Category Archives: Tales of a Working Mom

It happened so fast….

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This year went by so incredibly fast. I can’t believe that I have one year of administration under my belt. I have to say…I LOVED every minute of it. Every discipline case, every drama filled story that entered my office, every tear that students shed (I partook in a few) and most of all the laughter that occurred. I attribute all of it to the amazing staff I work with, that I proudly call my friends. Our office staff is full of goofball, silly, hardworking, loving people. I have learned not only the ins and outs of administration from an awesome principal, but I have also learned to laugh at situations (the “cray-crays” as we call them) and to laugh at myself more. I dare you to step into our office and hold back a smile. It’s impossible. We have more fun….productive fun that is, than dare I say any other campus in our district; maybe I’m just a bit biased.

I can say that there seriously has not been one day this year when I have woken and said, or merely thought, ugh, I have to go to work today! It has not happened…and believe me, I have had some humdinger days….cray-cray parents verbally attack me, goofy kids refusing to abide by rules, the never ending ARD meeting, and the awesome world of STAAR.

I attribute my happiness to God. I did my fair share of praying about a fulfilling career. I prayed that I would get a position as an Assistant Principal at my previous district and when that didn’t work out, I was crushed. I thought, what will I do….I can’t leave what I know! What I forgot to do was put my trust in God and know that He knows what I need. My prayers were really being answered and now I see that loud and clear.

Now it is time to enjoy my summer. Prepare to welcome Baby Hill into the world….those are a whole new set of blogs to come, and focus on the fam! It will not be long before I go back to a new set of kiddos and a new adventure in the world of Ninth Graders come August!

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It’s that time of the year….

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Stress

Churning in my stomach

Sleepless nights

Stress

YEP…it’s testing season. And those are just the emotions I am feeling. I can not begin to imagine what my Freshman are going through. In the next two weeks, my sweet baby Freshman will have to recall EVERYTHING they have learned (or were suppossed to learn) not only for my class, but for 2 other classes.

When did the value of education get reduced to the performance on a test on a single day.

Sad day

Why? Will we ever know…

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I know that the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy is on everyone’s mind. This morning it was on the news and mentioned on several of the radio stations I listen to in the morning. The victims were honored at a memorial last night and many of the children were being buried today.

As a member of the education world and a mom, I feel like I am affected by this times 2. I try not to watch or read too much because the senseless event breaks my heart too much; however, I feel like I need to stay attuned to the details because I too am an employee of a school system who is not immune to such tragedies.

I sit here and wonder what in life is so terrible that a person had to open fire on children and adults…but seriously…children. What purpose is there in killing a group of 6 and 7 year olds. What makes me even angrier is that the man took his own life and we may never know the answers to questions.

Moms hug your children extra tight tonight. Spend a little extra time with them. Teachers and administrators….spend some time making sure your campus is up to date with lock down information, drills and safety precautions.

I pray for the parents, family and friends of all those victims. The courageous heroes that died protecting their students and the innocence taken.

And the award goes to….

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ME!!!! It’s ME!!!  I won!!!

I found out that I am known as the MEANEST teacher in the high school. I can not tell you how happy that makes me.  OKAY OKAY…let me explain.

The upper classmen have told the freshmen that I am the meanest and hardest teacher…little do they know that I actually love every single one of them. I just have high expectations. Such as

NO you may not use a pencil in my class….use pen. Be confident in what you write. Make it legible and stand by it.

NO you may not say what  and yeah in my class…you may say excuse me  and yes ma’am. get use to being polite. It is what society expects.

NO you may not say ugly words in my class such as suck, hate, shut up…I loathe those words…increase your vocabulary.

NO I do not allow you to sleep in my class…what I am saying is important and rudeness is not tolerated.

YES you may have snacks in my room…I understand that you are growing teenagers and I have no idea if you ate dinner last night or breakfast this morning…just clean up after yourself…and try and make it a healthy snack!

YES I understand that you also have a life and responsibilities outside of Room 102…talk to me, I am human and I understand that you may not have finished your homework last night because you had to babysit…AGAIN.

YES I care about you…I want you to succeed and become a contributing member to society.

Little so they know that I do care and all of my meanness will be understood later in life.

