Tuesday, November 30, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 8

It's already day 8 of Aly & Molly's Blog Challenge - I need there to be like 25 days of Chirstmas or something because it's nice to actually have something to blog about!

Day 8: LEAST favorite thing about the Holidays.
If you saw my Black Friday post - it should be perfectly clear what my least favorite thing about the Holidays is. In case you missed it - I. FREAKING. HATE. CROWDS.
The anxiety that I get amidst chaotic crowds is nausiating (and admit it - all Holiday crowds are chaotic). The thought of having to go to Target or Walmart for ANYTHING in the next 4 weeks makes me want to hurl. The fact that anyone could actually enjoy the "hustle and bustle" of the Holidays boggles the mind!
I will probably end up taking a personal day from work and doing all of my Christmas shopping (that I can't do online) then - and it will be some random Wednesday at, like, 8 am because I will not be caught dead doing it on a weekend. I need to adjust our grocery budget for this time of year because if I'm the one going shopping, I'm going to Dillons - where it may be more expensive, but it's also much less crowded than Wally World.
Just thinking about the crowds long enough to write this post kind of makes me dizzy...

Monday, November 29, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Days 5, 6 and 7 - FAIL!

So - big surprise - I failed at keeping up on Aly & Molly's 12 Days of Christmas. Here it is, day 7 and I am just now getting around to posting my day 5 information. Lame-Oh!

DAY 5: It’s no secret that this is my favorite Holiday movie. My family watches it all the time. My dad finally had to upgrade to the DVD once we finally wore out our VHS. We spend our holiday quoting this movie and actually tend to reference it year round. Last year we gave my dad a “Shitter was Full” t-shirt for Christmas. I’m pretty sure that it was his favorite gift – EVER!

My favorite TV Special isn’t even on any more and that Breaks. My. Heart. I couldn’t even tell you how this grew to be my favorite. I always remember watching Rudolph and Frosty and Charlie Brown – but my favorite was always Garfield. There is a scene in the movie where they light the Christmas tree and everyone makes this great “ohhhhhhhhhh” face. So every year, at some point, my dad will reference that scene. It’s just a fun little memory. My sister and I have been known to break out in our own rendition of “Good Ol’ Fashion Christmas” from that show. It’s a catchy tune!

DAY SIX: What I want for Christmas:
I am super in love with these shoes. One can never own too many Sperry shoes if you ask me - and their women's dress line is really making headway.

My love for Glee is no joke. I also have a warped sense of my own voice and think I am a phenominal singer so this is perect for me!

Okay, so maybe this next gift is lame - but I really need a new vaccum. With two little boys and a rowdy little dauchsund I constantly feel like we are sweeping. The one we have now is loosing suction big time - so why not go for one that isn't supposed to lose suction?

I saw these boots at Dillards last Wednesday and I want them SO BADLY! I want them in every color they come in. I'm so glad that the fashion world has decided do create really cute boots without heels. Yes, I am short and should be wearing heels, but I am also clumsy and and find that fact to trump the other.
Oh, and because this girl cannot get enough shoes - I wouldn't mind finding these in my stocking as well! My husband and I watched a special on the creator of Toms 2+ years ago and ever since then I have wanted a pair. I'll be honest, they aren't exactly the cutest shoes in the world but the story and the message make it worth it. This print is fun and different - just the way I like my foot covers!
DAY SEVEN: Holiday Craft/DIY
I really don't have anything for this one. I am thinking about making some letters to put on the mantle. When both of the boys were born I bought wooden letters from HobLob and then slapped some scrapbook paper on them with some Modge Podge. In both cases they turned out super cute. I am having a really hard time deciding which word I want to do though. I have thought about our last name, HOHOHO, Celebrate or Rejoice. Any suggestions.
Okay, tomorrow's topic is LEAST favorite thing about the Holidays. Should be interesting to see what people come up with!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Blog Challege - Day 4

Day 4: Tips/Tricks to a Budget Friendly holiday season

I really don’t have much to add here – other than that I am very excited to see what everyone else has to say on the topic because this is an area where I need help! I only have a few tricks that I use…

1. With each paycheck I try to knock at least one gift off of my list starting in October. Now, if I was smart, I would just start a Chirstmas Club account and then I could take it all down at once. Let’s just plan on adding that to my New Years Resolution.

2. Start early. Okay, October is early for me. If I was really smart I would have started in July.

3. Look for deals on wrapping paper and bags. I am a big fan of Big Lots! for this stuff. Same goes for decorations. They have a ton of stuff. Last year I bought two wrapping packs that had four coordinating rolls of paper plus ribbons, bows and tags to match. This worked out great because I used one coordinating pack to wrap our gifts for my side of the family and the other pack for Chad’s. Made it much easier to identify who got what when we were loading up for our holiday travels.

