Sunday, December 28, 2014

Our (After Christmas) Weekend

I think I've cleaned my house fourteen times in the last three days.

And, every time, it has gone back to being a wreck in five minutes or less. How does that happen?

Does anyone else feel that way?  Is this just the life of a mama after Christmas?  Or is someone out there magically in control of their house again already, after only three days? 

There is so much stuff in our house.  Toys are everywhere.  (For the record, toys were already everywhere before Christmas.  That's part of the problem, y'all.  We've reached a new level of craziness that we didn't even know existed.)   Honestly, when I look around, I feel a little panicky.  We need to do a major toy clean out, but where do you even start?  I tried to do a little of that on Friday, but suddenly everything I picked up was Aniston's favorite toy that she hadn't seen in forever and you can't take that away, Mommy!

Sigh.  The struggle is real.

We went to our last family Christmas last night.  Aniston and Colton played sweetly, which was nice considering there was hair pulling (Colton) and headlocks (Aniston) on Christmas Eve.

B had to be at church at 6:45 this morning for rehearsal, so that left Aniston and me to get ready and out the door on our own.  Normally this is okay, but today it wasn't okay at all because Aniston started playing (thank you, Christmas toys) and didn't have any interest in getting ready at all.  Which was just fabulous.  I ended up saying something along the lines of, "We don't have time to be princesses!  And you don't have time to let down your hair!"  (She was Rapunzel, in case that last sentence made no sense to you.)  To which she responded, "I'm not 'Punzel anymore.  I'm Jasmine.  So I can still play, right?"

Needless to say, we both needed church by the time we got there.

Church was great, and so was our usual Sunday lunch out.  I made a quick trip to the grocery store by myself (!) and now B and Aniston are napping--Aniston because she's three, B because he thinks that's what Sunday afternoons are made for.  They've both slept way too long, but I'm not about to wake anyone up because I'm enjoying my nice, quiet afternoon. :)  (I know this could come back to bite me later, but for now it's really, really nice.)

And that's our weekend. :)  I hope yours was wonderful!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014

We had a wonderful Christmas!  Christmas was always so fun as a kid, but it doesn't even compare to Christmas as a parent.  B and I loved every minute of seeing Christmas through Aniston's eyes, and experiencing the joy and excitement in even the smallest things.

The last few days have been so busy, but so much fun.  Since Tuesday night, we've attended five Christmas gatherings (we hosted two of them), plus Santa...and we have one more to go to tomorrow!  Rather than getting caught up in the rush (and sometimes stress) of it all, B and I reminded ourselves often how blessed we are to have so many loved ones in our lives.  We loved spending time with family, and watching Aniston open gifts.  I'm not sure how many times we heard her say, "This is just what I always wanted!" but it was a lot and it was pretty precious every time. :)

Aniston was very into Santa this year, and very worried he didn't have her "number".  (Phone number?  Street address?)  She was also concerned he would fall out of his sleigh.  We don't have a chimney, so that was a huge issue too.  Luckily, though, he didn't fall out of his sleigh, was able to find her, and the lack of a chimney wasn't a problem for him.  All was right with the world on Christmas morning.  (And there was no mention of the unicorn she wanted.  Whew.) Just like last year, I don't have many pictures of Christmas morning because I was videoing instead.  Santa brought lots of Doc McStuffins stuff--including a clinic and mobile clinic.  Aniston had been asking for those for the longest time, and was so excited to see them by the tree. 

 We talked a lot with Aniston about the true meaning of Christmas, about Jesus being born and what that meant for us and the world.  Reading the Christmas story on Christmas morning is a favorite tradition, and this year we read from Aniston's The Jesus Storybook Bible. (Which is great, by the way, if you're looking for a children's Bible.  We also love the Jesus Calling Bible.)

One of my favorite Christmas songs this year was Chris Tomlin's version of "Joy to the World."  The band at church played it several Sundays in December...which meant I got to hear it being practiced several weeks. ;)  I'm so thankful for the joy of Christmas and a merciful Savior!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Our Weekend

This weekend was the complete opposite of last--full of relaxation and lots of time at home.  It was so nice...although it doesn't make for a very interesting or exciting blog post.  Ha!

Saturday was cold and rainy--a perfect day to spend at home.  We spent the day in our pajamas.  We watched Christmas movies, played with Aniston, and had a really great day.  That evening we got ready and met B's parents for dinner.  We went to Cracker Barrel, which used to be one of my least favorite restaurants (except for breakfast).  My parents always did (and still do) lots of home cooking, so I could not for the life of me figure out why anyone would go out to dinner for that kind of food.  Ha!  Well, now I'm the one in charge of dinner most nights, and I most definitely don't cook like that, so I loved Cracker Barrel last night.  We made a quick trip to Target, then opted to come back home and do some Christmas shopping online rather than go from store to store with Aniston in tow.

