My oh my, where has 2021 gone? We posted in January that we were going to blog more and, well, yikes! Anyway, we thought we’d blow the dust off of http://www.thebeckstreethouse.com today and share a little bit about a holiday tradition that we’ve been doing for the past four years. Since 2017, Laryssa and I have ordered a handmade polymer clay ornament from one of our favorite artists: Little Clay Land.
Our “little clay tradition” started when I found Laura of Little Clay Land on Instagram, and I knew it would make a perfect Christmas gift for Laryssa. It was the one gift I made Laryssa open first, and let’s be honest, if she would have let me, I probably would have let open it as soon as it showed up the mail. 2017 was a big year for us. We had both graduated from college, got engaged, and moved into our apartment together just outside of Detroit. We both secured grown-up jobs, too. Even though Laryssa’s was extremely shitty, and it’s what brought us to the area.
And then 2018 took us for a spin. Practically over night (okay, over the course of a week), we uprooted our lives in our apartment outside of Detroit when I took a teaching job in Laryssa’s home town, just three days before the school year started. It was nuts. A few weeks later, we packed up everything we had, sold our college-grade furniture on Facebook Marketplace, and shoved everything we could into two 5×10 storage units.
We moved in with her parents for six months (which we are still so grateful for), as we tried to close on our house. It was a helluva process. We ended up closing on our house on January 15, 2019, but ordered our ornament a little early, but that’s okay. In our 2018 ornament, I’m holding an apple (to symbolize the start of my teaching career, which really didn’t last that long), Laryssa’s holding a key to our future house, and we’re sitting on top of a moving box (notice the arrow).
And here’s some bonus content for ya. After more than two years of wedding planning and being together for more than five years (1892 days to be exact—we have a sign), we finally got married on September 7, 2019! We were so excited when Little Clay Land was able to make our cake topper, too. And even though our girl Lou couldn’t be there for our big day, she definitely made it onto the cake topper. Look at her collar.
Which leads us to our favorite portrait so far; 2019. A week after our wedding, we threw together some sub plans, packed our bags, and honeymooned in Maui. Best trip ever! We relaxed, swam at some of the coolest beaches on Earth, road around in a Jeep, stayed in a tiny house on a fruit farm and in a star dome, got sunburnt (of course), and ate shaved ice. So much shaved ice. Seriously, we ate shaved ice every day. We’re still wishing we never left.
And finally, our 2020 ornament.
Even though 2020 was nothing but normal, we had a some what normal year. Since COVID-19 started, Laryssa has developed a passion for reading, and I’ve been building my woodworking business (but there wasn’t a good way to add a table saw or a cutting board to our portrait). We also adopted the most beautiful, spunky, and slightly timid Husky Poodle whom we like to call Baby Boy Barkley. He brings so much joy into our life. He’s a lover of walks, going outside, and human food, especially macaroni and cheese. So much so that we had to include a bowl of macaroni and cheese in his first official portrait. It just seemed so perfect.
Oh, and for more bonus content, we also splurged and bought one of Little Clay Land’s nativity scenes this year. She only makes a select number each year, and we were so excited to get one! Ours is packed away, so here’s a picture we stole off of our website. It’s personally one of my favorite Christmas decorations that we have.
But seriously, if you are looking for a meaningful gift for any occasion—weddings, birthdays, Christmas, or just because—we highly recommend ordering a portrait from Little Clay Land. Not to toot our own horn, but we’ve been a loyal customers from the very beginning. We’re always amazed by how much accuracy and detail she puts into every piece. It’s so much fun when it arrives in the mail, and you get to open it up to see the piece of art she made just for you. If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out her website and Instagram page. She’s offering a free USA Shipping when you sign up for her email newsletters, and often times runs sales before major holidays. Seriously, check her out!
This is one of our favorite traditions we have; it’s always exciting to order each portrait, and to also spend time thinking about what next year’s portrait will look like. It’s still a little early for us to guess what our 2021 ornament will look like, but we can’t wait! What are some of your favorite traditions?