Category Archives: Christmas

12 Days of Christmas Gifts (2017)

Note, May 2019: Now that I’m blogging again, I thought, DARN I should have written about my 12 Days of Christmas gifts, and LOW AND BEHOLD. I am way more on top of things than I thought I was!  Everything was written out over a year ago, and I just never inserted the pictures. So proud of past me. Too proud. Ah well. As you read, go back in time to January 2018 and pretend you’re reading it then. It will make much more sense, especially considering I did the 12 Days of Christmas Gifts for a SIXTH year in 2018, and I was nine months pregnant. Way more impressive than what I’m gloating about belowπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Note, December 2020: Hi, I’m back with no excuses except for the fact that I’m annoyed with myself for letting this all go. Again. Like I feel every few years. So, we’ll see if this sticks. I don’t even remember when I originally started writing this post at this point, but I’m guessing it was in 2017 because when I’m back in it now, there aren’t pictures of any of the gifts, which is tell-tale for me thinking, “Sara! Let’s get ahead and write this post so you can share it!” But, well, here we are!!

You guys. This was my fifth year in a row of doing the 12 days of Christmas gifts for Peter. I feel like I should get an award for doing something consistently for five years straight πŸ˜‚ (Note, 2020: I’m now on my eighth year and it’s officially the longest I’ve ever been ACTUALLY committed to something aside from my marriage and coffee creamer.)

As usual, I swore after last year that I wouldn’t do this again this year, but then once summertime rolls around and I apparently have nothing better to do, I start brainstorming. What can I say, gift giving is my love language. (Note, 2020: Same this year. Same. But I started brainstorming in early October.)

Pete had a big Christmas this year because apparently I was in a very spending giving mood. He claims that he wasn’t expecting the 12 days, and after I grilled him on it, he is either a very good liar, or he really believes me every year after Christmas when I’m like “Ok, that’s the last year for this.”

At the end of November, I was like “Wow! This will be a great year because Peter doesn’t have ANY travel planned for December!” And then obviously on like, December 5, Pete was like “Oh btw I’ll be gone December 12-14 and then again December 17-21.” And I was like NOOOOOOOOOOOOO and had to adjust gifts. So THAT was annoying, but somehow I made it work. Kind of. (Note, 2020: We have now been living in a global pandemic and various states of quarantine with zero travel since March 13, so likely will not have any surprise trips this year.)

Anyways, let’s get straight to it.

(insert image of all of the gifts) (Note, 2020: This is how I can tell that I started this post when I was planning the 12 days still… I left myself a note of what images to include. I’m going to do my best right this minute to find said images (there are some on each of the days), but I thought I’d just share my good intentions so I feel better about myself haha!)

DAY ONE
(December 14)
πŸŽ…πŸ»

If you remember last year, I gave Pete an ornament that had our little family of four on day four, but we didn’t know if Elijah was a girl or boy, so I just had “Baby” written on his part of it. This year, Elijah is here! And we love the little pook.

DAY TWO
(December 15)
πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„

I was originally going to give Peter these guitar hangers and put them in the basement so he could hang up his guitars down there and maybe be inspired to play, but then I found these awesome drumstick pens and thought they’d be better.

I didn’t have any elves helping me this year because my office moved to downtown Green Bay, right across the river from Pete’s office, so I was able to drop off the wrapped gift while he was out. I ended up staying at his office for an hour chatting with his coworkers – it was a nice little Friday.

DAY THREE
(December 16)
πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ»

This is one of the first gifts that I got for the 12 days, and I was SO EXCITED about it that I sent a picture of it to about 20 people. Peter doesn’t really grill steaks, but here’s to hoping he’s inspired, amIright??

DAY FOUR
(December 17)
πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„

I mean, you know that I had to include something with Star Wars in here, right? The new Star Wars movie came out during the 12 days, but I just didn’t have a good way of incorporating that release with the gifts. Pete loves these socks though! They have a whole bunch of cool socks if you’re looking for a neat gift!

DAY FIVE
(December 18)
πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ»

Originally for day five I wanted to do something to give myself a pat on the back commemorate the fifth year of the 12 days of Christmas gifts, but I ended up not being able to think of a gift that worked. Then I was perusing Uncommon Goods and came across these brain teaser puzzles. Peter is very smart, and loves these things, so it worked perfectly!

Also, Taylor did this for her fiance this year, and when I was telling her what I got Pete for day five, she was like, “Hm, that sounds familiar…” and then when I was wrapping it up, I took a picture of it and we ended up getting the loves of our lives the same gift. So random because it is such a random gift!

