Tag Archives: christmas

What Immigration Looks Like Part 5: Family Coming to Us

DSC03918That little girl I’m holding is our first sweet treasure. Eleanor is our first niece, Charlie is our one-year-old nephew and there are two more journeying their way into our extended family into the coming year! Such precious early years. So much happening so fast, and you don’t want to miss a single story, tantrum, toddler sound, infant coo, and utterly adorable two-year-old musings. So while I’m “land locked” awaiting immigration processing, my best friend and sister came from Connecticut to visit us in Ontario for Christmas!!! How blessed we were. Here we are walking on Christmas day around where we had the best day of our lives…our wedding. We’re 18 months further into the future from that day, and in the middle of a trying immigration process, yet thankful everyday for our faith in God and his good and perfect plan for us. It is blessed assurance, and I’m not sure what we’d do without His ever-guiding peace. {E’s face says, “cold” in each of these pictures…an expression that’s hard not to wear in these parts.} Laura, thank you for making unknown months of separation not just bearable but memorable. Give our little bears hugs from Auntie and Uncle. And Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4DSC03917DSC03909DSC03903DSC03896DSC03892

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Alas, I didn’t take any picture from our family Thanksgiving, and I’m glad for it. It took the pressure off of getting the right lighting or capturing the true moment. I, for one, am just not there with my photography skills, and it is nice to simply hold those memories in your mind and heart. It was a lovely time shared together.

Our life has been simple lately. Wake up, do our morning routine of shower, read, breakfast, make lunch, tidy. And then bundle up and head out the door, warm up the car, drop Jordan off at work, pick up a colleague to carpool. Teach for two hours, prep for two hours, run some errands or head home to make dinner. There is time in between and sometimes not. I do Pilates and cook, got out for coffee or am at church. Somehow the days are so very full and yet very flexible because of my schedule right now.


Since I was in middle school I’ve never had a rigid schedule, busy yes, hectic, at times…but never a rigid 9-to-5-this-is-what-I-do-everyday. My sister and I were homeschooled from middle school through to our senior year, and while we did our school work in the morning, we worked as babysitters and music teachers for the better part of our teen years. College was a blissful blur. I loved it and it killed me all at the same time! And now I am working part-time doing my dream job as a college professor. I feel very blessed. I’m very glad for time to journal and pray, to serve and be available for my husband, our church, friends, and colleagues.

Only ten days until my sister and our niece and nephew come, and I am thrilled to pieces! Time to deck the halls!


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Christmas 2013 & A Happy New Year


We spent our first Christmas with my new family in Ontario.  We celebrated our Savior’s birth, celebrated our faith in him, celebrated being together.  It was a by-the-tree, fill-your-mug, walk-in-the-cold, ping-pong-playing, feast-til-your-full kind of a Christmas. I have very loving in-laws and we are both so grateful for them!

On Christmas Eve morning we took a friend to the airport and drove back taking the long way. It’s our favorite way to go when we’re tired from the 400’s. An ice storm had passed through on the days before and it made for a magical drive home.

DSC01665DSC01669DSC0173410 second timer, -17 degree, on top of the car picture….nailed it. photo-7A Happy New Year To All! Love, The Wilcox’s

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The Minimalist Beauty Gift Guide


1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

When it comes to regimes and make-up, I lean towards Simple. Here are a few favorites I have either given or received as gifts in the past. All are winners!

this is not a sponsored post.


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I Finally Did It! Chocolate Chip Cookies


I did it! I made full and fluffy chocolate chip cookies! This is big for me because my history with these cookies is not so good. Think paper thin, stick-to-the-pan butter puddles. Hm. And then two things happened: I followed a different recipe from this cookbook AND I used my mother-in-law’s baking sheets.

These may not look like anything special to you, but to me, it’s close to a work of art! More so… it’s that I conquered.

My sister wrote a little blurb on this cookbook and actually got it for me as a bridal shower guest book. This is the fourth recipe I have made from it among sugar and gingerbread cookies and French onion soup. 4 out of 1,000 recipes. Cool.


It’s Friday. Enjoy your family and home and tree this weekend. Christmas is almost here!



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Fa-La-La-La-La, La-La-La-La

Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 10.08.57 PMIt’s Friday. And I’m not sure the feeling gets old. That feeling of Friday and that feeling of “aaah”. I’m sinking into the couch and listening to these friends. If you haven’t already had these on your long time Christmas music list, do add them and join in the merriment!

These Are The Special Times with Celine Dion

Hymns and Carols with Lowana Wallace

At Christmas with James Taylor

and of course

A Charlie Brown Christmas with Vince Guardali Trio


Have a lovely weekend!

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A Holiday Menu


This Saturday we’re having a small gathering with some family and friends. I put together the menu last week and also have the help of family with a few of the dishes (phew, thank you!).

Because this is my “first” hosted holiday dinner party, I wanted to do something less “turkey-like”. I didn’t want to bite off more than I could chew….so, this is our menu:



Olive Tapenade with Crackers

Crudités with Dill Dip


Butternut Squash & Kale Chicken Pot Pie

Plenty’s Sweet Winter Slaw

SK’s Caesar Salad (sans the chicken)

Smashed Potatoes with Sage (a various of this recipe, brought by Mom)

Bread and more bread


Flourless Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Coulis

Christmas Oranges & Chocolate Chip Cookies

All are very easy recipes. It’s my first go at the cake and pot pie, but both came highly recommended by my sister.

 Happy Friday!!!

photo from Bon Appetit

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