25 Questions: Holiday Edition

This has been floating around the blog world so I thought I would jump in too :)

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate…though Hot Apple Cider is my real deal.

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2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? He wraps them in special paper :)

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Right now our tree has white lights but I prefer colored lights always.  White is elegant but colorful lights are fun.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? No

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5. When do you hang your decorations up? Usually the day after Thanksgiving

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Deviled Eggs- my aunt Marlene makes them once a year and I look so forward to them.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? I don’t have just one.  I think everything about Christmas every year was my favorite.

8. What is on your Christmas Wishlist? I would be happy with anything really.  My biggest one would be a Cannon Rebel camera but I won’t hold my breath.  I always enjoy books, beauty stuff, smell good things, and knick knacks.

9. Do you open a gifts on Christmas Eve? I used to get to open one on Christmas Eve growing up… I plan to continue the tradition.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? With lights and ornaments.  I am currently working on building up my ornament stash… I like homemade ornaments and ones that mean something to me.

11. Snow? Love it or dread it? Dread it.  It is pretty as it’s falling but we have to drive about 3 hours on Christmas to my Aunt Marlene’s and snow hinders that.

12. Real tree or fake tree? I am indifferent.  I have an artificial one and I love it because it is pre-lit… my Aunt Marlene always has a real one and I love it because it smells good.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I always loved getting gift cards.  I am a bargain shopper and love to have them on hand to use throughout the year to get what I want.

14. What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you? Celebrating Christ’s birth and being with my family!

15. What is your favorite Holiday dessert? Fudge.  My granny makes it every year and it is to die for.

16. What is your favorite tradition? Don’t have one but I plan to remedy that now that I have kids.

17. What tops your tree? Currently an angel…I want a star

18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? I love both…but allow me to pull out my honesty card and say that I love getting presents.  I think it takes me back to my childhood.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays- N’Sync…my favorite traditional song would be Mary Did You Know.

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20. Candy canes, yuck or yum? Love the flavored ones…and I like mint flavor but generally not just plain candy canes.

21. Favorite Christmas Movie? Serendipity (set around Christmas)

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22. What do you leave for Santa? Cookies and Milk

23. Do you have a Christmas morning tradition? No but I will be making one.

24. Do you prefer to shop on-line or at the mall? Both, depends on the gift.

25. Christmas letter or Christmas card? Christmas card

Your turn!!

Answer one or two of the questions from above! Or heck, do the whole survey if you want haha :)

Vacations

My husband and I were talking yesterday about vacations and how we want to take them.  Last year we took 3 vacations, each lasting 3-4 days.  Two of them were to Myrtle Beach, SC and one was to Emerald Isle, NC…both beaches are in our backyard so to speak.  Aaron said he would like to take one really great one every year and I am totally on board with that.  In past years that is exactly what we have done.

In 2006 we went to Negril, Jamaica to Couples Negril.  The Couples resort we went to was amazing.  We went for 7 days and lived it up.  We slept as late as we wanted and ate whatever we wanted.  We did not do any excursions because we were too lazy.  We had an awesome view from our room.  The food was wonderful and too this day we long to go back.

In 2007 we went to Cancun, Mexico.  We stayed at one of the many resorts and while our room was wonderful and it was gorgeous there, we know we will never go back.  The air conditioning in our room was almost non-existent and the food we had was horrible.  I got a sunburn there on day 2 and it really limited us so we never did get to go parasailing or jet skiing like we had planned to do.  The highlight of that trip was our housekeeping lady.  Her name was Eloisa and she was awesome.  We formed a friendship with her over our stay and one day hope to run across her again. 

So the other night we started talking about places we want to vacation.  We don’t want to go out of the country with the kids until they are a little bit older so that left us with the USA at our disposal.  For us a vacation needs to be in a place with variety…if it rains there are indoor activities, plenty of things to do and places to eat, a beach or some form of water is nice, etc.  So after much brainstorming we think our next vacation will likely be San Diego, California. 

Neither of us have ever been to California and would both love to go.  We know that the beaches there are touted to be kid-friendly.  We are also both very into the zoo.  I just love animals so much and I know the kids would love to see them too.  Combine those two things with the fact that I love to go new places and we are set.  We probably won’t go until October next year but that gives me plenty of time to work out all of the details.  I can’t wait.

How do you/your family vacation? Any places I should be considering?

