Festival of Trees 2014

9:44 PM
Lot of family outing during the holidays for us!
We kicked it off the day after Thanksgiving doing a few our favorite things!
First, the Festival of Trees!

Outside they had these amazing window displays! Ive been seeing alot of these lately! & would love for these to come back & be popular!

kensley was completely over the day & wanted a nap!

break for ice cream

 We ended with our first Fantasy of Lights trip of the season!
Perfect way to kick off the holidays!!

Stocking Stuffers for your Princesses!

11:59 AM
We like to keep it pretty simple with our stuffers. Even thought there is always alot of them.
We normally put things they "need" in them & they still love it! & try to stay away from candy!

1. GAP socks//2.LUSH Christmas bath bombs//3.Crayola Markers//4.Tomme Tippee sippy cups//5. California Baby Bubble Bath//6. Disney Little People

& some things I'd love in MY stocking!

1.Starbucks gift card//2. Tory Burch Studs//3.Anthro mug in GOLD//4. A&A Disney bangle//5. Lilly Pulitzer phone charger//6.Naked Pallete//7.EOS lip balm//8. Essie nail polish

Day 2: Black Friday Tips & Tricks

7:00 AM

The Every Things - 12 Days of Christmas

No real tricks here!

I love the black friday app! It lets me see alllll the ads way before time.

Which brings me to my number one. & that is to have plan.
Figure out what you want, & want the most so you can go to those places first.
If you can bring more people do so! One year my whole family, & in-laws go very into it. Everyone had lists & where they needed to be! We got everything that we wanted.

Next is your essentials. I am in the midwest. Its COLD!
1. Starbucks.
I mean, do you need to know why?

2. Hand Warmers,
I get these babies in the dollar bin.
Keep them on hand. & in your hands & socks!
3. Patience
You are going to need lots of this.
I am not mean by any means. BUT if you think you are going to cut in front of me after I spent 3 hours outside freezing & you just hopped out of your heated car, trying to jump in line as they let in. You have got another thing coming
Mommas be throwin bows. 
which bring me to my next:

4. Holiday Spirit
Listen help someone out!
I've given up a product, handed someone something that couldn't grab what they wanted & even help another struggle to get hot wheels car into their cart!
Remember this is the holidays! :)

5. Bring snacks!
I always get hungry waiting in line or between trips!
Luckily most Mcdonalds are open 24 hrs so I end up getting a sausage mcmuffin on the way home!

6. Bathrooms
Know where you bathrooms are! haha 

Do you shop black friday?
What are your tips, if yes?

Day 1: Christmas/Holiday traditions
Day 2: Black Friday/General Shopping Tips & Tricks
Day 3: Most meaningful gift/best gift you've received
Day 4: Tips/Tricks to a Budget Friendly holiday season
Day 5: Favorite Holiday Movie/TV Show Special
Day 6: Gift ideas (what do YOU want?)
Day 7: Do you have elf? If no why? If yes, whats his name? Share some photos 
Day 8: Least favorite thing about the Holidays
Day 9: Favorite Holiday recipe
Day 10: Favorite Christmas Songs/Caroles
Day 11: New Year Resolutions
Day 12: Show us your decorations (indoor/outdoor)
Day 13: Favorite Cookie Recipe
Day 14: Holiday Craft/DIY (If you don't make anything, what do you WISH you could make?)

Day 1 Holiday Traditions: 12 days of Christmas {link up}

6:53 PM
The Every Things - 12 Days of Christmas

I hope you all join in on this fun link up!
Here's how it works each day there is a new writing prompt. 
You write a post, come here & link up!
Simple, & fun! It really gets your writing everyday & helps find other blogs & them find you!

Make sure you add the code below the image above to link back to this blog so others can link up & see the posts by others!

If youre posting from Facebook, tag me in your Facebook post so I can see!
You can tag by "liking" my page then typing @ the every things. #THT12daysofchristmas :)

Ok let's get this started!
Today is is the first day & the topic is Christmas/Holiday Traditions!

We are slowly building our own traditions!

1.Our number one thing that we always do since Brandon & I were dating is to go & cut down our own tree! We normally go to the same place every year but it now closed so we are on the hunt for a new place!
We have a pictures for almost every year!
Last year:

2. Of course we started the elf on the shelf this past year & I know that will be around awhile!
More on him in a few days!

As well as our welcome breakfast! You can see more of those pics HERE

3. We also drive every year thru a park that has up light displays.
We bring cookies & hot chocolate, listening to Christmas music as we drive slowly looking at the displays!

& thats about it for our small family! I can't wait to add to our list!

