It’s a Meaningful & EXHAUSTING Christmas

Sorry for the late update (again). I’ve been so exhausted lately. Little Miss Holly decided not to sleep through the night anymore, so I’m sort of back to the just-had-a-baby zombie days.

Silly me, I’d thought this would be THE most exciting Christmas ever. And don’t get me wrong, it is, I just don’t feel it a lot of the time (when I wish I could be sleeping). But despite it all, our Christmas tree finally did get complete. Here are some of my favorite ornaments:

The one we got last year to celebrate the new house, our wedding picture one & the cross (both gifts) and a random but lovely tea pot

But of course :)

The mixer one from a baking phase; Melissa’s “big sister” one from while I was pregnant with Andrew

Love my “Fa-la-la-la Latte” :) – and handmade dog by talented sis-in-law

I remember our first Christmas, of how obsessed I was on matching fancy ornaments. A good friend was even nice enough to say it looked like a professionally decorated tree, and I beamed. Exactly the look I was going for. Which couldn’t be more different than this time.

The more kids we had, the more I’ve come to appreciate the quirky-tree look. Not overly balanced or polished, but definitely meaningful. Much like our lives.

Christmas Eve in front of in-laws much better looking tree (notice Holly’s adorable about-to-cry face :)

Stay tuned for more pictures of Christmas Eve/Day! I’m too tired to go on.

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Decorating Mom for Christmas

In preparation for marriage, I think every husband-to-be should take a day-long class in Cosmetics. This would give him basic knowledge to make appropriate remarks after the wife spends an hour getting ready (such as “good job with the eyeliner!”, or “you were right, this nicer brand sure makes a difference!”).

When I told my husband that on the way to church, he just laughed and reverted to typical generic comments like “you’re pretty” (which shouldn’t count as much after you’ve asked for them :).

Why is it that women care so much about the details? I mean, will anybody really care what kind of lipstick I use? Who stops and analyses our faces inch by inch, except for ourselves?

But the truth is, it doesn’t matter. I never agreed with that concept that women only try to look good for men or to compete with other women. Plain and simple, girls like pretty things. And if we like to see cuteness around us, why wouldn’t we want it on us?

I’m a stay-at-home mom, so most of the time, only the kids see me. When I first started, I thought it’d be silly to fix myself just for a baby, so I often didn’t. But years into this, I’ve learned of what a mood changer it can be to look presentable even before getting the kiddos. You know, the “put your oxygen mask on before helping your child” concept :). Makeup is mommy’s soothing balm – I’ll be much less cranky if a glance at my reflection isn’t scream-worthy.

That said, it isn’t a coincidence that all of my Chrismas gifts (the ones I had any say in) have been pampering related. And in honor of High Five for Friday, I decided to do a beauty special one.

5. Clinique 7-Day Scrub Cream

I used this thing first time last night and afterwards felt like I’d done a fancy microdermabrasion treatment. I thought, “no way this can be used 7 days a week.” Well, according to their website, yup, that’s the deal! Amazing. If you want to feel like you just had a facial every single day, get this!!

4. Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey

LOVE the “almost lipstick” concept. It’s supposed to merge with the natural tones of your lips, how cool is that??  My sister (the same one who gave me scrub) gave this to me saying it’s famous for working with any skin tone. I bet it does! The color could not be more awesomely neutral. Plus, it’s impressive how light or dark you can wear it – feels as light as a chapstick, but gets dark like lipstick if you keep putting it on.

3. Ulta Gift Card

Ok, this isn’t a product, but it’s the promise of products, which works for me! Can I just say too that I have the best sisters in the world – the oldest gave me the scrub & lipstick, and the middle one gave me this passport to Heaven. Because you know, whenever I enter Ulta I definitely hear the angels singing. And they seemed to be directing me to the next top two items…

2. Benefit’s Gimme Brow 

gimme brow

I’ve been flirting with this little tube for quite awhile. I even read a Bible verse one day that reminded of this brand ha ha – “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with BENEFITS (…)” – so for a moment I was like, it’s a sign! :). But I always ended up deciding it was a not-so-necessary luxury. Well, that was before I’d been gifted with Ulta credit! And I’m so glad I did. This looks a lot more natural than my eyeliner on my sparse eyebrows (and I think there’s less of a risk for me to look like a mean latina lol).

1. Chi Flat Iron in Lacy Azure

Isn’t it gorgeous?? If my hair looked half this good, I knew it’d be worth it. Of course, it totally was. Not only it did a better job than my other Remington one, it lasted longer. Not to mention that it makes the 30 min. plus routine of straightening my hair a little more bearable – because like I said, girls just like to look at pretty things. Is there anything wrong with that? No, amidst  Christmas lights, I say no, there isn’t :).

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, How Abused Are Thy Branches

Our tree-in-progress – hope we can finish it (with new lights and maybe a ribbon) in time for Christmas. Old lights have resigned, probably out of fear of our little destroyers :)

Oh my goodness, I just got this close to “canceling Christmas”. For the SECOND time Melissa & Andrew attacked the tree while I ate and/or took care of Holly. At least this time nothing broke (like it did on their first attempt). But several precious ornaments still ended up on the floor. I had to put the little criminal duo on time out and desperately tried to fix everything quickly while Holly screamed in the bassinet. Fun times.

And you know, I’m the furthest thing from a grinch! Christmas has always been my favorite time of year, so it takes a lot to get me this grumpy about it. Right now I’ve come to the point of wishing everybody had their gifts already to get this over with. I have to remind myself of how much I usually love the decorations, the child-like wonder, the right to splurge on something without husband objection… Actually, our first Christmas was what made us realize we wanted a family sooner rather than later. It was just us in California, so we were like, “we need some kids!”

Don’t trust these innocent faces! (ps- isn’t Andrew huge?? They’re 2 1/2 years apart, but the other day, somebody asked us if they’re twins :)

Well, we got them. I keep fantasizing of the time in their lives when they’ll enjoy the season AND respect the sanctity of the Christmas tree.

And on that note, sorry I haven’t respected the sanctity – I mean, the intended frequency – of this blog. We’ve just gotten over a tumultuous week when EVERYBODY got the flu, or at least something as horrible. David was the only one mostly safe, since he got the shot. I’m still slightly traumatized about it. Even when things are ok in the day, I’m afraid to believe it too much (to the point of grabbing the computer to blog). Right now, as I do this, Holly screams after a teasing micro-nap on the swing. See what I’m talking about?

So I’d better go. Oh, and to end on a happy note – I get my gift today!! Because YES, I deserve it sooner. And because a better flat iron (for more decent Christmas pictures) can’t wait.