4. I am a big fan of discount websites, especially when it comes to gifts for my little ones. Since my boys are too young to specifically request items, I have been able to find some really great things from babysteals.com or mamabargains.com. Some other great sites to consider are woot.com or steepandcheap.com for the older giftees on the list.

Okay, that’s all I got for this one. I’m excited to see what everyone else has to say though because clearly I need some more advice.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

12 Days of Christmas: Day 3

It's Day 3 over at Aly and Molly's 12 Days of Christmas Blog and today's topic is:
Most meaningful gift/best gift you've received
The most memorable gifts I have recieved?
As I read through other blogs I have seen a ton of favorite gifts that I had in common with other bloggers. Here are a few additoinal gifts that I received that I LOVE(D).

My senior year in high school my folks got me one of these badboys. I quickly adorned it with a KU faceplate. Remember when phones were only good for making calls and playing Snake? My, how times have changed

My sister is the BEST gift giver in the world. I still can't believe she actually bought me this!

The following year I tried to keep up and bought her a North Face jacket and felt like I had done so well - until I opened these! She won again.

I gave up on trying to surpass my sister in the gift giving department.

I should tell you now that Chad is NOT a romantic gift giver - he is more of a practical gift giver or picks up on the one random thing that you say you would like to have and that is what you get (why hello Crest White Strips!) so you can imagine my surprise when my Christmas present last year came in this box...

The contents of that box brought tears to my eyes because it was proof that I had finally reached my ultimate goal in life. Though I am sure if you ask Chad - he would just say that he knew it would shut me up!

Have a happy Thanksgiving y'all! Can't wait to tell you all about my favorite Holiday TV Special on Friday. It's a good'en

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 2: Black Friday/General Shopping Tips & Tricks

It's Day 2 Over at Aly & Molly's 12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge. Hop on over and take a look at what all the awesome posters have to say!

Day 2: Black Friday/General Shopping Tips & Tricks

I must tell you – I am NOT a Black Friday shopper. I would not be caught dead at Toys R Us or Target at 4am throwing ‘bows to get to the last plasma TV. That just isn’t my style – oh, and I FREAKING HATE CROWDS. I am, however, a big fan of cyber Monday. More and more online stores are offering free shipping so I figure – why not? I can usually knock out at least half of my Christmas shopping on that day. So many stores are also offering up great deals on Cyber Monday so it is really a win/win for both my sanity and my pocket book.

Now, don’t get me wrong, if the Gap or Gymboree was having a 90% off Doorbuster at 2am I would be there, but until that happens – I’ll be sleeping while the masses are sweating their way through the stores. Bless your hearts!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Oh Christmas Card - Oh Christmas Card

Oh, the dreaded Christmas card. I have always been horrible about sending them out. Last year I was bound and determined to send one out since it was Hunter’s first Christmas. Never happened. I felt like I never got the ‘perfect picture’ of him to put on a card and I was up to my eyeballs in morning sickness so napping seemed more enjoyable than addressing envelopes. So here it is – a year later – and Hunter is now a big brother and I am bound and determined to get a card out to the masses donning the two most adorable boys this side of the Mason Dixon or the Mississippi or the Rockies or, to be honest – IN. THE. WORLD!

So, I set out to find the perfect Christmas card. I started with the usual big box suspects. Their backgrounds were boring, nothing unique and exciting. Nothing worth writing home about and certainly nothing worthy of displaying the beauty that is my children. (What? You’re tired of hearing how beautiful my babies are? Um, have you seen them?)

Enter Shutterfly. Ohmagoodness-they have some cute cards. Narrowing it down is not going to be easy. Then I found out about this offer and it was as though the stars aligned and bells started ringing and now, my friends, my little ol’ blog about little ol’ me and little ol’ Chad and the WORLD’s CUTEST BABIES is actually going to pay off with some great Holiday cards.

Their photo Christmas cards are adorable and the selection… man-oh-man I’m in photo card heaven. I’m sure you can tell by my ever changing blog header that I’m into the multi picture goodness and Shutterfly has tons of options that are just up my alley. You can check them all out here.

You will have to stay tuned to hear how our Christmas Card saga of 2010 turns out!

12 Days of Christmas - Day 1: Traditions

Aly & Molly's 12 Days of Christmas Blog Challege is upon us. I love this time of year so I am very excited to participate.

Day 1: Christmas/Holiday traditions

We have a few holiday traditions in out family so I will stick to what is probably my favorite one: Holiday Baking & Cookie Exchange

Of all Holiday traditions this is probably the newest one as well. For the last three years all of the ‘Land’ women gather together for a day of goodie baking as well as a cookie exchange. We kick off our day with a great breakfast and then get down to the business at hand. We chat and laugh and get stressed and have fun! I’m especially excited because this will be the first year that we are doing it where I will not be pregnant. Two of the years I was in the throws of morning sickness-and neither time had we yet ‘announced’ our pregnancy so I had to suffer in silence. This year there will be mass mimosas of celebration.

