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Friday Favorites: MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Hi friends!!!
HAPPY FRIDAY!!

Wow. I had intentions of getting up several blog posts this week...but um yeah. that didn't happen. HA! It's been a FULL, FUN week of Christmas EVERYTHING for my kiddos- so pretty much everything else has had to be put on the back burner. 
I HAVE cooked dinner every night this week...which to me feels like I am MAJORLY winning at life. So there's that. HA! Don't ask to see the state of my laundry though. It is NOT a pretty situation currently.

Anyway...it's Friday and the kids get out at noon and then we are OFFICIALLY on Christmas Break!!! I am SO excited and I know they are too. I am ready for some lazy mornings and the freedom to just come and go as we please. 
Not having to make lunches and rush out the door by 7:30 am is the best Christmas present I could receive. HA!

Since it's Friday...here's some fun FAVORITES I wanted to share with you!!

//ONE//
This Christmas, I have been more focused on staying within our budget and not just buying STUFF to buy it. This is VERY different than many previous years :)
I mean- there is SO much cute Christmas stuff out there. The crafts! The coloring books! ITS.ALL.SO.CUTE!
But- wow. it adds up- not just on my credit card bill...but in my cabinets and drawers too! HA!
And I can't stand clutter! So- I have tried to do more "free" things this season. A fun thing we've been doing is utilizing the hundreds upon hundreds of FREE worksheets and coloring sheets and activity pages available on the internet. The girls LOVE when I print them off a coloring page or activity sheet- and because of the kindness of the people who created them- they don't cost a thing! I thought this Elf activity page was especially cute! You can find it HERE along with TONS of other free printables!
//TWO//
Aaron and I were WAY more social than we normally are and attended two Christmas parties last weekend! One was at our church and the other one was his office party. It was SO fun to get dressed up and hang out with Aaron and all the people he works with everyday. It's kind of crazy...because he spends more time at work than he does at home...so it's always nice to get the opportunity to spend some time with his "other" family. HA!
//THREE//
The pace of our life is pretty much GO, GO, GO...so lately, more than usual, all I have wanted to do is just SIT and BE WITH MY KIDS.
A couple nights ago, the girls and I snuggled up in our reading area and read a few Christmas books and it was heaven. I love them so much!! A lot of our time is spent going here and there...so to just have them snuggled up on me was the BEST. 
//FOUR//
I consider every single one of you a friend...so I thought it was only fitting to share our Christmas card with you!!
I shared earlier in the month, I used Simply To Impress this year for our Christmas cards and I am SO happy with how they came out!
And here's the back of our card....
//FIVE//
And finally- here's what I want to leave you with today, as we enter into the next few days of celebrating Christmas:

"What it comes down to is this: True joy is not found in anything of the earth. No money, no connections, no power, no pleasure, no position, no worldly sense of freedom can take the place of the happiness of knowing God." Claire Dwyer
 “Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
Wishing you all the most beautiful days with your loved ones as you celebrate Christmas. My hope is that no matter where you are this holiday season, you have a peace and joy in your heart, that can only come from knowing God's unending love for you.

Merriest Christmas to you!!!
And HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

My plan is to take a little holiday break from the blog as well as from Instagram. I want to detach and be fully present with my family as well accomplish some things that I would love to have done before the New Year arrives!!

I will be back the first week of January! Until then, sending all of my love and wishing you a beautiful CHRISTmas!

Linking up with AndreaErika and Narci!

Linking up with TifBeckyDellaWhitney and Katie too!







Hello Monday!!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Hi friends!!

Happy Monday!!

How was your weekend??
Our's was pretty fun and FESTIVE!!

