Holiday Traditions

It’s Black Friday, and if you are one of the brave souls who venture out on this infamously crazy day, more power to you. For me, this day has come to mean clean up! 

My family and I are truly blessed with how amazing our family is, both blood and chosen. When we get together, a good time is had by all, and the feast is bountiful! Yesterday, for Thanksgiving, the story was tenfold. We all have so much to be thankful for, and I am so thankful for the full house of wonderful people, plentiful food, and beautiful memories made. 

Moving on to today, it’s now time to clean it all up, and I seriously just want to sell my house. Forget it all, and move out of the mess! The next person can deal with it. 

In reality, it’s really not that bad. Two loads into the dishwasher, a dozen wipes, vacuum, and mop later, my house is starting to look a bit more in order again.

Tomorrow, I am hopeful the true traditions will begin. Setting up the Christmas tree, decorating the house, making gingerbread houses; it’s time to start the Christmas traditions! And as I have said previously, I am overly excited for this year. 

Dishwasher just dinged. Onto the next load. Someone send a search party if I don’t post in a few days! First place to look, in the sink, under the dishes!

Why I’m excited for Christmas this year

Honestly, I’m pretty hum-bug when it comes to the holidays. Not because I don’t enjoy the festivities or the family gatherings, but because the logistics of it all. I feel as if each year I have to plan out the entire holiday season month’s in advance, and even then, I’m stressed the entire season. It literally feels like it begins at Halloween, trying to find the right costumes, buy all the candy, and decorate the house. Then it’s hubby’s birthday, Thanksgiving, my daughter’s birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s. It’s become a science after years of practice of how each event will go and is planned, however, even the comfort from these year of practice isn’t what has lifted my spirits for this year.104068278-gettyimages-528107199

This year, I’m excited for the season more than I think I have ever been, and the only thing I can attribute it to is how excited my daughter will be this year. Each years she becomes more aware of her surroundings and excited over gifts and travel. Every year she seems to enjoy the holidays more and more, so this year, I cannot wait to see her reaction to all her gifts and family visits. I can’t wait to see how she reacts to all the food and decorations the season brings. But most of all, I can’t wait to see that ecstatic smile as she takes in all Christmas morning has in store for her this year!

Christmas Spirit Giveaways

I think my Christmas spirit just jumped into overdrive. That or I have just had one too many Tim Tam Slams with coffee (YouTube it!). At my salary job, we are having our Holiday Social this week, and my daughter’s birthday party is this weekend. We finally put our tree up in our house, and I have been playing nonstop Christmas music all day, every day. I’m just all over the place with planning festivities and oozing joy!

OK, maybe too many Tim Tams and coffee, but that’s OK. It’s my cheat month! Resolutions are coming up quick.

Can I help put you in the Christmas spirit? How about a chance to win one of three signed paperback copies of my latest novel Alyeska through GoodReads?

Still not doing it for you. How about a chance to win one of five e-book copies of Alyeska simply by subscribing to my blog?

That should put a smile on anyone’s face!

This time of year brings a season of happiness and giving. Bring Alyeska into your life, and I promise you, you will find you holiday spirit this winter in the midst of this steamy romance.

Happy Holidays, and Merry Christmas!

Now, where did I put my Tim Tams and coffee?

Holidays Are Upon Us

This time of year is always busy for me and my family. With the release of my new novel, Alyeska, and the various other events in our lives, I’m already stressing thinking about it!photo-1421906375741-f6bda4abe433.jpg

It starts with hubby’s birthday mid-November which I always try and make a big deal because you only turn your age once. There’s always a lot of poking and prodding in order to figure out what he would actually like to do for his big day, not to mention what he would like as a gift. He literally changes his mind on both accounts at least a dozen times before we have anything concrete in place a week before.

Next is Thanksgiving, and as we all know, that’s an undertaking in and of itself. A tradition I tried to start when my daughter was born was having the event at our house with all extended family and segment the meal preparations between us. That way everyone could spend the holiday together, and we wouldn’t have to run around visiting a bunch of different places. Due to some work related scheduling issues that is out the window this year.

It’s going to be a year of endurance like when hubby and I first ventured out on our own. We had a total of four Thanksgiving events and five for Christmas. Not necessarily a good thing, but events have become less, so it should only be two, maybe three events for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.

Then comes my daughter’s birthday. We normally (I say normally even though we’ve only had one birthday for her so far) have her party early in the month due to travel during the holidays. Her first birthday, I went all out and invited way too many people! Not that I didn’t love each and every one of them for being there, but it was just very stressful to plan, organize, and host. I feel like I barely got to spend any time with my daughter on her special day.

This year I plan to keep things a bit lower key. Fewer people, less decorating, just more focus on my daughter! I have all the decorations I plan on doing, so all I need is food and drinks. Well, and to send out the invite.