Today has been a regular Sunday for us.  B went to church, but Aniston and I didn't get ready in time so I tuned in online.  (I love that the online option is available, by the way.  I miss worship when I'm not there, but it's so nice for those days when you just can't get it all together.)  Today was what we call "Mamaw Ruth Sunday"--the first Sunday of the month--so we had our regular lunch with Mamaw Ruth, Papaw Burl, and my mom's side of the family.  We had it at our house this month, and it was a fun afternoon. 

Now we're preparing for another Monday.  Only three Mondays until Christmas! :)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday Confessions

Happy Friday!  Today's confessions are all of the Christmas variety since that's what is constantly on my mind right now.

I feel like the biggest Scrooge in the world when I'm decorating for Christmas.  I love the decorations once they're up, but, man, I hate doing it.  We spent last Saturday and Sunday decorating, and I'm glad it's over.  I'm also very Scrooge-like when I'm wrapping presents. It's definitely not one of my favorite things.

I can't believe Christmas is 19 days away.  I have a million things to do between now and then.

I bought coordinating monogrammed Christmas shirts for Aniston and me.  Go ahead, judge away.  I used to, too.  Haha! :-P

Aniston's Elf on the Shelf is still crammed in the back of one of the kitchen cabinets...where it has been for the last year.  The elf may come out this weekend...or the week before Christmas...or maybe the day before Christmas Eve.  I know my limits and am well aware of my shortcomings as a parent.  I will decorate and force myself to wrap presents (whether they'll be presentable or not is questionable, but whatever), but moving an elf every day is asking a bit too much and definitely not something I could start the day after Thanksgiving or the first day of December.  Also, as we learned last year, my elf-moving skills are not very reliable or creative. Haha! Aniston will never talk to her friends about what her elf did because she has (and always will have) the most boring elf on the planet.  Bless her heart!

And that's it for today.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thanksgiving and Such

I'm sitting in the living room in the light of the Christmas tree, and my house is quiet.  B is at band practice, Aniston is asleep, and the schnauzers are settled for the night.  It's rare this happens all at the same time lately, and even more rare that I'm able to steal a moment for myself and the blog.  The stars have aligned this evening, though, and I'm taking time to catch up. :)

Our Thanksgiving was wonderful.  If you've read the blog in years past, or if you know me in person, you know Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  It always has been.  Really, what's not to love about it?  It's a day filled with family and food, and very little stress.  No gifts had to be purchased, no difficult decisions about said gifts had to be made, and no wrapping is required--and there are very few things in life I hate more than wrapping Christmas presents.  It's a pretty perfect holiday.  As always, we had lunch with B's family and then hosted my family for dinner.  A good time was had by all, and we went to bed that night with very full stomachs and hearts.

B was off work on Thursday and Friday, and the band didn't have any gigs last weekend.  I was thrilled to have him around so much!  We went shopping on Friday, and then went to get our Christmas tree on Saturday.  We debated putting up our artificial one, but decided to forgo the easy way for the sake of continuing what has become a tradition since Aniston was born.  We spent most of the day in the mountains.  It was beautiful.  Snow was still on the ground from earlier in the week, but the temperature was warm for late November. 

B snapped a quick picture when we were on the hayride at the tree farm.  When we looked at it after we got home, we died laughing.  Aniston's expression is just priceless.  I promise she wasn't that miserable.  She just hates having her picture made!


Aniston was very excited to decorate the tree this year, and was lots of help...even though she wanted to put all of the ornaments in the same place. :)  She has been telling people that our tree is pretty, but it's still not finished because there's not an ornament on every branch.  Ha!

On Sunday, B played in the band at church.  When he's scheduled to play, he has to be there early (7am!) for rehearsal.  The first service is at 9:30, but Aniston and I are more 11:00 kind of girls, so we always attend the second service.  After church, we usually go out for lunch and then do any shopping we need to for the week.  On weeks when B plays, though, we have two cars there so he and Aniston go home after lunch and leave me to shop by myself.  Now, keep in mind that it's just grocery shopping--nothing too exciting--but it's quickly becoming one of my favorite times of the week.  No impatient husband, no three-year-old begging to get out of the shopping cart, no rushing.  Just me, leisurely marking things off my list and often sipping a warm drink from Starbucks.  It's the little things, y'all. 

After I got home, we worked on the decorations for the outside of our house.  It was a busy afternoon, but I'm so glad we got everything finished before I went back to work on Monday.

And, now that I'm caught up on last weekend, I'm looking forward to this weekend. :)