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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. 

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)
❤️
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. A 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, it 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)
❤️💚
A shoe horn

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One morning as you
Were leaving for work
I noticed you needed this –
Your 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)
❤️💚❤️
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 you 
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)
❤️💚❤️💚
Family of four Christmas ornament

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Our family is growing
From three to 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)
❤️💚❤️💚❤️
Five donuts

Aaaaaaaaaaand here is where I start not having pictures.

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

I mean, who doesn’t love donuts??

Day SIX (December 19)
❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚
Six pack of Mountain Dew

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An annual tradition,
The 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)
❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚❤️
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)
❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚
Where to Eat Pizza book

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You’ve traveled the world – 
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)
❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚❤️
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, I am going to use it. Because that is disgraceful, letting such a wonderful thing go to waste!

Day TEN (December 23)
❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚
10 Sharpie pens

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You recently discovered
The Sharpie pen.
A little elf helped me –
Here are 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)
❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚❤️
$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)
❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚
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

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Arrrrrrr, Matey

Well, I’ve completely failed at blogging my second pregnancy, which has been SO DIFFERENT than my first one, and I KNOW I’ll be regretting not writing about it. And now we’re suddenly 4 weeks from D-Day.

In a quick summary, if we aren’t Facebook friends or you don’t follow me on Instagram, Baby R2 is a BOY. And it was very, very obvious in the ultrasound. I’m really excited that the boys will be almost exactly 2 years apart because I will obviously force them to be best friends.

Our big project the last couple of months has been converting the computer room (AKA the Packer room) into a big boy room for Daniel. (😭😭😭) Guys. I don’t know how people move their cuddly wuddly babies from their cribs into twin beds that are the size of a yacht without another baby coming. The only reason that I am semi-ok with moving Daniel to a new room is because in a few weeks there will be a new little cuddly wuddly baby to replace my firstborn.

It was super fun envisioning Daniel’s new big boy room because we know he’s a boy and HELLO THEMED BEDROOM. I found an adorable bedding set from Land of Nod and that was the base of my inspiration. Anyways, here are the pictures of the Packer room that was then converted into an adorable toddler boy’s room. Let’s agree right now that just about anything would have looked better than this.

And now these are the after pics. All decorations, and I mean ALL decorations, are from Hobby Lobby. Seriously, such a great store.

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We have a toddler gate, but hello, not going to ruin the photo with THAT eyesore.
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So I bought that little treasure chest that’s on the headboard for Daniel to keep all of his trinkety toys in (he’s obsessed with Tsum Tsums. Why? I have no idea.) and it was such a good purchase. He carries his “box” all over the place and it’s adorable.
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Guys, I KNOW that throw/decorative pillows on a toddler bed are the most pointless things ever. But please. LOOK AT HOW CUTE THEY ARE.
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For Daniel’s second birthday (😭) we bought him a red kitchen set, and it’s going to go right below this wall decor. And I’m also going to add a little sign that says “Galley” in this area.
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Curtains are from Home Goods. Another fab store for home decor.
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Jenna got this backpack for Daniel for Christmas, and it’s one of his favorite things.

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What is with kids being obsessed with opening and closing things? I have no idea what will go in this thing but SERIOUSLY SO CUTE.

Last night was the maiden voyage in the pirate room. I was very emotional (so many changes + pregnancy hormones have made for a VERY fun house!), but held it together until we closed Daniel’s bedroom door.

Daniel went down like he has been sleeping in that room his entire life. And I was very offended. Like, seriously, why was he being so mature about this? YOU ARE NOT EVEN TWO, HAVE SOME EMOTIONS ABOUT LEAVING YOUR CRIB.

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20 minutes later, I heard Daniel knocking at his door and saying, “Mommy? Hello?” And ok. Even though I wanted him to go to sleep and everything, part of me was also like, “OK, he DOES still need me!!!”

And then for the next two hours we had a lot of up and down and tears (not from me) and settled on moving a folding chair into Daniel’s room, and I sat in the chair beside his bed until he fell asleep.

He slept through the night, which was just delightful. I did NOT sleep through the night because there is an almost full-term baby on my bladder, and I kept jolting awake thinking that my child needed me.

Usually, Daniel wakes up around 7. Well, this morning at 5:15 am I heard knocking on his bedroom door and a tired little voice say, “Mommy? Come here! Mommy! Come here!” So I went in his room and we were up for the day!

I put him down for his nap about 2 hours early; the boy was SO TIRED. An hour later, after many ups and downs and him locking himself in his bedroom twice, I finally sat in the chair beside his bed and he was asleep in about 5 minutes.

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Ok, I’m getting teared up just looking at this picture because my babyyyyyyyyyyyy.

So. That’s what’s been going on. Daniel is basically an adult, but it’s like, fine, because another baby is coming.

Note to self: blog really soon about my second pregnancy before the baby is actually here.

Basement is DONE. (“Done.”)

I put the second “done” in quotes because I am not sure the basement will ever be considered fully completed, but oh well.

Remember three years ago when I was all “I’m writing in this blog post that I’m going to finish painting the basement so that you all hold me accountable!”??

Well THAT plan failed miserably. Eventually wonderful Brenda was like “Hey, let’s paint your basement on Thursday.” So we did.