Friday night, Aaron and I went to a party at our church for all the people who work with the children and young adults at our church. It was SO fun! We played a bunch of "reindeer" games and got to hang out with a lot of great people! The MAJOR bonus was that the people who organized the party hired a bunch of high schoolers to watch our kiddos for us! So while we were partying on the first floor, our kiddos were having pizza, playing and watching a movie right upstairs! They had a blast too and we all collapsed into bed after all the fun we had!
Saturday morning, Aaron headed off to work, the kids put on a show upstairs in the playroom and I got to work making 16 dozen cinnamon rolls!!!
My hairdresser texted me a couple days ago and asked if I thought she was crazy for asking me to make her 16 dozen cinnamon rolls. HA! She wanted to give them as gifts (which makes me feel so flattered that she thinks my cinnamon rolls are yummy enough to give as gifts) and I was happy to do it for her (don't worry- she paid me)!
Johannah outdid herself AGAIN and created these adorable labels to be put on the lid of the cinnamon rolls. She is seriously AMAZING and creates these designs all on her own!!
Literally- I text her and say something like, "I need a graphic that is festive and tells how to re-heat my cinnamon rolls!" and she responds with, "I can do that!" and then VIOLA. She sends me the BEST graphic. I just love her!!
Saturday evening, we took the kiddos to a cute little "Santa's Workshop" event at one of our local parks. Ya'll probably won't believe this - but we have never taken all 5 of the kids to see Santa. We've "seen" him before- but never visited him and met him and talked with him! It has just never been on our "MUST DO" Christmas list. Anyway- this made the experience extra fun and they kids were SO sweet and cute and just thought it was SO neat to meet Santa!
 Sunday evening, Aaron and I went to his work Christmas party. It was at a local venue, which was decorated SO pretty for Christmas! The food was super yummy and it was just a lot of fun to hang out with Aaron and his co-workers. They all told me Aaron is totally "crazy" and they just love how much fun he is. YUP. That pretty much sums Aaron up. He is loud and funny and there is really never a dull moment with him! One of the reasons I love him so much!
And now it's Monday! This is my kiddos last week of school and then we're off for Christmas break!! There is a party or pageant or something else Christmas related going on every day this week...so Marshall and I will be up at their school A LOT. It should be tons of fun and a little bit crazy. HA!

What's going on for you this week? Are your kiddos on break yet? Finishing up Christmas shopping and other "stuff?" I'd love to know!! Tell me in the comments!

Hope you have the BEST day!

Linking up with JohannahHeather and Lindsay today!





Friday Favorites!!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Hi!! Happy Friday!!!

I am feeling especially happy today because yesterday was my last day at the preschool I work at until JANUARY!! I love my job...but I also love NOT feeling like I am being pulled in 100 different directions. HA! Next week, Marshall is out of school, but the 4 big kids still have school. It's going to work out great...they all have so many programs and parties going on..and since I am not working..Marshall and I will be able to attend all of them!!! I am so excited!

Anyone else in a state of disbelief that Christmas is less than 2 weeks away? I am "physically" ready for Christmas (minus needing to mail a couple packages and get a few more stocking stuffers)- but mentally...I am sitting here thinking..."HOW?" A new year is just a few weeks away and it's just crazy how fast time flies by. 

Since it's Friday, I am sharing some FAVORITES of mine from this past week, including a few things that would be great gifts to pick up if you still need to finish up your shopping!

