Boring Ole January

January is gross. Like I for real could totally do without this month. It’s gray and cold and it snows and slushes and then gets warm and, oh wait, no, it’s cold again and the girls have runny noses and no sunshine means all I want to do is sleep because of my SAD and, besides Josh’s birthday, I don’t care at all about this month. And breathe. The point is, after the high of Christmas, January is so boring and pretty unnecessary.

So we’ve been indoors a lot.

It also didn’t help that all four of us have been hit with the stomach bug that’s been going around.

Poor daddy sick on the couch with a big ole audience


But then it got warm(ish) for two seconds and we tried to be outside when we could. So, we went and really explored Liberty Center for the first time.

We found giant boxes of cereal marshmallows at the candy store

(Mattie wanted to make a face too)

And we got Fiona ice cream. And regardless of what this man may tell you, he seriously is the best daddy.

But it got cold again. So, I took Ellabelle to read to puppies at the library. It’s a program to help kids not feel so nervous about reading out loud. She loved it, but probably not as much as me. 😂 Puppies and listening to my Bee read – match made in heaven.

Lately these girls of mine have been going through this amazingly sweet phase where Mattie will not sleep alone. We put her in her own bed every night and, it seems like almost every morning, she is found in Ellabelle’s bed. It’s really the sweetest thing.

And since we’re in the process of rearranging their room and upgrading their beds, they’ve actually had to share a bed the last few nights.

But tonight we’ll finish the bunk beds and Mattie will have a “big girl” bed on the bottom all to herself.

Also, in the growing up too fast department: the Pay-Pay Fairy came to collect all of Matilda’s pacifiers. We explained to her what was going to be happening and how the fairy would take them away and make them new again and give them to all the little babies of the world. She wasn’t 100% convinced, but, once we told her she’d get a present in exchange, she jumped right on board.

So we are officially out of a crib and done with pacifiers in our house. Now, we just have to conquer potty training.

Ok, so like I said, not much happens in January for us except for Josh’s birthday. We were lucky enough to get to go to Carrabba’s for dinner just the two of us, and like the losers we are, we went to Kenwood so we could get his iPhone fixed afterwards. He tried really hard to be excited about his birthday this year. Normally, he’s not at all excited about it because he hates that it’s always cold and gross. So I wanted to do everything I could to help make sure he had a good birthday, and I think we succeeded.

josh documented the meal on instagram

I had asked Ellabelle what she wanted to get him for his birthday and her response was, “We have to buy him as many Darth Vader’s as we can!” So that’s what he got – lots and lots of Darth Vader’s (plus a Lying Cat for good measure)

I’m pretty sure his favorite was the hand-drawn Vader by Ellabelle.

And now Business pictures:

I’m really looking forward to February. I love holidays, and we’ve got Valentine’s Day and a Valentine’s Day dance at Ellabelle’s school. It also means the starting of Lent which means Easter is right around the corner. And while I realize that February is usually even colder than January and usually there’s more snow, at least there’s a holiday filled with pink and red hearts and glitter to help get me through.

The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear

December arrived in a huge rush. It’s, without any competition, the busiest month of the year for us. We are busy Every. Single. Weekend. Even weeknights. Of course, Josh will tell you that I could just plan less things for us to do, but here’s the thing: Christmas is my favorite. My absolute favorite. It ranks above my birthday and ranks right up there with my baby’s birthdays.

Christmas memories are some of my best childhood memories. The different color lights glowing. The cheerful music always playing. Home is all warm and cozy. The first real cold is in the air. All of it makes my heart swell with happiness. Adding the little faces all lit up in awe just makes it all so much better. And that’s what I want for my girls.

I want them to have so many precious Christmas memories stored inside of them that it magically illuminates every single year once December appears on the calendar. And to make lots of memories, you have to do lots of things.

So that’s where we are.

To start the month, Ellabelle’s school had an event called Holidays Around the World. There were lots of cute activities like crackers from England and playing the dreidel for Hanukkah. The girls got their faces painted and picked baskets to put our raffle tickets in. We didn’t win, but we did get to see Santa! Matilda was in awe that he was really there.

Cookie day is one of my favorite days of the entire year. It’s long and exhausting. It’s 10 straight hours on my feet measuring and mixing and refereeing children and telling them not to make a mess and cleaning up the mess that they made anyways. It’s also 10 hours of being in the kitchen with my mom and making memories with my girls.

