Friday, December 29, 2017

Friday Favorites: Christmas 2017 Rewind

I'm changing it up a bit this Friday and sharing a bit about our Christmas 2017. As always, it just goes by so quickly and I'm always a bit sad to see it go -- but also seemingly glad to pack up the Christmas tree and all the décor and prepare to start a new year fresh, {somewhat} less cluttered and with a new slate. 

We celebrated on Dec. 23 with my 99-year-old great-grandfather and part of our family at my parents' house. It was so special to see my boys sit on his lap; I'm so thankful for this precious man who is a World War II veteran. We all enjoyed visiting with each other, taking lots of pictures and eating a delicious Mexican food feast. 

That evening, we did things a little differently at my grandparents' house. Instead of the usual traditional Christmas dinner, my grandparents built a fire outside and we roasted hot dogs and s'mores -- and it was seriously so much fun; the kids loved it! My grandparents also had sparklers to add to the fun. ;) 

We sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus, opened presents and alternated between the cold outdoors and visiting inside. 

On Christmas Eve, we went to church with my parents and then went to their house to celebrate Christmas with them. My mom had a beautiful table set and an amazingly delicious traditional Christmas meal made. My other set of grandparents joined us and we all enjoyed eating, visiting, opening presents and taking lots of pictures. 

My parents got each boy one of these giant teddy bears {a total grandparent gift, ha!} and Knox went absolutely crazy with delight. In fact, his bear rode in the middle seat of my SUV between their two car seats on the four-hour trek back to Dallas. 

After lunch, we drove back home to Dallas, where we immediately threw our reindeer food out for Santa's reindeer, then unpacked, put gifts away, got the boys bathed and changed into their matching Christmas jammies, read "The Night Before Christmas," put cookies and milk out for Santa and got them to bed so Santa's elves could get to work. 

Apparently our boys were very good this year! (And see those footprints? My dad did this for us one year when we were kids and it's honestly one of my very favorite childhood memories. It's one I absolutely love doing for the boys each year. It's just Brandon's boots dipped into flour and walked about on the floor, but it's so special and adds just an extra touch of magic to Christmas morning.) 

On Christmas morning, the boys were just thrilled with their gifts! They played and played and begged to go out for a ride in their new Power Wheels, but we made them wait until it was light -- and a few degrees warmer. 

This fire station has been a huge hit for our firetruck-loving boy!

"They" bought gifts for each other this year and it was so precious! Walker got Knox an ambulance and Knox got Walker a crane. They were so cute playing with their gifts to each other! 

Knox loved his Anywhere Chair and Kids Kindle Fire

Brandon knocked it out of the park for me this year: an iPhone X, Invisalign to correct my crooked front two teeth (something I've wanted for a long time), microblading for my eyebrows (also something I've wanted for a long time) -- and a weekend trip to Las Vegas in the spring to join him at the tail end of a work event. I was so excited about it all that I just bawled like a baby in my living room. I'm so thankful! 

We finally let the boys test out their new gift, which was (thankfully) a hit. Knox took a while to warm up to the idea of letting his brother drive him, and I had visions of 12 years from now. Yikes! 

I made a delicious breakfast casserole and we enjoyed that and a mimosa for breakfast. 

And then we got dressed and headed to Brandon's parents for their Christmas event. I had a lot of questions about the outfit I wore on Christmas Day, so I've linked it below. :) 

My top || my pants || my shoes

And I'm probably a horrible mom/aunt, but the crying Santa pictures will always and forever be my favorite. My nieces weren't having any of the picture-taking or Santa hats, but it's still just so adorable. 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed spending time with those you love. I'll be back next week for a little recap of our post-Christmas, pre-New Year week events. :) Happy New Year!

Linking up with: AprilAmanda, Andrea, Claire and Katie 

Friday, December 22, 2017

Friday Favorites: Last One Before Christmas

Happy Friday, friends! I can't believe we're already celebrating Christmas this weekend. This will be my last post until probably mid-next week, as we'll be doing loads of Christmas-ing with family until then. 

Here are my favorites this week: 

Not exactly a "favorite," to be honest, but we have been battling a nasty cold virus in our house for over 10 days now: high fevers, lots of snot, lots of coughs, a few trips to the pediatrician's office, more medicine doled out than I have in a long time, breathing treatments powered through and practically everything in our house washed and/or disinfected. Thankfully the boys are on the up and up and we are breaking out of the house this weekend for a couple of family Christmas events. 'Tis the season. 

