Elf Log 005

I forgot to take a picture y’all. πŸ™„ But Snow Cone dressed up in a ridiculous Gingerbread Man Costume and brought her a Gingerbread House to build…which we have yet to build. πŸ˜‡ But THE STRANGEST THING HAPPENED while we were out last night and Uncle Bill was visiting….the Elf moved AGAIN!!!

Clare’s mind is BLOWN. But we did happen to catch a picture of it aaaaaand you can kind of see aforementioned Gingerbread Costume

That night, Snow Cone set up a game for Clare to play by picking up cups to see if there was a treat underneath. Silly Elf. Three of these had a mini peanut butter cup stashed inside.

And now it’s Christmas, and it’s time to say good-bye. I’m not sure if I’ll report all the tears and sadness tomorrow when Clare wakes up to no Elf. I’ve been trying to prepare and remind her the last few days!

At least Snow Cone left a great parting gift!

Merry Christmas everyone!! And congrats to all the parents who survived the season with an Elf. πŸ˜‚

Elf Log 004

We are getting very close to Christmas!! Soon this shenanigan will be over. And at this point, I have to tell you guys…I’m really surprised how I feel about all this.

I still think the look of this Elf is CREEP CITY. Like how is this a thing?! But, I’ve actually (gasp!) had a lot of fun!

For me, making a list ideas that I can reference in my phone, upfront, has helped immensely. I made a box that we hid in Daniel’s office, of trinkets and elf clothes etc., that I rummage through each night when I decide what to do.

Surprisingly, I haven’t felt stressed and I haven’t woken up in the night in a panic because I’ve forgotten to move her. Preparation has been my BFF, and honestly this is really unlike me as of late, so I think that might be why I’m so into it now. I’m winning at it for some reason. πŸ˜‚

We have kept it really fun and light, and honestly easy. Nothing crazy elaborate. And I think waiting until St. Nicholas Day to bring her out was the best idea. I wasn’t scrambling in the post Thanksgiving cray.

So here’s what Snow Cone Mccringleberry has been up to!!


So many questions. First a comment…I CAN NOT GET OVER THE LACK OF FEET. And why are they in the pan? What is she even making?

But for real, this has been, hands down, Clare’s favorite thing the elf has done thus far.

This was pretty fun too and I’m pretty proud of myself for pulling this off while she was sleeping.

Uhh that elf has so many typos. Sheesh.

She also left a special ornament in the tree for Clare too.

And of course, tonight, Snow Cone is playing tic-tac-toe with Frozen Cat on some marshmallows. (It’s the elf preferred game of choice.)

I also just want to take a minute to pay tribute to the many pieces of art, and letters Clare has written to Snow Cone Mccringleberry.

This girl, I tell you!

Alright. Last round of Elf Log coming soon. Can’t believe it’s almost Christmas!!

Elf Log 003

Snow Cone is living her best elf life up in here. Girlfriend has had a lot of costume changes, much to Clare’s delight of course.

But she’s been getting into actual mischief.

Exhibit A:

She drew crap all over Clare’s bathroom mirror with Clare’s new mermaid body wash. But at least she left behind some bath finger paint to make up for it!

I got really lazy the next day. I MEAN THE ELF DID. And just found some stuff and set it next to her on the dining table. Clare thought it was incredible tho. YAY ME, I mean yay Elf.

This next one took some planning on our part, but we found out the Alamo Drafthouse was having a special showing of our favorite version of The Grinch (with Benedict Cumberbatch), so this was a perfect time to do a bigger Elf gift.

Okay. I say, “took some planning”…I actually discovered this was happening two days prior and we got literally the last three seats together. So there. But I did have those Grinch bath bombs stashed away in my Elf Box. πŸ™Œ

Like where are it’s feet? Does the elf have does? Why are the legs just little stumps?

So weird.


She also drew on some bananas to make them look like minions. Which I personally think is hilarious. BA NA NA!!!!

Alright that’s all for now. Stay tuned for the final few Elf Logs coming later this week!

Elf Log 002

We still have an Elf!!

I’ve managed to move her every single night. I really need to get a video of Clare finding her one morning because it is the most precious thing in the world. She talks about Snow Cone CONSTANTLY!!

Here’s what this creeper has been up to.

So I tried to set this up like a snowball fight, but this is not how Clare interpreted it at all. Granted, I should have probably used smaller marshmallows?? But this is all we had. Hahahaha! She was so excited that Snow Cone and Toddler Ariel were in a paper and marshmallow tree forest. Lol!

The next night, Snow Cone had a slumber party with Elsa and Anna next to the Frozen Advent Calendar. This one was a really big hit with Clare.

Daniel came in clutch on this next one. LEGOS GALORE!! We spent a solid twenty minutes building random things with Legos and then stuck Snow Cone in the Lego box. Easy peasy. And it was really fun to spend time with him doing this.

