*Special thanks to Litfuse for sending me this product to review!

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As a child, coloring was one of my favorite activities.  It was a way for me to relax and be creative at the same time.  When given the opportunity to try out ScriptureDoodles, I jumped.

The books start by telling you how to use the books, add your own creativeness, and how to try out different fonts and techniques.  Then, you are ready to get started.  While coloring, it really gives you time to reflect on the scripture in front of you.  This is so different than just reading words, and helps you to really think about what the words mean.

If you are looking for a beautiful and creative gift for someone on your list…or for yourself, check it out here!

It’s December.  I mean, I am sure you knew that…but seriously.  How is 2016 almost over?  I am still writing 2015 on things.  Even HJ mentioned how fast the past year went.  Usually by this point, I have posted gift ideas, and deals from various places.  This year, it completely slipped my mind.

I keep meaning to post HJ’s annual interview, but keep putting it off until “maybe tomorrow”.

I am hoping my time off over Christmas will help me officially feel caught up on life.  Which sounds silly since I have all my Christmas shopping done, decorations out, and cards sent (for weeks now).  But it’s little things like, “Oh my gosh why are there so many clothes on my bedroom floor” and I keep forgetting to grab light bulbs at the store, so the mud room is pretty dark.  Also, my tv remote has been broken for three weeks.  Three weeks.  We have had the tv on the same damn channel for 3 weeks.  I have been to a store numerous times since then, but just forget to grab one.

Last week, I finally ordered a remote from amazon…and got an email today that something happened to the package while in route and they will reship soon.  (I wish they would say what happened, it has to be a good story.)  Looks like we will continue to watch channel 7 for a few more days.  Plus, once I get the package I am sure I will realize it needs remotes and have to get those at the store (which means I will continue to forget for a few more weeks).

I have also recently realized there are some days where cooking dinner just isn’t going to happen.  Like on Mondays.  HJ has a lego group that meets from 6-7.  There is no way I can pick him up, get home, cook, eat and back to school by 6.  So I am one of those moms that lets him eat a lunchable for dinner now.  Which is kind of silly since he doesn’t even like cheese.

On that note, cooking for a kid that doesn’t like cheese is weird…because I love cheese.  He also doesn’t like potatoes or eggs.  In the last year, he finally decided that pasta was ok…as long as there is no cheese.  However, he loves vegetables.  The kid ordered edamame for dinner before.

Anyone who has seen HJ since March knows this, but he hasn’t had a haircut.  I convinced him to trim his bangs once, but otherwise it has just been growing.  It was finally at ponytail length last week, and I got him to get it cut.  Just a trim!  To shape it! (actually the elf got him too) As soon as he agreed, I raced to a salon.  And he got it cut…I mean slaughtered.  You guys, he looked like Lloyd Christmas.  If you don’t know who that is, google it quick and come back.  We both cried.  I took him to a friend to try and salvage it.  It’s still not good, but better.  No pictures…he won’t let me.  But that pretty much guarantees I won’t force him to cut it for years.

That is all I will ramble on about for now, but I am hoping to get back into my normal routine soon.  Promise.

 

In case you were wondering, the countdown is on at our house.  33 days.  That’s it.  Which means, shopbop’s sale is here at the most perfect time!  From beautiful jewelry, cozy pajamas, and gorgeous bags, you can’t go wrong with a gift from Shopbop.

On my wish list, a Marc Jacobs handbag, a cute and casual top, and cozy pajamas.

The sale is going on now until 11/29 at 11:59 PST.  Make sure to cross some items of your list!

 

white-lace-red-roses-box-e1416272216252-414x414The best way to start the holiday season…with a GIVEAWAY!  (And yes, I am decorating this weekend for Christmas)

You know I love subscription boxes.  Clothes, makeup, jewelry, it’s always fun to receive a box full of goodies.  And now, there is a subscription services for lingerie.  Theenclosed.com is an awesome site, where you can pick your style, and they will surprise you with beautiful (or cute…or sexy) lingerie.  You can even gift a 1, 3, 6 or 12 month subscription.

Want to win a free gift from The Enclosed?  Leave a comment on this post! To receive another entry, tweet at me that you “want to win The Enclosed Giveaway”.  And a final entry?  Leave a comment on the instagram post about the giveaway!  The winner will be drawn at random on 11/14/2016.

 

**This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal**

In October, I took HJ out to get his 7 year pictures completed.  For the first time, we thought we would also try and include the dog.  I was nervous for a few different reasons: HJ’s hair is so long you can hardly see his eyes; negotiating him to wear jeans; if the dog would stay calm enough or be bouncy; me and my self esteem.

I was almost nervous to get the photos back.  But then I did, and I was/am SOOO happy with them!

This year, Lynn from Grace Captured took them.  She was fun to work with, and did an amazing job.  Just look…

untitled-5 untitled-50 untitled-79-copy untitled-92-copy untitled-9 untitled-14 untitled-18 untitled-28 untitled-36 untitled-59Oh, my little pumpkin is just so cute :), I even like his hair!  If you live in the Cedar Valley area, I highly recommend Grace Captured!

Past Photo Shoots…

Age 6

Age5

Age 4

Age 3

Age 2

Friday was HJ’s birthday.  One he has been counting down for months.  So, we had to make sure he had the best day ever.

