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I’m Done with Christmas Cards, I Think

12 Dec

After a few years of going back and forth, I think I’m finally crossing ‘create and mail Christmas cards’ off my holiday task list for good. Last year, I came super-dooper close, but if you remember I did a Facebook vote (you can find the blog post here) and 62% of you still mailed out cards. So, I was guilted into doing it for another year.

Well, this year… I’m finally pulling the plug.

Here are my reasons:

  • There is so much waste involved. To pay the money for the cards, the envelopes and the postage only for someone to look at the paper for a moment, *maybe* stick it on their fridge for a week or two, and then throw it out is crazy. It’s a waste of paper, a waste of money, and a waste of time.
  • Speaking of time: I don’t have the time (or frankly, feel like spending the time) to find the photos, lay out the cards, get them printed, address them, stamp them, and send them. This isn’t fun for me and I don’t enjoy it at all.
  • Every year I receive less and less Christmas cards, so maybe people are over them.

Here’s why I’m still feeling guilty about it:

  • There are a few people who I’m only in contact with for the holidays (previous neighbors, friends from long ago) and I’m afraid they’ll think I don’t like them anymore if I stop sending out cards.
  • My kid is awfully cute. Shouldn’t I share that with the world? (this is a joke, kind of)

And YES, I know I can just buy prepackaged cards to send. But I feel like they are even more waste than a card that may have a cute family photo on it.

So, I think I’m skipping cards this year. Probably.

What are you doing – do you still send out holiday cards?

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Jack’s First Musical: Aladdin at the Hippodrome

3 Dec

I’ve loved watching musicals as long as I can remember. I was in a few musicals in middle school and high school, and even minored in Theater in college. So, whenever I get the chance to see a really, really good show on Broadway or a touring production in DC or Baltimore I jump on it!

I had wanted to see Aladdin when I was in NYC in 2015, but tickets were crazy expensive for the crappiest seats. So when I heard on the radio that a touring production of Aladdin was coming to the Hippodrome in Baltimore, I clicked right over to check out available tickets. I also thought it might be the perfect first show for Jack. He really enjoyed the on-stage productions when we saw them on cruise ships, so I hoped that 7 ½ was the magical age to take him to “the theatre” (you have to say that in a super snobby way, FYI).

Anywhoo. I snapped up a couple fantastically close tickets for the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. We didn’t have any Thanksgiving plans this year (our dinner was on Friday instead), so I figured that way we can both sleep in afterwards.

Here we are right before the show started:

And…he LOVED it! I had to remind him a few times not to talk during the show – which was especially hilarious when a funny scene ended and Jack loudly said “THAT GUY IS REALLY FUNNY” to the amusement of everyone around us. It was Aladdin though, so there were lots of other kids in the theater who were much louder than Jack.

The show itself was phenomenal. I have super high standards for musical numbers and OHMYGOSH the performer’s voices were insanely good. Their harmonies gave me chills and Aladdin, his three best friends, and the Genie were FANTASTIC!

Even better, when I asked Jack if he’d be interested in seeing another show one day he said “YES! OF COURSE! That was SO AWESOME!” So yeah, proud theater mommy over here.

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AR Workshop: Countdown to Christmas

14 Nov

Lindsey and I are totally on a roll with our AR Workshop projects. First, we did a couple plank signs (see here) and then we went back and made our own chunky knit blankets (here they are). I follow the Annapolis AR Workshop on Instagram, so when I saw that they just came out with personalized advent calendars I immediately texted Lindsey and we signed up!

{Pssst, this isn’t a sponsored post, but if you want to find an AR Workshop you can find them here: https://www.arworkshop.com/}

Usually, I leave Jack at home with Travis. But he was super busy over the weekend with some tree felling goodness, so I figured I’d just take Jack with me. And I’m awfully glad I did, because he had a great time helping!

Much like my previous plank sign, we started with picking our colors, sanding the wood board, stained it, cut out and attached the stencil, painted the letters, took the stencils off, and then did any touch-ups needed. For this particular project, we also stained some extra wood pieces to attach to the front of the sign. After marking each straight line, I turned it over and used a nail gun to connect them together.

Funny story: when the helper lady brought out the nail gun and handed it to me to use, Jack raised his hand and let us know that he is NOT comfortable using a nail gun. Yeah kid… you’re 7. We know!

Here are some photos we took throughout the process:

Jack did help every single step of the way – except for the staining of the board and the nail gun use – and was super proud that he could hang out with the adults. I love that every year when we bring out our new Countdown to Christmas calendar, it will remind us of the fun memory of making the project together.  

Here are our finished projects:

Lindsey made a sign for her parent’s mantle and we made our Countdown sign. We just need to find something small – like a little tree or stuffed toy – to place on the ledge in front of the appropriate date as we count down.

As always, we had such a wonderful time at the Workshop that I’m already checking the website to see if there is something else I want to make. My sister reached out and wants to go too, so maybe I’ll have some more Workshop goodness to share soon!

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Family Time with the Cares Foundation

29 Oct

Over the weekend, we had the opportunity to participate in a 5k walk at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis. The walk was a fundraiser for the Cares Foundation and specifically benefited those with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH). A friend of mine’s daughter has CAH and when she told me that they were doing the fundraising walk, I practically begged her to send me the information so we could sign up.

I know, I know… who has to beg their friend to send them fundraising information?!

However, I’ve actually seen this happen time and time again over the years. So many people are asking for money or business on their Facebook pages, that other people don’t even want to share an organization they are passionate about because they feel like they are just adding to the gimme-gimme noise. But here’s the thing when your friend is passionate about something – like an organization that has helped her navigate a disorder like CAH – we WANT to show up for them. Really!

And we had such a wonderful time!

There were a bunch of fantastic raffles, so we went ahead and donated $20 for raffle tickets and put a few in each of the baskets we liked. Jack had the opportunity to draw the ticket for the very first prize… and it was our ticket!

We now had board games coming out the wazoo and Jack is already obsessed with the mini Etch-a-Sketch from “What’s My Sketch.” We took it with us to dinner over the weekend and it kept all three of us busy competing with each other.

Here are Jack (left) and Travis’ (right) pictures for “make a picture of Ollie”:

And here is “make a smilie face” (Travis on left and Jack on right):

We can’t wait for the next rainy weekend day so we can break into some new games!

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