Love, Juliebug: December 2014
It has been five days since Christmas and this is the first time I've thought to write about it. I guess that's a good thing considering it means I have been actually just enjoying life. We had our first Christmas in our very own new house. It was glorious. It was peaceful. It was happy. 

We almost didn't have a turkey for dinner though. The day before I realized that our turkey had partially frozen while sitting on the bottom shelf of our fridge. What the heck? So, I had to figure out rather quickly how to remedy that without giving us all food poisoning. I put the turkey in the sink with cold water and let it thaw that way. It worked like a charm. 

On Christmas Eve day the girl and I made cookies for Daddy, I mean Santa, and she helped out so much more than ever before. His favorite cookies, Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bakes. Look at her cuteness. 

She had a blast helping me. It's just been recently that I realized she has a lot more potential to help than I've been taking advantage of. It's so easy to see her as too little. But she's not! And, another side note for me...a mess is okay. Ah okay, moving on!

We had yummy homemade chili for dinner, opened our one present each and read The Night Before Christmas. Our one Christmas eve present each is always pajamas but she hasn't caught on yet. ;)

Oh, and of course she left this for Santa. Cookies, milk, and a letter for Santa. Carrots for the reindeer. She went to bed easily as usual. This girl loves her sleep but she also didn't want to have Santa skip our house because she was awake. Haha. I'm going to miss this magical stage.

The next morning she woke a little later than normal because she said she would let us sleep in. This girl, so sweet. She found a note from Santa along with her presents and stocking. It was so nice of Santa to take the time to write her a letter.

In the middle of opening presents I looked over and saw this. It made me smile because our little wiener dogs used to love wrapping paper and opening presents too.

I got an awesome new knife set that we desperately needed. The last one was from when we were married eighteen years ago. Wow! A great cookbook, movie I love, and a book I've been wanting were also given to me.

And, this girl? She got a tablet from her Aunt Stephanie. She's a tad spoiled but in all fairness it was on sale on Black Friday. She loves this thing. Thankfully I found a parent app that makes her stay in certain apps and restricts purchases. 

Then, we played new games. (Not pictured is my hubby.) Hungry Hungry Hippos was a fave! All in all, we had a wonderful Christmas. How was yours?

Eighteen years ago today the words found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 were in our wedding. We didn't know then what they truly meant. Or, at least, I didn't. I thought I knew what love was. I really did. Love was sweet and fun and made me feel alive. There are so many stages of love and of marriage. You come into it with your own baggage and have to learn what it's like to grow and live together. We have definitely had our share of hard times but I wouldn't trade them. That's hard to say sometimes but love is proved and forged in the hard times.

That's not to say that I don't feel the same things as the day we wed. I feel them, maybe more now than ever. They've intensified. They've blossomed. And these words may sound completely cheesy but they're honest and true. And I'm also not saying that I have it figured it out after eighteen years. Not even close.

I do think that God's been working on my heart to get some of the verse above hammered into our daily lives. Especially patience. Oh, people. Don't pray for patience unless you truly mean it. I mean, honestly, the only way to learn patience is to have things to be patient about. It doesn't come about magically though sometimes I wish it would.

Love, true love, reflects God. His character. Love is not a word. It's an action. A choice. Each day I have to make a conscious decision of whether I will be patient, kind, keep no record of wrongs. But, don't get the wrong idea...I don't do this alone. I could never be the kind of wife I want to be on my own. God does that in me. Through me.

God's love never fails. So, when we rely on God to love our spouse through us, that love will never fail either. I am so blessed to have this man. When I get to lay my head on my husband's chest and just be his wife. When he holds me close and tells me how much he loves me even still. I am so thankful, I could cry. Sometimes I do.

So, when you are in the middle of a rough spot or at the top of a mountain...keep your chin up. Love always perseveres.

Seeing as my daughter is obsessed with all things Frozen, including knowing the entire soundtrack by heart, I figured I'd share some of the fun Frozen products I found on Amazon. Keep in mind that this post does contain affiliate links which means I will get a small commission based on your purchase. But, enough of those are the products! Just click on the photo to bring you to the correct page on Amazon.

Aren't those all so cute?! I know my 6 year old would be thrilled with any one of these for a Christmas present. What would your child like the best?

This post has affiliate links. I will get a small proceed of what you spend when you follow this link. Thanks in advance for helping to support this blog!

TODAY ONLY Amazon has awesome deals for KitchenAid

Select items up to 50% off!! 

They have 6 qt Pro Stand Mixers for $179Let that sink in.

I have been wanting a KitchenAid mixer for the longest time. This is a great deal. Click on the link below to see what other deals they have today! 

Have fun shopping and Merry Christmas!

Julep saved the best Mystery Box of the year for last - just look at those two colors that come in the Naughty & Nice Mystery Box. Need a few creative ways to inspire your readers to purchase a Mystery Box for themselves? Just think, for $24.99 you can get $150 worth of fabulous stocking stuffers, teacher gifts, gifts for the sitter... and I'm sure you can think of someone else on you list that would love a little Julep.

December Mystery Box

Each Naughty & Nice Mystery Box will contain two must have colors - Patricia and Sue - and the rest will be a surprise! The total value of the box is $150 which makes it top rated value at only $24.99. Get it in time to gift for Christmas using expedited shipping. If you spend $50 or more, your expedited shipping is FREE. Score some last minute gifts and maybe even something you have had your eye on, too!

