...random experiences, observations and thoughts of my daily life as mommy...past journeys and dreams of journeys yet to be taken creating my life story as i go...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

day 126 blog 109 xmas card swap revisited

so back in early november i joined an international handmade holiday card swap...these are 9 of the 10 i was supposed to receive (still waiting on one)...three from australia, one from new zealand, one from mill valley (near where i went to college), one from sacramento (near where my sister-in-law lives), one from new york (where we are visiting this summer), one from idaho, one from colorado (manuel has relatives there)...i'm forgetting someone...anyway, i thought i would include the card we made to send in the swap along with what we wrote (personalized to each but this one will give you an idea):
family xmas photo from last year...sequins (sea glued them with glitter glue)...
photo of her and her brother hugging on the left inside page and she made drawings for each card...here are two different ones...
i included a san diego post card on the back page to give a feel for what it looks like here and enclosed several photos of our family at the beach, xmas rituals, etc...
here is more or less what i sent as a letter inside:

>dear amelie, buzzy and freya,

we are excited to be your card swap pen pals! our mommy denise is typing this…our names are sea (age 4) and story (will be 2 in february). we look forward to learning more about you…I’ll tell you about us and ask a few questions you may or may not share in the card you send to us…I suppose I should tell you more about where we live. We could look up where you live on a map, but hopefully you will describe what life is like there. We live in san diego, california…on the western coast of the united states of america…san diego is actually quite a large city but it has a smaller town feel as there are many communities within this big city. we live about 15 miles north of the border of mexico and about 15 minutes inland from the beach. enclosed are some photos and postcards from our holidays and days at the beach.

we love the beach (named our daughter sea!) and we are lucky to have temperatures here between the mid 60’s and 70’s almost year round so we spend a lot of time there. our daddy works during the day but we are lucky to have our mommy stay home with us…we are part of a cooperative preschool where we go to different friends’ homes, parks, the zoo, the children’s museum and share songs, stories, crafts, potluck food, etc. together. several of our friends in that co-op are participating in this card swap and we look forward to comparing cards and stories! our mommy also loves to blog, so if you want to keep up with our lives and/or learn more about us you can read about our lives here: (inserted blog address)

what we will be doing for the holidays/family holiday traditions

before our mommy’s daddy passed away in 2006 our holiday routine was to spend xmas eve at our mommy’s parents’ home (1.5 hours away) and then xmas day at our daddy’s parents’ home (3 hours away).

the new tradition we have been working out for our family is to celebrate xmas eve in our own home along with denise’s mom and sister and a lady we grew up with who’s family is gone…then leave around 8 that evening and head to ventura (1 hour north of los angeles, on the coast near santa barbara) to spend xmas day and

the weekend with manuel’s family. some year I’d love to do a destination holiday and have both families get rooms in a cabin and spend the weekend in the snow somewhere instead of exchanging gifts.

to prepare for the holidays we go to a local xmas tree farm down the street from our house and cut down our own tree (we try to choose it together as a family)…we try to do this right after we get back from spending thanksgiving with our families…hopefully tonight!…put up lights outdoors on our house and bushes (daddy did this yesterday during his lunch break…we put up light “icycles”…more common probably in southern california where we don’t get real snow), decorate the tree together…I’ve enclosed some photos of things we put on our tree…usually sea puts her favorite stuffed animals and dollies but we often have a “sea” theme with strings of shells and a starfish on top as the star. story has a train set we want to put around the tree…we each have xmas stockings we will hang on the fireplace (my dad’s mom made them…they are cross stitch and needlepoint with our names on them)…let’s see what other rituals we have…we have been taking a photo with santa (kids) every year and frame this in a wallet sized frame that hangs on the tree with the year we took it. we also display all the xmas cards we get (sent out over 100 last year) in a string across the front windows…yours will go there, too! we send out a photo xmas card every year…this one you got of us was taken january of this year so for our 2009 card we will put that photo on the left, one of the two kids in the middle (maybe the one with santa hats?) and then try to take an updated family shot in front of our xmas tree for this year as our 3rd shot. If you want to get our annual card and letter, drop us a line and we’ll send you one!

questions for you

sea loves the wiggles. she talks almost daily about visiting australia to meet them. we went to the cook islands for our honeymoon and made some wonderful friends from australia. they live in st georges basin nsw 2540…where is that relative to where you live? If we remain pen pals it would be wonderful to visit you someday! you are always welcome to visit us…we have plenty of room for your family to stay with us if you do…questions I have: what is life like where you live? daily? what do you do for the holidays? how old are you? who lives in your house? do you go to school? what holidays do you celebrate? anything else “different” about living in australia…is there anything I could send you from the u.s. in a care package? Candy, stickers, books, etc…what are you guys in to? Looking forward to your card!

Love, sea and story and their mommy denise and daddy manuel"

here are some more close-ups of the cards we received...this one drawing has a lot of detail!

the people from new zealand sent their money, stamps, flags, flowers...


  1. What a lovely swap to have been a part. You all sent a delightful card and letter :) I bet everyone has been thrilled to receive what you sent.

    I would love to send you an email, but I can't seem to find it anywhere. Why don't you send me an email with your address and I'll return the favor!


  2. What a wonderful idea for a swap. I wish I knew about it in November.

  3. card swap from all over the world! how cool! i don't know when i could find the time to do that, but i suppose if i started today (12/26/09) maybe i would be ready for next year hoping they still do it!
    very cool! you are a crafty inspiration!


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