Tag Archives: Elf On The Shelf

Merry Christmas Eve! ๐ŸŽ„

Finally, it’s here! For me, Christmas isn’t Christmas Day, it’s really Christmas Eve. When I was little, we never opened presents on Christmas Day. It was Christmas Eve and you weren’t allowed to open them until midnight, not even one. And the next morning everyone went out to play and show off what they had.

When we came to the United States, in our zeal to assimilate we began opening presents on Christmas morning (with usually one on Christmas Eve.) But even twenty years later, my real excitement is for tonight.

On an exciting note, I was quite sure that Buddy and Sarah went away for the year, but they had a final surprise in store! I found them under the Christmas tree when I went to turn it on:

The letter is from Santa, too. I wonder what it could be! But then, should I open it tonight, or on Christmas Day? ๐Ÿค” I’m excited about the mystery so I kind of want to leave it til last…

I’ve been slow with my chores due to my tummy still not feeling exactly fantastic. I can tell the experience left me very dehydrated. So I’m getting everything done slowly but surely, while drinking a lot of Gatorade.

My mom is probably still sleeping or perhaps about waking up. She’ll be here around 3pm, I believe. I know she was very tired, as she always is these days… In the back of my mind I feel the time to take care of her is approaching faster than neither of us wants to admit. Mainly because I don’t want to wait until she gets sick or has an accident at work that prevents her from enjoying life.

I think if she didn’t still have Shampoo and Sweeney (the kitties… Shampoo is VERY old though) I probably would be seriously considering moving her in, but we have four cats already, Tomoyo would torture Shampoo, and Sweeney would fight with everyone. My mom is so alone and unhappy, and increasingly overwhelmed, and I worry more and more, but I know she treasures her independence, as we do ours.

It is not something anyone wants to rush, but while I hope it’s a few years away still, knowing my husband has always been supportive of such a thing has always given me so much peace. I’m not sure any other man I’ve known would have been okay with that.

Then again perhaps if I began to do more work so I could help my mom and she could take more time off, that time could be extended. I’ll certainly have to work if she moves in, so maybe it’s time I begin considering that as a first option.

Anyway! The post got derailed. I’m mostly caught up on posts now. It’s time to finish getting ready!

Final Christmas Prep Day! ๐ŸŽ„

My mom arrives tomorrow morning! This will be our first Christmas alone in quite a few years. I did the grocery shopping and today Iโ€™m organizing and cleaning stuff around the house to make everything ready for her. Before she gets here Christopher will leave for Sebastian.

Itโ€™s a little odd because it feels as though Christmas already passed, and in a way, it did. I’m trying to get in the Christmas mood again.

This morning I caught Buddy trying to set one of my fake candles alight. Thankfully Sarah was standing by with the fire extinguisher:

Today my little desktop Baby Boy Sad Sam plushie came in the mail, I got him with the Christmas gift card from Snow. Really though I cannot help but think of this little guy as a tiny version of Nate and it’s probably half the reason I bought him. The other half is that he’s freaking adorable.

I’ll leave you with a couple of snail photos, this is one of my cornu aspersum:

Anyway, I guess it’s almost time, huh? “Christmas Eve Eve”. ๐Ÿ˜Š I hope you all have a good one.

The Elf Report ๐ŸŽ…

This morning, I found Buddy and Sarah in my studio, writing their report to Santa:

Apparently Buddy and Sarah think I have too many stuffed animals. ๐Ÿ˜‘ But my stuffed animals are my friends so I donโ€™t think thatโ€™s a very nice thing to say. They probably got help from my stuffed animals to move Christopherโ€™s laptop in the first place.

Anyway, their report overall was positive. I guess I havenโ€™t been so bad this year. ๐Ÿ˜‡

Since they are writing their report, I guess that means theyโ€™re going home very soon. It is almost Christmas after all.

Buddy and Sarah really made my December brighter with their antics. I do hope they know how much I appreciate them and their efforts to make me smile. I often say they are โ€œbad elvesโ€ but the truth is they are very good at what they do and the perfect elves for our household. I look forward to them every year.

End of Christmas Weekend ๐ŸŽ„โœจ

Good morning everyone! Though Christmas is this week, our weekend Christmas with family is officially over (although my mom is coming on Christmas Eve.) Yesterday my sis and mom in law went home, but we enjoyed a very nice day together before they did.

