Dear Holiday Allie: Chill-lax!

A few nights ago, the husband hesitantly asked me when I was going to find my Christmas spirit. I didn’t even get mad at him – because he’s right. I don’t have the spirit. I’ve been having a really tough time this holiday season. I don’t know why. I keep blaming it on my holiday to-do list, but I certainly don’t have any more to do than other moms. And I don’t work full-time, so I should be somewhat ahead of the game. I ordered my Christmas cards in OCTOBER – and yet I was up late last night writing out the last bunch. Such poor time management. I bought all the ingredients for baking cookies, and then lost interest and turned the reigns over to Audie (although I still got stuck with clean-up duty). It took me four days to decorate the tree, even though the kids really helped this year. I’m done Christmas shopping, but only because I have no desire to buy more presents. They’ll get what they get and they’ll like it! Of course I haven’t wrapped one present for my family yet – and I LOVE wrapping presents. R just came into my office and shook his head at the pile of bags and boxes commenting, “You’re going to be all stressed out on Christmas Eve, aren’t you?” Oh, I hope not. I need to shake to Grinch off.

Dear Allie,

Get your act together and enjoy the season. Your life is full of blessings. Just breath, don’t worry, relax. It will all be fine.

Love, Allie

This post is inspired by FTSF, which I unfortunately haven’t linked up with in weeks. I’ve been too crazy. How do you all keep up with your posting schedules? I’m going to finish this post with pictures, because the words are not coming easily or eloquently for me.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah (late, sorry) to all of you! I wish you peace, love, health, good fortune, writing inspiration, time to get everything done, and happiness this holiday season!


We always kick off the holiday season with a night out to celebrate our anniversary. This year was number sweet sixteen!


Thanksgiving was nice – calm, peaceful and delicious.

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Turkey Day family portrait.


Our annual mother-daughter outing to see The Nutcracker.


Before I knew it, we were off to the Christmas tree farm!


Apparently, I Christmas-tree shamed my husband last year. He said it would never happen again.


It took five of us to get the tree up!


She’s a beast! (The tree, not Aud)


We had a nice night out with Mom & Dad, who treated us to a wonderful dinner for our anniversary.


We were a family divided for the Florida v. FSU game.

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I was victorious!


And therefor got to hang my FSU ornament higher on the tree!


It took days to decorate this tree.


But I had this little army to help me.


Audrey participated in our county’s social studies fair (and scored a 2nd place finish!).

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One of my handsome birthday boys…15!

the pic

They’re both taller than me now! (I was in heels)




Visiting Santa


And Santa kind of creeped us out this year…


Our Alex was in town for the SEC championship game – he plays in their Million Dollar Marching Band, so we went to see him practice.


There was a time when I could hold this guy in my arms:(.


Cammy and Bear had their First Reconciliation. Camden was less than thrilled.


And Bear was studying the Act of Contrition.


Aud helped me host my annual Holiday Girls’ Night In.


Unfortunately I remembered to take my group shot after some of the ladies left.

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Audrey, before she took the stage for her dress rehearsal for The Nutcracker.


Post performance.


The kids decorated gingerbread men.

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While I snuck out to celebrate my friend Jackie’s birthday. (Disclaimer – we were having “flights” of wine, not 3 glasses a piece!).


Audrey’s school play – she was one of the Wright brothers.


Celebrating the holiday, at my girl’s LAST school Christmas party. I can’t believe it. Next year, middle school.

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Although, Barrett’s in middle school – and they’re still celebrating!

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Finally, today was the last of the school parties, Cammy ate his way through his.

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Poor Hunter, no parties for him – just mid-terms.


Audie’s chorus concert


After the concert, we went to dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants. Turns out there was an American Cancer Society fundraiser at the restaurant and our county’s finest were on hand as servers. Imagine our surprise when we walked in and a few police officers said, “Hello Barrett!” This is Bear, with his case manger for Project Lifesaver (a program our county has for kids on the spectrum with “wondering issues.”). Doesn’t he (my son) look like a thug in this pic? His Deputy introduced us to the Sheriff, and we now know practically everybody from the Sheriff’s department. Oy! It’s good to be connected…


See you in January! I’ll be kicking off the blogging year with my annual Favorite Books of Year post.




35 thoughts on “Dear Holiday Allie: Chill-lax!”

