Holidaze Weekend




Gang, Christmas is one week away and not only have I not finished my shopping…our house isn’t decorated.   At all.  Mike managed to grab one of the last few trees from the corner store.  The poor thing is now propped in a corner of the living room, the lower half decorated with lights that Pax put up.  But we haven’t had a hot second to get out our Christmas books (much less read them), no cookie baking, tree decorating, Santa visits or caroling (hahahaha – that one only happens in my dreams).  Instead we’ve been in a whirlwind of school (and research papers?? REALLY THIRD GRADE TEACHERS, REALLY?), hip-hop dance performances, ski team and….huh.  I don’t even know what else.  But I sense time flying by and it makes me want to grab my quickly growing boys and hide.

Any advice, experienced moms?  Is this how it is, now that both boys are in school?  (Lie, please.  I’m so not ready for the truth.)

Anyway, considering my looming to-do list (1. Create Christmas Joy Now, 2. Repeat,  3.  And Oh Yeah, Laundry)….this weekend post was looking awfully sparse.  Happily, the rest of the TME gang had enough fun links for all of us.  Friends.  They’re seriously everything.


Need a gift for a book nerd? Cam came across this article,  Clever Artist Transforms Your Favorite Books Into Adorable Pieces of Jewelry and had us all swooning.  Which book would you pick?  Peter Pan is one of my favorites – so cleverly written, but the quote from Pride & Prejudice made me tear up a little.

Abercrombie is now restocked and is 50% off.  We can’t believe what Abercrombie has done to themselves.  We LOVE it.  If you haven’t seen the updates, both Scotti and Cam have covered it.

LOFT also has 50% off EVERYTHING.  I especially love this oversized, ice-blue sweater, this seriously chic puffer coat (I mean wow), and the velvet swing dress (now back in stock!!)  Of course, I’ve been wearing the heck out of my faux-fur scarf, so if you haven’t yet grabbed one, now is the time.

Throwing a NYE party?  Jess found some awesome photo props at Crowd Signs.  So fun – and it’s owned by her friend Dani.


Laura has been reading  The Cozy Life.  It’s about “the Danish concept of hygge. LOVING it…since I pretty much wish I were Scandinavian. It’s about discovering joy through simple things, like curling up in comfy slippers with a hot drink and good book, your favorite candle burning. It’s a good reminder for this time of year and a short little read since we’re all so busy.”

Do your kids still believe in Santa?  I’m worried that this might be R’s last year.  Thankfully, Laura found this article, How to Tell Kids About Santa that made me tear up.  It’s about transitioning your kids out of believing in Santa by teaching them to be anonymous gift-givers.  So perfect.

We have hot cocoa on the brain.  Laura, who is obviously our holiday overachiever (so jealous!!), made her own marshmallows using this recipe:  Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix + Cinnamon Maple Marshmallows.  Dear god, girl.  If only you lived next door.



Cam, on the other hand is going for Fluffy Pink Unicorn Hot Chocolate.  IJustCan’tEven.

Jess has The Hungry Gentleman on the brain.  His IG feed is good.  In many, many ways. (wink wink)

Leave it to the data nerd to find this Most Popular Baby Names by State 1910 – 2015 infographic.  Thanks, Mike!

Still need decorations?  Amanda is going to make these Star Wars Snowflakes.  My boys would freak.  And?  There’s a video.



Happy weekend, you guys.  I gotta go get my Christmas on.





  1. I’ve discovered that if we don’t get all the Christmas stuff out the day after Thanksgiving (we’re always home because we host), it doesn’t happen. We rearrange the furniture to fit the tree and stick the tree stand there, all bare like, because it makes us go out and get a tree. My kids all have December birthdays (the 19th, the 23rd, and the 27th) so starting early is the only way to be sure we get it all done! And Amazon Prime. I will even order toilet paper and hand soap on the Internet rather than drag my kids all out for a quick errand. I buy last minute gifts there too. Can’t beat free 2 day shipping, and it only takes a few taps while I’m waiting in the school pick up line or nursing the littlest.

