Posted in Holidays, Kids, Life Lately

Life Lately


How is your week going? Ours is…going.

Here’s a bit of our life…lately.

The kids had a big Friday night! They went to the 7th grade dance. Hadley was counting down the days, and we were all shocked that Hayden contemplated going. 😆

I’m not sure what their school did before Covid, but last year there weren’t any dances/mixers. This year, the PTSA has done an awesome job organizing something for every grade level. They had a school wide mixer (dance/game night) one Saturday evening in January, then the 6th graders had a casual after school dance in early February. The 7th graders had the Valentine’s Day dance on Friday night, and then the 8th graders have a more “formal” dance in the spring.

It’s been so nice to see the kids and their friends have these opportunities.

Here they are all dressed up and ready to go.

One of the moms organized a pre-dance get together with appetizers for the kids at a local restaurant. The moms stayed as well, so that we could then get them to the dance. So, from 5:15-6:45, the kids hung out, ate, and we talked them in to a few photos before they headed to the dance from 7-9.

This really is such a great group of kids. I’ve said it before, but Hayden and Hadley have held on to their close elementary friendships and the new friends they made last year have been such an added bonus. We’ve enjoyed getting to know the parents too.

Hayden rode with friends, and I got to drop these lovely ladies off at school.

Hayden texted about a half hour in to the dance asking when it was over. 😂Some of my friends were chaperones and reported back that both kids were having fun. Hadley gave us all the details when she got home, and Hayden actually said he had a good time.

This was such a nice “rite of passage” for them, and I loved seeing every moment.

Go Chiefs!

On Saturday, my mom decorated Chiefs cookies with the kids. I was impressed.

Sunday night was game time.

I picked up some balloons and a cookie cake. We’d ordered pizza the two previous play off games, so we continued that tradition too. Everyone was up late for the big win! We were all so excited.

Valentine’s Day

I think the kids had a pretty good Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, I’ve been sick this week, so I wasn’t up to make a special breakfast. I did put out a couple of decorations once I got up…

After school, we gave them a few gifts.

I got the kids some candy and donuts. Then, they both got a new alarm clock/sound machine. They both have the same sound machine from when they were babies (seriously – their sound machines are now 13 years old!), and Hayden’s is kind of glitchy. I’m going to put Hadley’s old one in my suitcase, so we always have it on hand for travel. I’ve decided the kids need to start setting an alarm in the morning, so that combined with the sound machine was a good little gift that they “needed.”

A couple of months ago, I picked up a heart necklace for Hadley when Shay had her collaboration with Victoria Emerson.

For Hayden, I also got him this running calendar and Toughness by Jay Bilas. (*I may end up reading it too!) 😉

Then, for dinner, we had heart shaped chicken nuggets and mac and cheese. An easy and delicious dinner made us all happy.

The past couple of years, I’ve made a special weekend Valentine’s Day lunch, but with our already hectic weekend and then V-Day falling on a Tuesday, we made the most of it. Travis and I hope to go out to dinner this weekend.

Have a great Wednesday,

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Posted in Holidays

Happy Valentine’s Day

Hello and Happy Valentine’s Day!

A few festive touches:

I realized I never shared my Valentine’s Day decorations with you, but honestly, they are exactly the same as last year!

I change out the garden flag and door hanger…

….and then add in a few little touches in the living room and kitchen.

The XOXO banner is one I’ve used for a couple of years.

…and that’s about it! I will probably leave the outside things up the rest of February, but take down the inside stuff this weekend.

V-Day photo:

Well, we went from this:

…to this in the blink of an eye…

Every year, I take a pic of the kids and use it for a Valentine’s Day card for family. Most years, I use a snow day pic for the card, but other years, we seem to have more mild temps, so I have to take what I can get.

Here’s our card this year:

…and that’s about it. I bought donuts for the kids for breakfast this morning, and picked them up a couple of gifts and some candy. I’m sure they’ll feel the love 😉

Travis and I were supposed to go out to dinner on Saturday night for an early Valentine’s Day dinner, but I was under the weather. So, we’re hoping to try again this weekend. We’ll see.