DAY SIX
(December 19)
πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ» πŸŽ„

I mean, who am I to sway from tradition? Five years of the 12 days; five years of Mountain Dew on day six.

Also, this is where I hit a snag. So, Pete left on day four for a work trip. Knowing he wasn’t going to be home until day seven, I didn’t wrap the Mountain Dew like I usually do, and I changed the note from the original to the one pictured above. I put the note in an envelope made of the wrapping paper.

As he was packing the wrapped gifts in his carry on, I realized that you actually can’t have wrapped presents in your carry on, because they will often get opened by TSA. So, I cried for a minute and then we sadly left gifts five, six, and seven under the tree to open when he got back. You guys. I was SO SAD.

Also, this ended up being a fail (you knew there had to be one in here, didn’t you??) because I made a mental note to buy a six pack of Mountain Dew to put in the fridge for him to find when he got home, and then as I often do with mental notes, it got stored somewhere that I forgot about it. Oops!

DAY SEVEN
(December 20)
πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ» πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ»

So, even though Pete got home on day seven, I wanted to pack this because I had changed the rhyme (like day six) to be appropriate with his travels. SO SAD.

This “wash me” bag actually came with three other bags. It was WAY smaller than I thought it was going to be, but still was cute and I thought appropriate. (PS: “Cute” is exactly how Pete likes me to describe his things πŸ˜‚)

DAY EIGHT
(December 21)
πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ» πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„

Peter Day 8

This one also ended up being kind of a fail. In the beginning of November I texted our babysitter J and was like “Hey, this is WAY in advance, but can you watch the boys on December 21 for a few hours?”

And then the week before day eight, I realized that on December 21 I had my bible study Christmas party that I didn’t want to miss, so I changed the date night to December 22. J was still able to babysit, but when Pete opened the rhyme I was like “Soooooo slight change of plans…” Ah, well. Good intentions at least.

DAY NINE
(December 22)
πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ» πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ»

I mean, the rhyme sums this whole thing up. And Pete NEVER has Sour Patch Kids. I think he forgets he likes them.

DAY TEN
(December 23)
πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ» πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„

Ok, this one is kind of a stretch but it made Pete chuckle and he really thought the gift was cool, so it ended up working. Pete loves journals to write down his thoughts and brainstorm and all that kind of fun stuff. I found this one when I was on a layover in Minneapolis on my way to Vegas for my sister Rachel’s 21st birthday party.

Anyways, Game of Thrones is the only show that Pete and I watch together. When I found this journal, I bought it and had to really try to figure out how to get it to work in the twelve days. Again… kind of a stretch… But it made Pete chuckle, so that’s what really counts here!

DAY ELEVEN
(December 24)
πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ» πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ»

The first summer we lived in our house, we had some pretty embarrassing things happen, like our neighbors mowing our lawn while we were at work because they thought we were out of town. Anyways, at the end of that blog post, I wrote, “Donations are welcome” in regards to people giving us money for a lawnmower.

(Side note: we gave up on taking care of our own lawn (I say “taking care” VERY loosely here) and now just have a wonderful company take care of it for us. My former boss called me a “yuppie” once, and as I’m typing this I’m like “yeah, we sounds like yuppies.” 😳)

DAY TWELVE
(December 25)
πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ» πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„

Peter Day 12

The big kahuna!! Ugh, I spent too much on Pete. Back in AUGUST when I was like “Oh! Not like I’m going back to work full time with two kids and a husband who travels a lot! I’ll plan twelve days of Christmas gifts for him!” I knew that I wanted day twelve to be a grill. Pete was complaining about our five-year-old grill this summer, and I appreciate eating meat that isn’t charred, so it’s a great investment for both of us.

I texted Pete’s dad and he told me to get him a Weber Spirit and because I’m naive I said “OK!” and then I was like “Oh GREAT” because holy BUCKETS are grills expensive! BUT I sucked it up and because I love my husband and a properly grilled dinner, I got it. Actually, Pete’s mom bought it and kept it at their house until Christmas Day. Pete was very surprised that his wife is so amazing (I mean, why is he still surprised by that??).

SO! There you have it! Year five of the 12 Days of Christmas gifts, and I REALLY swear that I’m not doing it again this year because LIFE.

Need more ideas? Here you go!

12 Days of Christmas 2016
12 Days of Christmas 2015
12 Days of Christmas 2014
12 Days of Christmas 2013

Or, check out my friend edition that I did for B in 2016!

