Can I Really Do This?

Of course I can do this. I’m my own boss (except for Scarlet and Des and their obvious control over me).

I’m going to combine two of my favorite link-ups in one post – as a co-host to the regularly scheduled Ladies Only Blog Share, and as a contributor to Old School Blogging. I didn’t want to lose my chance to participate in the last Old School Blogging of the year, as December is rapidly ending. And that brings me to the theme of yet another holiday Ladies Only Blog Share Link Party.

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This week’s theme is about relaxing and taking a deep breath, and maybe doing something for yourself in the midst of stress and overbooked plans. Please share a favorite post of 2013, or you can keep it festive with holiday themed posts. Unwind, and enjoy!

And what I’m doing for myself right now? I’m going to take 15 minutes (ok, let’s be honest – up to 60 minutes, knowing the way I blog!) to do some Old School Blogging and answer some holiday questions. I could not resist this month’s holiday theme. Click on this badge to join in and link up. And then scroll down to link up to Ladies Only Blog Share Link Party: Holiday Reflections!

First things first: 1 Holy Night or 8 Crazy Ones? (Do you Celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, both?)

Both! I grew up celebrating both Hanukkah and Christmas, and my husband grew up with the same. Within my own household, it was a bit confusing and ever-evolving, but Hanukkah was certainly more forgotten about as we got older (and now). So now we celebrate Christmas with two sets of the kids’ grandparents, and Hanukkah with the third set of the kids’ grandparents. (confused, yet?) At home, we light the menorah and also have a gigantic Christmas tree and Christmas decorations.

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Peppermint or Chocolate?

Chocolate! Peppermint mixed with chocolate is nice this time of year too. Peppermint on its own is rarely what I reach for.

Sing us into the Holiday Season, what is your favorite Carol this time of year?

My all-time favorite is “Carol of the Bells” in all versions. In fact, I saw this interesting a cappella version today:

Tell us about a Favorite Family or Personal Holiday Tradition.

I actually just wrote about this on my friend Leah’s post. When we were kids, we’d do Secret Santa within the five siblings and we’d leave sneaky notes and gifts all month long for our Secret Santee, and then reveal ourselves with a gift on Christmas morning. Now that we’re adults and many of us are expanding into families, we still do it within the original sibling core group, and now we include our spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc.. Otherwise, we would all be buying 8-10 gifts to cover everyone!

C’mon you remember your favorite (Christmas, Hanukkah) gift, tell us all about it:

You would think I would, wouldn’t you? My childhood Christmas memories often blend together as many restless, sleepless & long nights, leading into glorious mornings. Probably my favorite Christmas was in adulthood, after my sister-in-law had just given birth to my nephew only nine days before Christmas. She came that morning, hushed and holding a newborn, and we realized Christmas would never be the same. Scarlet was the first grandkid, but now there were grandKIDS. And we will only grow.

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That magical moment? (Your favorite scene from a Holiday movie…it’s okay if you have 2)

I love that moment in The Family Man in which he’s playing with his daughter in the snow and he really feels the love for her (even though she’s just a possibility of his life if it had gone a different way) and she looks him in the eye and she just knows..

Kissing under the mistletoe? Who do you hope is standing underneath (We know it’s normally your spouse, if it did not have to be, who would you choose?)

This CRACKS me up. Everyone keeps putting celebrities. It’s rarely enough for me to feel anything at all for someone I haven’t met. Visual is often not enough to want to kiss someone. I kept waiting for someone..anyone..to say that they’d kiss their next door neighbor. Or the UPS guy. Or their ex-boyfriend! Or their best friend’s husband. Not that I don’t believe you all about the Ryan Reynolds/Ryan Gosling answers. I couldn’t resist some of them. So. Um. Captain Hook from “Once Upon a Time.” Yes.

Swans a swimming, lords a leaping, golden rings; which gift of the 12 days of Christmas would you like most?

I would love five gold rings. And then I’d take them to one of those “cash for gold” places, and I’d make some bank!

Play Secret Santa, what inappropriate gift would you love to give this year?

Oh, sexual chocolate probably. There used to be a local chocolate shop that would do things like that! True story: My mom once went to a party at her ultra-conservative friend’s house and made..something ridiculous out of clay. Something I won’t talk about here. What was she thinking? The best part is that they’re still and always very close friends.

Martha Stewart or the Grinch? What is your decorating style? (Pictures would be awesome!)

Well I’m no Grinch, but I will never be a Martha either. I think you all know by now that we have an eclectic style all our own. Doctor Who Christmas, anyone? Tardis tree topper and ornaments.

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What is ONE WORD that defines the holiday season for you? (Examples: Believe/Wonder/Bah Humbug?)


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(One year ago!)

If Santa could assure its delivery, what’s the first thing on your holiday wish LIST?