Do you have any big Valentine’s Day plans?

Posted in Blog challenge, Holidays, Kids

Bloganuary 1.29.23

Hello and happy Sunday! Well, we went from cold temps to temps in the 50’s yesterday…and then this upcoming week looks a little messy. Yep. It’s definitely the end of January.

Yesterday’s Bloganuary topic was: describe your perfect birthday cake.

Well, we are cookie cake people, and we are also Bundt cake people.

I did not grow up eating cookie cakes for my birthday, but now I think everyone knows that’s the expectation. I’m sure I’d had a cookie cake before, but I think we started buying cookie cakes for celebrations in the summer of 2010. My brother was with me at Sam’s Club and saw the double decker cookie cake. He said we should get one because it was June and his birthday combined with Father’s Day for Travis…like we needed a reason to justify it. haha

For years, we just bought them at Kroger, but then for quite a few years now, we’ve gotten them at Great American Cookie.

We are so lucky because we have a friend who makes cookies and cookie cakes too. They are delish.

This year, Travis got my cookie cake from Insomnia Cookie. It was so good…and I liked how small it was because I have zero will power when it comes to cookie cake! Plus, it was the right amount of icing.

See…we are big cookie cake people!

Love a cookie cake.

So, this prompt got me thinking about the kids’ birthday cakes through the years. For their first couple of birthdays, I had a Lexington and then KC party since we were in KC for Thanksgiving. Then, from the ages of 4-10, we always had two parties: one for their friends and one for family. I know it may sound crazy, but I just didn’t want to force family to come to Chuck E Cheese or have tons of kids running around our house since they have a November birthday.

The year they turned 11 was Covid 2020, and I had already told them that around that age they were getting older and too busy to keep having two parties. So, we’ve naturally just gone back to one party with friends…and who knows how much longer that will last.

Anyway, there were quite a few years that I made their cakes…and while I would consider myself novice and cake decorating, it was always fun.


When the kids turned one, we had family over. My friend’s sister decorated cakes on the side, and she made their smash cake and cupcakes that were laid out in the shape of a one.

When we went to KC for Thanksgiving, my mom made them big cupcakes as smash cakes too.


My mother-in-law decorated cakes for years and years when Travis was growing up. So, when the kids turned two and we had a “Oh TWO-dles” party (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse), she made their Mickey and Minnie cakes for their party.

Again, when we went to KC, my mom tried her hand at fondant, and made a cute Mickey cake. We also did cupcakes with Oreo Mickeys.


When the kids turned three, my mother-in-law made their cakes again. The kids were very into the Sprout Channel and all of those shows. She made Chica from that channel as well as Calliou for their cakes.


When the kids turned 4, I was inspired by my friend’s sister who made the one year cupcakes and smash cake. Also, thanks to Pinterest, I made a Curious George and a Hello Kitty cake for the family party.

For the friends party at Chuck E Cheese, I made the Thomas the Train and Elmo cake. These were some of my favorites that I made.


When the kids turned five, I made Frozen cupcakes and dirt cupcakes for their indoor pool party with friends. For the family party, I made a Frozen cake and construction cake. Props helped make the cake even better! When I was looking through photos, I found this one with brownies that I guess I made on the day of their actual birthday. So many sweets in November!


When they turned six, I made this football cake for Hayden and Power Rangers for Hadley.


For the kids 7th birthday, they had their friends party at a tumbling place, so I made cupcakes and then bought the cupcake toppers off Etsy. For the family party, I ordered this gymnast made out of fondant for Hadley’s cake, and then made a football/baseball/basketball cake for Hayden.


When the kids turned 8, they actually had an outside birthday party with friends. It was a mild early-November weekend, so we made dirt cups instead of cupcakes. Then, closer to their birthday, for the family party, I made a volleyball cake for Hadley and KC Royals (#8 Mike Moustakas) cake for Hayden.


For their 9th birthday, the kids requested ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins, so that’s what we got for their (bowling) party with their friends.

