Christmas through my iPhone

So Christmas happened. And today I’m looking around to the pit that used to be my home thinking, “I’ve got to get it together and put Christmas away.” Instead, I’m writing a post about our Christmas because that’s far less daunting than cleaning up and putting away Christmas decorations. And because they say pictures are worth a thousand words, there will be many pictures. Consider these snapshots, if you will, into our last week and a half. Let’s get started…

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With this much candy in my purse, it’s obvious we went to the movies. I know, I should be ashamed of myself for sneaking candy into the movies. I know I’ve let many of you down. Sigh. Ok, enough of the shaming. We went to see “Annie” and it was such a cute movie! Highly recommend.

Next let’s move on to the baking…

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Rolling out the dough.

I’m not going to lie and tell you it’s always magical when my kids help me bake in the kitchen, but when it comes to Christmas cookies, I do kinda love it. I think it’s because several years ago I relinquished control of what the finished product would look like.

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Decorating.

I had hopes of Martha Stewart-esque Christmas cookies where the gingerbread men actually had faces and candy cane cookies had red and white stripes. Ah, a girl can dream. And unless your child has mad cookie decorating skills and is super OCD, you’re cookies will not look like something out of a magazine. They may look more like ours…big globs of icing with enormous amounts of sprinkles with a cookie hidden somewhere underneath. But guys, these cookies are AMAZING. They melt in your mouth. Well, as long as you don’t choke on the sprinkles. But the soft cookie with powdered sugar icing? Divine. (My secret: add a little almond extract to the icing. Trust me. It’s perfection.) What I loved about cookie making this year is that it was the first year my daughter could pretty much do it on her own. She’s been watching me do it for so long I didn’t even have to give her much instruction. When I said to her, “Man, it’s like you don’t even need me to help you anymore.” Her response? “Yeah, we pretty much don’t.” Always so sweet with her words that one. It did sting a little when she said that but it also made me realize she’s big enough to do things. I don’t have to hover so much. She may not do it exactly like me but she’s doing it. She’s learning. She’s going to do great things. Yes, I got all that from watching her make cookies. I may be a tad sentimental and not thinking clearly but never mind that.

Then after the cookies were made and iced and sprinkled,

I saw this…

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Wowza. 2007?!?!?!?! In case you’re playing catch up, my food coloring has been expired for 7 1/2 years. That’s longer than Blake’s been alive. A good mother probably would have thrown away the cookies and gone to the store to buy new food coloring and made the Christmas cookies all over again. I’m no such mother. And let’s be honest, I’m sure good mothers only use all natural food coloring without the fake dyes that are sold at Whole Foods for a cool $15 per color. Again, I’m no such mother. My kids have ingested this dye for the past 8 or so years and they’re mostly normal. I think it’s fine. Or at least, that’s what I like to tell myself. Moving on…

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And this is what my kitchen looked like for most of the Christmas season. No really. I’m still finding sprinkles in the crevices of the bar stools.

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No break from school is complete without a trip to Chick-Fil-A. Who am I kidding? No week is complete without a trip to Chick-Fil-A.

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Go to your room…

Then there was that moment when all the kids got sent to their room to “think about what Christmas is all about” because they wouldn’t stop fighting with each other. That was a blessed 30 minutes.

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Blake needed a few naps. Kindergarten is hard ya’ll so he needed to catch up on some serious ZZZZ’s.

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Rain, Rain Go Away…

There was roller skating with cousins on a rainy day….there were lots of rainy days this Christmas. I hope this gives you more insight into why my house is a pit. Kids were in it. all. the. time. Ok, I’m lying. It would be a pit regardless but kids didn’t help the situation.

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Then there was that time that all the kids looked and smiled for the camera before going to church on Christmas Eve. It truly was a Christmas miracle!

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So this was the situation after the kids went to bed on Christmas Eve. When I walked into our playroom and saw this, all I could think was “Oh boy, we might be up all night.” It was another Christmas miracle that our children didn’t wake up from the clanging poles and accidental curses. So many curses on Christmas Eve. It happens every year. Unfortunately, my husband and I are not engineers which is pretty much the degree you need to have to put a Pop-A-Shot basketball goal together. We muddled our way through it and actually made it to bed before 1:00am so we counted that as a win. And never mind that “Santa” had to rearrange the whole playroom for this new addition. But in all honesty I kinda like it better. Probably because we did a massive clean out of toys so there isn’t quite so much junk everywhere. The kids had a lot of fun on Christmas “versing” each other in pop-a-shot. Kyle might have schooled me more than once. Basketball is definitely not my game.

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The kids waiting on the stairs before seeing what Santa brought. I know what you’re thinking. “Where did she get those amazing Christmas pajamas?” I make it look effortless, don’t I? Don’t be jealous of my matching skillz. Santa did make it to our house and most of the children were pleased. Then we have that precious talk on Christmas morning about being thankful for gifts you receive and how that Christmas isn’t all about the presents, it’s all about the birth of Jesus and so on and so forth. This is usually met with sighs and slumped shoulders. It’s super fun if you’ve never experienced it. But overall they enjoyed Christmas very much and had a blast with our family.

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This was his favorite present. A gummy bear/worm/fish maker. He was sad Santa didn’t bring it but luckily his Nana and Pepaw came through. It’s probably one of those presents we will use once, maybe twice, then it will sit in our toy closet for a decade. Oh well. He loved it.

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Fantasy Come True.

And if you’ve followed the blog for a bit, you may remember my post on fantasy football. Well, looky who won his first time playing! He was beyond thrilled and his dad was beyond shocked! His sweet Uncle mailed him a trophy with his name engraved on it. When he opened it, he told me he felt like he had just won the Super Bowl. I can’t even. He will definitely be back to defend his title next year. I think he’s been turned into a lifer. Big sigh. Another one bites the dust.

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To top off the Christmas weekend, our dishwasher broke. Or the panel did. Whatever. It doesn’t work and I found out my 21st century hands are not meant for hand washing dishes. My delicate skin turns into newspaper about 3 dishes in. I’m sure I should wear gloves but I resist. Have you smelled the inside of those gloves? Gag. Hopefully the part to fix it will get here soon! Until then we’ll be enlarging our carbon footprint by using all styrofoam cups and paper plates. Sorry Earth. Hopefully, Jesus will come back soon and make a new one of you.

Now, my Christmas gifts this year deserve a post all their own. I thought it would be bittersweet saying goodbye to something I’ve had for so long but the new one is so sweet it was hard to be anything but excited! Stay tuned….

2014 was one for the books. Be on the lookout for my New Year’s resolutions. They’re coming soon!

So now, it’s your turn:

What was your favorite gift you gave this year?

What was your favorite gift you received?

-Courtney

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