Wednesday, November 30, 2011

...Favorite Holiday Tradition...Elf on the Shelf...

Linking up with
Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge
to bring you my favorite holiday tradition...

My favorite Holiday tradtion that my family has adopted is: ELF ON THE SHELF

Seriously, why wasn't this around when I was a kid? It's the most adorable concept I've ever seen!

"Have you ever wondered how Santa knows who is naughty and who is nice? The Elf on the Shelf – A Christmas Tradition is the very special tool that helps Santa knows who to put on the Naughty and Nice list. This interactive holiday hide-and-seek tradition is perfect for children and families of all ages.

The tradition begins when Santa sends his scout elves out to Elf Adoption Centers. Waiting for their families to bring them home, these patient elves hibernate until their family reads The Elf on the Shelf, gives their elf a very special name, and registers their adoption online. Once named, each scout elf will receive its Christmas magic and become a part of the family’s Christmas each and every year.

Excellent listeners and even better observers, these scout elves are the eyes and ears of Santa Claus. Although they cannot be touched, or else they may lose their magic, the elf will always listen and relay messages back to Santa. Taking in all the day-to-day activities around the house, no good deed goes unnoticed; these scout elves take their job seriously.

Each night, after the family goes to bed, the scout elf uses his magical Christmas powers to fly back to the North Pole. Once there, the elf will make his or her daily report to Santa and visit with elf friends where they will tell stories about their beloved families, play with the reindeer, and of course, sneak some of Mrs. Claus’ cookies!

Before the family awakes each morning, their special scout elf will fly back to their home from the North Pole. However, since these elves like to play games, don’t expect to find them in the same spot! While some like to hide in the freezer (probably because it reminds them of the North Pole) and others prefer to sit on the fireplace mantle or hang from the chandelier, these elves love to play hide-and-seek with their families.

On Christmas Eve, the scout elf will listen for Santa’s bell and then fly back to the North Pole until the next season, wishing every girl and each boy a Christmas of peace and a year full of joy."

Our elf, Mr. Jingles,
made his appearance this past Monday night...sitting on our Santa's lap up on the fireplace mantle...look at his sweet little face eagerly waiting to see our little Rylee and Reese...and he left a sweet little note from Santa for Rylee to read.

I love everything about Christmas...especially Mr. Jingles...

Monday, November 28, 2011

turkey & shopping...

Thanksgiving was a fun time with the Mackey bunch....
being little Reese's first Thanksgiving, we had to make sure it was extra special.

First things first, "PawPaw" carved a delicious turkey....

Our little Rylee girl anxiously awaited to dive in...

Then we did a little family visitin' at my dad and Grandma's house...

Ofcourse, PawPaw Johnson oooed and ahhed over 'lil bit"

My sweet little Grandma (who keeps the heat on what I swear feels like 934 degrees...even when it's 72 degrees outside). Nonetheless, she's precious.

Lil bit cares about nothing else is thankful for....her thumb.

loving this little mini me and thankful for her...

onto the next Thanksgiving meal....

with candlelit chatting and shop ad gathering...

with new faces (Reese) meeting old faces (Grandpa Sam)....and then staring at them.

children played....babies got stuffed in the ball pit..

cousins reunited....and became "best friends" again, because being "just"cousins isn't enough...

Thanksgiving was everything I'd hoped for...

Then...came Black Friday Shopping...
Here, our driver, Mr. Mackey himself, keeping up with the rush of traffic....because there isn't a minute to lose when it comes to Leapster games on sale for $14.99, board games for $3.88, dish sets for $25, and DVDs for $1.96....
that smile, the smile that says "this is freakin' awesome!"

yes, sales so amazing that you totally wig out....

traffic so ridiculous that you just crank up the Christmas Music or old school 90's rap music and jam out...

laughing so hard that you nearly pee yourself while waiting in line which would be ok because Kohls has jeans on sale for $13.99, buy one get one....
 and ofcourse, seeing the look on your husband's face that says "YES! ALL NIGHT SHOPPING? PSSHHH, GIRL, I'M IN!!"

waiting in lines wrapped around buildings, meeting new friends in line only to find out that they are after that same $7 fleece pajama set you are, and yelling "Go Team" while forming a small huddle at the opening of each store...

and freezing...because for some reason the temperature has dropped 10 degrees while waiting in line...and dreaming we had brought a turkey plate with, McDonalds will have to suffice...

I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Black Friday!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

a hilarious mom's prayer...

An excerpt from Tina Fey’s "Bossypants".... a mother's prayer for her daughter...Haaaaalarius AND true....

“First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half and stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers and the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Sh*t. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a mental note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your eyes God.


Friday, November 25, 2011

boob school...

So, while Rylee is in pre-school...Reese and I began looking for some social groups to join...after all, every girl needs a girlfriend.
So we have made our way to a lovely little group consisting of ladies and their babies that we can relate to.

It's our breastfeeding support group that has become known as: "boob school".