  1. Aw, I am tying my best here, too. I baked a bit this weekend and two days this week so far. I have yet to wrap though, as I truly am not a fan and putting that off. So, I might be doing that Christmas Eve just like you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, too now, Allie!!! :)

    1. Oh, I will not be wrapping on Christmas Eve. I will not!!!! I did that one year, and never again. I will have marathon session tomorrow and Saturday.

      Merry Christmas to you too!!!

  2. First off, you are stunning. Truly. And second off (sounds odd, surely I should be saying secondly?) you’re exhausted. I look at all that you’ve accomplished in the last couple of weeks and I’m thinking PHEWF. Good on you. Now, rest. Kick off the heels, clutch the blanket, plop down in the chair, grab the clicker and BE. You deserve it. Life is full. When I’m less than enthused about things I’m normally a huge fan of it takes someone who barely knows me to give me a shake and a nudge and a pop. Stop. Sit. Be.
    You need to reboot.
    Btw – that tree? Stellar.

  3. Flights of wine…yeah right! 😉 Love seeing all your photos; I’m exhausted just looking at them though! I hope you are able to chillax during the holidays, Allie. Merry Christmas!

  4. Beautiful pictures Allie. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family! It’s been a pleasure discovering your blog this year and I appreciate your support of mine :)

  5. Hi Allie. I just love that picture of Camden with a white shirt AND a tie on while visiting Santa! I can just see him working in the loans department at a local Bank of America. So professional looking—–but way too cute. Nice seeing everyone last weekend. My neck still hurts from staring up at the Christmas tree. I’ve seen smaller redwoods. But it really did look great!

    Merry Christmas
    Uncle Mark

  6. Hi Allie. I clicked over from Nina’s blog. I totally get your Christmas exhaustion…! I hope you can get a nap :) There is just always so much to do. I love your photos – the tree was great and the “tree shaming” picture made me laugh. Merry Christmas!

  7. Ok Allie, I love all all of the photos and am BLOWN AWAY by how huge your tree is. You’d said it was huge but OMG I had no idea! Also, if it makes you feel better, we had photos taken on Tuesday night (as in three days ago) for our holiday cards AND they won’t even be delivered until Tuesday. That’s with paying the rush fee for shipping. See? You’re doing great. 😉
    Thanks so much for linking up and here’s hoping you get the holiday spirit soon!

    1. I LOVED your Christmas card! As for the tree – yes, he didn’t mess around. But after taking it down yesterday, I’m ready for us to start going in the other direction…

  8. So there is a reason why your tree so long to decorate, sweetheart- because it is HUGE.
    Hang in there. We do so much already, we shouldn’t feel the need to put pressure on ourselves to be the best in Christmas spirit, too. Listen to your heart and take time to hug yourself. xo

  9. I love these glimpses of you guys getting the tree going! For me it’s a really cool window into the Christmas prep. I am SURE it’s tons of work. We actually plan to have the kids write thank you notes to some of the really pretty houses around here with lights that we love.

  10. I just read another post from someone not feeling the spirit. There are many of us! Where did it go? I blame the state of this weird country. Yeah. That. Or the weather. Or myself.
    Audrey’s Nutcracker costume is the most beautiful blue ever.

  11. You could’ve fooled me, you look like holiday spirit to the max in this blog;) Happy anniversary! I totally find that some years I’m just blah and others super motivated……it’s all good, things always get done! Hope you got your “game” back and wrapped everything! Happy holidays! xo

  12. First of all, could you be any prettier!
    And second, your tree is a giant. Makes no wonder it took over 4 days to decorate it! I’m one of these people who loves to snoop in other people’s lives so this was the best holiday post. You made my snooping ways with all of those pictures!

  13. LOVE the tree! It took me a week to get the decorations up and the tree decorated. I was a little ba-humbug myself but I think I was dreading dysfunctional family time. Yes, I said it. However, it was all ignore the “elephant in the room” so it was holidays as usual!

    I hope you got in the spirit and spent Christmas Even sipping wine and not wrapping gifts!

  14. So… I can’t believe I haven’t gotten over there. Ugh. I have been offline for the most part all season!

    I LOVED looking at all the photos and reading all about you and the kids and all the festivities and events and experiences you guys enjoyed! It feels good to catch up here with you, my friend.

    And I KNOW you found the spirit. How could you NOT, with THAT TREE? Wow wow wow. And your precious family… And your BEAUTIFUL home! Just wow.

    Here’s to a new year full of friendship and blessings in every day we look for them! (I am currently working on my own attitude… blah… this is how I feel. LOL)

    I am so very grateful for OUR friendship, Allie. CHEERS TO THAT! No blah there. :)

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