1st week here and gone

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Well, it’s nearly over. I can’t believe how fast the first week of school went. I have the feeling that this is going to be a great year. I forget how awesome freshman are. I haven’t taught them since my first year….7 years ago. The innocence mixed with cockiness (trying to compensate for being low man on totem pole) is interesting to watch.

Is it just me or do 14-15 year olds seem smaller than they were ten years ago???

I promised some interesting stories…sorry to say that nothing has been noteworthy quite yet. I do have a student who I plan on making my top priority. He is a student that puts up a lot of defensive…acts hard (tough) but I think there is more than mets the eye. We will call him “J.”  I hope to see him positively improve over the course of the year.

P.S.  Thank goodness for Advocare’s SPARK…not sure I could have made it through 2pm without one. Teachers….this stuff is your friend. One little packet gives you awesome energy and mental focus without feeling jittery and its sugar free. Contact me and I can share more about it. SPARK comes in 6 delicious flavors!!!

Teachers….start your engines

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And we are off…..
For many of us in the world of education, Monday is the day! I say that with an exclamation point because I am so ready for Monday to come. I can not wait to see the awesome kids that I will be teaching. I can not wait for the sound of chatter and lockers slamming during passing period. I can not wait to have lunch with my fellow co-workers. I am so excited!!

I am that teacher that gets excited about in-service, but I am happy it’s over and we can start doing what we were chosen to do- impact students’ lives, educate our future leaders and spread hope and love to those that so desperately seek (need) it. Remember why we do it. It is ultimately ALL for the students…even the “bad” ones.

I am sure I will have funny stories this year, as I am teaching all freshman…don’t worry, I will share them!
Have a great school year and thank you again for taking the time to read my thoughts!!

Thankful Thursday….not many will admit it but…

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There are not a whole lot of moms out there that will openly admit what I am about to….I am very thankful for the fact that I have a job outside of the house! Let me clarify… I have the utmost respect for the moms that work in the home. That in itself is one tough job.

This is the first summer that I have stayed home in my 6 years of teaching…no summer school, no summer job….nothing. Home with a 3 and 1/2 year old and a teething 1 year old.  My nerves are shot and my house is not clean.  I entertain and love on my kids all day…there is no time for cleaning. When they nap, I workout,shower and grab a little tiny nap myself.

I am on a 3 week count down until I go back to work.  I personally am a better mom because I do get out of the house everyday.  My patience level is better and I am super excited to see mykids when I get home.

My thankful point today….that I am a working mom!!!

What is your thankful point for today?

It’s nearly over

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Summer break is quickly drawing to a close. At the beginning of this break I realized…in the nine years my hubs and I have been together, this is the first summer that I have had completely off. That means…NO summer school, NO work, NO pregnancy, and NO newborns.

I actually have been able to enjoy the summer with no limitations!!!

We have had such an amazing one. Took the kids to the coast (big big beach) for the first time. Monkey loved the waves and Buggy loved eating the sand!!!

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We have made time to have picnics on our boat on the lake (little beach).

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The hubs and I have had plenty of date nights just enjoying ourselves and focusing on us. Late night boat cruises, golf games and an occasional night on the town.

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One of my favorite things we have done this summer is to make it a point to get together every Sunday for swimming and grilling. Friends and family bring sides and suits and just relax. It is so awesome to try everyone’s different concoctions for the week.
Some of them have been:
Peaches and Cheese

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Black bean, avocado, and corn salad

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Quinoa salad

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Whole wheat pasta and veggie salad

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Summer Beer

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Mostly served with pork tenderloin or HEB salmon burgers….YUMMY!!!

It has been an incredible summer. It will be bittersweet when it is over. I miss working…I miss the kiddos and adult interaction…HOWEVER, I will miss my children a lot. I was blessed to get to see Buggy start walking and Monkey develop into the epitome of a 3 year old boy!!!

I have a few weeks left and I plan to fill them to the brim!!!

Love and life!!

It happened again!!!

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I am so overly excited! An article that I wrote was published in a magazine. Many of you may remember how excited I was back in Dec/Jan when my first article was published. They asked me to write again and I did and they published it!!! So fun!!! As I type, a friend of mine is working on the illustrations for my first children’s book. I will keep you all posted as that occurs. One step closer to being a WRITER!

And then there was Wednesday….