Romenesko Christmas Letter (2018)

Hi! If you’re here for the 2018 Christmas letter, please accept my sincere apologies because I had EVERY INTENTION OF WRITING IT. I was CERTAIN that if I put my blog address on the back of the card that I would write my yearly roundup. In the past when I did that, it worked! But my cards were sent out riiiiiiiiight before Christmas…Β 

And I had to sent the cards out earlier this year because I put “Baby R3” on there, and I didn’t want people to get the card AFTER the baby arrived and not have the baby’s name on it and have R3 on it. Because that is not going to be the baby’s name.Β 

Ok, so basically, at this moment, I am nine months pregnant and care more about making sure my house is clean and picked up so I’m calm (“calm”) when I go into labor than writing about our year.

BUT I SINCERELY HAVE EVERY INTENTION OF WRITING THIS LETTER BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR. I’m just hoping to do it when a little cuddly wuddly, snuggly wuggly, baby waby laying on my chest when I’m writing instead of being uncomfortable because the baby is kicking at my ribs, I have to pee every time I stand up and I have heartburn LIKE NO OTHER.Β 

Romenesko Christmas Letter (2017)

2017 has been another one for the books in the Romenesko house. I feel like the fact that I have posted only a handful of blogs all year is an indication of how hectic our lives have been, but (most of the time) we wouldn’t have it any other way. So here is a year’s worth of blog posts in one! As I always do, I’m vowing to stay more up-to-date in the blogosphere in 2018. I love looking back on the random posts I’ve written, and know that in five years I’ll be like β€œSo, what did we actually do in 2016 and 2017? Nothing? Ok!” And then I’ll be like β€œOH YEAH we had Elijah in 2017!”

πŸ˜‚

January was a really exciting month because we had our 20-week ultrasound where we found out that we were having another baby BOY. Pete was nervous about me finding out the gender of the baby because girls rule and boys drool… because I really wanted a girl. I had convinced myself that if we were having another boy it would actually be amazing because HI I’M FORCING THEM TO BE BEST FRIENDS and because two boys born in the same month = all clothes will be same size/same season. It was very obvious that the baby was a boy, and we were thrilled that Daniel would have a little brother. Peter was thrilled that we wouldn’t go broke because I would be buying pink EVERYTHING. Win-win amIright?
January
February. I legit can’t remember what happened in February except that Peter had a birthday, but I can’t even remember if I gave him a gift or if we celebrated. For some reason I think that Peter was traveling in Mexico on his birthday, but that might have been a few years ago… [Confirmed: this was the case in 2015. Although, he did go to Mexico in February of this year – just not on his birthday.]
February
March. Also drawing a blank. Let’s see. March. Yeah. Those 31 days are completely gone from my brain. Also seem to be completely gone from my phone because there aren’t many pictures in March of our family, ha!
March
On April 15, the travel ban I enacted on Peter went into place. After he got back from India just days before Daniel was born, I was not about to have that happen with the second baby. I made sure anyone who would listen knew that Peter was not allowed to travel after April 15, and you’re not even going to believe me when I tell you all my hollering finally worked for something! Ha! In April, we also moved Daniel to his big boy room so he basically is like, one step away from moving out of the house, and I was (and clearly still am) feeling a lot of emotions about him being in a big-boy bed.
April
May was a very eventful month for a few reasons. On the 7th, Daniel turned two. TWO. I cried a little bit on his birthday because this little boy who is so full of energy and love is growing up and frankly, I’m just not ready for it. We celebrated by spending the day at the zoo and just making sure we loved on him as much as we possibly could/he would let us. It was such a gorgeous day. For his birthday, we got him a kitchen set, and it’s a big hit. He still plays with it every day.

The day after his birthday, I was like β€œOK BABY, COME ON OUT ANYTIME NOW.” This was also the time Daniel walked around with a hornet’s nest in his hand saying β€œLook Mommy, bees!” That didn’t send me into labor, so I knew the baby was not going to come by himself.

And then I was walking around 5 cm dilated for like 3 days before I got induced and Elijah was born. I’m still amazed at how perfectly he fit into our little family. Like a good mom, my first words to him were β€œOh my gosh, he looks just like Daniel!” And you know what? He STILL looks just like Daniel, so at least I was accurate.
May
June was a very splendid month for a variety of reasons. One being hello baby snuggles galore and another is that it was my BIRTHDAY and a BIG BIRTHDAY at that. I turned 30 and was shockingly unaffected by the number. It probably had to do with exhaustion, but who am I to say?

