Stop and see the lights 12/20

Wrapped gifts and listened to Christmas music.  The boys love the Muppets 12 Days of Christmas!

Stop and see the lights 12/19

Day two of the snow!! S asked me to come back outside with him, and when I did, I got to working helping him build a snow castle. Well, he didn't want my help; he just wanted "company." (love) So, we worked side by side because I knew if just sat there and watched him, my biscuit would be back inside in about 5 minutes. He was hard at work on a super snow castle, and I started a snow fort (buckets of snow in a square - that's a snow fort, really).  J came out to work on it, too.  Soon, they were both working on the fort, and even darkness and falling temps didn't stop them. (I was back inside by this time. Not very 'stop and see the lights' of me, but it was cold!) Pictures soon!

We watched Elf after warming up. The boys had never seen it and they laughed out so many times.
It was fun to watch it with them.

Touch a Truck

Here are a few favorites from this year's Touch A Truck Lake Norman to benefit Addi's Cure.

MIA! Stop and see the lights 12/16-18

Just when I posted that we were going to see this through, something hit me like a Mack truck.
I was so sick, so quickly and better just as quickly.  It was really strange.

Anyway, we have some catching up to do.  Thankfully, my sweet husband not only took care of everything while I was in bed (for more than a day straight!), but he also did a "lights thingee" for me!!  So, here we go:

12/16  J took the boys shopping not once, but twice this evening and took note of all the lights on the way home.

12/17 Santa's Link drop off party and dinner with special friends.  We saw Santa!

12/18 Snow, snow, snow!  School was dismissed at 10:00, and they played until their noses were frozen.  Recharged with hot chocolate and played some more.  Not to worry, it's not all sunbeams and roses.  The second round was brought to a close by two rogue snowballs (hmmm, I have two children....funny).

Creative Canvases

It's no secret that canvases are one of my favorite products (storybooks are tied with canvases for first place!). So when K said she'd like canvases but with a little twist, I was so excited!
These beauties are 20 x 20 with a 2" depth.

Stop and see the lights 12/15

First off, I think we are going to be able see this through to the 24th. I'll be honest, finding time every day when so much on my to do list is looming has been hard (I'm sure my high school English teachers would cringe at the construction of that sentence).  It has also been wonderful.  I have had to literally pull myself away from the computer a few times.  And the world didn't end.  I hopped back on after my guys went to bed.  I haven't had one of those "where did the day go" days in, oh, 15 days.  So, I definitely plan to keep this up, after the holidays, too.  I know we'll have days where it doesn't happen, but I don't want a life where a few calm minutes with my family most days isn't possible (ugh, double negatives..clearly my English skills are slipping).

Second, on to the fun stuff!  Today the boys made a gift for someone who may or may not be reading, so that's all I have to say about that.

Stop and see the lights 12/14

Made cookies!  Peanut butter cup and cinnamon sugar.  They were the break apart kind,
couldn't really do a recipe on a school night.  They were sooo good!

Let me know what you're doing!

It's about having a forever friend : Davidson, NC Children's Photographer

I love shooting this family. They are all so kind to each other (and to me)! I have had the privilege of knowing them since Miss A was a wee babe. She and her brother M are just growing way too fast!

I adore the way A is looking at her big brother here...forever friends.

It was a pleasure, B & S! I'll be posting some of you two soon!

Stop and see the lights 12/13

Wrapped our first Christmas presents.  It's hard for me to just let the boys wrap, but I kept myself in check (except for the octogan Bakugan case - I tackled that one).

Images coming soon, I promise.  In keeping with the Stop and See the Lights theme, free time has been spent away from the computer. :)

Stop and see the lights 12/12

Shopped for our Santa's link kids! Will wrap their gifts this afternoon. Fun day!

Stop and see the lights 12/11

We adpoted our Santa's Link kids! If you are local, check this out! It's a wonderful way to help out children in the Charlotte area.  Drop off parties are this Wednesday and Thursday, so there's still time!

