Tuesday, January 7, 2020


Well, it's over.  Christmas has come and gone and I am always a little depressed when it leaves us.  Everything just looks so blah after Christmas.  My house looks dark and boring. The neighborhoods slowly start to go from colorful to ordinary. It's no fun.  Not to mention all the after-Christmas things that need to be done.

Take down decorations. (painful)
Redecorate your house and try to remember where everything goes.
Clean up all the wrapping paper/boxes/candy wrappers. Schedule a bulk trash pickup.
Clear out (or eat..) all the junk food and leftovers.
And then add "lose 10 pounds of holiday weight" to your to-do list. 😂

Sound familiar?

This year was no different but we completely enjoyed our Christmas while it was here!

The day before Christmas Eve, I took the boys to get haircuts.  Mason was just coming off a 24 hour virus of some sort (you can still see it in his eyes I think!) but was acting 100% and didn't have a fever so off we went.  He was so pumped about how it turned out.  Anytime he lets me take a normal picture of him where he's not trying to turn his face inside out means he's feelin' cute.  haha

Like everyone else's kids around the world, my boys were so excited for Christmas Eve.  They even went to bed early the night before just so it would hurry up and get here!

The next morning, I woke up and made the cookies we decorate for Christmas.  We don't get super fancy with our cookies.  My boys only care about sprinkles and icing so we don't do homemade or roll them out and make cute shapes.  So I always just buy the Pillsbury sugar cookie dough ready to slice and bake.

I baked them and left them to cool and warned the boys not to touch the dang cookies.  I had a surprise for lunch and didn't want them ruining their appetite.

Matthew was not very helpful this Christmas when I would ask him what he wanted.  He would always say "I don't know maybe a new 1st basemen's glove?".  And that was pretty much all I could get from him.  So one day, when he jokingly said in passing that he just wanted a big nugget tray from Chick-fil-A for Christmas, I tucked that info away.  He is obsessed with their nuggets and is my SUPER DUPER picky eater so we're always looking to fatten this kid up. ;)

Around lunchtime, I told the boys I had to run to the store real quick.  In reality, I was running up to CFA to grab a small nugget tray I'd ordered that morning.  When I walked into the house carrying this, he was practically giddy.

He even shared with his brother which was sweet of him (and I made him..haha).

So glad they hadn't already stuffed themselves with cookies!  I made this macaroni and cheese to go with it and knew we could eat it with the steaks Craig would be cooking on Christmas too.  (Sidenote on the recipe:  I will be skipping the butter on top next time but the rest of the recipe is to die for!)

After lunch, we got dressed and headed to the Christmas Eve service at church.  It was just as beautiful as always and one of my favorite services of the year. 

 Mason's favorite part is always lighting his candle and I doubt I will ever stop worrying that he's going to accidentally burn himself, others or the church when he gets ahold of one. 😂

We grabbed our annual Christmas Eve pic on the way out.

After we got home, it was time to decorate those cookies for Santa!!  (Yes, both my 4th and 6th grader still believe. I can't let Matthew go to 7th grade still believing or even wondering so sadly this will be his last year.  I'll worry about that conversation later though.)

They look forward to decorating cookies so much!  They love a good mess.

If I had girls, I feel like this process would be different...more "cute".  But the boys do not need all of that, thank goodness.  And I feel absolutely no pressure to make our Christmas cookie decorating Pinterest-worthy.  😂😂

I pull out paper plates, old placemats and sprinkles we've had for years (those don't expire do they??) and let them go to town. I do buy new icing each year so SEE HOW WITH IT I AM?! 🤣🤣🤣

And this is what their process looks like.  Mason dumps an entire bottle of sprinkles onto the cookies, eats at least 3 in the process, usually has a minor meltdown when one doesn't come out just as he wanted while Matthew is meticulous and fairly neat about his own.  I love these boys and their different personalities!

And finally, the best part of Christmas Eve if you are one of my kids--the opening of that ONE present!  We've always let them open one present on Christmas Eve and that first gift is such a tease!  We tend to guide them to gifts that aren't lame but aren't too good either so they'll have those for Christmas morning.  This year, we let Matthew open Twister because when we were on our Christmas Vacation at the resort a few weeks ago, he mentioned wanting to rent it and bring it back to our villa.  And we totally forgot to do that while we were there.  So I made sure to grab it when I saw it on sale the following week.

