ho. ho. ho.

Merry Christmas, everyone!
Our kids are all snug in their beds and Santa has already stopped by!
More to come but just wanted to wish you a Mary Christmas!

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Country Christmas

We’re just country boys and girls getting down on the farm…

Our first of MANY family Christmas parties/ get-togethers in the next couple of weeks…

Here we are at the Anthes’ farm in Palmyra, VA. Good food, good folks, good atmosphere.

Aunt Kimiki took this pic of Kaia, our supermodel.
Let the parties BEGIN!!

Happy holidays, everyone!

Budget Cuts

Everything costs money these days… and for the most part, everything costs MORE money these days.

As a result, I’ve made a pretty big cut in one of my holiday traditions.

CHRISTMAS CARDS.

Now, now- don’t get your panties all in a bunch. I didn’t cut them out completely. But I did reduce the number of recipients by 40%. That’s right- FORTY. FOUR- ZERO.

Here’s the dealy-o. With technology these days, (i.e. FACEBOOK), we are able to keep in touch with most people on a regular basis. While I do not admit to being one of “those” people that posts every insignificant detail of their days so that all 1,427 of their closest friends know when they’ve spotted toilet paper on sale at Wal-Mart, I do make regular posts and all of my FB friends can see pics of my family and me regularly.

Sooooo, I ask you, are Christmas cards becoming obselete? To a certain extent, I think they are. We don’t have to wait a full year to hear from our friends of the past tell us about all of the wonderful things they have done in 2010. We can see it (thanks to the iPhone) in real time.

However, for those who haven’t joined the FB revolution, or who don’t have a computer, or who continue to send beautiful cards each year, or for those who I know that appreciates our card and keeps it on their refridgerator YEAR-ROUND- I say, CONGRATULATIONS, YOU’RE ONE OF THE LUCKY 60% who made the cut.

For everyone else, here ya go!To be posted on Facebook once the 60% have received theirs in the mail! God bless technology!

My Snow Angels.


First Real Snow of 2010 in Spotsylvania, VA

UMW closed at 1PM and we couldn’t let the day pass by
without making some perfectly good
snow angels…

They learned quickly that going down the snow-covered slide was a lot like a bobsled.
Here’s one for the family album.. (dare I say a * gulp* picture frame?? maybe not.)
Yay! Daddy made it home safely from work!

Frame-O-Phobia

I have a confession.

I have a fear of picture frames.

OK, well, not the actual FRAMES themselves, but of putting the PERFECT pictures in them.

In fact, my fear is SO debilitating that the walls of my house are practically bare. I can’t explain my fear, other than it HAS to be because of my perfectionista ways. I saw on The Nate Show that perfectionists can put off doing something FOREVER because they want it done PERFECTLY. This is SO true for me in MANY ways… can you say “scrapbooks”? Because that is pretty much the *exact* reason my kids’ scrapbooks are unfinished.

I’m sad though because I LOVE picture frames and I LOVE looking at pictures of my family and friends, but I hardly have ANY up at home because I want them to be MY MOST FAVORITE PICTURES OF ALL TIME, and I want them HUNG IN THE PERFECT SPOT IN MY HOUSE. I don’t know why I don’t feel like I can just change out the pictures later if a NEW one becomes my favorite, but this is honestly my reasoning for not having them up.

I would LOVE a picture wall (like the one below), but I feel like I would have to go through ALL of my pictures from MY ENTIRE life and pick the very best ones and then arrange them PERFECTLY. WTF is wrong with me??

Anyone have some tips for how they attack framing pictures and getting them up in their homes?

(Yes, I’m serious…)

Girls’ Night Out

Friday night was UMW’s Employee Holiday Party. David volunteered to stay home and watch the kids (mostly because he doesn’t really like these events), which meant that I was free to have a girls’ night out with two of my besties from work, Pam and Kelly!

*Happy Dance*
Here we are before several glasses of wine…
Here we are after…

Gotta love a Girls’ Night Out- it’s good for the soul. (Not necessarily good for the body the next day…)