I think my favorite part about this tradition is just the togetherness of our family. Our family has always been fairly close and we ‘cousins’ are close enough to each other in age that we’ve been friends as well but as the older generation has bonded more strongly over the past few years so has our generation. Several of my cousins’ families as well as my sister’s family live in the same town and see each other regularly. We all have young families and sometimes the women don’t get to see nearly as much of each other as the men do so it’s nice to have this time together. When we see each other at Holidays now it’s hard to catch up when you’re chasing toddlers and nursing new ones. (There are seven cousins and between our families we went from having one 3rd generation member in January 2008 and by January 2011 – there will be NINE!)

Two years ago my aunt made a “toast” as we wrapped up our baking to the fact that her mother (my grandmother, who passed away when I was 11) would be so happy to see all of us Land women taking this time together to build such a wonderful tradition.

I know this post is getting long but I also want to mention a tradition that was my FAVORITE growing up as a child that has had to cease amidst the ‘Sharing Holidays’ that comes with being in a relationship.

There was nothing more special to me than sitting on the couch with my dad and my sister on Christmas Eve while my dad would read us the story of Jesus’ birth from the Book of Luke and then would read “The Night Before Christmas” from the same book that his dad had read to him. The book is tattered and very few of the pages are still connected. The Santa on the front has on a felt coat that has been worn down by the 60 years of rubbing.

The first year that I missed Chirstmas Eve with my parents, my sister and my dad called me so I could listen to him read it. I sobbed. One of the hardest parts about giving up this tradition is knowing how much it meant to my dad. Sure, Jen and I loved it, but it was so evident that my dad loved it – even when we were in our twenties and would still cuddle up next to him like little kids to let him read to us – still his little girls.

We now do Christmas Eve with my inlaws – which I LOVE. The tradition there is wonderful as well and it works wonderfully for celebrating the holiday, but I will always miss those Christmas Eves with Jen and Dad and little baby Jesus and the ancient Santa.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Catching Up!

It has been forever since I’ve blogged. I failed miserably at Katie’s 30 Day Challenge. But, I feel compelled to put something out there! So, here is my life – in bullets.

· Work has been crazy busy. I really really enjoy my job and I’m knee deep in the meat and potatoes of it right now.

· The Bodester had his 4 month Well Child Check last week. The big man weighs in at a staggering 16 lbs 10 oz and is 27 inches tall. He is such a sweet baby and loves to smile and talk. He’s finally getting to that age where Chad isn’t terrified of him.

· The Hunt Dog gets funnier and funnier every freakin’ day. Tomorrow he will be attending his first KU football game with Daddy. They have been practicing their “Touchdown” and “Go Jayhawks!” cheers. Adorable!

· Chad is still Chad. Up to his elbows in concrete (or so he would have me believe). Of course it is hunting season so I am doing my time as a Hunter’s Widow here and there. He has been kind enough to narrow it down to once or twice a weekend and thus far has only made one weekend trip out west. I really wish he would get a deer so that I wouldn’t have to hear about this through rifle season as well.

· I am SUPER excited for this weekend because two of my besties and I are having a Goose Reunion! When we were in college we lived at this bar called The Goose Too (aka, The Deuce or G2). Seriously, we were there 3 nights a week. One of those nights was our Wasted Wednesdays (aka GIRLS NIGHT). I don’t want to even imagine how much money I put into that place. So many awesome memories there though. Chad and I even made a cameo there the night we got engaged to celebrate with our bar-going cohorts! Anywho - the bar changed owners and then changed names (and then changed names again). Our crazy group of gals grew up –got married-started families and our days at the G2 went by the wayside. So – fast forward to a few weeks ago when I see a new sign in front of the bar. The new name? “THE GOOSE AGAIN”. So many of our original gang have moved on to bigger and better things – but the three of us that still call this town home will be reliving our younger years with a trip to the Goose – Again! SO.STINKIN.EXCITED!

· Next week is Thanksgiving which I am super excited about. It’s probably my favorite holiday because I love getting to spend that time with my family. It’s always fun to see all of the babies too since our families 4th generation (3rd living) has grown from one kid to eight in the last three years (#9 will be here by Christmas). For some families that may not seem like a lot but or family if fairly small – only 8 cousins (of which at least one (or one’s wife) has been pregnant at any given moment since Fall 2007). So, it’s freakin’ Romper Room when we get together. Can’t wait!

So, there is your super long and unnecessary update. Monday I’ll be starting Aly and Molly’s 12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge – so you’ll be hearing from me a little more regularly. Fingers crossed I actually finish this one!