Friday, December 30, 2016

H54F|| New Years Eve Eve

It's the last Friday of 2016.   I guess we can call this day New Years Eve Eve?  We have the last of our Christmas gatherings today & I'm pretty sure the world will find it unacceptable to have my tree & garland up after Sunday.  I hate to see it go but I know all good things come to an end at one point or another.  Now, I suppose it's just on to the next good thing.  That's my way of dealing with the "Christmas is over depression"- it's a real thing, you guys! :)  (P.S...360 sleeps!)
It seems like we all tend to say..."I can't believe the year has went by so fast!" when this time of year rolls around.  Some people wish the year wouldn't end, while others can't wait for a fresh start.  I find new years exciting because we are beginning a whole brand new year full of memories to make & love to share, but that same thought scares me to death.  

The only peace I have about a new year is in these song lyrics, "I don't know about tomorrow, but I know who holds my hand."  Whether this new year brings blessings & excitement or heartache & trials to my door, I know who I put my faith in to help me through-JESUS.  It is my prayer that no matter what, I will serve & honor him with whatever he provides my little family in this new year!  If you can't relate to my experience in the peace department, please let me share with you more about this man named Jesus:)

Now five fun things about this week!

One.  Daddy goes to Dollywood
We spent the day at Dollywood yesterday.  Daddy had never been with Conley (& probably only one time with Cam) so since we're like 30 minutes away...we decided it would be a fun way to spend the day!  It felt like Christmas all over again:)  Christmas lights, shows, & food...& a cranky Conley!  Wait...what??  
Conley was ALL about some rides.  He was total death grip "this baby ain't leavin-I'm riding all day" until I pried his little chunky hands free from every ride in the baby ride portion of the park.  He would then turn into a limp noodle & scream.  Such a precious little thing.

We also tried another thing we said we'd never do...the child leash.  But for Conley Scout?  Nope.  
He wanted down to run into the crowds of people until he realized we were letting him because he was on a leash.  Then he froze up & refused to walk.  And when I tried to *easily* guide him to walk with our people... he dramatically threw himself down on the ground & began to throw a screaming fit.  Alrighty then.  It totally looked like I was trying to abduct him or something.  
*He also had scrapes on his face from Christmas festivities so that even added special effects :/

Two.  Hobby Lobby After Christmas Sale
Must. go. to every. Hobby Lobby. in sight.  
But for real, it keeps you in the Christmas spirit planning for next year & getting great deals!;)  Our Bebe shared this wealth of information with me when I admired her ribbons! Apparently, Hobby Lobby continues to discount their Christmas things until they are gone!  Let me tell you-- tulle is adorable for wrapping presents with + I got that green to add a little somethin' somthin' to my tree next year!  I am so e x c i t e d!!!

Three.  Biltmore at Christmas
I'm just now realizing how busy our week has been!  Lol.  Yes, we went to Bilmore house too!  And it was beautiful at Christmas time (another way to keep yourself in the Christmas spirit when you don't know what to do with yourself Dec 26-30:)  Have you seen those memes, too?
It was all fun & games til someone had to carry a 60 lb three year old through the nations largest private residence...hehe.  I'm just kidding!  They were really good until they got hungry.  When we went through the kitchen portion of the (let's just call it like it is...)CASTLE, Conley started yelling "bite bite!"

Four. Kroger
We have had more time to explore our new stomping grounds these past two weeks & we have found several places we love close by.  Including KROGER:)  I think my favorite part is the carts with CARS for your babes!  Mine were o b s e s s e d.  And we had a lot longer span of time to shop in peace!

Five. Cam selfies + Spiced Sweet Cream Cold Brew
When Cam sneaks my phone & I find these gems...
+If you are over the sweets from the "ber" months like I somehow am...this coffee is nice & tasty without all the heavy sugar taste the other seasonal coffees have!  As much as I hate to say it, I am Chesnut Praline'd out!  (I know I'll be counting down the days when March rolls around lol!)
Happy New Years Eve, Eve friends!
Linking up today with the ladies of H54F:)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas 2016

I don't know which is more magical...being a kid at Christmas time or having kids at Christmas time.  It has truly been one of the best Christmases I think we've ever had (-) the hacking & nausea;)  I think December just comes with sickness or else we'd all be so joyful we couldn't stand each other!   

