More + Less

A few weeks ago I wrestled the Christmas decoration boxes down from their newfound perch in our storage shed. It was a crisp and clear fall day. The sky was a brilliant blue, the air chilly but the sun was warm. It took me three trips back and forth into the house to get everything inside. Lastly, our artificial tree still in its original box from purchase. After several seasons the tree sort of haphazardly resided in the box – mostly stuffed in askew, contained in large part due to the odd cable my husband had wrapped around it to create a carrying handle.

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We purchased that tree the year we got married. We had a gift card and a 20% coupon to the almighty Bed Bath & Beyond. It was pre-lit with white twinkly lights and had various pine cones and sticks glued onto the branches. In a word, it was ugly. But we were thrilled. As newlyweds we had very little expendable income, and we walked out of the store that night with our tree and a box of plastic multicolored ornaments for $12. We excitedly drove home, our shoppers-high in full effect from getting such a steal of a deal. We immediately assembled and decorated the tree, our first as husband and wife.

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Once adorned the tree transformed. It was no longer wispy and sparse. The tree proudly glowed from its perch in our small living room, and all at once our home felt warm and cozy and magical. As we admired our work I told my husband I wanted to start a new tradition. Each Christmas I wanted to add a new keepsake ornament to our little tree. Something to commemorate the year, that we could build over our time as our family grew. That year it would be a simple handmade circle, etched with The Murphy Family 2012 – Our First Christmas as Mr. & Mrs.

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On Christmas Day that year, we told our families that we were pregnant with our first Son. I immediately viewed the Nativity and Mary in a brand new light. Christmas would never be the same once having children. Nothing is ever the same, truthfully. And each year we’ve added a new unique ornament to our bargain tree. A First Christmas for each of our Sons. And this year, a new memory to mark in time.

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This will be our first Christmas in our new home. In our new town. In our new state. A year ago this was a dream. 2 years ago it was a conversation. 3 years ago it wasn’t even a thought. How did we get here?

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I’m often asked, why did you come here? What made you choose Flagstaff? And after almost 6 months I still don’t have it wrapped into a cute little answer – but most of the time I reply, we just wanted to do it. It’s with wide eyes starting back at me that I elaborate – We wanted more and less of everything at the same time. 

 

Currently.

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Reading: Present Over Perfect. Almost done, and man. It’s given me a few solid punches to the gut. In a good way. Have Uninvited and She Reads Truth. Also cannot wait to read the newest from my girl crush, this.
Eating: Whole 30. No surprise there. It’s October Whole 30 time! Every year for the past 3 years I’ve done a round. This is now my 4th, and it took me a few days to get psyched about it. I’ve found some new recipes and I’m excited about cooking. I know how to shop, and I know what kinds of things I like to make and eat.
Thinking About: What’s next. I’m trying to be really focused and present during my days with the boys. But I keep getting little nudges to step out and expand. And I don’t think I’m ready to move on to the seemingly bigger and better stuff on the other side of the grass. I’m trying to make friends, make our home welcoming and build a routine for the boys. And that’s plenty to keep me busy. The sparkly objects keep calling to me, but I’m choosing to just stay the course. The theme for our family this year was: Survive. And we’re really doing it. Next year might make way for other things, but this feels right for now.

Looking Forward to: A fun girls weekend coming up. It’ll be a whirlwind trip, but I’m really looking forward to some quality time with a dear friend and a little alone time. I’m already sad to be missing the boys for those few days, but I think it’s going to be a great weekend for all of us!

 

Enjoying: FALL! We have Fall! It’s amazing and wonderful and just like it is in the movies! I’ve always loved the “fall time,” but in Los Angeles it made me grumpy because the weather was always hot and miserable. Here – it’s so amazing and fresh and comforting. I knew when we decided to move that I needed to have 4 seasons in my life, and I’m so grateful we found it. I may think differently, come Winter. Fall might cause me to dread Winter – but I’m loving it so much, and tying to soak up all the colors and smells and sights. It’s amazing – COME SEE!

 

Learning: How to make friends all over again. Mom dating is hard. Making friends as an adult is hard. Moving to a new place where you only know 2 people is hard. But I’m trying. I’m like a freshman girl in collage. Join all the clubs! Get all the numbers! It’s working, I hope. I’ve met some really great people, and I feel welcomed and included. I have no doubt we’re going to find our village here, and our people. But I miss my other village. A lot.

 

Loving: Livepool jeans. I’m 100% obsessed. I got a pair from StitchFix, and it was the first time they’ve ever sent me jeans. I was skeptical…they looked just like maternity jeans with I pulled them out. Elastic band. But, I put them on and I’m converted. I want to shout it from the rooftops! All women should own a pair. They are the only jeans I’ve worn for the past 3 weeks. I’ve got my eye on a black pair next.

Riley is 3

 

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Riley is 3. We have a 3 year old. A Pre-Schooler.

He’s fun and silly and chatty and full of energy and spunk.

He LOVES:

Waffles. Paw Patrol. His Dogs. Helping Daddy. Cinnamon Rolls. In N Out. Watching Movies. Playing with Cars. Construction Trucks. Playing Hide and Seek. Fruit. Happy Cake (Birthday Cake). Talking on the Phone. Nonny and Grandpa and Gran. Popcorn. His Best Friend Leon. Rescue Bots. Playing on his Swing Set. Being chased. Jumping in Rain Puddles. Digging holes. Doing Laundry. Sarah + Duck. Baking cookies. Hot Wheels. Cutting papers. Carrying his favorite toys to and from his room for naps and bedtime. Taking pictures. Green Smoothies. Pointing out any trash trucks or construction trucks he sees. Telling long stories.

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Favorite phrases:

“Mom, you pop the horn.”

“Sure.”

“Daddy be home in four minuets.”

“Pelescope” = “Telescope”

“Nulk” = “Milk”

“Tee-Show” = “TV Show”

“God Bless You.”

“Careful ____!” Dad, Charly, Mom.

“Oh, hi Charly.”

“Wake up early, early.”

“Thanks, Mom.”

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Happy 3rd Birthday, Riley P. We love you and your enthusiasm for life. You wake up each day full of ideas, and plans and possibilities. I hope you never lose your energy and joy for life. Love you, dude.