Friday, December 20, 2013

Why I Love Christmas...and Why I don't!

The most wonderful time of the year is upon us and I love almost every second of it!  Here is what I love...and don't love about the holiday season!  

{One} Jesus
He is the reason for this beautiful season and we HAVE to remember that!  Whenever I hear "Away in the Manger" or "We Three Kings,"  I think about how wonderful that our King was born in a manger with only His mother, father, and animals, I get tears in my eyes every time thinking about the beauty of that simple, peaceful, magical night!  Such a humble beginning for our King! 

{Two}  My Kids
I absolutely love how excited, joyful and the magic they see in everything this time of year!  Between the songs, books, movies, art projects, class parties, gifts, they are bursting with excitement all day and everyday!

{Three}  Lights and Decorations
I have always loved Christmas lights, either inside all over every inch of the house, or outside, again covering every inch!  But in a classy way!  Driving around looking at Christmas decorations is one of the top holiday traditions, either looking at houses, going through a park, or seeing Christmas exhibits or parades, I'm there! And I love to decorate our house for Christmas!  I seem to decorate earlier each year and the tree stays up longer and longer!  I love garland, stocking, ornaments, lights, cute Christmas knick-knacks to put around the house!  I truly love how a house truly becomes transformed into a magical home during Christmas!

{Four}  Movies
Where to begin?!  There are so many and our DVR is bursting at the seems from all the holiday movies we're recording!  Here's my top list, but in random order!
1.)  Love Actually~no matter what, I always watch this movie!  I adore it and love every second of it!
2.)  Elf~Will Farrell is so funny and it's the sweetest Christmas movie, I mean a grown elf in New York City?!  "Santa!!  I KNOW him!"  "Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?!"  I think we quote the movie daily once the tree goes up!

3.)  Christmas Vacation~Another one I just truly love, quote daily, and always have to watch!  
4.)  It's a Wonderful Life~It gets me every time!  The story, the message, the classic movie is the tops for me!  I cry every time and have a slight crush on Jimmy Stewart!  
5.)  Polar Express~I actually loved this movie the first 200 hundred times I saw it, now, not so much!  My kids love it though and it is really cute...before the 200 mark!  Now, I can only handle small doses and it kind of stresses me out!  Between the train walking, sliding on the ice, getting lost in the North Pole, not meeting Santa on time, last minute gifts, the hole in his robe pocket...a lot's going on in the 2 short but oh so long hours!

{Five}  Songs
I have my radio on in the car set to the Christmas stations as soon as they start playing!  The kids and I love the music and there is a variety!  Here are my top songs!
1.)  All I want for Christmas by Mariah Carey~This is the ONLY Mariah Carey song I will listen to and I will listen to it all day!  Love it!  
2.)  God Rest Thy Merry Gentlemen by Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan~Several versions of this one but I love it!
3.)  Silent Night~any version!  Just thinking of the holy night, with Mary, Joseph and Jesus brings tears to my eyes!  That magical night started so much good for the world!
4.)  Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth by David Bowie and Bing Crosby~Love it, another sweet song that just summarizes Christmas beautifully!
5.)  Runners up that I love but this is getting so long!~Mele Kalikmaka, The Chipmunk Song, I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas, Jingle Bells, Rudolph, anything by Mannheim Steamroller, Baby it's Cold Outside, the list goes on!!  I truly love all Christmas music....

Now, not to be all negative but there are a few things I don't like about Christmas that only occur this time of year....
There are so many good songs about Christmas that I love and would love to hear all year long!  But, every time I hear this:

Feliz Navidad~only the most annoying song EVER!  EVER!!
My Favorite Things Not A Christmas Song, it's from a movie and has NOTHING to do with Christmas!!  NOT ONE THING!
I cringe, yell at the radio and flip as fast as I can!  I would pay someone to never play either of those songs ever again!  EVER!!

{Two} The day after
Is just so blah compared to the day of Christmas and even all the days leading up to it!  Yes, there are all the toys, awesome sales, and New Years Eve to look forward to, but Christmas is over and it's a little sad!  

{Three} Buying Presents
This year, I did the majority of my shopping on Amazon and loved receiving presents two days later!  So, I enjoyed buying most presents this year, except for the ones I bought in an actual store!  People are horrible, greedy, and forget the reason for the season (it's Jesus, not the great sale on Tupperware at Wal-Mart).  Ugh!  People are just rude!  Then, there are the fees, I bought a gift card for Molly's teacher at a local mall, we'll, there was a $2 activation charge, really?!  Ugh!!  And seriously, where is the line that tells you where to stop buying presents?!  I love the director at Will's preschool but do I get her a present?!  And love every single teacher and office staff member at Jack and Molly's school, but really?!  I DID bake brownies and desserts for both schools appreciation lunches, so hope that's ok (it is in my book)!

