Saturday, December 31, 2011

our christmas.

this needs to be said. so i will say it and then we can move on...i planned on writing on thursday. never happened. then i planned on doing it on friday. never happened. now it is saturday morning i am here. sitting at my computer feeling a little tired and overwhelmed by the current condition of my home. not sure where this pressure comes from. this idea of..."i have to blog or i need to blog." i said that last night at dinner and justin said..."you seen discouraged. do not write then. that's okay. you are tired. be tired." so last night after we put ava to bed i fell asleep in my clothes on the living room couch. i never do that. i prefer comfy clothes and my bed. all that to say is that i am catching up. i am getting back into life here and sometimes a week away sets me back a bit. but i am on my way...

so it is new years eve! a time to celebrate what was and what is to come. more on that tomorrow. for real. my heart is full. but today does not allow for the time i want to spend reflecting a bit on 2011.

we are not that cool when it comes to new year's eve. we like to celebrate but pretty low key. we were planning to head out of town to see friends but last minute we decided to stay home. stay out of the car for a bit. sleep in our own beds. what's better is that our last minute decision to say home turned into our good friend's josh and ally coming for the night to bring in the new year with our little family.

i loved being in kentucky for christmas. we saw a lot of people. slept a few different places and it was full. full of family, love, food, gifts, and simply being with some of the people we love the very most in the world. 

her first movie. appropriately happy feet 2. she did not sit still for more than three minutes and ended up in the very front row running around and dancing. the 12 other people there did not seem to mind.

glasses were a bit of a theme this trip.

 christmas morning with roma.
a little blurry. but the joy. oh, the joy.

christmas day at the uncle tommy's and aunt sara. we walked in to there house and immediately started exchanging gifts. i did not even get a chance to take pictures. the day was so mild that we spent the afternoon outside. not your typical christmas weather. the love ava has for her cousins...there are no words. i am so thankful.

day after christmas with my immediate family.

 family rules from the grandkids and drake's cute little belly.

 opened and immediately tried to ride it. girl needs one a little more her size.

 putting together ava's new kitchen.

i love christmas. i love what it means. i am sad it is over. i think i am feeling a little down about it all being over. like all events so much gets missed and so many moments are not photographed...especially since all my pics come from my iphone. 

to my family. who we love so dearly...thank you, thank you, thank you.

enjoy your new year's eve. be safe and have fun. i am excited to kiss my husband at midnight.
ava is yelling...mommy, mommy, sweet desperation. have a good saturday.

don't waste this year. much more on that this whole next year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

we are back.

what a trip. what a christmas. i loved it all. we have returned to our own home and our own beds...all three of us missed that the most. ava did not say it but girl was up abnormally early the entire time we were gone. being home means lots of laundry, no food, and more gifts than we have space for...little ava got hooked up. i am tired so much more to come tomorrow...on christmas, my goals & my new little job.

but a few things before i go...

love the matching pajamas for ava and her cousins. thanks to my sister, allison.

christmas day in kentucky. warm enough to sit on the back porch and enjoy this giant bouncy.

now all ava's cousins are represented.

lastly...obsessed. in a healthy way with the new blog header. nice little surprise from aunt sara.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

christmas vacation has begun...

we drove to ky yesterday and it was a long, but great drive. ava was practically perfect. as long as she has her DVD player she is good to go...except when she was fast asleep and daddy accidentally woke her up when he yelled from excitement about an upcoming trip to greece with young life.

 our picture order arrived tuesday and i tore through them like a little kid on christmas morning. seriously it was funny...i was so excited to see them up close. they did not disappoint...they never do.

 ava on our 8 hour road trip yesterday. i thought she might fall asleep around 2pm (her normal nap time)...nah she feel asleep at 6pm. two hours before we arrived at pop pop and lee lee's house. as you can tell by the glazed over look she has...she was watching an elmo movie. or maybe you noticed that little bruise on her forehead. see below.

 on sunday afternoon ava tripped on our rug and hit her little head on the bottom edge of the stairs. it was awful. i did not see it, but justin did. although i was pretty sure she was fine (i am the calm one in these situations) justin was not too sure so we headed to our first ER visit with little aves. she ended up being fine and is healing just fine. she is seriously tough. 

hebrews 10:24. been thinking about that a lot this week. wanted to share.

christmas traditions. sharing just a few before we spend the next several days with the vast majority of both sides of our family. as we began our drive yesterday i could not hold back the tears as we talked about this week. seeing family. moving all over the place. the craziness in the midst of wanting to be intentional and restful. i am just so thankful that this christmas is about family and celebrating...not about chemo and cancer. for those of you hear aches for you. especially during this christmas weekend. this season will pass. i promise.

a few ryder family traditions:

1. lots of christmas movies. especially the holiday. the family man. the family stone (a little sad for me now). four christmases. love actually. serendipity. ava prefers frosty the snowman.

