Posted in Christmas

Absolute Gratitude

It would be impossible to be more grateful…

And for those who were wondering how Katie reacted to her racetrack, here you go…

I hope that your Christmas was truly magical.

Also, Craig is over on Mommy of a Monster today sharing his thoughts on learning as you go and trusting yourself as a parent. Please go say hello to him!

One of the Best Parts of Christmas: Stocking Stuffers!

Thanks to Walgreens for underwriting this post. I was paid as a member of the Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all mine. Visit

I always put off buying my stocking stuffers until the last minute.

I think I’m just so focused on buying the things that the kids want to have and also the things that Craig and I want them to have that the little things fall through the cracks until it’s crunch time.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way because I seriously love stuffing our stockings. The only one I don’t do is my own because I honestly couldn’t do a better job than Craig Santa does.

This year, my stocking wish list items are…

For Matthew, I’ll stock up on Crayola Wonder coloring pages and markers. He loves to draw, but there’s no way I’m letting a two year old run wild with a regular marker. Not in this lifetime.

He’s so into Cars right now, so this one is perfect for him.

I cannot wait to see his face on Christmas morning because this is the first year that I think he feels the wonder and magic of Christmas.

I love this age!





One trick my mother taught me years ago is that if you want to buy yourself some time for coffee on Christmas morning, all stockings should contain things that can occupy children for a while. This stencil kit is perfect for that!

I’ll be putting this in Katie’s stocking for tomorrow morning.

She’s so into art right now that I know she’ll love it and it will be a hit for a long time to come.

Okay, fine. I may or may not be looking to playing with this one myself.





This Aveeno fig and shea butter body wash WILL be in Craig’s stocking tomorrow morning.

I bought a bottle a while back and I loved the smell of it so much that there was a lot of extra snuggling going on. #justsayin









I’m just putting this out there as an option for Craig.

I adore Essie nail polish and I’m so hoping to find this color in my stocking this year. It’s called Cocktail Bling and I’m so crossing my fingers that I’ll be wearing it by tomorrow afternoon. #powerofsuggestion








aveeno lip conditionerLastly, this lip conditioner from Aveeno will be in each of our stockings, just as it is every year.

This is, without question, the best lip balm. Ever.

It has a light vanilla scent and isn’t waxy at all.

And it wouldn’t be Christmas without finding it in my stocking.






I hope that you find some lovely treats in your stockings tomorrow morning.

I wish each and every one of you an amazing holiday season!

Happy Holidays!

Christmas and Childhood

christmas ornament, christmas memories, snow and ChristmasI often wonder what Katie and Matthew will carry into adulthood.

Which memories will weave together to form their childhood as a whole?

Will they remember pancake mornings or raspberries blown on their bellies?

Will they remember us taking them for rides to look at the lights at Christmastime or the way we always tried to have a special gift under the tree that delighted them?

I carry with me a memory of my mother that defined Christmas for me as a child and I am so incredibly honored to share my story with the SITS Girls over on The Secret to Success is Support.

Please come by and say hello.

And if you’re visiting from SITS, welcome and happy holidays to you!

I’m so happy to have you.

From Baby to Toddler

Matthew will turn two in just under two weeks.

I’ve been in complete denial about that for a while now.

His delayed speech has made him feel more like my baby than a toddler.

Though the wheels are in motion for some early speech help, we’ve continued to work with him every day, hoping that new sounds would finally emerge.

When his LeapFrog My Own Story Time Pad arrived in the mail, I thought that of all of the features, he would most enjoy the music.

What I didn’t expect is that he would start talking.

Well, saying his letters counts as talking, right?

He went from saying ball, hi, and Da, to being able to identify and say the names all of his letters.

Today’s favorite letter is U…

His little voice makes me swoon.

One thing that I love most about the My Own Story Time Pad is the way it syncs up to my computer, so that the stories can all be personalized to include his name, favorite food, and favorite color(all of which can be changed by syncing up again). Every time he hears his name, he giggles.

Within a few minutes of receiving the pad, he figured out how to navigate through the four different learning modes: story time, messages, music, and alphabet.

Though the My Own Story Time Pad comes loaded with one story, three songs, and an email, once you sync up, you can load five stories, nine songs, and three emails.

When he’s finally (!) had his fill of the alphabet mode, he switches over to the music mode and plays the Alphabet Song on a constant loop. This boy is nothing if not focused.

As he gets older, I anticipate that he’ll love some of the other cool features, like the email personalized messages.

I love that Matthew has fallen so completely in love with his My Own Story Time Pad. So often, toys are exciting for a couple of days and then their shine fades. But this toy? Wherever Matthew is, so is his pad.

But if I’m honest, the thing that I love the most about Matthew’s new pad is the sound of his voice when he plays with it.

Thank you to LeapFrog for sponsoring this review. While LeapFrog provided the product to me for this review, the opinions I’ve expressed here are solely my own and represent my honest point of view.

Certified, Insured, Fragile

A package would arrive, she said.

Certified, insured, fragile.

Terribly important she stressed.

We were out on an errand and we missed the delivery.

The box was returned to the post office, where it sat over the weekend.

Certified, insured, fragile.

And she worried.

Then she worried some more.

When the package, after being scheduled for redelivery, finally arrived at our home, she finally breathed again.

My mother.

She had sent us a gift, wrapped in tissue paper, memories, tradition, and love.

She had sent us Santa.

My mother won him in a raffle for a childrens’ charity shortly after she and my father were first married.  Her lucky Santa, she always called him.

For years, he symbolized the start of the holiday season and all of the wonder and hope that came with it. I was certain that he carried magic in his bag.

Every evening, my mother would wind up his music box, two, three, four times, so that I could get lost in the delicate chimes.

After ever-so-carefully pulling him out of the box, I placed him on the table for Katie and Matthew to see.

I carefully wound his music box and hugged Matthew close and then reached for Katie’s hand.

I could see in the delight on Katie’s face that Santa was every bit as magical to her as he had been…still is…to me.

In the days since we received him, I’ve come to realize that relinquishing him couldn’t have been easy for my mother. As I have watched Katie enchanted by the sight of him each day, I’ve caught myself thinking that I could never part with him, as he will undoubtedly come to hold the same memories for me that he had for my mother.

He does, indeed, carry magic in that bag.

That she parted with him for us, in hopes that we too would experience his wonder, means the world to me.

Thank you, Mom.  Thank you for sharing something so special with my little family.

Thank you for trusting me with something so dear to you.

We love you so very much.

Merry Christmas.

This post is linked up to the Red Writing Hood prompt, Charity.

About me

Nichole Beaudry @NicholeBeaudry Location: Northern California
Each and every day, I strive to appreciate the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments, the moments that, when strung together, form a lifetime.
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