Intentional Hours Outdoors: 509+ hours (of 1000)
bleh. week before Christmas got Mrs. Claus like whoa.
Reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and I want to ignore my motherly duties to keep reading. hahha, I've been reading it during Rusty's bedtime and sneaking in a few pages while making dinner too.
Layering on the holiday cheer thick. We have lots of silly Marco antics daily, a Christmas celebration with my CCD students, watching holiday movies like it's going out of style (The Santa Claus, The Grinch, Polar Express, and Mickey's Christmas), knocking off holiday shopping lists, delighting over the Holiday cards we receive in the mail, and secretly picking up loads of packages from the post office and our neighbor's porch (he's our unofficial UPS drop off since they don't want to come up our long driveway nor deal with the dogs. He text messages Brandon "The brown sleigh was here" to let us know we have something to pick up. I love our neighbors, seriously.) The last week before Christmas is just so wild - I've really felt a little bonkers with the holiday lists (shopping, baking, party calendar) bopping around my head while I'm also checking off this weeks' lesson plans and regular chores. So much madness, but also kind of exhilarating. Santa is coming whether we're ready or not, right?! hahahaha. #wegotthismommas !
Grateful for our family that pulls together to make holiday miracles happen for our family...and particularly this momma right here! Gigi and Pappy took the three big ones to the mall so I had time to get stuff done at home for a few hours last week. The girls had their own sleepover (and even made necklaces for their favorite ladies!) at my parent's house (Abba & Chum) and Grey loved being home with just me and Brandon and Rust. And then Grey had his own sleepover with Abba and Chum - and any mum will tell you the dramatic difference when even only one kid is off having fun somewhere else! Morgan and Nick babysat for us this week one day and had cleaned the whole downstairs!! Cousin Taush picked up Greyson from Good News club while my two little ones slept and cousin Heather dropped off Brandon's favorite lady lock cookies to share with us (thank you Gail for making some for us!)
Celebrating with family and friends. We cheered for our cousin Caleb at his sixth birthday party at the ACRP indoor playground (love that place) and then hosted a dinner and playdate at our house with the Jurichs. Mikey and Brandon were high school best friends but he and his wife Shan have lived in Nebraska and Texas the past few years as they are an Airforce family. We haven't seen them in four and half years! It was such an awesome night catching up with them and getting all our kids together to play. And then (!) we had our annual Polar Express Party with our favorites the Fiores at our house. The kids exchanged gifts, watched the movie, snacked on pizza and popcorn and played all over the house while Kate and I got to sit and snuggle Rusty and drink coffee and chat. (the mommas getting to chat is always the best part).
Volunteering my time, first to help decorate Greyson's classroom for his first grade Polar Express party! I spent part of Tuesday night sneakily with other school moms getting the whole place set up and ready for the big surprise in school on Wednesday (PJ day too!) I told Grey I had a meeting and he suspected nothing and was so excited to tell me about the day full of Polar Express Centers and fun. And then we had our annual CV Alumni Association Human Library event (rescheduled from the snow day last week). I was a little worried that the rescheduled date and time would prevent alumni from being available - but we had fifteen alum show up and two of them were super last minute additions (I love you Russell and Michael!) It was another great year for it and always inspires me so much to see how generous and kind our young alumni (and students) are.
Making all the Christmas cookies! We made these nilla 'cake' cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, these 4 ingredient Almond Joy cookies (aka "the best cookies you've ever made' -direct quote from Brandon Studer after he ate three in a row), Morgan helped the girls make Peanut Butter cookies while she babysat this week (thank you!) and these snickerdoodle cookies that Gemma and I both love a little too much (we're asking for bellyaches as many as we're eating!) and five ingredient toffee with graham crackers. For dinner this week, we've enjoyed chicken tacos, creamy chicken & broccoli soup, and we made chili and haluski for our playdate with the Jurichs.