Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else

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Magic Mouse

This holiday season seems to be a little less hectic. Maybe it’s because my gifts were already bought (yes, hate me all you want) and wrapped over a week ago. Maybe it’s because I can take the train to work (thank goodness!) and don’t have to sit in the guaranteed worsening traffic this time of year, no matter what time of day. Maybe it’s because my calendar is literally set for the rest of year and is not super overwhelming. Or maybe it’s because I’m just super excited for Christmas morning with my 8-month old nephew and don’t care about anything happening before then (but not really). Whatever the reason, I’m really enjoying this holiday season.

At church on the first Sunday of Advent, they gave everyone a scratch-off advent calendar. It has a suggestion of something to do every day leading up to Christmas. One December 3 the suggestion was to ‘share your favorite Christmas memory.’ I’m just now getting around to it – but it’s a good practice anyway!

There are MANY great options for holiday memories and I could easily write a top 10 list of favorites (or 20). Although the very top is having my Grandmama there (not even any specific memories really, just having her there because she was a pretty amazing woman), I think Magic Mouse is definitely up there towards the top. As you know, Elf on the Shelf has been all the rage since its creation in 2005. And the elf is great – kids love it! But Magic Mouse was created long before the elf – well, at least before the elf was commercialized.

Although there was no elaborate story (that I remember) and no messes made – Magic Mouse moved around every night to a different location in the house.  I’m not even sure he was ‘watching’ us to make sure we were behaving, but every morning brought Christmas cheer in locating his new resting place. Magic Mouse simply meant Christmas and fun. I will not blame any parent or family for getting caught up in the Elf era, but it may be just as much fun to do your own thing! Get creative. Be fun. And most likely your kids will love every minute of it.

Magic Mouse!

Magic Mouse!


Farewell Kenner

We found out 2 days ago that our landlords are not going to allow us to renew our lease at the fabulous 119 Kenner Ave., which means we have to move in a month. HUGE pain, but secretly I do love house hunting and constantly browsing and, I wasn’t quite ready to did it this year or this quickly. Stupid landlord.

We’ve had SO many good memories at the Kenner house. It will be very sad to leave after being cozy and settled for 2 years.

First cookout

Girls night

Halloween '08

Halloween '08

Meghan's birthday '08

Tucker joins the Kenner family!

First Wine & Cheese Party

Nat's bachelorette party

Homecoming weekend '09

Halloween '09

Halloween '09

Smores & Game night

Holiday Wine & Cheese Party '09

Snow!! (2010)

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Christmas Traditions

I think one of the coolest parts about Christmas is how every family has their own traditions and people are very passionate about their Christmas traditions.  Issues arise when marriage occurs and traditions have to be shifted, but luckily I don’t have to worry about that any time soon! My family has many Christmas traditions, some of which have faded a little with age, but most hold on.

1. Magic Mouse: a magical Christmas mouse (little wooden figure with a bow) that moves every night leading up to Christmas day to be found every morning. Now I think of more fondly as a kind of poor man’s Elf on the Shelf. Really, though, our mouse was a heck of a lot harder to find than an elf.

2. Christmas Eve: nope, not church. Massive dinner of crab legs, boiled shrimp, backed potatoes, salad, and bread. How did this very nontraditional tradition get started? I have absolutely no idea. All I know is that I look forward to this meal the whole month of December.

3. Christmas Breakfast: mom’s infamous breakfast casserole. The one time of year we have it (though I started making it for weekend guests during the year at my house, too, but shhhhh don’t tell mom). The most delicious, greasy, all in one dish breakfast ever. We kid my brother every year that we are not having it. He would seriously leave the family if we didn’t.

4. Christmas gifts: Santa came on Christmas Eve and displayed our toys and gifts on the sofa, mine on one side, my brother’s on the other.  Back in the day, I was bright eyes and bushy tailed by 4am and we had no rule about going downstairs before our parents. Below is the progression of Christmas morning timeline:

  • The good ol’ days –> brother and I up in the wee hours of the morning, peek at gifts, wake up mom and dad, presents/stockings, eat, done by 9am
  • The middle years –> brother too old to get excited, me up by 5am, go downstairs and fall asleep for an hour by the tree, everyone gets up, presents, eat, done by 10am
  • The high school years –> up somewhat early, sit around, bug brother for at least an hour until he gets up, presents, breakfast, done by 10:30am
  • College –> brother and I eventually get up, breakfast, presents, done by 11am
  • Last year –> brother woke me up (first time ever in history), breakfast, presents, done around noon
  • This year –> have to get up for breakfast, brother to girlfriend’s house for the morning, our Christmas in afternoon, probably done by 5pm

5. Gift tags: we have to try to have creative gift tags, not just “To: Mom, From: Katy.” Also, there are still gifts from Santa. There’s also the good ol’ “From: _______” whom we dub “Nobody” and he can be a pretty good guy.

It’s amazing how much traditions stay the same, but change. What are your Christmas traditions??

Merry Christmas!!!