Our Christmas Card + Merry Wishes

By Kate Riley December 23, 2011

Hello everyone and happy weekend!  My little munchkins are bouncing off the walls awaiting the arrival of you know who and on their best behavior since the man in the red suit is comin’ to town. Don’t you love tossing around the ol’ “Santa’s watching!” line this time of year whenever they get squirrely?  We say that a lot. “You know Santa’s watching you!”  Funny how quickly they make their beds and remember to get along with one another…

Our oldest is home from college, so we were finally able to get together and snap the annual family photo. I don’t hire a photographer, I just set up the Nikon on the tripod with the timer.  We got lucky this year (unlike in past years when one of the young ones is pouting or frowning or making a face) and we finally took a good picture! 

family photo 2011

Oh I know what you’re thinking, yes, that oldest girl of ours in the middle, isn’t she a beauty? Smart too, great grades, and studying to be a nurse practitioner, I’m so very proud of my stepdaughter. And those little ones sure are cute too, we’re very blessed.  

We’re an expressive family, yes we are. We can’t sit still just for smiles, oh no, ho ho ho.  We like to have a little fun with our faces… here we’re pretending to be angry or annoyed I think.  Which only led to more antics . . .


so serious


Like this reenactment of Home Alone . . .

home alone 1


and our version of Rollercoaster . . .

roller coaster


. . . and our very best “Bah Humbug”

bah humbug


There were many more, but I’ll spare you.  :)

As for the ol’ Christmas card, this year’s came from Tar-jay.  I liked its simple design and hard to beat price when you have to send out over 70 cards to friends and family. 

centsational girl family card


I feel so incredibly blessed this year. Blessed to have a happy, healthy family, the joys of friendship, and the relationships I’ve formed with so many of you. I have everything I want for Christmas ~ food on the table, three loving children, an amazing husband, and a cozy home.  When we have everything we need, then we really have everything we could ever want. I’m taking the rest of the weekend off, but I’ll be back next week with a few more posts to finish off the year.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, peace, love, and joy.   

See you all next week!  

kate signature image


… Oh one last thing, I’ll announce the winners of the last two giveaways later today by updating the posts and emailing the winners. .



  1. These are SO funny, what a great idea, I am SO going to do this next year!!!

    What a beautiful family you are….merry Christmas!! X

  2. Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family! Love the Christmas card outtakes! I make Michaela Byrd do the “Home Alone” all the time. Always good for a laugh. :) Hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend!

  3. Love your family photos – and you most certainly have a beautiful one! I need to make use of my tripod and timer more often to get a family photo, as I’m almost always behind the camera vs. In front of it.

    Merry Christmas.

  4. Such fun to see your entire family, what a fun (and attractive!) bunch. Have the most wonderful holiday Kate!! Here’s to a wonderful 2012 as well, hope to see you again in this year! Cheers, Janell

  5. There is no way you are old enough to have a child in college! You’re lying, she’s your sister.

  6. I just love these pictures. And I also want to thank you very much for all of the lovely ideas you bring to life and share with others. I told my mom about your website and she loves it as much as I do. Merry Christmas.

  7. Lovely pic, Kate! I think it’s funny how many have commented about how you can’t be old enough to have a daughter in college. Obviously they don’t know she’s your stepdaughter. heehee I’m guessing you’re around my age, 34? A little young to have a child that age. ; ) My stepdaughter is 13, when she was younger and I was younger, boy did I get some looks. lol

    Merry, Merry Christmas!! Enjoy having your whole family together.

    ~ Catie

  8. What a beautiful family you have Kate! I love your expressive pics…I think the roller coaster is my fave. :D

  9. Oh Kate, I ADORE YOU GUYS!!! This post and the photos are completely priceless. Maybe we’ll see you at Christmas Eve service…if we can stay awake long enough to go! Merry Christmas dear friend. Here’s to a very exciting 2012!

  10. Kate – your picture is beautiful, and your family just gorgeous! May you have a magical Christmas and enjoy some much deserved downtime! God’s blessings and best to you and your family!

  11. These pics are cute and hilarious at the same. the kids have such funny expressions on their faces.
    Merry christmas to all of you & Happy new year.

  12. I love the roller coaster one! We’ll have to remember that for next year :) Merry Christmas, CG!

  13. Merry Christmas to u as well! Love your blog, u have some really great ideas! Love the family shots as well! To cute

  14. Such a beautiful family!! I love how your daughter has her tiger in its santa suit as part of the family. May you have a wonderful new year as well!

  15. These are lovely family pictures!
    And you are such a fun mom, my mother would never agree to make faces & just enjoy carefree, hehe!
    I couldn’t guess that was your daughter – you almost look like her age!
    Merry X’mas & Happy New Year to you & your family :)

    • Hey Nisha (and others) … cause I forget there are new readers! Our oldest is my stepdaughter, but I’ve raised her since she was 3. My delightfully wonderful bonus kid who came with my hub!
      Merry Merry,

  16. I don’t know if anyone’s mentioned this but, girl, you do NOT look old enough to have a kid in college!!!! Happy Holidays to your gorgeous family with love from our (slightly less photogenic) family. =]

  17. Such a beautiful family and the card is wonderful. Loved all the photos. Merry Christmas to you all.

  18. Thank you for another wonderful year sharing your great talents and ideas. Your pictures are beautiful; you and your daughter can pass for sisters!! Merry Christmas!

  19. What a lovely picture! And there is no way you look old enough to have a girl that big! Really. You look like sisters. Merry Christmas! I’m so glad I found your blog, its beautiful.

  20. These are wonderful Kate..what fun you must have had doing this..Merry Christmas to all of you..

  21. Oh, how I was EXACTLY thinking that about your older daughter! Good call! Those were just the dose of funny I need. You all look so nice, but I especially love the ‘angry’ one. Your little girl has the expression my son gets when I tell him broccoli IS good and your son manages to still be adorable in a smoldering mad kind of way-he’ll have the ladies at hello. Merry Christmas and may you and your famiily have a healthy, happy 2012!

  22. I absolutely love these family photos! You should definitely be proud of your family. :) I love expressive and quirky things families share. Have a great holiday!

  23. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Just love those fun pictures..so creative as always. May you enjoy your “loves and joys” during this most joyous season.

  24. Lovely card and a lovely family. Fun times with the camera! Thanks for sharing. Happiest of Holidays to you all.

  25. Merry, Merry Christmas Kate…to you and your beautiful family! Love, love, love your photos. Thanks for a year of inspiration & for sharing your creativity. Happy Holidays,


  26. Oh Kate!

    You guys cracked me up so much, I had to show my girls!! Every one of the shots turned out awesome!! Can’t decide which one I like best, the one with on the roller coaster, Home Alone or your ba humbug one.

    What a riot!! Thanx for sharing and have a very safe and blessed Christmas!


  27. Lovely family you have there, friend…and beautiful shots. Awesome. Some remind me of a couple I have of you in Nashville. Can’t wait to see your goofy self!

  28. What a lovely pictures! I love all of them.You have a goodlooking family and you look good yourself.
    I hope you did have a lovely Christmas, I wish you and your family all the best in2012

  29. Looks like you have a very happy family~ I love to see families that seem to enjoy one another.

    Best Wishes to you and yours!

  30. I finally have time this morning to catch up on my fav blogs and you’re family has brought a huge smile to my face! What fun & beautiful family pics! Have a blessed New Year Kate!

  31. Gorgeous photos — you all look great! Your step daughter looks like Lea Michele from Glee!

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