Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Very Varela Christmas

In this house we are crazy for Christmas! I have been neglecting the blog lately but seeing as how Christmas is a mere 5 days away (!!!!) I cannot delay anymore! Especially since I have no excuse, I took these pictures weeks ago and they were featured on Migonis Home. Alas, here are some photos of what Christmas has been like in our home this year. 

Who doesn't love the Willowtree Nativity?

These next few pictures are from a small party we hosted for friends from Gordon. Couscous Salad, Sliders, Caprese Skewers, S'mores Cookies, Peppermint Cupcakes, Cheesecake, Cookies of all kinds & a hot chocolate bar. It was a delish menu! 

And, since no day is complete without photos of Mason... check out his expressions upon meeting Santa. His gasp of awe and admiration was precious and when he looked up and whispered "Santa....", it was straight out of a Hallmark commercial (you know, the ones that always make you cry.....or is that just me?)
 Well don't say I didn't warn you. We are CRAZY about Christmas here!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Precious Moment

Counting my blessings this Christmas season and always.

Wishing you all a silent & holy night
from our home to yours. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Just in case YOUR glass shower ever spontaneously combusts...

My dear friend, Jen Migonis of Migonis Home, told me I should blog on this. And, in the spirit of really wanting to get into blogging, I listened.

If you follow me on Facebook (which lets face it, you do, since the only way you found yourself here is by clicking the link on my page) then you might have seen the minor surprise that we experienced shortly before Thanksgiving. Our glass shower spontaneous combusted. (Thankfully, no one was in there.) 

If you don't know me, you might find it odd that even before the shock of the whole ordeal wore off, my brain launched into "I know my shower just exploded BUT, this shattered glass is really pretty and I NEED to do something with it"

So, just in case your shower ever looks like 

(seriously Elmo, don't look so happy)

and this...

and gives you a whole lot of 

Turn the remnants of your disaster into something fun.

Go from FIASCO to FABULOUS in FIVE minutes!

(Just, please, wear gloves. 
Whoever gave this stuff the name "Safety Glass" 
was clearly misinformed.)

Doesn't it have such a glamorous and wintery feel??

You'll see these again in a few weeks after a little Christmas Gathering we are hosting.
  Never too small of an occasion for a tablescape!!! 

I know... seriously.

That's all for now!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Special lady, special party

Nothing can bring back a (pathetically) lapsed blogger like a fabulous party for my amazing Mom's 50th birthday. There was no doubt this party needed to special. She's taught me all I know, from party planning to parenting. In fact, I'm the mother that I am because of the mother that she was, and still is. 
While brainstorming a theme for the party, my brother, Scott, suggested Dunkin' Donuts, a "Coffee with Karen" open-house style party. I agreed under the condition that we somehow make the cheesy hot pink and orange color palette both classy and cutesy. It took the help of lots of friends and family members to pull this one off (big shout out to my mom's sister Kathie). So, tell me, how did we do?

Monday, June 13, 2011

When Life Gives You Lemons...

When I woke up Saturday morning, I felt like it was raining on my wedding day. It was Mason’s BIG Splish Splash First Birthday Party and well, it was a-splish-splashin’ alright, as the rain drops were the size of golf balls falling from the sky. But the slogan of the day quickly became “When life gives you lemons (or in this case torrential downpours), put the lemonade station on the screen porch!” Thanks to our lovely friends downstairs we were still able to host 50-60 guests for Mason’s birthday despite the terribly terrible weather. The laughter of family & friends as well as blue and green d├ęcor prevailed over the gray skies--tissue pom’s, goggle-man centerpieces, goldfish, lemonade/ice tea station (drinking from Mason Jars!) cupcakes in ice cream cones and hamburgers and hotdogs… it almost made you forget you were inside! J

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My wish.

This week I got to spend time with my beautiful cousins from Louisville, Kentucky. 






We don't get to see the Heisler Family but once a year (less if there's no wedding or graduation) so every moment together is precious. Their parents, my Auntie Joy and Uncle Jarrod have always been an inspiration to Joe and I, both in their marriage and in their parenting. The first time Joe met the Heisler family, we were in college and not yet engaged. When we left their house he turned and said to me "I want our children and our marriage to look exactly like what you see in that home". J+J still in their 30's, and the girls age 8-13, are this beautiful picture of a loving and loyal family. 

I know that as the girls grow up, get busier and life gets harder, we won't be able to see each other as much. I wish I could put together a list of everything I pray and wish for ALL my little cousins, but since I'm a sucker for song lyrics, I'll leave it to Rascal Flatts.

                              I hope you never look back, but you never forget,
                                All the ones who love you, in the place you left,
                               I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,
                                 And you help somebody every chance you get,
                                    Oh, you find God's grace, in every mistake,
                                      And you always give more than you take.
                        But more than anything, yeah, and more than anything,
       My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to.

I love you Hannah, Haley and Heidi, for all that you are and that you will be someday. Thank you for being such great kids. You are part of the reason Joe and I so badly wanted to start a family as soon as God allowed it. We miss you! (And our other little cousins Emily & Jake,  too!)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

God Smiles.

My baby brother graduated high school today. And, coincidentally, as I drove home for the ceremonies this weekend, I heard the always wonderful lyrics of Taylor Swift. "God smiles on my little brother, inside and out he's better than I am". (Though the second part of that is up for discussion... ) I'm certain God smiles on Brett. He's a strong and caring brother, uncle, leader, and friend.  

We love you Brett, and are so proud of the man you are becoming.