Pajama Friday

Happy Friday everyone!  I hope you’ve all had a nice holiday week.  
We have so enjoyed our time off!  I don’t want it to end!

Last night Kenny and I went to dinner with friends and when I was driving the babysitter home she told me that the girls got to bed a little later than usual.  I asked her what they did to stall their bedtime this time and she said “well – first they decided to set up the princess tent to sleep in.  Then it took them a while to make their beds and set up all of their stuffed animals and dolls.  Then Ellie had to read Addison a story.  Then when I told them they needed to get to sleep they said they just had to tell some ghost stories really quick.  I walked away and could hear Addison saying – Ellie!  It has to be a lot spookier than that!”  Oh those girls of mine.  They make me laugh every day.  :)

So things have been pretty laid back around here this week!  Aside from a few outings and date nights I have lived in my pajamas…

I’ve just rotated from one pair of Christmas p.j.s 

to another pair.  Aren’t these house shoes fun?  I got them last year at Gap Body and they are SO comfy.

Here’s a close up of my favorite Ho Ho Ho pajama pants.  I bought them years ago from Old Navy and bust them out every December.  Last year they were starting to tear in a few places so I took them to the tailor because I don’t sew.  At all.  Not even a little.  And I paid more to have them mended than I did to buy the pants in the first place.  Which reminds me.  One Christmas after Kenny and I were first married I had a nightmare that he gave me a sewing machine for Christmas.  I woke up in a cold sweat and was so glad it was just a dream!  I told him about it and now he knows to NEVER buy me a sewing machine.  Or a Kitchen Aid.  Or a Bosch mixer.  

The girls have been living in their Christmas p.j’s too.  

Even Kole has been a little more laid back than usual.
Have a happy and SAFE New Year’s Eve!  We are going to party HARD!  And by party hard I mean a beach get together with kids, home by 8:00, Kenny will be asleep on the couch by 10:00 and I’ll be waking him up to watch the ball drop.  Then I’ll probably try to get him to talk about our ups and downs of the year and set some goals for the new year.  He’ll roll his eyes at me of course and we’ll be in bed by 12:30.  
I’m so excited for 2012!!  Fun things in store that I can’t wait to blog about!!

Christmas card display

If you know me you know I LOVE getting Christmas cards every year.  It’s truly one of my favorite things about December.  For the past few years I have displayed my Christmas cards on our pantry door.  Nothing fancy – I just stuck them on the door with some regular scotch tape.  But I knew that wouldn’t work this year unless I wanted the cards on the bottom half of the door to be torn into tiny little pieces.  Or chewed up and spit out.  Or hid in a secret hiding place with all of our missing toothbrushes.  Or tossed in the toilet.  You never know with that boy of mine.

So I took an old picture I bought when we first moved into this house.  I never really liked this picture, but the yellow and red matched my furniture and the vines are the same ones I have on my house so I bought it anyway.  And it has sat in a closet for years.  So here’s some advice for you – don’t buy a picture that you don’t really like even if it matches your furniture and includes vines that are also on your house.  (I know – what would you all do without my sage wisdom?)

I took out the picture (did I mention I never really liked it?) and got to work.  

I primed it and painted it.  

And then I had a new and improved aqua frame to place next to my Christmas hutch!  I hammered a few nails on the back of the frame and then wrapped some twine around them.  Actually Kenny hammered a few nails on the back of the frame and then wrapped some twine around them.  (He just loves helping me with my projects – got on his hands and knees and begged to be a part of this one.)  

Then I found this little “Can o’ Clips” my mom bought me a few years ago.  Isn’t it just the cutest little “Can o’ Clips”!?  My mom gave them to me and said they just looked like something I would love.  She was right.  :) 

I took my mini clips and hung up my Christmas cards!  
Well.  Not all of my Christmas cards.  But a handful of them!  

And I was so excited!  Because I loved my new aqua frame!  And I loved the way my cards looked in it!   The only problem?  
It hardly holds any of my cards!  And I was totally laughing at myself for thinking that it would.  
So I started taping the rest of my cards on the wall next to my new aqua frame.  

And I liked the way it tied my two rooms together.  The reds and blues in the cards went great with my Christmas decor and made everything look merry and bright.

