Friday, December 28, 2012

All I Want for Christmas Is...

I have turned into that woman that asks for appliances for holidays.  Yes, I know, very sad.  An oven, stovetop, a new mixer paddle, even a new "Welcome" door mat topped my list this year.  Was there anything on the list only for me though?  No, not really.  This annoyed my husband greatly.

One reason it annoyed him was that it made it very hard to shop for me.  He kept on asking, "What do you want for YOU?  Not for the house, not for the benefit of others, but something selfish that only you will find enjoyment in."  Well, here are some hurdles I'm running in to making this "selfish" list:

1.  I am pregnant.  Not just a little pregnant, but big round belly, swollen feet pregnant.  So there is no point in clothes shopping until the baby is born, and quite a few months after.  Even shoes are iffy because of swollen feet and feet becoming bigger during pregnancy.

2.  I love home improvements.  I love new curtains, rugs, couches.  I could spend hours at a furniture store dreaming up my perfect sectional or kitchen table.  I have fantasized about new tile in the bathroom, re-finishing our hardwood floors, and have already picked out new countertops for our kitchen, even though we have no plans in replacing them soon.  The problem with this one is that these are "house" things, not "me" things.  Everyone would use these, and eventually our two children (almost three children) will destroy them. Why buy a really nice couch/rug/kitchen table when there will be permanent marker/grape juice/food spilled and staining our expensive things?  I guess practicality steps in here and tells me to hold off on these purchases until the children move out and only visit on holidays.

3.  What are my hobbies??  I'm having a hard time pinning them down.  They don't include massages or days at the spa, which would be very convenient for Greg.  I've always been a little jealous that Greg has had a string of hobbies that he has really enjoyed.

**Side Story: He had a motorcycle, that he could only ride...let me rephrase...a motorcycle that he WOULD ONLY ride (not too fond of riding), he has a Jeep that he is fixing up, he loves to read endlessly, and now his new hobby is RC Helicopters.  It started out with a cheap helicopter last Christmas from the mall, and his collection has slowly grown to cover some of our bookshelves with increasingly expensive helicopters.  Do I mind?  No way.  It's something that he enjoys, and he pays for them with money that he has saved or bonuses.  He has even included Nolan in this hobby.  I'll admit it's pretty darn cute to watch a father and son flying helicopters in the backyard.

Back to my hobbies:  I love to bake, but Lord knows if I ate everything I baked, I would weigh 800 lbs.  So, most of these baked goods leave my house for other people's kitchens to enjoy.  I love to crochet, but it's no fun to just make things for yourself.  Hats, blankets, and stuffed animals leave my house to go to other children or friends.  I love to read, but lack of time and accidentally falling asleep at 8 pm has put a hindrance on that hobby.

So, Greg was left to the task of being creative and getting me things that I didn't even know I wanted.  I think he did a fairly good job.
1.  Keyless Remote Entry for my car.  I have missed having a clicker for my car for almost a year now.  It's something that you don't really think about until you don't have it at your fingertips.  It will make getting all the kids into the car much easier and manageable.
2.  Hot Booties:  Yes, you read that correctly.  The kids actually picked this out for me (with some help from Greg).  They are house shoes that you warm up in the microwave and they stay hot on your cold feet.  I have perpetually cold feet, and Greg would never be caught in them, so this is only for me.
3.  Nail polish.  This one might sound silly, but I have been on the hunt for nail polish that won't come off after doing dishes one time, or folding laundry.  Sadly, $2 nail polish from Target never stayed on more than 30 minutes before chipping and peeling.  Greg picked up the quest for me and went to Ulta and got me some pretty cool nail polish with basecoat and topcoat included.  It's held up pretty well and I can say that it will last through washing dishes and laundry.  (Butter London if you are wondering).

I'm hoping that you got some "YOU" items this holiday season that you don't have to share and wishing you a belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  

Saturday, December 15, 2012

BEST Anniversary Present EVER!

7 years
2.5 children (our third child will be born in March)
2 apartments
2 houses
2 mission trips to Germany
Good times outweighing the bad times

That's what has been going on for the past seven years in my marriage.  This is actually just the tip of the iceberg, but as you know, things get blurry the more kids you have and the longer you've been together. 