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So I actually had the opportunity to take the day off with my children while they were healthy…there was no fever, coughing, throwing up or drippy runny noses. It was just me and the kiddos. And I have to tell you it was absolutely perfect. I did have an almost 3 year-old pee all over the floor BUT he was SOOOO proud because he was standing up “just like daddy!” I couldn’t be mad. I just cleaned up the mess and sat him down to finish. Ladybug and I got to play on the floor and she nearly crawled. I would have been so stoked to have seen her crawl for the first time.

That’s when I realized that it more than likely will not be me that sees many of her “firsts.” Just like it wasn’t me that witnessed many of Monkey’s firsts. I AM truly blessed that MiMi is there in my absence as opposed to daycare. But my goal is to find a way to stay at home with my kids! It is my mission!

So then there was Wednesday morning…on the ride to work I was sullen, I admit it…near pouting. The hubs kept asking what was wrong. I resorted to say “nothing” because ultimately he just doesn’t understand the intense burn I have in my heart to be with my kids. So I just pray!

I am quite lucky, that until I fulfill my dream, I have a great job teaching really good kids….they just aren’t mine!

Dare I say, what’s next?

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As I finished my last test for my Masters degree on Saturday…an 8 hour one at that, I sat at the computer and exhaled very loudly. I was done! I sat back, opened a cold beer to celebrate and thought about all that I had done in the past 3 years. It was at that point that I realized, I AM TIRED! Not just tired from sitting at a computer screen, but physically and mentally tired from my activities for the past 3 years. Some one asked me….how have you balanced everything? The term “everything” is being used to include 2 pregnancies, 2 babies, being a wife of a coach,a full-time teacher with several sponsorships at the high school level, AND graduate school. With that, I bring you this blog explaining how I have attempted to make like work for the past 3 years. Disclaimer – I am not an expert on balancing life…this is just how it worked out for me.

FAITH!!! Without faith in my God and myself, there is no way I could have made it. There were so many times that I would sit at my computer and just cry, knowing that I had a paper or project due and I was completely exhausted from being up with one or both of the kids. I prayed a lot for serenity and patience…and I made it.

FAMILY!!! I am not sure I would have been able to accomplish even a fraction of what I have if it were not for my family…more specifially my mom and my husband. So many times I had classes or duties on Saturdays or in the evenings and not once did my mother hesitate taking my babies. She is a God-send and I am so blessed to have her in my life (ok…mom, I know that you are tearing up now but you have to stop so that you can read the rest!) My husband – he helped all that he could with the kids, but his schedule is so demanding that it was not always possible. The amazing ways he helped me keep my sanity was by taking me out for date nights, or surprising me with spa days, and more importantly…keeping me stocked with my favorite wine so I could unwind at the end of the day. He will never know the extent to which I love and appreciate him.

FRIENDS!!! Without the occasional girls night, or even just a rant fest on the phone, I would have gone insane. I have a great core group of girls. We may not see or talk to each other on a daily basis, but I know that they are there when I need them. All have taken a turn watching my kids or running an errand for me. We all love each other and I am complete because of them!

AND OF COURSE WINE!!! It sounds funny, but so true. There were so many nights were I would be worried or wired from endless hours of homework, job duties or just everyday events, that I NEEDED to enjoy a nice glass of wine to relax. Some of my favorite nights included putting the kids down for bed and sitting on the couch with the hubs and a glass of wine…just talking. So relaxing and romantic!

Now that my chaotic 3 years are coming to a close…culminating on Dec 17th as I cross the stage, I sit here and ponder the question “What do I do now?” I am so used to the hustle and bustle that I am afraid that I will get bored. I have decided that it is time to start back up on NormalGirlArt, write A LOT, read lots of books for fun, and maybe have another kid. 🙂 we shall see.

I definitely felt the love today.

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Last Friday I found out that I passed my principal exam. I opened the email in my classroom and jumped and shouted for joy when I saw the word “PASS”. My 5th graders were super stoked for me. I guess they were more excited than I thought because I came back from lunch today to a surprise “Congrats” party in my honor. They had contacted the hubs to take me to lunch while they decorated my room.

Bought me a cake:

 

 

Gave me a massage

 

And even made shirts in my honor.

 

How sweet are they???!!!???? I definitely felt the love today.

Catch up…again!

