Christmas Week Begins! 

Christmas Week Begins! 

I’ve been at a training on Oahu for the last week and feel like I hit “pause” on Christmas. I’m so excited to get back home and have some Christmasy activities this week with my two kids! I think there is some fudge and cookie baking in our future!

I am obsessed with Christmas and it is my favorite holiday. I present evidence I am a Christmas nut:


(Sadly I did not purchase that hat). 

We decorated the tree a few days before Thanksgiving. I’m usually strict about decorating the day after, but Shane was off work and I knew I was going to be gone for a week. I didn’t want to miss out on the decorations for a whole week, so I did it early! 


More evidence I’m a little nuts about the holiday:


Once the tree was up and decorated I was able to get pictures of the kids!!! It’s a little bit of a lean year for us financially, so we only sent 9 cards. (Thank you coupon code for 10 free cards, Shutterfly). Don’t think we forgot you if you don’t receive a card. They pretty much only went to grandparents. 

I used these two photos on the cards we made. 

 It was so fun because both Tristan and Rose are wearing clothes that belonged to me and my brother. My mom actually sewed Rosie’s romper for me on my first Christmas. How fun it is to have my daughter wear it for hers! 

We’ll be kicking off our week with the Sunday School Christmas program tomorrow morning at church. This year it will be a family affair. Rosie, myself and Shane will be playing Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Tristan will be a sheep again. This always makes me think of the Charlie Brown Christmas specials. Haha!
Besides the baking there will be lots of Christmas music and maybe some paper-snowflake-making. What will you be up to this week?


Snow Day?

It turns out the highly anticipated DC “Snowquester” turned out to be much more of a “Rainquester” – at least where we live. I guess some folks out west were able to play in the snow and build snowmen, but not in the Hanley home.

It all worked out quite nicely for me since I got all the benefits of a snow day with none of the shoveling! Both Shane and I are deemed essential employees and our offices remained open yesterday despite the Federal Government closure. However, Tristan’s daycare was closed and someone had to stay home with him. Lucky me! He and I had a blast taking advantage of the bonus day at home.

We had a pretty early start (read 4:30am) but that’s not so bad when you stay in your pajamas all day.


After breakfast we Skyped with Nonna and I chased Tristan from one end of the house to the other (and back again). We played with lots of toys until we were both ready for a nap.


Then it was time to help Mommy fold her laundry.


After some more playtime and reading books together, we had some lunch. Then it was time for Tristan’s afternoon nap.


It had been snowing quite heavily all morning, but by 1pm this was all we had to show for it:


It was just too warm by us for any snow to stick. In fact, the snow on the grass melted completely by the time Shane got home at 5pm!

So instead of shoveling during Tristan’s nap I made cookies! (Cranberry-white chocolate chip, in case you’re wondering). I already had beef stew simmering in the slow-cooker. Lucky thing too, since Tristan didn’t sleep very long, so I didn’t have a ton of time to get stuff done.

To cap off our afternoon we watched Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey. That’s right, I took a trip back to 1993. I may have recorded this movie on our DVR while on maternity leave…

The funniest part about watching the movie was seeing Tristan talk to the dogs and cat every time they were on screen. He was semi-interested when the people were talking, but the second Shadow, Chance or Sassy were on screen he got sooooo excited babbling to them. This only lasted about half an hour, but it was funny!

All in all, it was a pretty good snow rain day. Nothing like a surprise day off on the middle of the week. Heck, it’s practically the weekend now!

Weekend Happiness

An exciting and super fun three-day weekend is coming to a close here in Washington, DC. We did not take part in the Inauguration festivities, but they afforded us some extra time together as a family. Since the Capitol was closed to visitors all weekend and I chose not to work at the Inauguration today, we had an unprecedented three consecutive days to hang out and do “regular” things. I can’t tell you how thrilled we were to be strolling down the aisles of Lowes on Saturday morning. If we could’ve had weekends with more than one day together the past two years, there’s no telling what we could’ve accomplished on our home over the past two years. More about our DIY adventures soon, but here’s a hint:



We had a fantastic afternoon on Sunday to celebrate Shane’s birthday. By his request, we headed for Capitol Hill to a local game store, Labyrinth to pick out a birthday gift. We ended up with this game. Oh my gosh! We’ve been having so much fun playing this game! We took it out of the package while we waited for our dinner at We the Pizza and we’ve been playing it nonstop since.