And last but least, alas. Tomorrow is show and tell day, and Clare is going to loose her ever loving elf mind, to know she can take Snow Cone Mccringleberry.

That’s all. The end and stuff. Stay tuned for more creepy elf things. Because we have a whopping fourteen more days of this ish.


Elf Log 001

Well I was 1000% right and this creepy little elf has been the hi-light of Clare’s weekend. Here’s how it’s going so far.

We set up Snow Cone for when Clare arrived home from school on Friday. She made her a heart out of popcorn and left her a little Minnie trinket and some doll clothes.

Note: If you’re not doing the “reporting to Santa part” you can bypass this book. Oops. She was so confused and then I was like…”oh look! Little Einstein’s is on Disney Plus!!’ And she forgot about it.

It was a really fun way to kick things off, but not what I had originally intended. Friday was St. Nicholas day and I wanted to leave her a food pantry shopping list. But Thursday and Friday were possibly the most stressful days out of my entire year (naturally), so I kind of threw crap together 5 minutes before school pick up.

Saturday morning, Clare woke up MUCH to her delight, to see that Snow Cone had, “used her elf magic” to put ALL her JoJo bows in one of our Christmas’s trees, aaaaand was wearing one herself.

I put the elf pretty high up in the tree and Clare brought her step stool in just took try to look closer. All day, she would run over to the tree and tell Snow Come things that were going on, and to tell her thank you for the fun doll clothes. It was SO SWEET.

Tomorrow she will wake up, and possibly be sad that she can’t play with her Barbie Car since Snow Cone is driving it… but that Elf went on a road trip in the middle of the night in it!!! At least she stopped at Bucees and brought back some treats.

So week one down. I’ve been fighting off a migraine for two days and wasn’t sure if could get all this together, but we did it!!! And Clare is having a BALL.

Thanks for hanging in there with us. More Elf reports coming soon.

Why I Said “YES” To Elf on the Shelf

Disclaimer: Daniel is still super upset that the Elf on the Shelf isn’t Legolas. He’s kind of boycotting this whole thing now because he thought Lord of the Rings was about to bring the Good News this holiday season. ONE ELF TO RULE THEM ALL! Okay. Sorry, Daniel.

I’ll be honest, y’all. I’m not exactly proud that I am now the proud owner of this creepy little jingle bell, but nevertheless, please meet Snow Cone McCringleberry. (Insert eye roll emoji here. Maybe the facepalm one, too.)


My daughter doesn’t believe in Santa. In fact, she’ll tell you, “My Mom is Santa and someday I can be a Santa, too!” While I fear she will be the kid on the playground who ruins Christmas for other girls and boys, I promise we are trying to steer here in the right direction on this. But like, four year old’s do NOT KNOW DISCRETION.

We don’t do Santa in our house because:

  1. Hey kid. Mom and Dad work super duper hard and all of that stuff is actually from us.
  2. As children, we both saw other kids not get visited by Santa. This was really confusing because they were “good” and “smart” and generally nice humans.

Nonetheless, we teach her that yes, anyone CAN be Santa. It’s about seeing a need someone has and fulfilling that need. Maybe with a new warm coat, or a kind word. Maybe even a prayer! And the best part, is that it DOESN’T have to be Christmas to be a Santa.

We DO celebrate Saint Nicholas Day. He was an actual person known for generosity and also for slapping someone at the Council of Nicaea, who was spouting heresy about the Holy Trinity. It’s quite the story and actually really cool to hear Daniel recount this tale every year.

We usually celebrate with a special meal, and with an act of service.

So here we are, Elf.

We won’t be pretending that it’s watching her, or reporting to someone about her behavior, but we will use the elf to bring her notes and trinkets as we see fit, to enhance the Season of Adventus, and move it around every night for our own merriment and revelry. It’s possible that we may have ordered a dozen Stormtroopers to be at Snow Cone’s command? But I guess you’ll have to find out.


So we don’t do Santa, but you better believe Clare is ALL ABOUT Pixie Dust and fairies and these little elf dudes. When she began to ask for one over and over, I went kicking and screaming into the decision that we would in fact, adopt one and welcome it’s terrifying little rosy round face into our home. Yay!

Clare is only little once, and while this Elf will be haunting my dreams, she is SO very excited. I want to foster the wonder and imagination in her heart for as long as I can. I just want her to be a kid!!

Snow Cone McCringleberry will make her debut in Casa Rodriguez on Friday during our St. Nicholas celebration. I’m going to try my best to post the things we come up with, so you, too, can be inspired and entertained by this sinister little elfin doll baby.

And there you have it.

WISH ME LUCK AND STUFF. Maybe check on me on a few days to make sure the Elf hasn’t taken my soul.

PS If you’re a fan of Key and Peele, yes, Snow Cone is named after a one: Hingle McCringleberry.

I was sick for 33 days.

Can you even believe that? THIRTY THREE VERY LONG HORRIBLE DAYS.

