Tag Archives: holidays

How to Get Through the Holidays Personally & Professionally | Guest Post

I am officially going on “maternity leave.” My induction date is December 29th, but the holidays are upon us and I still have to get my butt in gear with finishing up nesting and preparing my Etsy shop. But, I’m not going to leave you high and dry. I have a few end-of-year type posts lined up already and I have quite a few friends willing to fill in for me!

Today, one of the most inspiring creative women I know is taking over. Meet Kendra…

The Holidays are upon us which means as a small business owner a mountain of tasks & to-do lists piling up. There might be a million deadlines you are trying to meet and at the same time your phone keeps alerting you about all the things you are forgetting to do.

You might feel like you are drowning in questions of what to do and where to start, but don’t worry we have all been there. At least I know I have & I want to tell you something,  there’s a better way!



When I started to get serious about my blog & business I felt like there were times when I felt like I was running around in circles not knowing which way was up. I was questioning constantly if that choice was a good choice or if I was simply wasting hours upon hours doing something that wasn’t going to benefit me in the long run. I felt like I was always distracted. I was on my phone way more than I wanted to be and I felt like my business was controlling me, not me running my business.

I remember it clearly, the moment where I knew I couldn’t keep it up. I knew there had to be a better way, a way that brought joy and peace to my personal and professional life.


It started slowly but those minor changes in my daily routine created space to do the things I wanted to. To spend time with my friends and family without looking at my phone 100 times. It allowed me to go on vacation and stay connected with my community & completing business tasks without touching my computer.

I began implementing a few specific habits into my daily routine. I started introducing automated scheduling systems to allow me to run my business from a distance while spending quality time with my friends and family. I started to say no to things (man was this hard at first), which gave me perspective and allowed me to prioritize what needed my attention and allowed me to let small distracting tasks wait for another time.


Going into this holiday season I knew one thing.  I was going  wasn’t to survive, but to thrive. I knew I had my systems in place and I also knew that I needed to share these things with you!

You are my people, my little family and  If you are feeling even a little bit like I have felt in the past then I know the Simple Tools linked below will help you to have more peace and joy this holiday season and really who can ask for more than that.

I created a little Holiday Guide that shares a few of my Simple Tools that help me stay sane & successful during the holidays! 



I’m Kendra, an artist, blogger & designer. You can usually find me with paint on my hands and a coffee near by. I love helping people find there passion and make it a reality. I never thought that I would be a small business owner, but I have learned that dreams can become reality. Thanks for letting me share a bit of my story.

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Christmas Break

We had so much fun spending a week in Georgia with Justin’s parents for Christmas. It also helped that we went from 20* blizzard weather to 75* rain and humidity. Definitely no white Christmas for us! I am so glad I was able to accomplish most of my goals for December (even with cold, and many illnesses, including all of us getting a stomach flu in Georgia).

Here are what my goals were this month:

Sub Goals:
– Buy and watch old Christmas movies with Rhys

We did buy a collection DVD of these old videos, but only watched two with him: How the Grinch Stole Christmas and A Year Without Santa Claus. We’ll watch more next year when Rhys has more of an attention span to watch a full movie.
– Do Elf on the Shelf with Rhys
We decided to forego this as we are trying to be careful with our expenses.
– Decorate the house with the family
Justin and I decorated when Rhys went to bed, but as soon as this year’s package of Morrell ornament exchange came, we had Rhys help us put them on the tree.
– Visit Temple Square and see the lights
We did this together as a family of 3, and it was nice and intimate just being by ourselves and not extended family. Rhys loved the lights.
– Make and post the Morrell family DIY ornament
Done and Done. Rhys helped me make this year’s DIY “A Savior is Born” ornament
– Do Christmas cooking with Rhys and make plates to give to neighbors
Again, we watched our expenses and didn’t really even buy a lot of food this month (especially since we will be gone for a week and a half and then moving halfway through January). But, Rhys did help me make some no-bake cookies.
– Host a Christmas party
Again, timing and finances were against us. But, this is one of my priorities for next year (and a Friends-giving party, too).

We left on Tuesday the 22nd. I had woken up with a sore throat. It was snowing, and we took the tram up to the airport. Rhys loved riding it–he kept saying “chugga chugga.” Thankfully, our flight was during Rhys’s naptime, so after playing with the windows, lights, fans, and touch screens, Rhys fell asleep before take-off and slept for half the flight.