  2. Well, we hosted a pretty huge open house on December 10th, so a deadline like that will make decorating more of a priority, LOL! My kids are 10 and 13, and I think you have to be more intentional about things as they get older, and really make decisions about what’s most important to your family. I ask my kids what their most important Christmas traditions are so I can make sure we get to them (for instance, my daughter always has her friends over to decorate sugar cookies — that’s her most important). Maybe your family decorates the tree on the last day of school before December break, or something. As long as it works for you guys, don’t worry about it! It seems to me that your family spends a lot of time out and about, enjoying the holiday cheer — so go with that!

  3. I would have a serious conversation with the teacher about homework. The benefits of homework before middle school are nonexistent by every measure we have. The book It’s OK to Go Up the Slide has a good chapter summarizing the research and offering tips on negotiating with teachers and schools. As a former public school teacher, I believe in homework, but only within very strict guidelines, and most teachers are very willing to negotiate. Happy Holidays!

  4. Ah, there’s so much advice people can give at this time of life but after 3 children and raising one almost to adulthood (17) while homeschooling I would say that the most important thing is to find your priorities. For us, we have focused on the relationships. The world will always be there to push and pressure and remind our children that to be successful they (and you) need to be doing more, having more, experiencing more. But the thing the world isn’t so good at is helping our children learn how to have good relationships. What matters isn’t the gifts or the parties or the decorations but what you taught them along the way. So easy to say, huh? What does that even mean? TALK to them, spend time with them, enjoy the journey! Trust me, everything you do for them all boils down to one thing; are you raising kind, caring people that you’ll want to be friends with later on? All the busyness and pressure will be a constant presence in your life from here on out but if you remember that someday they’ll be grownups and you’ll want them to be men of good character first it will be easier to put all the outside influences in their place. Give yourself some grace for not getting it all done. You’ve got a higher purpose here and it’s the best, most rewarding thing a person can do!

  5. My only wisdom to share this holiday season, and it’s so applicable: PRESENT, NOT PERFECT. The best gift we can give to out families is not a stressed-out mama but a calm, happy one. She might not have homemade cookies to feed her kidlets and a perfectly decorated house, but she’s pleasant and loving and knows what her priorities are. xxxx

  6. A research paper in grade 3 the week before Christmas? Seriously. They should be busy watching Elf in class. I agree with another commenter there is zero benefit to homework in the early grades. And, as the mum of 2 high school students I can tell you that they step up when they get to high school and do the work.
    I would also say pick your traditions. You can’t (and shouldn’t) do it all. Find something that is meaningful for your family and do that. We do some baking (not a lot) and the other day I brought home a box of Belgian chocolate cookies. The excitement over these cookies was enormous. It was like I not only made them myself but milled the flour and sourced the chocolate.
    One thing we staring doing several years ago was have a small (limited number of people; the tree this year looked small on the lot but less so in my living room) tree trimming party. It’s always a success. I haul out the ornaments and set the tree up before people arrive and then kids and adults randomly throw stuff on the tree. It’s all kinds of crazy but in one evening the house is decorated. Perfectly? No. But everyone loves it.
    The final thing for a perfect Christmas is love. Really the kids just remember that you were together and you did stuff and laughed.

  7. All I can about busy-ness is that, now that I’m a full-time working-outside-the-home mom to a 10-year-old & a 12-year-old both doing travel basketball (in addition to all the usual school obligations, homework, playdates, birthday parties, family time, etc.), I look back on the days of having todders/preschoolers/kindergartners/early-school-agers and think, “I can’t believe I thought THAT was busy!” It’s sort of like how before you have kids when you think your life is just SO busy & insane, then you have babies & laugh (affectionately) at your childless friends who complain about how busy their lives are. That’s probably not what you wanted to hear. BUT! My consolation for you is this—we moms have an endless ability to acclimate & adapt! What seems crazy-busy at first just becomes the new normal of parenting that age/stage of children–& we handle it. Just like we always do. 🙂 Happy Holidays!

  8. I just wanted to plant a little idea in your mind… Have you ever considered homeschooling, just for a year, even? Probably not yet, but when they are both reading well independently it can work really great and you can do So MUCH awesome stuff. Travel, special study projects, home economics stuff…. And you get them with you all the time which can be both wonderful and overwhelming but certainly makes for Forever Family Memories!

  9. Shana, thanks for capturing what I feel now. Being sick the last week put me further behind schedule. And I just read Scotti’s post and now have to find a special ornament! No, but seriously, I have an important question. What is the hoodie you are wearing? It looks great!
    Happy Holidays!

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