Never in my wildest dreams did I think Cade would be able to stay home the e n t i r e month of December!  We've actually had time to watch Christmas movies together, go Christmas light lookin, <attempt> to visit Santa & sit in his lap, Christmas shop, wake up to Spider shenanigans, decorate our own house & tree, + bake lots of goodies!  Can we just repeat this month over again??
We have had a little giggle with reality at times, too.  A guy that came over to the house to measure for blinds & at one point he said, "It's a magical time of year with kids this age, isn't it?"  As if it were right on cue, Cam yelled hatefully from up stairs DAAAADDDDDDYYYYY!  Cade looked at him & said, "oh yea, PURE magic."
It really is pure magic though:)
Living two hours from family can create a lot of time on the road.  We've burnt the road up these past few weeks between my job & the family Christmas festivities.  But we made fun out of it- searching for Santa's sleigh & the houses with the best Christmas lights. (Our new neighbors Christmas spirit rocks btw).
I loved work in December.  So fun to work Christmas storybooks into my lessons!
My Uncle takes Chinese Christmas seriously...
Cam is the best age e v e r for Santa.  Absolutely never want him to grow out of this age.  Conley, however could care less.  He'd rather carry a glass candle around beating the walls while saying "bite bite" every breath than open a present.  Cam & I took turns opening his presents for him.
I will say this...
  I can grab everything I need for Christmas with Con in tow & he hasn't got a c l u e what's going on.  But Cam.  Cam sees & hears everything!  I have to be super sneaky about everything...however, I think that's what makes it so fun:)
As I mentioned before, we've all been passing cold symptoms around.  I've coughed my head off & felt nauseous for days.  The boys seem to feel cruddy in the mornings, but thankfully they lose it by lunchtime.  I'm just thankful it hasn't been worse! 

When we got back to Tennessee Christmas Eve night, the boys were totally OUT & I had (unknowingly) taken a dose of nighttime cough syrup which completely killed my momentum (thanks hubby!).  

Since the boys were asleep, I admit I was a little bummed they couldn't put out cookies for Santa or sprinkle the reindeer feed Cam had made at school & was so excited to throw in the yard.  
I was d r a g g i n g, y'all.    
In my crazy Christmas lady mode, I wanted to make sure Santa left footprints & the stockings were stuffed picture perfect but Santa threw everything together (with the elf's help) & crashed with hope we wouldn't have babes waking up in the wee hours of the morning!  You know what?  You guys, those little stinkers would have been happy with a box of rocks.  Sometimes, I forget that everything doesn't have to be just so.  I could tack a few years on my life if I'd realize that occasionally:)     
Wrapped allllllll night Christmas Eve Eve
We totally caught Santa on our security cam footage Christmas morning.  That's as much as our boys will see of him in 2016!  They r e f u s e d to sit in his lap this year.  We're talking glued to our necks.  I couldn't even settle for a crying Santa pic:/  
This is probably the only Christmas on record that we will be able to say we got to sleep in!  The boys didn't wake up until about 8:30am.  With all that good sleep in, the boys were ready to take on Christmas Day!  They ripped open their presents & played their hearts out until it was time to hit the road back to NC.  Cam got everything he asked for on his list...the remote control helicopter (+ the boat & shark he requested for Conley!;)
My heart is always sad when December 25th rolls around.  So many people are already moving on to other holidays & future agendas.  Shoot.  I ran in to get wrapping paper at Target December 23rd & they had b a t h i n g s u i t s hanging in the front of the store.  Come on people!  The first day of winter was the 21st!  I just want to linger in the Christmas spirit for awhile.  Tree, garland, Holly channel & all!  And that's just what I plan to do this week:)  How about you?  I keep a bit of Christmas cheer in my heart all year long!
From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Last Minute Gift Ideas

It's December 22.  Are you finished with your Christmas shopping yet?  Every year I say that I am going to get done early, & I always find myself procrastinating.  Basically because the day creeps up on me...the other being I am so indecisive on making a final decision on the perfect gift.

