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I had planned on posting a few pictures... Christmas-tree shopping, mulled cider mulling...

I planned to do this last Sunday for Monday's post. 

Didn't happen. 

But decorating did happen- prior to '10:00pm'! (we intend to start everything early, but we tend to run behind)... drama-free! {SUCCESS!!}

Planned again to do it last night. A few more pictures to add to the mix... light-hanging, letter-writing (yep... those santa letters still happen!)...

Didn't happen.

But shopping did happen... and not only did it happen- it doesn't have to happen any longer, cause it's DONE. Hours and hours and days and HOURS later, but it. is. done. And wrapping did happen... prior to the usual hell that is us buried in unwrapped presents at the very, very last minute (Christmas eve)... cursing our way through... all the while trying to make them look festive... unique... creative... cute...

And this movie happened too. 

And arguments were forgotten...  undone tasks forgiven... 

Unshared pictures filed.


{my birthday is march 30th. fyi.}

{...& card available here. fyi.}


After seeing this simple brown-bagged advent calendar on one of my favorite blogs last year, I stored it away in the overflowing "next year" file. Thankfully, a year much less hectic than the past, in which one could find me scrambling to Party City to pick up a boxed chocolate-filled calendar (post December 1st), after finding that Trader Joes' were long gone (as they should be, because who would still be in need of one?).

We've gone through several 'calendars'... rustic & wooden... build-a-lego-a-day... but in the past few years, as life got a bit chaotic, we've resorted to paper-box-+-chocolate (usually generously gifted from grandma). 

And who am I kidding? As long as the kids get candy (their main mission in life, as rightly stated by Jerry Seinfeld... so funny), they could care less where it came from, & how 'Santa' delivered it.  

But this was really fun to shop for & simple to create (simple, as in- Ryan & I quickly painting, filling, & hanging on Sunday morning... thank God the kids sleep in!)... mostly filled with lots of little cheap goodies (not only candy).

Day #1 was Baci chocolate... others are Candy Cane ChapStick, gold coins, striped straws, hot chocolate packs, a red lifesaver... and a green in another bag... jingle bells to hang on their back packs...

But by far, the best part is seeing the huge amount of anticipation & JOY that such a tiny treat can create. 
{even in a teenager :)}.

{day 1~ reading their Baci messages}

{day 2~ very early on a Monday morning, after having been off of school for a week... & very blurry~ but it made me laugh- in the midst of major grogginess... holding up their bells}

{day 3~ this time we waited till after school (Jacob leaves at 6:50am for zero period, when Hailey is still sound asleep!)}

{day 4~ a little bit of cheer, in the midst of a whole lotta' homework}

{day 5~ wanna kiss?}

If you've read my blog for a while, you may notice a theme complaint of wanting-to-do instead of doing. It's my biggest 'area of opportunity' (as they'd say in the corporate world)... an area in which I'm working hard to surpass. So it feels nice to have a 'next year' item moved to 'this year'.

Time off.

started with a birthday cake & ended with a pie. {my kind of holiday}


{if you didn't get your homemade pumpkin pie fix- or even if you did- this is a good recipe.}
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