This was the year that life caught up with me, and I realized it would be easier to let them pick out cookie cakes for family parties. It was fun seeing what designs they chose. Of course, Hayden loves basketball, and what girl doesn’t dream of going to Paris and seeing the Eiffel Tower?


For their 10th birthday, they talked me into a slumber party (girls upstairs, boys in the basement!) We went to an indoor place for them to run around and play soccer and volleyball. Then, we came home for pizza and cookie cake before movies and bedtime.

Hadley’s slumber party cookie cake was perfect, and Hayden wanted Homer on his cake!

This was the kids’ last year having a family party, and I was going to order a Bundt cake. That being said, we had quite a bit of cookie cake left, so I just bought the kids each a mini cake then we had the leftover cookie cake with family.


November of 2020 Covid was still rampant. We took advantage of online learning and had an outside birthday one Friday afternoon in November. Again, I picked up mini Bundt cakes, so they wouldn’t spread their germs (which honestly seems like it should always be that way…haha)

Then, I just picked up one cookie cake after realizing two cakes were too much the previous year.


After going to a trampoline place with their friends, we got pizza and had cookie cake. Then, on their birthday, my brother and his family came over for Bundt cake.


This year was much the same as last year. They went to Activate Games with friends and then we got pizza and had cookie cake.

On their actual birthday, we had a nice dinner out, and then stopped by my brother’s house to share the Bundt cake.

That was a fun walk down memory lane. I’m big on birthdays and always want my family, kids, and friends to feel celebrated!

What’s your ideal birthday cake?

See you back here tomorrow for Monday Memes!

Posted in Day in the Life, Holidays, Weekend Top 5

Day in the Life

Hello and Happy Monday!

How was your weekend? We had a really good one. Did you catch my Bloganuary posts this weekend?

I wrote about books that have changed my life on Saturday and memorable gifts on Sunday.

I’ve been wanting to do a Day in the Life post since January is a “slower” month, and decided to do a weekend post…and Saturday so happened to be my birthday.

So today’s post is: Day in the Life: Weekend and Birthday Edition

Ahhh…I “slept in” a bit, not waking up until after 8:00.

I woke up to all kinds of Facebook birthday love including this sweet pic from my niece and nephew:

I scrolled social media for a couple of minutes, and then poured myself a cup of coffee.

I’ve been on a Will & Grace (original) kick lately, and settled in for a couple of episodes before…

…writing my Saturday Bloganuary post.

By that time, we woke the kids because they had running practice (with Travis) at 10:30. **Travis was Super Dad on Saturday –he was Hayden’s personal chauffeur, running him to all the things (running practice, home, basketball practice, home, Transy (local university) basketball game with his team and then a few errands with Hadley…and then home)

Anyway, once they left to run, I read on my Kindle and had some one on one time with Homer.

Then, I washed my face, brushed my teeth, and made the bed. I got ready to …

…head to the gym. Honestly, I almost skipped my Saturday workout, but I also know that I feel better after a workout and there was pasta and cake in my future.

Then, I did grocery pick up and arrived home just as Travis and the kids returned from running.

Hadley helped me unpack the groceries since Hayden had to get ready for basketball practice.

Then, I made lunch. I’d made chicken on Thursday night and added it to some to arugula, parm, EVOO and lemon juice. Easy and delish lunch.

I watched some of the Mizzou game while Homer watched me eat my lunch. I swear…he’s the biggest beggar.

Then, Hadley and I ended up running a couple of “fun” errands. I decided to go to Kendra Scott for my 50% off item, and then Hadley went into a couple of stores as well.

Once we got home, I decided to read a bit more and take a nap. I love an Saturday afternoon nap. Nothing better. Kentucky basketball was on tv too.

**Yes –pencil trees are still up in my bedroom and living room. I always keep them up until my birthday…and sometimes even longer if we have a chance of snow. That being said, they’ll probably come down next weekend.

