Saturday, December 29, 2012

Who knew Santa brought black eyes and blizzards?! {Christmas Recap}

Our Christmas was anything less than awesome!
Like I said before, holidays are just so much more fun once you have kids to share them with.
We do not really have to be anywhere Christmas Eve day. It's kinda sad actually. I wish we did. Justin stayed home with the boys while I ran into work for a few hours to do payroll. Go figure payroll would fall on Christmas Eve. Oh well, I don't have it too bad where I work. ;)
So, later that night we headed out to a Christmas Eve gathering with Justin's family that was completed with Santa and Mrs. Claus stopping by.
Drew loved them. Dylan...not so much. The face in the picture gives it away. Ya see, Dylan is a crazy crazy kid, but when he is in front of a bunch of people he gets kinda shy.
Later that night we were presented with crazy face objects. This following picture just cracks me up. Dylan looks like a sad little clown.
And the hubs and I got into the crazy spirit...
Once we got home the boys were so excited to set out the milk and cookies for Santa. I would like to say that we were just so awesome in baking fresh cookies for Santa, BUT, we just grabbed cookies from our cookie jar. Hope Santa enjoyed those Chip Ahoy's! Sorry Santa.
I also had every intention of getting monogrammed pajamas for the kids. I found the perfect red, green, and white striped jammies I have been looking for at Hannah Anderson. Oopsie. Mommy forgot to order them. Darn it. So we got Old Navy polar bears and footballs instead.
I am sure it only bothered me. 
Here are the little kiddos all snugged in their beds Christmas Eve night...
FINALLY! Christmas is here!! I woke up to the most annoying text from my Mother "Santa Came! Santa Came! Wake up! Wake up!" Ugh. She used to drive me bonkers Christmas morning running around the house in like the most chipper mood ever.  I immediately replied "Still just as annoying as if I was at home."
Anywho, my Dad and step-mom joined us Christmas morning which was a nice surprise. Drew was totally into opening presents. Dylan, however ,was not. He wanted to me to open every single present for him.
Dylan eventually cheered up once he got to go outside and ride his big "digger" as I slaved away in the kitchen making a breakfast feast for the family. It's always nice to have company and I always cook an extra special breakfast Christmas morning even if it does not include Reindeer faces made out of pancakes.
Before we left for Justin's parents Christmas I was cleaning up the house a bit and got the vacuum out of the closet. I forgot to close the door. Dylan ran right smack dab into the door, cut his eye, and screamed bloody murder. He immediately began to get a black eye. Just perfect. He's a trooper though. 4 days later, that shiner is still there and blacker than ever!
It was a nice little Christmas morning we had. I missed my family on Christmas, but I was lucky to get to spend the whole weekend before Christmas with them.
We went to Justin's parents for lunch and more presents. I tell ya, between my parents, Justin's parents, Santa, and ourselves our kids are spoiled rotten. They are very lucky kids.
Justin's dad makes these reindeer for all of us to put in our yards. Their house is filled with lots more reindeer than ours. Reindeer for each person in the family.
I am still working on trying to figure out my camera. I think I have it figured out, but the types of pictures I want to get, call for some expensive lenses. My kids and husband may be getting tired of me all up in their face with my camera, but look at the awesome pictures I get!
After all the Christmas festivities it was time to go home, relax, play with all our new toys, and wait for the snow!
We had a blizzard warning for Christmas night and over the night. We woke up to 12 inches of snow!!!!
So parties, black eyes, and snow galore later, we still had a fantabulous Christmas!! I hope everyone had just as great one as ours!!!
Brista Barrington

Friday, December 28, 2012

Twas the weekend before Christmas...