Do we share any of the same traditions?
Make sure you link up below with your post!
 I cant wait to see what you do every year!

Day 1: Christmas/Holiday traditions
Day 2: Black Friday/General Shopping Tips & Tricks
Day 3: Most meaningful gift/best gift you've received
Day 4: Tips/Tricks to a Budget Friendly holiday season
Day 5: Favorite Holiday Movie/TV Show Special
Day 6: Gift ideas (what do YOU want?)
Day 7: Do you have elf? If no why? If yes, whats his name? Share some photos 
Day 8: Least favorite thing about the Holidays
Day 9: Favorite Holiday recipe
Day 10: Favorite Christmas Songs/Caroles
Day 11: New Year Resolutions
Day 12: Show us your decorations (indoor/outdoor)
Day 13: Favorite Cookie Recipe
Day 14: Holiday Craft/DIY (If you don't make anything, what do you WISH you could make?)

I wonder. A kind of letter to my biological father.

12:51 AM
I recently found my ancient old Ipod.
So ancient there wasn't even a touch screen.
 Yeah that existed.
Anyway, I am looking thru the thousands & thousands of songs.
Music is/was my love language.
& while most of my music is just Doc Mcstuffins CDs & Mickey Mouse Clubhouse now.
 It used to help me through so much in my life.
If you were going through something, I had a song for it. & by the end of that song, it would make me/you feel better.

So tonight after date night tonight. Dang near midnight. I decided to go through my old playlists I found a old song I used to love/hate.
It was by Kelli Pickler & it's called "I wonder". The song is actually about her mother, but I related to it at the time, about my biological father.

Let me cut in here & say I have the most amazing father/dad/daddy.
We might not always see eye to eye & share genes but He has raised me & is the person I proudly call dad.
 The person I am about to talk about was not, has never ben my dad.
 He was simply a man that helped give me life, & haunts alot of my life to this day.
I don't for one minute wish I didn't have my dad, & had my biological father in my life today.

Ok so going back to this song. If you haven't heard it you can listen here.
Some snippits of the songs go kind of like this:

"Sometimes I think about you
Wonder if you're out there somewhere thinking 'bout me
And would you even recognize
The woman that your little girl has grown up to be

'Cause I look in the mirror and all I see
Are your brown eyes looking back at me
They're the only thing you ever gave to me at all"

 It goes on to say I wonder what you would say to me.

I dreamnt of that day alot.

 I had this distorted dream that this man would come me & apolgoize & thank my father for raising the person I am today. Tell me he was sorry the times he missed out on my life. For the things he had done. That he had made a huge mistake.

& I thought finally that day came a couple years ago.
The first time I had, had communication with him out side of letters I had received from while he was in prison at 7 years old.
I got a message on Facebook. & my heart sunk when I saw his name, the man that hurt me physically & emotionally had sent me a message. .

I thought this is it.

This was the message that would maybe give me closure?
& I wondered did I even need closure?
What did I need closure for?
My mind wouldn't stop.
 I finally clicked the message.
 & that message was anything but. It was a harassing message about wanting money.

I couldn't believe it.
Or really I could.
I cried & cried.
THIS was the man I knew.
This man in my dreams, never existed.
There NEVER was the man that cared about me, my life, the way I turned out.
THIS was him.

I never messaged him back, & now I can't since that man is now dead.

If I could message him back, I would tell him:
That yes, I wondered; just like that song said.
That there was times I wondered what it would be like to have him in my life.

But now, I don't know why I did at all.
Why I cared what this man thought about the life I now lead.
If he would he would be proud.
 When that man had never cared about my life in the first place.

 I wish I would have told him exactly what I felt about about him before he left this earth.
& what he did to me.

Because it was the best thing he had ever did for me.

 Because now, I can see he didn't ruin my life.

 I now know what a father is. I know from my own father & because of my husband.

So when I stood in that courtroom at his murder trial.
Up to testify.
Subpoenaed to not only bring up my old memories of my short time in his life, but to see my mother talk about this horrific time in her life.
Pregnant, with a very high risk pregnancy.
 I sat there still looking out into courtroom; begging for that family to see how I turned out.
Show them that I was given this amazing life.
LOOK AT ME. I wanted to scream.

But I was reciprocated with evil instead.
Again Hoping for that closure that I didn't even know I needed until that day, in that room.

& I didn't get it.
I didn't know what I wanted
. What I thought I needed from this man & his family.
 & what I thought I was missing after his death.
 Why I was mix with emotions about said death.
I just kept wondering, what I needed & why this was happening to me again.

