Christmas with Grey

sinclair-and-moore-christmas-home-2017-50sinclair-and-moore-christmas-home-2017-2sinclair-and-moore-christmas-home-2017-3 sinclair-and-moore-christmas-home-2017sinclair-and-moore-christmas-home-2017-4 sinclair-and-moore-christmas-home-2017-5 sinclair-and-moore-christmas-home-2017-6 sinclair-and-moore-christmas-home-2017-7 sinclair-and-moore-christmas-home-2017-8 sinclair-and-moore-christmas-home-2017-9 sinclair-and-moore-christmas-home-2017-10sinclair-and-moore-christmas-home-2017-11 sinclair-and-moore-christmas-home-2017-12 sinclair-and-moore-christmas-home-2017-13 sinclair-and-moore-christmas-home-2017-14 sinclair-and-moore-christmas-home-2017-15 sinclair-and-moore-christmas-home-2017-16 sinclair-and-moore-christmas-home-2017-17 sinclair-and-moore-christmas-home-2017-18sinclair-and-moore-christmas-home-2017-19 sinclair-and-moore-christmas-home-2017-20 sinclair-and-moore-christmas-home-2017-21 sinclair-and-moore-christmas-home-2017-22sinclair-and-moore-christmas-home-2017-23I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas. This has been such a fun season for our little family. We decked out our homes, baked loads of cookies, took a quick trip to Disneyland, visited Santa (dare I say with lots of screams and tear filled eyes), watched toy trains go round and round, hosted a cocktail party, played in freshly fallen snow, braved the malls with an independent toddler, and danced around the fire place with Christmas music playing in the background. We have tried to make the most of this magical time of year, and have created memories we’ll cherish for our lifetime.

Next year we’ll be hanging another stocking, adding another dancer to our routine and trying to keep two more little hands away from sneaking another cookie. In just a few short weeks we will meet the newest member of our family, and our life will forever change as our hearts expand to experience a fuller love than we can possibly imagine right now. The reality of our growing family feels more real every day, and we are so excited.

But for now, it’s only the three of us and so we are celebrating and savoring sweet moments with just our one little person, and treasuring life the way it is.

From our growing family to yours, we truly wish you a Merry Christmas, and a wonderful holiday season.

photography: Alanna Maria Photography 

A Simple Christmas

I love decorating our home for the holidays. I always have.  Sometimes I even start planning what I want to do months in advance.  This year has been different though. As Christmas approached quickly this year, Jamie and I debated if we should make our house a little festive or just skip it altogether this year.

Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 40Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 2 Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 41Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 4 Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 31

It’s not that we weren’t into the holiday spirit, it just felt like too much on our plate. We have been pretty busy the past few weeks as we have been getting our client details to a good place so Jamie can take a maternity leave.   We have also been in nesting mode at our house the past few weeks preparing for our baby to arrive. With Jamie’s due date actually on Christmas day, the idea of finding all of the ornament boxes, unpacking everything and then taking time to decorate felt like a lot, not to mention the hassle of decor clean up while simultaneously learning how to take care of a newborn baby also felt overwhelming.

Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 42Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 43Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 7 Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 44Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 9

And… I think we were also both a bit scarred from our Christmas tree last year that we carried up to our fourth floor apartment only to find that it wouldn’t fit in the stand… not to mention it fell over multiple times throughout the season, and we were still somehow cleaning up the pine needles nine months after we had already thrown it out. We didn’t want a repeat of that headache.

Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 10 Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 45

We went back and forth, but in the end we eventually decided to put up a Christmas tree and went out and purchased an artificial one.  I learned that I should have measured how tall our ceilings were before shopping for a tree. It was too tall. I was so irritated at myself. The frustration of re-packaging the tree and trekking it back to Target made me once again want to cancel Christmas decorating altogether. The holidays shouldn’t feel difficult. It defeats the purpose of why we are even celebrating in the first place.

Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 12 Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 13 Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 46

Luckily Jamie spotted these little Charlie Brown-ish trees that were already pre-lit and wrapped in burlap. All we had to do was set them out and plug them in. That I could handle. We added about twenty ornaments and some ribbon and yarn we already had on hand. We then hung a simple, premade garland over the entrance to our dining room. Done. It felt easy. It felt quick. It felt simple. It felt right.

Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 47Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 16 Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 17 Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 48Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 19 Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 20

I’ve decided that simple is good. It may not always be the most beautiful, award-wining look, but that is ok. I think in our image driven, social media saturated world, it is so easy for people to feel pressured to always create something innovative, big and beautiful that stands out from everyone else. It can be draining and life depleting at times. Making the decision to be simple was completely liberating. As we enter into this new phase of life, and embark on this steep learning curve they call parenthood, I am releasing myself from anything that feels too complicated and choosing simplicity as often as I can. What a freeing, life- giving decision this has been.

Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 21 Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 22 Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 23 Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 24 Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 25

I had originally planned on doing several blog posts for the holidays, wanting to share a few complicated recipes. I released myself from that as well, and decided to just do something simple in the kitchen. We decided to make sea-salted caramels; they only take a few ingredients and are pretty easy to create. We wrapped them up in natural wax paper and then boxed them up for simple gifts. We’ll be sharing the recipe in the next day or two, so make sure to check back if you are looking for something home-made to gift this year

Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 26 Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 27 Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 28 Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 29

And for those of you who saw this grey velvet ribbon on our instagram account, and e-mailed me for a source, here is where I typically get all of my velvet ribbon from: MJ Trimming .  If you are ever in NYC, this is definitely a place you want to check out!

Sinclair & Moore Christmas 2014 49

photography:  Matthew Land Studios 

In the Stillness

Over the weekend Steve and I had a special Christmas date night planned. We got dressed up and went to dinner, saw the Nutcracker ballet and then went out for dessert afterward. Every part of the night felt rushed and way too fast to me. I was shocked when the curtain came down for intermission – it must have been a stage malfunction. How had that already been an hour? The intermission itself was so short we couldn’t even get a decent photo of ourselves. When the dancers started bowing in the second act, I figured they must’ve cut out some of the scenes from the original Nutcracker I saw as a little girl. It all went by so fast and before I knew it, I was at home washing off my makeup and getting under the covers. I’ve come to realize that time moves incredibly fast when you’re an adult.

Sinclair & Moore Christmas 1 Sinclair & Moore Christmas  2Sinclair & Moore Christmas  3

In contrast, the Christmases I remember from childhood seemed to be painfully slow coming, like the season was put in slow motion and the big day would never actually arrive.

I remember my family had a fabric advent calendar in the shape of a Christmas tree with little felt shapes and characters that would Velcro on to count down the days. To me, it seemed like those 25 shapes would multiply and the season was entirely too long. The anticipation would drive me crazy and make me feel hopeless.

Sinclair & Moore Christmas  4 Sinclair & Moore Christmas  5Sinclair & Moore Christmas  6

It now seems like the hopeless feeling comes in the opposite way. That I can’t get everything done, that my calendar fills up too quickly, shopping feels stressful and I sadly can’t even stay awake to watch one of the Christmas movies in my Netflix queue.

One of the pastors in church yesterday shared that he was feeling behind too – that he’s been caught up in meetings and get-togethers and that his family Christmas tree still hasn’t been decorated yet. He encouraged us  to take a moment and simply be still. It was just what I needed to be told. Be still.

Sinclair & Moore Christmas  7 Sinclair & Moore Christmas  8 Sinclair & Moore Christmas  9 Sinclair & Moore Christmas  10Sinclair & Moore Christmas  11Sinclair & Moore Christmas  12Sinclair & Moore Christmas  13

Having a fast paced business in which we spend the majority of our time planning for the future and setting goals, it is vital that we set aside time to simply be still and embrace the present. This is the season for us to relax and recharge for the coming year, but it’s just so easy to get wrapped up in all of the to-dos and not savor the stillness.

In the stillness is when we enjoy the present. In the stillness is when I realize how good our tree makes our apartment smell, how amazingly colorful the sunsets are in the afternoon and how magical it looks when small flurries of snow make a brief appearance.

Sinclair & Moore Christmas  14Sinclair & Moore Christmas  15Sinclair & Moore Christmas  16

One of my favorite Christmas traditions that Steve and I have is creating tree decorations together, and I love that it requires us to stop everything and be still. In our three Christmases together, we have come up with a concept for the look of our tree, shopped for craft supplies and carved out time during the evenings to put our plan into action.

These are the times that I’ll remember most as the start to the holiday season before it feels rushed and hectic. The moments when we first start playing Christmas music and sit across from each other at our table creating something beautiful. The times when we put everything else aside to spend time together in the stillness.

Sinclair & Moore Christmas 17Sinclair & Moore Christmas 18 Sinclair & Moore Christmas 19 Sinclair & Moore Christmas 20 Sinclair & Moore Christmas 25 Sinclair & Moore Christmas 24 Sinclair & Moore Christmas 23

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”    – Psalm 46:10

Sinclair & Moore Christmas 22 Sinclair & Moore Christmas 21

Check back tomorrow for the recipe for these homemade marshmallows (or as I like to call them, Mooreshmallows)!

photo credit: Matthew Land Studios