Around Our House

I was at Home Group last night and two of my friends mentioned that they were waiting for my next post. This is probably the last free chance I will have for a couple of weeks so I thought I’d post a few random thoughts concerning Christmas time around our house.

Let me first begin with a tip. (This tip also goes along well with many of the comments from my previous post.) I was with my friend Ana as our three children oohed and aahed over all the pretty ornaments on her tree. She told her sweet Jude, “touch with one finger.” He put his little pointer finger out and gently (and then not so gently) touched the ornaments.

It was one of those moments for me that I was in awe of such a brilliant concept. I mean, how have I raised four kids without knowing this rule? It is just the thing we all need right now as our little ones are desperate to poke and prod every Christmasy thing around. Touching with one finger allows them the ability to touch but not break or pull off or whatever. Emerson and Brooklyn have this down pat now. May your world be revolutionized too! THANK YOU ANA!!!

My Kid-Tree has benefited most greatly from this tip!

Second, as this Christmas rolls around, I have yet another reason to be thankful that I am finished with the birthing/nursing phase of my life.  The last couple of Christmases were pretty intense being super pregnant and then having my 4th baby around. I am really looking forward to actually visiting with family this year, not just parenting my children in someone else’s home. For those of you who are fully immersed in the birthing/nursing/repeat stage, take heart – it won’t be like this forever. My youngest is 22 months and man it just keeps getting easier!

Another noticeable difference, since we are no longer adding to the family, is that this is the first year I am not sewing on a stocking. When Jocelin was born, a sweet lady from my hometown made Jocelin a most fantastic stocking.

It is intricate, cute, and so impressive. Well, along comes Mason and the sweet lady was no longer making stockings for my children, clearly a store-bought just couldn’t compete, so the gigantic task was passed to me.

Now, let me elaborate here because I want you to be impressed, very impressed. I am writing this just to show-off; consider yourself warned!

To make a stocking like this, you have to purchase a kit – for at least $25. Now that $25 does not get you a stocking put together. Instead, it gets you a bag with felt pieces, that you must cut out individually, embroider thread, sequins and beads, and a series of super detailed instructions. Really, with each stocking, I would have to study the directions (because each one was laid out differently) for a good 30 minutes before I could even begin step one.  Each stocking had 60-70 steps and took who knows how many hours – somewhere around 30-50 per stocking – r e a l l y.

But in the end, it is so worth it.

They turn out so sparkly

And detailed

And elaborately fantastic

Yep, I sewed every sequin, pieced together each mitten, ear, hat, buckle, and a jillion other teeny pieces. Countless hours of TV watching and many a hand-cramp and I am proud of these babies. I hope my kids like them, they will use them as long as I am around, even if they are 60! Some day I’ll make one for Bradley and me and then eventually for many grandbabies.

The next random Christmas nugget I have to share with you concern the things I have been pondering over the past few days. My goal over the next 2 weeks: have fun. It’s plain and simple, yet hard for me to accomplish on most days. I used to be a lot of fun and somehow life and its craziness took over. So with the exception of the required laundry and occasional meal, I plan to play whatever my kids want me to, even if I don’t want to play it or I’m not good at it, watch movies, be silly, veg out, enjoy time with extended family and keep my woe-is-me attitude in check!

Since I will be enveloped in all the great times, I will not have time to blog for the next 2 weeks. My heart’s desire is to report back in a few weeks and actually be able to say that I kept my stress level under control and did all the fun things I have set before me.

Lastly, a random Christmas blog would not be complete without me sharing one of my most favorite traditions. I love Christmas music and one of my all-time favorites is Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton’s Once Upon a Christmas. Now many old roommates (shout out to Jana, Tamra, Brea, Emily, and Misty) and my husband would say that the continual listening of this CD is most embarrassing (and annoying) tradition I have. What can I say, I just love it. It has every bit of my childhood memories wrapped up in every song. I grew up country and I’m proud of it.

So in the Christmas spirit, I thought it would be fun to turn the tables on you.  Let’s hear it, what’s your favorite (and slightly embarrassing) thing you really enjoy at Christmas-time?

I can’t wait to hear about your silly traditions, have a great Christmas!


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kloppenmum
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 22:54:56

    I love the, touch with one finger, idea. I really love the idea of having fun over the holidays. Our tradition: cold cuts and salads…it’s summer here (NZ) and while some still do the hot meal in the middle of the day – I think it’s insanity!


  2. Tamra
    Dec 17, 2010 @ 07:43:45

    Shawn, how is it that I have never seen those stockings?!! They are great, and way to go to have them all completed. I started home made stockings, and then last year we bought new ones 🙂 And the Christmas cd made me laugh. Hard! Way to go country! Oh, I pray that you have LOADS of fun this Christmas break. We love you all so much! Merry Christmas break friend!!!


  3. Marcy Hallden
    Dec 17, 2010 @ 11:58:24

    I love Dolly and Kenny too–who knew!! And, we grew up with those stockings–homemade felt ones. And my parents still put them up, and I remember as a kid and a teenager loving how individual and special they were. Your kids will love that tradition!! Craig’s mom is working on Hudson’s for me. I couldn’t be bothered with all the detail when he was younger–but maybe now I could. Who knows! Anyway, Merry Christmas!!


    • shawnmelanie
      Dec 18, 2010 @ 10:16:22

      Marcy – I’m so pumped to find another lover of Kenny and Dolly. Jana will be gagging when she reads this!! And the stockings – even more ways that we are alike! Merry Christmas to you too!


  4. Amy Wright
    Dec 17, 2010 @ 14:59:25

    I tried to comment earlier, so I hope you don’t get 5 comments from me later that were stuck in cyber world somewhere.
    1. I remember the stocking for Jocelin. I’m proud of you for finishing them for the rest of your kids. A momma’s love makes them even more special.
    2. I’m going to adopt your philosophy over the Christmas break. Maybe I’ll pretend to be a kid again!
    3. Martina McBride White Christmas. I love that album and think that deep down inside, Jay loves it too. 🙂


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