Viewing category ‘holidays’

Committed: The Ties that Bond

with Angella Dykstra

I'm a mom of three, a professional accountant, and an amateur photographer and writer. I am not a marriage expert. But my husband and I take "Til death do us part" seriously, and here I'll be sharing how we keep our marriage strong while we both do that insane work-life juggle.

Check out my Work It, Mom! profile and my blog, Dutch Blitz.

Getting away without the kids

Categories: holidays, travel


My husband and I have been dreaming about getting away together, just the two of us. The last time we managed to do so was three years ago, when we went to Las Vegas for three nights. We’d love to go to Hawaii, as we’ve never been, and we have enough Alaska Airlines miles to get there for free.

Alas, the three children we’re raising aren’t old enough to be left alone and at this point in time there is nobody who can come and watch them for us for a week. I set that Hawaii dream on fire last night in a rare instance of facing reality (that’s usually my husband’s specialty.)

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Are you partied out?

Categories: dating, holidays

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I don’t know about you guys, but my December went by in a bit of a blur. There was my kids’ school Christmas production, my husband’s work Christmas party, two different parties hosted by friends, and numerous other ‘extra’ activities connected to Christmas. Then there was Christmas Day, where we hosted a big feast. I love planning (and cooking) the big meal and I buzz around for days beforehand and the day of, and then when it’s over, I crash.

(Related: I spent the entire next day on the couch reading a book.)

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What do you get each other for Christmas?

Categories: holidays

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Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, we’re heading full steam ahead to Christmas and other holidays. My kids have handed in their lists, and my husband and I have set a budget for their gifts and will soon get the ones we plan to give. As for gifts for each other, we’re doing things a little bit different this year.

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5 ways to survive the holidays with your in-laws

Categories: Uncategorized, family, holidays


We’re in the midst of Thanksgiving weekend and Christmas is mere weeks (weeks!) away. There is also Hannukah and other holidays that my family does not participate in, but which we respect your family’s right to. With all of these holidays crammed into such a short amount of time (weeks!), it means that you’re going to be spending at least one dinner with extended family. You might even be trekking for many miles with cranky children, only to have horrible sleeps on spring-loaded hide-a-bed mattresses, and then trying to smile nicely when your husband’s mother asks you if you’re taking a break from working out, because your face seems a bit ‘puffy.’

Never fear! I have five tips to help you survive the holidays with your in-laws, be they the woman who birthed your husband, or creepy/drunk Uncle Ted.

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Who hosts the holiday family dinners?

Categories: family, holidays

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The holiday season is fast approaching (I’m sorry for the reminder) and with it comes the big family dinners for Thanksgiving and Christmas. My side of the family is spread across the country, but my husband’s parents and siblings (and their kids) all either live here, or are a few hours away. We aim to get us all together for Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and usually hit two out of the three each year.

We used to converge on my in-laws house for the dinners, but then they moved away for a few years and I discovered that I love to host dinner parties. Love, love, love it. I spend a good three days preparing, between planning the meal, getting the food, and prepping as much as I can in advance of the dinner. I’ve got it down to a (crazy, hectic) science in that once everything is done and we all sit down to eat, I am done. I enjoy my meal with everyone else and then my husband and the rest of the family cleans up the mess and I relax with a glass of wine.

Who hosts the family dinners in your family?

How often do you go away together?

Categories: holidays, marriage, travel


A friend and I were chatting over lunch about wanting/needing a weekend away with our respective husbands. She commented that it had been far too long since they went away together — it’s been almost a year. They have a great support system and a lot of family nearby, which means that they can leave their kids in good hands and enjoy time away together.

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Who does the Christmas/Hannukah/Holiday shopping in your house?

Categories: holidays


The holidays are upon us! (DUH.) With the holidays comes a whole lot of presents, whether you are giving or receiving. There are wish lists and Santa letters and hints from your spouse, oh my! Oh, and those stockings to fill.

I got stuck in the big city a month ago due to a collapsing overpass (yes, really) and spent my evening there starting our Christmas shopping. Two weeks ago, my husband spent a day in the big city crossing the rest of the items of of our shopping list. Nieces and nephews? Done! In-laws of all sorts? Done! Presents for ME? Done! Last weekend, I broke my eldest son out of school so that we could have some one-on-one time, and that included spending some time in the big city shopping for Christmas presents for his Dad.

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Where/how/why do you celebrate the holidays?

Categories: holidays, marriage

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I read a great post by a friend of mine about how they work the holidays, with she being Jewish and her husband coming from a Protestant background. Their different faith traditions make it so that they don’t have to decide where to spend Christmas morning. It also means that they get to expose their kids to two different sets of beliefs, and to help them to understand why they celebrate what they celebrate.

My husband and I share the same faith (Christianity)(Of the the “Jesus loves you and so do I” variety, not the “I want to judge you” variety). Having the same faith as my husband is important to me because I love that we can discuss our common faith and debate it and figure out how to forge our path. He’s also on staff at our church as the Director of Children and Families and it would be a little odd if I didn’t share the same faith.

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Do you get along with your in-laws?

Categories: Uncategorized, holidays, marriage


It’s Thanksgiving up in Canada and that means there will be a big family dinner. Siblings and cousins and (DUN DUN DUN) in-laws. (My side of the family lives far away, so they rarely come for holidays.)

We get along well with my in-laws. We don’t see them much during our every day lives but when we get together for major holidays we have great visits. I love that my husband and his siblings get along so well and that us spouses do, too. The (eight) cousins from our three families are all close in age and have a whole lot of fun together.

There is dinner and dessert and playing and a whole lot of awesome.

(There have been glitches, yes, but nothing insurmountable.)

How about you? Do you get along with your in-laws?

Where do you go to get away?

Categories: holidays, travel


It is no secret that while I love living in the sticks, I also love that I can drive to the closest town in ten minutes and the closest city in twenty-five minutes. If I need a “big city” fix, one is less than an hour away. When it comes to traveling, I LOVE going to really big cities. Vancouver (my old home), San Francisco, Chicago, New York (I’ll be in San Diego in two weeks (!) for my fourth BlogHer).

It is also no secret that my husband hates big cities. He is the happiest when he drives down some old forestry road in order to fish or hunt, or if he is on a mountain top riding his snowmobile. He would live on a ranch in the middle of nowhere if it were at all feasible.

Luckily for us, our acreage in the mountains gives us the space that we both love and the access to amenities that keeps us (me) sane. Also luckily for us is that we’ve found a family vacation spot that makes us both (and our kids) happy.

Cannon Beach, Oregon.

We arrived yesterday for two nights in Portland, Oregon (We love Portland! And Powell’s books!) and then we’ll be spending four nights at Cannon Beach on the Oregon Coast. We left the heat of our desert climate for the cool breeze of the ocean and we are (more than) OK with that. We’ll be away from the responsibilities of home, we’ll be running on the beach, we’ll be staying up late watching movies and reading and we’ll be sleeping in every morning. It’s been a particularly busy two months in our house and having this vacation booked has helped us push through.

How about you? Where do you go to get away?

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