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Life has been super busy and a super blessing. I can not apologize for not writing as much, seeing as how I am spending all my extra time with my family. At this point blogging requires me to get up before the rest of the house and let’s face it, that does not happen often. I would like to catch my readers up on what is going on in the life of a normal girl…

Work – Fifth grade is turning out to be not so bad. I have a special place in my heart for this age group. They are so torn…to act like big kids and not wanting to grow up. They try to act tough but are sent to tears so easily. I have fallen in love with one of my kiddos. I ask the hubs on a daily basis if we can adopt him. His home life is not so great, mom is facing prison time and an elderly grandma has custody of him and should not be responsible for him due to her health. I pray about it all the time. I did ask his grandma if the hubs and I can take him to TCU games and Keene games, seeing as he is a BIG sports fan. She was so excited with my offer.

School – Ladies and gentlemen…I have 2 class days left until my graduate school career is over…for now anyway. I finish on October 29th, first of two tests on Nov 12. and Graduation on Dec 17th. I can’t believe that it is nearly done!!! AMEN!

Faith – I have recently volunteered to lead a small group for my church. I am so excited. I got up early this morning to start preparing and I am stoked. I have wanted to do this for a while but my schedule has not allowed it until now. Please keep me in your prayers as I prepare for this new endeavor. I feel that the Lord has led me to this and I want to glorify Him.

Family – The hubs is doing good. This is such a busy time for him and we don’t get to see him as much as we would like during the week. Basketball season is getting closer and we all couldn’t be happier. I am pretty sure Maddox is a gym rat in the making. I took the kids to the gym for a fall league game…and to see daddy. As soon as we left the gym she started crying; when we returned she stopped. Awesome! Jax was the same way. My kids love noise…that is a great thing for a mom and coach’s wife! Maddox just turned 3 months and is so incredibly happy all the time. She is holding her head up on her own…most of the time. She is a talker and loves to smile. Jax is battling the wonderful allergy season but otherwise doing very well. He loves going to school and is learning so much. The stuff that comes out of his mouth is astounding. I love every minute of it.

I am not going to make any promises as to how much I will write. I will say that I would like to write weekly. A “thankful Thursday” piece. We shall see. I wish everyone a wonderful day, week, etc. Until next time….

If you haven’t done so, please subscribe to recieve my posts automatically. Look for the RSS button or enter your email! Thanks and much love.

Friday at last – namaste

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As I finally have time to sit at my computer, I find myself asking, well….myself, “how are you supposed to become rich and famous a known blog writer if you never make time to blog?” Welcome to my world. I need to find the time….as well as the time to exercise, properly fix my hair, drink more water and well….let’s just add sleep to that list too.

Reflecting back on the past couple of weeks, I have realized that a LOT has been going on. As many of you know I have started teaching 5th grade. It is a big difference from high school and I am still trying to figure out if I like it as much. I adore the kids but the incessant questions that occur on a daily basis, well that kind of wears me down. That is when I have to take a moment to breathe and remember…they are only 10. However, if one more of those sweet little darlings asks me when I am going to have my baby, I will grab them by their ears and fling them gently tell them that it is not polite to ask those sorts of questions. This is where namaste comes in…

My awesome SIL has introduced me to yoga again. I say again because I have done yoga before, but NOTHING to this caliber. I absolutely love it. I find myself thinking about it all the time…or not thinking about anything, which is what you are supposed to do to relax and meditate. Namaste is a greeting or salutation.

With a great weekend ahead…date night, massage and time with the family (hopefully a yoga class thrown in) I wish you all loads of love and laughter

NAMASTE

What helps you unwind and find solace during a hectic day?

 

The results of the storm and housekeeping…..

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On Monday I arrived at worked a bit puzzled to see that half of the school lights were out and the AC was not functioning properly. The storm the night before did not cross my mind seeing as how I slept through the ENTIRE thing. It must have been worse by the school because it blew half the power out. My day at school lasted until 10ish when the power company had to shut down the remaining power so that it would not surge and BLOW up the school….well, that may be a bit dramatic. 

With that said …..my day ended and I was free to go home and start working on my grad school work….YEAH RIGHT!!! I have a two-year old I rarely get a whole day off with so I spent it with him and my mom. We went to lunch, shopping, playground play and lounged in the pool. What an awesome way to spend a Monday!

