Elf on the Shelf 2017 – Day 17

Well, we managed to get the tree up. But we just haven’t found the time to actually get any ornaments on it yet.

What can we say? We’ve been a little preoccupied.

The elves apparently thought we needed a little motivation. Gotta say, I kinda like the toilet paper look. I’d be okay forgoing the ornaments this year.


Halloween 2015 – The Aliens Have Landed

Stevie and I have never been the greatest when it comes to decorating for the holidays. Somehow, they always sort of seem to sneak up on us, and by the time we find a free moment when we could decorate, we think it’s kind of pointless because we’ll only be putting the decorations up just to take them all down again.

It’s a vicious cycle.

But every now and then, I get a hankering to get into the spirit of things and I manage to drag Stevie along for the ride.

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I’ve always loved ghosts and monsters and scary movies. As a kid, some of my favorite memories are visiting haunted houses and trick-or-treating with my friends in Bird City (a town so small you could actually trick-or-treat every house in town and manage to eat your way into a full-fledged candy coma before bedtime). Now that I have kids, it’s been fun getting all excited about Halloween again. And now that we moved to a neighborhood where a lot of other folks are decorating and a lot of families go out trick-or-treating, I was feeling the urge to get motivated and do something creative this year.

It took a little convincing to get Stevie on board. He wasn’t getting inspired at all by any of my fun Pinterest finds…that is until I tossed out the idea of creating some sort of UFO crash in our front yard.

I can always count on aliens to get Stevie interested.

So, we planned and plotted and decided to give it a try. We built the UFO out of a garbage can, pvc pipe, wire, and some paper drop cloths that we spray painted silver. It took some trial and error, but I think it turned out pretty well for our first try. We had a half-dead tree in the yard that we were planing to cut down anyway, so Stevie thought it might be cool to make it look like the ship had crashed right through it.

The end result wasn’t perfect, but it gave us some good practice. And yeah, we’re already plotting the scene for next year. I’m pretty sure our neighbors think we’re a little crazy, but hey, when has that ever stopped us.

Stay tuned.

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Elf on the Shelf – Day 11

We have a thing for giraffes around here. Okay, maybe that’s not entirely true. It’s not like Steven and I are obsessed with giraffes or anything. In fact, I don’t know that I’ve really given this animal more than a second thought over the years. I mean, yeah, they’re majestic creatures, but neither of us has a hidden collection of giraffe figurines on display.

That being said, I should probably admit that we have an over abundance of giraffe toys, stuffed animals, blankets, and baby clothes, and now a 4-foot-tall lighted giraffe decoration for our yard.

It all started about three years ago with our friend Foerth. I’ve already written about him at length in several other blog posts, so most of you are probably pretty familiar with the stories. I can’t remember exactly how it all started. It was just one of those lazy days we were spending hanging out with Foerth, watching TV, bantering over movies and sports. As always, Foerth was getting all riled up about something. And, as always, as soon as Steven and I noticed his agitation, we started focusing our attention on irritating him. It was just some weird coincidence that a commercial with a giraffe came on right when Foerth was reaching is boiling point. In his exasperation, he stood up and declared,

“I’ll have you know, that the giraffe is the most feared animal in the animal kingdom!”

Then he stormed into the kitchen, grabbed another beer, and slammed the fridge closed.

Steven and I laughed until we nearly puked. Then, we started in on a whole new line of harassment.

“Oh really?” Steven asked. “So a giraffe is higher on the food chain than, oh, say, a lion?”

“Yeah Foerth,” I continue. “I guess that’s why you always see so many of those ‘When Giraffes Attack’ videos, huh?”

This went on for hours, days, weeks. Hell, we still like to bring it up every now and then, just to watch Foerth squirm.

Around this same time, I found out that I was pregnant with Cadence. Maybe it was something about the timing of it all. Or maybe it was that I could hardly get the story out I was laughing so hard. Whatever it was, something about the giraffes hit home with my friend and co-worker Nikki. One day, I walked in and found a little giraffe bib hanging on my computer. A few days later, there was a fuzzy giraffe blanket sitting on my chair. Then there were rattles and musical toys and onesies. There were stuffed animals–dozens of stuffed animals, big and small. It was as if Nikki had suddenly begun to see giraffes everywhere, and couldn’t keep herself from delivering each and every one to our doorstep. Soon, our house was filled with giraffes, and each time a new one would arrive, poor Foerth would just shake his head, knowing that there was no way he was ever going to live this one down.

Last week, when Mom and Dad arrived to spend the night before heading to Omaha for Dad’s surgery, they brought along a few extra strands of lights to help Steven get started on our Christmas decorating. They also brought along a 4-foot tall giraffe decoration that Duane had seen in Wal-Mart and couldn’t help but to buy for Miss Cadence.

Yeah, you know the first person he though of when he saw it was his favorite Father Foerth.

Right now, the giraffe, which I’ve named Nelson (don’t ask me why; I just think he looks like a Nelson) is still sitting in our living room, waiting his turn to be relocated to the front lawn for our Christmas display. In the meantime, he’s been getting plenty of attention from Miss Cadence. (She likes to pet him and bring him plates of imaginary food that she prepares in her kitchen). And even from little Cosette, who decided this morning that she wanted Nelson to give her a ride. So, when we woke this morning, this is what we discovered…





At first, Miss Cadence didn’t even notice Cosette playing cowgirl. She ran through the living room, dining room, and kitchen asking, “Where is Cosette? I can’t find her? Where is she?” until I told her to come back in the living room and see what Cosette was up to.



Then, she spied her silly little elf…


Haha! Crazy Cosette! What will she think of next!?

Elf on the Shelf – Day 9

Why is it that time speeds up during the holidays? Does the earth start spinning a little faster this time of year? Is it just the trick of light? The shorter days? Some sort of deeply ingrained instinct to want to hibernate when the weather turns cold? Whatever the cause, the effect is always the same…Christmas has a way of sneaking up on me.

Doesn’t matter how much I plan, how early I make my lists, how hard I try to keep it all straight, something just sort of shuts down in my brain when the holidays roll around. Add any sort of stress or obligations on top of it, and I’m easily derailed.

With my Dad’s cancer diagnosis and surgery this year, it’s no surprise that we’ve fallen a little behind in the decorating department. Mom and Dad brought us some lights from their collection (since Dad has been harassing Steven to get in on the Clark Griswold-style holiday light competition since we were married five years ago), and a new 4-foot tall lighted giraffe to put in the yard, just for Cadence.

So far, the lights haven’t made it on the house, and the giraffe is still sitting (fully assembled and beautifully lit) in the living room. But, we’ve got big plans to finally do things up right this weekend.

We’ll see what happens.

Apparently, Cosette is a little concerned that we haven’t yet put up the Christmas tree…


Sweet little elf. Don’t worry, Cosette, the tree is on the list for this weekend too. 🙂 Especially now that Miss Cadence  has been notified that our lack of tree is an issue.







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