Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Smith Family | Christmas 2011 Card Designs

Merry Christmas from the cool Kujawski family...

The not as cool Rabroker family...

And the extremely hard to get everyone to look at the camera Smith family...

And the fact that we got the above family picture with just a tripod and the auto-timer on my camera is amazing because most of the pictures looked like this.

Seeing this picture always makes me hum a little Robert Earl to myself.

And for anyone wondering, my brother is showing off his ring finger. Promise. There were kids present, so we kept it PG. What kind of family do you really think we are?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

5 Months with Kassidy

Well, Kassidy turned 5 months last week, but being the always-behind working mom that I am, I just now had some time to post her picture. Complete with her Christmas headband that I made. The headband making has now turned into an addiction, so don't judge me. Please.

What is she up to? Well, she can roll both ways, shriek like a crazy woman, laugh when Mommy and Daddy tickle her, and put away some veggies. And she is obsessed with Massey. And Massey tolerates her.

The girl does not know a stranger. At all. She flirts with everybody. At some point, we're going to have to sit her down and have the "stranger danger" talk. Probably more than once.

And while she has been sleeping through the night consistently since 9 weeks, we can now put her to bed without swaddling her, which is awesome, because I was never really good at swaddling her anyway.

She is at such a fun age to experience her very first Christmas, and loves Christmas lights. I can put her under the Christmas tree in the morning when I'm trying to get ready for work, and she will just stare and smile at the lights. The Christmas tree is such an awesome babysitter. And doesn't charge me.

Can't wait to take her to visit Santa next week. I'm thinking she will dig the long, white beard.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I take my Christmas music very seriously

I love Christmas, and I love listening to Christmas music. I have literally been listening to the same Christmas playlist for years now. Years. And I never get tired of it.

So I wanted to share my favorite Christmas songs with you — I thought about just posting a Facebook status on this, but quickly realized I had too many opinions to fit into a little Facebook status. Me? Opinions? Who would have thought, right?

These are songs that I remember singing in the car with my brother and sister or songs that help me remember the true meaning of the season. And, I want to make sure you realize that the artist singing these songs is just as important to me as the song itself. Because there are like 10 gazillion versions of Christmas songs out there, but I am super picky about my favorite versions.
  • Beautiful Star of Bethlehem by The Judds. Love, love, love. It's the Judds singing about the place of Jesus' birth and the importance of Jesus in our lives as the "star". How could you not love this?
  • Happy Birthday Jesus by Alabama. Another song that reminds us of the true reason for the season. And it reminds me of being a little kid and singing a different Happy Birthday Jesus song in our Christmas children's program at church.
  • The Birth of the King by Clint Black. I don't think poor Clint gets enough credit sometimes, but I grew up listening to his Looking for Christmas album, and this song is very powerful. I couldn't find the full version on YouTube, so you will have to make do with this sample. Other songs to check out on this album include Slow as Christmas and Looking for Christmas.
  • There's a New Kid in Town by George Strait. It's George. Singing about baby Jesus. Need I say more? Only a sample, but you get the idea.
Are you seeing a pattern here? I like to go back to the country artists of the 80s and 90s for my Christmas music.

But his year, I was also on a quest to spice up my Christmas playlist. Even though I still love the songs and artists I mentioned above, my musical taste has changed and broadened so much in the past few years that I knew there had to be some cool new Christmas songs out there. So I searched and searched the WWW for Christmas songs sung by some of my favorite Texas country artists. No such luck. Seriously, when is Reckless, Micky, Stoney and Cody gonna make a Christmas album? I would buy it.

And then I stumbled upon this.

And even though most of the artists on the album are emerging, they all rock. And track #2 makes my heart happy every time I listen to it. This is totally my type of Christmas music. So Marca, I'm sharing this specifically with you, because you will also get all nerdy excited with me about this album, and about some Blue Christmas with Micky. Love this. Go download it now. Now.

I also found this.

A very ecletic mix of some newbies and oldies, but worth checking out the samples. I am partial to acoustic versions of songs. And I do love me some Willie and Ricky.

And finally, the power of Facebook has proven itself yet again. Thanks to some of my awesome Facebook friends sharing these links with other friends or talking about them, I have discovered the awesomeness that is Beta Radio (thanks Catherine) and The Civil Wars (thanks Shana). You can still download four Christmas songs from Beta Radio for free, but the free download of O Come O Come Emmanuel will now cost you 99 cents from The Civil Wars.

So, if you have any Christmas song or album recommendations for me, please share! I am always on the lookout. As I'm sure we all are.

And I was going to leave you with a picture of my beautiful Christmas tree, but my beautiful Christmas tree is still in its tree bag. In the living room. Just waiting for me and Brady to put it up. Sorry Christmas tree.