Category Archives: Family Life

Annual Christmas Tag!


Annual Christmas Tag


1.       What do you love the most about Christmas time?

Definitely spending quality time with my hubby and son on a random day like a Wednesday is what it’s all about!  With his schedule, it has been nice that he has been off on weekends, but he tends to go in to work at least 1 of the 3 days that he is off so sometimes, I don’t get the full effect of us 3 being together for a full three days so the fact that Christmas falls on Wednesday and we all get to be together enjoying movies and laughing and letting J.R. climb all over us will be so much fun.

2.       Do you celebrate the holiday in style or is Bah-Humbug for you?

As you all can probably tell from my blog title, I like to do everything “with Style.”  This year and last I wasn’t able to decorate the way I like to because we haven’t been able to accumulate a nice amount of decorations like we had our very first Christmas together, but I will be accumulating things between now and next year and will be so excited to decorate the house and maybe some exterior parts, too.  For us, Christmas is about celebrating a day that we choose to acknowledge the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, so it will still be fun as if I had all of the decorations up anyway. :)

3.       Are you leaving anything out for Santa Claus this year so he remembers to leave your presents?

We actually don’t do Santa.

4.       What is the one gift you are most looking forward to GIVING? {It can be to your kids, another family member, etc – remember to be discreet if they read your blog!}

This year, we didn’t exchange gifts amongst each other in my house, but I was very much looking forward to Leslie from Pampers, Play Dates and Parties receiving the gift I sent her for the Holly Bloggy Christmas Party that I participated in this year in the blogosphere.

5.       What is your all-time favorite Christmas movie?

Home Alone!  I can watch the 1st and 2nd one over and over again.  And I have since they’ve been showing it on AMCHD almost every single night. :)

6.       What is your all-time favorite Christmas song?

There are several that I like, but I don’t think any are my absolute favorites.  O Holy Night, Silent Night and Joy to the World are pretty amazing.

7.       If given the opportunity would you participate in an “Ugly Sweater” party and what sweater would you wear?  Peruse one on the internet or even in your own closet and show us!

I don’t currently have an ugly sweater that would be good for a party like this.  I had actually never heard of this until I saw a commercial this season where they show people at an ugly sweater party.  I’d have to buy a sweater if I were invited to one, but  I think it could be fun going to a party or gathering of this nature. :)

8.       Have you started any Christmas traditions this year that you plan on carrying forward?

I actually wrote a post that seemed to get a lot of attention since our beliefs and ideas have led us to a more untraditional route for how we plan to celebrate Christmas in our home.  I’m really excited about what we have decided upon since I wrote that post and I look forward to sharing with my readers how our first Christmas with our new traditions turn out in the future.

9.       It’s Christmas morning … what does it look like outside where you live?

We could have rain or it could be extremely sunny, maybe even a bit cloudy.  In the Southwest most part of Arizona, we don’t get any snow.  The temperature might be in the 40s with a high reaching somewhere in the 60s for the day.  It’s Christmas just how me and hubby like it. :)

10.   You just found yourself standing under the mistletoe … who comes up to give you a kiss first?

My adorable baby boy!  J.R.  gives the most adorable kisses to us on the lips.  I would love one of those wet ones any day!  :)

Merry Christmas everyone!


Are You Celebrating Christmas This Year?

Are You Celebrating Christmas This Year

Alright! I’ll have to admit that I honestly felt silly for thinking to write this into a post at first, but it is something that has been lingering in the fabric of my heart.  With the desire to write from the soul, I thought it would be nice to share with my readers.

So the other day, while I was outside with my little hyper bundle of joy, I was wrapping up a phone conversation with my grandma who asked me: “so are you celebrating Christmas this year?”  My response: (a slight hesitation because I don’t recall ever saying that I wasn’t celebrating Christmas anymore) “yes, of course.  We aren’t giving gifts and we probably won’t later on when J.R. understands better, but we still celebrate Christmas.”

Ok, so from this conversation and a conversation from last year, you will begin to understand why she feels that we aren’t celebrating Christmas.  Last year, I told my family, if they want to send gifts, they can just send things that they want, without wrapping them.  I had talked to hubby and we decided that maybe we would buy gifts and give them to orphans instead of getting gifts for each other every year.  So when I told my family this, some of them responded in an understanding way.  My grandmother, not so much.  She was actually offended, at first, and I had to explain a bit more where I was coming from.

Since then, we’ve decided that we will just take our time deciding what we want to do.  My husband goes back and forth with the idea of completely leaving gifts out for each other.  I think he remembers the feeling of waking up knowing something is waiting for you under a tree in his youth.  Perhaps, he wants our kids to experience that, too.  Whatever he decides, I will stand behind him.  It’s how we handle things in our home.  I may have a difference of opinion at first, so I share, but if he decides on something completely different, that is what we are doing.