Then, it was time to get ready for dinner. We timed dinner just right. We picked Hayden up at 6:00 from the Transy game, and then headed to Frank and Dino‘s for dinner. We were a bit early for our 6:30 reservation, but we were able to be seated.

We had calamari, and I ordered the Fagottini Sinatra which is my favorite (pasta filled with mascarpone and parm cheeses and pears and tossed in a Gorgonzola sauce…so good!)

**Bonus – we all had leftovers to take home, so I didn’t have to cook last night!

We were home around 8:00, and I opened my gifts, and we had…

…cookie cake (per tradition). We usually get cookie cakes from Great American Cookie, but Travis got this one from Insomnia Cookies. Besides being delish, I like that it’s a smaller cookie cake…less leftover since I have zero will power! (Hadley put the candles on…no rhyme or reason for six handles…haha)

After cake, we watched some football, and then I went to bed around 9:45. I read my book (I was really wanting to finish my book (The It Girl) this weekend, and I did yesterday. It was really good. Anyway, I read for a bit, before falling asleep before 10:30.

While Hayden was super busy on Saturday, it was still nice to not have too much going on. The past couple of months have been non-stop, seven days a week.

Anyway, it was a great Saturday and a wonderful birthday…and now we have one more day off!

I hope you have a great week.

**linking up with Sarah and Holly for:

Posted in Family, Holidays

KC, CoMo, and NYE


Well, we all made it to school on time yesterday. Again, the schedule and routine will be good for us, but re-entry is always difficult!

Last week, I shared a Christmas recap, and today I’m sharing about out of town Christmas and the second half of break.

The four of us celebrated Christmas the morning of the 23rd.

We also woke up to additional snow and negative wind chill temps. We enjoyed our morning at home and then prepared to go out of town. Trav’s family always celebrates on the 23rd, and then we were headed to KC on the 24th. Honestly, we kept hearing about the road conditions, some parts of the highway shut down, and more. It takes quite the effort to pack up the car with luggage and gifts, but once we did so that afternoon, we decided to attempt the drive to Louisville. Let’s just say that I was outvoted. Slow and steady was the name of the game. What normally takes 1 hour 15 minutes took over 3.5 hours. Honestly, we didn’t have an issues, but we saw cars on the side of the road, came to a standstill a few times, and more. I was relieved to get to Trav’s mom’s house.

We enjoyed our evening with them…always good food, games, presents, and dessert. We woke up on the 24th, dropped off Homer (He was staying in Louisville), packed up the car, and hit the road to KC. Once we crossed into Indiana, there were no travel issues.

Once we got to KC, we unloaded the car, showered, changed, and got ready to go to my dad’s cousin’s house. I always “joke” that we drive eight hours west to then drive about thirty minutes more because he lives in Kansas. Some of my extended family I only see once (maybe twice) a year. It’s always fun to catch up, there’s great food, some exchange gifts, and play a few games. It usually is a late night after a long day of driving.

Christmas morning, we opened gifts at my mom’s and then went to my dad’s. KC was expected to get some freezing rain/snow Christmas evening, so we went to my Gma’s for dinner, but it was a little earlier that normal. We opened gifts, ate dinner, and then played some Bingo. My kids don’t always want to play games when we are at home, but they always do when we are in KC.

Then, we were in KC for two more days. Honestly, we didn’t do much which was nice. One night, I actually got 11 hours of sleep. I was beat. I always wish we did more, and some years we go to Union Station, the Plaza, or ice skate, but we didn’t do much because the weather continued to be so cold.

Hadley made crepes one morning, and then my aunt and Gma came over to carry on the waffle cookie tradition. We use the waffle iron that we think is at least 150 years old. It was brought over from Germany by my great great grandfather in 1898.

The kids are really good at making these.

Hayden and my mom completed a puzzle one afternoon, and the kids played Scattegories, Jr. with my mom too.

