Monday, January 11, 2016

Holidays . . . 2015 style

I'll just quietly sneak back here.  Hoping no one notices.  But then secretly hoping they do.  WTH 2015?  Apparently I was busy.  It's too bad really . . . I love to go back and see what was going on around here rather than scrolling through my phone pictures!  I'm going to start with a holiday recap because those are a favorite of mine . . . then hopefully catch myself up with a few tbt 2015 posts.  That's the plan anyway.

I decided to start at Thanksgiving.  So I go back through the photos on my phone to see what I could find.  And this.  This was it.  
Apparently I was entertained that out of the million delicious Thanksgiving side dishes, my Kyle only chose to devour a turkey leg.  No other family photos.  Food photos.  Nothing.  We did enjoy a lovely afternoon with our friends and ate like it was our job.  The week off from school without travel was lovely . . . lots of decorating and two trips to the Goodwill!  Overall.  Boring.  You're welcome.
I got my Christmas cards out relatively early again this year.  Since I gave up on getting a current Christmas photo, it has been way less stressful.  You should try it.  Very liberating!  BTW, I double dog love getting Christmas cards.  (hint, hint)
Lucky the Elf joined us again this year for his 10th anniversary at the Getz North Pole . . . antics ensued and thankfully my old dog Petey keeps me up half the night so Lucky was sure to find a new spot every day.  It was my best year ever . . . didn't forget once!  Parenting win.  And because I cave to they hype, we also adopted a Reindeer this year (Amanda named him Hot Chocolate or Coco for short), and Lucky got a new Bomber jacket so when he hides in the fridge, he's not too cold.  Duh.
This little nugget has more Christmas spirit than Buddy the Elf!  She offered to read us Christmas books at night . . . but she always had to wear the hat.  The same swaggy hat her brother borrowed for his band concert . . . cheetah print embraced.  He's obviously secure with his manhood.

I love to go to at least one holiday show each year so for 2015 it was Elf the Musical at the beautiful Fox Theater in downtown Atlanta.
It was a small fortune to take the whole family and when the boys were asked if they wanted to join, it was a resounding NO!  So my mini along with my friend Kim and her daughter set off on our adventure.  Side note about the dress . . . her Granny picked it out because it reminded her of her own first party dress that was also blue and a similar style!
We stopped for lunch at the OK Cafe in Atlanta.  It's kind of a landmark and has been closed for awhile due to a fire, but thankfully has reopened!  We totally enjoyed it, and the food was delicious.  It was downhill after that.  I had high hopes for Elf since I love the movie so, but it was such a disappointment.  The set wasn't bright and fun, the music wasn't awesome . . . it was just meh.  So glad I didn't buy tickets for the rest of the family!
Moving on to things that were tortuously fun . . . a tradition of stopping by Krispy Kreme to get doughnuts before driving through the Lights of Life University!  We pick up some "hot and ready" to have for the slow cruise through the light displays.  Clearly my friends and family are easily entertained.  They are watching the hot doughnuts come through the assembly line.  

Then we jammed too many people into one car to have more holiday togetherness.  There were four boys in the back causing a raucous and stinking the place up . . . good ole holiday fun!  I alternated between yelling at them to behave and ohhhing and awwwing over the lights.  Care to join us next year?  Swear it's a good time.  
It was my turn to host poker this month which made me super happy!  I decorate for days and put up way too many trees, and then I'm too tired and lazy to throw a party.  We always do an ornament exchange, and this year I got the best one.  Until Christy had last pick and stole it.  Rude.  There it is, taunting me in the picture above.  Consolation prizes included a cute poker ornament for me, our friend Tina making us personalized wine glasses, and Shelly giving us all a fabulous picture frame with a photo of all us girls together!  (Shelly - thanks for actually putting the picture in it . . . it could take me years to get that done!)  Love my poker ladies long time!

