Thursday, December 11, 2014

Making Family Memories. Or Something Like That.

We all have those things we do for posterity's sake, especially around the holidays. Whether it's wrapping twenty-five books in preparation for the days leading up to Christmas, delivering cookies to neighbors because your Advent calendar told you to or traipsing through the freezing cold to cut down a Christmas tree, there are some things we do for the sake of family, friends and memory-making. 

For us, it's imperative that we cut down a Christmas tree. Neither my husband nor myself grew up with a fake tree but apparently in the Book of Being Married To Someone Else that alone means that for the rest of your lives together, you too, must also always have a real tree. (Unless by the grace of God you somehow convince him, with an Excel spreadsheet mind you, that you need a second tree and that one must be fake. Not like I would know anything about that). But the fact still remains that there must be one live Christmas tree in your house during the Christmas season and it must be cut down with your own two hands. Because, duh, memories.


And so, every year, whether we're a family of two, three or five, we meet up with my brother-in-law and his family and head out to a relatively nearby tree farm and seek out the perfect M Family Tree. Lest you continue to think this is an easy process, let me be the first to tell you that it is not. Especially if you're me and your married to my husband and you both have very differing ideas as to what your tree should look like. Soft needles versus prickly, tall and skinny versus short and fat. Blue Spruce versus a Douglas Fir. The list could go on. And if you happen to be married to a husband like mine, it's imperative that you inspect nearly every tree on the farm (and every needle on the tree) to be sure it's the perfect tree for your home.




All of this occurs while your eyeballs are freezing, you have a baby strapped to your chest and you're trying to keep tabs on two other children who are just the right height to take a tree saw to the face and/or get viciously lost among rows (and rows) of 8-9 foot trees. Again, not like I would know anything about that last part. On a positive note, much of Mt. Airy Maryland now knows my kids by their entire full names. 

"MACLANE ALLEN M----, GET OVER HERE RIGHT. NOW."

"Mom, we need a big, BIG one like this!"


Even though it's freezing cold and muddy and the boys are drawn to the mud like moths to a flame, I look forward to this adventure every year. When we first started doing this, Carter was barely toddling around. Now, nearly five years later, he's running between the rows of trees without a care in the world, encouraging his much less coordinated brother to do the same. Last year, my sister-in-law and I were so pregnant that we hitched a ride in a golf cart in order to make it back to our cars in one piece. This year was extra special, not only because we're celebrating our last first Christmas with baby Collins (don't even get me started on last first's) but also because it's Talia's, my niece's, First Christmas, too.



Could he look any sweeter?
If nothing else, it gives us all an excuse to throw on our cold weather boots and make some good ol' fashioned memories. What began with two sets of carefree feet has morphed over the years into to five sets of feet, some exhausted, some just learning to walk, some darting between trees and others bounding over leftover stumps. To think, next year the babies will be toddling along and perhaps our families will be growing once again. (Don't get any ideas, this baby maker is closed for business).   

from left to right
Columbia Women's Boots, Kids Feet UGG Lookalike, Boy's Tamarac SimilarTamarac Weather Boots
Our noses may have given Rudolph's a run for his money, our ears and fingertips stinging with cold but our feet were toasty warm thanks to Rack Room Shoes. Our entire family was outfitted with the perfect cold weather boots for this year's Tree Cutting Adventure. From toddler styles to little boys' styles, women's trendy boots with the fur to men's work boots, Rack Room Shoes has styles that are not only on trend but also made to fit the whole family. Even Collins found a pair of baby boots for himself but was much more comfortable in the thirty-four degree winds with a cozy baby bunting. Whether we were hiking up and down the fields of Christmas trees or back home playing in the snow flurries that started to fall, Rack Room Shoes had us doing so both in style and in comfort. 

The Rack Room Rewards program allows customers instant savings while other perks include discounts, coupons as well as $15 in rewards for every $200 spent. If you're looking to save big on today's popular styles in footwear, be sure to check out Rack Room Shoes. Their everyday BOGO 50% promotion on ALL styles always keeps me coming back for me. 

I did not receive financial compensation for this post. All opinions expressed above are honest and my own. I did receive free product in exchange for my opinions. 

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bloggers Holiday $1000 Giveaway!

I am teaming up with some of my favorite blogging friends to bring you a fantastic holiday giveaway! Whether you've finished your shopping or you've only just begun- I think it's safe to say that any one of us could use an extra $1000 dollars in their pocket this Christmas season!  
Holiday Giveaway Graphic
Your hosts for the giveaway are:


Use the Rafflecopter below to enter!
No purchase necessary to enter. 
This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by anyone other
than the individuals who are hosting. Good luck to all those who enter!
   

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Friday, December 5, 2014

12 Days of Toys Giveaway with The Chirping Moms


I'm so thrilled to be participating with The Chirping Moms in their 12 Days of Toys giveaway. They've had some great giveaways the last several days (including some from Land of Nod and Micro Kickboard) and I know they have some even greater surprises tucked up their stylish sleeves for later this week. All week long you can stay on top of their daily giveaways here


When I was asked to come up with a favorite toy to give away, I didn't think twice about the Original PlasmaCar. Each of my boys were gifted with their own PlasmaCar early last year and they have quickly become one of the top THREE toys played with in our household. What initially started as vehicles to race around the playroom quickly morphed into kid-powered cars that race up and down the driveway, sidewalks and even down to the neighborhood park. We love our PlasmaCars so much, in fact, that we often travel with them to and from the beach! 



No batteries, no gears, no pedals. Just kid-powered fun! This toy is intended for ages 3+ and is not suitable for use on wood floors. I do recommend that a helmet is worn while riding! 

Entry is simple. Please follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget below. Must be a US resident with a valid US mailing address to receive prize. No purchase necessary to enter although if you simply cannot wait to purchase your own PlasmaCar, you can do so here. Purchases do not increase your chance of winning. Good luck to all those who enter! 

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