We usually drive home after four days in KC. The kids didn’t know it, but we planned on stopping in Columbia, Mo. (literally right off the highway on the way home) because my Tigers were playing the Kentucky Wildcats. Since Columbia is only 1.5 hours away from KC, and it was a 6:00 game, that meant that we had a bit extra time in KC. We had a slow morning, went and visited my Gma again, packed up the car, had lunch with my mom, stopped by to see my dad and then hit the road to CoMo.

Once we pulled into town, we told the kids why we were there, and they both were excited. We found a parking spot right by the quad, and went to see the columns and Jesse Hall. We stop through CoMo every few years, so while this wasn’t the kids first visit to Columbia, they probably don’t remember much of the last time they were there.

The weather was beautiful that afternoon. A lady offered to take our photo, and I was clearly outnumbered in the black/gold to my three in blue.

Travis and I met in Columbia. He worked for Mizzou’s athletic department as did I my senior year. For many reasons, I love Columbia, but meeting him was a wonderful twist of fate.

We walked around a bit before heading to get some food.

Unfortunately, two of my favorite places were packed, so we stopped for nachos and a drink before heading to the game.

After dominating against a ranked Illinois team the week before, Mizzou Arena was sold out! I hadn’t been to this arena in years, and it was all of our first time attending a game there.

All I was asking for was a competitive game…

…and it was even better than I’d hoped with a *dominating* win for my team.

I joke that my family should be thankful that I’m such a gracious winner!

After the game, we drove on to St. Louis to spend the night. We finished up the rest of the drive to Kentucky the next morning.


I’m not a big NYE person, but some of our friends host a progressive dinner. The friends’ houses are close together and in our neighborhood, and they’ve been kind enough to include us the past couple of years.

One house has apps, then another house has salads, then the main meal, a dessert house, and ringing in the new year house.

Another friend and I helped at the main course house. We had beef tenderloin, Brussel sprouts, and I made potato casserole.

The set up was so pretty.

The kids were in and out of all of the houses, and Hadley snapped a group pic for us.

Like I shared yesterday, we also drew three words as our “words of the year.”

These were mine:

It was a great night.

As an addition to yesterday’s post and my interest in Enneagrams, @ashton.creates had Enneagrams for the new year…


  • Night in
  • Traditional food
  • Bed by nine
  • To do lists
  • Reflecting
  • Netflix


  • Sparklers
  • Small gathering
  • Sparkling cider
  • Midnight
  • Goals
  • Dreaming

Most of these are pretty on brand for me I would say.

What are your typical NYE plans? January 1 sure hits different when I have to go to school on the 2nd!

Thanks so much for reading,

Posted in Holidays

All About Christmas…

fun, traditions, and festivities.

Happy Monday! How was your Christmas? We had a hectic but good one. Once school was out on December 16th, we started to pack in all things Christmas leading up to the 25th.

We baked cookies. Hadley made Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle cookies, and Hayden made Peanut butter Blossoms.

I joked that the Life Essentials class sure is paying off. They basically did all the baking on their own.

I picked up a couple of cookies from one of our favorite cookie decorators. This is always a fun tradition.

Last weekend, we went to a couple of Christmas parties. Travis and I went to one that our friends always host. Then, last Sunday, Hadley and I went to a mom/daughter pj and popcorn movie night with friends. Hadley insisted that we match, and we so happened to have similar plaid pj pants…and Merry and Bright sweatshirts.

The mom who hosted had fun socks, popcorn, hot chocolate, (and wine) for us to enjoy while we watched Spirited on Netflix. The girls lasted half of the movie, but the moms finished it. It was a great night.

We went to the Horse Park for Southern Lights.

Hadley made a gingerbread house. Again, times have changed…she did this all on her own.

Hadley also went to a cookie decorating class with friends. It was a fundraiser for a friend’s little sister’s Girl Scout troop.

The tradition continued with the kids picking out a gift for each other. I took Hadley one day and Travis took Hayden one evening to pick those out.

We had dinner out on Wednesday night. This isn’t really a tradition, but we planned ahead to make a reservation, and I’m glad we did. It was a nice evening out.

Once we got home, the kids convinced us to let them open their gifts from each other. We figured, “why not?”

Then, we watched Home Alone.

