Monday, November 30, 2015

Weekend update- I'm exhausted!

Well, Thanksgiving 2015 has come and gone.
How did that happen?
Now the countdown to Christmas is on!
But first...I will share a little of our long weekend with you!

Wednesday I had the day off and the house to myself!  In the morning I ran to the dreaded Walmart to get a few last minute goodies for our North Pole breakfast on Friday.  Then when I got home I was all about decorating the house!  I told myself the decorations were going to be simple and low key this year.  3 artificial trees later, I decided that just wasn’t happening!  But... there will be a separate decorating post coming later to cover all that!

Wednesday night I let the boys decorate "their" tree and then we had gingerbread cookies and milk to celebrate our efforts

Thursday was Thanksgiving of course.  We had a lovely meal at my parent’s house, and Nick got to drive his 4 wheeler around after dinner.  Some families do football, we do 4 wheeling!

Friday morning was our North Pole breakfast!  The kids were super excited to see what John the elf had brought with him from the North Pole!  Stop back here tomorrow for a full post dedicated to our breakfast!  The kids also did some coloring and Christmas crafts, and had a nutritious lunch (I jest) at McDonalds and went crazy in the playplace there.

Friday was also very warm...63 degrees to be exact, which is quite unusual for this time of year where we live.  We took full advantage of the nice weather and clocked some time at the playground (and yes, I was realllly trying to tire them out, especially since my hubby was gone hunting for the weekend).

Saturday was another fun day... my friend came over and we all went to the movies to see The Good Dinosaur.  If you haven’t taken your kiddos to see it, GO!  It was super cute and a nice story.

We had big plans to go to Chili’s after the movie, but my little guy drank so much juice that he peed through his diaper and his pants were soaked (just keeping it real here folks!).  So back home we went, changed clothes, and had a quick dinner.  Then it was back out for our town’s Christmas parade.  Have I mentioned that even though our town is tiny, they do all sorts of fun things?  The parade is not huge by any means, but the kids all enjoy seeing the firetrucks decorated, the characters (The Grinch, Christmas Mouse, etc) and they ESPECIALLY enjoy all the candy that gets thrown at them!  Then at the end of the parade is Santa (usually riding in on a fire truck but this year it was a convertible), who hosts the tree lighting at the town park.  There is cookies and cocoa after the parade and the kids can sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what they want for Christmas.  We skipped the cookies and cocoa with Santa this year and got cocoa and donuts from Dunkin instead!

Sunday the kids and I hit the road and headed to my aunt’s house for a party. We finally got home around 4:00, and then the rest of the night was spent preparing for the week ahead (baths, homework, laundry, lunches, etc).

Did I mention I’m exhausted?  LOL

This week there are also lots of fun things on tap...
Tomorrow I am headed to NYC to see the Christmas show!!!  Then we have a holiday party on Friday, a fun activity at the library on Saturday, and I’m going to a cookie swap on Sunday.

What’s on your agenda for the week?  Doing any fun Christmas activities??

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Holiday Bucket List

I have been waiting and waiting and waiting to do this post!!  And finally, it is time!!!  I have so many fun things I want to do this holiday season!

Our Holiday Bucket List

1. Go to NYC to see the Radio City Christmas show (This is booked!  This is happening next week!  Well, I hope.  Last time I tried to go there was a giant ice storm and I couldn't get to the city).

2.  Attend our town's Christmas parade.  THIS WEEK!!  Woo hooo!

3.  Attend a Christmas cookie swap.  Also planned!  Thank you Amy!  I am still deciding on my cookie!

4.  Host our 2nd annual Elf on the Shelf Breakfast.  I like to do this the day after Thanksgiving (no, I won't be out shopping cuz this girl has her Christmas shopping DONE!  BAM!)  I would also like to FIND our elf, who apparently is hiding somewhere in our basement presently.  UPDATE:  Elf has been found.  Crisis averted.

5.  Attend a breakfast with Santa.  Local firehouse maybe?

6.  Go on Santa's Magical Express (trying this out this year instead of the Polar Express).  The Polar Express is super cute (albeit rather pricey) but I feel like it's run its course.  Last year Nick was questioning me on why the elves at Santa's workshop loked like paper cut outs (well, because they were).  So in an effort to keep Nick's belief in Santa alive a little longer, we are foregoing the Polar Express this year.

