Tuesday, December 27, 2016


I have no actual clue how 2016 is wrapping itself up at this point.  With a surprise move in the middle of football season and then so many events right on the tail of that, we have had little downtime.  I'm looking forward to a calm New Year.  I actually really enjoy this time of year to reflect and reset - to realize my priorities and what needs realigned in my life.  This time of year is the slowest time of year, too.  Empty schedule, holidays are behind - it's the simple life; just being together without distraction.  And nowhere to be.

Our December hardly seems like it was longer than a few days - we had a big surprise planned for the kids.  It turned out to take up quite a bit of mental room to make sure we kept it under wraps, all while getting properly prepared.  On top of that, I had to take care of all things Christmas before we left on the 9th, so it all was a bit of a whirlwind (and SO worth it!).

I'll attempt this in a concise manner, but our month was jam packed and I want to remember all of it!

 birthdays are always the best excuse to go and try new places.

 Ruby had a dance performance at the mall -we went from there to church where the girls sang in the choir.  Chaos!

Ruby got some birthday money in November and asked me how many Beanie Boos she could buy with the money.  I thought to myself she must be kidding, because we already have an entire zoo of them here.  As it turns out, she had no intentions of keeping any of them for herself, and instead wanted to use her money to go and buy them for the kids that would be stuck in the hospital for Christmas.  Oh my, my heart.  She graciously included Eisley, and together the two of them went and purchased $150 worth.  They wrote a note for every single one and we delivered them to our Children's Hospital.  I'm so proud to be their mama. 

Which brings us to this lovely night.  Haven't laughed that hard in a long time.  I'm thankful for the precious friends in my life.  We got together for a little Christmas party where I also need to mention that 4/6 of us received Lularoe leggings (#momlife).

Luca's first little art project - so precious and he was SO proud!

Finally...vacation time!

As you quite plainly see, our main priority was food.  We ate a lot.  Cruising with little kids is not quite a week of relaxation in the way that it is for some, but no cooking, no cleaning, no taxi driving - it was still a nice place to be.  We stopped in Honduras, Belize, Costa Maya, and Cozumel.  We didn't do much of anything at the first two - highlights included fish pedicures and drinking out of a coconut.  In Costa Maya, we found a place to sit on the beach and eat HEAVENLY guacamole and salsa while the kids played in the sand.

Cozumel was our favorite - we swam with dolphins, snorkeled, and watched a sea lion show.

It's normally sort of a downer to get off of the cruise ship.  Not this time:

 Right around this point in the car, I gave the girls a box to open - inside were our magic bands.  It was so fun to hear the excitement as they said, "best surprise ever!"

We have never stayed on Disney property when we have gone in the past, so it was neat to experience that this time, especially at Christmas.

We crammed a lot into our three days at Disney, and had an amazing time! By the end of our vacation, I was so ready to be home - to finish up Christmas things and just enjoy our family traditions.

(can we take a moment to realize that this is the first time since 2010 (I think) that there has been no crying in our Santa pictures?!  My babies are growing!)

Our Christmas was wonderful - I am SO thankful for these special moments with my family.  These traditions and these moments through their eyes are so beautiful.

We're ready for you, 2017.

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