Archives for ‘Holiday’

One Quick Take

April 23, 2015 By: Jenna Category: Holiday

Fuji Superia 800. Canon AE-1.

A boy and his birthday cake. He loved his rainbow cake so much that he’s frequently mentioned a desire to have the same cake again next year, but my guess is that once I show them the bevvy of options on Pinterest that he’ll want to try something new.

As I was baking this, I told my mom that I think this is my favorite holiday tradition. Partially because I eat dozens of spoonfuls worth of raw batter and frosting, but mostly because there’s so much joy found in creating a thing that will bring so much joy to the people I love. I haven’t baked a cake for TH in the past, and I didn’t make myself one last year, but I’m going to start doing so from now on.

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Christmas Card 2014

December 25, 2014 By: Jenna Category: family, Holiday

 

Horizontal 5x7 Folded Card Back Horizontal 5x7 Folded Card Front

I am tempted to write that this has been a year of change and transition, but I think that’s probably every year for everyone. It has required some twisting and bending, as we encountered situations we didn’t expect, but we are wrapping up this year in a really good place.

I am chugging along as the family coordinator, chauffeur, rule enforcer, babysitter arranger, cook, expense manager, picture taker, blogger, and anything else that has to do with running a household and portrait photography business and multiple websites all at once.

TH switched from one Bay Area firm to another this summer, giving us the gift of even more time living in this wondrous place. He works a lot.

T1 is four-years-old and wakes up each morning with a new arsenal of stories to tell. He is observant and kind, frequently going out of his way to “fill the bucket” of those around him. He wants all the blue things, unlimited amounts of electronic time, and any food that passes his lips to be white and cheesy or filled with peanut butter.

T2 hit her baby peak at eighteen months, and we are shoring up to weather the slide into toddlerhood. We adore her kisses, baby talk, and attention to detail. She wants nothing but milk, baby dolls in her bed, endless renditions of the ABC song, and shoes on her feet.

We have a lot of good things in our life, and all those who receive this card are a part of that! With love to our family and friends,

TH,  That Wife, T1, T2

Samantha Kelly Photography-9041

Christmas Cards from 2013, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008

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One Quick Take

November 05, 2014 By: Jenna Category: Holiday

Mario and Yoshi. BFF Foreverzzz.

DIY Mario and Luigi Halloween Costumes

Christmas Card 2013

December 25, 2013 By: Jenna Category: family, Holiday

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We made it! With the birth of T2, yet another move, demanding work schedules, and the Thunderous Threes all happening in the same year we are breathing a big sigh of relief as we think about 2014. We are still in the San Francisco Bay Area, but I’m drafting this letter from a different home address yet again. (I’m keeping my fingers crossed that 2014 will be the year with no moving.) We loved our East Palo Alto house, but made the decision back in June to move to a new rental in Fremont. A big thank you to my parents for hosting us for 6 weeks while we waited for our new place to become available (and watching our kids so we could have an adults-only weekend getaway in Portland!).

We like our new neighborhood much more and are using all sorts of methods to meet our neighbors (the most out-there attempt involved nailing an introduction letter to the tree outside our front door). The population in this area is very diverse and it’s been fun to explore the multitude of Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, and Mexican restaurants in the area. Turns out T1 is not a fan of the bubbles in bubble tea but he loves Chinese donuts.

TH and I are busier than ever, juggling two young children along with work. It’s a lot harder than we thought it would be. Thank goodness for babysitters and preschool! TH travels for work Monday-Thursday. While he’s gone I care for the kids and work on a growing number of projects – www.jennacole.com, www.pinterestfail.com, and www.thatwifeblog.com.

T1 is thriving in his fantastic preschool, attending full days every weekday. He loves making friends, starting every sentence with “Ma”, and exploring his ability to exercise his independence. Between the passionate outbursts his tender side shines through – when we caught a bug and looked at it under a microscope he begged me to set it free so it could go back to its mommy.

T2 has started digging through my kitchen cabinets and walking along the furniture. She’s a resilient little girl who survives being sat on and dragged around (literally) by her brother on a daily basis. When I say “It’s time to go get brother from preschool” she flaps her arms and waves excitedly. He is her very best friend and I love to listen to them babble and interact on the drive home from school every day.

This year we are particularly grateful for technology and the ways it keeps us connected. Social media that fosters connections with friends who live far away from us, video chats with family as we’re making dinner, Skype with family in Poland (who we, sadly, didn’t get to visit this year), screen time that gets us through the littles witching hour in the evenings, and phone calls between husband and wife as we live apart each week.

Thanks to all of you who make our life better in some way being being in it.

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Christmas cards past: 2008, 20092011, 2012

Who Makes the List?

December 20, 2013 By: Jenna Category: Holiday

Moving around a lot means we have a lot of friends in different places. Lucky us! But what to do when assembling our Christmas card address list each year, as sending out cards can be a bit of an investment. My solution to this has been breaking up our address list into two categories. The first is the people who will always get a card no matter what: parents, siblings, grandparents, people close enough to be in our wedding party, coworkers*, and people who we are currently conversing regularly with. The second list is much more discriminatory: those who sent us cards the previous year.

After I’m done displaying the cards from each year I open up my address spreadsheet and bold all of the names that we received cards from. I add in any people that sent us a card that weren’t already on our list. Then I let the list sit for 10 months, until it’s time to send out cards for the next year. I add in any new friends we’ve made, delete the non-bolded names of people that don’t fall in the essential category, and order for my newest list amount.

I like this system because it helps keeps costs down, and develops a reciprocal relationship of sorts when it comes to sending out cards to people. The string of cards in our hallway grows by the day, and it makes me so happy to walk in the front door and see the smiling faces of our friends and family.

Christmas Card List Dilemma
Image via my Instagram account, @thatwife

 Do you send out Christmas cards? How do you manage and assemble your list each year?

 *Good networking and relationship-building.

      I'm a farm-raised almost-crunchy stroller-pushing picture-taking lifestyle-blog-writing gastronomy-obsessed divine-seeking thrift-store-combing cheese-inhaling pavement-pounding laughter-sprinkling lover of individuality and taking chances.
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