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Tree Goes Up, Snow Comes Down!

Fall has been such a whirlwind! I feel like we just went Halloween costume shopping and now our Christmas tree is up, snow started falling and today marks three weeks until the big day (for us, the “big day” = Christmas Eve).

Even aside from the snow, it has been a magical Fall thus far. Halloween became a day-long event with a younger kiddo back in the house — we spent the day decorating mini cupcakes, carving pumpkins, making spooky-themed food, watching old Addams Family episodes and getting ready to trick-or-treat.

The weekend after Halloween (Nov. 7), one of my best friends turned 30 and held an 80s-themed party at a local hotel. So much fun! There was a dreamsicle-flavored cake decorated with Rainbow Brite, big hair and leggings galore (who authorized 80s fashion to come back again?).

The weekend after that (Nov. 14) was my 4th Annual Pink Party — a yearly girls-only party which is a fundraiser for the YWCA of Fort Worth’s My Own Place residential program for girls 18-21 who have aged out of foster care. It’s a huge to-do to put this on every year, as 50-60 ladies attended, but it was so worth it... With late donations received as recently as yesterday, our grand total for funds donated topped $1500 this year! I couldn’t be more proud, especially since most of this year’s attendees were first-timers to Pink and my usual crack-team of helpers weren’t there. And my Hubby was out of town hunting at his deer lease and his ex-wife (my stepdaugher’s mom) was in town to spend some quality time with her – so it was a VERY busy weekend.

The weekend after THAT (Nov. 21), was Twilight premiere weekend (I took my daughter opening night – we’d bought tickets weeks before but still had to camp in line for a couple hours for decent seats). New Moon was so much better than Twilight – loved it (though Edward – not so hot in this movie). National Adoption Day was Saturday the 21st at the Tarrant Co. Family Law Center in downtown Fort Worth and we were able to finalize the adoption of our son early (after having him just under 4 months – you are supposed to finalize at or around the 6-month mark). It was such a beautiful ceremony put on entirely by CASA and our judge was fantastic. His name is now legally changed and he is officially ours in every sense of the word. Love, love, love that – what a wonderful early Holiday surprise, and right before Thanksgiving!

The following weekend was last weekend, Thanksgiving.  I’m EX-HAUST-ED! We had turkey and fixin’s for 12. And Black Friday shopping. And Garden Ridge. And decorating for Christmas while watching the Grinch. AND a real tree this year – a beautiful Noble Fir (only the 2nd time in my life I’ve had a real one). And then family movie time (one can never watch Elf too many times!).

This weekend, Hubs goes back to the deer lease so I will play single-mommy again for four days. I have tickets (courtesy of CASA/National Adoption Day) to take the kiddos to the Nutcracker on Saturday and depending on how beat we are, we may head down to Babe’s in Burleson for some warm, country cookin’ (LOVE Babe’s) and then to the Burleson Christmas Lights festival thing Saturday night with one of my besties (dreamsicle-cake-girl) and her sweet daughter, who is the same age as my son.

I have piles of more gifts to wrap, bows to tie, laundry to do, a cleaning list a mile long, the busiest time of year at my job, a ton of freelance work I can’t even begin to get to and don’t even get me started on my personal finance filing-pile... It’s a miracle I made it through open enrollment! In between: counseling for the kiddos, dr. visits, boy scouts, homework, many family dinners and what feels like about a hundred trips to Target... I guess we all just do the best we can.  The following weekend (Dec. 12) begins the Holiday parties! I don’t know how long I can sustain this grueling pace, but I’m taking as many photos as I can in hopes that I won’t forget a moment of all this.