Elf On A Shelf

Allow me to introduce the best invention since SLICED BREAD.
(Side note: Ummmm, Sliced Bread, what was the best invention before YOU?)
For those of you who don’t know about Elf on the Shelf, check it out here.
Basically, Santa sends you one of his helpers (your kids get to name him/her) that reports back to Santa every night after the kids go to sleep
about whether to put the kids on the good list or the naughty list.
When he flies back from the North Pole in the morning before the kids wake up, he relocates to a different spot in the house. The kids get to search the house to find him!
We received our Elf yesterday and the kids were wide-eyed and excited! They named him, “Elfie,” which is apparently the second most popular name according to the Elf Registry list.
We tucked him in the Christmas tree in our living room where he could get a good view of everything. Aidan made sure to speak loudly about what he wanted for Christmas and made it clear whenever he was sharing or helping his sisters.
“I REALLY WANT A WEB BLASTER! AND SOME QUIET BULLETS SO I CAN GO HUNTING WITH DADDY!”
“KAIA, WOULD YOU LIKE A BITE OF THIS?”
“ADDI, CAN I HELP YOU GET YOUR SHOES ON?”
This morning, Elfie had moved… but the kids could not find him.
This did not discourage Aidan from talking loudly.
And whenever Kaia gave me attitude this morning, I would use Aidan’s technique and say,
“Oh, Elfie- did you hear that?? Kaia isn’t being very nice to Mommy.”
And Kaia’s tune would change instantly.
Every. Single. Time.
Looking forward to a very HAPPY and TANTRUM-FREE holiday season.
Sliced Bread, you were kinda overrated.
Elfie, you are not.

Parade of Champions

Saturday was the annual Spotsylvania Christmas Parade. I was feeling ballsy.

Even though David was hunting, which meant I had the kids by myself ALL DAY (not bitter), I decided I could handle taking them all to the parade. (It helps that my mom’s store was at the center of the festivities and I knew my sister and her family were going to be there too- but I’m still allowed to act like Supermom for attempting this feat.)
We set up camp (right before the parade started) on the sidewalk outside of The Pear Tree with hot luke-warm chocolate.

This was Aidan’s favorite float… to which he yelled, “AH! Don’t blow fire on me!”

There are always a TON of floats from the Scouts, but this was one of my favorites because they were TOTALLY into it. They were singing at the top of their lungs! Unfortunately, a lot of people enter this parade and act “too cool” to show their Christmas spirit… to which I say, “Why enter the parade in the first place?” So kudos to the Elves of Cub Scout Pack 375!


The big guy was there and arrived in style!


After the parade, the kids got to pet these adorable donkeys! They were enchanted with the donkeys, but even more fascinated by the pile of poop at the other end of the donkeys (I decided not to take a picture of the $h!t).


Aidan was brave and walked right up to Santa! He was beside himself and made sure to ask for a Spiderman Web Blaster and quiet bullets so he could go hunting with Daddy!


Love this one!

This is Aidan’s BFF and big cousin, Ethan! The only other kiddo to sit on Santa’s lap.

Kaia wouldn’t go up to Santa, but she didn’t mind getting a candy cane from his elf!


It was a great Saturday and I’m happy that I survived with all three of my kids!

Music of the Angels

Let me tell you something… Black Friday excites me for TWO reasons… the obvious reason is posted here, but the other reason is because I have waited 335 days (give or take) since last Christmas to pull out the musical stylings of Mariah Carey’s Merry Christmas album. For close to 15 years now, this CD has gotten me into the holiday spirit. If I could compare the music on here to one thing, it would have to be the sound of angels singing on unicorns while riding over rainbows made out of silk ribbons hand-spun by Jesus himself. Yup. That’s it.

Needless to say, it is in the CD player in my car right now. I have the music on my computer at work. And I’ve been known to bring it to many-a-parties just in case they don’t have their own copy.

If you don’t have it, I recommend you BUY it. The jury is still out on her Merry Christmas II album she released this year, because, well, I don’t have it. For now, I’m content just listening to the angels riding their unicorns.

And in case you were wondering, we put our tree and other Christmas decor up the Saturday after Thanksgiving… with the help of Mariah (she’s on FI-YAH)!

Notice Kaia’s been letting me braid her hair! I’m LOVING it- it’s only taken her about 3.5 years to let me do it… but it was worth the wait.

To Black Friday or Not to Black Friday?

What a silly question!

Since I’m a bit behind (again) with my blog posts, I’ll sum up Black Friday shopping by saying that it is a grand tradition that I share with my sister and brother (when he’s not working). Everything about it is glorious. The prep work. The anticipation. The savings. The craziness. It is worth EVERY bit of waiting in line (to me)…

The KEY to successful shopping on Black Friday is to make order out of chaos.
You MUST do the prep work.
You MUST have your lists and copies of the sales fliers.
You MUST know EXACTLY what you want from EACH store- and DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT stray from that list.
You MUST have a game plan for the order you will attack those lists (i.e. which store first?)
And- a bonus tip- it helps to know your Black Friday Partner’s lists at each store… For instance, I knew something that my sister wanted to grab at a store and when we split to go get our stuff, I found it first and texted her that I got it and put it in my cart.

I made it home by 7AM and my kids were still eating breakfast in their jammies.

That, my friends, is what I would call SUCCESSFUL spending.