When we got to Georgia, it was getting late, but my in-laws were so excited to see Rhys. Thankfully, he warmed right up to them, which we believe is because he recognized them from our weekly FaceTimes. My mother- and father-in-law cherished every minute with him.

Helping Grams unload the dishwasher


Watching ESPN and the Weather Channel with Papa

However, Wednesday is when things started to go downhill. Less than five minutes after putting Rhys down for a nap, he screamed and we walked into him and his playpen covered in throwup. He continued to do so for the rest of the day. That night, after eating a lot of Puppy Chow, and watching Christmas Wish with my mother- and sister-in-law, I started throwing up as well. Thankfully, Rhys and I were better during Christmas Eve morning, although we were still a bit queasy. But, we were able to enjoy Christmas dinner!

Christmas morning was quick, easy, and peaceful. Rhys loved his new toys and  all the toys he found at Grams and Papa’s. However, he never ate well during the day. But, we did end up going to the Atlanta Aquarium Rhys loved seeing all the fish. It was a definite drain on all of us though, since Rhys and I were recovering (Rhys was now having trouble at his other end and I was still suffering from a cold–sore throat and stuffed nose) and Justin was beginning to have stomach issues. However, we loved the time we spent there and can’t wait for an opportunity to go back or even go to the Draper Aquarium here in Utah.



Waving “Hi” to the fish




Late that evening, Justin’s sister Jill and her family drove down from Virginia…and Justin started throwing up. The next morning, we warned them of the illnesses, and Justin also had my sore throat. We rested, relaxed, visited, and watched Rhys become obsessed with his four cousins (They were equally obsessed with him).  It had rained on and off this whole day and Rhys went out on a walk with his cousins and splashed in puddles for the first time.Thankfully, Justin and I were feeling well enough to go see Star Wars VII with Jill and her husband, Corbin. We loved it (and are super excited about all the movies coming out in 2016!).

Sunday, we all went to church and took naps. The adults, and two oldest kids, played a lot of Yahtzee, Uno, and Clue, while the two younger cousins and Rhys played with the trains, Paw Patrol, blocks, and other toys. We feasted on steak, ribs, and other good food. We also took all the kids to a playground and all five loved it!

Monday, we all went to the local Children’s Discovery Museum. Rhys had an absolute blast–there were toys everywhere, as well as a lot of vehicles to climb into, shiny and noisy things, and a playground. We spent about two hours there and had to drag all the kids out because we adults were all getting hungry. Typical Morrell style, we ate at Taco Mac. The rest of the day was filled with TV, more games, and packing. Jill’s family left to go to Myrtle Beach, and we hunkered down for an “early night”.







Yesterday, we woke up before the crack of dawn…none of us had slept well…Justin because he was still stuffed up, Rhys and I because Rhys kept waking up due to coughing. At the airport while waiting to load for our flight, Rhys had a lot of fun playing with the LDS missionaries returning home. He cried for the first 30 minutes of the flight, but then fell asleep. Thankfully, we were placed in the front of the carriage, so there was extra leg room. Rhys rotated between sleeping on the floor at our feet and in my arms, waking for 30 seconds every now and then. But, he finally woke up as we were descending.


When we got home, our house was freezing, as we decided not to keep the heat on while we were gone. But, thankfully, it’s warmed back up. Thankfully, I feel 100% again, but Justin is still a bit congested, and Rhys has a runny nose and coughing. But, besides the crappy illnesses, we had a very good Christmas Break. Justin has to work today and tomorrow, then we will be heading to my family for the New Year’s weekend and even more Christmas presents!

How did you do on your December goals?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving Break

How was your Thanksgiving? Ours was great! What a nice, needed break! Since I didn’t do a Full on Friday last week because of the break, I will get you caught up a little bit on what’s been happening lately.

Exciting News
Well, the good news is that two Fridays ago, Justin was offered a really good job at Dish Network in Denver. We were excited to be moving up and out and going on a new adventure. It would’ve been a little stressful as we had to move right after Christmas, but it was a good thing because we were looking into cheaper housing since I’m not working and Justin hasn’t progressed at his current job like he had hoped to. They told Justin they’d send him the contract for him to sign after the weekend.

