wrap it up & let it go

50paige knudsen christmas

this past weekend i photographed my last pre-christmas session. i shoot again the day after, but for now i have a little break from what’s been a whirlwind. i think i photographed close to 30 families/events/individuals/babies/seniors & my own girls since the last weekend in october. i essentially put all clients that had requested sessions on the “you might need to find another photographer, not sure when i’ll be back” scene while we dealt with doctors, surgeries & what nots. i think i ended up getting all but 2 of the requests in upon my return. ya’ll. i am beyond grateful for this gig. i have always held my photography & my position as a noonday ambassador with an open hand. i feel both of them are opportunities and gifts that i realize are really for such a time as this. both i’ve known all along are just for a season. but few things in my life have brought me as much joy as standing behind my camera. few things have changed my heart like advocating for our noonday artisans. i hope to spend a little time after christmas and in january putting together a little grateful post of images from the last year.

so monday brinkley & i hit the road for a slow & somewhat painful 5k. it’s been weeks. weeks i tell you & my quadriceps are pretty ticked with me right now. my girlfriends at my little local gym are a source of joy and laughter for me. yesterday i hit the spin bike for the first time in weeks as well. after class we stood out in the parking lot, freezing and catching up. it was good. really good for my soul to have time with them.  the last few years once october rolls around & my work picks up, i can only do so much and getting to the gym becomes a “i’ll do this later” thing. icy hot anyone?

i jumped in my car to head home in hope of accomplishing much. as fate would have it, by 2:30 i could barely keep my eyes open. an hour later & then a dinner party with dan’s fellow principals i started to rethink the seemingly long list of things that need to happen between now & umm….wednesday…as in six days. but in our home, this is the deal~ we have a live tree. we’re all here. we’re healthy. we sent out christmas cards when i thought it would be the first year we wouldn’t and we had money in our accounts to purchase gifts. all my girls love jesus and it’s almost HIS birthday. not the celebration of how much we have. not the celebration of what we bought or if we get this or get that. a celebration of HIM.

so. this is brinkley moments after our run. he’s sacked out. and snoring. i’m standing there with m&m’s in my hand ( my post run treat) enjoying the only two wrapped gifts under our tree.


we have a precious friend coming to stay at our home, water the tree & spend quality time with brinkley for a few days. we’ve never done this before, but thankful for the generous heart of a friend we’re heading to my little personal heaven for a short & sweet ( looks like possibly rainy) few days. the only wrapped gifts under the tree are madison’s. she’s on the ball. i haven’t even thought about food & menus for a house full next week. my nails are complete with chipped black polish and i still have a couple gifts to grab.  but you guys, i refuse to let anxiety and whatever else move in & take residence in my heart.

our family has so much to be thankful for this year. i pray each of my girls really understands that. surely you know that in a home full of lots of females & hormones that things are not always handholding, words of encouragement & please, take my flat iron, whatever is mine is yours moments. the enemy would love to cast a damper over our lives and our hearts and take our focus off the gift that is emmanuel. so my prayer for you and for me too is that these next several days the lists & the to-do’s won’t rob you of joy. won’t rob you of focusing on who we are in christ and his birth as the gift for all mankind.

i usually take days to wrap gifts & try to make them little pieces of art. this year i’m going with a simpler plan but for now, i wanted to share a few pics of wrapping i did last year & the year prior.  as someone who’s shopped anthropologie for years & years and lover of all things creamy white, i have a little collection of their gift boxes that i reuse each year. if the gift fits in one of these i can even get away with minimal wrapping. i use a variety of gift toppers. for example, i had hand made silhouettes done of a couple of the girls ( moms take the pressure off yourselves to do all the same things for all your children-i have a chalk of savannah, a pastel of savannah & gregg, silhouettes of emi & maid and a friend painted a large canvas of caroline. see. all different for all kiddos and no guilt) i gently removed them from their frames & photocopied them. then glittered around the photocopies. sometimes i adhere copies of vintage or black & white images to felt. the little small things section in the craft stores is a great source for things such as miniature birdies and tiny trees. sometimes i hot glue fun ornaments onto the tops of boxes and  glittered letters are always a hit.  i might not hit the ball out of the gift wrapping park this year, but it’s all aok. let’s all sing together a round of “let it go” and call it a day. but for a little wrapping inspiration, here you go~

24paige knudsen christmas

23paige knudsen christmas

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December 18, 2014 - 10:39 am

Karena Dixon - Love this wrapping! Just gorgeous. My favorite color scheme this season. I’m using it in my dinning room with the new wall color, Iron Ore (SW).

December 18, 2014 - 2:02 pm

chrissi - thank you paige for this post. i so needed to read this today. truly. merry christmas♥

December 18, 2014 - 3:54 pm

peggy - Thank you, sweet Paige!! we are making a trip down to Indy so I will see about begging, borrowing, but not stealing a few boxes from them. In the mean time I am wrapping everything that has its own box and then donating the scads of Christmas paper I have been hoarding. Yes, I love paper but we really, truly are decluttering and downsizing. more and more it is a case of love it or lose it!

Have a truly wonderful Christmas surrounded by the ones you love!! xoxo

December 18, 2014 - 3:56 pm

Kathy - Enjoy your time away. Hope the sun shines for you! I surely loved your words today. Thank you, and Merry Christmas!

December 18, 2014 - 4:23 pm

christina - once again, you’ve reminded me of the important stuff 🙂 your Christmas wrapping is beautiful. simply beautiful. and see, you get to go to your little piece of heaven once more this year, afterall. we’ll hopefully be there for nye. one of my favorite times to go! merry merry christmas to you and your family, paige.

December 18, 2014 - 11:57 pm

Lori Martin - Thank you for your sweet words, I so needed that reminder! Hope your Christmas is Merry!!

December 19, 2014 - 11:53 pm

jodi - beautiful….I love the simple little white boxes. Merry Christmas and please take care!

December 21, 2014 - 1:27 pm

Michele Heath - Merry Christmas, Paige : ) When you have a chance, could you share where you get the white boxes in such an array of sizes? Thanks so much!

January 2, 2015 - 12:15 pm

Mary Lou - Just love these! Thank You for sharing them. God Bless you and your loved ones in 2015