Gruesome Dream

I am happy to report that I was actually able to eat a normal meal last night and feel completely fine today!  I am so glad that whatever I had wasn’t worse.  The only bad things is that now since I was sick for a few days the house is a disaster zone and I get to clean it… awesome.

I still don’t have my homemade Christmas gifts made…okay let me be completely honest- I haven’t even started.  I still need to run to the store to get a couple more things before I can begin and I have no idea when I will be able to do that.  In typical Nicole fashion I will once again be doing everything last minute.  I was that way in school with projects and I am still that way today :)

Today I want to tell you about my dream last night since it is still on my mind.  I am a firm believer that all dreams mean something so I try to keep notes of key elements in my head if I wake up from a dream and happen to remember.  Lately I have been remembering a lot of my dreams.  It was impossible not to remember last night’s dream because it was more like a nightmare and quite disturbing.  If you are easily disturbed you should probably stop reading here…otherwise read on at your own risk.

I was in the house I grew up in for a part of my life with my Granny and Frank (grandpa). I was married and Aaron was there with me.  Granny and Frank did not know we were there as it was about 2am or so.  We were running from this man and woman who were trying to hurt us over some little girl we were trying to save.  I do not know why we were trying to save her.  I do know we got her cookies at one point and that they were gluten-free (not sure what that had to do with anything).  So anyways, in the dream I proceed to kill the woman who is after me in one of the bedrooms.  I had a small steak knife and I stabbed her in the rib area.  It obviously hurt her but didn’t stop her.  I then proceed to stab her repeatedly in the neck until she is dead.  The dream then flashes and I see the man sitting upright on the porch steps but his head is hanging backwards from where it had been cut off essentially.  I do not know how it happened, but that is the exact thing I had done to the woman.  The craziest part was that in my dream there was no blood. None.  So Aaron and I are trying to get away and out of town at this point when we realize we have no car.  There are four cars in the driveway though, one of which in real life is ours and another was my grandpa’s.  Aaron wanted me to just take one of them but I wouldn’t because they didn’t belong to me in the dream.  So we end up back in the house and ask Frank if we can borrow his truck.  They have no idea about anything that has just gone on in their house or about the dead bodies and we don’t tell them.  He says yes but Granny steps in and says no, you can make a pallet on the floor and leave in the morning.  We tried to explain we needed to get out of town but she refused to let us use a car.  So I said fine, we’ll walk and we start to leave.  That is where I woke up.

Pretty crazy, right?  It’s not every night you kill people in your dreams and I hope I never do again.  But I looked into the meaning of murder in your dreams and this is what I found…

To dream that you have committed a murder indicates that you are putting an end to an old habit and a former way of thinking.  Killing represents the killing off of the old parts and old habits.

There are other meaning too, but these are the ones I felt best described my current situation.  I am still sifting through it and really thinking it over but it makes me feel better knowing there is a positive side of that awful dream.  So, if you read this far, then thanks for lending an ear…I will be lucky if you ever read another post of mine again :) 

Have you had any crazy dreams or vivid dreams? If so I want to know about them and I would be glad to give you my interpretation of them :) Just let me know.

Sick…

Stomach viruses suck. 

My weekend started out fine…on Saturday I took the kidlets to see Santa and get their pic taken.  While I would love to post the picture here, I think Aaron accidentally threw it away. Epic fail.  There is never a dull moment.

So Sunday we woke up and went to Golden Corral to have lunch with Aaron’s parents.  At that point I felt kind of like I was having an out of body experience but I didn’t know what was wrong with me.  My head was spinning and I had a slight headache.  I just felt off all day.  We headed back home and I felt progressively worse as the day went on.  Finally long about 8:30PM I ended up in the bathroom with my friend, the toilet.  After throwing up I felt much better for about 2 hours and then the dizziness came back.  I went to bed and the next day came across Advil- the best thing since sliced bread.  I am still not 100% but I feel good enough to be out of bed finally.  Now the only thing that makes me feel bad is standing for long periods of time (taking the dog out, cooking, etc.). So I’m on the mend thank goodness.

Since being sick I feel like I am a chicken noodle soup expert.  I can tell you that Campbell’s Chunky chicken noodle soup is hands down the best. 

Some good news- yesterday Aaron got a promotion at work that is a life changer.  We are super excited because it has been a long time coming.  We have big dreams for our life and it is great to see them starting to come true :) 

Hopefully tomorrow I will be completely back to normal…either way I will be back then!

