Holiday Cards

There are so many things I love about Christmas - decorating the tree, Christmas music, making and eating cookies...oh the list goes on but one of my all time favorite, although dying tradition, is the Christmas card. I love sending them as much as I love getting them. It is often the one time in this hectic world that I get to connect in a non-social media way with those that are important to me.

This year for fun (or because I am just that odd), I organized my cards by state just to see exactly where they all go. Get ready if you live in any of these states, you may be getting a card from me!

Arizona - 1
Arkansas - 2
California - 1
Colorado - 2
Florida - 1
Indiana - 1
Illinois - 2
Kentucky - 1
Louisiana - 1
Massachusetts - 1
Montana - 4
Nebraska - 3
New York - 3
Oklahoma - 1
Oregon - 1
Texas - 28
Washington - 10

We seem light on the east coast and we barely touch the central or the south but 17 out of 25 States seems impressive to me.

I have a few more cards to get out and a few left-over so if you want one speak now!

School is out on Friday and I am officially off this Thursday through to the 29th. I am looking forward to relaxing. I am officially done shopping but for a few minor things and now get to focus on baking and the most anticipated event (outside of  Christmas morning) pierogi making.


30, 61

In 30 days the girls turn 3 and in 61 days I turn 40.
Time is flying by.

Aubrey was home for Thanksgiving break and used the chickens as models for one of her photo class projects. She has been sending a few each day.



I am often asked if the chickens personalities are different. This photo captures the difference better than words.

Lulu in her Cinderella dress and Kat in her jeans.


We have the entire week off this year for Thanksgiving. Much to JT's chagrin we are not spending it on some incredible holiday adventure at the beach or in Italy.

I've spent the last few days driving Rick insane cataloging how we have spent the last 17 Thanksgivings to prove my point that this is in fact the first year we are spending it without company, either friends or family. I have to admit it feels a bit odd but have no fear we still have a few days and Rick is always ready for guests. We've had a lot of turkey together.

We will be picking up some old traditions and starting a new one this year. The most important old tradition to kick-off the holiday is the Macy Day Parade. Zach and I love it the most so he will no doubt be my first choice for the day when I get to see it in person. We will ignore the Black Friday crowd and head to our favorite day after Thanksgiving store - Half Price Books -  followed by some hamburgers at Dan's.  The Mitchell ladies will head over Friday for gingerbread houses. We have inconsistently made gingerbread houses throughout the years. We had such fun doing it as part of Thanksgiving weekend last year at Donna's that it was unanimously voted to add it to our weekend celebrations . On Saturday we plan to see the Chuy's parade downtown, which we have missed the passed few years.Of course there will be lots of catching up on our shows. JT and I are woefully behind on Arrow so we need to get caught up and a Thanksgiving can't pass without Talladega Nights. Rick and I are also negotiating a holiday viewing of the Godfather trilogy although this is probably going to take us through Christmas.

Keeping with tradition, I tortured the kids yesterday with a quick photo shoot for Christmas cards. It ended in a bit of an epic fail because I neglected to notice the giant white railing that separates the cuteness of the moment. I begged them to go out again but without much to offer in the way of bribery, I managed to pull off a card with what I had but here are a few previews of the attempts.

That is KitKat giving shouting out!

The boys started a dance party.


All Was Spooky

After months of spooky talk and visiting spooky stores, Halloween seems like distant memory. And sadly it is only a memory because my phone broke and I lost all photos from Halloween until the day it broke. Everyone misses out on the incredible pumpkin that JT carved and some other cuteness that I took while we were out in the hood but I do have a few shots.

 Lulu helping JT
 The girls with some friends before the big night. Kit Kat is Ariel and Lulu was Cinderella.

Zach was a zombie hunter and JT was a bat with these cool foam wings that you can't really see.


I Did Not Forget

It would be impossible to forget that my baby was turning 12 but I think part of me wanted to pretend like it wasn't happening. I mean we are a year away from the teens, 4 years from driving, 6 years from high school graduation. See, I didn't forget, I just can't think about it.

We celebrated JT's 12th over two weekends. Last weekend he invited a few friends over. They ate, they went to a haunted house, they ate, they watched TV, played video games, ate, played football, and then ate more. All in all, I think it was a good birthday.  His actual birthday fell on the weekend on the school's fall carnival and since we live with the PTO president our lives have been consumed with carnival planning and activities. We did manage to get up early on Friday morning and have brekkie at IHOP where both boys at like men and the girls discovered make-a-face pancakes.

All in all, it was a quiet but nice way to celebrate 12 years of a super awesome kid.


though she be but little, she is fierce

Sheryl Sandburg can get ready to move over because Lulu is going to give her a run for her money. Instead of Leaning In, she will be Leaping In.

This girl has a style all her own, a fierce attitude, a strong opinion, and is very stubborn. She bosses around her brothers, her parents, and the dog. She is fearless.

Here are some shots of her on a walk last week. Kat had fallen asleep so Lu entertained me with her Lu ways.