Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Kick Off...

This past weekend we packed up the kids, the dog, the food, and the gifts.... and headed to Eric's dad's house for a family Christmas! Normally we do this family's Christmas on the 23rd, but with a slew of little ones running around and several other events to attend, we all agreed to move our tradition to the weekend before Christmas. 

My absolute favorite part of Christmas with Eric's dad is all the kids. I just love my nieces & nephews... and up until December 11th they were all on this side of the family. I love watching Ella & Livy live it up with them! 

Friday night was very low key, as was Saturday morning, but once everyone woke up from naps Saturday afternoon it was present time! 

Livy loves the concept of opening gifts, but still needs a lot of support. Ella, on the other hand, does not. She is a present opening machine! 

This year my mother - in - law did each of the kids gifts in a different wrapping paper. Their stocking had a swatch of that wrapping paper & we spread the gifts out all over the living room. The kids loved their "present hunt" and it was super fun! 

My nephew Finn got these trucks from PB Kids & they are SO nice! I couldn't believe what high quality they were when he opened them! Just a random plug because I was really impressed. 

Ella's big gift was her Bitty Baby doll! She has played & played with her since we've been home. Of course she's named Madigan after my sister's new baby :) 

Another big hit was her Little Red Riding Hood Cape & the wolf hat to go along with it! We've been playing this game nonstop this week. 

And of course, her new Elena backback...

Once the kids were done opening presents, it was the parents' turn! My mother in law always does little riddles & sends us on a hunt to find our gifts (she's a kindergarten teacher if you couldn't tell). Here we are ready to go find our gifts!

A little blurry lol, but at that point I felt a little blurry so it's fitting. And then we took a family photo with our sweet girls! 

 I hope you all have a very, merry Christmas! 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday Ramblings...

To all of you teachers out there who are on Christmas Break as of this afternoon, I'm happy for you. For the rest of us who have another week left to teach, I'm praying for you. 

Image result for teachers before christmas break

This weekend we're headed to my in-laws for our first Christmas celebration of the year. I absolutely love this celebration because it's the side of the family that has ALL the kids! Ella is the oldest at 4, then we have a 3 year old, 2 year old, 18 month old (that's Livy) and a 12 month old. They're a crazy crew & I just love it! This is the whole crew at Christmas last year! 

We experienced our first serious snow storm of the year yesterday & it officially looks like Christmas now too. This is the view from my classroom window...

All of that snow didn't result in a snow day yesterday, but it did result in a two hour drive to work and early dismissal from school. That meant I was able to cozy up at home - and by cozy up I mean I cooked dinner, did dishes, did laundry, gave baths, and packed suitcases. Seriously, I don't know how it all wouldn't gotten done if I'd had practice last night. So right now, I'm thankful for all of that snow! 

Have a Wonderful Weekend! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Stranded - Christmas Edition

Stranded With

So today I'm linking up with Shay & Erika to discuss a subject near & dear to me - Christmas movies! I like to consider myself an aficionado in the Christmas movie department, so choosing just three was difficult. However, there are some that I just couldn't live without, so that made choosing my top 3 manageable. 

1 - Elf 

Image result for elf

I have no words for how much I love this movie. It's my favorite & everyone knows it. I've already watched it 5 times & I have no shame. Pure holiday genius. 

2 - The Santa Clause

Image result for the santa clause

This movie is a total throwback to my childhood & my love for Home Improvement. Tim Allen always makes me chuckle with his corny jokes & it's a movie that I feel comfortable letting Ella watch with me every step of the way. 

3 - The Holiday 

Image result for the holiday

The Holiday is my chick flick of choice at Christmas. I absolutely love Cameron Diaz & Kate Winslet together, and who knew that Jack Black was so adorable? Oh, and that lovely little cottage. I just love it all. 
Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Life Lately

So technically, if I was going to pick up where I left off with Life Lately, I'd have to go all the way back to Halloween. But since none of us have that kind of time on our hands, I'm going to stick with the last week or so :)

We kicked off the month of December with lots of holiday decorating! I love a festive house, so we got busy! We even helped at my parents & Ella helped at Eric's mom's house too. #allthetwinklelights

We aren't doing full year dance this year, because she has been very busy with Pre-K. But we decided to enroll in a very special Frozen dance class for the month of December. Ella is obviously loving it & we get to attend a performance on Wednesday! 

Sprinkles, our Elf, has made a triumphant return to our house this month! She's been kind of boring most days, but the other morning she left sugar cookies for Ella to decorate. That was a huge hit! 

I was able to sneak away with my besties to go on a wine tour the other weekend & it was a huge blast! We toured Cayuga Lake & each winery had an ornament for you when you arrived. I drank too much, ate too much, and laughed too much. It was a great day! 

While I was on the wine tour, the girls were in Hornell with Eric's mom. They went to a Polar Express party, a Christmas party, and then visited the big man himself! Ella was over the moon, Livy was horrified. 

We thought that Livy might just have been out of her element though and that if we were with her she'd be fine, so we headed to the mall on Saturday to try again. 

Nope, still not having it. But she looked adorable in the process. 

Ella thought that the red kettles were the best thing ever & now wants to be a bell ringer. I'll have to sign us up for next year, though I'm sure she wouldn't last for more than 5 minutes. 

And the biggest news of all has been the early arrival of my niece! Miss Madigan James surprised us all on Sunday morning! We're all praying that she'll be able to come home tonight & that my sister can settle in to her role as mommy.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Our 2016 Christmas Card with Tiny Prints

It's my favorite time of year - Christmas! I absolutely love the holiday season & even though I'm working right up until the 23rd this year, I'm doing my best to savor every twinkly light & glittery ornament! 

If you know me at all, you know I start thinking about Christmas in October. It's just who I am. And one of the first things I check off my list, Christmas cards!

I love to browse design options & play around a bit before I make any decisions. I typically desing 3 cards then let Eric pick which one he likes best. This year, this is the option he chose... 

Our card is from Tiny Prints & is part of their letterpress collection. I am so impressed by the quality of the card. It's printed on thick cardstock that I don't have to worry about getting bent in the mail. The quality of the printing is exceptional as well! And this might sound crazy, but I actually think I love the envelopes the most! They're so bold & really make a statement when you open the card! If you get a ton of cards like we do, I think it's important to stand out :) 

This year we opted to have individual photos of the girls & little blurbs about their personality. I love how it turned out & think I'll do this every year. I don't have it in me to write an entire Christmas letter or poem, but I think this is a perfect little timestamp on who they are each year. 

There's still plenty of time to order your cards, so be sure to check out Tiny Prints for an incredible selection! And if you're really running behind, they have New Year's cards too :) 

Happy Holidays!

*Today's post was sponsored by Tiny Prints. I recieved my cards for free in exchange for my review. However, Tiny Prints is a brand that I trust & use on my own. All opinions presented in this review are my own.*
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