We had a busy Christmas just like I am sure everyone does! Have to be here. Have to be there. Ugh. It's exhausting. But I swear, Christmas has never been more fun. Once you have kids I feel like the holidays just get 100 times better. And then I feel as they get older it becomes 1000 times better.
Not cheaper by any means. But better!!
We usually do my mothers Christmas on Christmas Day, but this year we switched it up a bit. Christmas Day is completely exhausting. We used to be rushed all day long. "We can only stay here so long because we have to be there. We gotta hurry Justin, we are going to be late!" Same thing, over and over and over. We were not enjoying OUR Christmas. The Christmas that is the most important. The Christmas were SANTA brings the gifts. Instead, we were pleasing others and not pleasing ourselves. SO, my mother decided to make it a little less stressful this year and have her Christmas the weekend before.
It was so nice. No rushing. We got to spend all day there. The kids played.
 It. Was. Awesome.
Thanks Mom!!
 It was the 1st time I was ever away from my family on Christmas and it was pretty sad, but made for a lot less hectic day.
This little guy always keeps me entertained as I am sure you have heard me say once or twice...
Presents are supposed to go on your head, right?
To say the boys loved their presents in an understatement... Can't ya tell?!?
You see this child here? He is OBSESSED with "diggers." Like totally-completely-obsessed. Ya know, like Drew is with WWE.
So, I am keeping this post about my kids, however, this special little girl holds a special little place in my heart. She loves her Aunt B. She was so excited because she got her 1st American Girl Doll for Christmas. She ended up coming and staying the night with us and that dolly slept right in between us all night. So sweet.
Thanks Mother for a fabulous Christmas!!
The next day we headed back to Harrisburg for my father's Christmas at the farm. It was such a beautiful day. The weather was just amazing. Sweatshirt and jeans kinda day. We shot guns, played a family game of kickball, and just sat by the fire. Very relaxing.
Don't be freaked out by the following pictures. They will consume of lots of deer heads, bear, fish, ducks, etc. My Dad is a freakishly obsessed hunter. It's out of control. Haha.
I would like to introduce to you Dylan and Quinton AKA BASH BROTHERS!!!
They are a hoot when they get together. Quite hilarious to just sit back and watch them.
And this big guy? I can't get enough of how handsome he is turning out to be.
He got his first gun for Christmas. BB gun that is. He loves loves loves it. And he did not shoot his eye out. Yet.
We had a great time spending the day at the farm. It is just such a relaxing, quiet place.
And we even got a picture of the whole fam dam...
Well, that's a wrap of the weekend before Christmas!! Whhewww...
I always love spending time with my family! My Dad lives in St. Louis (2 1/2 hours away) and the rest of my family live in Harrisburg, about 40 minutes away. It's only 40 minutes, but I do not get to see them as much as I would like to. That's a whole other sad sappy story!!!!
Next up?!?!
Christmas Recap that includes black eyes and blizzards!!
Brista Barrington

Friday, December 21, 2012

When did I sleep?

Last weekend was by far the most crazy busy weekend I think I have ever had.
Bunco. Christmas Parties. Birthday Parties. Ahhh..
I have no idea when I slept.
To add onto the busy weekend, it was also a tough emotional weekend as a Mother after what happened in Connecticut on Friday. We all wanted to hold our children so tight after the tragedy. It was hard to the leave the kids, but I know I can not keep them in a little bubble. (As much as I really really want to.)
Friday was Drew's Kindergarten Christmas Program. His program started right after I heard the news of the shooting. I was on edge and feeling so thankful yet guilty for getting to sit here watching my son perform as others did not even know if their child was alive.
Despite all of that, Drew was of course a cutie patootie. Singing and dancing away.
Then...I hosted a Bunco Party Friday night. Which meant cooking dinner for 12 gals. I cooked a yummy comfort food pasta dish.(Thought: I should share that recipe.)We get together once a month and play the fun dice game, Bunco. We all take turns hosting and cooking for one another. December is my month and of course I had to add a little party decor to the mix. I found these adorable FREE Bunco printables online and my mother in law made some awesome cupcakes and dice cookies.
I drank a lot of wine that night. I used my new Corkcicle. I was way too excited about this thing. Way overrated. But the wine went down smooth...I love me some wine.
The next morning a friend hosted our annual Housewife Kids Christmas. All of our friends that have kids get together and the kids draw names for one another. I mean, we are together all the time, so it's a fun little way for the kids to get to enjoy Christmas together.
The kids wear their Christmas PJ's, eat breakfast, make gingerbread houses, and open presents. It was a fun time.
Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to get a picture of all the kids smiling at the same time. This was the best I got out of like 20 pictures....
Next up? Nephew's birthday party. Drew had a blast. Peyton is a few years older than Drew but Drew ran around and played hockey, dodge ball, and wiffle ball right along with the older kids. He thought he was so cool.
Happy Birthday Peyton!
Afterwards we had a few hours to take a break. I decided to turn on the news and watch more of the shooting coverage. Bad idea. Emilie Parker's Dad began speaking and I lost it. I was in bed, curled up, crying like a baby. I couldn't help it. I felt so much pain for those poor parents and kids not even knowing who they were or having any relation at all. This put a damper on my night and I still had two more events to be at. I freshened up and got ready for my husband's work party.
Of course, it was so hard to leave the kids after having just watched the news. But I sucked it up and did it.
We had a fabulous dinner and a great time at Justin's work party. It was hosted at Walker's Bluff. One of my most favorite places to eat around here. So delicious.
Afterwards we had still yet one more party to attend. Our friend's host an annual Christmas Party where you either wear an ugly Christmas sweater or dress as a Christmas character. Last year, we were the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who. This year, we just simply were a Christmas Party couple. Boring. I know.
At this point I could barely keep my eyes open. I was so tired. Crying always makes me tired. All I wanted to do was be with my boys. So, that's exactly what I did. I went to my in laws and slept with my babies.
Finally, it was Sunday and one last birthday party! This party is going to get it's own post though since I helped my good friend Kellie with it. But here's the pretty party girl...
I ended up getting so many good pictures! How could I not though with such a beautiful little girl like this?! weekend is finally over. Or so I thought. Somehow I drummed up enough strength to meet my Mom and sisters to Christmas Shop. What the heck? Where did I get all this energy from?! I am so glad I did though because I finished a lot of shopping and I got to spend some time with my Mom and sisters.
Whooooweeee. What a busy weekend. How did I compile all of that into just a couple of pictures?!
I feel caught up on my life now! :)
This weekend we are heading home to my family's houses for Christmas! So excited to spend time with my family and celebrate the holidays!
And of course I am super excited for Santa to bring the kids their gifts!!!
This year I decided to keep a running total on exactly what I spent. WOW! Have you ever done that? Sickening.
BUT...I am just so happy to even be able to do what we do and also am so happy that the world did NOT end!! Hollllaaa!!!
Damn Mayans had me sick and awake all night. I do believe that God only knows, but I still thought "What if?" Thank goodness this day is almost over...
I hope everyone has a Merry Merry Christmas!!!
Brista Barrington