In actuality, the girls spend most of the time playing and napping and sneaking cookie dough. Still, I want them to have a love of being in the kitchen. I want them to immediately think of these moments when they go to bake their own cookies sometime in the future. I want them to know firsthand that Oma’s spritz cookies are far superior to anyone else’s. I’m not as cool with them dumping flour and not listening to directions as my mom is, but I hope they continue to love cookie day and look forward to it as much as I do each year.

We aren’t raising the girls Catholic, but I was so Saint Nick still comes to visit every December 5 so that the girls can have full stockings on the sixth. Matilda got an “M” marquis light just like the “E” one Ellabelle has. She still calls it her “E light”, but we’re working on that. They were so excited about getting “exactly what I always wanted” from St. Nick, at least according to Ellabelle.

After work, on a Friday, we met Josh’s sister and her family and his mom at the Christmas Ranch out in Morrow. It’s a family‘s house that’s covered in Christmas lights. It was smaller than I expected considering the price, and it was also pretty cold out. The girls enjoyed it though which is all that really matters. They loved the music and the lights and spending time with their cousins. They also saw Santa again!

Maisy had to go to the vet to get an updated rabies shot so that she could get her hair cut. She did not enjoy the experience. She shook like crazy the whole time and kept showing off her Elvis lip.

Thankfully, she took getting the shot very well and later that week she was able to get all spiffed up again. I had missed my little bear.

Ellabelle has dance every Saturday and the school put on a Christmas show for us. Ellabelle got to wear a cute outfit and dance on a big stage in an auditorium. She totally ate up all of the attention.

Matilda asked “where Ellabelle?” every time a new dance class would come out on the stage. She also kept dancing during all of the songs.

We got Ellabelle flowers which she thought was amazing. While I was changing her in the bathroom out of her ballet outfit, Ellabelle looked at me and whispered, “This is the best day of my life.”

We had our hot chocolate picnic in front of the Christmas tree just like we did last year. Ellabelle was super eager to do it again this year. I had baked cookies that morning (because we hadn’t been back to Oma’s for a refill) and we all sat and listened to carols and enjoyed our cocoa.

The biggest damper on the month was Miss Ellabelle being sick. She had been a little under the weather for a few days and she crashed after her dance show.

She kept saying her throat hurt so I took her to the doctor. Sure enough, she had strep. She had to take anabiotics but she seem better within two days. She missed her nutcracker performance at school because of it, which broke both of our hearts, but we had to get her better.

We had a Christmas get together with our friends. Between the three couples, there are seven kids and they were loud and crazy and had a blast together. We did an ornament exchange and had a lovely evening talking to actual grownups for once.

Last year, Auntie Ang took Ellabelle to Entertrainment Junction. This year, her and Oma took both girls. They had so much fun and they saw Santa yet again! You’d think they’d have started acting better!

They went to Frisch’s afterwards and Mattie ended up putting a paper towel into the toilet and then pulling it out. 🙈

I’d been planning and moving and rescheduling our visit to the festival of lights at the zoo for almost 2 weeks. I felt my Christmas spirit dwindling due to stress and work and everything else. So I decided to just fix it. I told Josh, “Tomorrow we’re going. ‘ And we did. We got the girls after work and they knew we were going somewhere special. We were antsy as we sat in the long line to park. We let them have free reign with no strollers or packs. They loved the lights and the music.


here wasn't a lot of animals to see since it was night, but the few we saw the girls were excited about.


They also got to see Mrs. Claus, Elsa and Anna, and Frosty the Snowman.


llabelle was disappointed we didn't get to see the real Fiona, but we did get to see the light version.


hristopher Pop-in-Kins hung around til it was time to leave on December 23, and he was up to his usual antics.

Thankfully, Ellabelle finally moved her way back onto the nice list. She sat very borderline all the way up till Christmas.


quick visual biz update:


And now, the main event – CHRISTMAS!

It was a whole weekend – Saturday, Sunday, and Monday – of holiday joy and fun.

Saturday was spent at Josh’s sisters house:


Saturday was Christmas Eve with my moms side of the family:


nd, they were super excited to see all the gifts Santa brought on Christmas morning:


hen we went and saw Mamaw and Papaw