Tuesday morning rolls around…I was secretly wishing for another day off and……I GOT IT! This time the hubs got to stay home with us too. We took the top off the jeep, packed a lunch and headed to a drive through wildlife park! How fun was that. It took Jax a bit to warm up to the fact that large animals were coming up to our vehicle and some greedy enough to put their head in in search of food. He squirmed, took a handful of food threw it and yelled….GO AWAY ANIMAL. Through tears he would tell them bye-bye as we drove to the next herd. He said he loved it. I will take his word for it. It was a great experience.  I asked my hubs to start making more money so we  I could do this on a daily basis with Jax. (I’m not holding my breath!)

So, thank you to Oncor energy for not being able to get the electric situation fixed, although, my heart and prayers go out to those who lost homes and had extensive damage due to the storm.

housekeeping……

  • GREAT DAY today…..I sent in my application for Graduate studies graduation. I will be walking the stage in Dec of this year!!! How exciting! I have one class this summer and one class this fall and then I AM DONE!!!!!!
  • Today marks the third day of renovation to the downstairs bedroom and bath. I will soon have new sleeping quarters and Maddox will have her nursery! I was praying that this would all be completed before she arrived and I do believe it will!!! In the renovation, I have no internet so my postings may be sparse for a few days…hopefully not weeks!
  • I have completed two projects for NormalGirlArt. I will be posting pictures soon. (see lack of internet bullet above) NormalGirlArt is my attempt to channel my artistic ideas. I have started with clipboards…painting and decorating . I hope to expand to other pieces such as frames, crosses and paper weights. If you are interested in pieces, please let me know.

Crazy with a side of OMG

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Have you had those days when you think “Can I really do it all?” Well, I have recently been having WEEKS like this. I have this issue I like to call  “Justcan’tsayno-itis”. I am pretty sure that it is a real condition, however I have yet to find research discussing it…..OH NO…I said research. –> Cold sweat, achy head, nervous twitch…all brought on by a research proposal paper that I have due and have yet to understand. I am trying very diligently to keep to my mantra of “it’s not about perfect, it’s about not quitting” (see entry from April 4th)

Along with grad school nightmares, it is TAKS testing season at school. At the high school level we are TAKS testing, End-of-course field testing and TELPAS testing..in the month of APRIL. Sorry teachers that you don’t have jobs any longer, the state of Texas decided to use $30 million dollars to create yet another standardized test for the students, instead of keeping teachers to actually teach the kids. There are literally 8 days of testing in the next month. 8 days of grueling, silent standardized tests for our students. Poor guys…I feel so bad for them.

So this is me Crazy with a side of OMG.

I have recently been told this AMAZING information about my issues with saying no by a dear friend of mine. She told me that when I say no to one person, I am really saying yes to something/someone else, ie: No to cheerleading duty this year….yes to quality time at the game with my family. It’s all about perception. This is really helping me with feeling guilty about lighting my work load and enjoy time with the fam!

So what do I do with myself during these crazy times??? I do a lot of praying, organizing and relaxing when I can.

What are some of your coping techniques when things are going crazy?

Well…so I thought

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 I am going to start this with a disclaimer….this post was not written with the intention of getting pity comments. This is just a girl being honest with herself!

THESE ARE MY THOUGHTS LAST NIGHT ON THE WAY HOME FROM CLASS: The more I attend my graduate classes for principal certification, the more I realize that I do not fall into the category of an “excellent teacher.” I often times do not have EVERYTHING ready for class at the beginning. There are many times when my objectives are not clearly defined on the board. What I do know is that my kids GET IT. Their test scores reflect it and at the end of the year I can look back and reflect…whew, that was a tough one, BUT we made it.

MY THOUGHTS AS OF THIS MORNING: I am okay with being what the text calls “mediocre.” I stress too much on being a textbook excellent teacher. Working in a small district, I wear many hats. I would literally go insane if I had to be excellent in all that I do. I have come to this conclusion and I am OKAY with it. I would much rather be a mediocre (according to textbook) teacher than a mediocre mom.

To be an excellent teacher, I would have to spend hours at school perfecting my lesson plans, making sure all ducks are in a row, all objectives are clearly stated on the board, creating a plan that encompassed all 50 minutes of each period. I would rather know that what I am teaching is solid, although it may not be posted on the board. I would rather see the understanding in my kids eyes and on their tests, than stress about what my lesson book looks like.

