Well, since I am currently watching HGTV (addicted) and making white chocolate macadamia & chocolate chip/walnut cookies...Let's just say there has been a whole lot of cookie baking in this household. I will be making my famous reindeer cookies this week too, and when I do, I will be sure to share the recipe with you. They are pretty much amazing if I do say so myself.
I've been busy with just life in general: Working my 8-5 (When I get home, I'm wiped out), coordinating weddings, events, and Christmas company parties at my second job, Photo shoots, Editing pictures which is completely time consuming, Working on my photography website/blog, baking, cooking a lot, cleaning house I swear every day, visiting family, going out with friends, Christmas plays at church, just tons of little things that have deprived my energy and made me slack on my beloved blog. Ha.
Want to know something HORRIBLE? I am STILL not done with Christmas shopping...SHHH! I only have half of it done, and I have only been out ONCE in all the holiday shopping mess. Gasp! I knowwww :( I only have 2 days left, and I don't get paid again til' Friday morning. Have I mentioned how much I hate being a grown up, and how much I hate student loans, and don't get me started on how much I love to pay bills!
And you want to know something else??? I didn't even make a Christmas list this year! GASP AGAIN! Haha! Of course there are things I want, but they aren't things that I really need.
Here is a little story to let you understand what present giving is like in my family:
I didn't grow up in a wealthy family. I didn't grow up in a medium income family. My family struggled quite a bit, but my Mom always found a way to give to her kids the best she possibly could even when she didn't have the money. She always found a way to buy me a dress for a dance, or an outfit for the first day of school. She sacrificed everything for her kids.
When it comes to Christmas, she has always gone above and beyond the call of duty. I've never really understood why, and when I was younger, I really didn't know any better. Getting up and running to the tree and seeing presents was what Christmas was about to me. As I grew up, I started to understand the true meaning of Christmas. However, my Mom still continued to go overboard on gifts even when my brother and I would beg her to stop buying so much. I know, that sounds funny haha. Who doesn't enjoy getting gifts? But really, my Mom just loves presents piled up around her tree, and to the point you almost get tired of unwrapping paper. ALMOST, ;).
A few years ago, she told me a story about a Christmas we had when I was in the 1st grade. We lived in a home that we could barely afford, and my Dad had promised he would have a paycheck before Christmas so they could buy Christmas presents. (I DO remember seeing the tree, present-less, all the way up to Christmas morning.) I didn't think anything about it though because I was young and didn't really pay much attention to it. My Mom said that on Christmas Eve my Dad came home without the paycheck he had promised, and she sat there and cried and cried and cried until she couldn't cry anymore. She said she had $25 in her wallet to buy presents for my brother and me. So, she went to the Dollar Store and bought everything she could for $25. I remember waking up that morning, and my brother had stopped me by the stairs. He held me and said, "We were bad this year Shay," while wiping away his tears. I ran to the Christmas tree, saw my presents and screamed and played and did all the typical things kids do on Christmas morning. Honestly, I don't remember what was all under the tree, and I don't remember my Mom being sad. I don't remember much about this day at all. All I know is that my Mom never forgot that Christmas morning, and she swore from that Christmas on that she would do everything in her power to make sure we had a better Christmas. And needless to say, she has always done that.
It broke my heart to hear her tell me that story, because I had no idea how much she went through. I've told her a million times to control her buying habits, and what does she do? She does without and she buys more than she should. She's gotten a lot better though as I've gotten older, and this year she swears it will be small. Christmas isn't about the presents, it's about being with your family. As my brother and I get older, I feel that she has come to realize that our favorite present is just being together as a family and celebrating Jesus' birthday. I feel blessed to still be here, alive, and with a loving family. It's the best gift of all if you ask me.
Yesterday I went to my older brother's house and my sister-in-law told me something that I think I am going to apply to my family, and my children someday.
She said her friend has three kids. She buys each of her kids three presents each. Two that they want, and one that she wants to give them. Why three presents? Because that is how many Jesus received.
How perfect is this???
I told my Mom about it last night and we have agreed to do this from here on out. I love this idea, and I think it will help her, as well as me not go above and beyond. I mean, I might ONE day when I'm more well off, but for now, this sounds perfect.
Okay, so enough of present giving and story telling...
The cookies I'm making smell DELISH! Nom nom nom! :)
And now for some randomness:
I am OFF of work for the next TWO weeks from my 8-5! This is MY Christmas present to myself ;) I had 10 days I had to take off before the end of the year, and conveniently I got to take them off this week and next week. It was really nice getting things done around the house today and spending some time with my furbabies. Chicka chicka yeahhhhh! ;)
I had a photoshoot in Dallas yesterday and I had to drive on I-35...the World's Worst Highway in all Creation! I-35 a death trap. I hate it. People do not know how to drive. Just the other night...I saw a lady driving recklessly and I looked at my husband and said, "If she is texting and driving I am going to give her a GO TO HELL look!" (I have road rage, sorry ;)) And what was this lady doing????
TEXTING and DRIVING. I then pointed my finger and said, "No!" as if I was a teacher slapping the hand of a 1st grader. I'm sorry but it's dangerous. Your text can wait. Facebook can wait. It's not worth it lady! :)
And here are some pictures I have snapped with my iphone during the past week or two...
Yes, my husband was two-steppin' with Furlee around the living room. Sorry for the blurred picture, but this was too cute not to share! :)
The pups have found a new "fetch" toy. They fight over it a lot.
My husband and I were at Sonic the other night and Dominoes was there delivering a pizza. I found it quite comical.
We went to the grocery store and were craving chicken sketti. So, what does my husband do? He calls his Mom for her recipe :) I loved this.
Yeah. I can't help but get pen all over me when I sit at the computer. You'd think I'd put the cap on my pens. I never learn. People at work probably thought I never took a shower lol...& P.s.) It took three showers to get the ink off. Ha. Ha.
How cute is Mr. Furlee? He loves my old down comforter. :)
Like I said, lots of baking :)
Hubs surprised me with some roses :) :) :)
Pretty sunset :)
I love looking down and seeing my three boys. They make me so happy.
The one day we actually went Christmas shopping. I was pooped.
I met up with some friends last night and we had a lot of fun :)
The temperature on my car YESTERDAY. Happy 1st day of winter! :(
I saw Black Swan. Awesome movie. Natalie Portman better win a Golden Globe. Girl did amazing...
I also saw The A-Team last night at my brother's house and Ohhh Myyyy...Bradley Cooper...MmmmMmmmMmm. Hubby knows my obsession. It's cool.
And if you could pretty please pray for my friend Jenn and her family. Her father passed away yesterday after having complications from a gallbladder surgery. Any prayers you can say for my sweet friend would be very appreciated.
Now, I'm off. I have lots of shopping to do.
Have a wonderful day! :)