Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Holiday Ramdoms

Hello friends!  Happy Christmas Week!  I am finally free of (most of) my obligations, and ready to just kick back, relax, and enjoy this week with my family.  Since last week was absolutely crazy, and I am just getting my bearings back, I'll share some of the randomness running through my head lately:

-My sweet baby Gracie had her darling little preschool Christmas program on Tuesday.  They do two programs, one during the day and one at night, so the crowds are split and the nighttime program isn't so crazy busy as it was in years past.  Scott and my in laws went to the morning program, and I went with my mom to the night program (you can only go to one, can't see both, which I would totally do if I could). It was so precious, of course.  Gracie sang and did the sweet hand motions, but only through about half of it.  She took her time getting warmed up and acclimated through the crowd, but joined in for a festive rendition of Jingle Bells, with actual bells that they passionately shook, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas, which has been on repeat since the shows. :) I was just proud that she didn't hold her arms in front of her face like she does sometimes!  The program was so precious, of course, and I cried the whole time in the back, like so many of the other mommies!  What is it about sweet, innocent babies singing Christmas carols?  Just the best thing in the world.

-Can I just tell you that I have not been to the mall once this Christmas season?!  Except for a few random gifts I've grabbed from Wal Mart or Target, when I was there to get something else, I have done all my Christmas shopping online.  And it has been glorious.  Don't get me wrong, I actually do like going to the mall or doing some sort of shopping in person during the holiday season.  But I don't like the pressure, the crowds (especially with kids in tow!), the parking, etc.  But I like basking in the joy of the season, and being as nice as I possibly can to the sales clerks slaving away at their retail jobs (I did it for about 15 years, and you'll be surprised at how much a genuine smile and "Merry Christmas" will do a retail worker!).  But the going down my list and purchasing things for my family?  I did it all in the comfort of my jammies on my sofa on my computer.  Amazon Prime is a God-send, and I got most of my gifts from there!  I didn't pay shipping for a single thing, and I was pleased with everything I got.  All that being said, I am piling the kids in the car today to run finish stockings and buy one more thing for Scott.  Now, if we don't leave the store with a single thing, that's totally fine, this is really just all bonus to add a few fun things to what we already have.  But just maybe, with the help of a few bags of M&M's for my little shopping heathens, we can come home with a few extra Christmas goodies. :)

-I am also pretty excited about doing a little bit of Christmas baking today and tomorrow!  I think that the girls will probably follow my directions pretty well, but Ben may be a challenge. :)  I am planning on making good old fashioned sugar cookies with cookie cutters, sprinkles (or sparkles, as Grayson says :)), and some candies, those yummy and easy chocolate and pretzel candy (layer a Hershey's kiss or a Rolo on top of a mini pretzel, bake for a few minutes to soften the chocolate, then top with an M&M- easy and delish!), and maybe a few others, just for a good variety.  I made the Christmas Magic Cookie Bars pictured above a few weeks ago for my Cookie Swap Playdate, and I may just have to make another batch of those too!  You can find the recipe here, if you feel so inclined to whip some up yourself.  Do you make Christmas cookies and/or candies?  What are your favorites??


-In addition to Grayson's program last week, we also had Gingerbread House building day at school for Brantley, then Polar Express day, where they got to wear pajamas, which she loved.  Grayson had her class party, then Brantley had her last day of school, and Noodles our elf helped make her the cutest gingerbread cookie Christmas tree!  It was actually a really cute Wilton kit that I bought from Wal Mart.  For about $9 you got all the gingerbread cookies cut out, the frosting, sugar and candies to decorate with, and you just assemble it, frost it and decorate it.  It was easy to do, but took almost 2 hours to finish!  But it turned out cute, and Brantley said her classmates loved it.  So, worth it. :)

-Friday night, Scott and I were able to break away for an evening for a nice little date night/Christmas outing, and we had such a great time!  We went out with Scott's business partner and his wife, as a little Christmas party for their two-man company, and to celebrate the great year they've had!  We ate dinner at Livingston at the Georgian Terrace Hotel in Atlanta, and then we skipped across the street for a performance of The Nutcracker by the Atlanta Ballet at the Fox Theater!  It was so much fun, and I had not been to the Fox in such a long time.  We really enjoyed ourselves, especially since we don't get out very often!

-After we got home from our fun night out, I finished up the last of my Goat & Lulu orders of the season!!!!!!  I finished a full  days earlier then last year, and with considerably less stress (even though I stayed up all night sewing so I could be all done!).  Some of the Goat & Lulu Holiday Numbers:

-about 220 yards of elastic used
- 7 hours, on average, I would stay up sewing after the kids went to bed (normal bedtime between Thanksgiving and Christmas was between 2 and 3 am)
- Over 200 pairs of Christmas pajamas made
- 320 Holiday Orders
-28,000 Etsy Shop Views

A huge, HUGE thank you to all my wonderful customers, friends, and family, for making this holiday season a very successful one, while still being able to enjoy it!  And though I really and truly do love making pajamas and sweet Christmas outfits for your little ones, I am SO HAPPY to be done and have a little bit of free time in the evenings!!



After our fun Friday night (and my marathon sewing night), we packed up the Tahoe and headed to Aiken for Christmas with Scott's side of the family!  All siblings and cousins,  in all, got together, and we had a great time.  The kids played so sweetly together, and the adults had fun spending quality time together too.  Since we didn't get there until lunchtime on Saturday, we ended up spending Sunday night too, which was so nice.  We pulled a jammie day on Sunday, and literally all the girls stayed in jammies all day, and i t was so great!!  We sat around, watched Christmas movies, napped, and just rested.  It was so nice and nice for the kids to have some one on one time with Nana and Pop.  Another wonderful family Christmas on the books!  And we're done with holiday travel for the year!

And that's all I've got for today!

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