Merry Christmas!!

We wish everyone a beautiful and safe Christmas! I’m looking forward to a lot of time with my family. I want to slow down, connect, enjoy and soak up this time of year!

Christmas Questions

Happy Friday and just 5 more days until the big guy comes down the chimney! I saw these fun questions over at Danielle’s blog, Sparkles & Lattes so I thought it would be a fun thing to share.  If you haven’t checked out her blog, do so! She’s got some great posts on Amazon Finds and overall life happenings.  It’s always a joy to look through her posts!

I’ve got a busy day going into the classrooms and enjoying the magic of a Pre-K holiday performance and a first grade holiday craft.  Super grateful I grabbed a BOGO at Starbs yesterday!  I enjoyed a chai yesterday and scored a Matcha Green tea for today.

1. Candy canes. Yes or no? Yes! I love them.  I prefer the standard red and white mint, but my family seems to like the fruity flavored colored ones.  I just had one yesterday!

2. Christmas morning early riser or sleep in? Joe and I get up around 6 am (or earlier) every day anyway, and I swear we are more excited than the kids Christmas morning! Joe loves building a huge fire in the fire place and we play Christmas music, I sip tea and we wait for the kids to come out!

3. Do you shop on Black Friday? Yes or no?  Not in the stores. I did find some deals online, but I have zero desire to brave the crowds.  Plus I’d need to hire a sitter so as not to drag the kids out with me, since Joe works.

4. Christmas trees up in November? Nope.  We are “Team Turkey” and really enjoy all things Thanksgiving, and then the first weekend in December we’ll get our lovely tree.

5. Do you get holiday ideas from Pinterest? Yes or no? I do! I found some yummy eats I’m going to try for Christmas {like this Cheesy Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole} and even over Christmas break I’d like to cook a bit more.  I love browsing but never put the “Pinterest Pressure” on myself to be perfect.
6. Christmas glam or ugly sweater? Depends on my mood, I have done both!! We got silly sweaters a few years ago and we also just like dressing a little nice some years.
This is Joe’s Ugly sweater he wears! He loves it.

7. Stocking stuffers: wrapped or unwrapped?Santa always wrapped ours in tissue paper and we opened them FIRST before we did presents.  Then I met Joe.  He grew up with things wrapped and opened them LAST after gifts.  It’s still an adjustment for me after all these years!
8. Tradtional or modern Christmas songs?I adore Christmas music so I enjoy both, but man the nostalgia that comes with the classics really tug at my heart strings! SO many beautiful memories growing up on High Street in our cozy little home, my two sisters and parents.  I also think a lot about my Grandparents at this time and the words of Christmas songs really have so much meaning the older you get.  My absolute favorite Christmas song is, “Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”  The part where they sing,
Through the years we all will be together
If the fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now
gets me every time.  Maybe it’s because as I age I realize how nothing is forever and that these are all just pockets of memories and moments that will last for as long as we do.   I love getting together with friends and family and enjoying this time of year, and hope that I’m making my children’s childhood as magical as mine was.
9. Fruitcake? Yes or no?Ya know, I’m not sure if I’ve ever even tried?! I’m more about the cookies!
10. Is your Christmas shopping finished? Yes or no? Almost!  I still have a few people I want to actually get out and look in stores for, but I have had a wonky two weeks and not a ton of time. I’m hoping this weekend to finish up and WRAP!!!
11. Is there snow in December where you live?There is right now!! We’ve had a lot of snow already this month, but the weather forecast looks like it will melt it all before Christmas.  I do love a White Christmas, but I could go for some warmer temp!
12. Classic show: A Charlie Brown Christmas or Rudolph?I have to say that whenever I try to watch anything Charlie Brown, I can’t take the negativity! He’s so ‘womp womp’!  So Rudolph all the way.  Bradley loves the movie so much he’s been known to watch it Summer, Spring, Fall and Winter.
I’d love to read your responses!! Comment below on a few or tag me if you share on social media.  Remember, don’t get your tinsel in a tangle!! Enjoy friends!
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Enjoying December

We’ve been busy enjoying December! From sipping on “Red Cups” to baking 10 different holiday treats!? (I accomplished my list!) to Pre-K cookie day, mama sneaking out for a red holiday mani and just having fun with “Buddy the Elf” aka Elf on the shelf.

Here are some photos of life lately!

Cookie Party 2019

Our (third with my kiddos!) annual cookie party!! I never know if *this* will be the last party at this house but I tried to capture more memories of it this year!

We all wore red!

Silly picture.

Gotta get Bailey in it.

And Holly too…

A lab and her girl.

Christmas angel.

My yearly 7 layer magic bar— always a hit!

Snacking away on all the yummy goodies!

Mom friends!

I just love a Charcuterie board.

We even had some introverts, who mingled sparingly but still enjoyed themselves!

Alison and I have been friends since we danced together back in what, 1997?  We were then college roommates and still remain friends today! She probably makes my favorite cookies–I don’t even want the recipe, she makes them perfectly every time.  Molasses ginger or something with a white dripping all over….yeah I want one now!

