Gingerbread houses, take 4

Gingerbread houses, take 4

This is the fourth year Husband and I have made a gingerbread house together (you can see the previous three houses here), and each year we try to have a few friends join us in the endeavor.

I can sum it up best the way our friends said it last night as they were gathering their things to leave: “Well, it’s been…tedious.”

Yep, gingerbread houses are definitely tedious. But they’re also festive and fun (and they provide a pretty good marriage exercise for couples!). I love that when we married two years ago, we decided that as we learned to mesh the traditions we both cherished from childhood, we would also start a few of our own. That’s how gingerbread houses came into the picture, even if they are tedious =).

Making gingerbread houses with friends

Our gingerbread house tradition.

Gingerbread front yard.

Working on gingerbread house details.

Friends joining our tradition.

Detailing the roof.

Letting the house dry and set.

“Home” for Thanksgiving

“Home” for Thanksgiving

I remember so fondly the moment I arrived in Montana for college, it was a whole new world, and a wonderful adventure awaited me there–I was sure of it!

At the age of 18, I was on my own, and I was 41 hours from home.

Montana was the right choice for me, the best place for college. Sometime I’ll have to tell you more about it. For now, suffice to say that it was a dream come true and I now have “Live in Montana” checked off my bucket list.

That year was the first time I spent Thanksgiving away from my family. Before long, my best friends and I had established our own little Thanksgiving traditions and the day was a greatly anticipated one. After undergrad, I was only home for the holiday once before heading off to graduate school.

My first “married” Thanksgiving was spent at my mother-in-law’s house. It was a whole new experience for me–somewhat unlike my own family Thanksgivings, and wholly unlike the holidays my roommates and I created for ourselves in Montana. But I loved the chance to peek into Husband’s world and see things the way he sees them.

This year will be the opposite, circumstances are taking us to my family for Thanksgiving this year and Husband will have the chance to take a look into my family’s traditions. Of course, my family has changed a lot in the last few years, what with the addition of six children and another on the way.

I am excited to be visiting my family–we’re all going to be there, something that doesn’t happen very often. But at the same time, Virginia has become my home and I will miss home.

Is it terrible to admit that I am glad we will be staying here for Christmas?

So often people ask where we’re going for the holidays. When have the holidays become such a popular time to travel? The holidays I remember were spent at home, with family, all hunkered down together enjoying the warmth of a happy house and ignoring the often cold and snowy outdoors.

As much as I am excited about heading to Ohio tomorrow, I want to have those homey kinds of holidays in my life. It’s not that I don’t want to see extended family, but there is something special, something magical, about home, especially at the holidays.

So here’s to finding the right balance this year–traveling for Thanksgiving and staying home for Christmas!