tales from my {very} merry christmas

tales from my {very} merry christmasi can hardly believe that one week ago tomorrow was christmas eve; quite honestly it feels like it was a month ago already despite the fact that we still have our tree up at home. (which is crazy because i was raised that christmas decorations should be taken down the next day, if not the day of. true story) but with being out of town and busy i just felt like i haven’t fully gotten to enjoy it so i opted for christmas to extend until new years and i’m feeling very pleased with that decision. the older i get, the harder it seems to get really into the christmas spirit – all part of growing up i suppose. but it certainly helped raise my spirits to be home for the holidays and get to spend them celebrating with my family and my favorites. so, here’s the breakdown of my holiday season, it was full of love and laughter; wine and food; family and sarcasm. and i wouldn’t have it any other way. i hope that yours was a holly jolly, merry and bright kind of time.

christmas 1: durby side christmas

our first christmas celebration of the year began the saturday before the holidays when we got together with my mom’s side following my big brothers graduation from st cloud state (YAY!) [b] and i hosted and i realized how much work it is to do that (mad props to my aunt cindy who ususally does it each year) but i loved having our home full of family.

Durby Side Christmas | 2013

christmas 2: christmas eve with the dahls

 the second celebration of christmas was on christmas eve when the entire dahl clan. 4 generations worth of dahls got together for the first time in about 10 years. it was so great to get to see everyone and to see how happy it made my grandma to have her house filled with her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids – priceless.

Christmas Eve 2013

Christmas Eve 2013


christmas 3: christmas morning

the third celebration of christmas is hands down my favorite, because the events of that morning are one of my most treasured traditions. the morning begins with breakfast of an egg bake, monkey bread and fruit & marshmallow dip with beverages of orange julius, and now that (most of us) are of age; bloody marys and mimosas. (soon, carter, soon). then we head downstairs to open presents. the rest of the afternoon is spent hanging out and playing games, this year it was the app, ‘heads up’. and then we eat our dinner of pork tenderloin with maple mustard sauce, strawberry salad, and green bean casserole. a truly wonderful day and i loved getting to share my traditions with [b] and #starksthepup.

evolution of christmas morning (07-13)

Christmas Day 2013

christmas 4: call with brandons mom

since i’m an “adult” now with a job i’ve had to start heading back to the cities christmas evening. so we packed up the car and headed up to the burbs. when we got home we made some tea and called [b]’s mom who lives in new mexico so that we could open up presents “with” her.

christmas 5: our christmas

after calling [b]’s mom we got to have “our christmas” together and exchanged gifts followed by watching polar express and staying up until i couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore because i didn’t want christmas to be over. it was the cherry on top of a wonderful christmas. though i’ve gotten older and find it harder to get in the spirit, i still absolutely love christmas and how it brings everyone together.

[5th annual] dad & emma day

the older i get, the harder i am finding it to get into the holiday spirit. perhaps it’s because  the mystery of christmas is gone; because i’m getting older and find things less magical; because the season now comes with snowy and trafficy filled commutes; and most importantly because i no longer get a glorious month long break this time of year. whatever the cause i’m having to dig a little deeper each year to find cheer and holly jolliness. brandon and i got out tree and decked it out with 1600, yes sixteen HUNDRED lights, which helped get me in the spirit. but what really made it feel like the holidays was last friday on the 5th annual dad and emma day.

i’m a sucker for a good tradition, and this one has become one of my favorites. started 5 years ago (you can read about year four here, year three here, and year two here.) my daddy would take a friday off in early december and make the trek up to the big city, and the agenda has remained virtually unchanged. it goes a little something like this: bloody mary’s (& breakfast), barnes & noble to get dad’s calendar, a stop at target to look at christmas decor, macy’s santaland (minus the year the line was WAY too long), cookies from mrs clause’s bakery, starbucks and people watching at the IDS building. it’s the perfect holiday morning.

i am so blessed to have these traditions. and especially now that i don’t get to go home as much, they mean that much more to me. i love my life up in the burbs, but a part of my heart is always home with my family. and every moment we spend together is another memory in the books. no matter how old i get, i will be my daddy’s little princess, and i can’t wait for many more years of dad & emma days to come. love you much daddy! xoxo

Dad and Emma Day

Dad and Emma Day

Dad and Emma Day

[dad & emma day’s through the years]

Dad and Emma Day

Dad and Emma Day

Dad and Emma Day

Dad and Emma Day

Dad and Emma Day

merry christmas roundup [tis the season]

new years eve already?! uff da. i hope everyone had a wonderful christmas; full of friends, family, food, fun, faith and love. i had what just might be the most wonderful christmas to date. discounting the year i got a barbie camper. christmas seems to change as you get older, and it first i thought it might get less exciting, and it does in a way, but this year christmas was perfect. i got to be with my family and my boyfriend, follow traditions, eat amazing food, laugh a lot, open presents, celebrate the birthday boy, jesus, and become unbelievably aware of how blessed i am. perfection.

pictures say more than i could elaborate on, so here’s the top ones from my holiday season. thank you family, for an amazing holiday season. i love you all bunches. and a very Happy New Year y’all. :)

christmas eve

christmas eve


christmas day


help me, i’m poor


evolution of christmas day (2007-2012)

2007-2012 stocking picture

durby side christmas

durby chrtistmas