7.  Drive around looking at Christmas lights while drinking hot cocoa and listening to Christmas music.  Question: white lights or colored lights?  I prefer white for my house but love looking at all the colored lights people have decorated with.

8.  Spend a day with the kids watching Christmas movies and baking Christmas cookies

9.  Spend a night with the hubby next to the fireplace, drinking wine and listening to Christmas music

10.  Have the kids make Christmas crafts to give as gifts (anyone have some good craft ideas??)

11.  Give back.  My team at work has adopted a family for the holidays.  I also like to donate to local animal shelters.  This year I plan on donating to the one where I got my Daisy dog.

What's on your holiday bucket list???

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday 5- Turkey day edition!

Hooray for Friday!! I'm sure some of you luckies have all next week off!  I don't, but then again, I don't have to get an entire house and Thanksgiving meal ready either.  So I guess it's OK :)
Since the big day is next week, I wanted to make this week's Friday 5 all about Thanksgiving!

Favorite Thanksgiving side dish
Green bean casserole!!  I know some people think it's disgusting and not traditional Thanksgiving, but I don't care!!  It's the only time of year I eat it and it's delicious!  C'mon, how can you NOT like those little french fried onions?!
A close 2nd is my aunts homemade rolls... they are SOOO delicious.  I could eat a dozen of them at a time!

Favorite Thanksgiving tradition
Saying the Lord's Prayer with the entire family before we eat

Favorite Thanksgiving memory
Last year we had about a foot of snow at Thanksgiving.  After dinner, we all walked over to the big hill on my parent's property and the boys went sledding.  I even went down once or twice myself! The boys had so much fun, and we had so much fun watching them!  As a kid, my friends and I had such a great time sledding down that hill over and over.  Seeing my boys experience the same joy I did as a child truly warmed my heart.  I do have to say though, the walk back UP the hill was much easier at 8 years old than it was at 38!

Favorite Thanksgiving dessert
Well, we always have pies for dessert and typically I'm not a huge pie fan.  However, for the last few years I have brought the pies to Thanksgiving so I've tried to spice it up a little from the typical apple and pumpkin.  Last year I brought a chocolate cream pie that was divine!!  This year I'm bringing an apple pie, a cookies & cream pie, and a cheesecake pie!  I cannot wait to try the cheesecake pie (no, I don't make the pies.  I order them from a local bakery.  I tried making a pie once.  It wasn't a good scene).
Oh- question for you... did you ever have a mincemeat pie????  When I was a kid, we ALWAYS had a mincemeat pie and my grandmother was the only one ever ate it.  What exactly is mincemeat anyway??



Favorite place to spend Thanksgiving
My parent's house.  My mom began hosting Thanksgiving when I was around 7.  She has hosted every year since.  I don't think I have missed a single one!  I can't imagine Thanksgiving anywhere else!

To all my friends and readers... I wish you a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!!  

Linking up with:

Monday, November 16, 2015


I am so exhausted from the weekend... thank goodness for Monday and some time to relax at work!! I jest...well, only partially.  It WAS a tiring weekend.  Hubs was at hunting camp so that left me to fly solo with the boys until Sunday.  Do any of you have 2 boys?  1 boy at home is fine.  It's great.  It's enjoyable in fact.  2 boys at home?  Utter chaos.  

By about 10am on Saturday I couldn't take it anymore.  So I rounded up the little Indians and headed off to an indoor play center.  Both the boys had a great time, and I actually had a chance to sit down and relax for a few minutes.  Then it was off to Target (hello Starbucks) and each boy got to pick out a new Lego.  Yes, I know Christmas is coming,  But desperate times call for desperate measures. They played happily and somewhat quietly for the next few hours.  

Saturday night we watched The Elf on the Shelf show about 4 times and enjoyed some delicious tacos. Both boys were actually tired which was nice, and we all went to bed pretty early.

Sunday hubs came home early and took us out to breakfast.  Well, after making a trip to the pediatrician to get Alec's rash checked out (he's fine).  I love that our pediatrician will open up on the weekend for urgent matters.  I hate taking the kids to Urgent care!  

After breakfast at our favorite diner, the boys went home and I went grocery shopping and made a trip to Home Goods.  I'm not a huge Home Goods person.  The Home Goods here are very disorganized and crowded and I don't like having to search and search to find something I like.  But every once in a while I get the urge to go and check things out. My original plan was to find a Christmasy pillow or two I could use in our living room.  Well, I didn't end up getting any pillows, but I did find these little gems!