Could Santa ensure a cure for cancer? I’d also really love a fancy new camera lens. I wrote you about it, Santa!!


And now that you’ve (hopefully) relaxed with my Old School Blogging, won’t you take a moment to reflect, relax and link up to Ladies Only Blog Share. These inspiring and hilarious and insightful posts will have you relaxing this weekend.

My spectacular co-hosts:

Michelle from A Dish of Daily Life

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Crystal from Mommifried

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Angela from WriterMom’s Blog

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Kristen from Four Hens and a Rooster

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We are also re-welcoming a cherished guest host, Amber from “City Girl On Hicks Farm“.

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We’d all love to connect with you outside of our LOBS Link Party…Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, Instagram…wherever you’d like to connect! My buttons are all at the top of my blog. Write me a note letting me know that you are visiting from the Ladies Only Blog Share or #LOBS, either in the comments below or feel free to send me a tweet or leave me a note on Facebook! I will definitely respond and follow you back! And the rest of my co-hosts would be thrilled to meet you as well!

Now, let’s get started on the link party! Have fun and visit the links below. We ask that you try to visit at least three. Remember to leave a thoughtful comment on the new blogs you’ve discovered and let them know you’re visiting from the Ladies Only Blog Share Link Party! Feel free to pin your blog post to the Ladies Only Blog Share Pinterest board, too! In the URL field, place the link to your post. The name field should contain the title of your post.

Use the hashtag #LOBS when tweeting! Doesn’t it have a nice ring to it?

A few simple requests are…

** Follow and visit all of the hosts and co-hosts

** Link up your favorite post! Please try to stick to our weekly theme

** Please share this link party so others can join

** Visit at least three of the blogs on the link party

And now, party time:

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  1. Great answers! Your mom’s story reminds me of my ultra-conservative maid of honor who hosted a bachelorette party for me with games that were ANYTHING but conservative. I couldn’t believe it! My sister, who I was lucky enough to acquire a few years ago when my dad got remarried, had a baby this past year, and we finally get to meet her this Christmas. Your story about your sister made me even more excited about this. Special times!

    Visiting from #LOBS! Thanks for co-hosting. 🙂

    1. haha! I love that story about your maid of honor. You just never know. It was in a group of very conservative women and while many of them gave my mom strange looks, her friend throwing the party did NOT! I love friendships like that.
      Excited for you for this Christmas!

  2. Woohoo! I linked up this time around (with my christmas posts that you’ve already seen.) Thanks for hosting! I’d take the 5 golden rings, too! Seriously, what would you do with french hens and turtle doves. LOL I hope Santa pulls through on that lens you asked for 😉

    1. Exactly!! I don’t even know what a french hen is and I certainly wouldn’t keep birds in cages! Now..gold..that is valuable.
      So glad you linked up and I loved your post!

  3. Oh Tamara I just watched "Family Man" last night (it's probably my fav Christmas movie) and the part in the snow with Annie just kills me! When she thinks he's her "real" dad and says "I knew you'd come back" the tears just flow!!

    1. Allie, I was looking all over YouTube for that exact scene! All I found was the one in which she says, “You’re not my real dad” and he tells her about his Wall Street life. Can’t handle it!

  4. I love how you combined!! So awesome! The whole mistletoe with celebrity thing gets me too. I have to know someone's personality to even find them attractive. So you could be the best looking guy in the world but if you're a jerk or don't have anything interesting to say, you're not going to do it for me anyhow. And your inappropriate secret Santa gift was cracking me up!

    1. I knew you'd get it! I can't feel a physical thing without the emotional component. Nearly ever. Except for..Desmond from LOST and Tim Curry. Not sure why about that one!!

      I'm glad my Secret Santa gift is cracking you up! I almost didn't admit it…this is a family blog, after all.

  5. Cashing in your five gold rings for bank?! LOVE it!

    My FedEx delivery man is pretty cute. Maybe I should hang some mistletoe on my front door. You know I'm all about the strategically placed mistletoe!

    And the chocolate? Talk about combining two very good things… Ohhhh, wait, you weren't actually combining sex and chocolate.

    Sometime I have to write about the time I worked a chocolate fountain booth at the Toronto Sex Show…that was an experience I'll never, ever forget!

    1. My UPS guy is adorable!! And my one from San Francisco knew where I worked and around the holidays, he’d always find me at work or at home when I was desperate for a last minute delivery.
      True love.
      Surprisingly, I don’t remember what he looked like.
      My friend once said that peanut butter and chocolate was like loved dipped in sex. Funny, right?
      And I really need to hear about the Toronto thing!!!!!

  6. Love the chocolate sex reference…I bet that clay mold your mom brought over to her friends was HILARIOUS! I think that my big family and myself should do a Secret Santa Christmas and not have to buy so many gifts for everyone. I may bring that up! Great combination, and I am ALL LINKED UP!