And Mason had been asking for new football gloves so he opened these.  His dad may have been an NFL Quarterback but this kid loves to catch not throw! #gofigure

Now, MY favorite part of Christmas Eve is piling into the car with our jammies, slipper and hot cocoa and driving around looking at Christmas lights.  I will emphasize that this is MY favorite part.  The boys would all pass on this if I gave them a choice.  But I do not.

Every year, I get so excited about it.  And every year I am disappointed and usually get out of the car mad at everyone and in a bad mood.  All I want is for everyone to ooohhh and ahhhhh over the lights while Christmas songs are being played and maybe even search the sky for Santa.  Like I did as a kid on Christmas Eve.


Apparently so because every year someone either falls asleep, whines that they are ready to go back home, are bored or they have to pee.  EVERY. YEAR.  And this usually happens about 15 minutes into it.

So before we got into the car this year I asked if anyone needed to go to the bathroom, if everyone had a snack/drink and said that I needed everyone just give me this as a Christmas gift.  This was what I wanted for Christmas.  A car ride looking at lights, feeling the Christmas magic and making memories with my family.  Craig even backed me up and told the boys to "Do this for Mom.  It's really important to her."

But alas...I do not live in a snowglobe or a Hallmark movie.  And sure enough, Mason started complaining that he had to go to the bathroom although to his credit he did try to hide it from us for awhile.  I could hear him squirming and starting to whimper though so I automatically went into Mom Mode and started worrying.  A huge distraction when trying to bliss out amongst Christmas carols and twinkle lights.  Sigh.  Once again, my magical Christmas visions vanished and we were right back to reality.  Someday, I'll think it's funny.  But on Christmas Eve, I never do.

After another year of looking at lights and coming home annoyed and in a bad mood (ughhh), the boys got their PJs on, watched a little TV, set out cookies and then ran upstairs to bed.

I knew they wouldn't be back down as long as they could hear the TV on the living room so we decided to go ahead and set out their Santa stuff early.  (They went up around 9 and we set it out at maybe 9:30ish.)

There wasn't a lot to set out this year so it didn't take long.  I filled their stockings (Mason had an iPhone in his which is all he wanted for Christmas) and set out the new xbox, some baseball stuff, new sports decor for their rooms and a couple of other little things.

Craig and I go into bed around 10 and watched Office Christmas Party (that movie is insane) and at about 11:15 I heard definite movement from upstairs.  I paused the TV and snuck out our bedroom to check to see if we could see anyone but we didn't.  So I turned the living room TV back on just in case, hoping it would deter them from sneaking downstairs.

The next morning, we were up at 6:45am.  I had told them the night before that they couldn't come down a second earlier than 6:45.  They lasted until then...or so I thought.  They ended up telling us that they DID sneak downstairs at 11:15 the night before and saw that Santa had been there!  They didn't go digging through the gifts but they just caught a glimpse and went back up.  Little stinkers.

The rest of our day went like this.

 (We always bring the big trashcan in on Christmas morning for all the wrapping paper.)

We also always have A Christmas Story on in the background while we open presents as well.

This is their favorite day of the entire year.  #shocking

After we opened gifts, I made muffins and this sausage, egg and cheese biscuit casserole.

And the rest of the day was lazy lazy lazy.  I took a nap at some point, the weather was about 70 degrees so the boys were playing outside with their friends and we had lots of yummy things to snack on throughout the day.  For dinner, Craig made steaks and afterward we all sat around watching one last Christmas movie.  (Home Alone 2)

I knew I'd be taking these pretty lights down soon and I wanted to enjoy them as much as possible before that happened.

Two days after Christmas, the mood struck.  It was time to take them down and get my house back in order.  But those pretty colors and all that glittery goodness...#iwillmissyou. 

The next day (Saturday) we loaded up the car that morning and headed to Texarkana to have Christmas with my mom's side of the family.  My granddad is the man who doesn't age. He's amazing.  And the sweetest man alive, I kid you not.  And boy does he love his grand and great-grandkids! (And great-greats!)

He rigged this zipline for everyone to play on when they come to his house and we all love it!

It is old school fun to the very core.

Even the adults like to take a turn!

And Granddaddy even does it!

For lunch, we always do chili in crockpots, cornbread, queso, BBQ smokies...things like that.  And pizza for the kids because apparently, kids don't always love chili.  Weird.

