Some Girls Get Chocolate In Their Stockings

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But I have never been a huge chocolate fan. Even when I was a kid my mom would especially make me a handful of chocolate chip cookies sans the chocolate chips. No boxes of chocolates for this girl on Valentine’s Day.

Candy in general isn’t my favorite. If you’re thinking, ah that’s how she stays skinny, don’t be fooled. I can put away 3 of my homemade cinnamon rolls in one sitting (which is exactly what I did, ha).

Cinnamon rolls, however, do not do so well in stockings. So instead of chocolate in my stocking…

… this girl gets beef jerky. When I first started dating Zach I don’t think he truly believed me when I said I prefer beef jerky to candy and still got me a box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day. He learned quickly.

Lots and lots of beef jerky. #meatatarian

Notice Lily’s socks? For the month of December Zach wears Christmas socks to teach in and Lily enjoyed helping him decide which ones. And then at some point, she started wearing them too.

Somehow it works. Ever our little fashionista.

Our little family of 5 celebrates Christmas on the 24th. We take the whole day together just our family and this year we tried several new recipes to create our own Christmas day meal traditions. Some were winners. Others not so much. My homemade cinnamon rolls have been our much-anticipated Christmas breakfast for years, but this year we added baked turkey sliders, roasted vegetables, smoked beef, cheesy pull-apart bread, and vanilla creme brulee. The beef and the cheesy pull-apart bread were not great, but stay tuned for the rest of those recipes!

Since getting married 11+ years ago, we have 7 Christmas celebrations to get to every year with only 2 on the same day (4 sets of grandparents + extended family, our parents, and our own family). The fact that we actually enjoy every single one is a testimony to the family legacy Zach and I have been blessed by.

That being said, it creates a blessed but busy Christmas break and this photo cracks me up because it is the perfect description of our kids. I said, “Look here and smile!” Gracie obliged willingly. Caleb looked begrudgingly. Lily refused any part of it. Real-life Christmas picture right there.

Christmas Day we spend the morning with Zach’s family.

I loved my mother-in-law’s beautiful mantel this year.

The rest of Christmas Day is spent with the Fulmer extended family. Since my sister, Emily, (sitting beside Zach) is marrying Tyler, Zach’s 1st cousin, we see them a lot over Christmas (5 out of the 7. Good things we like them.

The day after Christmas is spent with my family. We are the only siblings with kiddos, but with my brother and SIL on the waiting list to adopt from Haiti, and 2 sisters getting married Zach and I are counting down the days until we get to spoil nieces and nephews!

Next, we spend the day with my Dad’s side of the family. The week before Christmas is my MIL’s side of the family, and this weekend is my mom’s side of the family. It is hard to believe we have 3 sets of independently living grandparents who still host their own Christmas celebrations. Blessed for sure.

Need an idea to help keep your kids entertained over the break? Try a festival of fun.

This one kept the kiddos entertained for about 2 hours. Friday – Sunday my kids are allowed 1 hr of screen time. That can be a game on an IPAD, tv, a show etc. Otherwise, Monday – Thursday there are no screens of any kind. This is my number one tip for getting kids to read more which several of you have asked me in the past. When they are bored my answer is “Read a book.” It takes effort initially as a parent because screens are decidedly easier, but it pays off eventually as they discover adventures in the pages of a book.

On the blog this week, I shared our Christmas home decor tour from our 3rd fixer-upper. Play some Christmas music, grab a cup of hot chocolate, and please make yourself at home.

As we head into a new year, I have 20 product ideas to help you crush your goals in 2023. Better sleep, more exercise, improved organization, and less stress!

Let’s check out more inspiration from this week’s Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop!

Get all the gluten-free charcuterie board ideas you need to make the most epic appetizer for New Year’s Eve.

If you struggle to keep your toiletries off the counters, organized, and clutter-free, then get ready to be inspired by these brilliant ways to organize your bathroom.

These cranberry muffins are made with fresh cranberries, chopped pears, and a few other simple ingredients.

Looking to take up journaling in 2023? Learn how to make your own journal jar with a set of prompts that look so cute.

This simple chili mac is a tasty one-pot meal that won’t take up all your valuable time. 

This simple free printable will help you get rid of 30 bags in just 30 days of time and declutter your house in thirty days!

Have a happy new year!

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