Thursday, December 27, 2012

Warm Winter Wishes

Are Christmas cards a dying tradition? Who needs a paper card and family photo mailed by post when you can check out Facebook for the latest, hot-off-the-press info on everybody you know? I remember our family sent a page-long newsletter every year when my sister and I were kids. Cue eye rolls and yawns. Yeah, we were one of those families. 

I always hang up the Christmas cards that we receive. I love getting mail and opening the envelopes to find best wishes from friends and family. However, I wonder what fate the cards I send meet... a cherished spot on the mantle, stacked with other cards in a pile, or (I shutter to think) tossed in the recycling bin! Maybe you don't want our smiling mugs watching your every move? Understandable.

Nevertheless, I like sending out cards, and if you're lucky (or unlucky) enough to be on my mailing list, please feel free to do with it as you wish! No hard feelings. 

Warm winter wishes from the Anderson family!
May the next year be very merry and bright.

Our Christmas card from Picaboo

Mama’s Losin’ It
Christmas card share! Show us the card you sent out to family and friends this year.

Friday, December 21, 2012


If you're considering taking your one-year-old to see Santa, don't. 

Seriously, reconsider. 

We took Grace last week, and after standing in line with a squirming little fire ball for over an hour, she completely lost her cool in front of Santa and about a hundred other parents.

Turn back now. 

It's kind of funny, except that it really isn't. When did this tradition start when we forced our children into their green and red Sunday best and plopped them down on a plump old stranger's lap? To make matters worse, we photograph the entire awkward, often traumatic, encounter.

Santa-tastrophe. (Tsk tsk, parents. We should know better. Any one heard of stranger danger??!!)

We decided maybe we shouldn't take Grace to see Santa for a few years...until she's older and understands she's not in any eminent danger.

Oh well, at least I can check a few more items off of our 25 Days of Christmas list!

Visit Santa*. 
*Scar Grace for life. 

"Mama, nooooooooo!"

"Don't touch me! What kind of guy wears a fake beard?"

Last year's Santa picture... Grace slept through the whole encounter. Santa-tastrophe avoided.
Make Christmas cookies. 

Drink hot cider and go for a walk. ✓ 
(Does warm apple juice count?)
Watch a Christmas movie. ✓ 
Decorate Santa hats. ✓ 

Just a few more things to do on the list before Christmas is here! 

Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Top 12 Reasons I Run

In case you live in a cave and don't have a calendar, today is December 12, 2012 (12/12/12). It is this century's last sequential date. Apparently it is also National Tom Brady Day...

People are getting crazy and having weddings and babies and preparing for the end of the world. I have no plans to do any of those things. Instead, Grace and I went running and had lunch at a friend's house. Pretty tame, I know.

To celebrate 12/12/12- and because I love any excuse to make a list- here are my top 12 reasons to run!

What did I miss?

HAPPY 12/12/12!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Not-So-Frosty The Snowman

Even though the thermometer says 70°F, the calendar still reads Decemeber. It's already the 10th...that's just 13 days until my family arrives...2 weeks until Christmas eve...15 days until get the picture! Usually I would be scrambling to come up with gift ideas about this time, but not this year. I'm done!

So this is what it feels like when you don't procrastinate until the very last day. It feels good-and a little unnerving. I can't help but think maybe I need to do a little more shopping or at least some window browsing... Nah, I'll just tackle some more activities on my 25 Days of Christmas list! (The check marks below are me marking them off of my list!)

Last week we put up the Christmas tree.  There's nothing like the smell of a fresh pine tree 6 ft. artificial evergreen tree in your living room office.

Decorating the tree
Grace loves looking at the tree at night when we turn on the lights. She also loves stealing ornaments.

I finished addressing all of the Christmas cards and sent those out with the snail mail carrier.  One may be headed your way!

Enjoy some Elton Christmas tunes here
We had a pretty rockin' dance party to Elton John's Christmas Party cd on Thursday morning. 

I also made the house smell like Christmas with some delicious Honey Pear Cider and Apple Press Scentsy scents ✓ and wrapped some Christmas gifts. ✓ 

All this checking makes me quite happy!!! 

Cole absolutely loves it when I get crafty (false, he does not), so I made some Christmas decorations ✓ and decorated 3 new ornaments for the tree! They were all super easy, but I'll share the melted snowman ornament. (As usual, it was inspired by Pinterest!) Any snowmen in our area would definitely melt...there is no snow in sight!


How To Make a Melted Snowman Ornament

Clear glass or plastic bulb
Black puff balls
Orange paper
Red felt
Small sticks of twigs

  1. Using a funnel, fill the bulb about 1/4 of the full with salt.
  2. Toss in the black puff balls. (These represent the coals that make up the snowman's eyes and mouth.)
  3. Cut out a small piece of orange paper and roll it up to look like a carrot. Toss that in the bulb.
  4. Cut out a small strip of felt and cut fringe on either in to represent the snowman's scarf. 
  5. Break off two pieces of twigs and toss those in the bulb. (These are the snowman's arms).
  6. Put the lid of the bulb back on and tie a piece of ribbon to the top. Ta-dah! Super cute and easy!
Not-So-Frosty the Snowman hanging on the tree
I also had an amazing opportunity to collaborate with my fellow Stroller Stride mamas and adopt 3 in-need military families. Together we shopped for toys and clothes for 8 kids who may not have otherwise received any gifts for Christmas. Being able to help out and witness the generosity of others is always a humbling experience.  

Finally, we read a Christmas story.  Grace is actually starting to like books. Well, she may not really like them, but at least she'll let me turn the pages now!

Reading Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, a cool recordable storybook we got at the Fort Bragg 5K this weekend!

I'm loving the holiday season this year! I hope you are too! Wishing you a silent night!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

25 Days of Christmas

We made it through November in a blink of an eye with a road trip to Florida and a bout of food poisoning, and today is the first day of December! Who doesn't love the holidays? I'm excited for chilly weather and a visit from my parents and sister later this month! Grace is still too young to really understand or enjoy the magic of the holidays, but I'm going to do my best to create traditions for our little family that will help us to celebrate Christmas and grow closer.

I remember when we were little our parents would drive us around at night so we could look at the Christmas lights. My sister and I would sing songs. We were probably pretty annoying and off key, now that I think about it. (We certainly weren't beautiful carol singers by any stretch of the imagination.)

We would also help my mom make huge plates of cookies to deliver to the trash men, mailman, gate guards and the bicycle shop. Our favorites were the Hello Dollies with chocolate graham crackers and coconut. My dad always loved the lemon bars.

We hardly ever got snow where we lived in California. However, it snowed more often up country from us, so my dad would bundle us up in snowsuits and take us to go sledding and to play in the snow. Apparently we don't get much snow where we live in North Carolina, but that's ok with me. I don't know if pushing a stroller in the snow is possible, and I certainly don't enjoy driving in it! #nervousdriver

I love traditions and thinking about ways to make Grace's childhood special. I've been seeing some wonderful ideas on Pinterest for celebrating 25 days of Christmas, and a friend also sent me a list. Thanks Meg! I decided to write up a list of my own, so we could check something off of the list each day as we count down the days to Christmas. I think most of the items on the list are pretty simple and relatively inexpensive, but it will give us the chance to truly focus on the activity each day. I also didn't want to add any stress to an already stressful time of year, so if we don't get something done one day, we'll just do a couple things on another day. No big deal.

Today is December 1st, and we are planning on setting up the Christmas tree- in the office where Grace can destroy it. it will be safe.

'Tis the season for spreading good cheer! Wishing you all a wonderful month of holiday fun!