Where is my husband AND who took him?

Yesterday was probably the BEST anniversary Justin and I have ever had, BUT...
seriously, who took my husband and what did you do with him?
Like, for real. He never does the things he did yesterday.
We have always followed the traditional anniversary gift list. This year was simple. Flowers and fruit. So to my surprise I woke up with an extra present. It was a new ring. Jewelry! Something my husband never gets it. And let me tell you why. He bought a birthstone ring. A birthstone ring that is NONE of my family's birthstone. Well, I guess my baby sister is born in March, but why would I want her birthstone?? Haha. He said he thought the color was pretty. Lol...
Oh well, good try Justin. It's the thought that counts.
THEN--when I got home from work I had my favorite sitting on the counter beside my flowers. Chocolate covered strawberries. But don't let Ju kid ya. He had the help from a good friend on that idea. I put those babies out in like 2 seconds. Yum.
After work we spent a fabulous hour at Drew's basketball practice. It was so romantic....
(insert sarcasm)
We did get to a have a nice, quiet little dinner just the two of us. Afterwards we grabbed a few items to cook for Christmas breakfast and some stocking stuffers and headed home. I guess whenever you have two kiddos things do not get much more romantic than that.
BUT THEN...after the kids went to bed Justin starts yelling at me to come down to the living room. I was so annoyed. I mean, I was trying to finish up the X-Factor and see who won. I was like 10 minutes away from seeing who the winner was.
When I walked down there, he had two glasses of wine, lit candles, and MORE strawberries.
How sweet?!
Props to Papa Bear on this anniversary. He did make it a real special one.
Of course, you have to reminisce and go back through your wedding photos...
Justin and I are not in the following photo, but it is still to this day one of my favorites from the wedding! We have a great, funny group of friends...
So thanks for an amazing anniversary yesterday!! Here's to many more years to come!
Brista Barrington

Monday, December 17, 2012

I just can't...

