December 29, 2016

Christmas 2016...

The post Christmas blues have hit me hard y'all. Seeing people take down their trees and decor on Snapchat is like a knife through the heart (okay, maybe I'm a tiny bit dramatic...) and isn't helping with my extreme sadness that another Christmas has came and went.

I'm still watching Christmas movies, sipping coffee (or hot chocolate) out of my Christmas mugs, sleeping with my Christmas tree on, and listening to Christmas music on repeat and I have no plans of stopping. It may not be Christmas Day anymore but its still the Christmas season and I'm going to let in linger as long as possible! Why can't everyone else do the same?! 

Christmas Eve was a flurry of last minute prep. My brother would have disowned me if there weren't any Eat More Bars under the tree for him so it was Round 4 of Christmas baking for me. I made a pan of that (half just for Kenton), a pan of Rice Krispie cake (because I had holiday Rice Krispies and couldn't let them go to waste!), and I also made the Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls for the first time ever. I've been wanting to for the longest time but it seemed like so much work that I kept putting it off. I actually found a recipe online that cut her recipe in half so I used that one - now I'm mad that I did because we're officially out of them - the horror! 

I sent a tray of baking home with Kenton and Kels on Christmas Eve and a bunch more with my sister (she had already taken her tray home) and there were still two huge trays of baking left at my parents house after all the other deliveries. I also have quite a bit of leftover baking supplies so I see a lot of baking in my future for the month of January. Not that I mind one bit - I love doing it and ever since buying my Kitchen Aid mixer a couple years ago it has made baking so much simpler. I'll just have to start doing two a day workouts since I'm starting fresh again in January with my Beachbody workouts.
Just before making the Eat More Bars I realized that we barely had any peanut butter so it was off to the grocery store, which was a complete mad house. Why anyone leaves their Christmas grocery shopping until the day before Christmas I will never know - I'd be too worried they'd be sold out of things I need! Thankfully I just had the one thing to pick up so I was in and out of there with no interruptions. I also had to stop at the liquor store, atm, and a convenience store to grab some last minute gifts and stocking stuffers - nothing like leaving things until the last minute!

We had an appetizer supper on Christmas Eve - a new tradition that started last year. My brother and sister in law had Christmas dinner with her Mom's family and my Dad had gotten called out to work to go rescue someone stuck in all the snow so it was just me and Mama, and then my sister, her boyfriend, and the girls showed up just as we were ready to eat. 

After supper we bundled up and hopped into my SUV with our hot chocolate in hand to head out on our annual Christmas Eve Twinkle Tour (Toni and her bf stayed back at the house).  I love this yearly tradition so much, even if the wind was howling and blowing and we froze just getting out to my vehicle. The girls were quite concerned over the lack of Christmas lights on some houses and made sure to call anyone without lights a Grinch. There's a man in town that completly decks out his house every year so of course it was the last stop of our Twinkle Tour - the girls loved it!

If you haven't realized already, I'm big on traditions at Christmas. One of our yearly traditions is to watch Christopher the Christmas Tree on Christmas Eve (you can read the story behind it here). I only have a copy on VHS so Kenton, Kels, and I headed down to the basement (after the girls and Toni headed home so Santa could come to their house) to the spare bedroom that holds all my exercise equipment (and also my tv with built in VHS player) to watch. Kenton and I know every word of the movie by this point - I just love it so much! 

When I was young Christmas morning started somewhere between 4 and 6 - we just couldn't sleep so our parents let us open presents before the sun was even up so they could go back to bed once we were done. I still can't sleep in on Christmas, it just doesn't happen, so I was wide awake at 5. I watched The Santa Clause in bed for a bit before getting out to finish up my Christmas wrapping. I had wrapped a bunch of presents at the beginning of December but then the rest didn't get done until Christmas morning. Unfortunately this is turning into a Christmas tradition too... 
After finishing wrapping presents (while watching another Christmas movie of course) I carried all 
my presents upstairs, tidied up my room, folded some laundry, threw another load into the washing machine, and then finally sat down on the couch with a cup of coffee (and a cinnamon bun) to wait for the rest of the family to show up. If it were up to me they would all be at the house at 7 am because the waiting just kills me!
Everyone finally showed up to the house around 10 and after getting presents brought in it was finally time for the girls to start opening their presents. I am so excited that next Christmas there will be another Mathison baby to spoil and he'll be at an age where he can open presents!  Present opening usually takes at least an hour at our house because everyone always gets SO spoiled. My brother videos the whole thing and when we rewatch it each Christmas we can't believe how long it actually takes because it doesn't feel that long in the moment. 

