Christmas Spirit Fail

Not feeling like such a hot parent today.  I had big plans.  I was going to pick up my children early to surprise them and take them to the new Christmas movie, Star.  I thought it would be a fun moment for us as we get ready to swing into the holiday season.  After all, Marlin (our Elf on the Shelf) will be here this week and we are psyched for his arrival….

Then, today, my children did this cute little thing they do some mornings.  I don’t know if any of yours do this.  Ah, its the BEST!  See if it sounds familiar….

“AUUGHHH!”

“HE touched me!”

“She is looking at me!”

“It isn’t MY job!”

“You need to come because now its getting physical”

“AUUGHHHH!”

“Why can’t we have Halloween candy for lunch?  Seriously, Mom!  You are such a fun ruiner.”

etc, etc, etc,  (all actual quotes here).

Surprisingly this doesn’t have me feeling all the feels if you catch my drift.  It has me thinking, “The only star you are going to see are the ones twirling around your head like a cartoon character…” just kidding about that part but COME ON!  A Fun Ruiner?? I am like- the QUEEN of Fun!

I am now sitting at the library working on a writing project but I keep coming back to this morning.  I keep coming back to the fact that despite it all, I STILL want to surprise them and pick them up and share this magical moment with them.  Am I delusional???

Then, now that I am calming (writing does this for me), I am forced to remember some other things that ALSO happened today that I had forgotten when I let the negativity take over.

“Spicy, you can go first.  Ladies first- Always.”

“Thanks for recording the Steelers for me mom. I can’t wait to see if they won.  Don’t tell me, I want to be surprised.”

“I’m going to love nature A LOT today in Environmental Science class today. Like more than normal.”

“I’m going to ask my Spanish teacher to help me write a book in Spanish.”

“I love you, Mom” – times 3.

I love you all, too!  I love it all.  The Christmas spirit isn’t failed here like I thought.  I just need to embrace it all and remember that its tough sometimes; being a parental unit.  But, if you just keep your eye on the Star (the good), you’ll find something that makes all the travels worth it.

XOXO

 

 

Marlin in the House…Literally…

Marlin has been low-key this year.  Well, at least low-key in comparison to how he usually rolls.  I am not sure if it is the fact that he is getting older or if it is the fact that he is gearing up for some wild times during this crunch time before Christmas!  I sincerely hope it is the latter!  I love this elf and the true magic he brings!

One day, Dapper touched him (and you know this means potential magic loss) and then Marlin stayed in the same spot for 3 days (key doom music- DUM DUM DUMMMMM).  We were concerned for his well being and were paranoid that it was the end of Marlin.  Luckily, he has since recovered and is back on the move!  Whew!  I know Dapper is happy and I see a huge sense of relief in Spicy’s eyes so I am pretty sure she also made contact with Marlin.

 

Throwback to Marlin Flying a Commercial Airliner last year…It happened.  We landed safe!

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A Big Thank You to Our Elf, Marlin!

Dearest Marlin,

How did you know this week was not one for crazy hoopla and shenanigans?  It was almost as if you were well aware that we are planning for a huge Christmas Party this weekend and you didn’t want to overwhelm me.  THANK YOU!  Thank you for being the strong, silent type elf this week.  I am POSITIVE that once Saturday night passes, you will be back to your wild and carefree ways.

And I, for one, am super excited about it!

XOXO

 

Throwback to 2012: When you Toilet-Papered the boy’s room in our old house!  Good times!

 

Enter Stage Left…Marlin!!! Our Elf on The Shelf!

Holiday greetings, blog world!  For you early holiday decoration haters, I am sorry!  I had to do it this year!  Christmas celebrations are in full swing over here and we are having a lot of stress and fun all mixed together!

Every year we have a Christmas party at the BEGINNING of December.  So, this means we have to have all our decorations, both inside and out, completed.  Talk about motivation!  We have really gotten in gear with the help of good family bonding with friends that may as well be blood relation!  We are slowly but surely getting everything ready.  Deep breaths….

Now, back to important discussions and the reason for my posting today (when I should be working on decorating).  Marlin has officially returned!!!  Whoop Whoop!  I will tell you how this came about because as you know, Marlin typically arrives Thanksgiving Day.  This year, he came over a week early!

While unpacking some Christmas boxes, Clever, Dapper, Spicy and I came upon their ELF ON THE SHELF pajamas that Marlin left for them last year.  I  was telling the kiddos how I had to wash the pj’s before they could be worn when Clever asked, “Do you think if we wore them tonight, Marlin would come early? Do you think Santa would let him?”  Well, Gosh!  I thought we better give it a shot and LOW AND BEHOLD- Bam!  It happened!

marlin10He came with the sign up above saying, “I’m back!  Go to bed!” love, Marlin.  They weren’t thrilled about being told to go to bed but…they went to their rooms to find

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CHRISTMAS Bedding!  I don’t know how Marlin did it!  I guess traditional Christmas Magic!

Thursday night, Marlin left the children a special treat for breakfast!

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Special Christmas cereal is always a fabulous way to begin a day!

Friday night Marlin remembered the “Reason for the Season”, Jesus.  Which I thought was nice because we all can certainly get wrapped up in the commercialization of Christmas.  Don’t get me wrong, I think Jesus would have no issue with Santa and his elves on shelves.  A special spirit that brings joy and generosity to the hearts of children?  I think Jesus would say that is right up his alley!

marlin8And last night, Marlin replaced a photo frame with a selfie he had taken a while back.  I think it was a shout out to our Glenn and Marlin’s way of letting us know he thinks Glenn really special, too!

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I will keep you all apprised of Marlin’s adventures and shenanigans for 2015.  I have to admit that I am hoping he will not find our home too boring this year!  Last year, we were traveling and Marlin got to go on some pretty amazing adventures (which I will be showing here as well).

THROW BACK HOLLY STYLE: 2014

marlin11Marlin playing a guitar in a shop in Jamaica!  Ho! Ho! Ho, Mon!

ps- Just a suggestion to all my friends out there who also have an elf visit you:  we have been photographing Marlin every morning that he arrives.  Then I put together a coffee table book that helps us remember all the fun times we had that year.  The kiddos LOVE looking back through it and I bet it probably helps keep Marlin on track and original so he doesn’t do the same things year after year!   🙂

Let us know what you all have planned for your elf!  Who knows, maybe we can feature some of your photography here!

XOXO

 

He is almost here……

Hey guys!  Hope you are having a great week so far!  Thank you for all the messages and comments.  Talking with you has been great!

I wanted to real quickly come on here tonight (this am if we want to be technical) and ask you how many of you do THE ELF ON THE SHELF?  We started it back in 2012 with our little ones and let me just tell you, it has been a ball.

Our guy, Marlin…

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I will just tell you tonight that we named our Elf Marlin because that is the name my husband wanted for our children.  He is an avid fisherman and our children’s names fall in line with that theme but I just couldn’t name one of our children, Marlin.  Nothing against it, truly.  It just wasn’t for me.  SO, I thought, I would name something Marlin- and that special someone was our ELF ON THE SHELF and he has turned out to be a pretty amazing and fun guy!  Our Christmas would not be the same without him, that’s for sure!

We are super excited for his return this month and I just bet he has so much fun stuff in store for our family!

I did, however, kind of wanted to take you all on a journey of where Marlin has been, what he does during his “down time” and ways I have come up with to keep his memories intact for the little ones for their whole lives.  I hope you all will stay tuned!

Here is a photo of Marlin in Haiti last December.  He was in Labadee just soaking up some sun!  That is the cruise ship he was on.

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XOXO