Friday, December 8, 2017

Santa Surprise


When the preschool Elf on the Shelf says a special guest is coming to town, you'd better watch out.

And probably skip the crying and pouting, just to be on the safe side.

Nora politely denied a chance to see Mall Santa this year. Even though she wants to tell him about her wish list and her reduction in sibling brawls, she'd rather not engage in such a public display of Christmas joy. That's why I was nervous when I heard the Big Guy himself was coming to Nora's school. Her teacher asked us to keep it a secret, so I did. Barely.

I dropped her off and, as most moms would, stalked Facebook for any sign of holiday merriment. When I was tagged in a photo and clicked to see the faces above, my heart soared! I counted the minutes to when I could hear Nora's side of the story {and crossed my fingers she’d remember what she told him}. She was super eager to tell me everything that happened, so I thought I'd share. Obviously, I was not there to prove this did or did not happen. So do with the following information what you will:

  • Twinkle Toes, Elf on the Shelf in residence, was holding a letter when the kids arrived Thursday morning.

  • Twinkle Toes is also getting ready to head back to the North Pole with his report. Nora thinks she's good to go, but she's worried about a few of her classmates.

  • Nora told me the daycare's name was on the front of his envelope, so they knew it was official.

  • In the letter, the elf said a surprise visitor was stopping by to see them. It was at this point that they all screamed "SANTA!" {"I know him!"}

  • He did not have reindeer, he had a white car. Driven by elves, apparently.

  • "Ho Ho Ho" was not how he greeted them, so he may have been a phony. His beard was fluffy, though, so he could have been the real deal.

  • Nora told him she wanted a big, pink Hatchimal and a new bike. Both of these requests were news to me.

  • The girl who went before her also wanted a big, pink Hatchimal, so he said he'll make two at the same time.

  • No one but the baby cried on his lap, which is a huge deal in a class of three- and four-year-olds.

  • He had a stocking full of candy canes and gave her one. Nora said she hopes he empties it quickly so he can fill it up with presents for himself.

  • He was very sweet and cute and gave Nora a big hug. And he was strong enough to pick her up by himself.

  • She already has plans to set up special ops to see him on Christmas.. just to make sure this guy was legit.


Were your kids willing to sit with Santa Claus this year?
And do you know where to find a Hatchimal other than the triple-priced listings on Amazon? {asking for a friend}
Happy Friday, y'all!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Tales from Timehop


Every morning my phone whisks me through space and time, drumming up memories I cherish {and others that elicit eye rolls}.

The Timehop app shows me two things: 1) my kids are growing fast and 2) I'm ancient by social media standards. I'll see a post from an entire decade ago of a friend chatting me up on my Facebook wall. This is likely a foreign concept to most these days. I'll see photos of myself that remind me how old I am and how far I've come. Just last week I saw a status along the lines of: "Does anybody else have a Twitter yet??" I was too cool. In reading through my past online habits, one thing sticks out: vague posting.

Forgive me, y'all. I didn't really know how to act on social media, as it had literally just been invented. However, one secretive post I made 11 years ago recently caught my eye and jogged my memory.


Anytime someone is "VERY happy" but they don't share why, my first thought is pregnancy. It has to be pregnancy or an engagement or some other milestone that has them on a detail-less Cloud Nine. Walk with me through time, won't you? Because that one sentence brought me back:



Jonathan and I had been married a solid five months when we decided we could be parents. We were of legal drinking age and we knew the physical mechanics, so what more did we need? I bought a how-to manual {seriously} and we jumped in. While that part was easy, I wasn't ready for the scene that quickly followed.

Starting on this journey created some of the longest days of my life. I had to wait two weeks before I could know if anything happened. Ludicrous. I remember asking my husband to buy a pregnancy test, then carefully reading the instructions because "pee on it" couldn't have been all there was to it. Spoiler Alert: It was.

At this point we lived in a cozy rental outside of Conway. It was nestled against the pines and had a white picket fence that made it easy for us newlyweds to play house. I stood in our small bathroom and waited. The wallpaper was a stark contrast of black and white stripes, and I counted them as the fancy digital test patiently blinked.