I got a great surprise from my friend Kim . . . she called and left me a message to call her back.  I swear she was going to lose her mind with excitement!  Turns out she won 4 box tickets plus a parking pass from her office to go to the Jingle Ball at Phillips Arena!  And Justin Bieber was performing!  Gah, old lady fan girl!  
So we have an easy ride down there, wait a bit in the cold to be admitted to the arena, grab some dinner and then head to our awesome box seats where we were provided a waitress to serve us FREE booze!  Seriously, why can't all concerts be like this?!?  And it was awesome!
Charlie Puth was first, and he just rocked it out!  Love, love him!  Can't remember the order of everyone else but Shawn Mendez and Fifth Harmony nailed it!  Hated DNCE and did NOT enjoy Nick Jonas, especially when he played a video during one of his songs of animals getting it on with "censored" stamped over the area of the action.  Just eeewww.  I mean seriously.  I know my daughter was young, but I wouldn't want her to see that if she was 15 instead of 10.  The Chain Smokers "performed" their song Roses but really they are just a DJ duo.  Didn't really understand that.

They definitely saved the best for last.  JUSTIN BIEBER!!  I'm a "Bielieber!"  I forgive him for his past transgressions and stupid mistakes.  He is turning his life around.  He told us so at the end of the show!  And you have to admit his voice is like "butta!"  And while I don't love all the tattoos, his face is so darn cute!  I have this song currently on repeat in my car . . . my boys love that.  Not.  And my favorite line . . . "My mama don't like you and she likes everyone!"  
We had a "framily" movie day on the Saturday after Star Wars - The Force Awakens premiered.  We bought tickets a couple of months ago with some friends to be guaranteed a spot in the "Xtreme" theater!
We were awaiting the next seating . . . the lines and crowds were impressive!
Getzy and the boys met our friends early to hold the line so Amanda and I could stroll in at the last minute.  I saw the original Star Wars movies when I was a kid, but skipped the newest three.  Amanda and I played nice and agreed to see this one as a family, but I actually super loved it.  The beginning music was so nostalgic, and I even shed a tear when Han and Leia saw each other for the first time.  All the feels.  
I seriously nailed the cheerleader bow.  Take that skinny and cute teens!
We have a new craft place here in town and all the moms are joining in on the fun.  Never one to be left out, Amanda and I got seriously craftastic and made some new holiday decor.  I thought it would be sweet to make one together and as I was about to pay, Amanda says, "You know how I feel about working in teams."  Please ring up two.  Thank you.  That one.  Gotta love her.
In keeping with tradition, I took my kids to see Santa at the mall.  We were super late in going, but we made it nonetheless.  It's not necessarily a favorite of the boys, but Amanda is happy to go!  She's still a full on believer so that makes mama happy.  Notice the clothing . . . Christmas was warm this year.  We even had to turn on the air conditioning on Christmas day so we didn't sweat to death cooking the meal.
Irreverent photo in church.  Check. 
We went to church on Christmas Eve Eve because a group of families agreed to go together and have dinner afterwards.  Honestly, it was just the most delightful night.  Way better than expected . . . meaning large crowds and trying to make it all work sometimes proves difficult.  My favorite part of a Christmas service is the candlelight singing of Silent Night.  Just beautiful.  
The kids wanted to stay home and relax on Christmas Eve so who was I to argue?  This year I told them that they could open two presents on Christmas Eve so Amanda negotiated one when they woke up and one in the evening.  It was two this year because everyone needed a new robe.  Exciting, I know.  So the morning present was the robe and the evening present was the standard new jammies.  The boys don't really wear pajamas so they get sleep pants and cheap t-shirts.  (Ryan's shirt says "Sarcasm - it's one of my many talents" which is the truth.)  Amanda's footies say "Get Cozy" but the way the seams are stitched together makes me see "Getz" or "Getzy!" 

After the annual reading (by Amanda) of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, everyone anxiously went to bed.  Well, except me.  I had a few hours of work ahead of me, but I live (and love) to do this stuff!  
It looks like more because I wrap every little thing in individual boxes.
Presentation, right?  Oprah says love is in the details!
The kids woke us up at 6:28 because waiting until 6:30 was clearly too much of a struggle.  They head downstairs to see who can find the pickle first.  Apparently Amanda won this year . . . we are never down their fast enough to see this.  So everyone claims there spot on a seating area where there is room to store their loot.  
Yep, these are the best photos of the dogs and their stockings.
Obviously I have a future in photography.
The first things opened our the stockings, including the dogs.  Then it's the present from Santa and then it's game on!  Santa again brought the one item the kids asked for . . . a mini claw machine for Amanda, a bluetooth speaker for Ryan and a Kindle for Kyle.  