In this group we talk about baby wearing, cloth diapering, baby feeding (duh), poo colors, boob colors (trust me on that one), sickness, siblings, recipes...I mean really, it's all fair game.

I sometimes am WAY a little shocked at how some moms become so comfortable around complete strangers....I guess its a girl bond that mothers share...
But I have learned some very cool things. Nipple coloring, vinegar wash, coconut oil, and every thing there is to know about yeast ~ to name a few.

And I've made some super sweet friends, I think Reese has too. ;)

Reese with rose-y cheeks (thank you teething) and her little friend Zoey.

The pic below is from a "baby wearing discussion" and trying on baby slings. A really sweet friend let me try hers on and model it..
Coolest thing...where I live, we have a Tot Toters Group that has a library full of baby slings, wraps, and carriers...!!

And wear your such...

I love being a Mom.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

It's Ok Thursday...Thanksgiving Edition!

Its Ok Thursdays

It's Ok to eat yourself into an oblivion on Thanksgiving.

It's Ok to nap the day away in preparation for the BIGGEST SHOPPING BONANZA OF THE YEAR (Black Friday)!

It's Ok to pee on yourself......from laughing and making good memories on every day of the year Thanksgiving.

It's Ok to make a take-home plate at each house you eat at on Thanksgiving.

It's Ok to fuel up on 4 pots of coffee in order to stay up and shop all night.

It's Ok if you like dressing up for black friday shopping.

It's Ok to make tons of new friends while waiting in lines tonight.

It's Ok to wonder/not know why it's called Black Friday....

It's Ok to have a dessert plate as big as your meal plate. (though you'll look pigish, it's still Ok).

I hope you can think of a million things to be thankful for!
I know I can!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ratliff Wedding

My little sister got married on Nov. 12, 2011.
It was a sweet, very simple wedding.
No fancy dresses. No tuxedos. No cocktail hour. No big family gathering.

Just a pair of soulmates excited to express their love for one another. 

The secret to having a good marriage is to understand that marriage must

be total, it must be permanent, and it must be equal.

~ Frank Pittman

My little sis and my Big girl, Rylee, all smiles.

Sis and my baby girl, Reese.

me with 2 of my girls...

And the ceremony...
a blessing from the preacher...

the rings....the smiles...

and...the Ratliffs...

Wishing them a lifetime full of smiles and happiness...

and I had to sneak this one in, a pic of my little Daddy filling his belly with some good eatin'
(a southern expression, yal)

craft fair...

I participated in my first. ever. craft. show.
It was oodles of fun!!
I've loved crafting since I was a little but being a Graduate Student put that on hold for a short while.

When I was little, I would spend hours decorating my bedroom with carefully crafted cut outs, streamers, or banners. I would make posters, cards, scrapbooks.
So now, I'm back to doing what I love. Crafting.
I was a little nervous about what to expect at my first craft show...but I set up a little booth and stocked it full of my goodies....

I sold. I met tons of sweet people. I gained some crafting friends.

One thing I found helpful was...wearing my merchandise.
Seriously, people were buying the headbands right off my was awesome.

Now, onto the next adventure...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

blog swappin...funnest. thing. ever.

My friend Holly from Perfectly Imperfect had this brilliant idea to host a blog swap!

As part of a 101 in 1001 day help meet the goals of our lists,
she decided to do something super fun...each blogger would be paired up with another blogger and would send and receive something small to help accomplish something from their list.

And I got paired up with My Photo 
This is my new friend Amber over at Brunch with Amber 

So a couple of things on my list were:

#4. stop biting my Amber sent me an adorable nail polish because, duh, freshly painted nails are way to cute to chew off.

#11. send a card a week to a loved one for 3 months...a lovely little set of stationary cards! Now I have no excuse!

#66. roast what does Amber send? MARSHMELLOWS, and a GINORMOUS bag if I may add. Now I just need some sticks to slap these suckers on, and a fire to start the roasting and voila...roasted marshmellows!

Here is a pic of the goodies I received.
A big thanks to Holly for hosting this because it was super fun!

Some things from Amber's list include....and what I sent her..

3. Visit a foreign country.....luggage tags
8. Kiss my boyfriend under the mistletoe.....mistletoe
54. Make a list of my 100 most favorite quotes....a journal

*oh and I sent Amber a super cute Cocktail Ring from my shop...just for being new friends.
 Cocktail Ring

Happy Blogging..

wordless wednesday

Linking up with and then, she {snapped} to bring you...

and then, she {snapped}

I know what you're thinking, Christmas decor up? already?
Yes, just look at those freshly pressed stockings hanging by the chimney with care in hopes that St Nicholas soon....
ok, ok, maybe a weee bit too soon for that.

I love a house full of Christmas, the smells, the lights, the sounds, the family gathered around the living just warms my heart.
And this little gal, all cutened up in her pjs.
Just seeing those blue eyes and that smirky little grin makes me want to scoop her up and kiss her.

Happy Wednesday Friends!