Even with sharing this idea of no gifts for each other and just buying gifts for orphans briefly on my blog and with others, I have come across numerous ideas people have where they give their children only one gift or perhaps 3 and then they still have their children give old toys or sometimes new ones away to charity.  In seeing how this really impacts a child and his or her understanding in real life, I always find that children still seem to value receiving more than giving.  My logic is based on our beliefs so, follow me, for one second.  We are believers in Jesus Christ so we believe that Christmas is about the birth of Christ.  Some people like to say that because God gave His son, giving gifts is about us giving and receiving gifts from one another because of that initial gift that was given from God.  Yes, the 3 wise men bought Jesus gifts.  We do the same thing when a new baby comes or a birthday of someone we know and love is here.  I’d like to think the gift giving was actually adopted to parallel the secular Christmas idea so that Christians would feel better about wanting to give and receive gifts for this holiday.  I say this only because in most cases, no one is getting gifts on everyone else’s birthday.  We might be tempted to or end up giving a small child something on his or her brother or sister’s birthday so the child won’t feel left out, but that is probably it.  I don’t see anything wrong with giving and receiving gifts, but I’m just saying the reason that I’ve been taught it’s ok to give gifts for Christmas with the Christian beliefs I grew up with, I just don’t buy it.

With that said, I’ve yet to see a child excited about Christmas because he is going to get to buy gifts for others and he can’t wait to wake up in the morning so that he can see the expression on the faces of those who will be receiving the gifts.  Most children are excited about Christmas, primarily, because of the anticipation of going downstairs on Christmas morning to see what they asked for, and perhaps some surprises, under the tree.  If we are honest with ourselves, even as adults, we either still like receiving more or have liked receiving a lot more than giving for most, if not all of our lives.  If that doesn’t apply to you, trust me, you are in an extremely small percentage of people.  Getting back to my grandma for just one second, though I love her dearly, she actually proves my theory about the result of exchanging gifts for most people.  She is a self-proclaimed Christian who says those words “Jesus is the reason for the season.”  Even with this belief, she is under the impression that you are not having a Christmas if you aren’t exchanging gifts.

Here me out, I don’t think it is wrong for people to give and receive gifts, but I do care about how my children are raised and if they will have to go through a phase in life where they truly love receiving more than giving.  I agree with my husband in that we will be the ones to show them and teach them all of this.  At the moment, I believe in early childhood when my kids are able to understand, not receiving gifts for Christmas and only anticipating to give them to others who are less fortunate will truly help me to instill a love for giving more than receiving in them.  In the end, if we decide that minimal gifts amongst each other is fine, I trust that whatever my husband comes up with will work out to where our kids will understand the concept of giving and will still possibly enjoy it more than receiving.


Have you ever contemplated the way we do things for Christmas? 


How have you changed in how you viewed Christmas as a child versus now?


Even if you don’t agree with my beliefs, can you see where I am coming from?


I’d love to hear your thoughts!




Family First



I didn’t know when I thought about writing this post if perhaps I was just so overwhelmed with emotion because of pregnancy and nursing hormones, or if maybe I really did come across something so special and heartbreaking that truly was a tear jerker.  I’ll let you all decide.  It all started the day before Thanksgving when I noticed hubby was watching what looked like a Cowboys special.  It was actually a show they air on the NFL Network called A Football Life.  This particular one was about the life of Jimmy Johnson. As I prepared to get ready for bed, I noticed many of some old players were being interviewed about their experience with Jimmy Johnson when he was the head coach.  I decided to turn this on in the living room. I had always wondered what ever happened to him and why he left the Cowboys when he was such a great coach and the team was so doing so well while he was there.  I was under the impression that he and Jerry Jones, the owner and General manager, had clashed and this was the reason.  Well, I learned that yes, the two did clash a bit, but in the end, Jimmy left on his own volition. He told one of his players, Troy Aikman, that he had gotten tired of being the bad guy. Aikman thought he loved it because he was so good at it, but after getting to know him better outside of football, he learned that person he knew who coached him wasn’t a bad guy at all.

So Jimmy Johnson said he was retiring. A few years later, he came back to the league to be the head coach for the Miami Dolphins for a period of time.  One person they interviewed indicated that coaching was like heroin for many of them because even though many would leave, they would always end up coming back.  And then, Jimmy looked up one day and realized that his sons were grown and he had missed their childhood and just everything…


I thought this was devastating that all these years he had followed his heart and his family was sacrificed. I almost didn’t write this post, but then I saw this movie on Black Friday called Click, starring Adam Sandler. It’s about a man who has a remote control that he can use to fast forward and rewind time. You should definitely see this movie! I almost turned in the beginning because it just didn’t seem like my kind of movie, but then something happened.  After the man had fast forwarded through certain parts of his life, the remote had an attribute that made it behave like TVO.  It would use the memory of all that he had fast forwarded in the past to dictate what he would do the same for in the future.  He ended up speeding through important points in his life and losing everything.  In the moments that he would be passing by, he was on what was described as auto-pilot behavior where he would be so distant from loved ones all for higher promotions and constantly being busy with work.  In the end, he would chase after his son who seemingly looked to be about to make the same mistake he did, and he would be able to tell him and the ones he loved some of the most touching words for one last time.

