Christmas, Decorating, Elf on the Shelf, Life, NaBloPoMo

November Blog Wrap Up

Well, I (sort of) made it: 30 posts in 30 days (well, more like 27 posts in 30 days, but who’s counting???)

So on this very last day, I leave you with a summary of the month, that didn’t make the blog.

The Elf Is Back on the Shelf

He arrived the Sunday after Thanksgiving and has already been into lots of mischief. I have a love/hate relationship with this Elf. I love being creative and making him do fun things every day, however, I hate when my “Move Elf” alarm goes off every night (and occasionally after I’ve fallen asleep on the couch!). One BIG benefit of the Elf is that Little Mister pops out of bed each morning to look for him (instead of waxing on each morning for 20 minutes how it’s not fair that he has to get up and go to school), and is dressed, fed, and teeth brushed 20 minutes before we need to leave for school.

I leave with this Elf Inspo from years past (our elf was masked in 2020 because, well, COVID):

We Decorated for Christmas

In lieu of sharing my entire living room Winter Wonderland, I leave you with one of my favorite nooks: My Ode to Boston.

I Have Completely Abandoned Any Thoughts of Eating Healthy

Who wants salad when it gets cold? Not this girl. And who can stay on track with so many reasons to have a cocktail, the multitude of cheeseboards I’ll encounter, and the ease of ordering take out instead of cooking because truly, online shopping is exhausting.

This is my favorite fried chicken sandwich from Mikro Depot, who also happens to have the very best french fries in the universe.

I mean, COME ON.

We Have Officially Become a White Board Family

I never imagined I’d succumb to the white board, let alone hang it on my refrigerator; but, here we are. Even with one kid and barely any type of sports or extra curricular activities, our white board is filled with appointments, reminders to return library books, and notes when we are eating the school lunch (LOVE the days I don’t have to make a lunch). My favorite part of the white board is when it’s gleaming – all empty and clean – and awaiting it’s monthly mark up.

I’m the Note in the Lunchbox Mom

It’s me, the Mom putting notes in his lunchbox or snack bag every day. Sometimes I wish him a good day, sometimes I draw a silly picture, and other times, I make Mom jokes:

Made that one up myself!

I Tried to Enjoy the Small Things

Whether it was reading an extra book in bed with Little Mister (and not writing a blog post for the night), or keeping the dogs outside a little extra on the morning walk to enjoy the sunrise, I tried to be present and in the moment. I think that’s my New Year’s resolution this year: be more present. Make more time for what’s important. And to clean out the hall closet.

This beautiful scene is literally in my backyard.

If you read even one of these posts this month, I hope you laughed a little, found a new favorite thing for yourself, or maybe tried a new recipe. Cheers to the end of blog month – and best wishes for a happy holiday season!

Christmas, cooking, Decorating, Elf on the Shelf, Entertaining, NaBloPoMo, thanksgiving

Why Am I So Behind This Year?

Yesterday, a family member asked me what they could bring to Thanksgiving. My first thought was like, ‘I’m not even thinking about Thanksgiving yet,’ and then my second thought was, ‘Wait…Thanksgiving is next week?’

Next week!

Last year at this time, the house was already decorated for Christmas, but last year was “Because, COVID” so pretty much anything was acceptable. This year, Mr. KK has given me the firm “not until after Thanksgiving” rule for Christmas decorating. So I patiently wait until Black Friday to change over our house…

Do I feel so behind this year because last year I was so ahead of the game? Did not leaving the house and having zero social life mean that I was able to kick start the holiday season? I feel like I had more gifts bought, more meals planned, more holly jolly going on.

Next weekend our little elf on a shelf arrives, his annual journey down from the North Pole, the weekend after Thanksgiving, with a box filled with goodies to kick off the holiday season: Christmas jammies, a new Christmas book, and a Christmas ornament. And, of course, the start of Elf Shenanigans for the season.

And don’t get me started on holiday shopping. I have about 3 gifts purchased, and zero ideas for everyone else.

It’s not only the feeling of being behind on the holidays, it’s the feeling of being behind on life in general. Was I always trying to juggle this much? Did I always feel this overwhelmed? Was preparing dinner every night this much of a dreaded task? (Likely, yes.) When did we start wearing all of these clothes that needed washing? How are we dirtying so many dishes? Why is the countertop constantly covered in piles of mail and ‘stuff’? And why can I never find the time to clean up/put away/wash anything?

If I was waking up early to overthink my life before, it’s in overdrive now. Mentally making lists for gifts, recipe planning for holidays, thinking through an email to send for work, remembering to send in Little Mister’s library book on Tuesdays, and his homework on Fridays.

It’s apparently time to start thinking about Thanksgiving, a mere week away; appetizers, side dishes, desserts…holiday cocktail! And right after turkey day, turn around and do it all again for Christmas…and including a mischievous elf, a man in a big red suit, and FINALLY…Christmas music.

Christmas, Elf on the Shelf, NaBloPoMo

Guess Who’s Coming to Town?

I think we can all agree that this year was lacking in the “awesome” department. And some people may be thinking that the last thing they need right now is the arrival of…The Elf.

Here’s….Jack!

I may be in the minority here, but I’m actually looking forward to the little bastard’s arrival. If nothing else, it will give me something to look forward to at the end of each night: finding a new creative spot for our little Jack to land.

