Christmas Season Reflections

Friday, December 22, 2017

This special season of celebration started the weekend before Thanksgiving with the wedding of my brother Isaac.  We were overjoyed to be back stateside for this event and able to participate and join the festivities surrounding this couple that we love dearly!  Isaac has been a very special part of our lives and particularly an uncle who has invested significantly in Tristan and who has a soft spot in his heart for Gigi particularly….(we are holding him singularly responsible for spoiling her and her affinity to bubble gum!).

my guys clean up nice!

got a dance with my daddy!

Gigi was so honored to be asked to be a flower girl.   We’re so encouraged to see this new couple starting their life together.  Jamie is incredible with a huge heart for others and we look forward to getting to know her better now that we are closer!

Our tree went up before Thanksgiving because, well, I couldn’t wait.  This may have meant triple buckling kids in the back of the 7 seater Kia Sedona because mom thought it would be “fun” to take a whole Sunday and drive out into the middle of nowhere and get a tree all together!!  Safe to say, the memories (or at least the pictures) are more fun than the actual experience was!  Photo credits to Abi for documenting our little “flannel family”.


Absolutely loving having a real, pine-scented, needle-dropping, water-drinking tree in our home after 5 years of artificial in Thailand! This was Eden’s year to put the star on top!!


We’ve baked billions of buckeyes and frosted dozens of cookies.  Visits from my mom and sister over the holiday break have been fun impetus to mass produce baked goods and drink inordinate amounts of cider and hot chocolate.  Oh…and that fireplace!! Its been put to good use, whether its cold enough or not!!  Guests have graced our home in abundance and conversations have been deep and meaningful.  Abi and Britain have contributed Christmas music they’ve learned on the piano and the comfort of “home” has been felt keenly this year!

We are heading “over the river and through the woods” to Atlanta in the morning.  Christmas at my parents home and lots of traditions to be had!  Wishing each of you, near and far, a fresh realization of the wonders of his love!  A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices – all because of HIM!!
Merry Christmas dear friends from our Smith, party of 9!!

 

Christmas Gift Guide ***and a hidden giveaway!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Today we’re teaming up with some of our mostest-bestest-cutest-favoritest boutiques & businesses to share our sweetest, softest, coziest, creative, festive favorites for you to wrap up your shopping and check off everyone on your list!  Without further adieu, here are some of OUR favorite things that will be tucked under OUR tree this year or passed out to OUR dearest friends and family!!……

TEACHER GIFTS
This year, skip the generic Starbucks gift card.  She dotes on your child, teaches them, and puts up with their tantrums or trigonometry questions.  She no doubt adores your kid, but doesn’t need another hand-made popsicle stick framed photograph of your little darling!  Give her something sincerely appreciative of the hours she invests and effort she makes all the live-long-day to nurture and care for your child.  Nothing says that better than a personalized market tote!  Fill with a cozy afghan.  Or holiday magazines.  Or baked goods.  Or bring her a home-cooked meal in this on the last day of school before Christmas break!  These totes will be a functional favorite she’ll cart back and forth to class for years to come.

Shop at The Southern Spool
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GIFTS FROM SANTA


Its a tradition at our house…..on Christmas Eve, just as we’re finishing our fancy dinner with Spode china after a beautiful Christmas Eve candlelit service, there is always a jingle of bells at the front door and the kids go racing to see if they can spot Santa fleeing in sleigh.  To date, no sighting has ever been made, but that sneaky Santa leaves a bag on the doorstep every year that is the source of much excitement.  Christmas pajamas!!  This year, Santa’s little helper has picked out precious nightgowns for the little girls.  Darling styles in the softest flannel are a winter must-have!  These nightgowns come in a variety of styles.  Choose from sweet smocking, tiered hems, long or short sleeves.  Available colors include aqua, light pink, lavender, red and white.  Guaranteed there will be “visions of sugarplums” dancing in their heads as they slumber in these sweet nighties!

Shop at Dayspring Dresses
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HOSTESS GIFTS

Whether you’ve been invited to a cocktail party in the home of a friend or you need to thank your neighbor for watching your kids so you can run errands before Christmas, we’ve got the perfect gift to express your gratitude!!  Village Candles!!  We recommend keeping a stash of these on hand.  There are always moments popping up during the holidays when you need to pull out a gift….and everyone loves candles!  You cant go wrong gifting these to the hostess or the neighbor!  A few of our favorites include:
Costal Christmas – A superb balance of the seaside wind fused with fresh balsam to create a twist on the classic holiday fragrance.
AND…..

