A Dude Family Christmas: 2013

3 kids. 1 dog. Countless presents. 1 car.

11 hours up. 13 hours back. 7 days of family holiday chaos.

6 adults. 7 kids (under 10). 1 roof.

Christmas Eve with the Dude’s 97 (yes, 97!) year old Grandfather…and 33 of our closest relatives.

QT with family unseen for years.

Perhaps a tense family moment or two. (No holiday would be complete without them.)

A trip to the local casino for a photo opp next to the fake Christmas tree, indoor waterfall, AND escalator.

A couple Santa sightings.

Homemade Christmas tree ornaments.

Many battle royals.

And Christmas Day full of holiday magic…


Safe to say The Dudes enjoyed a pretty rad holiday. Hope y’all did as well.

See you on the other side of 2013.

PS – End of Year lists are all the rage. Here’s a few tasty nuggets…

  1. Best of Art of Manlieness 2013
  2. Best of Brain Pickings 2013
  3. 13 Best Books of 2013 (Brain Pickings)

Enjoy the Festivus: Hallelujia, Holy !#$@, Where’s the Tylenol?!

December already?! How does time move so quickly?

Tomorrow afternoon, the Dudes ship off on a two-day, 10 hour Cannonball Run up the Eastern Seaboard to enjoy an extended family holiday. Festivus at its best!

Ever felt like this during the holidays?


Before our journey begins, a little holiday assistance from me to you…

1. Holidays = Meditation? | A great read from Zen Habits: Family Gatherings – The Ultimate Mindfulness Training Ground. My personal fav…

Let go of control. Stress often comes because we want to control how things go. Of course, we don’t really have control — we just think we do, or want to have control. Practice letting go and letting things happen. Practice not resisting what happens. Practice being happy no matter what happens.

2. Yule Log 2.0: If you don’t have a blazin’ fire to keep you toasty, let Yule Log 2.0 give you all the ambiance you need. Choose your fav, switch to full-screen, and let the magic happen.

 3. A traditionalist? | Let Netflix take care of your fake fire needs…


Last, but certainly not least, Festivus for the Rest of Us!


Buttholes Are Beautiful {Happy Turkey Day from the Dudes}

Shock Factor: The subjective measure of the psychological “impact” of any given event.

The Dude has been accused of enjoying the shock factor. Hence the title of this post?

It seems Little Dude shares this quality.

The three and a half year old is growing into his boyhood – chock-full of all the “poopie dutie” talk you can handle.

The Dudes were lucky enough to spend Turkey Day in the mountains of West Virginia, and Little Dude’s conversations headed towards bathroom-talk very quickly…just to see the reactions.

As we awoke early one morning to enjoy the quiet of the mountains, we wiped the sleep from our eyes and gazed out at the skyline in the distance. Little Dude nonchalantly mentioned to the Princess and I:


Very matter of fact. No emotion. And again.


Princess immediately followed with:

Stop!!! That’s gross!!!

And Little Dude – turning his gaze back to the skyline, with a confidence beyond his years:

No. They are beautiful.

Three year old boys. A natural wonder.

I chose not to respond. Luckily, I have not heard this discussion again.

Where does this insanity come from?!?

On the flip side, the sweetness is equally as amazing. Randomly, Little Dude likes to share…

I love you. I need a hug.

Other than discussions of unmentionable anatomy, the mountain/Turkey Day festivities were fab, including…

Sledding, photo bombs, hikes to the Big Daddy Tree, snowball fights, s’mores,  fried turkeys, grilled oysters and lots o’ family time…

Although, it is nice to be home. And get the kids back to work (notice the Princess and her pace, and of course Little Dude’s focus on safety-first)…

Notable updates…

  • The Littlest Dude has hit 10 months and is pulling up and making a fantastically amazing noise that is somewhere between a bird and a car.
  • The Princess watched the first five minutes of The Hunger Games and bought a slingshot the next day. Looking forward to our first squirrel dinner.


Everything you need to know about the sweet Turkey Day cabin wrapped into some smooth jazz from Ylvis. A lyrical genius.

The Cabin