Five Things: Don’t Know Where to Start Edition

Somehow our tree is decorated and our house looks festive and Ryan the elf is back from the North Pole to hide in a new spot around the house every day until Christmas. This morning the girls found him hiding in the fridge! The last couple of weeks have been so full and good but I have had very little extra mental space available. The to-do list has been epic and I must have a bit of space to even think about writing here.  Retail during the holidays is no joke. It’s a big deal. We have spent a lot of time and money and effort getting the shop ready for the holidays and it’s so gratifying to see customers respond. The difference between last year and this year is epic.

christmas books advent calendar

This year I wrapped 24 of our personal Christmas books while watching the last episode of Scandal this year (devastation!)  and we are opening one book a night to read together. I bought one new book for the first night but the rest are old favorites. It’s a cheap and thoughtful way to celebrate the season. The girls are really into it.

and personalities expressed in one photo.

The girls were also so very into decorating the tree. Even last year I wouldn’t let them do the glass balls or the more breakable ornaments but this year I didn’t have to manage the scene. They are capable and involved and opinionated about everything. And this picture definitely highlights two very different personalities. I love.

my sisters
family of origin
crazy cousins!
cookie decoratingThanksgiving felt like a whirlwind but a very lovely whirlwind. It’s the kind of whirlwind you actually enjoy being swept up into. I was at the shop most of the day Friday and Saturday but we managed to fit in a lot of fun. Dinner was lovely, Luke & Sherry and Co. joined us. My sisters and I managed a very cold trail walk early Friday morning, the cousins crafted and frosted cookies, and we had a party at the shop with Chris and Mendy Friday night after closing. Owning the shop makes it tricky to travel for the holidays so I am so grateful my family is willing to come to us.

exploring seabrook
cate & jane at seabrook

The weekend before Thanksgiving our family of four went to Seabrook on the Washington coast for a couple of nights. Telfer and I really needed a break and we had a good time. Has anyone been there? It’s a planned coastal community and ridiculously, almost creepily (word?) cute. I just couldn’t decide what I thought about it. Regardless, it was such a great break for me and Telfer. The girls had fun (especially sleeping in a loft) but they were so thrilled to come home and play in their room, like so thrilled. I put them to bed the night we got home and minutes later all the lights were on and they were setting up a birthday party for Judy and Sarah (itty bitty babies). Telfer and I had a major realization moment: we are not good at resting at home. We both have so many projects and interests and things going on that a weekend at home is just an extension of our work week. We pack it in. We don’t play in our house enough. We don’t rest enough. It was such a good realization and of course, I am thinking about 2016 goals and dreams already.

jane and her copy of jane eyre

I put this photograph of Jane on Instagram and Facebook too but lately Jane has been carrying her copy of Jane Eyre with her everywhere. She sleeps with it, takes it to school, flips through it. Yesterday I asked her on the way to school how Jane Eyre was doing and she replied, “pretty good”. No big deal.

new end cap mini shelves


my decorating person. this kid is so helpful and wonderful.

shop at night.

christmas windows

A few shop updates: I had a wonderful carpenter make me the little shelves. We had a lot of sad, unused real estate on the sides of bookshelves that look so wonderful now filled with books facing out. It’s amazing how much faster a book sells when the cover is displayed. Telfer and our friend Tony also put stickable wood on the sides of our window displays right before we decorated for Christmas. It just warms up the space and gives it texture and depth. We bought the wood more than a year ago but just hadn’t quite got it done. It really makes a big difference. Decorating for Christmas was so fun this year – my employee Clare helps a lot and Cate obviously loves a good project. I bought these garlands for the upstairs railing and they are so very pretty.

Parting note: If you are local, please consider going to and voting for our windows. You are entered to win gift certificates from local businesses.

Published by Andrea Y. Griffith

owner of browsers. former librarian. wife. mother to two tweens and the cutest labradoodle in the world.

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