Sunday night I made an enchilada casserole (I should share the recipe sometime soon) and then I gave in to multiple requests from Nick to bake gingerbread cookies.  He did a great job!  

So,,, that's our weekend in a nutshell.  We have some fun stuff going at the end of the week...Parent teacher conference (well, I don't know if that will be fun?) and the daycare Thanksgiving feast.  Let me tell you, our daycare and the kids make a DELICIOUS turkey dinner!  I can't wait!  Then I *think* I'm going to decorate the inside of the house for Christmas!  I just can't wait anymore!!!  I keep seeing people posting pics of their Christmas trees and I am so jealous!

Have a beautiful week friends!!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday Favorites - Grateful edition

Since Thanksgiving is just around the corner, I wanted to focus today's favorites on the things I am most grateful for.  

1.  The Family I was born with...

My mother- who has shown me the true meaning of strength, courage, hard work and perseverance. 
My step-father - who instilled in me the importance of being self-reliant, to blaze my own path, to not allow any man to define my self-worth, and to not take shit from anyone.
My Grandmother- for her unconditional love 
My aunts - for always sticking up for me, providing for me, and including me.  

2.  The Family I created...

This year's family pic!

My Children- I never really imagined myself as a mom until I hit my 30s, and then after 2 painful miscarriages, I thought children were just not in the cards for me.  But God had other plans, because here I am, a mother to 2 wonderful boys!  My children challenge me, exhaust me, and occasionally bring me one step away from losing my sanity.  But I wouldn't have it any other way!  My boys have brought me such joy and taught me the meaning of true love.  My heart could explode with the love I feel for them.  They have given me purpose.  They have given me clarity.  And they have given me the strength to continue on when times have gotten tough.

My husband- Because of my husband, we have so much.  He can pretty much do anything... plumbing, electrical, siding, landscaping, tiling, you name it.  He reads about it, and then he just does it.  I wish I had this skill!!  Things we otherwise just wouldn't have had the money to do have gotten done because my husband has done the work himself.  He built our deck.  He landscaped our front yard.  In our old house, he tiled the bathrooms, put in a new tile shower, built a 3 season room, put in a new kitchen and put up an above ground pool (with the help of his dad).  If something breaks, he fixes it.  If we need extra money for something, he finds a way to get it.  He is resourceful and talented, and I am lucky to call him my husband.

Hubby with Nick...just a few days old!  So tiny!

3.  A good job...
Of course I'd rather stay home, online shop and watch Days of Our Lives everyday, but until I win the lottery, I gotta work. I am grateful to have found a good job that pays well and allows me flexibility (which is so important as a working mom).   If I need a day off or need to leave early because one of the kids is sick, it is not a problem.  I get to work from home one day a week which is awesome (who wouldn't want to work in their PJs???)...  I enjoy what I do and am continually learning.  I have fun and have met some wonderful people.  And the money I make allows me to provide the kind of life for my kids that I want them to have.  

Hello Disney!

4.  My friends...

When times get tough, I have a handful of special friends I go to for support.  Some of these ladies I have known for 10 years; some I have known since 1st grade.  I am so lucky to have these special women in my life...women who truly understand and know me...and like me anyway!  :)  These ladies have got me through some dark times, and I am forever grateful.  

5.  A sense of community...

I am from a small town.  A VERY small town.  As a teenager, I couldn't wait to get the heck out of there and on to bigger and brighter things.  But now that I'm all grown up, I see what an absolute blessing it was to grow up where I did.  My classmates were more like family than friends.  Many of us were together from kindergarten to senior year.  Despite being a small school, we had so much opportunity to grow and try new things... if you wanted to be on a sports team, you were on it,  If you wanted to play in the band, you were welcomed.  We took trips to NYC to see musicals and the art museums.  Our 9th grade Earth Science class took a camping trip to Watkins Glen to explore the gorge.  Our senior class trip was to the Bahamas thanks to our fundraising efforts throughout high school.   There was also an amazing sense of community.  In small towns, when something happens to one person, it happens to everyone.  You all pull together and work towards a common goal.  You help each other, you care about each other.  Not to mention we all felt SAFE, and for the most part we WERE safe in our community,

As an adult, this is the kind of childhood I want for my own children.  Although I no longer live in my childhood town, I did seek out another small town to raise my family in.  I feel truly blessed to have grown up in a small town, and I want my kids to have the same kind of childhood experiences I did.

