibles and bus passes, food and snacks and toiletries. It was amazing to see people come together in a spirit of pure giving and work together with no stress to accomplish something for the community. We had a great time working on this, and of course things came together nicely, as fate would have it, Heather would have got put on sorting and packing scarves and clothing. There wasn’t a lot of time to take pictures but we wanted to share a few snapshots, while we were busy working and meeting so many great people. Life is too short not to make giving back an integral part of not just this time of the year, but every day. Blessed are the givers. God and life is being very good to us this Christmas season.
P.S. There was plenty of time for afterwards for caramel apples and naps!
We were not able to send Christmas cards out this year, so we made a short video from us to you!
Are we the only ones to get super stressed around the holidays? There seems to always be something that stands as a blockade of sorts to truly experiencing what Christmas is and should be all about. In our house, we deal with stress in different ways and that is never easy. On one hand, there is the avoidance/bury one’s head in the sand method, which is favored by most men. It smacks of a stress induced laziness as a means of coping. On the other hand, there is the over-think & worry until anxiety sets in method which leads to a direct conflict with the avoidance method. It can become tense at the best of times. So sure, there is a list a mile long of responsibilities, necessities, gifts and expenditures to obtain on a shoestring budget all in the time between now and Christmas. Plenty of stresses and the like. But what is Christmas about truly? The story of Jesus is not just what we know from Sunday school from days long gone, but a story about years of struggle and the best laid plans gone awry in the hands of humankind. Then Jesus came, and the two options for life where opened up to a third option. Freedom in the face of a dark world, a freedom that is mostly realistic, often mysterious and always finding a little piece of hope in the midst of stress. So, in the middle of a season often dominated by all the wrong things, things that we feel directly and indirectly every day, the reason for the season? That we always have a third way, a way out of whatever is stressing us out, a way that is new and gives us the little bit of hope we need.
Today was a fantastic Sunday. The kind of Sunday when the air is crisp and the trees are extremely beautiful. From a great lunch of Sunday classics and desserts with family for our niece’s 9th birthday, to leisurely browsing through stores about town to seeing amazing grandparents and wrapping it up with sweet treats and favorite show Once Upon a Time on television, the pace was perfect for a pre-start to the week. And with the holidays fast approaching, a nice relaxed Sunday is just what we needed. Now, where’s our Christmas checklist?
Outfit Description: breton shirt-xx1, Jeans-Ross, Booties-xx1, Coat-Gift
One advantage of living in one of the emerging cities in the local-is-better movement is the innovation in the areas that make any town desirable. These things extend from art (Ft. Worth has a wonderful museum & artist scene), local events (the city is great putting on annual events that bring people to the city centers), to the incredible food scene. One such thing Fort Worth have embraced and promoted is the food truck scene, and we for one have been following its development and evolution. Most recently, the food truck scene has added this great little food truck park for up to 6 trucks just a few blocks from the vibrant restaurant & bar scene of West 7th Street. Housing up to 6 trucks at a time, is kid and dog friendly (!) and featuring picnic tables and lighting for the evening hours, we are now big fans of the Fort Worth Food Truck Park! We sampled Jake’s Burger Patty Wagon, which were amazing sliders/small 2x patty cheeseburgers and awesome seasoned fries, as well as (in our opinion) the best Red Velvet cupcakes in Fort Worth from Red Jett Sweets. Despite the sudden cold that forced us to retreat to the car, the food was great and the concept is well executed. Way to go Fort Worth food scene, you keep reminding us why we really do love this city.
P.S. You can tell by my iphone pictures…it was a very cold, cold, cold night!