After opening presents it was time for another tradition - Christmas brunch. My dad always makes a big breakfast for us after opening presents. After an hour of present opening its much needed! After breakfast we drank mimosas, played some games, and before we knew it it was time for Toni and the girls to head off to Christmas supper with her boyfriend and her family - the first time we haven't had the whole family together for our Christmas supper! 

After Toni and the girls left we played Watch Ya' Mouth - Kenton/Kels had gotten it for Christmas. It was SO much fun. We were all dying with laughter the entire time. It's definitely a new favourite! Then it was time for Christmas supper. Mama Bear makes the best Christmas supper ever. We were all in food comas afterwards, even the dogs! 

The one tradition we didn't get to this year? The Home Alone Drinking Game. It wouldn't have been quite the same anyways considering my sister in law is 8 months pregnant and my liver is certainly thanking me for not getting to that tradition. It will definitely be going down next year though. I might even have to play it by myself the day I have to take down my tree and all my decorations... 

I got some great gifts from my family - I'll be showing them off in a 'What I'm Loving' post in the New Year. Unfortunately the scratch tickets I put in my parents stockings didn't turn out to be big winners so we weren't able to jet off on a hot holiday to escape the Christmas Blizzard of 2016. Yep, that's right we were so lucky to be blessed with a blizzard for Christmas. Between shoveling at home and at work my arms feel like they're going to fall off - I've been getting in some good workouts though! 

The blizzard prevented my siblings from making it to my parents until mid afternoon on Boxing Day - I pretty much spent the whole day in bed watching Christmas movies and listening to the wind howl. I didn't leave the house other than to shovel my car out so I could get to work the next day. Once my siblings finally made it to town it was time for another Christmas tradition - watching 2015's Christmas videos.

Christmas isn't quite over for me yet - MN and I still have to exchange gifts. I'm heading there this weekend for New Years so we'll exchange our gifts then. I've wrapped all of his gifts and now I'm worried that when I cross the border they're going to unwrap them all on me... I guess we'll see! There is supposed to be another blizzard rolling in so fingers crossed for me that I'm able to make it to Minot before it hits!

Hope y'all had an amazing Christmas! 

December 20, 2016

5 Sleeps 'til Christmas...

5 sleeps 'til Christmas and there is still SO much to be done! I'm definitely more ahead of schedule than most years but I feel like there is so much I need to fit in this week to really feel like I made the most of this holiday season.

My tree is up, most of my decor is up (I scaled back a bit this year because last year it looked like Christmas exploded in my spare bedroom until at least May...), and I am *almost* done all of my Christmas baking. I've made around 200 tasty treats so far but I still have about 100 to go before I can start assembling and delivering baking trays so that it's out of my house and I'm not as tempted to eat it all.
I have a few more presents to wrap and a few more small things to buy (nothing like leaving things 'til the last minute) and I'm running out of hours in the day to get everything done. I do have all day on Christmas Eve since its on Saturday and I don't work but I'd really like to have that day to just relax and enjoy Christmas! 

I've been watching Christmas movies every chance I get - I have them on in the background while getting ready for work, cleaning up, wrapping presents, and as I go to bed at night. So far I've watched Home Alone and Home Alone 2 about five times each, have seen Serendipity a couple of times, Christmas Vacation at least three times, Elf once, and at least three terribly cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies. I still have to fit in a bunch more - something I'm more than happy to do!

I've been listening to Christmas music all day long, using only Christmas mugs when I drink my coffee, and I've been eating one of these festive donuts every other day it seems. I just cant help myself - I love this time of year so much!

Every year I get together with high school friends (and a few new-er additions to the mix) for a 
Christmas potluck. This was our 'Wine Club' Christmas Party last year that I hosted at my parents house. 
This year we couldn't set a date that worked for everyone - this is the hardest month to schedule anything-  so it ended up being a Christmas get together at my sisters new house last Friday with myself, my sister, my nieces, Jayden -our friend of 25+years- and her boyfriend and son, and Jayden's brother, his girlfriend, and their daughter. There was SO much food and it was nice to get together with them and catch up - it seems like we only see them in the Summer during camping season now. Why is life so busy?!