So tell me friends, what are you most grateful for?

Linking up with:
 Andrea at Momfessionals
5 on Friday
Oh hey, Friday

Sunday, November 8, 2015

November To-Do

I was originally thinking of this post as my November bucket list, but it's really not a bucket list, it's more a To-Do list.  There is much to do and we are approaching the half way point of the month already!  I want this all done by Thanksgiving.  Let's see how much of it I get accomplished!

1. FINISH (yes finish) all Christmas shopping, including stockings.  I want to get this done early this year so I can sit back and enjoy all the fun of December.  I don't want to be stressed this holiday season!

2.  Wrap all the gifts.  This one might be a little unrealistic...we'll see

3.  Have Christmas cards addressed and ready to mail

4.  Plan Alec's 3rd birthday party

5.  Plan MY birthday celebration (party, travel??)  The big 4-0!!!!  YIKES

6.  Plan and shop for our 2nd annual Elf on the Shelf breakfast

7.   Eat a delicious turkey dinner with tons of stuffing and green bean casserole!!  And cheesecake       pie!!  I luck out at Thanksgiving..,  my mom hosts and my only job is pies.  Which I order!  :)

8.  Blog at least twice a week

9.  Figure out our holiday plans and finalize holiday meal menus (like I said, I want to relax in December!)

10.  Do a Thanksgiving craft with the kids

OK- I think that's it.  Pretty do-able, right?

What's on your November to-do list?

Linking up with:
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MeetUp Monday Link Party

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Friday Five!

We're you expecting my November bucket list?   Well don't's coming soon! But in the meantime, I'd love for you to check out my Friday favorites!

#1 Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino
Say what??  Is this for real?  How have I not heard of this before?   I am trying this ASAP!

#2 Family holiday pictures
I am sooo happy with how our pics turned out!  Here's a sneak peek of the boys...

#3 Crazy warm November weather
It was 73 degrees today.  In upstate NY.  In November.   This is virtually unheard of!  And it's been warm like this all week!  Saturday we'll start to cool off with highs in the 50s, but I have to admit, I am loving these mild temps!

#4 New books
Nick and I are loving his new Thanksgiving book, The Best Thanksgiving Ever.  Super cute!

#5 Mommy alone time
This weekend I am going to have some time all to myself!  I am so excited!   What should I do?  My top 2 choices right now are outlet shopping and dinner with a friend or lay on my couch all day watching Lifetime Christmas movies.  What do you think I should do??  I'm open to suggestions! 

Linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Weekend update- Halloween!

Did y’all have a fun Halloween??  We did!! The kids were so much fun this year!  They both really got into it which is so exciting for me as a mom.  About half way through our development Alec did get tired... “My go home now... my need my couch...”  LOL  Thankfully the promise of even MORE candy kept him going!  We got home and got the kids in their PJs, sorted the candy, and had some delicious chili that had been simmering in the crock pot all day. 

Besides having fun, both kids got quite the candy haul.  Since we were out trick or treating ourselves at the “prime time,” we didn’t really get a lot of kids at our door.  So... we also have a ton of left over candy! 

Oh- and Friday was Nick’s party at school.  I still wasn’t feeling 100%, so daddy took my place at the party.  He helped carve a pumpkin and played musical chairs.  Apparently he was a huge hit!  The kids played lots of games, painted their own pumpkins and even had a breakfast of pancakes, waffles, bacon and fruit made for them.  I did make it out to the afternoon costume parade.  The little kids marched through the high school and out onto the track (the high school kids lined the halls and clapped and cheered for them... so cute!!!).

The kids spent the remainder of the weekend watching Halloween shows and playing with Legos.  I took down the super Halloweeney decorations and added in a couple more Thanksgiving-esqe ones.  I also made a trip to Kohls to finish outfit shopping for our family pictures tonight.  I think we’re pretty well coordinated!  This will be our first full family picture... we have gotten pictures of the kids taken tons of time, but this is the first time we will actually be IN the pictures!

Have a great week friends!  Stop by later this week for my November bucket list!