Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone has a very wonderful holiday, and that your heart is filled with joy for the reason for the season! 

The Week Before Christmas!

I cannot believe that we are almost at the end of the week before Christmas!  I always think that I'm going to be super prepared for the holiday, but then I end up still scurrying around frazzled trying to get everything done.  I **think** that we are in a pretty good place though with our preparations thanks to grocery pick up and Amazon Prime. Now I'm just going to enjoy the holiday and not worry about what may or may not have gotten done.  This is such a special time, and I really want to enjoy every moment of it.
Last weekend, my parents came up for an early celebration.  We are traveling to see them on Christmas Day, but it is nice to spread everything out.
On Monday, we also met up with my brother, niece and parents for a few hours.  It's so much fun to see them together!
While I have drug SC on multiple errands this week, we also had a day of absolutely gorgeous weather, so we enjoyed a beautiful park day.  She loved racing Elmo down the slides.
She has been very insistent that we make cookies for the neighbors, so we've made multiple batches of gingerbread men, turtle cookies and rosemary sugar cookies (recipe from Smidge of This).  She loves helping, so help she did!
My MIL and husband's grandma arrive tomorrow, so I'm off to go prep the guest rooms!

Five for Friday!

Happy Friday!  This week has seemed to drag on forever.  My brother is having some back issues, which we've all been anxious about.  At a few points we thought he might have to have surgery, but hopefully he may be able to avoid it.   It seems that he is finally getting some answers, so we are relieved. He called me yesterday to tell me that he and his family wouldn’t be coming to visit this weekend. Yes, I  kind of figured that out, since he’d had multiple hospital visits this week! But, that is just who my brother is. If he has a day off, he is packing up and driving 6 hours to see his nephew in a T ball game. He is a real go-getter, and the complete opposite of my husband and I who can just get deterred by cold weather or rain.   These past few weeks have been really difficult for them, and I just wish they could get a break. Hopefully 2018 will be the year!  So with all that said, here are my five!

On a happier note, one thing that has been fun for our family, is that SC and I went and met up with my husband during his lunch break twice this week.  We headed to the library, and it was a nice little outing for all of us!
Has anybody else started watching Season 2 of The Crown?  So far I'm enjoying it, but I have to say that I kind of find all the detail about the indiscretions a bit dull and depressing.  But, that hasn't stopped me from doing a fair share of binge watching!

On Black Friday, I ordered a few $10 sweaters from Target, and I have really been enjoying them.  I have a fair amount of sweaters, but most of them are dry clean only, so it's nice to just have these and not worry about them.   I've worn this sweater a ridiculous amount already.  It has pilled a bit, but it is so soft and comfy, that it doesn't bother me.  I also bought this one, which I love for the holidays.
Last week for our play group, I made these gingerbread cookies to go along with the gingerbread craft.  This was a pretty easy recipe, and I'm hoping to get it together (aka stop watching The Crown) and make a few more batches for the neighbors and my husband's colleagues.
I think I'm finally at the end of the holiday wrapping!  We tried to keep it pretty simple this year, but it seems like it still ends up being a lot! Does anybody else feel like it takes forever?
I think that's all I have for this Friday!  I hope everyone has a festive weekend!

Decking the Halls!

Our house is pretty much as decked out for Christmas as we are going to do this year, so I thought I'd share a few pictures! First, some Christmas flowers that the husband picked up at Aldi and then coached SC to give to me along with a hug. 
Here's our formal living room.  We've yet to upgrade this tree that I've had since high school, but I kind of love it even though it is humble.
I was really excited about how our dining room came together this year.  Last year I just had some candles and a snowman, so it's been nice to actually have a centerpiece.
Our main living room feels so cozy with the Christmas lights and the mantle, and it's such a relaxing place to be.  I also had picked up some Christmas throw pillows on sale last year, and I love the change.
It's so fun to pull out our ornaments. I feel especially nostalgic over all the ornaments we have from SC's first Christmas.
I love this little seashell angel that SC found from my collection I had growing up.
SC also got her own little pink tree and nativity, and we hung her advent calendar in the playroom.
 She's really been into the Christmas story this year.
We're hosting my MIL and the husband's grandma this year, which I'm very excited about, so I'm working on doing a few special touches in the guest rooms too.  But it's starting to feel like we are ready for Santa!

Five for Friday: Christmas Crafts!

We've been doing lots of Christmas crafting around here, so I thought I'd share a few recent projects that were easy and fun!
This little paper ornament is simple to make, and the only thing that a toddler has to do is glue the dots to the paper.  We actually made a few of them, so I'll be mailing those out to SC's unsuspecting grandparents soon. 
Here's our version of Rudoph!
We also made a painted Christmas tree, which SC really enjoyed.  I was proud of myself for being able to cut the tree out without a template. :)
Going with the theme of gluing, we made paper gingerbread men. 
While not a craft project, we wrote a little letter to Santa this week, and he made a visit to pick it up and left a little gift.  I know it may be a bit excessive, but I actually think this might be a fun little tradition to add in these next few years! We skipped leaving cookies, but SC loved leaving carrots for the reindeer.  When we were out at the grocery store the next day, she made sure that we stocked up for our next reindeer visit.
We're actually having our playgroup over today for a little Christmas crafting, so I'm crossing my fingers it goes well.  I'm all prepped with some paper ornaments and gingerbread men!  I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Trimming the Tree!

This past weekend, we went to pick out a Christmas tree! Until last year, we had never had a real tree, and I'm savoring this new little tradition.
 SC as super excited to have the tree as her back seat passenger buddy.
I think you can see that she was thrilled to trim the tree, and it was just really neat to see her dashing up the stairs to find some more angels and ornaments.  She is so into Christmas, and I'm loving every second!
Elmo helped us decorate the tree, and SC would pretend that he was carrying ornaments.
 Here's SC and Elmo placing an ornament on the tree. She was so proud of herself.
Not pictured is a meltdown at Target because I rushed SC away from the toys too fast, or the fact that I bought the "cool white" LED lights instead of the "warm" ones and had to make yet another trip, Nonetheless, we are in the Christmas spirit around here!

That Santa, he is no Easter Bunny

SC's really gotten into the Christmas spirit, so I thought she might warm up to Santa this year.  Whenever she sees Santa's likeness, she's always gets excited, so she does love the idea of Santa. I mean, how can she resist the idea of new toys? While she wasn't in complete hysterics for this visit, she's pretty nonplussed by our attempts to chat with Santa.  We've moved from clinging to what looks like to be plotting a grand escape to her dad.
Maybe next year!  I think we are done with our Santa picture attempts for now!

Five for Friday

Happy Friday!  Between car repairs and some other more serious issues, this honestly hasn't been a very happy week. But it has made me very thankful, and there have also been some nice moments too.

Today we started our advent calendar!  I wasn't sure how it would go, but SC seems pretty into it.  The first activity was "stacking Santa hats", which is just stacking cups and pom poms.  It definitely provided her with some entertainment, much to my surprise! 
I'm still waiting to get a few addresses, but the bulk of our Christmas cards are in the mail!
Our IKEA delivery came this week, and I'm slowly pulling together her playroom.  I'm so excited that all the toys are finding a home!
As always, we had our little library trips.  Can you guess the letter of the week?
Even though I had just seen my family, SC and I still met up with my mom and enjoyed seeing some of the decorations around Colonial Williamsburg!
This weekend should be a quiet one, and I'm hoping that maybe we will go get our Christmas tree!  I hope you all have a wonderful one!