  7. Oh my, I can't believe I haven't written a holiday post yet! Gotta make one, gotta make one! LOL. You sure have a gigantic Christmas tree! I love it. Your kids are so adorable! You have great Christmas traditions too, I've only heard about Hannukah while I was watching Friends before. Hehehe, interesting! 🙂

    1. That is cracking me up that you learned about Hanukkah from Friends! That’s where you learn the best stuff!! I honestly don’t know a lot about it. I forgot most of what I learned, but I do want my kids to know both holidays and their meanings!

  8. When you say "gigantic Christmas tree" you mean GIGANTIC CHRISTMAS TREE!! WOW!! I LOVE it!!! I have loved Pentatonix since I first saw them on The Sing Off a few years ago. Carol of the Bells is my favorite Christmas song, too, but I've never heard their version!! Squee!!

    I don't think I've ever seen Family Man. It sounds like I need to fix that!! –Lisa

  9. You are SO hysterical! I wish you were closer or I were closer… I just want to hug your neck (southern slang- sorry, It’s a good thing, go with it) Happy Friday, Sweet T! Excited for a #LOBS weekend!!!

    1. I love your southern slang and I hope it REALLY means a hug around the neck because I’d love one from you! I couldn’t say “hello” without one, I think!
      Happy Friday to you!!

        1. Ooh, all you NC bloggers are so lucky to have each other. I do have Michelle, though. One day..one day… maybe the Philly BBC convention next September?

  10. Perfect leaden for LOBS and the scene from Family Man has always been one of my favorites. So, just more you and I have in common. Seriously, I always get weepy eyed watching that movie and that scene especially. Have a great weekend, Tamara!! 🙂

    1. I saw it in the movie theater with my sister and cousin and we couldn’t wait! It was a big theater near NYC. Ah, good times. Have a great weekend!

  11. Yeah I kind of agree with you about the mistletoe thing! Last night I had a dream that I'd met this AMAZING guy. He was really tall and he was a swimmer. He had light brownish curly hair, and a great sense of humor. I'd like to kiss him under the mistletoe please!

    1. That will happen so soon for you! And she’ll be happy to tell you her perverted stories in person. And I’m so glad so many of my like-minded friends love that movie! Not surprising.

    1. ha, yes! I really did analyze it. Did I want multiple strange birds in my home? Or leaping lords? Or milking maids! That all seems like more trouble than its worth, as well as deep expenses to feed/shelter such beings!

  12. Hook from Once Upon a Time – yes! I googled him the other day to see who he was, and it was odd to see him without all the black eyeliner. It takes a special kind of man to pull that off. My man certainly couldn’t, but he’s no pirate.

  13. I love every single things about this post!!! I love a cappella and that version is great!! Do you watch the Sing-Off? I'm behind but hopefully this weekend I will catch up!!

    That picture of Scarlet looking at baby Des makes me smile!!!

    And, I still love your giant tree!!!

  14. I am so glad you linked up with OSB too! 😀 Makes me super happy. And I would kiss my neighbor's husband but not the UPS guy. And my husband knows both of these facts. 😉 Good point about the golden rings.

    That a capella group is from the city I used to live in, in Texas. They are SO good!

    1. Look at you go, girl! I once told my mother-in-law about a guy in town I thought was hot. She said something pretty cool back like, "Yeah, I notice those things sometimes."

      Darn straight!

    1. Thanks to Dana, I Googled the actor to see photos of him without eyeliner. It’s even better. And he was born a day after my half birthday so we’re practically twins and almost the same age!

  15. Look at you multi-tasking! I really wanted to link up with old school blogging but I don't think I can swing it. I love how you and your siblings played secret Santa….I bet that got real interesting! 🙂

  16. Love your answers! I always love these posts because I get to learn a little more about my bloggy friends! (Unfortuantley I ran out of time to do it myself this month, though!)

  17. Scarlet's face when looking at her cousin. Adorable. There is something about baby hair, and the way it lays when they're that little. It really pulls at my heartstrings.

    I really like the secret Santa idea. My kids love giving gifts and that is a simple, inexpensive way to allow them to do it all month long.

    My 8 year-old used all her saved allowance to buy a Nutcracker decoration as a gift for our entire family this year. It was SO sweet.

  18. Oh my goodness, Tamara. Your answers are funny. I'm all about chocolate and I never really enjoyed peppermint either except for like a mint candy. Such a cute picture with Scarlet and her first cousin 🙂 I agree with you about décor. Our first Christmas together we had money to decorate the way we wanted and I definitely wasn't the Grinch and I would not dare compare myself to Martha Stewart hehe.

