The Big Fat Christmas Post

Christmas Eve began as usual: cookie-making. We had things to do, people to see, but Santa's cookies needed to be made before all else. When this girl was done, it looked like flour had exploded in the kitchen.

We headed to church with Grammy & Kylie for Christmas Eve service. And this, just, oh. It's my favorite part. Silent Night by candlelight. My favorite church tradition.

We scattered reindeer food on the driveway, and settled back in the warmth for The Night Before Christmas and the BEST Santa book in the world. Go buy it

With the babes tucked in bed, I made a cup of coffee, and Santa and I headed downstairs to the workshop. 

* * *

I have seen this meme (may-may for Maren) that says, "I used to think being a kid on Christmas was the best thing ever, but it turns out having kids on Christmas is." It's cheesy, but OMG, you guys. It's freaking true. All of the "only ___ sleeps 'til Santa comes," the copious amounts of Christmas cookies that HAVE to be made, the matching Christmas jammies, Bing's voice floating in the air. It's more than my mama heart can take. I mean, it's absolutely mass chaos, and Jax swiped every toy and hoarded shit, but it was still magical. 

 That was actually for your brother, punk.

 He got the feels mid-present-opening.

Maddie "gets" it. She's old enough to know that we put out cookies for Santa. She gets to see him and tell him what she wants. She knows the countdown. She knows to anticipate the greatest day of the year. And it's so fun to watch it unfold for her. She didn't even know where to start because it was so overwhelming.

My lobster has wanted a tablet all year. We have talked about it, made plans to purchase after Christmas with Christmas money, but I schemed. This year was good to us. REALLY good. Young Living is changing our lives in terms of health, and now, financially. Without even batting an eyelash, I was able to buy this gorgeous tablet for him and I didn't have to scrape it up over a few months. We laughed about how, in years past, we couldn't really afford to get each other gifts, but this year, we got everything we REALLY wanted.

Last year, he didn't do a good job. It was bad. So, this year, he wanted me to sweat a little.

But then, this beautiful box appeared and I told him he could stay. These boots. I've worn them everyday since Christmas.

Then, we pulled out the big guns. Santa surprised the kids with their very own playroom equipped with a jump house. They were giddy. They jumped until the boys needed a nap and we had to head to the parents' house for Christmas 2.0. 

After cinnamon rolls and flavored coffee, we snuggle up for the Christmas story. Grammy has a great pop-up book for the kids to follow along. I don't remember a single word of this because I was running back and forth, diverting the boys from pulling down hot cider, electrocuting themselves, screaming, and pulling down the cheese platter. I had good intentions.

After some sappy stuff, we put the boys down, and they slept through their second Christmas. The rest of us ripped into our presents.

Nothing significant about this moment. He's just hot with that plaid and that beard.

I have a thing for making layer cakes. It's my only baking talent, but I love it. Gingerbread layer cake with cream cheese frosting and sugared cranberries. Doesn't it look impressive AF?

We ate some more, played a lot, and the boys woke up just before a Christmas snow started to fall. It was fairy tale shit. They opened their presents, played for a bit, then we loaded up three sleepy, full, happy babies home to dream of their new toys. It was perfect. Chaos, but perfect chaos.

Friday Favorite | HarperLoveLittles

We're a hat family. Ball caps, beanies, lumberjacky furry hats. We love them. I have had the hardest time finding amazing trucker hats for my kids! Enter: HarperLoveLittles. These hats are adorable! 


Tawni put a new twist on an old favorite: soft, darling fabric to make a unique look. The hats are comfortable, true-to-size, and I want every single one for my kidlets. If you know us, we have turned into a bit of an outdoorsy family, so these two hats could not fit these kiddos any better.

As if she wasn't cool enough, Tawni left the fashion industry to raise her little ones, but couldn't stay away and now runs this great Etsy shop!

Sometimes he doesn't like to model when he's cold. I can't imagine why.

