Dec 29, 2015

Christmas 2015: Stops 3 & 4

Yesterday I stopped after recapping our Christmas Eve, which looked like this: paint real quick, shower at lightning speed, then have a 2.5 hour event take almost 5. We got home around 7:30 and still had plenty of work to do before we could go to bed. But not before a special gift for my two main men. Tucker slept on the way home and was OUT when we got home. Normally I would just let him sleep, but not tonight! Tuck and Daddy had a gift to open.


They weren't mad once they realized how cute they were.

After snapping a few pictures of those two, I snuck off to "go to the bathroom" aka put on my set of pj's! And like what happens to most moms of young children, my kid barged in on me. And I kid you not, when he saw that I was putting on matching pj's, he started laughing! Which made me laugh too. There was already a chance of me laughing as I walked back into the main area of the house where Danny was, but now that the 2 year old acknowledged how funny I am, all bets were off. So, Tuck and I start walking out there and half way there, Danny starts telling a story. Not wanting his story to take away from the awesomeness of the pj's, I stop in the play room, go in Tuck's room and yell "I'm listening" so he can get his story over with. Once I realize its not going to be a quick 2 minute story, I decide to say hell with it and just go plop my Christmas jammie self on the couch to see what kind of reaction I get. Danny keeps telling his story while I'm holding back the laughter. His story ends with "You think you're so funny don't you?" Yes, honey, yes I do.

Once Tuck was in bed, I still had work to do. I had to make and roll noodles and finish wrapping presents. Tucker LOVES opening presents so I decided it was best to wait and wrap everything I needed the night  before I would need it. It just seemed easier. Well, I couldn't get started on noodles because we were out of pepper in the house, but we had some in the camper. I went out to open the outdoor kitchen but couldn't. Two things I discovered that I can't do: boil an egg and open our outdoor kitchen on the camper. I tried for 10 minutes and quit for fear that I would break the key and we'd be screwed. Once Tucker was in bed and Danny could get the pepper, at 9:30, I finally got to start making noodles. After I slaved over the kitchen counter rolling and cutting homemade noodles, it was time to wrap gifts. Santa only got Tucker 3 gifts so that was nice. I was done wrapping presents and in bed around 12.

We got to sleep until 7:45. Thank you Tuck! We opened presents and thankfully Danny's stepdad stopped by unexpectedly so we could get a picture of us in our pj's. It took him a good 5 minutes to realize we were matching.

After he left, we ate monkey bread and got ready for church. Tucker LOVED the monkey bread. The whole morning he kept asking for more "muffins" and then shoveling it in his mouth.

This was the first time I'd been to church on Christmas Day. Ever. It felt right. Tucker was extremely pleasant too so that was helpful. He offered Peace to anyone possible, during the designated time and he tried too while everyone was walking by for Communion. After Mass he went to check out the sheep in the nativity scene. 

I quickly made my dirt pudding then peeled potatoes for our Christmas with my mom, brother and his girlfriend. Off to Danny's dad's we went. I was practically greeted with a pretty blue drink and that's when I knew it would be a good day. We ate, sampled wine (sample sizes were practically a full glass), then opened presents. Our wine buffet left the 4 out of 5 women half popped by the time gift opening rolled around. We giggled, cracked jokes and had the best time. I had tears in my eyes at one point and it was over some smart ass comment from my mother-in-law about a dish towel. Tucker got a very cool gift from Danny's dad. 

He is getting rid of his firefighter stuff and he gave Tucker this sweet fire truck that you can actually ride. Thankfully it was unseasonably warm on Christmas Day and we got to test it out on the patio.

Next up was Christmas with my family. We headed home so I could start cooking the noodles. Once they were done we ate and opened presents. I got an Ulta gift card, Piyo, my favorite Express shirts, some other clothes, a Target gift card and a selfie stick!!

My mom got the best gift from my brother though. He converted all of our old home videos so that we could watch them on DVD or on the computer. We were able to set it up so we could watch on the tv through the computer. It was awesome. Danny got to see what a brat I was, Megan could see how chunky and goofy Drew was and we all got to hear my dad laugh and play with us. Seriously the best!

Drew and Megan left around 10 and we all went to bed shortly after. This was easily the best Christmas of my adult life. I may have lost sleep because of all of the prep work, but it was 100% worth it.