And enjoyed some cake.

Earlier in the day, I made Shay’s Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake per tradition.

Speaking of Christmas movies, once break started, I got my movie watching game face on. I made a point to watch at least one Christmas movie a day.

I watched:

  • The Noel Diary (on Netflix)
  • Spirited (mom/daughter night)
  • The Holiday
  • While You Were Sleeping – Hadley watched this with me (and Hayden watched the last half) It’s one of my all time favorite movies, and Hadley had never seen it. While many may not think of it as a Christmas movie, it’s set during Christmas, and I watch it every year)
  • Christmas with You (on Netflix) – This one popped up in my feed. I crushed hard Freddie Prinze, Jr. in high school and college. This movie was cute!
  • You’ve Got Mail- Again, not really a Christmas movie but one I watch every year on break. Hadley watched it with me.
  • Home Alone– a family favorite
  • A Christmas Prince (on Netflix)
  • A Christmas Story– a Christmas Day tradition

Christmas Eve Dinner:

We had to celebrate our Christmas early, so I thought about trying something different and maybe just have appetizers instead of a full dinner. Hadley White wasn’t having that idea. So, we had our traditional salmon, Bob Evans potatoes, Caesar salad and then more cake for dessert.

Christmas Morning:

We had a nice “Christmas” morning. The kids slept in a bit. We opened gifts, stockings, and had a simple breakfast. Times sure have changed since the early wake up times with the kids along with Legos and Barbies for presents. That being said, it still was a great Christmas, of course.

I always look forward to Trav’s gift tags. He always writes funny things on mine. This year, Hadley elf helped him write them.

I didn’t know he’d ordered these watercolor images of the kids. They loved them, and I cried. We can’t wait to hang them up.

We had frigid temps and snow (like much of the country) so it was a good day to stay inside until we visited Trav’s family and then my family.

I always think of break as two halves – before Christmas and after Christmas. I really enjoy the week leading up to Christmas because we pack in the Christmas fun and traditions. Also, I like having the time to wrap presents, run errands, stay home if I want, watch movies, and more. After Christmas, it’s time to get organized, put decorations away, and at some point start thinking about school again. Anyway, I still have a whole week left of break, and we’ll make the most of it, I’m sure.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a great week ahead.

*Linking up with Sarah and Holly for Hello Monday.

Posted in Holidays

Merry Christmas!


With only a couple of days left until Christmas, I just wanted to take a moment to wish you all a Merry Christmas.

The past few years, I’ve sent two cards out because there are so many cute options. Also, I love sending them, but I hate waiting for them to arrive. So, I’m able to start addressing the ones from Walgreens while waiting on my Shutterfly order.

This blog (and the readers) bring me a lot of joy! I appreciate all of the comments and readers I’ve gotten to know in this Show Me and Sweet Tea space.

My hope is that everyone has a Merry and Bright holiday season….

…with warm wishes for a wonderful 2023!

I know the holidays can be difficult for some. Even in the best of circumstances, this season can be overwhelming and filled with many other emotions. I know quite a few people who’ve lost a loved one recently, and I’ve certainly been thinking of them this holiday season.

December is filled with so many traditions, activities, parties, and more. I feel like the hectic pace makes the time pass by quicker than I’d like, but I try to enjoy this time the best I can with my family. I hope you are able to do the same as well.

I can’t let the Christmas season pass by without sharing my most favorite Christmas card that Travis and I have ever sent:

Christmas 2009 was pretty special!

I hope you have a wonderful and blessed holiday. Many bloggers take this time off, but I hope to have a few posts next week including some of my favorites: a blogging round up, the books I read this year, and a recap of 2022.

See you then.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays,

Posted in Holidays

Winter Solstice

Happy Winter Solstice Wednesday (#workingtitle)

It’s officially the first day of winter.

I love winter. (My dad will read this and shake his head). I’m not sure if it’s the holidays or the fact that I have a January birthday, but I have always loved winter. On top of that, January is one of my favorite months (Again, probably because of my birthday, but January also feels like a fresh start, and it is considerably less hectic than December.)