Pete had a big surprise in store for me and had gathered our families and some of our closest friends in Lake Geneva at my parents’ house for a wonderful surprise party. Some of our favorite friends from Shawano made the trek down, and my darling friend Brenda drove over from Michigan and I cried and it was SO WONDERFUL. As I’m typing this, I’m like β€œWhy didn’t I write a blog post about this??” πŸ™„

Also in June was Peter’s first trip post Elijah, and I was like, β€œWell, I’m not equipped to be at home by myself for a week with these two hooligans” when Elijah was only 5 weeks old, so we stayed at my parents and it was wonderful.

Anyways, one of my favorite pictures of me and the boys was taken the morning of my actual birthday. I have bags under my eyes and my crow’s feet are out in full force. I remember just being so tired. So, so tired. Daniel came downstairs and wanted to cuddle with me, so we scootched over and all snuggled in the wee hours of the morning. As I’m looking at this picture almost 6 months later, all I’m thinking is about how happy my heart is in this very moment.
June
Ok, in July Marty got married and it was so wonderful and beautiful and I get all warm and fuzzy thinking about the day! I also get really sweaty because it was about 100 degrees outside and I had two kids hanging all over me, but the day wasn’t about me, so whatever. I also need to draw attention to this magical dress that I had that DIDN’T SHOW SWEAT. I mean. Talk about miracles.
July
In August Pete went on another trip, and I stayed at home with the boys by myself. We all survived. Pete, on the other hand, was preparing to NOT survive. Pete, his dad, his uncles and his cousins went to Isle Royale, a national park in Lake Superior. Fortunately, he survived. It must have been because he was so prepared. Anyways, the REALLY big news is that I went back to work and had all sorts of emotions. I kind of feel like we’re still adjusting, but I mean, aren’t we always??
August
We celebrated September with a trip to the Walworth County Fair where Elijah slept a lot in the stroller (rookie) and Daniel was in heaven being able to see animals and tractors and he also got yelled at a lot because he wanted to walk around by himself. Two year olds are always sunshine and rainbows and you never want to like, leave them somewhere β€œby accident.” Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. At the end of the month I went on a sister/mom trip to Vegas to celebrate my youngest sister Rachel’s 21st birthday. I bought a 100-ounce thing of piΓ±a colada and some other delicious rum drink and you guys, I made more friends in the eleven minutes it took to get back to the hotel room than I have in the last two years. It was amazing. Oh, we also saw J Lo and I didn’t know what my life was missing until I saw her in concert. Amazing.
September
In October Elijah got baptized. Peter was in charge of putting his baptismal gown on when I went to find the priest, and when I came back, Pete had put it on OVER his not-cute outfit, so Elijah was really sweaty (poor kid got that from me), and I had to keep shoving his sleeves up so they didn’t show in the pictures. It was great. We also took the kids trick or treating for the first time, and I DIED because Daniel was SO ADORABLE going up to the houses. It was a big meltdown when costumes had to come off, so I hid Daniel’s costume that night and we haven’t had any problems since. We also hid the candy right when we got home, so Daniel actually hasn’t even had one piece, but somehow there’s none left.

OctoberI can’t really remember November and it was only a couple of weeks ago, but I think it was pretty great because we were so close to Christmas and it also went by SO FAST.
November
And now we’re in December and I’m really confused as to how this year is already only weeks away from being over. We are in this incredible season of life where we’re constantly exhausted, there are always toys scattered on the floor and laundry in the dryer, but I can honestly, honestly say that I’ve never felt more complete and just… full. My heart and my soul. (And at this moment, my stomach.) I can’t imagine this life any differently, although I could stand for less timeouts. But I will say that for every timeout that Daniel has, there are about a billion hugs and kisses, so it all works out in the end.

December
I recognize that there are more pictures of Elijah than Daniel in this collage. However. Daniel is at a stage where he doesn’t like his photo taken. So there’s that.

As we reflect on the last year, we want to wish all of our friends and family the merriest Christmas season. We hope you are finding the good in each day, and go to bed each night feeling fulfilled.

Wishing you many Christmas blessings during this wonderful time of year –

Sara, Peter, Daniel + Elijah

Screen Shot 2017-11-28 at 8.54.26 PM

PS: Read our past letters here – our lives have changed a lot! But you can’t read about 2016 because I didn’t write about it and IΒ still regret it.