Then the room started to spin.

The black lines and white lines engaged in an awkward dance as they bent and swirled around me. The room was tilting, but my feet were glued to the floor. My cheeks began to overheat and my stomach dropped. The word pregnant stared at me. The word seemed to appear so casually, as if it didn't comprehend how its readout just changed my life. I sat down to focus, but my thoughts ran wild.

Can we afford it? Is it going to hurt? What will the nursery look like? Is it a boy or a girl? Am I allowed to be someone's mom? Do I need to go to the doctor right now? What's going to happen to my body? How can I be responsible for another human being? How can I grow a human being inside of me? Why does it feel so different now that it's real?

Even though I prayed for this to happen, I was grossly unprepared. I know some women have elaborate plans of revealing this news to their husbands, but I hadn't gotten there yet. The words spilled out with hot tears and together we sank onto the floor in bliss. I had no idea what I was doing, but he was going to do it with me.

I had never been more in love with him, and I had never felt such a strong connection to someone I didn't know.

And apparently my next move was to post on Facebook?

Seeing what I had for lunch in 2012 or that I was "bored at work" in 2009 makes me cringe, but I love that the highlights of my life, no matter how vague, are recorded.

Y'all already know the rest of the story. Nathan was born the following July to two clueless parents who have been navigating parenthood ever since. Add three more positive tests, one miscarriage, two births, and a million lessons and I still feel just as clueless. While I now know the answers to some of the questions that flooded my brain in the bathroom that morning, they've been replaced with more.

Still, Jonathan and I are in this together. And we can do anything.

So tell me, do you remember? Can you picture the scene from when you found out you were someone's parent?
Does Timehop remind you of your annoying Facebook nuances?
Let me know in the comments and have a great Thursday!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Dear December


Maybe it's just me and my anxiety, but the homestretch of anything is a bit intimidating.

Did I do everything I was supposed to do? Did I grow enough? Change enough? Learn enough? Did I leave a big enough mark to let it lie and move forward? Basically, is this project ready to turn in?

This year is just a handful of weeks from being due to the teacher and at this point {as always} I'm wondering what happened to the rest of it. While it's not over yet, I already find myself going back to check my work. Although the shocking realization of unpreparedness is part of all my Decembers, I am glad the year ends with such hope. Advent is a beautiful time {you know, after the Christmas decorating's done} and I love that we spend time remembering we're waiting for more than a simple calendar flip. It's a huge reminder/reality check for my stress levels.

While today is the beginning of the end, I'd rather not fret over making most of what's left. So I shall turn this post into a wish list. 'Tis the season, after all. Following are a few things I have written to the month of December to help make this a both holly and jolly season:


Dear December,

I wish you would bring snow! But, you know, just enough to where it looks pretty for exactly one day and then melts completely the next. Thanks in advance.

I wish the magic you put into my children's eyes could never fade. Interest in Santa and Rudolph and maybe even Buddy will wane over time, but I pray the magic stays.

I wish for the ability to help my kids realize where that magic comes from. This holiday season is not just one of merriment, but one of patience. Help us prepare as we wait for the greatest gift of all.

I wish for a little extra time, December. It's a jam-packed month, but I'd like to spend some of those frosty nights in the hot tub with my love.

I wish for long quiet mornings lit by the Christmas tree and warmed by a coffee cup.

I wish for willpower when it comes to all those holiday Ghiradelli squares. You know the ones.

I wish to actually, truly surprise my husband with a birthday gift this year. Or at least spend some QT with him if I can't keep a secret.

I wish to not be home when the UPS man comes to my house every single day this month. Amazon Prime, you and your free shipping are killing the game.

I wish to sleep until at least 6:00 on December 25. Can we this year, kids? Please?

I wish to soak in every last drop of the holidays this year. Time is doing nothing but moving and it's taking my babies with it. I want to live through their joy and hold on to the magic.


What are you wishing for this December?
Have a wonderful weekend, y'all.