Then I ran into problem #2.  I took these pictures I’m posting about a week and a half ago and since then we have received many more cards.  There was nowhere on the wall to go but up so things started looking a little off balanced.  Then some of my cards started falling off.  My good old scotch tape didn’t work as well on the wall as it did on my pantry door.  So yesterday I had to take my wall of cards down.  And I was bummed because I like to leave them up through January.  But the few cards on my frame are still in tact and looking great!  I need to figure out a better way to hold the cards on my wall for next year.  Painters tape?  Putty?  Any suggestions?  Hopefully Kole will be a bit more chill by then so I can place more cards on the bottom of the wall.  But I’m not holding my breath on that one.  
Back to my fun little frame that got a face lift.  I love the way it matches the wall in my dining room and sort of ties the two spaces together.  Plus I have some fun ideas for my frame when I take the Christmas cards down.  
And a few more pictures.  Not because they add any value to this post, but just because I took them.  :)
The brown trunk will be back in its original location as soon as we take our tree down.  Has everyone taken their trees down already?  I’m not a fan of taking the Christmas tree down.  It makes me sad every year.  There is nothing like the cozy lights of a Christmas tree.  At least I’ll have my new aqua frame to cheer me up.  

So there you go.  A post on how I displayed my Christmas cards this year.  Even though Christmas was three days ago and my cards didn’t last all month.  :)

Update **You can read this post to see what I used the Christmas card frame for in Januray!  :)

Our Christmas

On Christmas Eve we made a tray of Pretzel Hugs to munch on.
It just doesn’t feel like Christmas around here without them! 
The girls decorated for Santa. 
 They decorated their walls… 
 and their doors…

and hung ornaments in every room.
 They even spent a great deal of time sprucing up the stairs.  :)

This was our first Christmas without traveling to Utah to be with family or having family come to us so I was on my own for Christmas Eve dinner.  I made turkey and my favorite potatoes and felt like quite a chef.  Right up until Addison asked where the real Christmas feast was.  Later she explained that a “real Christmas feast” includes chicken nuggets, pizza, and marshmellows.  I didn’t feel quite so bad about my meal after that little conversation.  
Instead of the traditional cookies and milk, my girls decided to mix things up and left Santa Pretzel Hugs and leftover Halloween candy.  They also added cheese for Santa Mouse and some Christmas tree pictures they made earlier in the day.  

After our traditional trip to drive through Christmas Card Lane, (a fun neighborhood with amazing lights) Kenny read the girls a special Christmas story and they were off to bed.  The one night of the year they can’t wait to go to sleep!  
And then the real fun began.  :)

Kenny and I woke up Christmas morning to squeals of excitement from two little girls!  We couldn’t get out of bed fast enough for them.  I told them I heard some jingle bells and a thump on the roof late last night.  Just like my mom used to hear when I was a little girl.  
After taking in everything in the living room, they ran to see if Santa ate their treats.  He did!  He also left some other surprises they wanted and a note.  Santa’s note thanked them for the delicious candy, told them they had been SO good this year, and also reassured them he had taken off the tape on the fireplace to get in and had then put it back on when he left so that Kole wouldn’t get into it.  The girls were a bit stressed about that one.  
We all had a great Christmas morning.  
Including Kole.  BOY TOYS!!??  Really?  In this house!? 
It’s about time.  :)
Among other fun things, the girls got new boots.  Ellie politely thanked me and tossed them aside.  Addison hasn’t taken hers off since.  

In fact, later that afternoon when Kenny took the girls to church Addison insisted on wearing her pink boots with her red Christmas dress.  I told her that didn’t exactly work.  Ellie begged to not have to wear her “itchy” tights.  Kenny and I looked at each other, shrugged and said “it’s Christmas, do what you want.”  
So they did.  :)

Kole and I didn’t make it to church because he was in desperate need of a nap.  
I was in desperate need of a nap too, but instead had plenty to keep me busy…

Wouldn’t be Christmas without a Christmas mess!
The last few days have been the best.  Kenny has been home with us and we are really enjoying this time together as a family.  