Don’t get me wrong, our elf will be abiding by CDC guidelines, and he will be wearing a mask, and he will keep a respectable distance from Little Mister. I will not be “quarantining” him in a glass jar or box, but instead embracing all of his “elfness”.

Of course this year, we have the added element of BRUNO, king of getting into everything. I wouldn’t be surprised if this puppy took down the tree AND ripped Jack to pieces. Guess Jack will need to stay up high this year.

To me, the Elf is a sign of normalcy. And if there was ever a year that needed normalcy, it’s this one. Our Little Mister is already missing so much in his life – school, friends, going places, etc – that I couldn’t imagine not having his little elf come entertain him.

During the days leading up to Christmas, the Little Mister practically jumps out of bed every morning (score!) and the first thing he does is look for Jack the Elf. After he finds him, he runs to his advent calendar to see what Jack has put inside the little drawer (oh, the advent calendar with the drawers that are just TOO small for most toys!). Little Mister wakes up smiling every day.

In our house, Jack makes his arrival on the day after Thanksgiving. But the surprise is that he can come at any time. Usually there’s a knock at the door, and we find a package on the steps addressed to Little Mister from the North Pole. Inside the box is a note from Jack, a new pair of Christmas pajamas and a Christmas book. And while Little Mister is opening his gift, I sneakily hide Jack somewhere in the house – so he can go and look for him. And how excited is he to find Jack in a place that we’ve been in all day but now he’s there!

Last year Jack had quite the shenanigans…and I’m sure this year will be no different.

So the countdown is on…3 days until the Elf arrives…masked up and ready for Christmas mischief!

Elf on the Shelf, Life, NaBloPoMo

Blog month wrap up, a cancerversary and the return of an old friend.

Well, I made it. 30 posts in 30 days. AND, I didn’t even drive Mr. KK crazy this year.

A few people have asked if I would continue to post every day through December, too. I’m flattered that there are people who want to continue reading for another month! And I love the idea of continuing to write for another month (and lord knows with all of the craziness of December there will be stories!).

However, I feel I should give you a sneak peek into what blogging every day for a month really looks like, in this ridiculously unflattering photo of me, lovingly taken by Mr. KK:

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This photo was likely taken around 10:30pm, me in my well-worn decades-old fleece, literally asleep at the computer while trying to write one of my blog posts. (I do think I should get bonus points for keeping my fingers on the right keys even while sleeping.)

Writing every day for a month is stressful. And exhausting, apparently.

But November 30 not only marks the last day of NaBloPoMo, it’s also my cancer-versary! Today it’s 15 years since I said buh-bye to cancer! I remember that cold November morning, driving to the hospital for my surgery like it was yesterday. In my week-long recovery in the hospital I alternated between napping, reading actual physical books, and binge watching HGTV and the Food Network (we didn’t have smartphones 15 years ago, or any devices for that matter…in fact, there isn’t one photo of me at the hospital or recovering from my surgery).

Fast forward 15 years, and here I am: Mom to the Little Mister and our four-legged fur baby, Rocco. This sweet photo was taken just this morning of Rocco watching the sun come up, apparently one hour before he threw up all over our living room sofa. Ah, kids.

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Being the official start of the holiday season, I spent the day Christmas shopping today. And tonight, I gave Mr. KK an early Christmas present: I drank brown liquor.

I know.

Technically, it was a mixed drink (as requested by me, one that would slightly mask the flavor of the bourbon enough so I could get it down). After converting me to an IPA drinker, I know it’s Mr. KK’s life mission to get me to drink bourbon. I cannot drink it straight (the smell alone turns me off), and I’m not yet cool enough to drink a manhattan, though how I dream of the day I could order one!

Instead, we went the Grapefruit and Thyme Bourbon Smash Recipe, courtesy of The Tipsy Giraffe.

And I have to say, it tasted pretty good – and it was so pretty it looked even better!

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And heaven knows I needed a cocktail because look who made his re-appearance tonight for the month of December:

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He’s baaaaaack! Little Mister was so excited to see him! Let the threatening holiday spirit commence!

In fact, my nightly alarm to move the elf just went off!

Thanks for reading along this month!

Christmas, Elf on the Shelf

I can’t wait for the Elf on a Shelf to return.

I know some of you will cringe when you read this title; not because it’s about the Elf on a shelf (the creator of whom I’m sure receives hate mail) but because I’m talking about CHRISTMAS before Thanksgiving has even happened.

But I love Christmas. And if I didn’t think my family would boycott, the tree would be up and the house would be decorated before Thanksgiving this year. (Thanksgiving is LATE this year, y’all!)

Last year, I spent time debating whether to Elf or not to Elf, and in the end, decided that I wanted to start the Elf on a Shelf tradition because the Little Mister would get a kick of out if. And, if we’re being honest, I had fun with it, too.

I didn’t do anything too crazy with him – like have him poop Hershey Kisses, or make a snow angel in sugar on the counter (who wants to clean that up?), but our Elf, Jack, had enough antics that made the Little Mister smile every morning.

 

I commend him on his appreciation for fine bourbon, and for leaving the house just as he found it.

Jack will arrive on the Friday after Thanksgiving, in a big box from the North Pole addressed to the Little Mister, with a Christmas book and Christmas pajamas inside.

Suggestions on what antics Jack the Elf should find himself up to this year?