Stop and see the lights 12/10

I was out of the house from 7a to 10p, so didn't see the boys after I dropped them off at school. J says they brought our puppy's bed inside for the winter and they love on him a bit. That counts, right?

Stop and see the lights 12/9

We (finally) took our Christmas pictures and celebrated with dinner at Jersey Mike's.

Stop and see the lights 12/8

We cracked open a pomegranate!  Between the four of us, no one had ever eaten one before!  The verdict was mixed.  While we ate it we talked about our favorite Christmas food.  The clear winner was snickerdoodles, just because no one else could remember anything other than that and gingerbread.

What did you do tday?

Great way to add depth to your wall images

Check out this Frame Riser from Pottery Barn.

From their site:
Designed to bring some frames forward over others, our metal bracket lets you layer photos, art and mirrors.

Love it!

Stop and see the lights 12/7

Watched both Charlie Brown Christmas Specials together (with popcorn, of course).
My favorite line in the second one is Peppermint Patty as a sheep in the play "Woof! Meow! Moo! Whatever."

Stop and see the lights 12/6

We decorated our tree, listened to Christmas music and
had fun remembering who/where all the ornaments came from.

That's more like it. :)

Stop and see the lights 12/5

This was the kind of day I'm trying to have less of. We got lots of things done on our to do list, but we were all working separately. Hubs built the frame for the book nook in the rec room, I put up the outdoor lights and edited lots of images, and J & S built the Stars Wars that have been on my living room floor for a month. And the list goes on... So, lots of progress, but other than meals, no together time. I know that we don't have to spend all day, every day together, but I was sad to see how hard it was to carve out just a few minutes. We did find some time to read some (okay, two) of the boys' favorite Christmas stories at bedtime, basically because I said we were. Nothing like making your kids spend time with you. Tomorrow will be better.

Holiday order deadline and gift ideas

The holiday order deadline has been extended! Yippee!! This is your chance to get that order in
for Christmas gifts! December 13 is the new order deadline!

Orders must be placed and payment must be received by midnight December 13 for regular Christmas delivery.  Rush options are available after this deadline.  Rush fees will apply.

Storybooks, image boxes and canvases are not eligible for the extended deadline.

Looking for fun and easy gift ideas?
Look Books
Stationary Cards
Gift Certificates

Stop and see the lights 12/4

A little light decorating, aka no tree yet, but lots of other things!
Here is before:

After coming afraid.  Be very afraid.

Stop and see the lights 12/3

Tonight I asked the boys about their favorite Christmas memories.  Each said they didn't remember anything.
(I was proud of myself for not crying right away.)  So, I asked them if they remembered things that we did
each year - decorating a gingerbread house, making Snickerdoodles for Santa, and I was about to go on
when they each started saying things they remembered.  J said he loved walking around a corner at Nannie's house and seeing his new bike.  He said, "Everyone could hear that I found it!"  S said he remembered
getting his Leapster and using it right away in his new little chair.  He said, "It was so long ago that I
don't know if it was dream or if it really happened."

Stop and see the lights 12/2

Pancakes, scrambled eggs and clementines for dinner...on a school night!

What's yours?

It's about details! : NC Wedding Photographer

Tammy and Chad are married!  Here are few details from a really fun day.  Congratulations!

Tammy's beautiful gift from her soon to be hubs!

Fun with rings...

Required footwear for a beach wedding...

Loved this cake topper! 

Stop and see the lights!

Every year, December flies by in whirlwind of "we've got to get (whatever) done!"

Not this year!  Each day, we are going to just S - T- O - P.
Stop running and rushing and do something purposeful together to celebrate the season,
even if it's just for a few minutes.

So, December 1 - counted Christmas lights on the way home from Scouts (an inauspicious beginning, but there you go). It was 33, by the way.

Post your "stop and see the lights" moments in the comments each day!

See you tomorrow!