Let it Snow – Freshly fallen snow coats the ground outside, ready for making a snowman. Inside you’re comforted by the sweet notes of vanilla, toasted coconut, caramelized sugar and zesty nutmeg.
I know, right?!  YUMMM!!

Shop at Village Candle
Use the code HOLIDAY20 for a 20% discount off any purchase!
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***check out OUR INSTAGRAM where we’re GIVING AWAY two 26 oz Village Candles!!***

 

GIFTS FOR LITTLE GIRLS

So everyone who is anyone knows that mermaids are just the thing these days!  We are loving this cozy basic that every girl needs.  Because somedays a simple blanket just won’t do….you gotta go get your mermaid on!   Perfect for cuddling up with a good book on Christmas break or lounging in while watching Netflix Christmas classics, these gorgeous hand knit tails are soft yarn and come in a variety of colors with flared tail fins and knitted scale detail.  Your little mermaid enthusiast will adore her snuggly mermaid blanket!  Small sizes for ages 2-5, medium for ages 6-9 and large for girls 10 and up.

Shop at Ruffles and Twirls

 

GIFTS FOR BIG GIRLS

While my teen daughter may be over the glitz and glamor of iridescent rainbows and shimmering fins, we are pretty sure she is also going to want one of these subtle, sublimely, soft scaly tails!  We found big-girl and adult size sheaths to snuggle in from this cute online boutique.  Fun for fireside lounging or slow Saturday mornings, these plush mermaid tails are going to be her favorite fun-ctional gift this year!

Shop at Glitz and Gigglez
Save 10% when you use coupon code SAVE10

 

GIFTS FOR GUYS

Ive been guilty of saying that girl clothes are more fun than boy clothes…..but that was before I met Junior Baby Hatter!  Specializing in accessories for your dapper dude, this boutique provides the most stylish caps and hats to accent any outfit.  Take your pick from tweeds, cotton flannels and cord caps and here’s the best part….you can get matching father/son hats or sibling sets.  Perfect to pair with flannel plaid shirts and show off your style for family Christmas pictures.  It doesn’t get any cute than this folks!

Shop at Junior Baby Hatter
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Thanks for taking a peek at our gift guide.  Be sure to shop the deals and links above and tell them Perfect Shalom sent you.  And DONT FORGET TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY on our Instagram page to win one of two large Village Candles!!!

One in a Million

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Statistics say the occurrence of their heart defects are 1 in 100….but these two share more than their status as congenital heart defect warriors….they have a friendship that is one-in-a-million!!

When Faith and I “met” online 9 years ago, we were in the throes of survival as young heart mommas and discovered each others blogs through mutual friends.  What followed was an unlikely friendship which has literally spanned years and miles.  We’ve visited them on their beautiful property in Missouri a number of times, Faith brought Maggie on her first international flight 3 years ago to visit us in Thailand and we’ve even navigated their family adoption in China together!   If you ask the girls, they’ll tell you that some of their happiest memories are ones they’ve made together!  We had a chance to make more of those this past chilly, beautiful, October weekend.

Tristan’s grandparents “rescued” him and he got to escape from the dormitory of girls for a few days, but we did show up at his soccer game en masse on Saturday to cheer him on, no doubt leaving the team to wonder how he was so lucky to have 8 enthusiastic cheerleaders on the sideline!!  The rest of our weekend was a blissful, exhausting whirlwind….Chick-fil-A meet up with another heart momma friend….Halloween costuming and face painting…..lazy Saturday morning pancake grilling…..cookout and sunset by the lake….pumpkin carving and cookie decorating.  All of our kids have formed fast friendships and even sweet Cora (newly adopted from China) fit right into the wild mix of “cousins”.

When Izzy boldly inquired, “so, are you two just dressing up as average mom’s for Halloween“, Faith was quick to retort that we were definitely dressing up as “above average mom’s!”  

Here’s to us Faith!!  Its no small feat to get 10 kids dressed for trick or treating and get them to church early the next morning…..and no bandaids or ER visits to boot!!

Trick or Treating…

Pumpkin Carving…


You’re one-in-a-million sweet girls!  So grateful for the beautiful way God works all things for good and that He has brought our families together through you two!!

Photo credit to Abi for all of these!