I cried and cried at this scene.  I thought about Jimmy Johnson and how wise this man was to have realized the most important thing in life was quality time. He is well versed in the game of football from every possible aspect that many people go to him for advice and to just be able to get away because they know how laid back and relaxed he is nowadays.  He has such a wealth of knowledge and experience that people just enjoy picking his brain about various topics and decisions. At the point I was watching in this movie with Adam Sandler,  this guy wasn’t going to get that opportunity to get things right and to be able to share with the world all he had learned so the next guy wouldn’t make the same mistakes that he did.  His desire to use the remote came when he grew tired of the life he was living and not having as much as he wanted.  He had everything he needed but it just wasn’t enough.  Did he and Jimmy Johnson provide for their families? Yes, they did. I’m sure their children had the best things money could buy.  And they were happy. They were big time executives or head coaches of popular NFL teams.  They had followed their dreams.  Perhaps their dreams and desires had taken them away to a great degree.  But even on a smaller scale or shorter amount of time, can sacrificing family for better lives filled with things apart from what we need ever be ok? Adam Sandler uttered those two words that ring so true in my heart and I feel he answered this perfectly when he said “family first.”



Treat Mother's Day Greeting Cards


Blog Vacation!

This is so unexpected, but I had a great opportunity to go across country to see my family in New Jersey.  In an attempt to try to really enjoy my family and relax, I will be away from my blog station until the beginning of November! I go back to Arizona October 29th.  This is extremely hard for me because I have truly come to love blogging and supporting other bloggers by showing comment love on their blogs.  I had to let you all know though because I won’t be able to comment on other sites while I’m away.  My laptop is in repair in Arizona and it is probably a good thing that I wasn’t able to bring it!  I know I wouldn’t have been able to stay away from you all.  If you do leave a comment or follow me, I will definitely return the follow and comment love when I return.  I hope everyone has a great rest of the month and I will see you all on Twitter!  I still have my iPhone and I will be popping onto there every once in a while to check in! 


A Fall Paradise

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This weekend was the first time that I spent some time outdoors with both of the most important men in my life.  Usually, it’s just baby and me during the week….taking our midday strolls.  I typically like to take those when it’s just about nap time.  This way, I can get out of the house and while he’s asleep, catch up on some blog-related stuff on the internet. 

Being out there with the two of them really got me thinknig about the state of my family and just how things have been going.  It was a year on July 13th that we have been living in Arizona.  From about 2 weeks after we arrived last year, up until now, it has been extremely tough.  Our world was turned upside down from a variety of things that were mostly financially related and yet we’ve learned so much about life, about God and even about ourselves.  I talk a little about the seasonal changes in our lives in my post Autumn.  Fall seasons around the globe are typically known as a period for harvest for certain crops, a time to turn off the A.C. and pull out those sweaters and baking sheets.  For my family, it’s a time of paradise.  It’s a time of relief from the Arizona heat and a new place of fortitude to stay content and complete in Christ as we enjoy each other no matter what life brings. 

In the time we’ve been here in AZ, I have found that most people find it easier to be content in the meantime; known=ing that a “blessing” or maybe something tangible like a new house or nice car would be on the way in their future.  Perhaps we are believing that God will bless us someday with even something that could be on a smaller scale.  And then I began to wonder about the times that people believe God for things that they never really get and then spending time with my guys, it hit me!  Could it be that what we wanted before Arizona was never in the plan?  And it was always just that; what we wanted and not what God had for us?  What I’m sure He has for us is each other:

Could I learn to be content even if what society thinks is what every family should have to be successful isn’t in my future?  After what we have experienced since getting married and since we’ve been in Arizona, I would venture to say definitely!  What’s the point in hoping and searching for a blessing when we are already blessed?  I’ll just pray that His will be done each day as I enjoy being who I was created to be….


You Know You’re the Mom of a Toddler When…

This post was inspired by Chan from My Life as a Mum. 

So you know you’re the mom of a toddler when….

1)  Your baby runs every time it is time for a diaper change.

2)  You and your significant other have had few or no “date nights out” since your toddler was born.

3)  You use the following phrases or something similar on a regular basis: 

“stop it”  ”be nice”  ”give me a kiss”  ”don’t touch that”  ”wash your hands”  ”it’s time for bed”  

To name only a few….

4)  You have company every time you have to use the bathroom. :)

5)  You have at least one toy in every room of the house.

6)  You can think of a list of things that get misplaced because a little person keeps finding them and putting them elsewhere even when you try to keep it out of reach.

7)  You have thought about it or have used something like the yummi pouch to get your child to eat multiple fruits and vegetables.

8)  You forget daily several things that you have to do because you’re distracted by something your toddler is doing and and it makes you forget.  

My toddler is only 16 months so I know I have even more fun things that I will have in the future that will remind me I’m the mother of a wonderful, energetic baby boy.  What are some things that ring in your mind that says “you’re a mom” or perhaps “the mom of a toddler” like me?