However, last Monday, they called him back and said that they decided to go with an internal candidate who had applied. For crying out loud! Justin had three interviews (phone and skype) and they even flew him out to Denver. They loved him and told him then that he basically had the job, they just needed to do paperwork and background check and references. Then, they were in the process of creating his job offer contract. When did this internal candidate apply? Why even tell Justin he got the job? How rude! We’re pissed, my parents are pissed, and his parents are pissed. So, that exciting news I’ve been dying to share with you turned out to be a bust.

So, please keep us in your prayers as we figure out what to do about housing and job plans for next year. We have a few plans and ideas, but we’d like all the prayer power we can get. 😉

Elder Christiansen’s Mission
My 18 year old brother, Bobby, has been gone about two weeks now at the Missionary Training Center. He is absolutely loving preparing and learning how to be a good missionary and being taught Spanish by immersion to prepare him for Argentina. He’s already been able to email us twice (LDS missionaries are only allowed to email home once a week). Here a few of my favorite stories he sent:

“So our first language lesson was crazy difficult. It’s an immersion program so we have an instructor talk to us in fluent Spanish for three hours, while we clumsily try to understand, and reply. It’s great! And it’s exhausting! But it’s great! Our first missionary training session had us – the missionaries arriving that day – as a panel for real investigators to ask questions.…Seriously. I thought it was roleplay the whole time and then I talked to one of the instructors and he said that they were actually real investigators who had agreed to talk to us!!! That was mind-blowing! It left me with one of the first really important impressions I’ve had so far. “There’s no hook, there’s no magic answer, there’s no miraculous video game trigger that will make these people believe. They’re real, and should be treated as such.”

“Thursday… one of the MOST amazing Thanksgivings ever. We started out by witnessing a devotional from Elder Dallin H Oaks! And he was amazing! It was mostly on the history of Thanksgiving and a hope that we keep Thanksgiving up and give thanks constantly. But I don’t know… there was just something about his voice that just said “I speak with the spirit” so it was so cool. Then we had another short devotional on service. And then we went and performed a humanitarian effort. We made 357 thousand meals for families! It was a blast! I’m sad it was so quick though. I wanted to keep going! I want to know how many we could have done if we didn’t have to stop early due to too few supplies (our goal was 320 thousand, so we did very well). Also! Then we had ANOTHER devotional on Thanksgiving with lots of singing and all kinds of different fun things! And then we all stood up and sang I Believe In Christ, and the spirit there was too incredible for words. Immense. Then after! They turned all the Christmas lights on! It was amazing and of course we sang some more.”

“So naturally at the MTC [Missionary Training Center] there’s going to be some sort of prank going on. Well, last night I walked into my apartment to find my bedsheets folded neatly on top of my closet, and they were replaced with Anna and Elsa “Frozen” bedsheets with a floral pattern and all that good stuff. My entire apartment had a good laugh when we saw those (they were from the elders next door). And being the good sport I am, I slept with them. They’re actually more comfy.”

We spent Thanksgiving with my family. Rhys was more than excited to spend all weekend playing with the puppies and his aunts. He definitely could tell that his uncle wasn’t there, and whenever he’d see a picture of Bobby, he’d point and smile. We spent the whole weekend feasting until our guts burst open, downing can after can of soda, staying up late, playing games, gossiping, talking, and laughing. And, there was no drama!!!!!

We didn’t do Black Friday as we’re planning a sparse Christmas this year between all the chaos of money and houses. But, I did finally replace my crappy iPhone 4 with a new iPhone 6. Thank goodness for Verizon month-by-month payments! I also got a new set of scriptures, since my old set 1) had my maiden name on it, 2) is 13 years old, 3) is falling apart. Mom also included a Welsh Book of Mormon for me, so I can practice my Welsh and still be studying the Gospel!

Justin, Rhys, and I had lunch with some of our best college buds who were in town for the holidays. They live a few hours from Denver, and were sad to hear that we weren’t actually moving closer to them. (But our next door neighbors who are Justin’s other best friend and wife are happy that we are staying next to them!)

It also snowed truly for the first time over the weekend. We had a mini-snow fall earlier this month, but it melted the same day. So, yesterday before church (since our congregation meets from 1-4pm), we bundled Rhys up and let him go play in the snow. He absolutely loved it!

How was your Thanksgiving Break?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.