Category Archives: Christmas

State Traveler

Sorry – once again, MIA for an extended period of time.

Why, you may ask? Because I’ve approximately half my time this week in a car traversing the major cities of Texas. Within the span of seven days, I will officially have spent time in every major city in Texas. And, guys, this is a big state!

Christmas Eve – Work half a day, then drive six hours to my grandmother’s Christmas Eve. It was also, I am happy to say, a day late celebration for her 75th birthday. Love her and so happy to have her still in my life! 🙂

This is her picture from high school when she was a twirler – so adorable!

Then, Christmas Day with my parents – same town, so we had a reprieve from driving for a while. I had an excellent time with my sisters and my mom got some good pictures of all of us together in aprons (we always end up with at least one matching gift).

Sunday – drive to the Metroplex for my in-law’s Christmas celebration. Monday – back to the old SA. Copious napping was done by me, plus I made some food things and froze them to get the new year off to a good start.

Wednesday – H-town for the bowl game. The less said about that, the better. This car trip actually turned into 10 hours in the car. Why? Because we left the house around 10, drove almost to Houston, then realized, oh, neither of us decided to bring the tickets. And they were expensive. So, we went back to get them. Sigh.

Thursday – I worked, then we went to Austin to watch TWEETY CARTER play basketball (not for BU, on his D-League team, the Tulsa 66ers). Oh, how I love that man.

Today – blessed nothing. And some painting, of course. Because our house is STILL NOT DONE. My brother-in-law is coming to spend the weekend with us, so I intend to get him to help with the painting. Yay.

Tomorrow – more nothing. Hurray!!!

Sunday – drive to my favorite city for some college hoops.

I want to hear all about y’all’s weeks, too! I’ve missed everyone! 🙂

Decision on the Tree

Not much blogging from me for the next few days as Ducks is using the computer for a take-home final. I was able to steal it for a few minutes to give you an update – we are not getting a second tree.

I’m still going to spend money to get a laptop and will probably order it this week, but I decided that the tree is not a priority on the spending list right now. I appreciate everyone’s advice, but the person who ultimately swayed me was Abbey. Why? Because of her beautiful post (go read it right now!) on her Christmas decorations and appreciating simple gifts.

Go check this out immediately – it’s so cool! That’s all I really have for now – once again, I was awed by her creativity and how she makes me see the beauty in the world around me. And that’s why I’m not getting a second tree. 🙂

Should I Spend It?

Okay, friends, I have a couple of questions about things I want to buy, so I’m going to let you guys be Suze Orman and “approve or deny” me.

First, a second Christmas tree. We already have one artificial tree that we bought when we first got married. It was very, very inexpensive (I think $40?) and it’s kind of sparse-looking. So, anyway, we’ve had it for two Christmases and I don’t want to get rid of it, because it was our first tree, but I kind of want another tree for downstairs and to put the old tree upstairs and decorate it with our college colors and college ornaments.

Would this be extravagant? What do you think?

Second, the much-talked-of (by me) laptop. I still really want a computer and I feel that it could almost be termed as a need because it would help me with my writing (okay, seriously, I know two computers are really more of a luxury than a need, especially when I already have an iPhone).

The reason I’m debating all this is because I got my yearly bonus this week. It was a lot more than I expected, or than I had ever gotten before. So, now of course, instead of putting it all in savings, I want to spend some of it. The question is: should I? Or should I just wait and show a little self-control? As an aside, I actually did take 2/3 of the bonus and put it into savings (probably to be used toward law school tuition), and the other 1/3 would more than cover both these purchases.

So, let me know what you think. My Facebook friends seem to be fully in approval of the second tree, but I haven’t asked them about the computer.

Ugg Boots

My mother wants Ugg boots for Christmas.

When I heard this, I thought to myself, “You live in rural Texas. You have no idea what Vera Bradley is. The nearest mall is over an hour from your house. Ugg boots?! Really?!”

Her rationale is that she has poor circulation, so her feet are always cold and the Ugg boots will keep them warm. Here’s what I think about the situation.

When I graduated from college, one of my aunts had recently come back from visiting her daughter and family in Australia. She gave me a pair of boots that she brought back as a graduation gift. They looked somewhat like Uggs from the outside; however, on the inside, they had synthetic black fur (obvious Ugg no-no), which made them hot and uncomfortable instead of cosy like Uggs are supposed to be. To be fair, my aunt didn’t try to pass them off as real Uggs when she gave them to me. They didn’t have a tag or brand label, etc,. either. They were just ugg-ish (with a small “u”) boots.