2015 Christmas Letter
2014 Christmas Letter
2013 Christmas Letter
2012 Christmas Letter

PS again: I feel the need to point out that all of the photos came from my collection and not Peter’s because I did this post when he was traveling, and I just didn’t have the patience to ask him to sift through all of his photos. So that’s why there are more pictures ofΒ me and the kids vs.Β him and the kids.

Ok done now, go celebrate the season and be filled with Christmas joy and cheer!!

12 Days of Christmas Gifts: Friend Edition (2016)

Guys. I had the most brilliant idea way back in AUGUST 2016. I can’t even remember what I was doing, but I was putzing around on Pinterest, and an idea popped into my brain and I felt like I was in a movie and a lightbulb turned on above my head.

I decided that I was going to do the 12 Days of Christmas Gifts for one of my closest, dearest friends BRENDA. I’ve talked about her before on the ol’ bloggy blog, like the time we drove over a cliff, and the time she was wonderful and came to help me paint the basement, and I know there are other times that I’m just not thinking of.

Brenda moved back to her home state of Michigan a few days after Daniel was born. We were both so happy that she was able to meet him before she moved back – I was devastated at only the THOUGHT that she wouldn’t be able to meet him for months and months.

Anyways, Brenda is one of the most wonderfulΒ people on this earth, and I was like “OMG this would be SO FUN to do.” So. I did it! Also, it’s REALLY hard keeping the 12 days a surprise for Peter every year. I WAS DYING THIS YEAR not being able to tell Brenda that I was doing this. It’s a good thing she lives so far away, otherwise I totally would have spilled the beans. Also, when Brenda did get her gifts I was like, “This is why I’ve been avoiding your calls, because I wasn’t sure I would be able to contain my excitement.”

Doing a friend edition was amazing you guys, especially when you know the person getting it will be SO surprised! I worked with a couple of little elves to make this come to life. The ONLY thing that almost foiled the entire thing was FedEx. Pro tip: Don’t use FedEx.

In the early days of December I went to a shipping place to figure out what day I should ship everything to Brenda so that the package would arrive on day one. I was anxious – such an important part of the 12 days, and I couldn’t control it! I went with FedEx because they guaranteed the arrival date. Perfect.

ALL DAY on December 14 I was checking the tracking obsessively and waiting for a call or text from Brenda saying she got her gift. I told her sister (Her poor sister was probably to the point of being like “Leave me the eff alone.”) that it was supposed to arrive. And then, it didn’t. And I was SO SAD. Like, actually got teared up.

So the next day towards the end of the day when it didn’t arrive AGAIN, I texted Brenda and was like “Sooooo… you need to really look all over because thereΒ should be a Christmas package for you…” And that made me sad because I wanted it to be a complete surprise.

I called FedEx and was like YOU ARE RUINING CHRISTMAS. (Ok, I wasn’tΒ aggressive aggressive as I like to call it, but I was DEFINITELY not passive aggressive.) Anyways, after being transferred to a bunch of different people, I finally had to text Brenda and be like “They left the package on your back porch.” And she was like, “WTF FedEx NEVER leaves packages on the back porch.”

At least there is a happy ending, and Brenda got her package on day two, so it actually turned out ok. AND IT WAS SO FUN GETTING A TEXT FROM HER EVERY DAY WITH WHAT SHE OPENED. I felt like it was Christmas every day for me, too!!

Since I wanted to mail everything to Brenda and have it all pretty and stuff, I was SUPER good about photo shoots (unlike Peter’s 12 days…). Ugh, it turned out sooooo pretty and sooooo perfect!!!

All

Day 1 (December 14)
πŸŽ„
Christmas decoration
Day 1
Merry Christmas, Brenda!
It’s the best time of year!
12 Days of Gifts
To fill you with cheer!

I’ve been so excited
Planning this for you;
I even had some elves
Helping me too!

For the first day of Christmas,
One Christmas decoration.
Enjoy the rest of your gifts –
Eleven more days of celebration!

Day 2 (December 15)
πŸŽ„πŸŽ
Nail polish
Day 2
β€œMistle”toes on two feet
Give your little tootsies a treat!

Day 3 (December 16)
πŸŽ„πŸŽπŸŽ„

Christmas cookies in a jar
Day 3
Christmas cookies
OMG SO YUMMY
Add three ingredients
And GET IN MY TUMMY.

This one was super fun to put together, especially if you’re looking for a pretty and easy gift to give someone. I feel like it would be a great housewarming gift around the holidays. I had seen these things all over Pinterest, and after making it, I will definitely be making them again!