{Four} People
I touched on this in number 3, but it's extended a tad, mainly to crazy drivers fighting over parking spots (at get that Tupperware...that will still be on sale next month), or those parents that arrive four hours before the Christmas program to get a front row seat, OR the parents that save seats and then don't use know, those people!  You know who they are!  I think this time of year almost brings the worse out of people when your BEST should be present!  I just try, try, I really do, to smile, be gracious, and get the best seat available 10 minutes (gasp, the horrors) before the Christmas concert!

{Five} Elf on the Shelf
Yes, the kids LOVE Hank our elf, I do not!  Between moving him nightly, and in a creative manner no less, and him "watching" us, and not touching him, I'm just over that dude.  No, we didn't have to start this, but when someones first grade teacher last year has an elf and you hear, "Why can't we have an elf?!  Aren't we good kids?!"  Fine!  Give me any other tradition...baking cookies, Santa, caroling, gift exchanges, church, the PEOPLE, but NOT Feliz Navidad...I will be happy to see Hank not return!  

Enough with the negative, I promise!  Happy Holidays!  I'm linking up with.....


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Where to Begin?!!

Why hello there!  Sorry about the little hiatus that I unexpectedly went on!  Like, for real!  If you might remember way back in March/February when my laptop got a virus...well, the laptop just wasn't ever the same afterwards, even with Eric fixing it...all the time!  We had a very old desktop that did pretty good, up until last week that is!  One morning, Eric was working from home and he went to turn on the old desktop and it apparently died because it didn't wake all!  So, we are the proud new owners of a new desktop, its fancy and I don't know how to use it!  Like my new car!  I have so much to tell you!  Hope I can get to it all!  Here's a recap:

Isn't he dreamy?  My adorable husband grew a beard for No-Shave-ember and I love it!  Really didn't think I would but when he shaved in December I asked him to grow that beard back and he did!  

We had our official visit to Santa, complete with our lists, candy canes, and no tears!  Good job kids!  Now, just stop adding to those lists!  I was going to use the top Santa picture for our card this year, but I decided to forgo Christmas cards.  I feel as though it's not the greatest picture, maybe it's Jack's skeleton hand, maybe.  I love to receive cards and it makes me sad that we didn't do it this year, but I'm at peace with my decision, especially after going to the post office yesterday!  Wowza!  That's a place you couldn't pay me to stay in any longer!  Next year!  I promise!

I have been baking like crazy lately!  Eric's work had a Christmas lunch where everyone brought in treats, I helped my mother-in-law bake because her oven is broken and I made these delicious Nieman Marcus Cookies, which smelled Heavenly, and the kids and I had a baking day last weekend!  Wish I could try a few of the treats but.....

Part of the reason I've been a little MIA, is that I recently have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, aka, I can't eat anything with gluten...flour, rye, barley, wheat, etc.  Just planning meals, daily eating has changed my world and it's been a process figuring out this new "life style."  I'm not a big bread person, I don't like sandwiches for the most part, but gluten is in EVERYTHING!  A big wake up call for sure!  Remember when I thought peanut butter was making me sick?    Nope, it was the bread!  I realized that I was living in a lot of pain, discomfort, and a lot of health questions that I've had for a long time are being answered!  Trust me, I have a long way to go but I'm happy to get my life, body, family healthy!  So long processed foods!  So long gluten!  Here comes a healthier Liz in 2014 and forever!  

Will had his first Christmas concert...isn't he the cutest ever?!  He's in the very front row next to his buddy Grant and right behind the microphone!  We heard his sweet little voice and it was adorable singing "Jingle Bells!"  

Speaking of "Jingle Bells,"  Jack's Cub Scout pack sang carols at a nursing home last night, again, such a sweet voice!  He's the second on the right in the front row!  I love my Jack in uniform!

After carols, we all went to McDonald's for dessert or dinner for my family, except me, I'm happy to do without McDonald's in my life!  Now to get the rest of my family on board!!  While eating though...Molly lost her first tooth!!!
Isn't she the cutest toothless girl ever?!  Wait, didn't she JUST get her teeth?!  

We are counting down the days until Christmas!  Lots of excitement here and I love, love, love the joy my children are bringing me this year with Christmas!  Will's Christmas party is today, Molly's and Jack's tomorrow and we have lots of parties and fun this weekend planned!  

Happy to be back in the world of Blogs!