Finally, Christmas. I have family that live about four hours away, so twice a year we go visit, and Christmas is one of those times. We will make the trip and spend two nights away from home then travel back on Christmas Eve in time for Santa to arrive at our house for Christmas morning. That day will be spent with my in-laws and hubby’s extended family then a day or two after with mine. family-in-snow

I haven’t even begun to shop yet! I am absolutely determined to not think about Christmas until Black Friday at the earliest. I won’t go out shopping during that mess, having worked in retail before, but I might start getting ideas for gifts in all the sale catalogs from my comfy couch.

The holidays are upon us, and with everything this time of year brings, I try to remind myself to enjoy it in the midst of the chaos. It really is a beautiful time year that brings families together, and in a blink of an eye, its over then we’ll be celebrating the New Year. AH! Haven’t even dared to think that far ahead!

Merry Christmas! Find your Christmas Cheer!

I’m feeling rather festive this year, really getting into the holy holiday spirit. This year seems different for me, and I haven’t been able to figure out why. We bought a new Christmas tree and decorated it before the first of December which has typically been my rule. I’ve been playing Christmas music since before Thanksgiving (big deal for me), and I’m sure if my husband hears “Mary, did you know?” by Pentatonix one more time he is going to strangle me with garland. And we’ve seen Santa at least twice now.

I really hadn’t been able to figure out why I have been in such a festive mood until today, watching my daughter’s face as she opens presents for her first involved Christmas. Last year, my little girl was a tiny week-old newborn, sleeping through the holiday festivities while Daddy and I were trying to find as much sleep as we could, but this year, she is involved and wanting to be a part of it all. To see her eyes light up as another toy is put in front of her, to watch her smile as a family member plays on the floor with her, to hear her laugh and become excited as the wrapping paper rips and crinkles as she pulls it from her next gift has truly shown me the meaning of Christmas. To bring joy to those around you and be surrounded by the ones you love.

I guess I’ve been anticipating this day, building it up in my own mind and spirit, ready to spend this time with my little family and extended ones. I feel the peace I have always heard people talk about, and the joy at being with my family, but the love that is overwhelming me during this holiday, I never believed could be so strong. It is this emotion, this strong connection to my loved ones that is filling me with the spirit of Christmas and has me bursting at the seams with holiday cheer.

Now, please excuse me as I enjoy another holiday cookie before the New Year comes around, and my resolution kicks in. (Stay tuned!)

Happy Holidays!

I enjoy the holidays like I know most people do, but every year I am reminded of its stress. I used to work in customer service as many teens usually start in their working career, so I have worked during practically every holiday including Thanksgiving day, Christmas day, and New Years day.

Leading up to those days when I was on shift, people were always so rude and wound up. If they so much as stubbed their toe by their own mishap they would snap on the closest person to them which usually was the workers like me, and it would always be my fault. Customer is always right, after all!

But then the actual holiday would arrive, and suddenly, everyone is your best friend, wishing you a Happy Holiday, and apologizing for you having to work during it. Crazy!

Now that I am older and work for a more office like company, I receive holiday pay for these days and am able to spend them at home, but I promise it is no vacation!

It’s Christmas Eve, and I’ve vacuumed, mopped, picked up, setup, and laundered all day yesterday and all morning today to prepare for tomorrow (continuation of “Life of a Housewife” duties). The past few days have been a test of holiday endurance, traveling north and back in a weekend, celebrating two Christmas’s so far and a couple of birthday’s, all while finishing wrapping and shopping for the little items I couldn’t order online! (I was finished shopping for all the big things on my list by November 30th!)

Two more days are left with a total of 3 more Christmas celebrations within, so hopefully by Thursday I can finally relax again.

Don’t get me wrong, I know the real meaning of Christmas and am reminded of it every time I give a gift and watch the receiver open it. Holidays are times of giving and togetherness, so I am not complaining about spending the time with family and enjoying the moment as they open their gifts from my husband and I, but so often, I have to remind myself during the down times like traveling and struggling with wrapping paper that the end product is always worth the stress.

I think that is the reason why people were always so rude during the days leading up to the actual holiday; they had to keep reminding themselves of the end product. I propose that we create ways for people to be reminded of the end product, the cheer that we all experience during the actual holiday moments to be carried through the entire season!

So here’s my reminder to you in hopes it will brighten your in between times: The Shoreline eBook will be $0.99 into January! Have a wonderful Holiday!

My first Christmas gift to you!

I have a pleasant surprise for you, my friends! My previous post stated that it isn’t about what to give during this beautiful Christmas season, but what that gift would mean to the receiver! This Christmas, I would like to give you the opportunity to read my first novel “See You Soon” completely free!  

This season, I would like to give you, my friend, the only gift that I know can signify a piece of me. I worked extremely hard on my first piece, putting slices of myself within the novel. With this gift, I know that I can take part in making your holiday even brighter! So far my novel has received a 4 Star review on GoodReads and a 5 Star review on Amazon!

Please take a second and enter this coupon code into Smashwords: HL59X

Once you have entered the code, you will be able to choose which version, kindle, nook, etc., you will need in order to enjoy my novel, “See You Soon”! I hope you have a great holiday!