//ONE//
If you are looking for a great, inexpensive gift and USEFUL gift- get this SD card adapter!!
My beautiful friend April mentioned this on her IG stories and I promptly sent Aaron the link to it :) He got it for me for my birthday and I have been like, "Where has this thing been the last 8 years??" I used my "big" DSLR camera A LOT and it can be kind of a pain to always have to insert my SD card into my computer, upload the pictures and then send them to my phone. This little gadget, that is under $10 solves that inconvenience!! It is SO great! So glad April shared about it!! You can find it HERE if you are thinking you or someone else in your life could use of these little adapters!!!
//TWO//
On Wednesday, I gave a little virtual home tour of our house decorated at Christmas- you can check out the post HERE! This little area, on top of our piano, is one of my FAVORITE spots in the house. It's simple and pretty and I just love it! :)
(P.S. I got that little "Joy to the World" manger sign from WALMART! They have several REALLY pretty signs like that currently! I found mine in of the special, holiday decor aisles! It was $3.97!)
//THREE//
I know there are SOOOO many wonderful Christmas books out there. We have SO many and I just love all of them! But- if I had to recommend one to add to your library this year- it would be "Room for a Little One"
The illustrations are beautiful and it is the sweetest, simplest story of CHRISTmas. 
You can find it HERE on Amazon! And with a Prime membership- it can be at your house before Christmas!
//FOUR//
A couple nights ago, I shared on my IG stories about what we are giving the kids' teachers for Christmas. It is my FAVORITE gift to give because who doesn't love smell "special" soap from Bath and Body Works and a couple festive hand towels??!? 
I wait until the soaps for on sale for $2.95 each and I stack that sale price with a $10 off $30 coupon. They go on sale like that about 2 times during the holiday shopping season and I always buy the maximum amount allowed when they run those sales! The hand towels are from Walmart and they come in a pack of 2 for $3.88! They have several different sayings and patterns...but this "Have yourself a Merry little Christmas" towel set was my FAVORITE.
I am all about giving thoughtful, yet functional gifts. The way I make the gifts EXTRA special is by having the kids write thank you notes to their teachers in a pretty Christmas card. I know their teachers love getting a nice gift..but I think more than anything- a handwritten note of appreciation means the MOST!
//FIVE//
I just love this quote :)
This is probably our most "sparkliest" weekend of the whole month :)
Tonight, we have a Christmas party at church for all the adults who work with the youth of our church...they are providing free childcare for the kids- which makes the evening EXTRA awesome!
Tomorrow- Aaron is working all day- but when he gets home from the hospital- we are headed to one of our local nature preserves to go to Santa's Workshop!! The event is all outdoors and there are going to bonfires, hayrides, hot chocolate and Santa is going to be hanging out!
Sunday, Aaron is working (again ;) and we have church and then his work Christmas party in the evening. 
It's going to be a jammed packed weekend but I am looking forward to all the special holiday fun!

What do you have going on? Is it a "all is calm and bright" kind of weekend? Or more like a "rocking around the Christmas tree" kind of weekend?

Whatever you are up to..I sure hope it's lovely!

Hope you have a FABULOUS FRIDAY and a WONDERFUL WEEKEND!

Linking up with AndreaErika and Narci!

Linking up with TifBeckyDella, Whitney and Katie too!





Our Home at Christmas Time!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Hi friends!!

Happy Wednesday!! 
Hope you're having a great week!!

So excited to be "opening' our home to you today and showing you how we have it decorated for Christmas!!

Welcome!! Come on in!!
If you were coming over for a visit, before we started our home tour, you know I would pour you a cup of coffee with my FAVORITE holiday creamer!!
Let's start in the kitchen!

In our little "everyday" dining area, I have this "NOEL" sign up.
On our kitchen table, we have this little Christmas tree. We are doing this fun 25 Days of Christ activity and everyday the kids read a bible verse and hang out an ornament associated with the verse! This is our first year doing this activity and the kids are loving it!
Moving from the kitchen into the living room!
I love decorating the space on top of our piano!
On our mantle, I have some garland and then one of these little trees with gold and silver ornaments on both sides of the TV. 
From the living room, we're going to head out to our sunroom!
This is our "fun" tree that the kids decorated themselves and it is just a mish-mash of ornaments!! I LOVE this tree!
Fun, festive Christmas pillows!
I have always wanted a space where I can hang up a bunch of Christmas wreaths!! I was so excited to get to do this in our new sunroom!
 Leaving the sunroom, we're going to head upstairs!

