Merry Christmas 2014


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the soon-to-be FOUR Johnsons! (Rachel, Travis, Crusher, and BabyJ)

We are laying low this year in Brooklyn, just patiently waiting for our little New Year’s gift to arrive in a few weeks. 2015 should be the best year yet!


love + light + peace


Merry Christmas!!

Travis and I are in Brooklyn this year. We are missing our families, but we are very thankful that we get to spend so much fun time together. …and with Crusher, of course!

We’ve tried our best to have a NYC Christmas this year. We went to a Broadway play, saw the Rockefeller Christmas tree, bought our own real tree for our apartment, went shopping and to see Santa at Bloomingdales, and went to a joy and peace-filled Christmas Eve service last night. It has been a good, quiet season.


We hope you have a wonderful holiday and beautiful end to 2013. Crusher hopes he doesn’t have to wear anymore Christmas jammies!


holiday baking


It is Christmas week! woohoo! Travis and I are staying in Brooklyn this year. It is a little sad to not be spending Christmas with our families, but it is also exciting to get to do some of the holiday stuff ourselves… like baking!

I have an ambitious cookie plan! I really don’t have much of a reason. I just want to bake a bunch of holiday treats. If they turn out, maybe I’ll give them out to friends…

My holiday baking to do list:

Are you baking for the holidays? What are your favorite recipes?

have a wonderful holiday!

Happy Christmas Eve!

The plan was to be in Kansas City right now… but holiday chaos acts in mysterious ways.

We were involuntarily bumped from our flight last night. So, we got ourselves back to our place for one more night in BK. We will be back at the airport later today. Not great, but Delta airlines was actually quite generous in their apology, so we are taking the Christmas delay in stride.

Chaos and all, I am excited to spend time with my family this week. I hope everyone has a magical night and a wonderful holiday!

holiday cheer

Holidays of yore…

Holiday parties…

Holiday runs…

I am really looking forward to our holiday trip this year. I can’t wait to relax with family and check out of the real world for a while.

What are your holiday plans?


You already saw Travis’ photo with Santa when he was just a cute little babe… so I felt compelled to show mine. While we were home for the holidays I took the opportunity to scan a few old photos. Above is my Santa shot from 1981. Below are 1982, 83, and 84.

Our expressions are pretty great. Somewhere between “how do I look? and “what the heck is happening?” Also, I think I am wearing a sweat suit in 83.

For reference, here is a photo of me and my brother, Seth, this Christmas. There’s no Santa, but we look about the same. 🙂

holiday greetings

Tomorrow is the winter Solstice (the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere). Yesterday was the start of Hanukkah. Saturday is Christmas. And New Year’s Eve is right around the corner! The holidays are here and I am enjoying the season. I hope you are, too. (That is a photo taken by my friend, Aimee Quesada, of me & Travis running the Jingle Bell Jog in Prospect Park on December 11th.)

As 2011 is winding down, I am reflecting on the highlights of the past twelve months…

Looking through my blog archives for the year is so much fun and reminds me how much I love keeping this “scrapbook.” I plan to double my efforts in 2012!

Warm winter wishes to you and yours… Season’s Greetings… Happy Holidays… Peace, Love, and lots of sweets!

gift guide: Rachel’s Favorite Things!

Rachel’s Favorite Things is sort of like Oprah’s Favorite Things, except that I won’t be giving away any free stuff. Sorry. What I WILL be giving out (hopefully) are some gift ideas for anyone on your list who you might think would like some of the same things I do.

These are all things I LOVE and would totally recommend for gift giving:

What are you giving and/or hoping to be getting for the holidays this year? (FYI: I already have the items I listed here — they are my favorites — so this truly is just a gift guide, not a wish list. But hey, thanks for thinking of me!)

family trip

I woke up thinking about The Bahamas this morning.

My family took a trip there for Christmas in 1998. With four kids, I am actually amazed at the amount of traveling we did — The Ozarks, Saint Louis, Rhode Island, Chicago — but our trip to The Bahamas was our first (and only?) exotic family trip outside of the “main land.” It was my senior year of high school and I was a year into my romance with Travis… so my attitude wasn’t the best.

I can’t imagine traveling with four teenagers (turns out, my parents were saints) but I think we actually had a good time. My favorite part was when we took a chartered boat out to a tiny island for a day. We hung out on basically our own private beach and were fed lots of coconut and pineapple. That is where this photo (the only one from the trip that I have in digital format) of me and my brother, Adam, was taken. The water was very clear and blue.

My dad also arranged for us to swim with dolphins, which was a thrill. They feel like wet rubber, but are very cute and friendly.

The rest of the trip details are a bit fuzzy… I know that we snorkeled a bit, went to a botanical garden that had seen better days, rode in a crazy taxi, and went out at midnight one night to see the Junkanoo celebration… where I almost passed out. (In retrospect, I think I was dehydrated, but also overwhelmed.)

Our trip was definitely a unique holiday celebration. It was also a valuable opportunity for four midwest high school kids to see something outside of our daily suburban lives. I know that was important to my dad. Now that I am an adult (and have trouble planning a quick trip to KC for the holidays for me, Travis, and a little dog) I am amazed by how well he planned, organized, and paid for a tropical vacation for six people!


I am astounded that it is December. I have barely gotten used to writing 2011 on things! But I am definitely in a holiday mood. I am preoccupied with peppermint and santa hats. For the first time in years, I am actually pulling out a few holiday decorations. And, we are running the annual Brooklyn Jingle Jog next weekend. And, I plan to make cookies. With sprinkles.

It is the holiday season!

Above is a photo from 1980 of little Travis with Santa. I love it.