Dec 28, 2015

Christmas 2015: Stops 1 and 2

The last 2 weeks have been a BLUR! I don't remember the end of December ever being so busy for me at home AND at work! On top of countless parties and hours prepping for Christmas, I had to work in my annual training for work, a Christmas party for a company I work for, driving to deliver treats to clients since our traditional cookie gift wasn't an option since the bakery closed, and then a 4 hour meeting with a client 1.5 hours away on Christmas Eve Eve.  My Elf shirt was perfect for this year.

Today I'm just going to go through Christmas with Danny's mom and Christmas Eve with Danny's extra family.

Last Sunday we had Christmas with Danny's mom. This included Danny's brother and his family, Danny's sister and her girls, and Danny's grandpa. I was in charge of dessert and I made Mix & Match Mama's Peppermint Brownie Trifle. It made a HUGE bowl and only about 4 people ate out of it. I left some for my mother-in-law and niece to eat for breakfast and took the rest home. I proceeded to eat that for breakfast for the next 3 days. Whoops. Danny's mom didn't disappoint on the gifts. I got Tom's Wedges (sooo comfy!), cutting boards (I forgot I asked for these), some fun yogas, and a $25 Ulta gift card. Tucker got some clothes from Aunt D and a fire and police station lego set, a train book and some tractors from Mamaw. I'm not entirely what all Danny got. I think he got some gun cleaning stuff and some DVD documentary set.

Christmas Eve was spent with the family that babysat Danny. I went simple with the gifts for these kids. Really all kids in our life, but mostly these. There are 9 of them, so spending any amount of money on them can add up. I did Movie Night baskets for those over 5 years old. The 5 year old got a Mickey book and the 2 year old got a Mickey tool set. Side note: I originally ordered these for Tuck but after his birthday and the amount toys that he got, I talked to Santa and we decided to give them to these kids instead.  

Food was soup, sandwiches and a snack. I had told one of the brothers about my dad's ham salad before and its a cheap thing to make considering the correct name is "Poor Man's Ham Salad" as it is made with bologna and not ham. 

Funny story about this ham salad. I cannot boil eggs. I can make homemade noodles from scratch, make a boxed cake taste like a bakery cake (thank you Pinterest) and can pretty much work my way around a kitchen. But I cannot boil an egg. If my life depended on boiling an egg, I would probably die. I tried too on Christmas Eve Eve and even asked Danny's co-worker how he does it since he never messes up. Yeah, it didn't work for me. So, at 7:30 pm on Christmas Eve Eve the Summers Family loaded up in the truck on the hunt for hard boiled eggs. Even Diesel went. I didn't want to risk another 8 eggs because eggs cost money, I needed 10 for noodles for Christmas Day and I needed perfect eggs for ham salad. 

So back to Christmas Eve. I was up until 12:30 Tuesday night assembling gifts and 12:30 again on Christmas Eve Eve making ham salad, drinking wine, and cleaning up. THEN on Christmas Eve, we freaking painted! My mom came up to entertain Tucker. I didn't even want to attempt to paint without him being completely occupied. Danny got the ceiling done and while I was doing the trim, we realized one gallon wasn't going to cut it. Danny went to Menards while I kept on painting. Our Christmas Eve as at 2pm and at 1pm I threw my roller down and sprinted to the bathroom. I was a sweaty paint covered mess. I was cleaned up, showered, hair and make up done, and we were loaded in the car and there by 2:15. Everyone is always late so I didn't feel bad.

We ate at 2, waited around for 3.5 HOURS for one of the siblings to get done Christmas shopping and wrap the presents she just purchased, to open gifts for 10 minutes. Everyone had a good time just hanging out so it was worth the wait I suppose.

We left Christmas Eve at 6:30 or 7 to go home and get ready for Santa. That is where I'll stop and hopefully pick up tomorrow!

Dec 15, 2015

My Christmas List

Ever since I started dating Danny, I've had to really start making Christmas lists.  Not for Danny, but for his mom. My mother-in-law is the type that doesn't like to give just gift cards or money. She wants you to open an actual gift. She doesn't care if you already know what you're getting, because if you give her a list of just a few items you pretty much know exactly what you're getting, she just wants you to have an actual gift. It's kind of nice. The first couple of years I was really bad about it and struggled to come up with a list. My mom always knew what to get me growing up. She knew my style (pretty much all American Eagle), if she wanted to get me a CD she knew what to get (Kenny Chesney please), and if it was softball related it was more than likely going to make me happy. So for the last 6ish Christmases, I'm back to making a list like I'm 8 years old again. And its fun! My mom asks for lists from us now that she doesn't live with her children and know our every move and interest. My mom and mother-in-law get 2 separate lists, then I use the money I get from Danny's dad and stepmom to fill in the gaps and buy whatever else strikes my fancy throughout the year.

