"for last year's words belong to last year's language, and next year's words await another voice." - t.s. eliot

looking forward to a celebration this evening full of champagne and good friends and a new year full of new beginnings! happy 2011!

images: 1.thecasting.tumblr 2.quintessenceblog.com 3.yourphotographyx.tumblr


the holiday in review

christmas 2010 was fantastic. the past few weeks have been full of family time, naps, food, shows, presents, friends, movies, and virtually zero stress. i am so blessed. someday i will figure out how to make photo collages for blogger. until that time, enjoy some lovely highlight photos below:

i'm getting so excited for 2011! more to come soon!


he found a way

loving this beautiful picture of Christ's coming by andy gullahorn - enjoy and merry christmas! 


merry merry christmas!

"the word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. we have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only son, who came from the father, full of grace and truth." - john 1:14

may you feel the magic of christmas and the joy of Christ today, tomorrow, and always!

merry christmas!


merry commercial christmas

while many complain that christmas is too commercial, i happen to like the extra bit of creative effort that retailers put in to their advertising, even if it is a clever ploy make me spend my money. my top three favorite ad campaigns of this holiday season? well, i'm so glad you asked...

3. tommy hilfiger. (above) the first time i saw their feast interruptus ad, i immediately loved it. the styling is fantastic.

2. michael kors. love love love love love this.

1. tiffany's. snow + coffee + cute boy + LITTLE BLUE BOX. all i want for christmas.

and of course, i can't leave out this commercial. my favorite one of the season. i may have downloaded the song and listened to it on repeat:


christmas cottage

congratulations. you get a free tour of my christmasy cottage. my challenge this year? decorate with no red. given that santa really likes red, and it makes up 50% of the official "holiday colors", i had to get creative. the good news is a lot of this decorating will stay up through march. the bad news is i might kill my cat soon if he doesn't stop destroying my christmas tree.

those are newspaper garland paper chains, if you're interested. i also wrapped gifts in newspaper this year. i'm so eco-chic.  

i'm pretty proud of my "merry merry" banner. so festive. 

these balls cost less than a quarter each at the gibson mill. i'm so obsessed with them. 

you, too, can have a cool window on your wall if you're willing to pick up people's trash off the side of the road. and if you're willing to shop at big lots for decorations, you're good to go. this whole little display cost less than $5.  

a creative take on the christmas tree. i also pulled this baby out of someone's trash. 

merry merry christmas from my house to yours!

in waiting

i think it's no secret by this point that i love christmas. i generally begin listening to festive tunes around the beginning of september and spend the months leading up to thanksgiving (when it's actually legal to most normal people to officially embrace the season) pouring over magazines, websites, books, and etsy pages preparing for the one month each year when everything in the world is a little bit more beautiful. but sometimes, once christmas time actually comes, it just doesn't feel like christmas. the world is still full of injustice and sadness, my bills don't stop coming, and my workload generally only increases. i hate the feeling that the season is slipping away and i'm not soaking up every second of lights, cookies, parties, presents, and family in a festive buddy-the-elf-like stupor. this year especially, it's been difficult for me to grab a hold of the wonder of the season; that feeling of i-absolutely-might-burst excitement surrounding these fleeting days leading up to christmas.

one part of christmas that often gets lost in the shuffle, but one which i have come to love in recent years, is the celebration not just of the birth of christ, but that of advent, or the four-week celebration in preparation for christ's birth. i love advent because it observes the waiting, the anticipation and the excitement as we approach the celebration of the birth of Christ. additionally, it encourages us to focus on Christ's second coming with the same watchful, waiting eye. this year it's been difficult for me to recapture the utter euphoria i once felt waiting for santa's arrival, but i haven't been able to shake the feeling that my childish anticipation of his visit mirrors the way i should look to Christ's coming - both first and second - during this season. (an obvious parallel i would argue to any parent who doesn't want their children to believe in santa claus.) baby Jesus didn't bring me an american girl doll or a barbie minivan, or a new pair of jcrew boots (hint hint); instead, he brought with him the greatest gift humankind could have ever asked for. shouldn't i spend this season so excited to celebrate the arrival of this gift that, as i once did waiting for santa, i can focus on nothing else?

this year especially, i feel the burden of waiting. i've been laid off at work, i have no boyfriend to speak of, and my future is unclear. while none of this is making me feel especially christmasy, i am grateful that i've been given time to wait. there's so much i can learn from the waiting and the excitement of anticipating the Lord's provision in my life is overwhelming. God's people waited for longer than seemed necessary for a Savior. and then, finally, after years and years of waiting, God's promise was fulfilled and changed life as we know it. when i was young, i spent december wishing away the weeks leading up to the 25th - and most of the time it felt like it would never, ever, come. now, i spend december wishing time would slow down so that my favorite time of year doesn't pass by so quickly. in this time of advent, i'm going to wait and remember God's faithfulness and work to not wish away this time of transition. hopefully, along the way i'll find the same child-like excitement i once had and can celebrate on saturday morning a gift that lasts far beyond anything i'll ever unwrap under the tree.

merry christmas!


christmas in washington

i always love mrs. obama's style, however, i don't always think she chooses figure-flattering looks. she knocked it out of the park, however with this 1950's norman norelli vintage dress (purchased at new york vintage in chelsea), worn for christmas in washington this past sunday. apparently, it's the first time a first lady has worn a vintage dress to a public affair. mrs. obama, you. are. so. stylish.

images: 1/2.huffington post 3.acclaim images


sunday edition #9

collect for the third sunday of advent:

stir up your power, oh Lord, and
with great might come among us; and 
because we are sorely hindered by our sins, 
let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; 
through Jesus Christ Our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, 
be honor and glory, now and for ever, amen. 

image via irene suchock on flickr