Y'all, I have been slapped with the Christmas spirit! I used to be of the no-Christmas-before-Thanksgiving mindset, but somehow now that we have children, I can't help but get swept up earlier & earlier every year. (I think ordering my childhood Christmas music on Amazon yesterday opened the floodgate.)

This morning, we had asked my MOPS group to bring in items to fill shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. We were thinking we'd do 6 boxes, 2 at each of our 3 tables. I was completely bowled over by the amount of stuff our moms brought!!! We didn't have enough boxes, so I brought home the toys & hygiene items to fill the rest, (we got a big free donation of shoe boxes from the post office that didn't arrive until after our meeting late today,) and based on my rough estimate of what all's in my trunk right now, we may end up with as many as 16-20 boxes!!! I am floored! And excited! And so proud of our group!

Also at our MOPS meeting this morning, we had a wonderful lady, who is exactly in our shoes with two young children, come and talk about celebrating life everyday in our homes. She made some excellent points: "holidays remind us of how we're supposed to act all year long" - how cool is that? We need to find the joy & special parts of every single day of our lives and appreciate the amazing lives & gifts we've been given. She also challenged us to consider, "Who am I between celebrations?" If you have a mercurial personality every other day of the year, your kids are going to be confused as to why you act differently just b/c it's a holiday. We should endeavor to be holiday-joyful everyday. *NOT* that that's a piece of cake. It's HARD. It takes serious calculation-focus-deliberate purpose to turn off the feelings of apathy & depression that come over all of us some days - especially when your kids are driving you absolutely insane!!! - but she proposed a compelling dare: "think about disciplining yourself before your kids." (Ouch! Convicted, Mrs. Jekyll-and-Hyde over here...)

I am so thankful for my MOPS group. They feed me in every way - physically (mmmmm, hot breakfast smörgåsbord!), emotionally, & spiritually! The key is that it's not a playdate, where our kids interrupt every time we start to really converse; it's all about nurturing & giving moms a couple hours to relax and commiserate uninterrupted.

After MOPS, we hightailed it over to Annelise's tap class and then wandered around downtown a bit. A few of y'all have asked for more info about the cute head wrap thing I said I found Wednesday. Here's a website that has them exactly! But they're only $12 at the awesome children's store here. (Another boutique downtown is also selling them for $25 - crazy!) But I got a dark grey one that's edged in black, and I got Annelise a winter white one. She can still wear hairbows with it without them getting messed up!

We also took all of our change to the Coinstar machine at the grocery store, b/c our change vase was full, AND Coinstar is having a special promotion! If you choose to get your money total in the form of a gift credit to Amazon, iTunes, Lowes, etc., they give you your full money credit. (If you get cash for your change, they take out 9%.) Between now & Dec. 6th, if you have $40 or more in change and choose to get your money as a gift credit, Coinstar will give you $10 extra to Amazon! We *always* get our change turned into Amazon credit, and then we use it to buy presents, so extra perfect for this time of year, and extra extra cool to get $10 free for doing what we'd do, anyway!

With our new Amazon credit, I came home and finally ordered the Redskin slippers Will & I have been lusting after that no one else would get us for Christmas:

I also ordered a few Christmas presents along with the latest album from my fave group EVER: BarlowGirl. If I were in a band, this is what it would sound like - amazing, rocking girl harmony. Their music has defined my life for the last several years. I haven't heard anything on this album, yet, except "Beautiful Ending" which you can click & hear on their site. I can't recommend enough...


  1. such a cute ear muff! thank you for sharing about the holiday-year 'round mindset. its something that challenges us all! love you!

  2. I am definitely challenged by her comments!
    And I LOVE YOU, TOO!!! :-)


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