Here is what is on my Christmas list this year:

Tom's Wedges - I'm trying to rebuild my work wardrobe to make it more "Casual Friday" than "Weekend." It has to do with that whole "look good, feel good" philosophy that I firmly believe in.  These will be perfect.

Portofino Shirts from Express - I bought 3 of these shirts on my girls weekend to help me start rebuilding my work wardrobe. They are PERFECT for what I'm going for. They look great with jeans for when I'm meeting with my farmers or with black skinnies when I'm meeting with just about any other customer.

PiYo! - I need this in my life. It's a great workout and my physical therapist confirmed it yesterday. I have too much mobility in my back because my core is weak (not a surprise) and he said yoga and pilates would be extremely beneficial to my back. Not a fix, but beneficial. Sign. Me. Up!

Ulta giftcard - I'm in the market for a new curling iron. Or two. I think I need a 1" and maybe a 1.5". I don't know exactly what kind I want so I couldn't tell my mom or mother-in-law a brand, but I know I'll be going to Ulta to make my purchase and probably blow the money I get from my father-in-law.

Fun yoga pants - I put these on my mother-in-laws list. My mom would play it too safe because her style is more bold than mine. I wanted to see what my mother-in-law thought I would like. I left my list on her desk when I dropped Tucker off one day and she wasn't home (no worries, Danny's stepdad was there so Tucker wasn't left alone). The next day when I dropped him off with her, as I was leaving, she said "How crazy am I allowed to get with these yoga pants?" She had a smirk on her face and I could tell she was excited. I'm guessing I'll end  up with pants like this. Something a little more fun than what I would pick for myself.
There were a few other things, but those are the items that I can really remember.

I usually don't give Danny a list. He usually has to fend for himself. This year I gave him a little help because he kind of dropped the ball on my birthday and I didn't want to be disappointed again. I asked for him to pick out an outfit for me. I didn't set him up for complete failure. I gave him a list of stores that I shop at (because I really don't think he had a clue) with a list of sizes for each. He's only ever bought me t-shirts from trips he's been on without me and never any REAL clothes. Like what I did with his mom, I want to see what he thinks I would like.

I'm really excited about this Christmas. Who else likes making Christmas lists for all of the Santas in your life?

Dec 7, 2015

A Fire Truck & Egg Nog Weekend

We just got done with one of my favorite weekends out of the entire year: Egg Nog Extravaganza weekend!

The weekend started out with our town's annual Christmas parade. Now that Tucker is 2, events like this are becoming more fun. I mean, it's always fun riding in an ambulance or back of a fire truck during parades, but the moment Danny has been waiting on for a few years finally happened. Tucker's first ride in a parade. We did it right too. He didn't ride in an ambulance, or the grass truck, or even the tanker. Little man got to ride in the engine! THE fire truck.

Tucker did a pretty good job riding shot gun in the parade. He did his fair share of waving until about half way through, then I had to start waving and being real animated about it so he would start up again. So, about half the town saw me waving like a fool. They also might have seen Tuck digging for gold. 

Once the parade was over, we went home so Tuck could go to bed and I could start the party prep. I also got our Christmas cards addressed, sealed and stamped. I had a fear that I would die like George's fiancĂ© on Seinfeld when she licked all of the envelopes for their wedding invitations.

Saturday was party day. We were supposed to do Tucker's birthday breakfast at one of the diners in town, but when I tried to start laundry the washer wouldn't turn on. Which made me think the outlet in the island not working the night before was a bigger deal than I originally thought. Pair those with the fact that the outlets where Danny charges his page and I charge my wine opener (you know, our important things), you might have a real issue. A couple of hours later, my jack of all trades hubby had it fixed and we enjoyed take out breakfast. Danny took Tucker to pick up the keg so he would nap and I could focus on getting shit done. Once they got home, Tucker and I went to my great aunt's house to visit with my dad's sister and her husband. Other cousins and my brother and his fiancé were there too. We couldn't stay long, but Tucker had fun playing and he got spoiled with some more birthday presents.