I'm not sure I ever shared our Christmas card this year! (Insert monkey-covering-its-eyes emoji here.) I ordered them via Amazon Prints and was super impressed with the quality. I ordered 75 of them (which also included envelopes and return address printing on the envelopes) and used a coupon code for 50% off my entire order. My entire total was $30.44! I spent more on stamps than I did the actual cards! Further proof that there's nothing Amazon can't do. ;) 

On a recent trip home, I forgot my makeup remover wipes and face wash, and my sweet Nana came to the rescue with sample sizes of this makeup remover and this face wash...and y'all, I became addicted. She sent me home with the sample sizes and I just couldn't get enough. And, well, speaking of Amazon, I Prime'd the heck out of these two items recently and have been so pleased! 

Run, do not walk to Target to pick up this candle. I picked it up on a whim there earlier this week and it has been burning nonstop in my house. It smells delicious! 

Have y'all ever heard of Latchy Catchy? It's a door latch cover/silencer that allows the child's door to shut softly and not "click" when you close it. (Because haven't we all been there with laying your baby down only to have them wake up when the door closes?! I'm raising my hand because YES.) 

I'm kind of obsessed with sleep in this house (if you didn't know) and these amazing little contraptions help us do just that: sleep. I'm so thankful that Latchy Catchy sent us these to try out; I'll be adding these to every baby shower gift I attend from here on out...they're that good. (And I'm not just saying this because they sent it to me. I really was impressed!!!) 

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and enjoy spending time with those you love. 

Linking up with: April, Amanda, Andrea, Claire and Katie 

Monday, December 18, 2017


We had a much-needed -- honestly, quite forced due to a cold virus making its way through our house earlier this week (first Walker, then me, then Knox and now Brandon) -- but even amidst the sickness, it's sometimes nice to be forced to slow down and just be at home during this busy season. 

Here's a bit of what we were up to, aside from wiping noses, filling up humidifiers, handing out doses of cough syrup and pouring cups of hot tea for ourselves: 


+ The boys and I had a very low-key day at home and the most exciting thing we did was make reindeer food for Santa's reindeer to have Sunday night! (Meaning: I found stuff in my pantry, poured it in a bowl and had Walker mix it up. ;) This year's concoction was a couple of cereals mixed together with some sprinkles.) 

+ Friday evening was Brandon's company Christmas dinner at Grace, and I didn't get one single picture because I was feeling pretty crummy and, while it was a wonderful evening out, I really just wanted to be in my bed cozied up with a big dose of NyQuil. It was a very delicious meal and a fun evening away, though. I was able to wear my black lace dress and it was so nice to dress up for a change!


+ Brandon and Walker made his grandmother's tea cakes recipe in the morning and then the boys stayed in their jammies all day long! I ran a few errands, got a massage, and we all had a lazy day. 

+ Saturday evening, we did our annual "Jammie Lights," where we all wear Christmas jammies, drive through Starbucks to get some hot chocolate, and listen to Christmas music while looking at lights! It was a rainy, chilly evening, but that didn't cramp our style. 

I have on not one stitch of makeup and look so icky here, but just to show you that we all have on our jammies! ;) The boys' jammies are from Old Navy {sold out}, but mine are from Target here and Brandon's are from Amazon here.

But we all had so much fun looking at lights and it was so cute hearing the boys "ooh" and "ahh" over the lights and beg to see more. Knox would get so excited about seeing the lights he would scream, "MUH! MUH!" and do the sign for "more" over and over. It was so cute! 


+ Brandon took Walker to get a donut while Knox took a little morning nap and I picked up around the house, did laundry and was a boring mom who got things done with a few moments of silence. 

+ After another lazy afternoon where the boys stayed in jammies all day long, we were all feeling well enough to join our friends for a little cookie decorating at their house. I'm pretty sure more icing than cookies was consumed, but fun was had by all and we enjoyed breaking out of the house for an hour. 

I hope y'all have a great weekend -- can't believe Christmas is this time next week! Ahh! 

Linking up with Biana 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, y'all! This time next week, we will officially be starting our Christmas celebrations and I absolutely am so excited. Seeing Christmas through my kids' eyes is just so magical and special. 

Now onto my favorites...

I know it seems so cheesy, but I'm going to be a little sappy for a moment. 

Brandon gets home today from his last business trip of 2017. He has been away from us for about 71 nights this year from January to December. That's 71 nights in different hotels across the world -- from Newfoundland to Las Vegas; Ontario, Canada to Savannah, Georgia; and many states in between. But that's also 71 nights (roughly 10 weeks out of the year when it's all said and done) the boys and I have been on our own this year, which is by no means easy. But Brandon works so hard to provide for our family and I couldn't be prouder (and happier!) that he'll be home today. 