(Ready for an afternoon movie.  The girls set this up and didn’t seem to mind one bit that there wasn’t room for the rest of us to sit!)
And as for the girls’ new “friends”?  They are enjoying time with our family as well.  

2011 Christmas Card

So most of you remember my little photo shoot nightmare.  Which by the way was one of my favorite posts this year simply because I loved all of your comments!  So glad many of you can relate to the craziness that is life with a one year old.  :)  99% of the photos were just awful with Kole screaming and me strained trying to contain him (I’ll have to post the out takes at some point!).  But we did get ONE.  One picture with most of us smiling and looking at the camera.  And that one photo was the obvious winner.
So I decided to keep it real, embrace this stage and roll with it!  
Our 2011 Christmas Card —

Whatever works, right?  
I’m feeling so grateful tonight just sitting here with Kenny, in our comfy home, next to the lights of our Christmas tree, working on my fun little blog that brings me so much happiness.  My kids and greatest blessings are all asleep upstairs dreaming about Christmas.  Well – two of them are.  I’m sure Kole is dreaming about running wild down a Target shopping aisle with no one stopping him.  :)  I love this time of year.  I love that time is set aside to think about our Savior and everything He did for us.  I love that time is set aside to spend with the people we love.  
As I’m typing this I can hear Kenny singing Aladdin’s “A Whole New World”.  He sings that song to me whenever I start getting even remotely emotional or sappy so hearing his sarcastic singing voice in my head is probably a sign that it’s time to wrap things up.  But first I want to thank all of you.  One of my favorite things about blogging is connecting with and “meeting” so many wonderful people.  Thank you so much for your support, for your kind comments, thank you for reading.  
 I sincerely hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!
xoxo, Erin 

Santa Love

Not much time to post tonight!  I spent the last half hour writing down a list of everything I have left to do before the weekend.  It always amazes me that no matter how organized I am or how much I try to do ahead of time, there are always so many last minute things to do to get ready for Christmas!  The next two days will be busy for sure.  Fun busy.  I love it when my to-do list includes shopping, shopping, and more shopping!  :)

I took the kids to see Santa today.  The girls were SO excited.  

Addison spent 20 minutes deciding what to wear and finally agreed with me that her glitter tights and ruffle skirt would be appropriate “visit Santa” attire.  Ellie refused to wear her glitter tights and ruffle skirt and told me that she was planning on being a fashion designer someday so that she could create clothes that feel and look like pajamas but that you can wear every day.  I told her I was sold and would completely pay for and support her new clothes line. (Did you catch that Kenny?  You’ll need to completely pay for and support Ellie’s new clothes line.)
BTW- you are all invited to our party when we celebrate her success.  Comfy attire only.    
I was so prepared for Kole to scream like crazy when I put him on Santa’s lap but he LOVED Santa!  Funniest thing.  He was so happy – smiling and laughing and “talking” to Santa.  Then he pitched the biggest fit and screamed when I took him off Santa’s lap.  I knew a fit would be pitched at some point.  I was just surprised at when it occurred!  The girls told Santa everything they want for Christmas which was completely different than what they have been telling me they want all month.  Love that. 
I told them that Santa’s elves have burned him out kept him pretty busy this year (one elf in particular!) so they may not get exactly what they asked for.  They said, “Oh don’t worry mom!  Santa knows and 
will get us what we want!  He’s magic!”  
Magic?  Maybe.  Tired?  Definitely.  :)
Ellie wrote notes to Santa a few weeks ago.  One from each person in our family…  

She even scribbled a note from Kole.  Amazing really.  She has his signature look down perfect.  

Then she placed this envelope in the center of my hutch and filled it with leftover Halloween candy and fake money.  I laughed so hard when I saw it.  Nothing like a stale tootsie roll and some monopoly cash! Santa won’t ever want to leave our house.  

She put the notes in each of our stockings and they have been there for weeks.  I took them down when I took pictures for my Christmas Hutch post and Ellie wasn’t impressed.  “MOM!  How will Santa see how much we love him without my notes!?”  So back up they went after my photo shoot was over.

Yes.  Santa is a lucky man.  
And just like our little elf, I’m sure that when he visits he’ll make himself right at home.