Seriously, how am I so short?

Tuck and I rushed home so I could finish making the party food and be there when our BFF's who just moved to Ohio this year got there. They came over a couple hours early so we could actually visit with them. Again, more presents for Tucker (a 48-piece Mickey Mouse tool set... making a mental note for when they have a 2 year old). The kid is going to think he opens presents every weekend in December. They also brought me a festive wine glass and my own bottle of wine. They get me.

Food was prepped, wine was drank and then it was party time. Here is the menu:
Danny's chili
Spinach and Artichoke Dip - its got a bit of a kick too it. Soooo good!
Ro-tel cups - I doubled this finally. I usually make one batch and everyone always asks if there are more. I got asked anyways.
Bacon Cheddar Ranch Pinwheels
Peppermint Cookies and Cream popcorn - this was delicious. I may make a batch to take with me when I visit customers in the next couple of weeks!

I don't have a picture with just Danny, but we didn't do anything extravagant for our outfits this year. I had an awesome Buddy the Elf shirt (found at Walmart) and his sweater had Santa wearing camo pants drinking a beer. Here we are with my people. My brother, my future sister-in-law and my mom.

Annual prom picture with my senior year prom date.

He is my BFF's little brother. We made a deal when I was a sophomore, and he was in 7th grade, that if I wasn't dating anyone by prom time my senior year that he was going with me since he would be a freshman. No real boyfriend (Danny and I were on and off and I thought we were done for good when it came time to start figuring dates out.. what did I know?!) so I followed through. We do this every year, except the year the Extravaganza was combined with a diaper party for Danny. A prom pose picture at 9 months pregnant would have been awesome though.

My "little" cousin who is 5 years younger than I am, 8 inches taller and looks like she's the older one.

We love having this party. I'm hoping next year I'll be more on top of my game and have a better planned outfit!

Dec 4, 2015


Today, at 2:33pm, I will officially have a 2 year old. I mean, wasn't this picture just taken yesterday?

Since I haven't documented as much of Tucker's 2nd whole year of life, I thought I would share some pictures to show what he's been up too for the last year.
He discovered the art of fit throwing.

He learned that being a little brother means tormenting your older sibling and that you'll always have a buddy.

He has no problem telling people what to do. Like, telling his Dad to get out of HIS chair that he was comfortably sitting in and cover him up.

Tucker likes to clean. Swiffer WetJets are his favorite, but brooms are fun too. Not kid brooms, real full sized brooms.

For some reason, he enjoys getting meat out of our freezer in the garage. He will throw a fit if you don't let him carry in a little white package of something. This is also how I meal plan.

Like his father who used to do this as a child, he can fall asleep in the middle of a meal.

We are approaching the phase where Dad is cooler than Mom because he has tools.

Everything is Tucker's... even Mommy's retainer.

Tucker went to the zoo for the first time, where he learned how much he loves monkeys and when both Grandma's are present you can have practically anything you want.

The first time he ate real cereal, he knew exactly what you're supposed to do when there are only a few pieces left in a bowl full of milk. I never once had to explain it.

He went on his first plane ride. This also took him out of the country and on his first cruise.

On this cruise we learned that he loves shrimp cocktail and how attached he is to Mamaw. Seriously, Mamaw is his favorite person. Ever.

Like most toddlers, he doesn't love to hear the word "no."

He is obsessed with mowers. His own and Daddy's, which of course is also his.

Bedtime started requiring stuffed animals. As in 4.

He MUST help push the cart. Getting him to sit in the cart requires a bribe of some sort.

He can't go to bed without his picture of Mamaw and Papaw. Although he loves his Papaw, he has to have the picture because Mamaw is in it. *Fun fact: He sees Mamaw and Papaw every single day, for 8ish hours.

He's spent a lot of time watching either his Mamaw or me get ready in the morning. He is pretty confident that he knows how to put make up on.

He can practically make breakfast for you.

And he can make the coffee that goes with it. Sit him on the counter, hand him a cup and tell him what color of k-cup you want (sometimes he doesn't give a shit what one you want though), and he'll do the rest.

He'll do anything for a sucker, which sometimes means having family pictures taken with a sucker in his mouth.

He LOVES camping.

And chips and salsa.


Now, I'm going to spend the rest of my day trying to figure out where time has gone. Happy birthday, little man.