The Weight is Over

So this morning all I really have on my mind is my weight problem.  Last night I had a dream that I was on a cheerleading or gymnastics team- not sure which one it was because all we were doing were warm-ups and stretching.  In my dream I was noticeably less flexible than I once was… I remember feeling so embarrassed in my dream.  I finally figured out how to make myself more flexible in the dream but knew in order to be my best I needed to go ahead and lose some weight.  I woke up from my dream at 5am and haven’t been able to sleep since.  I woke up knowing it was time to do something about my problem.  In my dream the way I chose to fix my weight was through calorie counting and exercise and that is how I intend to do it this time around.  I am done with diets and things like that and have decided to just do the calorie thing.  So since 5am I have been putting together my meal plans which you all will see once I start eating this way.  I am starting as soon as we make our next grocery trip as we can’t afford to be wasteful.  Until then, and I am still not sure why I am doing this, I thought I should go ahead and motivate myself by posting pictures.  I am going to post my then and now.  Here goes nothing…(click to enlarge)

Size 5 in all of these

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and now size 18…

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I do not know how I let this happen.  I guess just my lack of activity or not watching what I ate.  I have been struggling with my weight now for almost 6 years…I’m tired.  And that is why I am over it and determined to kick my problem once and for all.  I plan to document my journey the entire way on this blog.  I refuse to go one more summer without wearing shorts.  It has been far too long. 

I think my key to success will be having a plan and sticking to it.  So often I find that I fail at losing weight because of lack of a solid plan.  This time I have one.  I will not fail. Period.  I have been spending all morning getting my plan together and I am nowhere near finished but I have a good start.  So I am off to finish that before the kidlets wake up and I will see all of you bright and early Monday morning :)

Falalala

Last night for dinner we had steak, mashed potatoes, and asparagus.  It was divine.  I mixed the potatoes with butter, cheese, and sour cream so it tasted like a baked potato without the skin.  I wish I had leftovers…

Today is going to be filled with cleaning.  I feel like I always end up doing major house cleaning because for some reason I can never stay on top of it.  I will pin that on the twins.  So today when I hit that wall in the afternoon that I have been hitting everyday, instead of sleeping I will clean. 

My sleep is seriously screwed up.  I go to bed at about 12:30 every night and have been waking up at 6 every morning having to pee. Once I wake up to do that I can’t go back to sleep.  So I get up and then long about 2pm I hit a wall. Hard. Yesterday I hit said wall and took a nap but never quit feeling groggy after that.  Daytime naps do that to me.  So today I will try to avoid the nap- we will see if that is even possible.  I’m not sure.

In other news, I am loving Christmas music.  I have my favorites I listen to and never tire of. 

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays- N’Sync

The First Noel- N’sync

Joy To The World- Mariah Carey

All I Want For Christmas Is You- Mariah Carey

This Christmas- Chris Brown

Santa Baby- Taylor Swift (I actually have this as my ringtone)

What Child Is This- Martina McBride

The Christmas Song- Martina McBride

Deck The Halls- SheDaisy

My Grown Up Christmas List- Kelly Clarkson

Those are my picks.  I have listened to a lot of them for years now and they never get old.

What are your favorite Christmas songs? 

Homemade Gifts

I am a huge fan of homemade gifts.  I love to give them and I love to receive them.  There is just something great about it…knowing that someone put their time and effort into making you something vs. just running to the store and grabbing something off the shelf.  This Christmas I will be giving all homemade presents.  I worried that people would think it was cheap but at the end of the day I sat down and really thought about it.  The holiday isn’t about the gifts you get or give, those things are just bonuses.  I am looking forward to throwing myself into making these gifts for my family and giving them something I really put effort into.  I don’t think you need to spend hundreds of dollars on gifts to enjoy Christmas.  So without further ado- here are the homemade gifts on my radar this year :)

Picture w/ your song lyrics behind it

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Vase made from rolled up magazine paper

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Art made from canvas and letters all painted one color

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Fridge magnets! Great for kiddos.

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Play-doh! Put in cute jars for storage.

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Candy cane sugar scrub- bet this smells awesome!

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Caramel/Chocolate covered pretzel sticks

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Tutus are super easy to make and little girls love them

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Cake Batter Balls- nuff said :)

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So those are just some of the things I found online that I loved.  There are so many more things you could do if you had the right supplies- like a sewing machine. 

What gifts are you hoping to give/get this year?  How do you feel about homemade presents?

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