Our 2021 Christmas.

We’ve had some fun with the Elf on the Shelf this year! We call our elf Snitch, and he has had some adventures this holiday season. The excitement of finding him each morning is just the best, some mornings were more boring than others but for the most part it was all a success!

Part of our Christmas Bucket List this year, was to go downtown and do the bumper cars and ice skating. We went in the morning on a weekday, and it wasn’t very crowded. The weather was very cold though! The big kids were rockstars at ice skating, Hadley tried it at least but wasn’t a huge fan after she fell twice. She loved the bumper cars, so much fun!

We played Christmas card games, matching and go fish. I keep this set of cards in our Christmas bins, and we only play it during the holiday season to keep it special.

We take turns putting the angel up on the tree, we keep a handwritten list inside the angel container to keep track. This year it was Natalie’s turn, but she wasn’t at the house when we put the tree up so she let Hadley put the angel up in place of her. Growing up, my Grandma and Grandpa did the same thing with all of us grandkids, took turns putting the angel up. Love the little memories we are creating for our kiddos.

The one and only Black Friday purchase we made this year was a mini Keurig maker! I made this little corner of the kitchen a coffee / tea area. Kevin is a one cup of coffee kinda guy, and I like my chai tea latte’s!

Something about a clean kitchen before I go to bed makes me so happy. I try very hard to clean off the counters and dishes before bed, because waking up to a clean kitchen is just the best for me.

I’ve not written a blog post about this, but for two years in a row now I’ve made my own holiday planner for the season. It helps me keep things organized and it’s festive too!

Another Christmas Bucket List item is to make Christmas cookies! Since I’m 30+ weeks pregnant, I try not to stand for long periods of time so this year Hadley did a lot of the baking herself! I sat at the kitchen table, and basically told her what to do, and she did it all herself. She’s going to be a great baker!

Hadley and I got our Christmas mani/pedi done the week of Christmas! We knocked out a lot of our Christmas bucket list the two weeks before Christmas. She loves to get her nails and toes done! It was her idea for the blue snowflakes, and we loved it!

Kevin loves to make fires, and we did a lot of them during the holiday season. Hadley loves to watch and help him make the fires. He would make a fire every night if he could!

Another Christmas Bucket List item, go to the Festival of Lights! We ended up going with our cousins and had the best time. It was cold, but not super cold where it wasn’t enjoyable!

We made it to see Santa just in time before Christmas! This Santa is THE best around, he used to be at the Macy’s downtown but when they closed he moved a little further away. We drive about 45 minutes to see him each year, but he’s so worth it. He takes his time with the kids, really talks to them and makes them feel so special. Plus, he has his real life reindeer outside to see before you see Santa!

This was our first year going to the Coney Island Christmas Night of Lights! It was really neat to see, but not sure we’d go every year. The car line was about 2 hours just to get in to see the lights, then about 30-40 minutes of lights, and then you are done. So overall, almost three hours in the car! My god I had to pee like three times, thank God for portalets!

We celebrated our Christmas two days early this year, due to Kevin having to work both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. So we left out the traditional cookies and milk for Santa!

Santa came!

We always make a big breakfast before we open presents, I know it drives the kids crazy but that’s what we do. And by big breakfast we have pancakes, biscuits, mini cinnamon rolls, bacon, sausage, goetta, eggs, donuts, orange juice, and chocolate milk. And when I’m not preggers, mimosas!

Christmas Eve night we went to my brother-in-laws house. We surely missed Kevin, but he was busy literally fighting two fires. One was a car fire, and the second an apartment fire. The second fire photo above is my husband kneeling down at the door.

Christmas Day was just Hadley and I at home. Snitch the Elf left her a goodbye note, saying how well behaved she was and he’ll be back next year. And in summer clothes of course, this girl was born to be by the water. After dinner, we did a little movie night and she picked out Santa Clause 2 and we had popcorn. If only Dad were home to make us a fire!

Hope you all had a great Christmas, and holiday season!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of you!

