Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Activities Thus Far

It's been a very busy and fun December so far which explains the 2 week hiatus I unexpectedly took. But lets catch up on things Christmas related, shall we?
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We are once again doing the wrapped-Christmas-book-a-day advent thing and it's working really well. I had 33 books this year so we got to start the Monday before Thanksgiving. Last year I bought several dollar bin books to help fill the month without spending too much, so as I added a few of the classics this year our collection got a little large. I think next year I'll just wrap the best ones and keep the cheapies out for Laney to chew on or just to read at any time instead.

I am once again shocked at Charley's self-control to only open one book a day even though they are located within her reach. I have a feeling Laney is going to rock my world.

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Again this year we went to a local town's Christmas parade. It is the BEST parade. Nice and long yet still very small town feeling. There are lots of firetrucks and construction vehicles that decorate their vehicles with lights and play music and it's just so fun. Charley really enjoyed it this year too - even though she was REFUSING to wear any kind of cold weather apparel at all at first. She just wanted to sit out there in a short-sleeved shirt. Oh Charley. Glad she eventually complied somewhat.

Some of my favorite things in the parade were the extremely hillbilly vehicles all decorated for Christmas. I've even seen one of these driving around town just like it was in the parade!

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The very next night was John's company Christmas party. I knew this one would be an early night for me because it is held at a restaurant and after the eating portion of the evening is over, it becomes a pretty heavy drinking evening and what fun is that for me at the moment? So not only did I leave at 9:30 p.m., I also didn't manage to take one single picture. I do remember posing for one picture for one of his coworkers so maybe one day that picture will surface and I'll come back and add it here.

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And then the very next day we did our annual craft day. (2013, 2010, and 2008 were the only years I felt compelled to share)

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My oldest sister always brings the best craft and this year was no exception. Her craft was Christmas trees made out of pallet wood. We got to paint, use power tools and string them up with lights. My dad assisted her with the preparations by coming up with the really cool base for them, but she did all the wood cutting herself. I'm impressed with her as I was slightly intimidated by just the nail gun we used to assemble them!

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Here were all the rest of the crafts this year. It's not really a great picture at all - all of them are way cuter in person. I especially love the canvas Charley created there on the left with buttons and stickers and popsicle sticks. But even though the picture doesn't do these things justice, you can tell that my sister blew the rest of us out of the water regardless with her pallet trees. 


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Last weekend was my company Christmas party. My old job didn't do company Christmas parties so I was excited to bring John to meet my coworkers for a change. It was held in a hotel at Myrtle Beach and they pay for us to stay in the hotel that night so no one has to worry about driving. Not that I would have driven the 3.5 hours home anyways even though I was sober! However, I was actually kind of dreading leaving Charley for such a long time after a week where she was especially clingy and needy for Mama since the weekends are usually reserved for her but we went anyways. And man. I am SO glad I did. It was a ton of fun and I can only imagine how much more fun it will be next year when I can really enjoy it!

They had a DJ and a dance floor and there were about 400 people there, but it wasn't overwhelming at all! Dinner was awesome, the photo booth they provided was awesome and the people I work with are awesome also. I can't exactly explain it but the people at new job versus old job are SO MUCH MORE my people. Not all of them from old job, of course, but just the overall company culture is so much more my style. It's relaxed and just small company-like, even though it obviously wasn't a small party by any means. And they just give back so much to the employees. It's unreal. Without divulging anything about new company or old company, let me just say how drastic the difference is in how old company rewarded and appreciated employees (read: they didn't) versus how new company does (read: they very, very much do!) especially considering the difference in their size and means. I love feeling appreciated even though I am still very much a new girl. 

ANYWAYS, sorry about the tangent.

So I rented a dress again from Rent The Runway (that is totally a referral link) and had awesome luck with them once again. I did buy fashion tape because I was a tad worried about the top being just the slightest bit too big, but then I left it on the kitchen counter at home and just ended up pulling up the dress all night long. D'oh! But really, I loved everything else about the dress and just a little bit of fashion tape would have made it 100% perfect. 

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Such a fun, fun night. Love getting all dressed up too. Yay!

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Tonight my mom and I got hot chocolate and Charley got ice cream and we drove around to look at Christmas lights. Charley either doesn't really care about Christmas lights much or she was just tired (probably both - she didn't nap today) because she asked a few times for the iPad or my phone which I of course refused and then just asked to go home. So it wasn't her favorite thing we've done for Christmas at all, but it was still fun for my mom and I at least!

Speaking of - we put lights on our own house this year and I just love them so much. I bought a ton of LED lights on clearance after Christmas last year (they were 80% off!) so we could do this for the first time this year and not have a crazy power bill and I hope I'm able to get some more after Christmas this year. I did have to get colored lights when white would have been my first choice, but I had to go with what they had in stock at 80% off. I actually prefer the color lights if they are LED over the white LED ones so I'm happy with what we got! I can definitely feel myself getting more and more Clark Griswaldy each year though after starting this tradition.

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More lights! We need MORE LIGHTS!

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Tomorrow we are going to The Polar Express train ride in the mountains and I don't think we have much else planned between now and Christmas but man - so, so excited for Christmas morning to get here! Can't wait to be all hormonal and cry over Charley's joy. It'll be great.

If I don't get back over here before Christmas - Merry Christmas friends!! Hope Santa is good to you!

3 comments:

Nicole Tully said...

I LOVE your christmas craft night! I wish I knew more local crafty people to put something like that together. I really love those canvases actually. Lots of cute ideas :) And your house looks beautiful! Happy holidays :)

april said...

Merry Christmas!!

Heather said...

Rent the Runway ... never heard of it! But, your holiday party dress is adorable so maybe I'll check it out in the future!

Love the pallet trees too - so cute and rustic ... perfect for my lake cabin. Want to make me one next year? :)

Question - do you re-wrap the Christmas books for Charley each year? Or buy new? We have quite the collection now so I'm thinking I could get away with re-wrapping the old ones and throw in a few new ones next year for good measure. I know Tory and Aden would both really enjoy opening a new book every night to read.