Now to get ready for working two jobs today. Nothing like working a second job in the retail industry during the Christmas Season...

December 6, 2016

Currently (December 2016)...

Reading my way through my reading pile. Yes, still. I've actually added a couple books to my pile without getting to the older ones first - whoops. I read Find Her by Lisa Gardner (4 stars!) on the way to the Twin Cities for the girls birthday trip and then re-read The Girl on The Train (its just so good!) while on the train ride home from MN a couple weeks ago but otherwise haven't made much progress on my pile. I'm hoping I can get some of them knocked off during the Christmas holidays so I can finally buy some new ones. I can't wait to get my hands on Lauren Graham's book!

Listening to Christmas music Now that its finally December I can say this and not feel a single bit of shame. I listen to it all day on my computer at work over my usual Spotify playlist - I can't get enough!

Celebrating the Christmas season! My work Christmas party was last Friday and then Toni and I headed to Yorkton on Saturday to celebrate Scooby's birthday. Next weekend we're having a Christmas party at my sisters house and then I still have to fit in Cookie Swap somewhere - I love that the holidays brings people together!
Watching all the Christmas movies I can get my hands on. My nieces came back from their Dad's house on Sunday night and told me that they watched Home Alone three times - I was so proud! I woke up early this morning and am writing this post as I watch a cheesy Christmas movie on Netflix called Merry Kissmas (and yes, it's terribly cheesy but I don't care because its Christmas!)

Drinking coffee at the moment (out of a festive mug of course) but my go to drinks lately (besides coffee and water) have been hot chocolate and cranberry ginger ale - so festive!

Waiting for some packages to arrive in the mail. And for the Christmas cards to roll in! I finally took down last years Christmas cards a couple days ago and now my card holder just looks so empty 

Working on some fun Christmas-y blog posts so I can make up for my lack of posts lately

Wearing all the layers because Snowmageddon has hit my corner of the province. It's currently blizzarding and feels like -25 C with the wind chill. The highways are a complete mess and the amount of snow we've received is insane. I wish I could just stay in bed and have a snow day today while watching Christmas movies :(

Anticipating seeing MN in two days! It hasn't even been two weeks since we last saw each other but it feels like forever. He's here for four days/three nights this time so it won't be as rushed as his last visit. We don't get to see each other at Christmas (booo) so after this I won't see him until New Years Day so we have to make the most of this time together during my favourite month!

Loving that I came home on Sunday night and my Mama had her tree up - it makes my heart so happy!
Making plans for my annual Christmas Baking Extravaganza - I look forward to it all year long! I go way overboard but I love doing it and it makes my heart happy. Now I just have to figure out when I can carve out the time to start...

December 2, 2016

December Goals (2016)...

Now that it's finally December it's finally appropriate to showcase my extreme love of all things Christmas. Let's just pretend that my tree hasn't been up since Christmas 2014 and that I took my Christmas cards down from last year...(what can I say, my Christmas spirit lives all year long!)
I didn't post any monthly goals for myself for November, since I took an unintentional break from blogging regularly, but I am back today with some goals for December - my favourite month of all! 

In December I want to...

Bake lots of goodies to give to friends and and family
We still haven't settled on a date for Beaver Cove's annual Cookie Swap but I will be starting my holiday baking next week. Can't wait! Now to avoid gaining 10 lbs during the Holidays...

Take photos with Krickit and order Christmas cards 
Yes, I'm that person that sends out Christmas cards with my fur baby. Last year half of my cards didn't arrive until after Christmas so I need to get this done asap and get them out! I just love getting and displaying Christmas cards
Last years card... that I just now realized says 2016 at the top. Whoooops! Haha

Watch a Christmas movie every night before bed 
I love turning off my bedroom lights and only having my Christmas lights and my tree turned on while I watch a Christmas movie in bed - there's nothing better! Okay, add in a cup of hot chocolate or a glass of wine and then it's really perfect 

Enjoy all of my favourite Christmas traditions
Playing the Home Alone drinking game, Elf on the Shelf, watching Christopher the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, Twinkle Tour-ing on Christmas Eve, Mexican and Margarita night during the holidays - I just love all the traditions that come with the Christmas season!