I had to send Brenda the picture of what this wasΒ supposed to look like, because THIS is what it looked like when she actually got it. So sad, right??
Picture1

Day 4 (December 17)
πŸŽ„πŸŽπŸŽ„πŸŽ

A magnet from Shawano
Day 4
I’m so thankful for your time in Shawano!
ThoseΒ four years introduced me to the greatest person I know.
CRI was less fun when I couldn’t see your face;
Think of me when you see Shawano all up in your fridge space!

If you told me in 2011 when I moved to Green Bay and worked in Shawano that six years later, not even working there anymore, I would still be attached to the town, I would have laughed in your face. I’m pretty sure that Brenda would say the same about that town.

Day 5 (December 18)
πŸŽ„πŸŽπŸŽ„πŸŽπŸŽ„

StrengthsFinder 2.0
Day 5
Anyone who knows you,
Knows you have more than five,
But use this great book
To see where you thrive.

I did the StrengthsFinder in 2015 when I was going through career coaching, and it was wonderful. You do a pretty in-depth assessment, and it pops back with your top FIVE strengths. Not only does it talk about your strengths on a general level, but the report comes back with an insight on how your strengths play off of each other. I recommend StrenghtsFinder to anyone who will listen. It really helps you recognize where you shine, and who doesn’t like learning about what they do well??

Day 6 (December 19)
πŸŽ„πŸŽπŸŽ„πŸŽπŸŽ„πŸŽ

Mug with brownie ingredients listed on the side
Day 6
Only six ingredients
To make this treat.
Who doesn’t love
A brownie to eat?

Don’t mind me, being all crafty. This was another one that I had seen all over Pinterest and always had intentions of doing. Like the cookie-mix-in-a-jar thing, it was SO EASY when I actually did it that I feel like I need to do it again. What I’m basically telling you is that if I am in a gift drawing with you and the limit is like, $5, I will give you this mug and a cookie-in-a-jar thing. But know they were made with love!!

Day 7 (December 20)
πŸŽ„πŸŽπŸŽ„πŸŽπŸŽ„πŸŽπŸŽ„
7: How Many Days of the Week can be Extraordinary?
Day 7
There areΒ seven days
In one week.
Use this book
To live your life on fleek.

One of the things that I love about Brenda is that she is always looking to better herself, even though she is already one of the most spectacular people I know. I was roaming the aisles of Target one day, saw this book, and the lightbulb went off that this would be just perfect for Brenda.

Day 8 (December 21)
πŸŽ„πŸŽπŸŽ„πŸŽπŸŽ„πŸŽπŸŽ„πŸŽ
Pack of “Hey” notecards
Day 8
Eight cards to send
When you have something happy to say
To your friends who are near
Or hundreds of miles away.

Brenda is really thoughtful, and loves sending mail to people. Notecards came in a pack of 8, so this was obviously perfect.

Day 9 (December 22)
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9 k-cups
Day 9-1
Coffee’s so good,
It’s a nice morning treat.
Here are nine cups
To help make your day sweet!

This is the part where Daniel woke up from his nap.
Day 9

Day 10 (December 23)
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Mini Adirondack chair
Day 10
We’re both alumni
Of the Big Ten.
Now I have a chair like yours
To watch the games in!

Wow, as I’m writing this post and looking back at my gifts, I am too impressed with how crafty I was.

I can’t remember if I’ve ever shared how handy Brenda is. She made the bookshelves that are in Elijah’s room for Daniel before he was born. She is SO GOOD. Seriously, everyone who visits our house comments on those bookshelves.

shelves

Another thing that she made which is awesome is a Spartan Adirondack chair.

 

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You guys, she MADE that. Anyways, she is a Michigan State alum, I am a Wisconsin alum, blah blah blah this mini chair was super cute and already red, so I just drew the Wisconsin W on it.

(Also, now I’m feeling less impressed with myself about drawing a W on a chair that was tiny when Brenda fricking built an actual, usable chair.)

Day 11 (December 24)
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$11 gift card to Buffalo Wild Wings
Day 11
Treat yo’self
To some wings.
(I know they’re some
of your favorite things!)

WhoΒ doesn’t like BWW??

Day 12 (December 25)
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You Are a Badass calendar
Day 12
Twelve months of the year,
Every single day,
You are amazing
In every single way.

I think that everyone needs to be reminded daily on how awesome they are, and this calendar is just perfect for it.