Christmas won’t be the same this year, but we’re making it through. I’m wishing everyone a happy, and healthy time with the ones you love the most.

Blessings at Christmas
“May the blessing of joy abide within you; May the blessing of peace rest upon you; May the blessing of love flow out through you; May all the blessings of the Lord be yours at Christmas and in the new year.” — Author Unknown

Our 2021 Christmas Bucket List.

Here it is! The 2021 Christmas bucket list!

I know there’s not much time until Christmas, but it’s done and it’s ready to be checked off. If we don’t get to all of them, which we probably won’t, that is perfectly okay. It’s something our family looks forward to every Christmas, especially Miss Hadley. And I look forward to picking things to do, and drawing them!

Here are the bucket list items:

  • Wear Christmas jammies
  • Decorate the front porch
  • Mail Christmas cards
  • Christmas mani/pani
  • Take a drive to look at Christmas lights
  • Bake cookies
  • Buy a strangers coffee
  • Have a Grinch themed meal
  • Holiday movie marathon
  • Decorate a gingerbread house
  • Visit / take a picture with Santa
  • Bumper cars at Fountain Square
  • Go to the Festival of Lights at the Zoo
  • Donate a toy to a kid in need

We’ve already started some of the things on the list, need to cross some off. But we are excited for Christmas, it’ll be here before we know it!

Do you and your family do a bucket list for Christmas?

Friday favorites.

The elf on the shelf has been going strong this week! The elf is such a great motivator for getting ready for school in the mornings. I think her favorite one this week was movie night!

Sent our Christmas cards out this week! Read more about who we used here.

We finally put the angel on our tree! The kids take turns every year, and it was Natalie’s turn this year but she’s been busy with sports and hasn’t been here for a few weeks so she let Hadley put it on for her.

Starbucks to help make the workday go by faster! Chai tea latte is my favorite.

My work planner for 2022. I use a planner for work, and a different one for personal/home. I can’t imagine having lots of work things in my personal planner, I like to separate personal life from work life.

Hadley’s school has homemade gingerbread kits you can buy. We made this the other night and she went to town. They used a small milk carton from school lunches, and glued graham crackers on to it. Super cute and so simple!

29 weeks! Little man is moving and groovin in my tummy. Feeling him move everyday is such a cool feeling.

We hang the Christmas cards we receive in the mail on the basement door. Since the door is in the kitchen, we see it everyday so it’s the perfect spot! Love seeing all the photos and cards each year.

Miss Hadley sleeps just like her Daddy, all crazy and spread out. She’s the best sleeper though. Girl loves her sleep!

Happy Friday folks! Another busy weekend sort of. Movie night tonight, soccer game tomorrow, and then a birthday party for Hadley tomorrow night. And Kevin working lots of overtime. Single mama for the weekend. Have a good one!

Hello December.

Happy last and most exciting month of the year! A month filled with so much Christmas spirit, and welcoming a new year. A month when the kiddos can’t wait for school break, gifts, cookies, and of course the big guy Santa!

For my daughter Hadley, December is a month of truly believing in the spirit of Christmas. She loves all the traditions we’ve started for the holidays. Christmas lights on the house, decorations all throughout the house, Elf on the shelf, Advent calendar, St. Nick, Christmas bucket list, celebrations at school, and much much more!

What are your plans for this month? Are you excited for the new year?

Happy December to all of you!

Our Thanksgiving 2021.

Our Thanksgiving 2021! We had my side of the family over our house and it turned out great! It was very calm, peaceful, and low key despite how many people we had in our home. We had about twenty-ish family members plus the kiddos.

We have folding tables we keep in our attic for entertaining, and then our regular dining room table we use also. We had plenty of room since a few family members didn’t come this year. The table cloths on the long tables were paper from Meijers, and then my regular fall table cloth on the regular table. The centerpieces were plain eucalyptus greenery, mini pumpkins, and candles.

Banners made out of cardstock! I love making anything paper, these were all handmade by yours truly.