People always ask us, "How do you do it?" And we always reply that we do it because we have no choice but to do it, and it's only by the grace of God that we are able to forge through this together. 

And trust me, I know many of your spouses travel more frequently and are gone for longer periods of time -- or you may even be the traveler in your family! -- but I just want to say that regardless of how long they (or you!) are gone, it's definitely a little "Sisterhood of Traveling Spouses" and I know you can celebrate with me in the thankfulness that the last business trip of the year is over! 

Why do I always get sucked in when it comes to Christmas pajamas? And why do I especially, every year, always decide I want a pair for myself to wear on Christmas morning, too?! I saw these at Target on Saturday and had to scoop them up since they were on sale for $10. Here's just hoping that Texas gets its act together and it's a chilly opposed to our 70* Christmases we've had for the last couple of years! 

I also found some cute ones for Brandon and the boys {on Amazon, where else?!}. I got these for Brandon {he's really going to love me, ha!} and these for the boys. 

And speaking of Christmas pajamas...

Walker's preschool had their "The Polar Express"/Christmas Jammies Day at school last week, and it was absolutely precious! He was so excited to get to wear pajamas to school {I found these from Small Pockets} and watch a movie there. They served the kids hot chocolate and cookies, let them watch "The Polar Express" and then gave them this precious bell at the end of the day. And let me tell you what, he has protected that bell like it was a nugget of gold...and it's absolutely precious. 

Is anyone else watching Season 2 of "The Crown?" I'm really, really loving it thus far, and I think Claire Foy does such a fabulous job playing Queen Elizabeth II that sometimes I forget it's not really her! (Whomever does casting for this show is excellent!)  

My friends at Maple Holistics were super kind to send me a full-size sample of their Argan Oil Shampoo, which smells delicious! It's also makes my hair super soft and is great for the days I just want to let my hair be soft and natural (and just wash all the product build-up out of my hair). Thanks, Maple Holistics! 

Linking up with: April, Andrea, Amanda, Claire and Katie

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Thoughts for Thursday: My Christmas Wishlist

As cliché as it sounds and to be completely honest, the older I get, the less "stuff" I want and the more I desire for my kids to have a wonderful holiday, for my family to be together and for everyone to be happy and healthy. Funny how getting older will do that to you. 

This year I have honestly had a really hard time telling people (namely my husband and grandmother) what I want for Christmas. There just hasn't been anything that I've just been dying to have! But alas, I've come up with a few things that would be nice to open on Christmas...and the majority is stuff that I actually need more so than things I want! ;) 

one || two || three

four || five || six 

What about you? What's on your Christmas list this year? 

Linking up with Annie, Natalie and Julie

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

What's Hap-pinning Wednesday: Christmas Life Lately

Each year we try to pack in as much Christmas excitement and adventure as we can, and this year has been no exception. We still need to do our annual "Jammie Lights," which we've been doing since we first married, make reindeer food, and have a fun cookie decorating get-together with friends this weekend...but other than that, we have checked lots of boxes on our Christmas Bucket List and can't believe our celebrations start next week! 

Here's a bit of our Christmas Life Lately: 

+ Seeing Santa at Bass Pro Shop {it's free!} 

+ Cookies with Mrs. Claus at the Gaylord Texan 

+ Christmas jammies + hot chocolate + a Christmas movie 

+ ICE! at the Gaylord Texan 

+ Decorating our Christmas tree 

+ Writing and mailing our letters to Santa 

Parents: You can have your kids write their letter to Santa and get a reply by sending it to: 

Santa Claus
P.O. Box 1
Santa Claus, IN

It's free, but the organization does take donations, so I like to slip a dollar in each boy's letter. It's so sweet: they mail back a reply on cute North Pole paper and the boys just eat it up! 

+ Visiting my mom's store for her annual "Shop Small Saturday" event 

+ Making tea cakes -- Brandon's grandmother's passed-down recipe!

+ Welcoming our elf on Dec. 1, who Walker quickly named "Mo." 

+ Seeing "The Star" with Walker's preschool {Knox's first movie!}

+ Enjoying chilly nights at home in Christmas jammies by the glow of the Christmas tree 

+ Dallas Arboretum's "12 Days of Christmas" exhibit {Yes, shorts in December -- welcome to Texas!} 

+ Pallets + the fire turned on + Christmas movies + that Christmas tree glow 

+ Polar Express + Christmas jammies day at preschool 

What's on your Christmas bucket list?

Linking up with Jenn and Jessi 
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