And then the ugly wood paneling was painted a nice grey color, but I never did the trim.

And then I got pregnant and was making a baby so I was like EFF PAINTING THE BASEMENT, I’M MAKING AN EYEBALL RIGHT NOW.

SO! After we had Daniel, I told Peter that now was the time to actually FINISH THE BASEMENT. Like. Hire someone to come in, knock down ugly wood-paneled walls and build a wonderful space where if we have company coming over short-notice I can yell, “THROW EVERYTHING DOWNSTAIRS NOW!!!!”

A space that will make all of my Pinterest dreams come true that will be a nice play area and rec room and just a place to put all our random crap that doesn’t have a space upstairs.

After months of mumbo jumbo blah blah blah, we had to move everything to either one side of the basement or the other and get READY! And just like that, magic happened and the basement is now like, a live-able space where I like spending time. Two things need to happen before we throw Daniel down there to have the time of his life: entertainment center needs to be anchored to the wall and we need a GATE because out of all of the potentially fun things in that basement, the only thing he likes are the STAIRS 🙄

ANYWAYS here are the before, during and after pics! Nothing has been hung on the walls, but oh boy, do I have big plans! Ugh. I can’t wait.

Wood Paneled Basement
HIDEOUS. The wood-paneled basement when we moved into the house. It’s GOT TO GO. (It should also be noted that the ONE outlet down there didn’t work.)
Brenda
Ah, sweet Brenda, holding me accountable.

The painted wood-paneled room BEFORE. We had already moved all of our shit out of there. Amazing how quickly things accumulate when you have the “Eh, I don’t know what to do with it… Put it in the basement” attitude.

And these four photos go together to make the massive storage area that we split in two right down the middle for the remodel.

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The lumber!!! What a great day!!!

The day after the lumber was delivered, our awesome contractor (let me know if you want a beaming recommendation) came and framed the entire basement. Amazing how quickly things move when they actually get started.

I was going to show the progress pictures, but seriously, who wants to see those? Not me!

Ok, except for these TWO almost-completed-progress pictures because, well… Danielllllllllllllllll.

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The day we got the carpet put in. You’d think the kid had been scaling stairs his entire life.
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Nope. First experience with stairs. Went all the way to the top. Thought he could turn around and go back down. Threw a screaming tantrum when we didn’t let him.

AND NOW! THE UNVEILING OF THE BASEMENT! (It’s actually not THAT exciting, but I am excited, so. There.)

First, you open the door and walk down the stairs.

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But before you walk down the stairs, you stop to admire this new light fixture. Prior to remodel, there was no light in the stairwell which drove me bonkers.

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Ok, then when you get to the bottom of the stairs, you turn, and then, the angels start singing.

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The tv will go up onto the wall soon, and we are SO EXCITED to have all of those shelves to put our knick-knacks that we’ve collected from around the world on all of our travels.

You may recognize the furniture down there as the furniture that USED to be in the upstairs. I forgot how hideous it is. But seriously, it’s so comfortable. And all of the seats recline. It’s actually perfect basement furniture, though it fit in much better with the wood-paneled walls than it does with our nice walls and carpeting.

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You’ll notice the line of things that will so somewhere on the walls.

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You can’t really see it, but above the desk near the ceiling is an outlet and cable hook-up. Someday we dream of putting a bar area in the basement, and that’s where it will go. I think for now we’ll cover up the high outlet with Chewbacca.

That door back there by the desk is the bathroom. I’m really excited that we now have three full bathrooms. I am not excited that I now have three full bathrooms to clean.

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I LOVE the vanity we picked out. Menards. Still looking for a mirror. Actually, I haven’t even started looking for one yet, but I’ve been thinking about starting to look. So there’s that.

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The bathroom is small, but perfect for the basement. Also, Only the one wall is that coral/orangey color. The rest of the walls are the same tannish/grey of the rest of the basement walls.

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Ok, if we back up now and get another view of the basement, the door that you can kind of see on the right is a storage area, the middle door is a maintenance door, and the door you can kind of see to the left is the guest room.

(I just had this great idea that someday I’m going to be like “DANIEL! FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY, YOUR PRESENT IS BEHIND ONE OF THESE DOORS! CHOOSE WISELY! IF YOU DON’T GET IT ON THE FIRST TRY, NO PRESENT FOR YOU!” Ha!

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Lovely guest room that is actually really big.

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(That lamp isn’t plugged into anything, but I thought it looked nice there.) I have tons of Pinterest visions of how to decorate this room.

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And this is our Harry Potter-esque closet under the stairs. This is where we will send Daniel when he’s bad.

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So, when you leave the bedroom and look left, you see the first storage area, which looks so much better when it’s behind a closed door.

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Yikes.

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And then, directly across from that storage area is the other storage area. (Also looks better when the door is closed.)

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There it is! We love it! More pictures to come when it comes together decoration-wise.

Don’t hold your breath for that, though. Based on my track record, it’ll be in the next five years or so.

And lastly, here is another picture of Daniel that I found on my camera when I took the basement pics last night.

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I took this pic when he was standing on his tippy-toes trying to open the pantry door. That’s his “Damn, I got caught!” face.