Christmas – Don’t Miss It

fullsizeoutput_7dddWe are in the thick of it – holiday cocktails with co-workers, gift-buying and wrapping, Christmas music humming in every store, concerts, carriage rides and photos with Santa. You name it, we are doing it. But are we missing it? The other day I drove by a quiet little spot in Lakewood where ducks gather on a creek. Steam was coming off the water on this particularly chilly morning. The sun was beginning to peek through the trees. I had just dropped my kids off at school, and I thought about continuing on. But something made me pull over to photograph this peaceful, quiet scene. Cars zoomed by as I crossed the road to the creek. While taking the photos, I thought, “We are missing it. We are so busy getting to the next thing, that we can’t see the beauty right under our noses.” The ducks on the steamy water were oblivious to the frenzy around them. I paused, and I got what I needed, a reminder that I don’t have to rush, and, if I do, I might miss the beautiful bits life gives us in unexpected moments and places like this.fullsizeoutput_7e25

Do you feel a little down on Christmas day? I do, and now I understand why. It is a single day, which for our family includes brunch, presents, music and mayhem… and then it’s over. Huh. One day could never live up to a one-month buildup of lights, music and parties. Remember in A Charlie Brown Christmas where Charlie Brown screams at Lucy, “That’s it!!!” when she diagnoses his problem? That is what it felt like when it finally hit me. Christmas isn’t December 25. Christmas is right now and all the days leading up to the 25th. I have been missing that key piece of understanding, so it is no wonder I have felt let down on the actual day.

fullsizeoutput_7dceChristmas is all of the things you love to do this time of year. For me, it includes quiet moments by the tree listening to music. Last year I started receiving Better Homes & Gardens as an extra gift to something I purchased. My favorite part of the magazine is the editor’s letter, beautifully penned each month by Stephen Orr. His letter for the December issue reminded me of another part of Christmas I’ve always loved: the gift-buying. He wrote, “I still think planning what to buy, shopping for it, wrapping it beautifully, and finally giving it are some of the greatest pleasures of the holidays.” That’s it!

As you are rushing to and fro in these final days before Christmas day, pause and be aware you are in it right where you are, right now. This is Christmas. Don’t miss it.

Photos of me by Peg Evans of Dog Mom Dallas on Instagram.

Seattle Street Style – Casco Antiguo

IMG_3891I won’t lie, finding decent Mexican in Seattle has been a challenge. I realize it would be impossible to recreate a Texas experience; however, is it that difficult to make a good home-made margarita and sour cream enchiladas? Enter stage right, Casco Antiguo in the Pioneer Square district of downtown Seattle. The margaritas are delicious, the tacos are tasty, and the chips and guacamole remind me of what I left behind in Dallas. At last!

Apparently, I am not the only happy customer. The vividly-painted patio alone puts a smile on your face, but once you enjoy a few sips of your favorite carefully-created libation, your cares slip away as the cool Seattle night air kisses your face.

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True to Seattle, the patio is pet-friendly. This cute terrior was posing for me.IMG_3921

I have visited twice, and on both occasions I have met nicely-dressed  young professional men whose casual style are distinct to each of them. IMG_5333No one is trying too hard, and they look great. I especially love their shoes. From Capri pants to shorts to rolled jeans, each one has their own take on summer casual style.

Not to be outdone by the fellas, my friends Amanda and Lori cozy up for a photo, as well. Next time you are in the area, stop in for a bite and a few sips. You will be glad you did. Happy Summer, everyone! (All photos by Bethany Siggins.)IMG_3901