We capped off our evening with milkshakes at Good Stuff Eatery. To our surprise, they now offer a free milkshake on your birthday! We even played one more round of Guillotine once we got home.



I’m not really quite sure how to put into words exactly how much fun the three of us had yesterday, but it was a really great day!

We wrapped up our weekend quite nicely today by hanging out in our pajamas with pancakes for breakfast while we watched the Inauguration on tv. Shane and I were able to participate in the historic inauguration four years ago, but this year we were more than happy to watch from our family room while we played with our son.

What did you all do with your long weekend?

Multiple Personalities

I thought it would be fun for Shane and I to take a personality test after Elizabeth did on E Tells Tales.  I sent Shane the link for the test and I took it myself.

I completed the test rather quickly just going with my first instinct for each answer.  I can’t speak for Shane.  I’m not sure of his method, but he was kind enough to share his results.

The Results:

Allison – Introverted Sensing Feeling Judging

I’ve learned this means I am characterized above all by my desire to serve others.  I am methodical and accurate in the work place.  Despite a work ethic that takes high priority, my family is the center of my life.

I certainly agree with all of the above.  The only thing the description of my personality type that I did not agree with was that it said “they hate confrontation; if you get into a fight, don’t expect them to jump in after you.”  If any of you know me, that most definitely isn’t true.  I”ll always go to bat for the ones I love.

Famous ISFJs include Queen Elizabeth II of England and Robin Roberts (of Good Morning America).  It also lists fictional ISFJs who include Hero in Much Ado About Nothing and Sherlock Holmes’ loyal Dr. Watson.  I don’t mind being in any of their company!

Shane – Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving

INFPs see good in almost anyone or anything.  Their extreme depth of feeling is often hidden, even from themselves until circumstances evoke an impasioned response.  INFPs struggle with the issue of their own ethical perfection, and performance of duty for the greater cause.

I think this speaks pretty true to Shane’s character.

Famous INFPs include Shakespeare, A.A. Milne, and Tom Brokaw.  I think these are pretty good men for my husband to stand among.

Did you take the test? What is your personality type? Do you agree with the test’s assessment or do you find fault in it?

I like to take these every once in awhile and see how my personality changes as I grow.


Case of the Mondays

I was hoping to have something fun for you all today but the current standings are:

Allison: 0
Monday: 1

It’s just been a rough day. Rain and traffic on the way in this morning. I went home from work early with a fever. I feel pretty crappy and have a very energetic son to keep up with. Oh, and I keep finding cat barf around the house since I’ve been home.

I’m ready to call it a day!

Anybody else with a case of the Mondays?

Hello 2013!

Whew! The past couple weeks have been a blur. I wish I could say it was all due to fun holiday celebrations, although there was a little bit of that. My day job working for Congress has kept me on my toes and working on weekends and holidays that I really would rather not. But let’s not dwell on Congress and their inability to get anything done in a timely and efficient fashion. I’m looking to 2013 in what I hope will be a fantastic year for the Hanley family as well as for you!

I’m going to publicly declare my resolutions in hope that I might hold to them a bit longer this year.

In 2013 I hope to:

1. Floss Daily – this is a standard resolution for me. Gotta stay cavity-free!
2. Pray Daily – this is more of a personal goal for me as I want to strengthen my relationship with my Lord and Savior
3. Watch My Language – I want to choose my words more carefully and speak in a God-pleasing manner. Especially as Tristan will start repeating my words soon!
4. Blog Regularly – I’m hoping to get in a routine of blogging twice a week – no more sporadic posts!

I’ll leave you with what I have declared the verse for 2013 for the Hanley family:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares The Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11

What are you all resolving for 2013?

I’ll be back with an update on our Simple Christmas soon! I choose to believe I’m not behind on this – on the church calendar it’s only the 9th day of Christmas! So, today I wish you nine lords a-leaping!

Tristan Hearts YHL!

Tristan is featured on YoungHouseLove today!  His picture made John and Sherry’s recap of the DC events on their book tour!

Tristan YHL

The guy on the left was another fan from the same signing at FLOR in Georgetown.  (I pulled this image directly from YHL’s post).

We waited for 2 hours outside in the cold that night and Tristan was a CHAMP! Thank goodness for the hot chocolate and cookies!

I’m totally excited John and Sherry featured my son on their blog! Let’s be honest, I’m a #dorkforlife.

Happy Friday, y’all!