Christmas Day 2018

Finally. After 364 days of anticipation, Christmas Day arrived. AND. SO. DID. SANTA!!

I may or may not have peed my pants a little due to all the excitement, so first, I needed a wardrobe change. But before I could pull my dry, new bottoms up to my waist, I was off to admire all the gifts, then checked the cookie plate for evidence of Santa, and immediately ran downstairs to wake up Genesee!

“It’s Christmas, it’s Christmas,” I proclaimed.

After ripping through more gifts than our little hearts could handle, we moved the party to Grandma & Grandpa’s house, where we were greeted with a cheesy-meaty-potatoey breakfast casserole and discovered more mountains of presents!

Eventually, we made the return to our newly-cleaned house with slippery floors to host family for a Christmas lupper (lunch + supper). And after consuming generous portions of bacon-wrapped smokies, ham & pickle pinwheels, cheese-curd-stuffed meatballs, homemade mac n’ cheese, green bean casserole, and brandy slush, we moved our bellies to the living room for a gift exchange and an Incredibles 2 movie screening.

I love Christmas Day! And not just because of all the material goodies, although Genesee sure adores that doll (among other cute toys) and I am thoroughly enjoying my UPS truck, John Deere combine, Legos, phone case, pop socket, water-squirting camera, remote-controlled all-terrain street thrasher, board games, train car, fidget spinners, and art projects, and I also surely appreciate that cash from Papa, iTunes money, Chuck E Cheese gift card and tickets to a February Traxxus Monster Truck Tour (just to name a few gifts)!!

But I also love this holiday because, when I come up for air between playing with one new toy and running to the next, I love seeing how Christmas brings together so many loved ones under one roof… smiling, chatting, and snacking like there’s no tomorrow. Because nobody can watch movies, compete in Wii Sports, and play board games like my family can. And because my family snuggles better than your family. And because the family that hoverboards together, stays together.

It was, indeed, a merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve 2018

This Christmas Eve marked my parents’ 14th wedding anniversary. In celebration of this joyous occasion, my parents deep-cleaned the hardwood floors, vacuumed all the carpet, dusted every noticeable surface, de-fingerprinted all the glass and stainless steel, frantically threw every loose article, stray toy, and all un-filed paperwork into the office/closet, and then ordered me and sis to NOT. TOUCH. ANYTHING. I thought it was a strange way to spend the day, but to each their own.

Once mom and dad were done celebrating their anniversary, we put on our fancy clothes to take pictures in front of the tree before heading to Garrett & Morgan’s house for a Christmas Eve party! I demanded no bowtie because “I refuse(d) to look handsome.” Mom respected my wishes, and although she said I looked handsome despite the banned bowtie, I do think I was outdone by Genesee’s cute dress. (Thanks to Ashlee & Julie’s shopping skills!)


It was so exciting to break-in Morgan & Garrett’s new place! And by “break,” I don’t mean “destroy all their nice things,” although that did almost happen during a competitive game of Keep-Away. A few times. Too many.

Luckily, with no broken décor or broken bones, we all survived the fun of the night! Then, we eagerly returned home and left milk and cookies on the table to lure Santa to our tree, before snuggling into our pillows.

I’m pretty sure I fell asleep smiling.

Moving on up

Throughout the last couple of months, I’ve attended Friday morning swim lessons at the Y. Mom and Dad enroll me every time a session becomes available, and their money seems to be well-spent because I’ve grown into a more comfortable, more confident, stronger swimmer! In fact, I’ve started testing the waters without a float belt and Mr. Henry recommended me to graduate to the next stage: Stroke Introduction. Although Level 4 doesn’t qualify me for the Olympics just yet, it does officially make me a better swimmer than mom!

Turn of events

It was only happy and jolly until we experienced a turn of events.

First, Genesee caught a cold. And although that girl is no stranger to illness, there’s something particularly heartwrenching about seeing a loved one feel sick during the holiday season.

Then, just as G seemed to be on the up and up, her teething adventures created some crappy situations – literally. The worst was when she woke up with poop up her back, on her pillow, near her mouth, and all over the crib. Mom called it a “sh#!@y morning.”


Then, out of nowhere, I caught a stomach bug and “lost my cookies” all over mom, myself and the lobby area of the hair salon I was visiting. Oops. It wasn’t a cute look, and with no spare clothes in the vehicle, we had to sit in my puke for 25 minutes until Authrene came to the rescue. Now, that’s a good friend!

Getting sick two more times that night scored me a stay-home Monday with Mom, who followed my every step with a bucket, even though I had since made a full recovery. But, if she was going to treat me like a sicky-butt, I was going to take full advantage of it… So, I stole some mom snuggles, ordered breakfast in bed, and then convinced mom to accompany me in some easy-on-the-stomach activities, like ALL. OF. THE. PUZZLES.

I think we’ve earned some healthy days ahead.

Rotary Light Show

Nothing says Christmas quite like La Crosse’s Rotary Lights Display. So, when Friday arrived, we met Dad at his downtown office, bundled ourselves up, and then speed-walked our way to Riverside Park.

Seasonably mild temperatures + minimally crowded sidewalks + magically-lit skies + a sparkling Mississippi River + happy, jolly souls = Perfect conditions for exploring the Rotary Lights.

Know what else was perfect? Visiting with Santa (again!) and asking him if he’s been good. That’s right, I turned the tables (and flustered him) because someone needs to hold Santa accountable.

And after admiring every impressive corner of the park, we skipped back to the car, placed a carry-out Pizza Corral order, and then headed for home to enjoy a romantic family dinner by our cozy, malfunctioning fireplace.

These are the moments that make waiting for Christmas worth it.

CTH Holiday Open House 2018

When it comes to Christmas, my school doesn’t mess around.

During our annual Holiday Open House, every family arrived in seasonal pajamas and every classroom, decorated from ceiling to floor, was equipped with a fun activity or a delicious treat. Additionally, there was a live concert every 20 minutes, featuring the cutest and most distracted carolers you’ve ever seen! Genesee’s class sang Jingle-Bell-Rock (with no help from my sister who ran off stage as soon as she spotted Dad), and I did the Reindeer Pokey like nobody’s business. Plus, we got to meet & greet Mr. Snowman, Mr. Reindeer, AND my main man, Santa!!

It was awesome! I made the most of what every room had to offer while Genesee trained for a marathon throughout the hallways. On one of her laps, however, she seemed to learn a new move called the “hug.” She’s never been the affectionate type, but the holiday spirit must have moved her when she saw her little friend, Annalia. Everyone thought it was soooo cute… until Genesee pushed Annalia to the ground when the hugging session concluded. How embarrassing!

Needless to say, my bully sister will likely make an appearance on the naughty list. But better Genesee than me… I can’t afford any missteps; I’ve got high hopes for all my circled toys in the latest Target catalog.

Thanks for the fun night out, Children’s Tree House!