I was going to post today a wrap up of our crazy, busy weekend. But I feel like, well, I just can't.
There are mothers out there who had the most horrible weekend of their lives losing their sweet children. I could never imagine. I would never wish that on my worst enemy. The pain they are going through, my goodness, it just breaks my heart into a million pieces.
Probably 45 minutes after I heard of the shootings I was to be at my Kindergarten son's Christmas Program. I sat there so thankful, yet feeling so sad that I get to sit here and watch my son perform his Kindergarten sing while others are going through possibly the worst time in their life. Right at the same time I am listening to Drew sing and perform while others were finding out that their child may have been killed.
There are just no words. I do not know anyone related to the shootings, but yet feel so much pain and sorrow for them. I sat in my bed sobbing on Saturday, literally bursting into tears.
This weekend was a very busy weekend for us, however, all my head was thinking was about those poor innocent children. And those heartbroken parents.
Then, I would also feel anger, hatred toward the horrible monster that did this. Who could do such a thing?! I had to stop reading everything, watching TV, reading Facebook comments. I just had to.
Gun control. Mental illness. Opinions after opinions.
I prayed a million times this weekend. I am one to hug and kiss my kids a gizzillion times a day. I tell them I love them a bazillion times a day. This weekend, I did it even more than normal.
You just really never ever know and that is why I never take a day for granted. That is why I hug and kiss and tell my kids I love them as many times as I do. I never go to sleep without the I love you's and slobbery kisses. And now, there are many mommy and daddy's out there who will never get to do that again.
I just can not wrap my head around what they are going through. I just can not do it.
I, as I am sure many others parents, this morning felt very scared, guilty, sad, sick to my stomach dropping the kids off at school. I know it is going to get better. I know it is all in God's hands.
But we all who did get to drop off our kids at school this morning should all be thankful that we get another day to do so.
I will continue to keep on praying for the shooting victims and families. I will also pray we can find a resolution to these horrible tragedies and somehow try to prevent them. And I will continue to be thankful I get another day with my kiddos.
To my boys: I will never ever be able to tell you how much you fill up my heart with love. As Drew would say: I love you to the left. to the right. to the moon. to the sun. up. down. to infinity and beyond. And most importantly...
"I love you a million times!"
And little stinker:  I will take your: " I love you three times!" any day! :)
Brista Barrington

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tis the Season TO PUT A RING ON IT!

Can I get a WOOT WOOT!!!
Kreig has finally decided to put a ring on it. Holllaaa!!!! It's about darn time Kreigy boy!
Last night, Kreig finally popped the question to my younger, middle, prettier sister, Brittany!
I mean seriously they have dated for what seems like forever.
So what if we have already been planning the wedding. That's what girls do, right?!
She is the last sister to get married. Kinda sad. No more weddings to plan after this one...
But we are going to have a blast planning it. I am pretty sure that she is going to be more of a Bridezilla than Brandy was. Like, totally positive that's how it's going to go down.
Luckily, she has an amazing older (and by old, I mean forever 29) sister who is going to help her. Lord help me.
Isn't this literally the cutest picture you have ever seen?!?! I can not get enough of it. The upside down sign is just perfect. Love love love love love it.
I love that Kreig incorporated the kiddos into the proposal. Well done Kreig, well done.
And isn't her ring just gorgeous?! Just what she wanted. Again, well done Kreig.
So a big CONGRATULATIONS goes out to Brittany and Kreig!!
We video chatted after the proposal and I have honestly never seen her so happy. So that makes me a super happy sister!
I am very happy for the both of you. And I am very happy that I do not have to stress about a speech this go around. Phewww... That's all you Brandy! :)
And while I'm at it, a totally unrelated picture. But isn't this picture so darling of my niece and nephew?
Brista Barrington

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

From Our Family to Yours...

From Our Family to Yours...
Justin, Brista, Drew, & Dylan...
(excuse the not so clear picture of the card. i had to take a picture of the picture...)
Brista Barrington

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Oh Christmas Time...

I love love love Christmas time!!
It's my most favorite time of the year. It is such a happy, lovey time.
I would have Christmas decor up all year long if I could. Something about the smells, the decor, all of it makes me so giddy.
Our town hosts a Christmas in Carterville celebration that is by far my most favorite thing to do in this town. Last year was the first year, but I could not wait to do it again this year.
There is so much for the kiddos to do all along the street.
Write letters to Santa...
Mail their letters to Santa..
And of course, Meet Santa Claus. The boys were super duper excited. And I swear, this Santa was really good. He named exactly everything that Dylan wanted. I started to become a believer...;)
Dylan's favorite was getting his face painted.
He made a pretty cute little Rudolph if I do say so myself.
I love that we have something like this in our community for the kids each year.
I have started just a little bit more Christmas Shopping. I seriously just made a date with my mother in law to go shopping on December 23. Yes, two days before Christmas. I'm crazy. I know. Nothing like waiting until the last minute!
We also had my work party last night which was a blast. We played Dirty Santa and I strategized to win a Corkcicle. To say I was excited is an understatement. I'm a huge wine drinker and Oprah (who I don't even like) recommended this product.
And we also met Santa...
This upcoming weekend is going to be full of lots and lots and lots of activities. Like I have no idea when I am going to have time to sleep.
Brista Barrington