So there you are! My 12 Days of Christmas Friend Edition. Oh man, it was so so so so much fun to do for my sweet friend. A fantastic Christmas gift to put together for someone!

If you want to see what I’ve done for Peter the last few years, here it is!

12 Days of Christmas 2016
12 Days of Christmas 2015
12 Days of Christmas 2014
12 Days of Christmas 2013

12 Days of Christmas Gifts (2016)

I’m going to just go ahead and pretend that I haven’t not blogged since Elijah was born and carry on with my life.Β 

Christmas is coming! It’s October! That means it’s almost Christmas!

Once again, if you want to do a super fun Christmas gift for someone, I TOTALLY recommend doing the 12 Days of Christmas gifts. If you want to do it this year, DEFINITELY start thinking about it now, otherwise you’ll be stressed when December hits and it won’t be as fun. Also, last year I did a friend version of this for my wonderful, wonderful friend B. I’ll share that post SOON. (And I know I’ll actually do it soon because it’s already started, ha!)

Also, this year I was SUPER PREPARED and had a little photo shoot for the gifts. Well, most of the gifts…

So! With that, here is Peter’s 12 Days of Christmas Gifts 2016.

Woohoo! Christmas!

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Day ONE (December 14)
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ONE new travel scarf

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Christmas is my favorite time of year,

So I couldn’t help but spread the holiday cheer.
I said I wouldn’t, but it’s so much fun!
12 days of Christmas are better than one!

One travel scarf for when you fly;
I’m sorry I ruined yours from Dubai…
This one is foreign, from far away.
It’s from the Amazon! (.com… what can I say?)

So, funny story. AΒ while ago, Peter told me that he really wanted a travel scarf. I was super confused. A travel scarf? Is that actually a thing? And I did some Google research, and sure enough, itΒ is a thing. Anyways, I was not about to buy a travel scarf for Peter because I knew he had a specific vision of what he wanted.

Then, Peter came back from a trip to Dubai and brought home a black and white travel scarf that he got there. He loved that scarf.

Too bad he never got to wear it… Because of me.

I was doing laundry one day and thought I’d be a nice wife and wash his travel scarf before his next trip. Guys, what I’m about to share had NEVER happened before and it has NEVER happened again, but I put the scarf in with towels. And there was a red towel in there… And when I took the towels out of the washing machine the scarf was now… Pink and black.

I STARTED TO CRY because I felt SO BAD. And when I told Peter about it, he was like “OMG Sara, stop crying.” And I was all, “BUT I FEEL SO BAD.” And he was just like, “It’s not a big deal.”

Fast forward to Christmas last year, and I bought him a new travel scarf off of Amazon, that is actually a piece of crap, and I just recently threw it away this summer because I was too depressed looking at it in the closet.

Needless to say, I’m not buying Peter any more scarves anytime soon.

Day TWO (December 15)
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A shoe horn

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One morning as you
Were leaving for work
I noticed you needed this –
YourΒ two feet get a perk.

I ordered this shoe horn after getting tired of watching Peter struggle to put on his damn shoes in the morning. He still uses it! Daniel also uses it, and it’s EFFING ADORABLE.

Day THREE (December 16)
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Three ounces of Downy spray

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Sometimes when you’re gone,
I worry you’re a wrinkly mess.

Three ounces of wrinkle spray
To keep you looking your best.

So this was the original day three gift that I got for Peter, and then like two days before day three, I found out that he was going to play hooky from work and go see the new Star Wars movie with some of his buds. I WAS going to buy him his ticket, but learned from one of the people going to see the movie that they pre-bought tickets. So instead I got Pete a gift card for snacks to enjoy while he was at the movie. Of course I didn’t take a picture. I did, however, find the rhyme I came up with by searching my Gmail inbox because I KNEW that I told Jenna what I was getting him. Oversharing for the WIN!

The three of youΒ 
Are playing hooky.
Have some snacks
While watching the Wookie.

Side note: I’ll bet you thought for a minute when you started seeing the photos of this post “Wow! Sara had it SO together last year!” Well, the jig is up. Further down the line of days you’ll see that I didn’t take pictures of the things. BUT you WILL see when I post my friend edition that I was SUPER put together for that one! (Mostly because I had to get it in the mail in time for B to get it, but I’ll save that for the friend edition post!)

Day FOUR (December 17)
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Family of four Christmas ornament

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Our family is growing
From three toΒ four.
We love Daniel so much
We had to have one more!