I found Buddy and Sarah in the living room yesterday, on top of the projector screen:

In the morning the weather outside was so wonderful that I went out by myself to the porch to have my coffee with the cats.

It was chilly, but the sun felt so nice. I wish everyone had come with me, but they were inside in the dark living room (no windows) playing Animal Crossing, so ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ but I had a nice little time to myself before I joined them.

Rosie sat on my lap, and was just so sleepy and a melted ball of hair and purrs.

Tomoyo would alternate between relaxing and running around with her little bursts of energy:

Kotoko quietly sunned herself…

Whilst I spent time there, I enjoyed watching the squirrels eat the food I put out for them.

Last week, our wonderful vet, Dr. Pisano, sent me a photo of Maddie in her Christmas tree:

You might remember Madeline and Croissant, our last two rats which joined our vetโ€™s mischief when we decided to stop having rats for a while. Croissant sadly passed away this year from a tumor that Dr. Pisano found too advanced to remove, but Maddie is still enjoying life as you can see.

This past week, between his work and my Christmas preparations, Christopher and I didnโ€™t have much quality time to ourselves. Even though I know he was really tired, after our family left he took me to a nice little local church event in the evening that had loads of Christmas lights and such. It was really romantic walking around together in that atmosphere even though the decorations were so old and corny.

Christopher took a photo of me next to one of the trees. I brought Ricky Parky with me; after a whole weekend of acting as non-Little as possible, being able to carry him around did wonders for my state of mind.

(I only took my mask off for the photo.)

Later at home we decided to give one more go to chestnut roasting. Itโ€™s our fourth try… we always got bad batches before.

Itโ€™s more work than you might think. You have to make a cut in every chestnut so they donโ€™t explode in the oven. But first you boil them in order to moisten them:

Most of the floating ones tend to be bad, so we discarded those. It was only a few that floated, and indeed most of those werenโ€™t good (mold inside.)

Then they go in the oven for 15 minutes:

After they come out, you wrap them tight in a towel for, I believe, ten minutes or so. Here they are fresh out of the oven:

The results were… okay? Chestnuts are weird. Theyโ€™re very fleshy; meat-like, really. They taste good but it really feels like they should be eaten with something else, I just donโ€™t know what. In the end Christopher didnโ€™t like them but I had a few. Mostly I enjoyed the experience of roasting chestnuts together.

While they roasted I got the living room looking all festive for movie watching:

We watched another old movie, The Holly And The Ivy. It was nice. It just gives me so much unmitigated joy to watch these old movies with Christopher. Itโ€™s one of my more niche interests and to have him show a genuine interest in it makes me deeply happy.

Overall the evening together was delightful. All my stress melts away when I am with him.

The older we get and the longer we are married, the more I understand that โ€œfinding your home in a personโ€ feeling. I know I complain a lot on my blog, sometimes I mention feeling very lonely in some aspects. Thatโ€™s bound to happen sometimes… no relationship is perfect. But taking it as a whole I do think ours is one of the closest to perfect I have ever seen. I would be hard pressed to find a kinder man, who understands so much about me and accepts me so completely โ€”even the parts he doesnโ€™t understand.

But I am rambling, and today is going to be a busy day. I have to shower, take care of the snails and the rest of my chores, and then draw like thereโ€™s no tomorrow.

Oh โ€”a final note because I noticed this literally as I am wrapping up the post. I just found Buddy and Sarah for the day! They were in the Furby area of my studio bookshelf:

I hope everyone reading this has a wonderful day, and please stay safe this week!

Happy Saturday! ๐Ÿ’•๐ŸŒˆโœจ

Good afternoon, everyone! This morning I found Buddy and Sarah on the tree:

I didnโ€™t sleep so great… Iโ€™m very tired and a bit down, a bit stressed. Things are absolutely better than other times this weekend, I think itโ€™s just my brain that has been getting on a certain wavelength in certain situations for a while so Iโ€™m training it out of that. I just feel a little exhausted.

We went out to lunch and then to Five Below. I was really happy I got to go. I picked up some stuff my mom needed, and a couple of shirts for myself:

I also got two set of posters, one to send Nate and one for myself. The Mandalorian one is for me. Iโ€™m going to pin them on my cork board.