Aside from being a last minute kinda girl, here are two o t h e r reasons as to why I have backed off the gift guide wagon.  The main one being I AM a dummy when it comes to gift buying!  As much as I love Christmas, you'd think I'd have a knack for buying the perfect gift.  Oh, how I only wish that were true!  The other being, our family reads the blog & I am all about surprises- no spoilers!  So, if you are a family member... TURN AWAY RIGHT NOW!:)

Some people may have a late Christmas & still have time to place orders or shop... OR if you're like me, it's nice seeing others ideas & using them for next Christmas or future gifts throughout the year (like birthdays!  I 'm terrible at that, too!)  

So here it is...Santa's list that I managed to gather with blood+sweat+ (coffee) and a few tears.  Just kidding.  Okay, maybe not entirely.


With PB Kids, I believe today is the last day to shop to get your items by Christmas (but you may be paying an arm & a leg for shipping...)  
As for the other places linked, I'm not sure if they would arrive by Christmas.  The canoe & shark, are items Cam decided Conley wanted from Santa.  Disco ball-well, we like dance parties & what is a dance party without the proper effects?;)  Superheros...duh.  And the basketball goal is from mommy & daddy.  Something cool for their new room!  Not shown is Cam's only consistent request besides "Andy's toys" (Toy Story)..."a glow in the dark remote controlled helicopter."  Just what every three year old needs, right??

Stocking Stuffers
Walmart has super great stocking stuffers right now!  They had a whole aisle full of ideas-great for those like me who don't have a clue what to do...I grabbed some matchbox cars, PJ Mask figurines, bath colors, & Christmas ornaments earlier this week before I started feeling crummy.  I love to get the Candy for stockings at Home Goods.  It just seems like it would be the candy made at the North Pole.  Less generic looking, ya know?  Conley is getting baby snacks-no candy for him just yet!  Cam has requested "Andy's Toys" & I can't do a gift guide without mentioning Jane.  I basically browsed through every day in November for stocking stuffers & found these cool laser fingers.  All that & a few little ornaments I picked up for their future tree in their room (when we get it put together).  
Hubby/Brother in Laws
For MY Mr., it's all about anything & everything sports related.  Typically, we don't get each other much b/c it's all about everybody else-but this year-we decided to do something a little special.  Since we just moved into the house, I focused on his man cave.  Over the summer, my sister called me after spotting a pair of authentic (used & worn during games) Panther pants at a store called Whatever Wilmington.  I pounced on the opportunity & later bought a frame to display them in.  While wrapping it, I completely dropped it & scuffed up the frame in true Cassidy fashion...but it's wrapped.  And I want to cry now.  Oh, & there's the yeti cup...I think it's like the gift of the season??  My Mr. commented he'd like to have one-so now he does!  And it's a custom Panther one:)

Grandparents/Moms & Dads
I always have the hardest time knowing what to get our moms/dads & grandparents.  Cade says it's "jerky" to give them pictures of our kids...but, I know they like our kids...  Is it narcissistic to do that?  I'm in trouble if so!  I decided to go with a calendar that I labeled "Seasons of Brotherhood" with seasonal pictures of the boys.  
Shutterfly has amazing deals during the holidays!  Then, I either added a gift card or a gift soap set from Sassafras Springs Farms.  I think their soap is ah-mazing!

Sister/ Sister In Laws
I kind of go with things I like for my sisters.  I think we tend to have interest in similar things-so they aren't impossible to buy for.  That being said: I hope they like what I decided on this year!  A chatbook & Stitch Fix gift card.
I'm all about gift cards.  Some people don't like them but I love them!  I don't think you can ever go wrong because it allows those you love to get something THEY choose.  And chapbooks?  I've found a new obsession...Try it out!  

Kiddo Friends
Maybe it's just my kids, but every time we go by this store they are sucked right in.  I love this whole process & think every kid should have a chance to do this!  It's also such a good way to transition kids too (like Cam from his Paci).  We now sleep with our Build A Bear Chewy instead;)

Whenever I made my list, I realized I had 12 people to buy for here!  Yikes.  I knew I had to do something affordable but cute-so I went to Pinterest.  For my co-workers (since they all had to be of equal value-I made the reindeer nose jars.  For Cam's teachers, since they go above & beyond everyday ( I added a little Jane love).  You knew it would be in here somewhere, right:)

Other fun ideas for kids!
Kids are the most fun & easy to buy for.  But let's face it, most kids these days have everything.  We are a blessed people.  A few people ask me for some ideas for my own kids (in this specific price range-I know some are expensive! :/) & these are things I came up with...  