I LOVE this gift. We didn’t know Elijah’s gender yet, but I thought it was just splendid to add this ornament to the tree because it was exactly what our family looked like in 2016.

Day FIVE (December 18)
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Five donuts

Aaaaaaaaaaand here is where I start not having pictures.

In the song they sing
β€œFive Golden Rings”
But I know donuts are
Some of your favorite things!

I mean, whoΒ doesn’t love donuts??

Day SIX (December 19)
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Six pack of Mountain Dew

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An annual tradition,
TheΒ six pack of Mountain Dew.
Drink one up and become
A more energized you!

I still never buy Mountain Dew for the man, so this is still a wonderful treat!

Day SEVEN (December 20)
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A comb from Chicago Comb Company

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On your list was
A “non-plastic comb.”
Seven days a week
You need to style your dome.

When I asked Peter what he wanted for Christmas, one of the things he told me “a non-plastic comb” (hence the rhyme) and I was kind of confused. Like, who cares, right? And then I remembered that his coworker got her boyfriend a comb from Chicago Comb Company, and Peter thought it was THE COOLEST THING. So this was actually SO PERFECT.

Day EIGHT (December 21)
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Where to Eat Pizza book

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You’ve traveled the world –Β 
Eight countries this year!
Now you know where to find
The best pizza and beer!

It’s no secret that Peter LOVES pizza. Frozen, fresh, anything. He loves it. It’s a real drag for him when I’m pregnant and that is one of the only smells that make me feel very, very nauseous. You guys, this book is SO COOL. So many pizza places all over the world! There actually is a series of these books; I got my girlfriend this one for Christmas last year.

Day NINE (December 22)
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90-minute massage

Surprise! No picture of this one either!

This month has been crazy,
You have a sore back.
I hope ninety minutes
Will help you relax!

When Peter and I went on our honeymoon, we got a gift certificate to use at the resort’s spa. I was all about getting a couple’s massage. Peter was having NONE OF IT. So I went by myself. Super romantic, right?

Then in 2015, Peter had his first massage, and he was like “Wow, I am VERY RELAXED after that.” With all of his plane time, I figured a massage would be good for him. Fun fact: It is now October and I am going to tell Peter that if he doesn’t schedule this massage and use the certificate,Β I am going to use it. Because that is disgraceful, letting such a wonderful thing go to waste!

Day TEN (December 23)
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10 Sharpie pens

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You recently discovered
The Sharpie pen.
A little elf helped me –
Here areΒ ten!

One day Peter came home from work and he was like, “SARA. THESE PENS. LIFE CHANGING.” Easy gift, right?!

Also, the note on these is inaccurate. As you know, I like to have everything wrapped and under the tree on day one. I was going to drop these pens off with Pete’s coworker to put on his desk, but then he decided earlier in the week to take the 23rd off so we could drive down to Lake Geneva for Christmas. I had already written everything out, so I just was like “Yeah, Bobbie was supposed to help me… But you ruined it.” Merry Christmas!

Day ELEVEN (December 24)
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$11 Kwik Trip card

Ok but seriously, gift cards are hard to take pretty pictures of.

One of your favorite places
To go for lunch
Here’s eleven dollars
To grab something to munch!

If there is one thing Peter loves more than his family, it is Kwik Trip. When we drive down to Lake Geneva, we do our very best to stop only at Kwik Trips. I mean, they do have very nice bathrooms and a whole bunch of good food choices. Peter often gets lunch there, just a sandwich or something. I don’t even think they’re that good, but man, does he love Kwik Trip.

Also, I feel like I need to point out that this year’s gift card experience went MUCH better than last year’s, where I never delivered on the gift card… Whoops! (I SWEAR that I actually bought the gift card, despite the lack of photo evidence.)

Day TWELVE (December 25)
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Star Wars one-a-day desk calendar

Well I REALLY dropped the ball on this one. No photo and no rhyme ☹️ I had everything saved in a Google doc so I could access it anytime I had a Christmas inspiration. I had the rhymes in there and everything, and this is all there is for the calendar:

Star Wars facts for
Twelve months of the year.

I mean, I CERTAINLY had something clever written. The world will never know!

So! There you have it! Another year of 12 days of Christmas gifts and TONS OF FUN. If you decide to do it for something this year TELL ME because I LOVE hearing ideas and creativity!

Need more ideas? Here you go!

12 Days of Christmas 2015
12 Days of Christmas 2014
12 Days of Christmas 2013