Bringing Chalk Adventures to Life with Walmart Photo

Let’s talk about my procrastination skills for a moment, shall we?

Wait. Can I put off talking about them for a minute or two? Maybe three?

THAT about says it all. If I can put off doing something, I will. It has a lot to do with my early career doing large-scale software deployments. Everything was always on fire, so only the most critical things could be dealt with immediately. I became REALLY good at prioritizing and knowing what can wait. It’s a really good life skill! I swear!

That said, there are few things in life I hate more than needing to do Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve. I will go to every length possible to check off everyone on my list as early as possible. I pick up items all year round, even. But there’s this thing I do that sabotages the whole process.

If I know I’m getting someone something specific and I know where I can get it, I will put off the actual retrieval process.  

So, when I decide on December 26th that next year I will get a bunch of people photo gifts? I don’t actually follow up on that until December 24th. Which is fine! Except that the range of photo gifts that you can buy and have back the same day has historically been, well, limited.


You know those Chalk Adventures the girls and I like to go on almost weekly? Like, this one?


They make for AMAZING photo books. I know this because I made photo books out of the first year of them and gave them to pretty much everybody as a gift. Annnnnnd … I haven’t done it since. There’s something about having to sit down and create the book weeks before I plan to give it that doesn’t quite fit in with my procrastination skills. But! Walmart Photo has same day photo books available!



Sit down. Upload some photos. Select a template. Arrange a few things. Go pick up a photo book THAT DAY.

Oh, and there’s no paying a zillion dollars for the convenience either. The 8x11 photo books are on Rollback through 1/5/2016 for $19. They were $24, which is still rather reasonable if we’re being honest.

So! Family! Pretend to be surprised when you get photo books for Christmas this year!


Obviously, Walmart Photo offers more than just Same Day Custom Cover Photo Books. There are Same Day Calendars, Same Day Canvas, cards, ornaments, mugs, blankets, mounted photos, puzzles, and more. If you had to pick one photo gift to receive for Christmas this year, what would it be? 

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The Meanest Fishy in the Sea

There are very few people who believe me when I say this, but Mila is mean. For real. She's a mean little sprite, full of stubbornness and strength. She is far more assertive than it probably necessary. Some day that will serve her well.

For now? WELP.

For now it means that if she wants something, she takes it. If she wants to do something, she shoves everyone out of the way to do it. If she doesn't want something, she will throw it across the room with the force of a major league pitcher.

That might serve her well later as well. We shall see.

In the meantime, we know that she's cute for a reason. She's cute because the universe knows that the more trouble they cause, the more they need to be cute. It's for their own protection.

Not that Mila needs protecting. She doesn't. She can protect herself just fine, thank you very much.

She can protect herself so well, in fact, that she has earned herself a nickname at daycare. For the record, when I say that Mila is mean, the folks that work with her day in and day out will agree. They know her very well and they won't for a second hesitate to nod in agreement, although they will make 246243 excuses for her behavior at times.

They are incredibly patient with her willfulness.

And they call her "Piranha."

It's a nickname that she has earned at least a dozen times over.



It's So Fun Being the Grown-Up

As the first snowflakes drift to the ground, I'm almost ready. A couple of trees are lit (a "couple" ::cough::cough::). The sweet scent of chocolate drifts through the house as cookies bake. Gifts are wrapped and settled under the tree.


Except that by the time the calendar strikes December, I am supposed to be completely done with buying gifts. I rarely have much by way of gifts to deal with even as the ghosts and goblins of October walk door-to-door. November is unheard of. December is all new territory.

But it's going to happen.

For whatever reason, I am THAT behind on gifts this year.

As I scurry to get in front of the Major Project That Must Be Dealt With, Alexis is SUPER interested in everything that is going on. She has officially reached the age where she says things like, "Mom, don't you need to go shopping?" along with a WINK WINK and NUDGE NUDGE. When I offer to take her to the store, she suggests I go alone "Just in case."

The best part about her extreme level of care is that I am done shopping for her. There's one unknown item that will be acquired later, but that's it. I'm good with what is ready and waiting for her.

It's already waiting for her. Yes. It's under the tree.

Alexis discovered that there were already gifts under the tree at about 6:30 this morning. As she settled into a chair to eat breakfast, she looked up and saw all of the packages.

Bunches of packages.

Some of them are for Mila. Others are for Alexis. But only I know that because I didn't put tags on their gifts this year. There's a secret to deciphering what belongs to who, but I won't be saying what that secret is anywhere that Alexis might find it. Just know that I can absolutely look at a carefully wrapped package and tell you whether it's for Mila or Alexis.

But Alexis doesn't know the trick.

She just knows there are gifts and they don't have names on them.

And it is making her SO COMPLETELY CRAZY OMG.

It's a shame that at 9 years of age, Alexis still hasn't figured out that she shouldn't reveal her weaknesses to me. I mean, I didn't put names on the gifts in great part out of laziness. Now it's all about annoying Alexis. I LOVE ANNOYING ALEXIS.