It's that time of year again! Everyone is gearing up for the Holidays, myself included. We put up our tree yesterday, which basically means that we decorated the pencil tree that already has a permanent place in one corner of our living room. Growing up we always had a real tree. I love real trees... but really, with 2 little kids, it's the last thing I want to deal with! I am fine decorating our pencil tree. And this year it was even more fun than usual because Eloise was big enough to help. Of course, it wasn't always helpful when she put 3 ornaments on one branch... but we worked it out as we went!
Cory kept Dinah corralled for the most part so that we could decorate in
peace... but we did let Dinah "help" as well. Surprisingly enough, she
hasn't bothered the tree much after that first little bit.
Of course, going along with tree decorating, I have been slowly accumulating gifts for everyone on our list. The girls aren't getting a whole lot. Mostly some clothes and books. Little things for their stockings like band aids, toothbrushes and socks. We know that other family members are getting them some toys, so we are only getting a small toy or so for each girl. I think I have most of my shopping done besides a couple of things. I even have most of it wrapped! I know... on the ball, right? Haha! Only because I just can't WAIT! I love to wrap! I even wrap my neighbors presents while she watches the girls.... if you lived nearby, I'd wrap for you too! :)
Anyway... amidst all of the buying for the season, though I am trying to get good deals and be smart with my purchases, there has been this little nagging in the back of my mind. The girls' birthdays are both in January. Dinah's is only a week after Christmas! So that puts a little pressure on the finances. I want to make sure the girls both have parties that are special. I know that looking back on pictures from when I was a kid, I really appreciate the time and effort my mom put into having birthday parties for me and my sister. Some day I should scan the old pictures of the cakes she made us! So fun! (Thanks mom!) I like to try to have DIY parties. Not that there is anything wrong with going out and buying decorations... but there is just something about doing it myself that gives me mommy-satisfaction! And I hope one day my girls will look back at pictures and appreciate what I tried to do for them and the fun we had!
Oh... and did I mention that I am going away for a few days in February? That's part of the reason for the nagging in my mind.... my cousin is getting married and asked me to be in the wedding.... in ARIZONA! (I'm in PA, if you didn't know) I have gone back and forth ever since she asked... should I go? Should I not go? There are many different factors to weigh in on both fronts... but finally I just decided that it's a once-in-a-lifetime chance. We grew up together talking about our weddings... planning them in notebooks that we'll probably dig out of boxes some day! I really feel like I need to be there. I know my girls need me too... but it will be over a weekend and Cory will be home and have help from his mom, the neighbors or my family if he needs it!
Soooo.... All of that to say... I have been wanting to start getting party decorations together... but I haven't had the extra money to do it. (Plane tickets, bridesmaid dresses & accessories aren't cheap!) Yesterday Eloise helped me wrap a few presents to put under the tree while Dinah napped... and as we were going through boxes that I had saved from last year... we kept opening boxes that were inside of boxes until we got to the very last small box... and as Eloise shook it, we could hear something clattering around. I opened the box to find a Jo Anns gift card from last Christmas that I had thought I'd lost forever!! I seriously have been wondering off and on all year what "safe place" I had put the card in because I sure was never able to find it... and here we are a year later and it shows up... just at the right time! It might sound silly... but I think it was a God thing. He timed it just right - and now I don't have that little nagging about getting things for the girls' birthday parties! It worked out just perfect! I look forward to sharing what I make! If you'd like to see my posts from El's last 2 parties... you can go HERE and HERE!
I hope you are enjoying decorating and preparing for the Holidays as much as I am... and don't forget to thank God for the little things. Even if they seem insignificant. You never know the reason why something happens... but even in the case of a lost gift card being found, I thank Him for taking a little bit of stress off my shoulders! Even if it was stress of my own doing!