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He woke up to a room full of balloons, and got ready for school.  We swung by dunkin donuts for a chocolate sprinkle donut..best breakfast for birthday kids :).  He walked to school with a container of cupcakes to share with his class, and it was only a half day of school.  At noon, I picked up HJ and his friend.  We went for Happy Meals, and played outside in the perfect weather.  Then, we had to pick up the cake for HJ’s party.  The bakery is ran out of a home, which is on a farm.  The farm has lot, and lots of cats.  So we stayed to play a while.  img_6956

Then, it was time to head off on our next adventure…Chuck E. Cheese.  The boys burned through their tokens in less than 30 minutes.  HJ opted to save his tickets, and did not take home a prize.

img_6963After that, we went to a park to burn off any energy that was left.

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We came home to get ready for HJ’s family party.  His nana, papa and great grandma were coming over for dinner and cake.  He picked out dinner, edamame and taco pizza.  Then, opened up his presents.  After presents, came cake.

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Safe to say, he was ready for bed shortly after.  We had a great day celebrating my favorite boy in the world!  Happy Birthday, sweet boy!

Hey Chicago what do you say Cubs are gonna win today:

“Hey HJ, do you know the cubs haven’t won the World Series since 1908?  That is 108 years ago!  That’s older then nana, papa, even great grandma!  If they win tonight it is a huge deal!”

HJ looks at me with wide eyes. “Oh my gosh!  How old are the players?!?!”

He definitely thought the players from 1908 were playing last night.

Back in 2001, I went to my first pro baseball game.  I had an internship in Chicago, and a group of us went to the cubs game.  Half of our group was from England and Scotland.  They knew nothing about baseball.  We were trying to explain strikes, balls, etc.  And other fans kept looking at us with amused expressions on their faces.

I can’t imagine the fun that city is having today!

Last year, school pictures were a fiasco.  HJ and I spent the whole day before and morning of arguing over what he had to wear.  I finally convinced him to wear a t-shirt UNDER his button down and told him as soon as pictures were over, he could take the button down off.  Then I dropped him off at daycare.  Where he proceeded to take the shirt off and shove it in his bag so no one would know.  And his picture was taken in his t-shirt.

All that arguing for nothing.

This year, I showed HJ what I wanted him to wear.  He said “no”.  And said he wanted to wear his Cedar Falls Tiger shirt.

I already had his annual photos scheduled, and he had just had football pictures done.  And I figured, “I don’t really care”.

Much to his amazement, I said “fine”.

Picture day…I drop HJ off at daycare.  We walk in the door and one kid goes, “Oh, you don’t have pictures today?”.  HJ said, “I do”.  The other kid said, “Your shirt is just in your bag then?”.

Nope.

He proudly said, “I get to wear this!” while I shrugged my shoulders.

The other little boy said, “My mom would NEVER let me wear that!”

Apparently, quite a few kids said that to him through out the day.  I figure, someday he will question why I allowed to let him dress like that for pictures, and I can tell him all about the fit he threw the year before, and that it wasn’t worth the argument.  So here it is, 1st grade pictures!!  Not only can I no longer pick out his clothes, I also can’t get him to get a hair cut.

1st-grade

I’m not going to lie, I already have a handful of Christmas presents.  I usually start shopping in September.  And there may have been a few days where I have thought I really want to put up my Christmas tree.

So what a perfect time for Shopbop to have an amazing SALE!

You can’t go wrong gifting a beautiful, versatile handbag.  Or a beautiful necklace.

This sale goes from today until Friday, so make sure you don’t miss out on a fantastic way to save!  And if you are wondering what to get me for my birthday in a few weeks…I love Kate Spade.

HJ and I are finally in our back to school routine.  Which is amazing, since he has yet to have a full week!  The last few weeks, we had flood days, which made things a bit hectic. (and no, we have never had flood days before)

Before school, we get ready, have breakfast, and HJ goes to daycare while I head to work.  For now, HJ is in lego club, football and faith formation at night.  This leads to early/late dinners, and rarely do I have time to cook.  I am ready for football to be over, so we at least have 2 nights at home :).

At night, we play, do homework and read a few chapters before bed.  We just finished Fudge-a-mania, and started The BFG.   There are times I am amazed at how quickly he is changing, like when I heard him read out loud in front of a group.

He also likes to help around the house.  This weekend, he wants to learn how to clean the fishbowl by himself (YAY!).  The dog and him have become best buds.  Many times, HJ would rather stay in with the dog and play then to go outside and play.

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Yes, that is the dog eating his ice cream.

I love that we live in a neighborhood where there are always kids running around, and the neighbors can help each other.  While we would love a bigger space, I would be too scared to leave our comfortable ‘hood.

I love going and watching HJ play flag football, although it makes me laugh.  HJ HATES being chased, so will do what he can to avoid getting the ball.  He also is afraid to grab people’s flags.  So he runs after them and then slows wayyy down once he gets close.

With him getting so big, I savor the moments he is still “little”.  Like when he came into my room and asked to snuggle.  Or when he falls asleep in the same position he did as a baby.  Or when he suddenly wants to get out a toy he hasn’t played with in two years.  But then, he will walk out of the room “dabbing” and yelling “DUDE” to his friends.

I always knew how much I wanted to be a mom, but I didn’t expect to love it this much.