But now, now on this fall night; I know what I needed.
Years later, I sit here in my living room.
With my amazing husband, that is a beyond amazing father.
 In my home, rebuilt by my father.
 The man that help make me to be the parent/person/woman I am.
& I am Listening to this song, crying as I did with my "brown eyes".
 & I realize.
 I never had to wonder.
 I do not need closure.
& really the only thing I am feeling is:
I am grateful.
 Because he was the way he was,  it gave me this beautiful,wonderful, amazing life I have now. & that I am sad for HIM & his family for that they missed out on, & continue to.
Not sorry for myself.
There is nothing left to wonder.

& now, now I know exactly how I feel, I feel exactly he felt for  me...
 & that's nothing.

& it feels so good to say that.
So so good to say that.

Me & My dad the person that deserves that title & I:

Hot Chocolate Pancakes

7:12 PM

This is such a fun take on a pancake!
Especially during the holidays & when it is cold!
Or maybe for your elf's welcome breakfast?
I ran out of chocolate chips for pancakes for dinner & the girls were not happy!
All I had chocolate was hot chocolate mix so I thought what the heck!

What you need:

-Pancake Mix
-Hot Chocolate mix
-Marshmallows {optional}

Mix in the hot chocolate to the pancake mix & prepare according to directions.
Make like normal!

Top with syrup, marshmallows & snow {powdered sugar}



7:04 AM
All & anything Christmas. I could watch Christmas with the Kranks everyday! I love White Christmas its a top fave here & Ill Be Home for Christmas! I wish they had more! 
I am looking for a new series to start! Any suggestions?
I about died when "My Father the Hero" came up on the recently added. I used to LOVE that movie! Brandon is on a old movies kick, mostly Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. Have yall watched the old Total Recall? Like what the actual heck is this movie? Is it all a dream? Why is there alien baby man thing coming out of the  guys belly. You guys, I can't. Why do men watch this stuff? 

 I was just on maja maja apple cooking kick. Pie, crisps, dumplings, you name it I made it! I am ready for more holiday things now. My list for next week consists of lots of pumpkin pies & pecan pies!

At the things these kids say. Mostly Kensley will end anything you say or do in "you're crazy" or "you're crazy mommy". Kennedy I can't even handle her sometimes with the stuff that comes out of her mouth. Yesterday day she came up to me and said "Mom, today we are humans because we are kids. But just today we are humans". Whatever you say kid.

I am actually not reading anything right now, surprisingly! But I do have this on my night stand:

About how cold it is. I was 10000% ready for the snow really I was. & the cold. But 10 degrees already in the middle of November. Lets still with at least the 30s!?

In my Amazon cart..
Mostly it Christmas presents! So I can't tell of course :) But besides that I have my bottle of spray tan that I really need to order because I am really low! Momma needs some glow!

Awaiting.. Our elf's arrival!! I am so excited for her welcome breakfast & surprising the girls with our trip to the REAL polar express!! That reminds me, I really need to finding them the perfect jammies, off I go...

Holiday Gift Guide for Him

10:51 AM
Sometimes the men in our life can be the worst to buy for!
Brandon is a true guys, guy but also spendins all day in a office.
Here are some great ideas for your dressy lumber jack!


1. Old Navy Flannel
2. North Face Zip Up
3. Old Navy Pull Over
9. Perry Ellis Travel Bag
10. Bose Portable Speaker

Thankful Tree

12:38 PM
I wanted to do something this month that would help the girls understand Thanksgiving, what exactly being thankful is & what we should be thankful for.
I needed it to be fun & hands on for them to want to do it everyday!
 I did a tree like this in my Pre-K classrom years ago & thought it would be great just adding what we are thankful for on each "leaf" hand.

Everyday we wake up & do our "thankful hands" I write down whatever they say. Sometime its silly & other times Im blown away that the first thing they thought of to be thankful for was each other, or something I had done with one of them.
All you need is:
a marker
construction paper

I just used 3 full sheets for the trunk & we trace our hands on each color of paper.
I found out pretty fast it was best to cut out LOTS of hands at once rather than cutting them out everyday. It helps on school or library days when we just need to get out the door!

Sometimes we skip a day & forget. Which is probably best because our tree would be huge! 

I think this is a tradition that will be here to stay as they are little!
It is super simple & a fun way to show what we are thankful for!
Hope you enjoy!

Toy Story Birthday Party - Toy Story Birthday Cake

5:29 PM

Toy Story Birthday Party Ideas - Toy Story Birthday Cake

View Kennedys FIRST, SECOND & THIRD birthdays.

Toy Story Birthday Party Ideas

Toy Story Birthday Cake

Toy Story Birthday Idea

Pizza Planet Pizza for Toy Story Birthday Party
Toy Story Birthday Party Favors