Christmas 2017 + Free Printable Gift Tags

buffalo check christmas tags

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!!  I’m sharing some of my favorite parts of our house and bonus the cutest buffalo check gift tags!

buffalo check christmas tags
I remember my first Christmas as a mom. I would sit in Rowen’s room late at night nursing him, letting the reality of the tiny miracle in my arms sink in as far as it could possibly go. Suddenly, I related to Mary on a whole new level.  I think I know what Luke was referring to when he said that “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” as she held her sweet boy.  Word was spreading quickly of his delivery, faster than she had probably ever imagined.  But as everyone came to worship this little boy, the newborn King who had come to save the world, she relished in the fact that she was his mother.

Those few months were brief.  Life has certainly gone by too quickly.  But as new years come and go, I don’t think I’ll ever forget those sweet moments.  Since I’ve been a mom, Christmas has taken on a whole new meaning for me.  It’s deepened my understanding of our heavenly father.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year, not because we get to deck our halls and drink hot chocolate, it’s because a savior came.  I think the lyrics to Everything Is New by Joel and Amy Davis describe the season perfectly:

My eyes have seen salvation from The Lord
Prepared for all, revealed for me to see
What once was hidden, no longer mystery
Light has come, the glory of our King

My eyes have seen the power of The Lord
His mighty arm exposed for all to see
He is redemption, He’s come for you and me
Victory is here, the glory of our King

Good News, Great Joy
Everything is new
Hallelujah! Everything is new

I long to see the coming of The Lord
His glory on display for all to see
He is Jesus, the advent of our peace
He’ll split the clouds, He’ll come and set us free

Glory to God in the highest
Hallelujah, sing across the earth
Glory to God in the highest
We sing your praise in all the earth

Good news friends.  Light has come.  Hope has come.  Everything is new.

If you know me, you know I’m a DIYer. I love a challenge and I love to experiment. Last year, we converted our front living room into a play room for the boys which meant we lost our Christmas tree space! How many of you walk into a house you want to buy and the first thing you think is, “where do I put the Christmas tree?” (I know I’m not the only one!) Christmas is a big deal for me!

When we lost our usual spot, we had to get creative, but to be honest Ryan and I were both over the gold glitter tipped tree we had in previous years (#glitterfordays is not always a good thing). In searching Pinterest, I stumbled upon this adorable wood Christmas tree from Shanty 2 Chic.

I mean, it was darn near perfect. It didn’t take up a lot of space and was a definite show stopper. So we got to work and created this truly priceless piece. Since I’m all about buffalo check, we decked the tree (and the halls) in buffalo check accents that we adore.

Of course, we do have a little mini tree for the boy’s playroom that holds all of the collectable ornaments. Their Oma gets them new ones every year to add to the tree…sometimes they don’t make it to the tree and get flushed down the toilet…but for the most part, they make a debut every year. #smh #momofboys

The rest of the decor is a simple collaboration between myself, Target and Hobby Lobby (no surprise there!) I like to add just a few pieces each year but I try not to get too carried away because I may be inspired by a new pattern next year. God bless Ryan. And my boys. I can’t help it. I get it from my grandma. It’s in my DNA.

I loooove making my own gift tags each year. One, it’s more cost effective. Two, it’s easier to customize it to my style because I don’t always find what I like in the stores! This year I continued the buffalo check theme and created these custom tags using fun designs I purchased from Creative Market and paired it with fresh rosemary clippings from my backyard. Though I do have to say, my poor rosemary bush is looking a little….pruned. I may need a new one soon!

Scroll to the bottom, past all the pretties to download the gift tags!

If you want more free stuff, check out this printable —> here

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buffalo check christmas tagsbuffalo check christmas tags

You can probably guess where I got most of the items, but here is a list just in case!

PILLOWS: Target 2016
ORNAMENTS: Target and Hobby Lobby 2016
STAR: Michaels 2016
SLEDS & CHARGER: Target 2016/17
BOOK PAPER TREES: These were old Starbucks decor from 2006 that I revamped later on.

Click on the image below to download the gift tags!

buffalo check christmas tags

Dear Husband, Whoever You Are

A few weeks ago, I shared a little bit about my story and this week, I’m taking you back to the very beginning.  Please know, this is a story of hope, not of pain. I’m not writing this series as a means to bash anyone.  You won’t hear details of what happened.  That’s in the past.  What you will hear about is my story.