Fine print: Offer expires on 12/19/2014 at 11:59pm PT, or while supplies last. Purchase of multiple Naughty & Nice Mystery Boxes may result in polish or product overlap. Offer may not be combined with any other promotional offer or discount (e.g. Maven 20% discount). No exchanges or returns are possible on Mystery Box, individual items, or add-ons. Estimated full retail value is at least $150.00 for all Naughty & Nice Mystery boxes. Taxes vary by location. Free expedited shipping offer is valid on orders of $50+ on and does not apply to Welcome Box orders. Offer expires 12/18/2014 at 11:59pm PT. Orders placed after this date are not guaranteed to arrive by December 25, 2014. Christmas delivery is not guaranteed for shipments outside the continental US or delays caused by weather. Taxes vary by location.

This post sponsored by Hallmark as part of the Love, Hallmark Bloggers Group.
All opinions are 100% my own. I received products to review.

My childhood Christmas memories have always included Rudolph. We watched the cartoon every year. Even my six year old loves Rudolph! Did you know that this year marks 50 years of Rudolph with Hallmark?! Time flies when you're having fun!

We were sent some super fun Rudolph goodies to play with and, of course, we are sharing some of them with you!

First up, we received some adorable Itty Bitties!

Are they not adorable?! Santa and Bumble. My daughter will not put them down! We also got Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Interactive Toy. As you read the story he will talk and his nose lights up. Love this guy!

And now, we have a prize pack to give to one lucky reader! That's right, one reader will get the Itty Bitties and Rudolph Interactive toy! It runs from December 15-16, 2014 so enter now!

Bubbly Box Welcome Gift

It may be a little frosty outside, but the new Julep Maven Welcome Gift (a $58 value) has the perfect colors for the season and a top-rated beauty product as a bonus. As a Julep Maven subscriber, you get first access to trend setting colors and top-rated beauty products every month in addition to plenty more perks such as:
  • Julep Maven is the only customizable box of full-size, limited-run nail colors and beauty innovations. That means no surprises, no dupes or colors you don't like. You can see what is in your box each month and have the option of swapping out colors/products you already have or don't want.
  • Julep Maven is affordable. You get over $40 of full-size products in every box for just $24.99 per month.
  • Mavens get benefits all month long at Julep - like 20% off, free shipping, early access to secret sales and more - imagine what you can save on your holiday shopping!
  • A Maven subscription is also a great gift for the nail polish and beauty product lover in your life.

I love painting my nails! Now that my daughter is over the age of three it actually happens more often. That is a blessing to me. There's just something about having my nails painted up that makes me feel put together even if the rest of me is falling apart. I'm not sure why that is but I'm sure I'm not alone. I love Julep for my polishes, as well as many of their other items, and we are on Day 5 of Julep's 12 Days of Gifting Daily Deals. Day 5 features the Build Your Dream Gift Set with 6 polishes for $29.99 or 3 polishes for $19.99.

12 Days of Gifting

Which Julep favorites will you choose for your Dream Gift Set? Pick 3 or go with 6 shades for the best value when you create this one of a kind gift! It would be a great gift for a Mom, Sister, Friend, or even...yourself! ;)

Offer ends on 12/8/2014 at 11:59pm. 12 Days deals may not be combined with any other promotional code or discount, and are valid on only. All discounted items are final sale, absolutely no exchanges or returns. No adjustments on previous purchases. Taxes vary by location.
It never fails to surprise me what I see looking through the eyes of our 6 year old daughter. All the sparkle, glow, and magic of Christmas, and life in general, can be seen in her. The things she notices and celebrates brings a smile to my face.

This morning was a particularly stressful morning. You know, the kind of morning where mommy needed a glass of wine before 10 am? I didn't have it, I promise. I just thought about it for a split second. But anyway, she had been whining and throwing a fit in the store because she wanted food right that moment. She had been whining over every little thing practically all morning. I was done.

We got in the car and began driving toward home, thank goodness, when she began whistling. She suddenly said, "Today is the most happiest day of my life." Still in my funk I chortled and said "Why?" "Because it's the day I learned how to whistle." Ding.

It is. She was whistling. Not a strong whistle, mind you, but a whistle. She's been working on this FOR YEARS and I nearly missed it. I was so frustrated at her behavior earlier and holding what I can only call a grudge toward my six year old daughter that I almost missed the day she currently calls the most happiest of her life.

But, and here's the important part, I didn't miss it.

Five whole days into December and this is the first post I've made. What is wrong with me? Haha, just kidding. Maybe I've taken my own advice, for once. I've actually not been online nearly as much as normal. And, I am in quite the Christmas spirit already. Our trees are up as are our outdoor decorations. It's nice to have a house of our very own to decorate as we wish. So very nice.

I'm not quite there when it comes to Christmas music. Well, except for Pentatonix and Idina Menzel's christmas albums. LOVE them. Christmas movies are a whole 'nother topic. I can watch them in July. My faves? Well, topping the list is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. There's a certain nostalgia for me with that one. I also really enjoy watching Elf and Arthur Christmas. Of course, there are many more that I love. This is just touching the surface. 

I'm shopping for presents already which sounds late but is early for me. I've decided I'm going to finish and actually wrap them before Christmas Eve for once. This year I am hoping to get cards out to friends and family. We'll see if these are lofty dreams or reality soon enough. Last night was our 6 year old's Christmas program. Post coming soon, of course.

All this talk of Christmas has made me wonder...what is your favorite Christmas movie?
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