Friday, December 29, 2017

Friday Favorites #40. {The Christmas Recap.}

Christmas is OVER, friends!  Which, in my book, mean this:

(Raise your hand if this is you!)

  I don't know if I'm happy or sad.  I love Christmas SO SO MUCH but let's face it.  It is stressful.  I'm constantly worried if I'm making it "magical" enough for my kids and then wondering if I'm making it too magical and not stressing the true reason for the season enough. 

In my house, it is also stressful making sure the old, senile dog doesn't pee on the gifts under the tree.  And then there's the Christmas cards that need to be addressed and sent, the teacher gifts that need to be remembered, the cookie exchange for the teachers, all the wrapping and the stalking of those tracking numbers for the last minute gifts you bought in hopes that they'll arrive before the big day.


And then let's not forget all the curveball my kids threw at Santa this year.

CHILDREN:  Please note that you CANNOT change the color of the hoverboard you asked for 2 days before Christmas.  #itdoesntworkthatway

But with all that being said, Christmas morning makes it all worth it.  I LOVE seeing my kids' faces on Christmas morning.  They really do think it is magical that Santa came down the chimney, ate their cookies and left them presents from their list.  Being a kid was so awesome.

Our Christmas and the surrounding days were relaxing.  I baked a lot.  And y'all know I hate being in the kitchen.  But I was feeling festive and I knew I'd get to reap the rewards.  ;)

We made sugar cookies to decorate for Santa.

These were Mason's creations.  ;)

And we also made chocolate chip cookies because they are Matthew's favorite.

And I even made Shay's Candy Cane Bars!  Last year, I texted Shay asking which of her Christmas desserts I should make to take over to my grandparents' house for our little get-together.  She suggested these and YUUUMMMMM!!  I love "gooey cake" (or Neiman Marcus bars or Oooey Gooey Butter Cake or whatever you may call it) and posted my recipe a while back about the ones where I throw in chocolate chips.  (here)  These are so similar except with a fun and super festive peppermint twist!

They were so good that I knew I'd have to start making them every year.

Find Shay's recipe here.  The only substitution I made was golden butter cake for the base just because it's my favorite!

On Christmas Eve we went to church.

The boys were clearly feeling giddy about all the excitement of Christmas Eve.  They were being complete goofballs before the service started.  I'm positive that Mason cannot take a normal picture these days without some sort of bribe (or threat).  ;)

After church, we came home and the boys were allowed to open one gift of their choice.  This is all part of our Christmas Eve tradition.  This year they unwrapped boxed sets of Hardy Boys books.  I think they will both love the adventure and mysteries of these books!

Mason got the Clue Book Collection.  (This was take #3 of trying to get a non-crossed eyed, non-staring into outer space, non-goofy-faced picture.)

And Matthew got the Secret Files Collection.  They were both happy.  #hitforsure

We ate dinner (Craig made steaks and we bought ready made sides from Market Street) and then we got in our PJs, and loaded up the car to go look at Christmas lights.

This is my favorite part of Christmas Eve but in all seriousness, it was not magical for me this year.  We got a later start to it than we should have and Craig had to drive across town first to drop something off for someone who needed it the next day.  By the time we got started actually looking at the lights, Mason had to go to the bathroom.  So we had to stop at Walgreens for him to go.  When we got started again the boys were getting tired.

We drove through my FAVORITE neighborhood in Mckinney (Tucker Hill) and I was feeling all kinds of festive with the lights and Christmas music playing!  I was at the peek of my Christmas fun and I didn't want to leave!  I also wanted to start googling some of those houses that were for sale. ;)

And then I realized the boys were asleep and had missed it all and it was like someone had taken the wind out of my sails.  Craig was also ready to go home and I felt like I had been jipped a little on our annual tradition. :(  I was not happy at all.  #reallife 

Of course, as soon as the boys got home they were wide awake again and started running through the house like maniacs.  Where was this energy when we were doing something MOM wanted to do?!  We hurried them off to bed though and they were more than happy to oblige.  They wanted Santa to come!