As you can see, most of the things I listed I ordered from the wonderful world wide web.  Our mailman hates me.  He even told me I should "get out & experience life more."  Mr. Mailman...I do experience life.  When it comes to shopping, I just happen to have two little ones who would rather saw a leg off than go shopping.  Not to mention.  "Santa" can't just stuff his bag full in front of little eyes!

Ph-yew!  And that's "a wrap."  No pun intended.  What are YOUR gift ideas?  I'm all ears!
May we remember why we buy gifts with each one that we purchase.  They are symbolic of the gift God gave us!  JESUS:)  
3 sleeps!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas in the New Home

We closed on our house the very last day of November.  As long as we've been looking at houses (March 2016) I've imagine how each & every one would look during my favorite time of year.  Who'd have imagined we'd be closing just in time to get to work!  After we signed & that magic happened (it felt like magic after what we've been through house hunting!  hehe) all I could think about was getting back to it so that I could drag out a l l of my Christmas decorations before I lost another minute of precious time;)  I've already lost a month of admiration ya know!  The Adams family tree usually goes up November 1st...
A tree & decorations that had been in hibernation for going on t w o years!  I'm pretty sure they were getting a little lonely & in need of getting back to doing their designated Christmas duty - being beautiful, Clark.  Not to mention, the little odds & ends I have picked up throughout the year.  New ornaments from our travels, pillows, festive knick knacks.  Christmas is my favorite holiday to buy for...
  Is there any other time of year that feels quite like Christmas at home?
In my best Kevin McCallister kind of voice...
I don't think so.  
I love my tree.  I splurged on QVC a couple of July's ago & snagged it up.  The remote controlled lights had me at h e l l o.  It's the biggest I've ever had & I can't believe it fit in this house!  When I'm home, it is always lit up.  I still feel like it's missing something, so I'm still studying on it this year.  Kinda like a trial run I guess;)

While the house itself will be a work in progress for a l o n g time coming, we've done the best we could the last three weeks to make it feel like a home & cozy enough to spend our first December together as a family.  Yep.  This is a first for us (b/c we've only been a family of four for a year now)!  My Mr. has only been home for shy of two weeks the past t w o years.  It has been SO nice to have him home for a whole month!  I feel like a r e a l - l i f e family now, y'all:)  Cooking meals & picking up his dirty laundry pile & all!  I missed it.
Caddy || Garland (old, Land Of Nod)
This magnet board may be one of my favorite pieces of our home.  I imagined this long before I came across it on etsy & I'm pretty sure it was the first thing I had the Mr. hang.  I wanted a place to display the boy's crafts (& of course Christmas cards crossed my mind, too!)  I imagine this will be our holiday hub.  This little area is a mud room just outside the garage beside the kitchen.
Falala Pillow || HomeGoods, Santa & Reindeer || Crate & Barrel (seen recently @ Home Goods!
Recipe Book || Home Goods, Tree || Dollar Store
The boys room is far away from being finished.  I'm itching all over to get it together, but in reality...they sleep with us.  It definitely isn't one of the essential parts of the home to finish right now...SO.  That leaves the living room as the hub for seasonal toys & books!
<<says the parents that claimed their kids would n e v e r have toys laying around everywhere>>
And I am stuffing that recipe box full daily!  I am in such a Becky Home-ecky mood...
It's true that change can be hard.  I'm a very sentimental person.  I don't really like big changes in my life, but I think I've been conditioned to deal better with it after the year we've had!  It's been a pretty wild ride...  

 I am so excited that we've become settled again & have never been MORE ready to get back to building memories, though they may be new & different, in our new sweet home.  The best thing about this home is that it gives us a greater opportunity to be together.  And that's what a home is supposed to do-bring a family together.
The boxes in the garage can wait.  (Though I'd probably be out there til' two in the morning if I wan't on what feels like the verge of pneumonia...)
Our home is celebrating it's first Christmas<3
We are busy making memories to cherish!
I hope this tour left you feeling cozy + full of Christmas cheer<3
4 sleeps!