By coming to this conclusion, I have realized I may be a mediocre teacher BUT I am an excellent wife and mother. My husband and my son know that I will be home to take care of them at the end of the day. There is a hot meal on the table, a warm bath drawn at night and mom is not too tired to play,love and enjoy our time together.

It is all about choices. Some may not agree with mine, but I have to realize that that is okay! I love my life and I know looking back years from now, my family will not have suffered.

 

Spring Break

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What an amazing week! It was filled with a whole lot of nothing…and I enjoyed every minute of it. Needless to say, Monday back at work was a bit difficult. I was used to getting up around 7am; this morning’s 5am alarm seemed louder than normal.

Jax was completely content on me leaving. He was way into Sesame Street to notice that I would be leaving him for the entire day. I am going to go ahead and blame that on being two and not grasping the entire ‘leaving for the whole day’ concept. He simply said “bye mama” and away I went to work.

To my surprise, my first day back at work hasn’t been completely terrible. I enjoyed seeing and visiting with my colleagues again. Listening to their relaxing Spring Break stories and joking around was a nice welcome back.

Is it too early to count down the days to graduation…hence, the beginning of summer vacation?????

This is why I love Stella & Dot

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I know many of you have heard me talk about or seen me wearing the jewelry line Stella & Dot.

I was looking to make a few extra bucks, but it wasn’t until my sister-in-law introduced me to Stella & Dot, I realized that I could make a few extra dollars, have great jewelry and spend time with great ladies.

Upon first hearing about it, many people say…”ugh, that pyramid scheme will get you no where.” I’m here to tell you….this is not the pyramid company of the 70s everyone remembers. And the Wall Street Journal said it all in their article. http://emoney.allthingsd.com/20110110/sequoia-bets-37-million-on-modern-day-mary-kay-stella-dot/?mod=ATD_search

Read it and enjoy! I am so proud of this company and the ladies that it helps!

Happy New Year!!!!

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SO….I know that I said that I would blog more and I really did mean it. It just amazes me how life just jumps right in and gets in the way. One of my New Years’ resolutions (that I don’t intend to break) will be to write more. So we shall see.

So far 2011 has been pretty good to me. I enjoyed a much-needed break from work and spent the days with son and hubs. We did a whole lot of nothing for 2 weeks….it was glorious. Now that school is back in session, Jax (and I) have adjusted to me leaving the house every morning. Man….I can’t imagine how hard it will be to leave the house when there are two precious angels chanting…Mama…Mama…Mama as I head out the door, tears in check. That will be another bridge to cross when I get there.

We did find out last week that our new bundle of joy is a little girl, Maddox Kristine. The hubs and I are very excited…and when the first news excitement wore off a bit, we realized…OH MY GOODNESS….we are having a girl. That means: dress up, make-up, boys coming over to pick her up for dates…the worry set in a bit. It’s weird because I didn’t have those worries at all when I was pregs with Jax. At least she will have a protective big brother to help watch out for her….Poor thing, her social life will stink! Score one for mom and dad!!! (just kidding…kind of)

I wish you all a productive and prosperous 2011…..as I conclude I want to also share another of my resolutions that I hope to keep. That is furthering my jewelry business. This really is a fantastic company and I really would like to see myself succeed. When you get a chance, take a look at the products, they are beautiful and very affordable. http://www.stelladot.com/ammiehill

Holidays coming to an end….time for work again (sigh)

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Well…it sure has been good while it has lasted! My two week vacation from work is coming to an end.

Every morning, hubs, little man and I get to cuddle in bed and watch cartoons.

When Monday rolls around and I have to get out of bed at a particular time and actually LEAVE the house….that is when the tears will ensue. I pray that time will go by VERY slowly between now and then.

Christmas was so much fun. Monkey is at a fun age. He loves Santa…in pictures, on TV and the blowup in our backyard; HOWEVER….the real Santa was a different story. I thought the Santa visit would go smoothly, seeing as he has talked about him non-stop for the past 3 weeks. Boy was I wrong!

I couldn’t help but just stand back and laugh. I know that probably wasn’t the best parenting, BUT I just couldn’t help myself!

Hope you all have a great New Year! One of my resolutions is to blog more….I promise!