This is the girls' Christmas tree they have in their room. They decorate it themselves and it is just the SWEETEST little tree!
 The boys have this tiny little Christmas tree in their room and SANTA!
We have a little reading nook at the top of the stairs and I set up all of our Christmas books in a basket and set out the kids' Little People Nativity scene for them to play with while they are reading!
The kids' Christmas artwork on display on top of the bookcase in the reading nook!
Now we're back downstairs!
We have our Advent wreath set out on our dining room table. I got this beautiful, simple Advent wreath from Dayspring last year and I just love it!
 And we're ending the tour at our gigantic "fancy" Christmas tree!
 And there you have it! This is what Christmas looks like at our house!!
I hope you enjoyed the tour!!

Hope you have the BEST day!

So excited to be linking up with Stephanie today!!

Also linking up with Whitney today!


Tuesday Talk!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Hi friends!!

Happy Tuesday!!

Did you have a good weekend?
How is your week going so far??

We got a tiny bit of snow on Sunday morning...nothing but RAIN RAIN RAIN yesterday and then last night, I found out the kids' schools are operating on a 2 hour delay because of "inclement weather." The Northerner in me can't take this. HA!
I don't really know the reason we have a delay today...ice?? flooding?? 
Regardless...we have a little bit of extra time to chill this morning...so I will take it!

We had a fun, festive weekend!!
Friday evening, my friend texted me and told me about a fun event happening in downtown Greenville- so once Aaron got home from work, we loaded up the kids and met up with our friends for a fun night of seeing Santa, drinking hot chocolate and riding around town in the "Christmas Bus!"
It was SO. MUCH. FUN!!!
We got home and had $5 Little Caesar pizza for dinner and then afterwards, everyone got cleaned up, put on their Christmas jammies 
and we snuggled up on our new couch and watched Elf! 
Which by the way- thank you so much for all of your compliments on our new couch (I posted about it last Friday- you can check out the post HERE)!!

Sunday afternoon, the girls and I went to see the Nutcracker Ballet! This is our second year going and it is just SO special!! It was an absolutely stunning performance and I just loved talking with the girls about their favorite parts of the ballet. So grateful for such a precious time with my girls!
And then Monday rolled around and it was back to reality. And back to the gym. HA!
I work out in the morning on Monday's because I don't work on Mondays and I prefer working out first thing in the morning sooo much more than I do working out in the afternoon.

I took this incredibly awkward picture after I was finished getting ready- because I wanted to share this tunic sweatshirt I recently got from Old Navy. It is SUPER simple- but it is ridiculously comfy, covers my booty and is just really flattering (and SO easy to wear)!
You can find it HERE! Such a great closet staple!!
Speaking of the gym...I wanted to let ya'll know I created a new Instagram account where I plan to share about all things health and wellness related. If you would like to follow along- I would love to have you!!
My IG handle is: @fullhandsfullheart_fit4life

Alrighty....time to stop sipping on my coffee and pay attention to my crazy kiddos. We might be on a 2 hour delay today- but they still have to go to school and I still have to go to work!!
MUST.GET.OUT.OF.MY.PAJAMAS.

HA!

Hope you have the BEST day!

I am linking up with JohannahHeather and Lindsay!

Friday Favorites!!

Friday, December 7, 2018

Hi friends!!!

Happy Friday!!!
How was your week??

It's been a FULL and FUN week at our house!!

I am happy to be here sharing a few FAVORITES of mine from this past week!

 //ONE//
We got our new couch delivered last Friday!!
So- we have been looking for a couch for about a year now...but just couldn't pull the trigger!! It's such a big purchase and we kept on going back and forth about what exactly we wanted.  Well, during our search I just kept thinking of my friend April - who has an insanely comfy sectional in her upstairs TV/playroom. It's called the Norfolk Sectional from Haverty's
So we contacted the Haverty's in Raleigh and had a salesperson send us some photos of the couch in the color we liked. We knew how comfortable it was from sitting on April's sectional and just decided to go for it!!
Here's the funny part- we didn't even sit on this couch (except for when we sat on April's) or see the color we picked out in person. HA! The salesperson we were working with gave us an incredible deal which included free delivery (and we got the extended protection/warranty on the couch because FIVE KIDS). 
Needless to say, while I was pretty confident I was going to love it- I was slightly nervous when the delivery guys showed up with it....I just really didn't want to have to tell them I didn't like it and that they had to bring it back to the store. HA!

