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    "One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see." John 9:1-41
We're officially one of those families. The type with an extremely loud child that has to sit at the back of the church and go for frequent laps just to burn off energy. Remy's cute bird noises have turned into ear piercing screams. Like SCREAMING for joy at the top of her lungs. It's cute when we're at home, but not so much during a long and serious Catholic service. Then when I try to cover her mouth with my hand she licks me. Honestly, Geoff and I can't complain. We actually have to stifle our laughs. We were truly blessed with such an amazing girl. I prayed for her for such a long time, and my prayers were answered. And then some. 
Also, it is the anniversary weekend of her and her cousin's baptism (@abighousefull). What a special time of year. Always ready to help unload the dishwasher, clean dishes or not. More importantly, it's Friday!
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embrace the winter season by creating a safe and stylish festive home

Feeling a bit down in the dumps as winter draws in? The dark nights, generally bad weather and cold winds don’t really put many of us in a good mood. Even though Christmas is right around the corner, a time that most of us should be looking forward to, the stress of buying gifts and getting everything sorted on time can sometimes make things worse. Plus, due to bad weather and icy roads, many of us stop venturing out after work in the evenings, especially if we live in rural areas. But being cooped up at home is no fun, especially if your home is one of the reasons behind your festive stress. Maybe you have Christmas wrappings everywhere, or perhaps it feels like you are living in an ice box due to the sudden drop in temperature. Whatever the situation, you should want to be able to feel cosy and comfortable in your own home in the run-up to Christmas. Here are some tips on creating a winter haven in which you can melt away any stress around this time of year.

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Make sure your property is safe

You won’t be able to relax at all if you feel in any way threatened or exposed in your own home. The nights are drawing in much earlier these days, and you may find yourself drawing the curtains at around 4 or 5pm. The dead of night can be threatening to a lot of people and it can lead to some of us feeling a bit unnerved even when we are at home. This means that we are constantly on edge, and therefore not in a position or mood that enabled us to truly relax. In this instance, you might want to up the security factors on your house even if it is just to give you peace of mind. Make sure you do have curtains or blinds to draw in the first place, and that they are ones which cover the whole window. Leaving the inside of your property exposed to the street is a sure fire way of attracting unwanted attention that could make you feel self conscious. It may also be worth reading some alarm reviews of AT&T security in case you want to fit your home with a modern security system. Lock all your doors and windows after sundown and if someone comes knocking at the door late at night, never open it without checking who it is first.

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Embrace winter styling

Cold weather can be an excuse to make the most of your home, and dress it in a way that pleases you. When the weather is hot and sunny, we are always being encouraged to leave the house and bask in the good weather. But as soon as the temperature drops, we often find ourselves spending much more time inside the house. This doesn’t mean our lives during winter are a solitary affair though  -the fact that no one wants to go out means that this time of year is a perfect excuse for dinner parties and cozy nights in. Try your hand at embracing the festive season by layering up different fabrics in your home. For example, patchwork cushions can look particularly kitsch, and there’s nothing quite like snuggling up under a fluffy blanket with a good box set. You may also want to set the ambiance with some festive lighting – anything too bright will look out of place, so focus on creating a soft warm glow with a selection of table and floor lamps.

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Keep your home warm

There’s nothing worse than being in a cold house in winter. However many of us are reluctant to have the central heating on for long periods of time due to being conscious about the amount of money it may cost us. If you are going to put it on, however, it is best that you run it for a couple of hours on a low setting, and turn the radiators off in any rooms that you are not using. This helps to keep costs down and is one of the most economic ways of using your central heating system. Or, you may choose to invest in an open fire for your living room to keep you warm. Not only do they provide a great amount of heat, they also look stylish too, if you are going for that rustic kind of vibe. Decorate your fireplace with fairy lights and candles to up the cosiness factor, and you’ll be nice and toasty in no time.

** This was a contributed post.

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