You're in love with these hats, I know. Now go buy out the shop for all the littles in your life who need more Christmas gifts! This month, Tawni is offering a discount on shipping with the code: christmascheer. Follow HarperLoveLittles on Instagram for monthly coupon codes and promotions!

Thank you, Tawni, for letting my kids rock these ADORABLE hats! We love your shop so much!

Friday Favorite | Be Still Clothing Co.

You don't see me much in front of the camera, but these are too good for me to hide behind the lens. Be Still Clothing Co. is one of our favorites. Faith-based, fashionable tees. Throw in leopard-print shoes and tutus, and I am suddenly a model.

"Be Still Clothing Company was started in December 2013 as a means to bring hope to the hopeless, strength to the weak, and comfort to those in pain. Exodus 14:14 says “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to BE STILL,” and Psalm 46:10 says "BE STILL and know that I am God." These verses have been a source of strength to so many in their time of need.  Be Still Clothing Company wants to share this truth with others through our clothing in a fashionable and comfortable way."

If I can teach this green-eyed, blonde-haired ball of sunshine anything, it is to be herself boldly, unabashedly, bravely. We talk a lot about being genuine - genuinely loving people, genuinely taking interest in people, and genuinely loving people. These are some of her best qualities, and reinforcing them with a cute leotard only helps!

RUN, do not walk, and get your Be Still tees for all of your loved ones for Christmas. The deadline for Christmas orders is next week, so be sure to buy them out! Tell them I sent you!

For the latest fashions, discounts and giveaways, follow Be Still Clothing Co. on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Thank you, Marissa, for letting us showcase your beautiful, inspiring tees. We absolutely adore your company and all that you stand for.

Photo credit: Maren Miller & my hubbypoo.

Weekend Bedroom Makeover

I started out this weekend like any other crazy, stressed out mom - with caffeine. Once the caffeine kicked in, ideas were swirling. We've taken the time to update the house & do new projects thanks to my Young Living income, and our room was one of the only rooms that has not been tended to. When we first bought this house, I had ZERO vision with what I wanted to do with it. We had no DIY skills and were overwhelmed with the task of making the space our own. Over time, we added touches to make it homier, but it wasn't until recently that we were able to afford to the big changes. 

I have wanted this wooden headboard for a couple of years now, but I felt so intimidated by the project. I did the Pinterest "research" and realized that if these chicks with power drills could do it, I probably could too. So, I measured, I researched, and I loaded my THREE children in the car and headed to Lowe's for supplies. Daddy works on the weekends, so my plan was to work all weekend and surprise him when he came home on Sunday evening. Best laid plans...

You may remember seeing this set-up. I painted the wall our bed is on a baby blue when we first moved in. No plans to make that a theme, but I wanted SOMETHING on the walls. So, I painted that random ass wall blue and the others an oatmeal color. Last Christmas, my in-laws made us this beautiful headboard, but again, we had no plans to do anything to make our room cohesive.

So, you want to build a headboard. It's easier than I thought it would be. Wood, screws, power drill, tape measure, pen, stain, (and I added roofing nails to the front just to make it look even more rustic).

Line up your boards in the order you'd like them to lay. I chose the sides with the most wood character to face out, and the ones that were a little less straight to go at the bottom. When you are choosing your boards at the store, lay them all out to be sure they don't bow up or down because those will cause your headboard to bow.

Decide how far apart your furring strips need to be for mounting to your wall.

Start screwing your nails into the furring strips.

Once you have finished, you are free to stain. Wipe down your wood to be sure there are no pieces of dirt or splinters on the face of it.

I stained each piece and let the stain sit for 2-3 minutes before wiping it off with a ratty old t-shirt I found it our mess of a basement.

Once I finished each board, I took extra stain to different places on the headboard and let it soak in to give the headboard a more rustic feel rather than a perfectly even stain.

Allow your stain to dry 24-48 hours before you add any extras like the roofing nails, and especially, before you hang it. 

I screwed in simple D-hooks on each of the furring strips and then had my husband help decide on placement.

Now we have a place that I am proud to show off AND happy to spend time in after just a quick weekend makeover!
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