Back when everything was happening, God began to give me a new hope, a new desire.  He began to give me a glimpse of what my future husband would be like.  So, I began to write him letters.  I’ve kept every single one of them as a reminder of his goodness and that is faithful to fulfill his promises. 

I hope that whoever reads this series walks away knowing that there is in fact hope.  Healing may not come in the way we expect it or the way people tell us it should.  But it’ll come.  I promise.  He is faithful.


The room was dark, the stage illuminated.  The band was playing a Hillsong United favorite.

Some were standing on their chairs, others were jumping up at the front.  Others, stood, hands in pockets.  This was youth group.

But I wasn’t doing any of those things that night.  I was sitting, writing because that’s what I had been prompted to do.  “Sit down and start writing”.

So I did.

I wrote the lyrics to the song playing,

Your mercy found me, upon the broken road and lifted me beyond my failing….

I’ll throw my life upon all you are.  Cause I know you gave it all for me. 

When all else fades my soul will dance with you,

Where the love lasts forever. 

And then it was as if everything else had been blocked out, the music faded, the people who stood around me became blurs…and God began to speak.

I will bring restoration. 

I am the God of all. 

Melodee, know what that means.  I am God of all.

I am the God of restoration, peace, reconciliation, healing. 


That night, God spoke to me in a way I’ll never forget.  I’ve grown up in church, grown up knowing who he is.  He’s God.  Of course I knew that.

But that night, it was different.  He wanted me to walk away knowing full well that he is I AM.  He is all things to all people.

After those few brief moments, that felt like time stood still, I was sure that God had spoken those words to me to give to someone else.  I said, “okay God, show me who it’s for and I will humbly deliver this message.”

A few weeks went by and I saved the paper, but he never revealed to me who it was for.  Maybe I made it all up. I started to doubt.

And then after being married only six months,

the first tiny lie came to light.

And then I knew,

those words were meant for me.



The Fiske Family | Desert Botanical Gardens

Desert Botanical Garden Family Session

There’s more to this photo than our fancy pants and runway make-up.  There’s more to this photo than the Desert Botanical Garden cactus garden glowing at golden hour.


Ten years ago I would never in a million years (let alone, only ten) have pictured myself married to someone so tall, bald and handsome such as Ryan Fiske…because I was married to someone else.

I’ve never felt so compelled to share my story so publicly as I do now.  I’ve always known that it was an experience that was meant to be shared with others in order to bring hope to what feels like a completely empty and hopeless season.  Before I dive into details (which will be shared throughout a few different blog posts) I want to share with you that healing does come.  Joy is restored.  Hope is found.

We’ve had our family photos taken before, this wasn’t the first time by any means, but there was something about this session, that made everything sink in for me.  If I wouldn’t have walked that long broken road of divorce, this photo wouldn’t exist.  No Desert Botanical Garden location.  No Pink Blush dress.  No tall, bald and handsome husband who adores me.  No blonde haired, blue-eyed boys who keep me swimming in Legos and coffee.

As I was going through that season in my life, there was one chapter in Psalm that became my chapter.  I went back to it over and over again, I read, I underlined, I hid the words in my heart.  You know those times where there is a verse or a phrase that speaks to a season of life you’re in and it becomes your motto, your mission statement?  Well this was mine.

The Israelites were heading out of captivity from the Babylonians and were heading towards Zion.  They were in that in between stage where they could still feel the effects of the bondage they had just incurred but at the same time, could look ahead and for the first time they could see their promised land.

Psalm 126:

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
    we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
    our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we are filled with joy.

Restore our fortunes, Lord,
    like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow with tears
    will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
    carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
    carrying sheaves with them.

I read this over and over again knowing full well that my tears of pain and sorrow would turn into tears of joy.  Slowly, people who watched me go through that time would comment and encourage me reminding me that God has done a mighty work in my life.

And now,

I can no longer just see my promise on the horizon.  I wake up next to him every morning.  I tuck them in bed every night.

No, these aren’t just family photos, they are a promise, fulfilled. 

Thank you Brenna Heater for our beautiful, priceless family session.

Desert Botanical Garden Family Session

Free “Gather” Printable

Okay, you know I love photography, but sometimes I love to pretend I’m a graphic designer. I love making little printables to put around my house for different seasons and this time, I wanted to share it with you, for free! I hope you enjoy this cute little gather printable.   Just print it out on cardstock and display wherever and however you want to!  Use the hashtag #mlprintable to share how you display yours! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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