GOOD NEWS: WE LOVE IT. Like we're obsessed with it. All I want to do is snuggle up on it and do nothing. HA!
Here's a picture of it!! The lighting isn't great and it's definitely showing up much darker than it really is in person...but you get the idea! :)
 And I just have to give a HUGE shoutout to the delivery guys- they were AMAZING and so kind and patient. As soon as they left my house- I called Haverty's customer service and gave them a glowing review.

//TWO//
Our friendly little elf, Theo, showed back up at our house this past Saturday!
This is one of the kids' FAVORITE traditions and I love using it as an excuse to get everyone new matching Christmas jammies. At our house, we don't do much with the elf, except move him around to a different location everyday (which I have forgotten to do EVERY SINGLE NIGHT so far. HA!). He doesn't keep track of the kids' behavior or anything like that...it's just all about him being an extra little Christmas friend. While I love all the things festive and magical- the main focus in our house is to cultivate a season of joyful expectation for the coming of our Savior. Theo the elf, Santa and all the other stuff is just icing on the cake! :)
 //THREE//
I sent Aaron to Harris Teeter last week to see if they had any Califia Farms Mint Cocoa Almondmilk creamer...and he came home with the last two!!!! YAHOO!! One of my favorite things about the holidays is all the fun, yummy seasonal coffee creamers...and when I took dairy out of my diet- I really missed them!! Luckily there are SO many good dairy free options (it's crazy how much more there is now than just a short 3 years ago!) and I can get yummy seasonal coffee creamer!! If you are dairy free and you love coffee and yummy creamers as much as I do- definitely check your local grocery stores to see if they carry Califia Farms Almondmilk Creamers. They come in lots of different flavors and I have loved every single one I have tried so far!
//FOUR//
This past Monday was my birthday!! I wrote a post about my very normal, but fun and special day- you can check it out HERE! My sweet in-laws got me a gift card to treat myself to a few goodies and I happily purchased this festive, red plaid vest from Belk! I have had my eye on it since before Thanksgiving...but just couldn't justify buying it since it can really only be worn for a couple of months. Well- all I needed was for it to be 50% off, the last one in my size and I decided to go for it! I just love it and plan on wearing the heck out of it over the next couple of weeks!!! You can find it HERE on Belk's website!
//FIVE//
We have a FESTIVE weekend ahead of us!!
We're going to have our weekly pizza picnic tonight and watch Elf!
Tomorrow, we are doing our monthly volunteering shift at our local food bank and then we're crossing our fingers Santa is available for a visit :)
After we see Santa, we'll be headed to bring some goodies to a gentleman that was part of our church's Angel Tree program. And if we're still standing after church on Saturday evening, we're going to hit up our town's Christmas parade!
Sunday, the girls and I are headed to see the Nutcracker and we are SO excited!!!
We started this tradition last year and I am thrilled the girls wanted to make it an annual event for us! 


What do you have planned for the weekend?? Lots of fun "Christmas" things? Or pretty low key with lots of coffee and online shopping from the comfort of your couch?? 

I hope whatever you are up to- you feel the PEACE and STILLNESS that comes from this time of waiting while we prepare for the birth of our Savior. It seems pretty counter cultural to be STILL and QUIET in this season of DO MORE! SEE ALL THE LIGHTS! BUY AND DO ALL THE THINGS!!! But I am here to tell you- there is so much JOY to be found in saying NO so that you can be MORE present. 
(I am talking to myself right now ;)

Hope ya'll have a FABULOUS Friday and a WONDERFUL Weekend!


Have a FABULOUS Friday and a WONDERFUL weekend!!

Linking up with AndreaErika and Narci!

Linking up with TifBeckyDella and Katie too!




 
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