‘Tis the season for holiday photos part 2: What a difference a year makes!

Just about a year ago I headed to a local mall with a then approaching-two-year-old Betty in tow for a holiday photo session. Year one was a piece of cake mostly because she couldn’t walk yet and then last year was a totally different story. She in perpetual motion with a perpetual attitude for the entire shoot. Everything I asked her to do was the worst thing she had ever heard in her life. She hated everyone that came in the room. Three photographers later somehow the pictures still turned out fabulously. I have no idea when they were taken because it was definitely NOT the photoshoot I was watching, but I vowed that it would be our go-to place every Christmas. This past Saturday we found ourselves there again.

Things are SO much different now that Betty is nearly 3. She eagerly chose her own outfit for the photos – a cream colored sweater dress and silver tights, both with a hint of sparkle – and after she got dressed on picture morning she proclaimed herself a princess and happily spun around the living room singing songs off the Frozen soundtrack while I got ready myself. We made a quick stop off at Target beforehand and she announced to everyone that she was getting her picture taken that day. I was kind of hoping to jump in a pic or two with her so I wore my own vaguely sparkly top. She was thrilled to pieces that “we match!!”

At the mall we somehow got the best imaginable parking space right outside the main door. When we walked into the photo studio we didn’t even have to wait 5 minutes even though we were easily a half hour early. Waiting wouldn’t have been terrible anyway because they were showing Frozen on a big TV. Well played, Picture People.

Last year she gave me a bunch of holiday stink-eye; this year she was a shining star, turning on the holiday ham full blast. Smiling, jumping, screaming “cheese and potatoes!”, she did everything the photographer asked of her (ONE photographer this time!!) and it only took about 10 minutes to get a disc full of fabulous images.

Of course I already knew I’d be buying the disc. They had one of those $19 for one pose deals going on and I didn’t even bother because those are just useless to me as far as Betty is concerned. Here’s why:

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This is what happens when you tell her to smile like a princess.

This is what happens when you tell her to smile like a princess.

And one of my most favorites…our 2014 holiday card photo:

2014 Holiday Card

Betty watched Frozen as I stood in line waiting to pay and singing along with one of the songs playing off the TV, then shared a laugh with another parent who was also singing along as she waited. Malls the week before Christmas just aren’t supposed to be that laid back and fun and yet we had the nicest time there.

I almost wanted to hang out there all day.

Almost.

I hope everyone is having a spectacular holiday week and that you get everything you want this year! Much love from my family to yours!

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PS. I did get my pic with my girl. It might be one of my favorites ever.<3

xo,

Salt

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The obligatory Christmas list post.

ONE MORE WEEK until Christmas Eve, you guys! Can you even believe it? I feel like I blinked back in July and suddenly here we are.

I’m very pleased to announce that unlike last year where I procrastinated until the last possible moment, I have been mostly finished my shopping ever since the absolutely brilliant or absolutely moronic online purchase I made Saturday night between glasses of wine and baking racks and racks of cookies:

trampolineI’m leaning toward brilliant. You all know how that girl loves her some trampolines and I’m so tired of asking her to stop jumping on the couch, the chairs, the beds, etc. Slightly bummed about the 100lb weight limit, but you can’t win ’em all . (What sold me was that protective net around the outside because trampoline head trauma.) There’s also a talking minion, Hungry Hungry Hippos, kinetic sand that I know I’ll be kicking myself for buying when it ends up all over my floor, dress up clothes, and a couple other fun odds and ends stowed away in the depths of my walk-in closet ready to be wrapped up in Frozen wrapping paper. And extra batteries are purchased for everything that requires them because I am NOT going to have that mom fail again this year.

Anyway as a blogger, I feel it is my duty to discuss on here all the things that have made it on to my own personal wish list for 2014.

First and foremost I would love it if Santa would bring me back at least some semblance of my former sanity. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my job and am thankful that I get to be so creative every day. I have some seriously awesome, portfolio-building projects on my plate. BUT…I’m a little overwhelmed and so tired that I accidentally hit “publish” on here waaay before I was ready and I apologize if you got an email about an unfinished post. The past two weeks have been the busiest of my life and I would be looking forward to the weekend if I didn’t have to work then too. 4 days off next week will be a marvelous Christmas present. If that’s all I got, I would be thrilled.

As a bonus though, I’m pretty sure this gorgeous little piece of tech will be making its way under my tree:

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I believe that Mr. Salt  – errrr I mean SANTA – picked this up for me. Mostly because we are both so busy getting things ready for Betty that there is zero mystery as to what we are getting each other anymore. When he asked me, I told him that this was the only thing I wanted. Okay scratch that. It’s really the only thing BESIDES SLEEP that I wanted. Normally and for obvious reasons I would say shoes, but I already got myself some amazing new shoes a couple weeks ago.

Although I guess there’s always room for more shoes, am I right?

My other gift to myself? MARATHON TRAINING! I start getting ready for Jersey on Monday and I’m actually going to be following a plan this time rather by flying my the seat of my pants like I did for the last one. It is my goal to do anything and everything I can to stay healthy and uninjured during this training cycle and the first step in that is listening to a professional. That professional just happens to be Hal Higdon. I’ll be using a hybrid of his Novice 2 and Intermediate plans because I’m injury-prone and the idea of consistent 5 days per week runs for the next 18 weeks? Freaks me right out.

Other than that, the holidays so far have been completely Betty-centered. So far she has visited three different Santas (and loved each and every one of them), has been finding her Elf on the Shelf every morning (I don’t have one of those elves that ruin my house though…his name is Wreck It Ralph, but he just hides and leaves her notes and little gifts), we’ve watched Polar Express about 40 times, and gone down to see the lights at 34th Street a few times, plus train gardens and cookie baking and cookie taste testing and on and on and on. I’ve always loved Christmas, but it just gets more and more special as she grows up.

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Seriously, kid!? COULD YOU BE ANY MORE CUTE!?!?

How is everyone else’s holiday preparations going? Have you finished your shopping? What is on your Christmas wish list? Visited any good Santas lately? 

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

xo,

Salt

It.

Last year I loved running during the holidays. It was so peaceful looking at everyone’s lights and decorations in the very early morning when it seemed like the rest of the world was still asleep. Christmas was the first holiday that I got to do that; in October when Halloween was approaching I was still doing most of my runs on my lunch breaks. Since then I have become the early rising runner that I never thought I would be so when I went out for 10K in my neighborhood this morning there were all sorts of fun Halloween things to look at.

And then there was this.

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At first I didn’t even see it as I cruised by on the sidewalk. The spotlight that this particular homeowner set up caught my eye and when I turned my head a scream stuck in my throat. I’m not one of those people that are deathly afraid of clowns or anything, but it was incredibly dark on a road with no streetlamps and no people because it was only about 5:30. It was a little unnerving to say the least. I stopped to take this picture and was going to Instagram it right there (because I am an insta-dork), but then the clown’s eyes were making me really uncomfortable so I decided to wait until I got home. I love Halloween and horror movies, but it was really more realistic and terrifying than it needed to be. As I ran away, I pictured it tagging after me with a chainsaw. Hooray for new nightmare fuel!

I think I’ll avoid taking Betty past that house on Friday. She would never sleep again.

Seen any fun, scary decorations in your neighborhoods lately? How do you feel about clowns? Are you dressing up this year!? (Betty’s costume turned out better than I ever expected!)

xo,

Salt