Pumpkin pie banner for the dessert table. We had two pumpkin pies, two apple pies, and apple fritter bread.

The bar cart. We had two bottles of wine, a decanter of Wellers, and a sparkling pomegranate juice recipe. The sparkling pomegranate recipe can be found by clicking here!

Cardboard turkeys for the kids to color! We used cardboard from the boxes we already had on hand, painters tape, and that’s it! Hadley and I grabbed a few of her washable markers, and let the kids go to town. It was a cute easy idea to entertain the kids!

I do paper plates for Thanksgiving! I don’t want to mess with a million plates to wash afterwards, plus they make pretty cute paper plates for the holidays so it works perfect for us. In the three-tiered metal tray is a fall chex mix that I made. It consisted of chex mix cereal, muddy buddy’s, pretzels, candy corn, reeces pieces, and roasted peanuts. Yum!

My husband putting together his new fryer, with his tool box just cracks me up. Never met a man that loves to cook as much as he does! We had two turkey’s, one was smoked, and one was fried.

The smoked turkey.

The fried turkey.

Hadley named the turkey’s, Tom and Pam. Tom got smoked, and Pam got fried.

And there you have it, our Thanksgiving 2021! Everyone left with their tummies full, which is always a good holiday. It was nice to get together with the family, it had been a long time since we’ve seen everyone. I’m glad those that could come did so, it was good to see everyone and catch up!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Fall decor.

Happy Friday everyone! Welcome to the fall decor post for the year. There’s not much that makes me happier than decorating a home for the different seasons! It always takes me a bit to transition from summer to fall, but once it’s here I slowly get on board with the changing seasons.

Fall can be difficult sometimes, as I never know how to incorporate Halloween into Fall. This year, I decided to just add a little mix of both. The decor is mostly Fall, with a touch of Halloween I would say. We don’t have pumpkins for the front porch yet, it’s still a tad warm for that and I like to wait until it gets a little closer to Halloween for those. Our yard is like a zoo, we have all different kinds of animals that come out at night so I’d rather the porch be pumpkin free for awhile.

Without further a do, come on in!

The fireplace mantle! All the pieces are from random places, and some pieces are old that I’ve had awhile. I like the look of different items placed all over the place, it gives it a warm vibe.

As you head into the kitchen from the family room, we have some fallish flowers on the table. Kevin got those for our dating anniversary of 12 years! In the cabinet above the countertop, I have some pumpkins and Turkey things displayed. On the chalkboard, I wrote on chalk “trick or treat” with some fun spider webs and a ghost. By the sink, I have a small pumpkin by the kitchen sponge. And by the way, if you haven’t tried Dawn’s PowerWash yet, you’re missing out! And then on the stove, fall towels and Thanksgiving salt and pepper shakers!

As you enter the dining room, I don’t have much except for a fall tablecloth, and then candy corn in a glass container, candy in the pumpkin basket, and “Hello Fall” on the mini chalkboard.

In the downstairs bathroom, I have Happy Harvest hand towels. Always try to have fun towels in there for the kids! The pumpkins and signs on the bathroom shelves are from the Dollar Tree years ago, and Target Dollar Spot last year. Love Mrs. Meyers hand soap and all the seasonal flavors each year. Fun Halloween napkins, even though the kids aren’t really fans of the napkins. And the Trick or Treat wood block is from a store in Brown County, Indiana from years ago.

Down the hallway to the front door, an Autumn Leaves and Pumpkins Please sign from Target Dollar Spot, Thankful and Blessed sign from the Dollar Tree, sign on the front door and planter stick are from Gabes a few years ago. I tried to make a fall wreath for the front door, and I just can’t get the ribbon to go right. So this will do!

Hope you enjoyed all the fall decor for our home. The seasons are changing, and I’m ready for it!

Memorial Day Weekend 2021.

Saturday. This was the only photo I took all day! We were frozen, and didn’t even make it to the dock. After Hadley went to sleep we went down to our cousins for a bonfire.