Among their Santa gifts were hoverboards.  I cannot even begin to tell you the maddening time I had with this company trying to get them here in time.  I'm planning a little review of them for next week.  ;)  I'm also planning a "hit or miss" post about some of the stuff they got for Christmas so tune in next week for that!

Matthew was more excited about getting this book (Wonder) than anything else!  He went to see the movie with a friend the other day and had mentioned he wanted the book for Christmas.  I didn't expect this reaction though!  He started reading it right after we finished unwrapping gifts!

Here's a blurry closeup of this shirt I found here.  It is a picture of Jesus sitting among a bunch of superheroes and saying "And that's how I saved the world."  #loveit  

The shirt itself is pretty stiff so we are washing them a couple of times to get them a little softer.

This Bottle Flip game has seen a lot of action so far.  Mason is a bottle flipping nut.

And both boys got Vivofit Jr's and oh my gosh have they been a hit!!  My kids are trying to out exercise each other, doing all their chores (including brushing their teeth without arguing) and then looking for more stuff to do to earn coins!  It's amazing.  They have never been so helpful EVER.  I love these things!  I even gave them extra coins for big hugs yesterday.  hahaha.

I didn't take a ton of pictures for some reason this year but we video the entire gift opening session every single year with a video camera set up on a tripod.  

The rest of the day was super lazy.  Craig and I both took naps.  Craig took a nap on the couch but I took a legit nap, under the covers, in the bed, for like, 3 hours.  #merrychristmastome

The boys were in and out all day house-hopping with their friends so they were completely entertained.  It was relaxing, super low-key and exactly like all the Christmas Days that I had growing up.

So like I said, I will be back next week for a Hit or Miss post on some of their Christmas gifts!  Some were huge hits and some were straight up duds.

Today we are driving to Texarkana (Texas) to visit my parents.  Tomorrow morning we'll head over to my granddaddy's house for Christmas with all our extended family on that side.  It's always so much fun!  We will leave from there and head back to Mckinney to clean the house and get it ready for our little annual New Year's Eve party the next day!

And I realized I forgot to post our Christmas card here so here it is!  I LOVED it this year thanks to all that color and obviously, the glitter.  ;)

(Yes, my nail polish matches my card!  ha!  It's O.P.I.'s My Favorite Ornament.  So cute for New Years too!)

And before I go, I have to mention this book because I know a lot of you are looking for new ones to read in the new year!

If you love psychological thrillers, you will LOVE THIS!!!

The Last Mrs. Parrish.  This was so so so good.  I am terrible at writing short summaries (or short anything) so go here to check it out. There were some very satisfying twists and turns that kept you going "what?!" the whole way through. Ahhh!  I hated for it to end.  Seriously.  You'll love it.

I listened to it on Audible because I had to get back to work yesterday and the narration was amazing.  So if you are an Audible girl like me, this one is a great one to listen to!

And in case you missed it, the Etsy shop is now open and busy busy again!  Check it out here!  More products being added every week and old favorites are being reordered and restocked!

Have a Happy New Year, friends!!  I'll see you again in 2018!!

Linking up with Andrea, Erika and Narci for Friday Favorites!



  1. I can't wait to read your hit or miss post! Happy New Year!

  2. Our Christmas light looking (in Deerfield) was not how I planned either. Baby started crying as soon as we entered and couldn't really be consoled (which is not like her). Pulled her out of the seat to sit with me and realized she had pooped (which she only does maybe once a day). So here we are, pulled over on some quiet street, changing a poopy on my lap trying not to get it all over me (too cold to do it in the trunk). But we went after christmas this year and definitely doing that again as it wasn't as busy.

    Your boys looked like they really enjoyed opening gifts! Having kids during Christmas sure is fun!

  3. Looks like an amazing Christmas! Those candy cane bars look amazing! Hope you have an amazing New Year!

  4. Your Christmas sounds like it was so good!! But I totally know what it's like when you want to do something and the kids aren't totally in it - that kind of happened to us too this year when we went out looking at lights - it ended with us yelling at the kids and it wasn't exactly the festive feeling I was going for! I can't wait to read your hit or miss post!!


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