Anyway, when I was talking to my mom the week before the Texarkana gathering, I told her about a new chili recipe Shay made for us at a little couples night a few weeks ago. It was so good and I guess I raved about it long enough for my mom to become intrigued.  I got the recipe from Shay and my mom decided to make this new one instead of her regular one.  And now my dad says that its the only chili he'll ever need.  haha  I agree.  I think Shay said she's sharing the recipe this month so definitely be on the lookout for that!  (UPDATE:  She actually posted the recipe today so you can find it HERE.)

(This is always one of my favorite nights of the year with these girls and our hubbies!)

Ok, now where was I?  All I can think about is chili.  

Oh right.

So after we eat lunch, the entire tribe gathers in the den and we open presents.

This is only showing about half of us.  The other half are behind the camera.  My aunt dressed up like an elf to pass out presents to the kids this year. 😂

I love watching the littles get so excited about their gifts.  It's exactly how we used to do it when I was a kid minus my grandmother.  :(

And getting off track one more time...

While we were at my granddad's, I saw these old pictures up on his shelf and had to show you!  

I think I was around 8 in this picture.  So maybe 1989?  Ahhhh, gotta love the perm, big hair and ugly glasses.  At least my brother looked normal.

And then we moved on a few years.  I was in 5th or 6th grade here.  I'd just gotten contacts (thank goodness) but still had unfortunate bangs and braces.  And let's not even discuss that hideous dress!  

Thankfully, by my senior year, we managed to get past our awkwardness.  I guess my mom decided we should coordinate our outfits better this time. 😉  The older I get, the funnier all these old pictures seem to be.


The day had called for lots of rain but thankfully, it just sprinkled on us a bit and everyone was able to have a great time outside.

Matthew loves his little cousin, Maddox.  Maddox is the funniest, bravest, coolest kid you'll ever meet.

Back at my parent's house, we all played a rousing game of Headbanz.  If y'all don't have this game, you should.  Kids love it and its fun for adults too!

We all thought it was pretty funny when my dad's first card was a pretty pink unicorn.

The boys got light up basketballs from my granddad and couldn't wait to use them outside once it was dark.  These things are so cool!  A great gift idea!

We left the next day to get back to the house so we could prep for our annual New Year's Eve party.  I'll be back later this week to do a post on that.  We always have a great time ringin' in the new year!

And that was Christmas!  Now is it summer yet? 😉

No wine.... but the rest sounds great



  1. What perfect timing! I shared it TODAY!! Friend, everything is a little blah after the holidays. I feel ya on that!!!

    1. Yay!!! It was so good and everyone loved it!! Headed to your blog now!

  2. Loved seeing your Christmas celebrations! It was great seeing you guys on Christmas Eve...even if it was for two minutes. :)

    1. Your crew was looking SHARP on Christmas Eve!

  3. OH that biscuit and egg casserole! share the recipe?

    1. 1lb Jimmy Dean Mild Sausage (or spicy if you want a little kick!)
      6 eggs
      1/2 cup milk
      16oz can of biscuits
      2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese (depends on how cheesy you want to go!)
      Salt and Pepper to taste


      Preheat oven to 350.
      Brown your sausage and drain. Set aside.
      Spray or grease 9x13 baking dish.
      Cut each biscuit into 6 pieces.
      Spread biscuits evenly on bottom of dish.
      Add crumbled sausage on top of biscuits.
      Sprinkle on 1/2 cup or so of cheese.
      In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and milk.
      Pour over sausage and biscuits.
      Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. (Add as much or as little cheese as you'd like!)

      Pop in oven for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees or until eggs are set.

      Super easy!! I never really pay attention to how much cheese I'm using, by the way. I probably use more than it calls for. haha

  4. So...
    1) I was cheering for you as to making the boys go out on Christmas Eve to see lights...so much that I thought, she needs a girlfriend to do this with each year. I did LOL though at the outcome because I think we all can relate.
    2) Your grandfather is awesome...can I come next year?? :)
    3) That last meme is spot on.

    Thanks for sharing your Christmas with us.

    1. You are spot on!! I told them I was leaving them home next year and going by myself! hahaha Girlfriends would be a much better idea though. I feel like that's one thing I'm missing with all boys...a girl would appreciate that kind of stuff better, I think. And yes, my granddad deserves an entire post dedicated to him because he's amazing. :) He's one of the best.


I love hearing from you! Drop a comment below!