Time for the torturous annual photo with your gifts pictures . . . actually they all volunteer to go first to get it over with so they can move on about their day!  
"Betty" was kind of a wow gift, her new purple scooter.  Seriously, the sticker on the side says Betty.  Cracks me up!  This girl loves crafts and make up . . . she should be set for awhile.
So there is a blue "hover" board somewhere in the US with Kyle's name on it.  The Amazon seller assures me it will arrive.  Eventually.  I'm crossing my fingers.  And it may look like Amanda gets more, but they had an equal number of packages to open.  Swear.  
Ryan has graciously shared his "hover" board with his siblings.  And he knows there are rules around it such as setting a timer when it charges . . . in the garage.  And making sure it is always turned off unless it's being ridden.  So far so good.  Knock on wood.  
And finally the parents . . . we are much less exciting.  But it's still nice to look back and see from year to year!  My favorite was the mug with my babies' names on it.  (Is that even the correct way to make that word possessive?)
Christmas afternoon we had some of our favorite friends over for dinner.  Getzy made a yummy prime rib (his family tradition) and a fried turkey . . . both were super tasty.  My friend always makes the most delicious food, and she brought over some side dishes and dessert.  And I literally took one picture of the entire afternoon . . . Getzy using his new electric knife from Amanda.  He loved it.  

So about that Amanda . . . apparently when my Mom was here in early November to watch the kids for us, Amanda asked her Granny to take her Christmas shopping for the family.  My mom took her out and let her pick out the gifts for everyone, and Amanda freaking nailed it.  Like I called my mom crying on Christmas day to thank her.  

I just thought it was so special that she and Amanda made those memories together . . . that Amanda thought so far ahead to make it happen because she knew Granny wasn't going to be here for Christmas this year.  It does make me so proud that Amanda has learned the fine art of giving, not to receive but because she enjoys picking gifts to make people smile.  
She got the electric knife for her Daddy, pajamas and a necklace for me, two Hunger Games movies for Kyle and a stomp rocket and gear ball for Ryan.  The boys traded League of Legend points gift cards.  Ryan got Amanda a Petey dog stuffed animal and the Minions movie.  And Kyle came through with a great gift for his sister.  
He came home one day after school and asked me to buy Amanda a Lokai bracelet for Christmas.  He pulled it up on the computer and said all the cool girls wear them at school.  I thought this was super thoughtful and what a cool gift!

Okay, moving on . . . my sister-in-law and nephews came to visit after Christmas which was awesome.  Not a single photo.  Clearly I wasn't thinking like I was a blogger.  So that brings us to New Year's Eve.  

Our neighborhood started doing fireworks at 8 p.m., and by fireworks, I mean it's a serious show!  So after dinner with friends, we went to watch the fireworks in the cold before dropping the kids at the house to hang out while we went to a party!  We had a great time with friends but Getzy headed home just after midnight to check on the kids and Petey.  
This is how I found him when I got home, and it just melted my heart.  I can't believe my old man Petey is still here . . . this was his 16th holiday with us.  Petey paces all the time now so Getzy must have held him to settle him down.  

So, that was long.  And took me a solid week to write . . . I started last Monday.  And I feel like I hardly said anything but wrote way more than I planned.  Crazy.  

I hope you and yours had an amazing holiday season.  Cheers to a new year with new adventures . . . and to health and happiness.  I hope to be here more in 2016 . . . I've missed this.


  1. hellloooo!! happy new year :) sounds like lots of fabulous things happened while you were away :)
    that is so weird and gross about nick jonas. and everyone is talking about justin bieber, i don't know any of his new songs so clearly i need to check them out.

  2. Well hey there! Wow... that was a recap!!! Sounds like fabulous holidays all around as usual. I don't even know where to begin but I am jealous of your Bieber experience, of courser you know me, love the tattoos:) Nick Jonas... wtf??? I love all the gifts, you did good Mom! I got my Lokai about a year ago before all the cool kids which has earned me major cool Mom points. Love the symbolism behind it! Olivia broke hers and we cut it open and there really is mud in there. Water... I think it evaporated:) Happy New Year Amy!!!