Here are five of my favorite things about winter:

Snow! Even better…a snow day! I love the beauty of freshly fallen snow. If it’s going to be cold, I want there to be snow on the ground. The kids (and Homer) love to play outside.

Sweater weather and flannel/fleece pjs!

Sweaters and pjs on repeat with the cold temps of winter.


Don’t get it twisted, of course I love candles year round, but I love seasonal winter scents like peppermint, fireside marshmallow, and cranberry. They make the house feel extra cozy.

Comfort food! Bonus- I feel like meal planning is easier in the winter months because soups and chili are favorites in my house. Also, they provide leftovers which is another bonus. I use the slow cooker the most in the fall and winter which means getting dinner on the table quicker.

Celebrations!…followed by a fresh start. Of course, December is jam packed with Christmas festivities, and then I just love the quiet that January brings. It’s a time to start fresh, have a bit more down time, and ease into the new year.

What about you? What’s your favorite thing about winter? (if you have one) 😉

Posted in Holidays

Some of my favorite…


One of my favorite things about Christmas is putting ornaments on the tree. It’s always fun to open the ornament boxes and take a trip down memory lane. The kids always have a few faves, and I do too.

I will say that I wish that I’d done a better job through the years getting the kids ornaments every year. I’ve even been “bad” about picking up ornaments from places we have traveled. Maybe I can focus on that in the coming years. I just know when Travis and I got our first tree in December 2004, I was able to put a few ornaments from my childhood on the tree. I’d like the same for Hayden and Hadley. The kids definitely have ornaments because my mom is good about getting them for them, but I just wish I’d think of it throughout the year.

Also, I love the look of an assortment of ornaments. I don’t need the tree to be “matchy matchy.” That being said, both of the pencil trees are filled with neutral unbreakable ornaments because those are easy to put up in November when I pull those trees out. This year, I did add a few faves to the other pencil tree once we started decorating.

Here are some of my favorite ornaments on our living room tree:

My childhood ornaments.

I have quite a few from my childhood including the 1980 silver bell (that could use a good polishing), two angels (one of which I painted when I was a kid), and an ornaments from Mrs. Overby, my 3rd grade teacher.

While the one of Trav doesn’t hang on our tree, I love it (and look for it every year on his mom’s tree.)

From the kids…

The kids have made quite a few cute ornaments through the years at school. We always loved receiving those. The snow globes are faves and you can’t beat a salt dough ornament.

I love the snowman family hand print.

Also, we used to make an ornament every year to give to the grandparents, and I always had them make one extra for our tree. One year, we made the little present to give to family.

Other faves:

My grandpa used to carve, and he made the Santa ornament. We all have one. Last year, my friend gave me the Betty White ornament, and I love it. My dad’s cousin who hosts Christmas Eve, always gives us a nice glass ornament. I love the cardinal one, but we’ve received so many beautiful ones through the years.

Of course, I love the “first Christmas” for the kids, and this was the main gift I gave in 2009! The kids were one month old, and I couldn’t really do much shopping. We have a few other “first Christmas” ornaments for them, and I also love our wedding ornament someone gave us.

My mom cross stitched this ornament…

Newest ornament

Shutterfly helped me out with a few new ornaments this year, and I decided to get one of Homer because we don’t have one for him!

What about you? What’s your favorite ornament on your tree? I plan on having blog posts the next couple of days, so come on back!

Posted in Holidays, Let's look

Let’s Look


Today, I’m linking up with Shay and Erika for the last Let’s Look of 2022!

This year, we’ve looked at:

  • How you organize for the new year in January.
  • What you eat in a week in February.
  • Your faves from high school/college in March. (I didn’t have a post that month.)
  • How you plan/do date nights in April.
  • Your hometown in May.
  • Go to summer lunches in June..
  • How you keep healthy in July.
  • How you do ‘every day’ cleaning in August. (I didn’t have a post that month.)
  • Organize your closet in September.
  • Select your Halloween costumes in October.
  • Where we shop for our moms in November (I overlooked the date and missed this post)

This month’s topic is: how you host holiday parties.