  19. Oh how I love thos throwback pics of Des and Scarlet! 🙂 I love this version of old school blogging too! The first one I have seen of the Holiday variety! Captain Hook eh? You know no one is really ballsy enough to say who they REALLY wanna kiss. That is saved for late night girl talk NOT the blogosphere 🙂

    1. Hook is my man! I would have usually preferred Charming because I generally have no use for bad boys, but Hook has a major soft side. Yum.

      And you're so right – who would really admit it? Not married people.

  20. I love these types of surveys (I used to read and answer all those emails we used to send around, remember those?). And I'm especially impressed with your tree! That is gorgeous, not only for its height but it just looks so fresh from the forest.

    1. I do remember those emails! And I remember the early memes on livejournal.com.

      The tree still looks fresh from the forest and it's been several weeks!

  21. I will forever be a less-than Martha than you. I mean baking? Please marry me, and be my sister wife….My holiday wish list? To be nice to me… sad, weird, and totally true. Also that we meet IRL one day, and that I brag that Tucker was photographed by my amazing, fabulous friend Tam. Because my wish means I can abbreviate your name, too…

  22. I answered with "Your Dad" under the mistletoe…cause I'm a rebel like that.

    It's funny that you said that your niece was born nine days before Christmas because mine was born two and a half weeks before Christmas. I got to snuggle her up while knowing that in 9 months, I'd be doing this with my own. I had positive pregnancy test before the holidays started 🙂 Best gift…gifts ever.

    Have you seen the music videos for Penatax? They are phenomenal. I think I spent an entire afternoon watching them. xo

    1. I was inspired by your answer, actually! And I'm sure it might even be true for me depending on who I'm talking to. I've never seen the music videos! I would love to spend an afternoon watching them, though!

  23. Love your list! I laughed out loud at the pic of Scarlet checking out her new little brother. Heh. I don’t think she was thinking what a wonderful gift he was. 🙂
    That acapella version of Carol of the Bells is awesome, isn’t it? I love that song, and I loved singing it in chorus, even though I was part of the self-titled “one note altos”, a name most appropriate to this song. Merry Christmas!

  24. for years i was a member of the JCC gym and so i’d text my jewish friends to celebrate holidays like, “happy sukkhot!” and they got such a kick out of me knowing their religious holidays.

    i am a sucker for peppermint hot chocolates at starbucks. i get them year-round because i don’t drink coffee.

    1. ha! You probably know the holidays better than I do. I never actually know when any of them are unless I'm reminded.

      I just found out that you can get peppermint coffees (or hot chocolates) year-round there. I guess they don't do the candy cane toppings year round, though.

  25. That tree is everything! It’s not even fully decorated in the pic and I’m still like, “WOW!” They way Scarlet is looking at Des is priceless! Lmbo.

  26. We have to watch all our traditional movies each year-Family man being one I watch twice! I always wish that it would continue and they end up having that wonderful family! lol

    1. Twice! I need to try that!!
      I hear you. It’s strange when you already know how a movie ends, but there’s a part of you that still hopes it will be different.

  27. Oh I love this and I love your secret santa tradition with your siblings! I can imagine how much fun that must have been growing up, leaving sneaky notes and presents all month long. And it is funny about the mistletoe question, isn't it? I am still in absolute awe of your tree. It is spectacular and gorgeous.

  28. Cool linking these 2 together. I think several ppl have your tradition of secret Santa for adult siblings. I love the notes from childhood tho. I bet that was super fun. I wish for that same thing Dear Santa, if only he could gift a cure! Cute OSB!

    1. Thank you! I wish we could still do it, the way we all still do Secret Santa, but we’re all so scattered these days I don’t know how we’d get away with it!

  29. As you know, I love The Family Man, too – and that moment in the snow gets me every time. Love it. I still haven’t watched it this year. While I love it, David doesn’t (although he says that he does like it) so I don’t know if I will get a chance. We have been watching more of the animated movies so far. I think The Polar Express is tonight!

  30. Oh Tamara! I absolutely love the Tardis ornament! My lil miss would be oh so jealous! LOL! She is getting the Doctor Whooves My Little Pony and her very own Sonic Screwdriver for Christmas! LOL! We are super excited to watch Matt's last episode on Christmas night! I even have the DVR set! I would love to hook up with you one of these days for #AAF! Have a wonderful and safe Christmas!

  31. Hope you had an amazing Christmas, Tamara! I’m playing catch-up with so many blog posts at the moment, it’s unreal!

    Loved your answers–I’d do exactly the same with the five gold rings, too! The Secret Santa tradition is wonderful. I’m always envious of people who are close with their siblings; despite it just being my brother and I we were always a very distant family…

    1. It comes and goes. Sometimes I’m close to some and not others. Everything always changes, but we do feel close every Christmas, for sure.

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