They had these little Good Luck trolls. I got one of those too and stuck him on top of my left monitor:

Pretty soon Iโ€™m going to be baking empanadas for our early Christmas dinner. Then we will exchange gifts. But Iโ€™m not opening my gifts from Mwako until Christmas (or from my mom who is bringing hers on Christmas Eve.) So I get to have Christmas twice. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Saturday afternoon!

Nine Days Until Christmas! ๐ŸŽ ๐ŸŽ„

Hi all! Did you have a good day? I wrapped more Christmas presents, finished two illustrations, and got a bunch of things done around the house. It was a pretty good day, all in all.

In the morning, I found Buddy and Sarah hanging from the fan together:

In reality, Christmas for us will start this weekend. As far as actual Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Iโ€™ll spend that with my mom and no one else, so she isnโ€™t exposed to others. Christopher will go to his momโ€™s for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. And this weekend, my mom and sis in law are coming to celebrate an early Christmas with us.

Iโ€™m so excited for them to open their presents, even though one of the presents for my sis and one of the ones for Christopher almost certainly wonโ€™t arrive in time. ๐Ÿ™Š But I have a bunch of others for them to open. And I have presents for them to take home to Grandma and my mom in lawโ€™s super sweet roommate too.

Today I took pictures of my new Charlie Bears hedgehog, Holly, all dressed up. I think she looks very festive!

Holly is definitely among my top five Charlie Bears and not just because sheโ€™s the latest. Sheโ€™s just so gorgeous and unique. Iโ€™m really glad I didnโ€™t buy the Bearhouse collection hedgehog and held out for her instead.

Anyway not much else to say, Iโ€™m very tired, tomorrow I plan to clean the house a little and go shopping for empanada ingredients to make a nice meal for my family. ๐Ÿฅฐ Goodnight everyone!

Time To Turn In

Not much to say tonight โ€”it was a busy day. I went grocery shopping, did chores, finished two commissions, sent Nate his new tauntaun friend, thatโ€™s about it. Iโ€™m super sleepy.

Buddy and Sarah had a chill day too, they just held hands quietly:

Tomorrow I hope to finish one big commission, wrap some presents and Zoom with my mom.

I hope everyone has a wonderful night!

More Elf Adventures ๐ŸŽ„

This morning I made my lunches for the rest of the week. Rice with furikake, boiled eggs, and meatballs with gochujang and sour cream sauce. I had the little left over as a pretty nutritious breakfast.

I have to catch up on elf photos! So far I’ve managed to post about every single day, if not always on the same day. Yesterday, Buddy and Sarah had a photo shoot:

But today was one of the best days of the month. Sarah was painting while Buddy modeled for her!

Well… we’ll call it painting… but secretly, I think Sarah was only pretending. I think she printed that picture, because I heard them making a lot of noise last night. I think they were using the printer. It’s really sneaky too because Sarah printed a drawing that was drawn with markers.

Maybe I’m wrong, but my elves are pretty sneaky… ๐Ÿค” And not very smart (Sarah forgot to take the cap off her marker…) It’s okay Sarah, I’m “special” too sometimes. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

Just Getting Through The Day With A Smile ๐ŸŽˆ

Still busy cleaning the porch, but fairly close to done, now! I’m really thrilled with the pressure washer. ๐Ÿ˜

I took a break for lunch, a smoothie. ๐Ÿฅค It was amazing! Milk, peaches, strawberries, oats, vanilla extract, and just four or five very small mint chocolate crackers. ๐Ÿฅ›๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ“๐Ÿฅฃ๐Ÿช These are not heavy or overly rich cookies, and it’s not much per serving since I made like 3 cups. But they add a wonderful undertone to the smoothie. ๐ŸŒˆโœจ

Buddy and Sarah made their way back to my work area, I’m so happy. I touched Sarah’s foot with the napkin but I don’t think that can hurt her. ๐Ÿค”

Buddy seems no worse for the wear from yesterday’s misadventure:

Today I have a bit of a lonely feeling… I’m not sure why. I’m in a lot of pain, and worried about what the heck is Christmas even going to look like… it’s so hard to plan properly. Maybe I’m just craving a little TLC. Anyway, I’m just going to keep doing my best!