Sunday. In the morning I worked out in the basement, and then edged the pathway we use for the gator to go up and down the hill to the dock.

Sunday. The girls were absolutely crazy for swimming while it was 60 degrees outside! The water was warmer than it was outside though. We were in jackets, pants, and socks/shoes!

Sunday. My nephew Max playing with their dog Buckley. And these two little ones put on sweatshirts over their wet bathing suits to go on the boat. I don’t know how they weren’t totally frozen!

Sunday. Meanwhile, the adults in the back of the boat bundled up!

Sunday. We went on a golf cart ride to feed the horses, since the gator is currently broken.

Sunday. My niece Maisie has a tiny dog that has the longest tongue! I bought all the kids pop-its, and only the girls were really interested. They popped them in the garage and Papa came out to watch.

Monday. My nephew Max and his lovely little kid smiles with his friends.

Monday. Out of the entire weekend, this was the best weather day we had! I never put on my bathing suit, I just couldn’t with how chilly it was. After lunch time, it was starting to get warm but I still just kept on what I had. Selfies with my niece Maisie, lots of boat rides, chilling on the dock, and just hanging out. It was a great start to the summer!

Little miss Hadley was exhausted, she has so much fun but will take a few weekends to get used to all the fun!

Hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend, and remember what Memorial Day really means.

From the weekend.

Friday. Started out the morning with a braided pony tail for Field Day! She was so excited to be out of uniform two days in a row last week. Go team purple!

Friday morning. Worked out with my daily routine, went out on the back deck for some fresh air.

Friday evening. After I did a huge Clicklist order, still had to go into Kroger for the essentials for a party that serves hamburgers. Ketchup and mustard. Oh, and vodka.

Saturday morning. Hadley had her first softball game on Saturday! It’s very interesting to watch these little ones trying to figure out a softball game. Figuring out what helmets fit each girl is the most stressful part! haha Even big sis Natalie helped out and did a little catching for Coach Dad.

Saturday afternoon. We celebrated Natalie turning 14 a little early, her birthday isn’t until the end of the month but she’s been wanting a party with family for so long, we finally made it work!

The birthday girl had a few requests:

  • Cake pops
  • Oatmeal raisin cookies
  • Red velvet cupcakes
  • Chocolate covered pretzels
  • Popcorn bark
  • Lemonade

Our Natalie is going to be 14 years old, and I just can’t believe it. She has the best smile, and had a great birthday celebration with the family. I hope she knows how much we all love her and love to celebrate her! Cheers to Natalie and turning fourteen!

From the weekend.

Friday. Started off the weekend by picking out the annuals for our yard! We bought lots of perennials, but I wanted some that I could plant every year because I enjoy planting so much! Hadley was super excited to go to the garden center after school. They had everything I wanted! Once everything is planted, I can’t wait to share all the different kinds of plants we picked out.

Friday. Hadley brought home the sweetest card from school, she wrote the little sayings all by herself, misspelled and all. “You are special. I love you. You are my Mom. I thank you.” THE sweetest.

Saturday morning. Hadley had her very first softball game, but it got cancelled due to super wet fields. She was super bummed. Grandma & Grandad came to watch her play too. So we had brunch earlier than planned, but it was still a great morning. Mimosas with Mama Gail for an early Mothers Day!

Saturday evening. Met my in-laws for dinner on the river at the boathouse for Mothers Day.

Sunday. We started off Mothers Day by relaxing at home. Well, pretty much for the entire day we were home. Hadley took a nice, long, much needed nap. It’s been a weekend or two since she’s napped, and she was about due for one. After her nap, Kevin and Hadley ventured out to get last minute Mothers Day things. We had my favorite dinner, steak and asparagus with pretty red roses as the centerpiece. Hadley picked out her own Mothers Day card, and Kev let her pick out my gift. Gift card to Target! Six years old, and she knows her Mama so well!

It was a great weekend with the family. My bonus kiddos were with their Mom, and Natalie sent me a sweet text that made me smile. =)

“Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.”
– Linda Wooten