Today’s musical selection. My coworker is currently producing her first EP and I find the melody and talent gorgeous.

Christmas trees, Hot cocoa, Christmas Cheer, Wrapping Presents!

For some, it’s a case of heartburn, but for all of the right reasons.

I usually don’t enjoy this time of year, I find the traffic and packed stores claustrophobic and thumb my nose at the rampant consumerism. “Save 30% by opening a Macy’s card!”, but pay 250% the item’s value with interest.

Last year, however, I spent much time in preparation for gifts and really got into the season. I loved the thought and customization I put into the gifts, each had a story to tell and I even wrote a little narrative beforehand which guided my purchasing decisions.

My favorite was a star chart from the exact location and time that a “I love you” was first expressed, wrapped in a beautiful handmade frame from reclaimed barn wood, which complimented the cabin we stayed at perfectly; with wooden barn that we snuck into that is used for a wedding venue – string lights and all.

Christmas 2017

It’s still a bit alienating that my portion of the holidays were spent alone last year though. I wasn’t able to share my daughter’s birthday, Thanksgiving, or Christmas with my partner, and attempting to explain to my kiddo, and family why someone who was in my life for a half year at that point still hasn’t met Lola, or wanted to spend time with them was sad, for everyone. I remember needing to explain to Lola that it wasn’t her, or anything to do with her, as she took it personally.

Elaine to the rescue. We spent Lola’s birthday at Elaine’s place so she wouldn’t feel alone on her birthday.

Speaking of Elaine, I hear that she started lecturing at a university in Georgia. I’m very proud of her and hope that she finds all that she’s searching for. If there is anyone as deserving, it’s Elaine.

I find myself able to look back and enjoy these special moments more, the more time that passes. I’m appreciative of each person who’s been in my life, for better or worse, because I’m who I am today.

This year, I’m focusing on handmade gifts – but won’t be able to go into too much detail as to not spoil them.

I love incorporating our engagement ring into my photography.

Holidays can be jam-packed and sometimes stressful though. It’s all not always rainbows and unicorns, but I won’t be spending them alone this year, which brings me much joy. I can only hope that each and every one of you feels warmth and connection this Holiday Season.

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