The last two months of the year are always a blur for me. When Halloween ends, I know it's going to be a whirlwind managing work, family and obligations. I was lucky enough to get the last two weeks of December off - yet I still felt I needed a vacation when my staycation ended. Basically, you have successfully adulted once you've conquered the holidays with your own family - without having a serious mental breakdown. I'm talking about all the parties you have to attend (and plan!), holiday photos that need to be taken, designed and mailed...... the shopping, the wrapping, the house you have to clean and decorate, the food you have to cook, the holiday pageants, birthday parties (my hubby and dad are both Christmas babies!), work deadlines, charitable contributions, last minute presents, splitting time between relatives, travel.......Oh and let's not forget about the second grade holiday book reports and projects Natalie's school generously bestows upon us....... adulting during the holidays is serious business.

I can't say I've mastered the art of holiday survival. With time, it does get somewhat more manageable, but there's always something new I'll have to struggle with each year (tis the season!). Amidst the hustle and bustle, I unconsciously shift into auto-pilot in order to cope. After realizing this, I have been making more of a conscious effort to be mindful and present no matter what crazy, imperfect kind of day it is. Reminding myself that there is always joy. 

Setting the table
Cranberry tarts 
Our Christmas tree (that exposed plug at the top of the tree is driving me nuts)
My fave tradition with Natalie - baking and decorating snowflake cookies from scratch
This year's holiday card - we're off-center, but oh well.....

There is joy in everything.

I hope you had a wonderful Holiday with your loved ones. Thank you so much for dropping by. I really appreciate all your support throughout the years. Wishing you a splendid 2016! 

Photos by Therese Jacinto for Craft and Couture. Family portrait by Jackielyn Harris.