cover pic

cover pic

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Few of My New Favorite Things

After three very full days of Christmas celebrations, I am using today to catch up...on overflowing baskets of laundry, journaling and blogging, exercising and dieting, and relaxing.  I'm sure most of you can relate.  We had a terrific Christmas, and I'll fill you in on the highlights later, but today I just had to share my excitement about some of my favorite gifts I received.

This Sony camera is something I've been wanting, but I felt too guilty to spend the money for myself.  I've been blogging for 20 months and using my outdated Samsung tablet and a cheap Smartphone for nearly all my photography.  My husband surprised me with this Sony a 6000 camera and accessories, and I am so eager to get outside and see what it can do.  I took dozens of pictures with it over the past couple of days of family and food and celebrating, but I have so much to learn about photography and this camera's features.  I now have a new challenging project going into 2017.

Along with the camera, I have new reading material for the weeks ahead.  I have always been drawn to colonial America and love to study that period of time.  Although our farmhouse was built in the late 1880s, it was renovated in an early American style, and there is so much more I'd like to do with it.  I really wish Chip and Joanna Gaines could come to the Alleghenies and tackle our farmhouse for their next project.  I absolutely love watching Fixer Upper and was going to buy their new book, The Magnolia Story, myself if it wasn't under our Christmas tree.  Finally, my sister spent the better part of this year researching our family's genealogy and created a scrapbook of our family tree and lots of old photos, newspaper clippings, and old legal documents.  She was able to trace both sides of our family as far back as 1570.  It turns out that the vast majority of our ancestors settled in Pennsylvania and Virginia in the 30-50 years prior to the Revolutionary War.  It's fascinating to read some of the stories, and I can't imagine how many hours of tedious work my sister put in, but I'm so grateful she did.  I can't wait to curl up on my favorite chair with a gourmet Cappuccino (also a new gift) and these books.

And you can see how badly I needed a camera after looking at the photo above.

Not only is my sister a talented writer, but she is an artist and wood crafter as well.  This wall hanging was another total surprise Christmas gift she made for me in a farmhouse chic style, and it's hanging in our dining room above the piano.  I got all the kids and she got all the talent in the family. 

Our house was full this Christmas---with gifts, food, holiday spirits (both kinds), and family.  Yesterday we had 17 people crammed into our dining room around our main Christmas tree opening gifts.  Our farmhouse was full of life and love and laughter, just the way I've always hoped it would be.  The best part was sharing it with our first grandchild who truly brightens the room with his squeals and energy and innocence.  I'll share some of the details of both the high points and the mishaps later, but today I'm just going to savor all of it while the memories are fresh and the house is a bit more quiet.

And I'm going to play with my new "toy" so I can get more great shots like the one above.  I hope you're all able to bask in this post-Christmas euphoria and relax a bit as we finish up this year.


  1. Sounds like a wonderful Christmas! I have that camera and positively love it. Have a happy, healthy new year!!

    1. Thanks, Katie. I'm glad to hear you have a good experience with the Sony camera. Most people I know have Nikons or Canons. Happy New Year to you as well.


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