Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December Self Portrait

This year Mike and I hosted our very first holiday for the family and it was a huge success!  That we are able to do that now is one of the many advantages of living near family.  We made the whole meal, starting a few days ahead of time and we really enjoyed the entire process.  It was so much fun having family at our house for Christmas and I hope it's a tradition we can continue for years to come.

Here I am in my traditional Christmas jammies, baking that last batch of cookies on Christmas morning :)

 Now that the girls are getting a bit older, Mike and I decided that we aren't going to travel on Christmas day anymore.  There's something about being a kid and waking up in your own house on Christmas morning, running downstairs and seeing that Santa came!  We want to create that magic for our kids.  Mike mentioned that this year he really felt like we started a tradition.  In years past we were so far away from family that we usually made the trek up North for Christmas, or one or the other of us was working (one of the downfalls of being in the medical profession).  Christmas was different every year.

This year was exactly like I imagined it would someday be.  Christmas Eve church service, followed by getting everything ready for Santa.  Waking up in the morning and seeing the girls faces light up when they came downstairs.  Putting on some Christmas tunes that stayed on all day long.  Opening gifts (and fighting over gifts).  Making a big breakfast.  Preparing to have the family over.  And then the family came and we all relaxed, had fun, opened more gifts, and just enjoyed each others company for the rest of the day and into the evening.  A truly wonderful Christmas.

Times like these make me really reflect on the decision that we made to come back to PA, and how it was definitely the right move for our family.  We are all happy, healthy, and blessed.  Here's to another great year ahead!

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Cabin Weekend

A few weeks ago our family headed up to my Dad and Beth's cabin for a nice, relaxing weekend.  It's always nice to take a step back, unwind, and enjoy nature for a few days.

We read books:

We made pancakes:

We took walks....

 ...and found deer "feet".  Addy became quite fixated on the deer foot, and kept bringing conversations back to, "Why was there a deer foot back there?"

We went on four-wheeler rides:
(And no, these two most certainly did NOT ride together!)

We rang the triangle:

And last, but not least, we shot our guns:

We all stood next to our targets at the end and had Beth vote on who did the best.  I won :)

We attempted a whole family photo... and it worked!  It was quite the miraculous event, because everyone was looking and everyone was smiling!
What a great weekend!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

November Self Portrait

November was my month of Christmas shopping.  Ahead of the game you think?  Yup, and it's fairly easy to do when this is how you do your shopping:

Ahhh, the wonderful world of online shopping!  This is the second year in a row where I did my Christmas shopping almost exclusively online.  And almost exclusively during the Black Friday to Cyber Monday time frame, meaning I was done nice and early.  Last year I sat by my computer poring over deals for most of the day on Cyber Monday, but this year I just shopped right from my phone.  Man, was it easy!  And so convenient, especially since I didn't have to plan my Christmas shopping around when someone could watch the girls.

So there it is, Christmas shopping in the 21st century.  None of the crazy mall parking lots, lines, and swarms of people.  Just me, my phone, and a comfy couch.  Talk about progress :)  Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Big Girl Bed!

At last!  We finally rid Addy of that rock of a crib mattress (only to get her a rock of an adult mattress, but that's a whole different story).  She had been sleeping on the crib mattress in the toddler bed since we moved into this house, and she is now proudly in a full sized bed.  And it's huge!  Or at least it looks huge with her little body in it.

We ordered the bed and it was kind of a disaster from the beginning.  They didn't have our bed in stock so they gave us a "better" one, which is questionable.  We also wanted a lower box spring and didn't get that.  So almost 2 months later we are still trying to deal with them.  They are typical shady mattress salesmen who don't call us back and keep saying what we want is back ordered.  Anyway, I digress.

Here is what Addy slept in before:

 And here are her precious baby and blanket, both of which are so well loved that they're falling apart. (Don't worry, they are still a staple in the big girl bed.)

And ta da!  A new, hopefully more comfortable, full sized bed, complete with a Frozen bed set!

Addy loves her new bed!  I suppose anything is better than a crib mattress ;)

Emma loves it too!  Ha ha this picture of Emma makes me laugh.  What a hot mess.  Those things bunched around her knees are supposed to be leg warmers.  And the top is supposed to be a dress ;)

Gotta pretend to sleep in the new bed.

And last, but not least, story time with Daddy in the new bed.

All in all, I'd say it's a hit!  Addy still loves to show everyone who comes over her new, big girl bed :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Festive Fall Fun 2014!

What autumn season would be complete without a little pumpkin carving/decorating?  I must preface this by saying that Emma did 100% of her pumpkin decorating, while Addy's position with her pumpkin was purely supervisory.  She essentially told me she wanted a scary face and then ran away to play with her friends.

Pumpkins, check.  Then we went to a little fall festival at a local farmers market.  It had a really nice (REALLY long) hayride, games, food, and a corn maze :)  Perfect fall activity!

Time for a little face painting!

And as soon as Addy saw cotton candy, it was a must-have.

We finished the evening with the corn maze.  The best part for Addy?  The fact that they gave out flashlights to use while in the maze.

The next day was the Halloween party at the girl's preschool.  Presenting.... Cinderella and Wonder Woman!!

This face just makes me giggle :)

Addy's class

Emma's class was not cooperating with standing in line for a class pic, so this is the best we could do.  And there's Emma, right there in the teacher's chair ;)

Stirring the witches brew

Games in the gym :)

Here is Emma's game of choice.  Pick all of the bean bags (one by one) out of one box and walk them over and drop them in the other box.  Ha ha!  This occupied her for a long time!

And she loved playing with the parachute!

Snack time!  That's one way to get all of the kiddos in one picture ;)

I was in charge of reading the story to the kiddos in Emma's class :)

Then Emma and I headed over to Addy's class to listen to her story time.

 And believe it or not, at the end of the day these two chose to play with each other, over everyone else.  For the last 15 or 20 minutes Addy and Emma played nicely together in Addy's classroom.  It was very sweet to watch :)

Later that evening it was time for trick-or-treat!  But Addy did not feel very well on Halloween, unfortunately.  You could tell just by looking at her.  First of all, she kept saying she was freezing.  And the Ice Princess (as we affectionately call her) doesn't get cold.  So I gave her some Tylenol and hoped for the best.  

And don't worry, she rallied when it came time to head out for candy!

Wonder Woman is ready to go!

With the little girls, Klara and Sydney, from up the street :)

And it's safe to say that Addy was feeling better by the end of the evening ;)

She definitely enjoyed handing out candy as much as she enjoyed trick-or-treating.  She even handed candy out from her own bucket because she had a lot.  So sweet!

And of course, we had to end the evening with a family selfie :)  Happy Halloween!  Holidays with young children are so much fun, and I love to see the magic through their eyes.  Now onto the next holiday!