Have all my gifts bought, wrapped, and under the tree by December 16th 
Last year I woke up early on Christmas morning to finish wrapping my presents so this year I would really like to make this goal happen. All the gifts I have bought so far are already wrapped so I might actually accomplish it this year - wish me luck!

Hit 10K steps every single day in December
I'm currently doing a Beachbody 21 day challenge so that will definitely help. I don't have huge expectations for myself since it is the Christmas season and that means eating and drinking all the things but I'd just like to keep active to avoid gaining over Christmas and then I can really get to work in the New Year
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Watch Home Alone as many times as humanly possible 
Not only is Home Alone my favourite Christmas movie but it is also my favourite movie of all time. Period. The end. 

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Enjoy the Christmas season! 
Sometimes the stress and busy-ness of the Holiday season can get to a person but I'm going to try and take time to sit back and relax and just enjoy it!

Coming up in December

So many holiday parties! 
Work, Girl's Christmas, Beaver Cove's Cookie Swap - so much to look forward to!
Scooby's birthday festivities (this weekend!)
MN's second visit to the GWN 
New Years Eve in Minnesota
and so much more -  I can't wait!

December 1, 2016

November Happenings...

Happy December y'all! My favourite month of the entire year is finally here and the countdown to Christmas is on!

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Yes, I hate Winter but I love Christmas SO much that December is still my favourite month regardless of my major disdain for all other things Winter. And I know I've said a million and one times that I'm going to get back into blogging consistently and then I never do BUT the month of December seems like the perfect time to actually follow through - I just have so much to talk about during my favourite month/the Christmas season. So I'm going to start the month off right and recap the month of November with the What's New With You link up (my fav!)

What's New With You

The first day of November started off with a trip to the Queen City for an orthodontist appointment, with a quick pit stop on the way at the doctors office in Estevan to get a very strong antibiotic to fight off strep throat (happens every.single.year around this time). At my orthodontist appointment I got a tentative date for getting my braces off - I should only have three more appointments and then they'll be off. Hallelujah! I'm not counting my chickens before they hatch though... until they're actually off I'm not going to let myself get excited. This weekend will mark two full years of having them. So much for the 18 months that they told me... I really don't notice them anymore but it still will be nice to not be a brace face anymore! Getting them off before my 30th birthday will be the best 30th birthday gift ever. 

We were pretty lucky throughout most of November to still be getting some nice weather - pretty unusual for us but made travelling throughout the month of November (which there was a lot of) that much easier. The snow is usually here to stay by Halloween so we love when it makes a late appearance

One of the most exciting parts of November? MN finally made it to Canada! It was a whirlwind trip due to the way the train runs. I picked him up in Minot on a Sunday morning and I had to bring him back to Minot to catch the train home on Monday night. He was only actually here for one night but he got to meet my parents, some of our 'camping family' and of course, Krickit (he'd already met my siblings). Because of the border hours at the crossing I use I went down to Minot on the Saturday night before he got in and got a hotel room for the night. It was the first time in all my 29 years that I ever spent in a hotel room alone. How crazy is that?! I got myself some Qdoba for supper (my favourite next to Chipotle), my favourite Barefoot red that is really hard to find around here, my first caramel brulee latte of the season, and then I checked into my hotel. I watched some HGTV (my favourite channel and I never get control of the remote at home!) while I ate my supper and drank my Starbucks, before I ventured off to wander the aisles of Target. Late at night is my favourite time to go because I pretty much get the entire store to myself - its perfect!
 I ran to Wal Mart for a few things after Target and then headed back to my hotel and settled in for the night. I brought my laptop so I could watch some Parks and Rec and enjoyed having that king size bed to myself and not having to share with Krickit (she's a major bed hog).

