This post has been sponsored by Google, however all opinions are my own.
You may have noticed that we are between homes right now. We outgrew our townhouse and needed something bigger. (You know, four kids and all.) We put our townhouse on the market and, as luck would have it, we had a contract on it VERY quickly. This was both a tremendous blessing and a bit of a hurdle. We hadn’t yet found the right new home for us to purchase, so we had to figure out where to go in a little over a month. Finding a short-term rental that can house two adults and four children is a bit of a challenge in our area. Throw that on top of the holiday season and you have to perfect storm of stress. To make a long story short, my in-laws have allowed us to invade their home until we close on our next home. You couldn’t ask for more kind and giving in-laws!
We are now fully moved in to my in-laws’ home, while we wait to close on our new home in January. I have to admit, it feels a bit unusual to not have our own place or our own things, since they are packed away in storage. It feels even more unusual as we go into the Christmas season. As a family, Orin, the kids, and I have developed our own set of routines and traditions. Not having our own space in which to complete them has felt very strange, but we’ve done them (so far) to the best of our abilities.
The first thing we do after Thanksgiving is set up and decorate our tree. The kids and I really look forward to this every year. Now that they are a little bit older, Orin and I sit on the couch and attach the hooks to the ornaments and then let them decorate our tree. As you can probably imagine, the bottom of the tree is pretty heavily decorated! Unfortunately, they will miss out on hanging their favorite ornaments this year since our decorations are packed away, however, we stuck to the rest of the ritual as best as we could with my in-laws’ tree and ornaments. Part of this tradition is turning on our sound system and listening to our favorite Christmas albums to welcome in the season. Sadly, those were packed away too. Thankfully, Google Home to the rescue! With a simple, Ok Google, play Christmas music, all of our favorite tunes were playing through Google Home’s powerful speaker. It was a great way to set the mood while we trimmed the tree. The kids loved it and it made our stay at my in-laws feel a little more like home.
A few days later, we decided to make some delicious gingerbread cookies. Cookies are a huge part of the Christmas season for us and it’s not limited to just gingerbread. Chocolate chip cookies, frosted sugar cookies, and oatmeal cookies are all regular “must-bake” items around Christmas! The smell of baking cookies really makes the season feel like it’s in full swing and our kids, who are lovers of all things sweet, always jump right in on the baking process. Maggie, who is beginning to learn very fundamental math, loves to help most of all. It’s a great way to incorporate her homeschooling into our everyday lives. I typically have a handy conversion chart that I use, as I like to make different batch sizes. It’s a great reference for Maggie to help her understand the ratios and fractions and how amounts correlate to each other. However, as you probably guessed, my chart was packed away with all my cookbooks. So, instead of referencing our chart as we baked our extra-large batch of gingerbread cookies, I asked our Google Home for the proper conversions. The cookies turned out amazing; just the right amount of warm and soft!
Speaking of homeschooling, having Google Home on my counter top has been a big help already in my kids’ education. The kids are always asking me questions, mom, how cold does it get in the North Pole? Mom, when did we start decorating Christmas trees? Mom, why do we hang stockings? Instead of having to stop what I’m doing (fixing a meal, changing a diaper, etc.), now, I just ask Google Home for the answer! The kids enjoy listening to what Google Home has to say SO much that now they look for questions I can ask it. With Google Home, learning is FUN!
This time of the year is just CRAZY busy. Although I’m used to having a calendar on my refrigerator, that’s something else I’ve had to forego while living with my in-laws. Thankfully, the calendar on my phone syncs with our Google Home. Now I start each day asking it, “OK Google, tell me about my day,” and I’m reminded of all the important events we have scheduled for the day. I haven’t missed a Christmas play practice, horse riding lesson, or play day yet! It’s also a quick way for me to check on the weather forecast for the day while I hustle to get the kids dressed and out the door.
On the surface, Google Home is a pretty and simple-looking device that, at first glance, seems like nothing more than a wireless speaker. But, as the old adage goes, “never judge a book by its cover.” This couldn’t be truer of the Google Home! This vaguely egg-shaped device is incredibly cool in its abilities. It has brought a sense of calm and order to our current life of chaos and will be one of the first things we set up when we move into our new home next month. The features we’ve been using have transformed my life so much already! I can’t wait to incorporate some of the other amazing features it offers, like thermostats and light control, when we move into our new home.
Are you still looking for that perfect gift for someone on your shopping list? Google Home makes a great choice, especially since right now you’ll get 6 months of Free YouTube Red with every Google Home purchase! Find out more about Google Home by visiting the Google Home website.
There’s no place like home for Christmas, and thanks to Google Home, our home away from home truly does feel like home!