Therefore, because they were uber-toasty and also tended to get sweaty inside, even with socks, I gave them to Goodwill after I’d had them for about three years. I think that’s perfectly reasonable, don’t you? They weren’t especially comfortable; they weren’t especially practical (it’s Texas, y’all – fleecy boots are not a necessity of life); and they probably weren’t particularly expensive. I had moved them from four different apartments and I had gotten rid of a lot of shoes that were no longer stylish or that were worn.

About a year later (this past summer), my mom called and asked if she could have those boots. Then, she proceeded to become very upset when she discovered I had given them to charity, because apparently giving something to charity that was given to you as a personal gift instead of giving it to your mother who never before expressed a wish for it is a crime.

Anyway, all that to say that she is now fixated on the idea of Ugg boots. She’s never had a pair; I don’t know if she’s ever tried on a pair, but because I gave those knock-off ones away, now she MUST have a pair at all costs.

Do you guys have parents with quirks like this?

I’m going to have to see if the sisters want to chip in.

PS Now that I’ve rambled on and on about boots, go check out the giveaway that Natalie wrote about on her blog. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if I won these and could give them to my mother for Christmas? 😉

Getting Carded

I think Shutterfly rocks!*

I made my first Shutterfly project a little over a year ago – I made an album of our honeymoon photos in glorious Italy! I loved how they had such fun templates — I used the template with all the passport stamps on it and I just filled it up with pictures of Rome, Florence, Venice and the Tuscan countryside.

This year, I’m excited to send out holiday cards to our friends and family, especially since we’re in a new house and a lot of people may not even have our new address (I guess I should have ordered some moving cards from Shutterfly this summer!).

One of the best things about their cards, in my humble opinion, is the fact that you have so many OPTIONS. For a lot of us, I think this past year has meant change. Moving to new cities, getting involved in new schools and communities, maybe even getting married or having babies for some of you. Some of my favorite Shutterfly cards allow you to include more than one picture, because it may be hard to sum up your year in one photo.

Here are a few of my favorites – go check them out for yourself and order some while you’re at it!

Christmas cuteness galore:


Fabulously chic thank you notes (I would love to get these for my MIL as my husband’s whole family are thank you note sticklers):


or a more modern option:


and these gift tags, which are just too freaking cute:


So many fun things to choose from – I really think you should go check their site out today. Also, while I was browsing, I noticed that I seem to like more untraditional cards. I thought that was kind of strange because I’m a traditionalist at heart on a lot of things. Then, I realized, it’s because my sorority’s colors were Christmas colors, so I’m just a little passe on them after wearing them and buying them for four years. Good thing Shutterfly has so many great choices in both classic and modern styles. Seriously, what are you doing still reading this? Go check them out!  🙂

*full disclosure: they’re giving me some holiday cards to say that, but I would still say it for FREE!

Holidays are Almost Here?


I don’t have a whole lot to say today. I spent last evening volunteering until very late and I discovered that my sales skills have failed me. At one point in my life, I was an excellent sales communicator. Last night, I didn’t even sell ONE raffle ticket. Personally, with the cost of the tickets, I had a very hard time justifying the “ask” but I still smiled, strolled and cajoled. All to no avail.

The point of that is to say that I’m tired and my brain is not all that fresh today. But, I still wanted to check in this morning and see how you guys are. I did buy something really cool for Ducks’ dad for Christmas, which made me wonder….

How many of you are already shopping for Christmas gifts? I have a few things stored away right now, because my sisters have all had their birthdays this past month, so I buy extra while I’m in birthday shopping mode to save for the holiday season. What about you? What’s your shopping strategy?

Also, now that we’re all adults, do you draw for names for the holidays? Our family is still fairly small; I’m the only one who is married, so we all still buy for each other. But after being named the official moderator of my friend’s holiday family name-drawing, I wonder at what point do people decide to do this? I can’t imagine not buying gifts for all my sisters, but maybe when they’re married and have husbands and kids, I might feel differently. What do you think?

PS – Don’t forget to enter the Fall Fun Giveaway — details here!!

PS 2 – Don’t forget to click to Holy Turf so I can win football tickets (wow – that sounds greedy, but you know what I mean)!