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I was officially diagnosed with Flu (thanks, vaccine), Strep andΒ  a sinus infection so my body just kind of freaked out. But that wasn’t really the main culprit. You see, I was three months into a brand new, full time job, on top of my already almost full-time Travel Business, also caring for a 4 year old who was home from school for almost TWO WHOLE WEEKS because of Strep (SO GROSS), and other household duties above and beyond that.

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Daniel was traveling weekly. Clare was in school full time. (My wife and mom heart has been crumbling at this.) Everything was so busy and so lonely, but I had to hold it together and press on and for the first time, I really felt like my grip on this was slipping. I’m usually the boss of this!! What was even happening?

I got to where I couldn’t sit up for more than 5 minutes at a time. I had a scary vasovagal episode (umm, thought I was 1000% dying), among many other weird symptoms that didn’t make sense. I was tired all the time–like first trimester tired–but I am noooot pregnant! I went to Urgent Care and my regular doctor four times over the course of this and every single dang test came back totally normal and healthy.

At one point, Daniel suggested I get a massage, which was honestly my first clue-in as to what was going on. It was the only day I felt any kind of relief. Ten minutes into my glorious 70-minute retreat, all the heaviness and tightness in my chest had disappeared. TOTALLY. (Until later that day, ha ha.)

Then, the answer. One day as I was literally laying in the bathroom with my phone, (Because–let’s just say–think of a horrible symptom you’ve had when you’re sick that involves the bathroom. I totally had it at some point. Seriously. Even that one.) and I was watching one of my favorite Disney Vloggers, Olivia, talk about why she was in a wheelchair recently during some of her Food and Wine Vlogs. And as she began to talk about what was going on in her life, I sat straight up. Everything she described was exactly what was going on with me. And you know what it was?




Stress can kill you, bro.


But like…what? I don’t have stress issues. That’s CRAZY talk. No way. Not me. I can handle my business.

Turns out, NOPE. And THAT IS OKAY!! I’m actually totally normal.


I think in my mind, it’s still hard to wrap my brain around that because, sort of how allergies don’t REALLY seem ‘sick’ to me, I know full well that’s total junk. Allergies ARE sick, and stress CAN kill you. I don’t know why I don’t take this seriously enough. It definitely has my attention now.



The only way to get better, was to resolve some things. And honestly, once I kind of realized this, I immediately started to feel better.

I’ll say this really loud for those in the back, and also so I can really hear myself: YOU HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. BRO.

You have to. Adulting is hard. Parenting is hard. Having a career is hard. Having TWO careers is hard. Sometimes just getting out of bed is hard.


So here’s how I’m getting my resolve.

  1. Admitting you have a problem is the first step, amiright?!
  2. When I feel that onset of tiredness, or the waves of the stress coming back, I stop what I’m doing and just lay down. Think. Pray. Meditate. Listen to something soothing. Take deep breaths.
  3. I got on a quarterly schedule with my massage lady at Viva Day Spa. It’s something I can plan, afford, and fit into my schedule and IT HELPS.
  4. Clocking out at 5pm. I can’t do this with my Travel Work, but that’s okay. This still helps!
  5. Vacation–in my industry, this is often right around the corner. I have full plans to TOTALLY unplug. I need that. My brain and my soul need that, too.
  6. Asking for help. Like the blessed service that is HEB Home Grocery Delivery! (ALL THE HEART EYES! And cue the Angels singing.) This hard because for so long our budget was SO tight I feel like I have to be the hero and make everything fit and work. But now that we have a whole other paycheck, I can delegate things and hire out help where we need it. Which is great because my house looked like a total dumpster fire at the end of those 33 days. (How were we even still alive?) These conveniences help me be a better mom, wife, chef, taxi driver, blah blah blah, you get the pic.
  7. Creating my own office space. We have one office space, which Daniel SO graciously let me squeeze into, but it’s just not working anymore. We are both often on the phone and a lot of times I end up at the dining table anyway, or he has to a phone call in another room. We both need space to create and grow, so I’m taking a small portion of our tax return and making this happen by converting our guest room to an office. I am beyond excited!

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This might be the MOST important one:

Β  Β 8. Making time to play.

Last weekend? Daniel was gone again, so I used some hotel points to take Clare on a mini-staycation. We just went down the road, but we did so in style. Comfy pajamas, happy meals in hand, treats from the gas station, and OF COURSE Clare’s Fancy Nancy Tea Set so we could really make it a party.

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We had the BEST TIME! I truly went kicking and screaming putting her into PreK last Fall. I could NOT have asked for a better place to put her-we love love love it and she is thriving. But I miss her so much during the day, and this kind of thing, is so special and needed.


I’m not perfect at this. I will continue to stress out, but I think I have a handle on how to recognize this better, and put some preventative measures in place.


And seriously readers, PLEASE. Take care of yourself, too, okay?