One of my newer mommy friends is my neighbor down the street Katie!  Her kiddos love playing with my kiddos and we have had many laughs, tears, and WTH moments together.  It’s an amazing feeling to know you’ve got someone on your street who will care for your kids if you can’t (like getting them on/off the bus!)

More mommy friends!! In all stages of life, it’s so important to have some mama time!  Being able to share ideas, hear each others’ frustrations and realize you really aren’t alone, is so comforting.  We just need to be better about making more time for this.

As for the kids?? They’ve gotten old enough to realize how awesome the cookie party is and they’re even a little sneaky!  They had so much fun running around all together, everyone got along and played great.

Of course I could not get a still shot of these two.  All hyped up over having friends and sugar!

Grateful that my step-mom could come as well!  She’s been an OG since the first cookie party and she brought some delicious Chai cookies with Eggnog Frosting that are Taylor Swift’s favorite.  I think this may be the recipe here!

It’s funny how the kids really gravitated to playing upstairs and on the stairs.  Our little basement room was not the hotspot this year!

Cookies upon cookies!!

Joe gave me some fancy champagne flutes for my birthday and I haven’t gotten to use them…I was originally going to just use red solo cups but then realized THIS was a special occasion and time to break them out!!

I served Mango & Peach Mimosas.  It’s nice to have a glass and relax with the girls!

I love my outdoor fridge. Super classy.

I told the girls I may re-name the cookie party, “HOT MESS MOMS COOKIE PARTY” because I legit feel like one!! My driveway and walkway were covered in snow and ice and I had no salt.  My cookies weren’t the greatest and those that were, my husband ate most of them.  He even told me it was cute how nervous I get the night before–thanks babe.  I just want everything to go smoothly!!

All in all it was so much fun and still so crazy how much it’s evolved since 2009.  I had no kids and we used to bake all of the cookies at my house.  I don’t even have a double oven!  We then tried to just frost the cookies and it still was a bit much.  Now that I have two of my own, I love that we just exchange what we can (I encourage store bought if that’s all you have time for!) and just stop by for a hello.  During such a crazy busy season, I hope it sealed some beautiful memories in the hearts of moms and kids alike!

Weekending

I figured I would back it up to last week–holidays make me get my days ALL confused!  Joe was super busy working and I was super busy working, so we were SUPER excited to get out on an impromptu date night Wednesday night.  I brought the kids to my dad and step-mom’s, and thought Joe would have to work late, but we were pleasantly surprised when he was finished in time for a dinner date!  We went to a local restaurant and dined on delicious fish meals, shared oysters & bacon wrapped shrimp.

Thursday we were going to go hunting, I had all my clothes ready to go washed in the “dirt soap”!  However, mother nature was not playing.  It was really windy and pouring at 5am when we would be gettin ready to go. So we had a rather chill morning. I had time to do hair and makeup uninterrupted! I even had the Macy’s Day Parade on…it was nice to not have to rush and get everyone ready and take my time.

We drove to my dad’s and were more than ready to see everyone!

The turkey was on point!  They brined it over night and it was just perfect.  I think it rang in around 19/20 lbs?!

We enjoyed all the sides, pies, drinks and things.  We were all in bed by 9 pm, which seems to be fairly normal around here.  #IamOld.

Friday I checked in here and there on some Black Friday deals, but I had ZERO desire to go out and fight crowds.  I did however have this insane urge to clean and purge all the things!! It would start in one room and then take me to another–I have bags and boxes to donate (toys from when they were wee babes!) and the play room is cleaned for our upcoming cookie party.  The kids also helped vacuum and wash the windows.  They wanted to to decorate but I wouldn’t let us until we cleaned and took care of our current situation.

Saturday we cleaned some more!  Laundry, tidying and organizing, along with a huge grocery shop, by the afternoon we were ready to hang up some holiday decor.  For dinner I made Chicken French for the very first time! (It’s one of my favorite meals!) I have been intimidated by it, not sure why, but our sitter Keegan made this before for us after returning home from a trip.  Her recipe was simple and not complex whatsoever. It was delish! I even did some artichoke hearts as well.  Kids love their butter noodles.

Sunday Joe’s alarm went off at 4:30 to go hunting.  I decided to stay up after making him breakfast and work on the blog.

After hunting, we shopped for our tree!

The weather was ice/rain/snow and we were grateful to grab a tree and go!

Getting a tree has always been one of my favorite traditions, even when I was a kid.  If it snowed on the day we were getting our tree, I always loved it just a little more!  It was a perfect day for it.

After watching the 49ers vs the Ravens Game (still not talking about it) I decided to start some holiday baking!

Joe wanted to make his famous Roast Beef (I call it that, not him haha!) and who am I to deny my man to cook for me? It came out just delicious and we had that with some steamed broccoli and I threw some biscuits in for the kids & Joe.

Somehow we still managed to decorate the entire tree before 8pm. The kids really had fun (mostly Brooke) hanging the ornaments.  Bradley loves just staring at it and dancing/running around of course.

And that takes us to Sunday night where I’m currently sitting by the fire, typing this here blog post.  I am excited for a busy and fun week ahead!

How was your weekend?