Well, my answer is short and sweet. I don’t. {😂}

I decided to take a twist on this topic and share how we holiday.

Holiday Parties:

There are always a few parties that we attend. Trav’s work always has a Christmas party that is lots of fun. It’s family friendly and Santa is there.

Our friends always host a party in mid-December with neighborhood and school friends’ parents. There’s usually a beer tasting, live music, a specialty cocktail, great food, wonderful friends, and more! It’s always a fun get together.

Through the years, we’ve also attended my work Christmas party when we can, cookie decorating with moms and kids when the kids were younger, ornament exchanges, various “cookies with Santa” and more. One party that I miss is our neighborhood Christmas party. We used to have a progressive one with one house for apps, one for dinner, and one for dessert. Covid killed that one, but I hope we can bring it back in the future. It was always so fun.

Merry Christmas x 6:

Here’s our Christmas break down…

For many many years, I didn’t miss a Kansas City Christmas. Even once the kids were born, we were able to go most years. The first KC Christmas I missed was 2009 when the kids were one month old. Obviously, it was the best choice to stay home rather than drive nine hours (longer with babies) in the car.

A few years ago, we started going every other year.

Anyway, on the years we went to KC, the kids would write a note to Santa asking him to come a bit early, and our elf would take it to the North Pole. We’d celebrate the morning of December 22nd or 23 depending on our schedule. Then, we’d head to see family.

On the years we stay home, Santa comes on Christmas Eve, of course.

Thankfully, this has worked for our family quite well.

That being said, when we do go to Kansas City, we end up having a total of six Christmases! Six.

  • We have ours at home.
  • We celebrate on December 23rd with Trav’s family (We do this every year regardless of staying home or traveling for Christmas)
  • In Missouri, we go to my dad’s cousin’s house for Christmas Eve.
  • We spend Christmas morning with my dad.
  • Christmas afternoon with my mom.
  • Christmas evening with my Gma.

See…six Christmases! It’s a blessing, but it’s busy.

Let’s Look:

There’s always a variety of food and activities at each of our Christmases…

Christmas at home:

For our Christmas at home, I usually make a nice dinner for Christmas Eve or Christmas depending if we are staying home or not. Hadley always request salmon, and I make the green beans everyone loves along with Bob Evan’s mashed potatoes. We always make Shay’s Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake for dessert.

Again, whichever day is our Christmas morning, I still always try to keep it pretty simple with cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs, and fresh fruit. There have been times I’ve made monkey bread or a breakfast casserole too.

Christmas Eve Eve:

My mother-in-law always has lots of apps, and we usually have lasagna for dinner. Then we open gifts, followed by stockings. She’s the queen of baking, so there are lots of dessert options!

Christmas Eve:

At my dad’s cousin’s house, we always look forward to the salmon appetizer as well as other apps. Another cousin always make bacon wrapped jalapenos which are a hit. We always have a nice dinner, a gift exchange, and then usually play a board or card game as a family. It’s usually intense. haha

A favorite is Left, Right, Center!

Christmas morning:

At my dad’s, we open gifts, have breakfast (usually eggs, bacon, and mimosas (for the adults)), and then watch A Christmas Story.

Christmas afternoon:

Once we get to my mom’s we open presents and stockings. Then, by this point, we’ve already eaten quite a bit over the last couple of days, so she usually just has some snacks for us. Typically, we watch another movie and I end up getting a nap!

Christmas evening:

At my grandma’s, she has a couple of appetizers, then we open gifts. After that, she always has a nice meal (sometimes prime rib!), and her table is always so festive.

Shew! So, that’s a little bit about how we holiday. Honestly, there are times I wish I took the initiative to host a party, but between the end of the semester at school, kids’ activities, and just the general busyness of December, it’s nice to celebrate with friends, but I just don’t seem to have the energy to host!

I can’t wait for the 2023 Let’s Look topics. Until then, I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.