We stayed local on our first Christmas together as the Zabels, enjoying time spent with each other and making new family traditions.  On Christmas Eve I made Pulla bread, a Finish coffee bread that my mom and I would bake together while growing up.  Later that evening, Kyle and I attended a Christmas Eve service to celebrate the birth of our Savior.  Christmas Day began with some extra sleep and a relaxing morning filled with good coffee and thoughtful gifts from under our tree.  We finished the day with a brisk bike ride, cooking our first ham, and watching one of my favorite movies, White Christmas.  We are continually being reminded that there is much to celebrate and rejoice in this holiday season.   


This will be the first Christmas that Kyle and I will spend together married.  It will also be my first Christmas away from my parents.  I am filled with a sense of gratefulness to be celebrating with a man that I love so dearly.  However, I am also realizing that this will mean establishing traditions as a new Zabel family.

I have tried to do some reflecting on the traditions I had growing up that were the most meaningful. One thing that I loved was the smell of a fresh cut Christmas tree that would fill our house.  My dad and I would journey to the Christmas tree lot to select our tree and I always wanted the biggest tree. 

Kyle and I (along with some friends) recently went out in search of our first family Christmas tree. We wanted to cut it down ourselves and found a quaint Norwegian farm out in Carnation, WA to cut it down.  We both recognized with our small (730 sqft) rental space that choosing the largest tree may not be in our best interest, so we found an adorable little Noble Fir to cut down and take home!

We have put up lights on our balcony, hung stockings on the mantle, added some bright red poinsettias for color, and purchased It's a Wonderful Life and White Christmas.  Our house is feeling a bit more like Christmas.

In all this decoration and preparation, I am continuing to remember that the birth of our Savior is the reason we celebrate and oh what a wonderful reason He is.  

Immanuel: God with us. 

Merry Christmas - The Zabels



Kyle and I got married just a few months ago - August 18th 2013.  It was such a wonderful celebration and a delight to be able to share the experience with so many close friends and family.  In the few months we've been married, there have already been moments filled with laughter and joy and sadness.  As I reflect on what I'm thankful for this year, being able to journey with Kyle though this early season of marriage is at the very top.  My hope is to document the significant (and insignificant) moments of The Zabels through this blog as a way to share and express gratitude for what God is doing in our lives.  I hope you enjoy! 

                            Photo Credit: O'Malley Photography 

                            Photo Credit: O'Malley Photography