My train is always late getting in to St Paul but of course MN's train was early and I didn't get to the train station to get him until the train was already there and gone. How does he get all the luck?! We headed back to the hotel so he could shower and then we went for breakfast before heading out to the GWN - we had to get back in time for MN to watch the Vikings game (eye roll). The agent at the border was a little confused with our situation but there were no issues going through and we got to O-town around 12:30 that afternoon. MN met my parents and Krick -  Kricki was very, very wary but she always is with strangers, but my parents and MN got along great (phew!). We watched the Vikings game and then headed down the hill to the park to hang out with some of our camping family and play Bones. Kricki and her friend Maddi got into a scuffle over a dropped Popcorn Twist (ha) and Krick ended up with a small cut on her ear. As you can tell from the picture of her and my dad, she milked it for all it was worth. Also, please note that MN is lucky that I even let him near my bed with an Orioles shirt on!
The next morning we took Krickit for a walk around town and I showed MN around O-town (not that there's much to see) and then we headed into 'the city' for lunch and MN had his first ever authentic Canadian poutine. A must when visiting Canada! The rest of the day was spent lazing around and before we knew it it was time to head back to Minot to drop MN off at the train station. I had to get a hotel room again because of the border times so I drowned my sadness over saying goodbye to MN with another bottle of wine and some ice cream.

Krickit had just starting warming up to MN by the time he left so I'm really curious to see how she'll be around him when he comes next week.

The nice temperatures lasted well into November (though we didn't make it all the way through the month completely unscathed, unfortunately). With all the travelling I did Krickit didn't like to let me out of her sight much when I was at home, in case I was leaving her. It breaks my heart every time I have to! Also, I've been doing the $5 savings plan for a couple years now and I just have to say that it is the best. I save every single $5 bill that comes into my posession and when I go to use the money for something (usually for travelling) it feels like free money!

The weekend after MN visited the GWN I was off to the Twin Cities (just for a different reason than usual). Instead, I was off for my nieces birthday trip. We try and go the same time every year because of Remembrance Day, that way the girls don't miss as much school. There were three adults and three kids so you can imagine how full that van was. I gave front seat to my sisters friend and sat in the middle by Graycie and caught up on some reading (and sleeping!). It was glorious and the 9ish hour drive wasn't actually too bad considering there were three kids under 10 along for the ride.

I got Toppers pizza, Twin City Grill's Salt and Vinegar Fries, Chipotle, and Benihana's while we were there so my entire trip was made just in the food alone. We didn't even do much shopping, it was all about taking the girls on rides and taking them to spend their birthday money (which worked good because I wasn't able to blow my budget!).  
 Toni's friend Kim and her daughter came - Teanna is a year younger than Rae so the older girls would go off on some rides and we'd take Graycie to the ones that she could do - that's why she's in the pictures from Nickelodeon World and not Rae (just in case you think I have a favourite haha). We had taken the girls to Benihana's the year before so it was a must again - Kim had wanted Teanna to experience it too.
 Toni and I bought ourselves the most comfy sweaters at a touristy store in the MOA - we had been looking for some super tacky ones (we're weird like that) but had to settle for ones that just said Minnesota on them. They were so comfy that we even wore them hot tubbing at the hotel on the night we bought them. Just kidding. We were just too lazy (and full of Chipotle) to put bathing suits on but had to supervise the kids and the hot tub was just to tempting that we had to dip our feet in. Graycie spent some of her birthday money at Target on a vest, jacket, headbands, a purse and some boots and she decided that she needed to put them all together at once - she's so adorable!
Life was pretty calm for awhile following the girls birthday trip but then before I knew it it was time for me to head back to the Twin Cities, to celebrate my first EVER American Thanksgiving. You can read all about it here.

When I was in MN there was a small amount of snow, and a bit more where we spent Thanksgiving Day, and there was absolutely none on the ground at home. That didn't last long thought. On Monday it started snowing and it didn't stop until yesterday afternoon - the amount of snow we got in that small time frame is insane!

And that is everything that was crammed into the month of November! Now that I look back I can't believe how much I had going on. It should have definitely prepared me for the craziness that is the month of December. Can y'all believe there are only 4 more Friday's until Christmas?! So much to do still and so very little time! I'm kickstarting December with my work Christmas party tomorrow night, and then Toni and I head to Yorkton on Saturday for the night to celebrate Scooby's birthday and then things just get even busier from there - but I wouldn't have it any other way. Add in that I'm also doing a Beachbody 21 Day Fix challenge and my calendar is just so full of things! As much as I want Christmas to get here (because I love it so much) I also hope the month of December goes by at a nice pace - I don't want to miss out on anything!