The Most Wonderful Time of the Year…

I cannot believe Christmas is here and that the New Year is right around the corner!  This year, WOW!  Words just cannot describe what this year has meant to me.  Well, actually, I am a writer so I know that words can most definitely describe it.  So they shall, right here.

As many of you read and probably remember from my previous posts, each year I choose a different word as the guide for myself, my focus (inspired by the book One Word– check it out).  In 2016, my word was IMMERSE.  Guys, I did just that!  All year long.

Monday night our brood all went driving to look at Christmas lights.  I was telling my husband I was so sad to see 2016 go -that 2016 was the best year of my life.  He summed it all up perfectly when he said, “Because this year, you finally became you.”  Powerful, right?  And he is so spot on!!  I am finally me!

I immersed myself into my blog and tried to be brave about it.  Tried to be honest about the pains and humble about the satisfactions.  I immersed myself (completely) into the writing, publication and promotion of my book.  Yes, my book.  I am a writer.  Now I live it and don’t just dream it.  I immersed myself into college (FULL TIME) when I went back to school after 20+ years.  I got tired – so damn tired- of telling myself all the things I wish I had done.  I decided to do them.  Lets face it, if I hadn’t, I would be here, a whole year later STILL wishing.  I decided that wishing is for the fainthearted.  I want to be doing!  Immersing!

2016 found me traveling loads.  I went somewhere almost every month – with the exception of when I couldn’t travel because I had a tummy tuck and lipo ( I call that immersing in vanity and you know what, I am okay with that every once in a while)!

January– Disney, Universal, Legoland with our littles- Magical time for sure.

February– Vegas- never been and it was so amazing

March– Hatteras- where I know I will end up someday

April– South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa on a BOOK TOUR- how sweet is that?

May– Fort Lauderdale to pre-celebrate an amazing friend marrying her amazing guy

          Cabo- with great friends for great memories

          Wilmington to bond with my mom and sisters

June–  Book Tour in PA and MD

July– Tummy tuck time and a brief cameo at a wedding in PA.

August– girlie still down  until college started on the 29th!

September– the Poconos

October– Our Halloween Party

November– back to Cabo with our friends for a Tournament

December– VA for book event and our Christmas party- Oh- and the end of the semester when I was told I made the DEAN’s LIST!

I am in no way bragging, I am just trying to show you all that I was immersed in my life wholeheartedly.  I believe in this, you guys.  I want every person reading this to live.  Really live!  This is not our practice life.  We only have one shot at this.  Why not spend the time we have living colorful, creative, fun and AUTHENTIC lives!?  Please try it.  The world really will be a brighter place when we are all being our colorful selves!

I joked with my sister today that I wanted my word for 2017 to be DITTO so I could just repeat 2016.  I know, I know, that would be kind of cheating.  So I am thinking about my word and will post it shortly.  You all think of yours and let me know what you come up with.  Let 2017 be the year you let the whole world know you are here!

XOXO

Book Tour…

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WHAT?  Book Tour?  Yes!  It is happening.  Of course there are some local happenings about the book coming up and I am very excited for them all BUT I just received confirmation that this tour is heading West!  In April, the No Cheese Please will be flying out West at the invitation of some local schools and libraries.  We will be hitting 3 states!  More details to follow!

 

 

 

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