For the past six anniversaries we have tried to get thoughtful gifts for each other, but sometimes it's hard to think of something very thoughtful that has wrapped up your year in marriage.  But this year Greg out-did himself.  I, on the other hand could have probably done better; but we'll get to that later. 

His idea for my gift actually came to him 6 months ago while in Germany.  While on a mission trip there, we visited the city of Koln.  In the city there is a bridge that crosses the Rhein River.  All over the fence of part of the bridge were locks.  They explained that you take a lock, get it engraved with your significant other/spouse/etc., lock it on the bridge and then throw the key in to the Rhein River to signify your eternal love. 

I thought it was the coolest idea and had a great time taking pictures of these locks, looking for really original locks or seeing how old some of the locks were. 

So, as an anniversary gift this year, Greg got me a lock engraved with our names and will lock it on the bridge for us when he returns this summer.  I will sadly not be able to go as I will be with a newborn.  He also got a collage frame of all the lock pictures we captured this summer plus a picture of our lock.  It was a lucky bonus that the lock is copper-colored and our "traditional" gift for each other is copper. 

I was absolutely blown away by his thoughtfulness and the meaning that it carries.  I don't want this to be bragging, but it will be nice on days where I am frustated with situations that I can look back and read about something special that he did for me.  The pictures below are of the bridge and all of the locks. 

Picture of the locks on the bridge

 An awesome owl lock that I found
More locks on the bridge.  I wonder where Greg will put ours :)

Now, on to my present.  Our traditional gifts were wool and copper this year, like I mentioned earlier.  I got him a wool pull-over sweater for the winter.  Epic fail compared to his gift.  He has set the bar pretty high for next year...maybe I'll get him that helicopter that he's been eyeing for Christmas  :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

25 Days of Christmas

I don't know what it is about Christmas time, but you try to cram as much stuff in one short month as possible.  And every year you try to out-do last year, deeming this year "The Best Christmas Ever!"  I think that's what every parent loves to hear to come out of their children's mouth.  So, this year instead of leaving one million things to the last minute I tried to give our family some breathing room and just do one little thing every day.  The list below is 25 Days til Christmas.  You definitely don't have to do it in any specific order, and I even added a few things on the end if you are over-achievers :) 
25 Days to Christmas

1.    Go cut down a Christmas Tree

2.   Decorate Christmas Tree

3.    Look at Christmas Lights

4.   Read “Gingerbread Baby” and make gingerbread men/gingerbread house

5.   Hang Christmas lights

6.   Write letters to Santa

7.   Give a “secret” gift to someone

8.   Make homemade ornaments and hang on tree

9.   Go buy special Hallmark ornaments and hang on tree

10.Volunteer together (fill food bags at church-Dec. 3-5)

11.Make a birthday cake for Jesus and read the Bible story

12.Watch The Grinch and drink hot cocoa

13.  Make a fire and roast marshmallows

14.  Go to Christmas in the Park (free). 

15.  Read Frosty the Snowman and watch the movie

16.  Make Reindeer mix to feed to the reindeer

17.  Buy Christmas presents for others/some one special

18.  Watch Polar Express and drink hot cocoa

19.  Make snowflakes out of paper and hang around the house

20.  String popcorn and hang outside for the birds

21.  Visit Santa Claus

22.  Take Christmas pictures with the family

23.Make sugar cookies for Santa

24.Open one gift on Christmas Eve


**More things geared to grown-ups

·        Watch Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story, Elf

·        Outside fire pit or bonfire

·        Bundle up and take a lot of blankets and hot cocoa and lay outside and look at the stars

·        Go to a Christmas Craft Show or boutique and look around

·        Spend the day with loved ones, go get coffee somewhere and catch up!

·        Invite someone over for dinner that you don’t usually have over

·        Go caroling with church or friends

·        Go ice skating

·        Go to Mt. Aggie

·        Have a Cookie Exchange

·        Have a cookie/gingerbread house making party
My 5 year old Nolan was super excited to see this on the fridge.  He loves "projects" and to see a huge list just made his eyes light up.  It doesn't hurt that he loves Christmas time either. 

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!