2. baking. we bake a lot. mostly cookies and banana bread this year. ava bakes right alongside me. we love it.

3. making some of our gifts. this year i think i made about ten gifts. can't show them yet.

4. send christmas cards. will put on blog this week.

5. spend more time at home together as a family than any other time of year. i love love love that.

6. new pajamas for ava. we do this for each holiday or special occasion. birthday, halloween, christmas, summer time, etc. i tend to find them at old navy. usually on sale. right now she loves her scary pajamas from halloween the best.

7. host a little christmas party. this year was my first time. it was just a few women from my tuesday night bible study but i loved it. good food. good drinks. great conversation. so thankful for my new friendships.

8. growing up we did a birthday party for jesus. with a cake. bible verses. a poem. some singing. i love it. my mom wrote it all up for me and put it into a great little email. if you would like a copy simply email me at and i would love to share this special christmas tradition.

off to get ready and take ava to happy feet 2 with her roma and aunt marlene. her first movie ever. 
not sure how this will go...

t minus 3 days.

Monday, December 19, 2011

little avie.


thanks aunt sara (she is creative brain behind our family rules, the i love ava suzanna because frame, and every photo we have on our walls). they are gorgeous. she is officially no longer my baby. but my little girl.

mamalode magazine giveaway winner is:
Cathy's world said... My favorite decorations are my lighted garland that is everywhere in my house. When I turn that and the tree on it speaks peace. I love the lights and a warm fire.
congrats cathy! please send your name and address to

also as far as we know...ava did not win the fisher price animal sound contest. sad. sad. sad. thank you for those of you that voted. some of you everyday. we tried our best.

goodbye monday...i am glad you are over. not my best day. let the rest of the week begin.

let us know what picture is your favorite? they are numbered to make it real easy.

Friday, December 16, 2011

don't waste your space. our home for the holidays.

 we have been spending our time doing a little bit of this...

 great great christmas idea!!! aunt sara (professional photographer) got this for ava. we write on it each day...we love a lot things about this little girl. (email her to order one for your house

we love baking. especially snickerdoodles. in turn my jeans are tighter. just the way it goes i guess if you decide to eat cookies pretty much daily. ava loves using these cheap 97 cent snowman straws from walmart (4 in a pack) are perfect.

my friend trish taught me to crochet. let's just say whenever i get a second you will find me on the couch working on yet another scarf. i love it. especially when the yarn i love is from micheals and those 40% coupons come in real handy.
we have been busy picking up christmas/baking gifts this week which = lots of wrapping.
this year we used brown craft paper from the dollar store to wrap gifts & then when i ran out of that i improvised with using some of my craft design paper. a huge packet from micheals is around $10. i used it for smaller gifts as well as paper bunting hanging in most our windows.

first off i am not a huge fan of pictures of dirty kitchens, etc on blogs. i mean all of our houses get messy. no one really lives in a perfectly neat house. if you have kids there is not a chance that your house remains picked up for longer than ten minutes. all that said...check out our craft room.

i am really loving decorating this year so i wanted to share a bit of our house...

 twine and some mini clips.

 musical note garland. found an old book and cut it up...felt a little guilty. but i love how it turned out.
ava's little tree in the basement. thanks roma. we love it.
 ava's bedroom has a little bunting too.
 the house smells a lot like this. i love it. i love it. i love it.

***now i must admit. i come up with nothing on my own...well sometimes i do. but for the most part a lot of things in our house are a straight copy from things i see on this BLOG. take a look***

they are offering a free pdf file with lots of design ideas for the holidays. they are free and all you have to do it simply print. i have been printing on brown craft paper and it adds a little punch. i have already used her gift tags &party invites & art prints. & some bunting and garland.

now for the best part of this post. our new sponsor MAMALODE is offering a sweet giveaway. this magazine is full of all sorts of women and momma's sharing their stories and some daddy's too. it is about life. motherhood. babies. career. trying to do it all but stepping back and remember that we all  need a little time too. to write. to read. to create. to be. mamalode provides that place. for women to be women. there are slew of mags all over our house right now and i am loving it.


you can get your own subscription HERE.
just in time before the next issue which comes out in feburary (i am honored to be included).

one lucky blog commenter will win a one year subscription.
(winner will be announced monday)

comment away. what are your favorite holiday decorations around your house?

every house needs some christmas gels. just $1 at walmart.

(all the pictures on the blog are taken on my iphone with the free Instragram app. i am libbyryder if you want to follow our feed.

some of my decor ideas are pinned on my pinterest boards. check it HERE

i just have to say, i had cancer at this time last year. yup that's right. never ever under estimate the difference  one year can make.

it's the weekend baby. enjoy it.