Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas in North Carolina

Our plans to leave first thing in the morning were changed a little when there was a major power outage all over.  Not only were homes without power, but streetlights, businesses, etc. were affected for a few hours.  We didn't want to leave home knowing we'd left a ton of lights on, so we stuck around and waited for the power to come back on.  By the time we finally did get on the road, it was closer to lunchtime, but we made great time and for the most part, everyone did well in the car.  This was Walker's first long trip and he seemed very excited about where we were going.  

We got to my mom and dad's late that evening and it was already dark by the time we arrived.  Waking up the next morning to this view made it all worth it.  

It was a gorgeous day so we spent the day lounging around the house, sitting on the porch, and taking a walk with the dogs.

Later that afternoon we got dressed and ready to go visit all of my other extended family for our annual Christmas get-together.

Robby and I celebrated our 11 year anniversary on that same day.  We were laughing because it was a very non-eventful event. I didn't feel great all day and we were focused on family that day. I ended up going to bed around 9:30 when I put Hudson to bed so it was just like any other day.  We're hoping to celebrate next week instead. 

We all got up and got on the road first thing on Sunday morning.  It was a very quick trip and a lot of time on the road, but it was worth it to get to spend the weekend with my family!

Christmas 2014

It's hard to believe that Christmas is over. We had such a fun month leading up to Christmas and loved celebrating in our new home this year.  

On Christmas Eve we went over to Gigi and Papa's house for dinner and to have Christmas with Rylan, Ryan and Heather.  The kids had a blast running around and playing together and they all got to open a few gifts that evening, too!  

Hudson and Papa were matching that night with their Christmas plaid shirts and jeans.  :-)

We came home and the kids changed into their Christmas PJ's and got cookies and carrots ready for Santa and his reindeer.

Hudson was so excited and hyped up about Santa coming to visit that he could not fall asleep.  At one point after being in his bed about 10 minutes, he told me he had slept a little bit and was ready to get up now.  I finally gave in at 10:30 PM and went to lay with him so he would fall asleep.  It only took about 5 minutes and he was out.

 Santa came and brought the kids just what they asked for.  Handley got her turquoise bike and Bazooka gum, Harper got her new American Girl Doll and doll camper and Hudson was most excited about his bow and arrow.

Handley also got lots of new things to wear and she wanted to try them all on right away.

It was a beautiful day and the sun was shining after about a week of rain, so it was the perfect opportunity for the kids to get outside, test out some of their new things, and enjoy our Christmas day.  I spent the day putting away all of our new stuff and stayed in my pajamas until about 7:30 PM when we went over to a neighbors house for a little bit.  Then it was time to get packed and ready to head to Mimi and Dadaw's the next day for round 2 of Christmas.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Family Photos

This fall, we met up with Jen and her family to take some family photos in hopes that we would get good ones for a Christmas card picture.  I also have a spot in my house that I want another large framed portrait for and we got so many great ones that now I'm going to have a hard time deciding!  I cherish family photographs and just LOVE these so much!!!  A huge THANK YOU to Jen for capturing these. :-)

Class Christmas Parties

Thursday and Friday were the kids class Christmas parties.  They all decorated cookies, played games, and made crafts.  It was a sweet celebration at the mid-way point in their school years and fun for me to see them with their friends.

On Thursday evening Handley was writing a thank you note and she told me, "I'm going to be so excited after Christmas because I just LOVE writing thank you notes."  I laughed and she replied with, "Really!  I don't know why, but I just love it." I thought it was so funny for her to say that because I also love writing thank you notes and from very early on I have tried to train the kids that it is the thing to do after someone gives you a gift or does something nice for you.  She's turning into Little Miss Manners, which I love. :-)

And one more quick picture from an impromptu dinner and movie night with neighbors.  We walked over to the burger place across the street from our neighborhood and then went back to their house so the kids could watch a movie (complete with popcorn from the popcorn maker) and the adults could chat.  It was a fun night and I'm so thankful we have become such great friends with them!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Happenings at School

Every year I say I'm going to get my shopping done early so that I can "enjoy" the Season, but I feel like every year I end up running around at the last minute trying to get everything done. 

I spend most of last week doing my last minute running around though because this week has been dedicated to all sorts of fun at the schools.  I have been and will be at one or both schools every single day this week (sometimes, twice) for one thing or another.  It's all fun stuff though and I'm so happy our schools plan meaningful experiences with and for the kids.  

On Monday, Santa came to visit at Hudson's school!  Parents weren't able to attend, but his teacher is always so great about taking pictures for us, so I got these a little later on that day.  

 He really does have the sweetest bunch of kids in his class.  He's usually falls into that "sweet" category, but we have had some major fit-throwing going on this week.  I don't know if it is because he is tired, because he is as stubborn as his Daddy, or if he is just at that age, but I've had to threaten to call Santa on more than one occasion.

This morning I got to be in Harper's class for their gingerbread house decorating.  She's been talking about this all week and all of the kids were super excited.  They were most excited about all of the candy.  Their sweet teacher told them all every time she rang the bell, they could pick one piece of candy to eat from the table.  You should have heard the squeals and giggles every time they heard the bell!

I've spent all evening finishing up teacher gifts for the girls, prepping for their class parties tomorrow, and getting myself organized for another busy, but fun day.  The countdown in on.  Only 2 more days until Winter Break!!!  

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Georgia Aquarium - Dolphin Encounter

Handley's sweet friend, Avery, has a love of dolphins.  This darling child knows more about dolphins than anyone I've ever met.  She wants to be a dolphin trainer when she grows up and I would bet money that she will continue on that path.  Last year for her birthday she did the dolphin encounter at the Georgia Aquarium for her 7th birthday (as a Georgia Aquarium policy, all children must be 7 years of age or older to do the experience).  This year for her birthday, she wanted to do the encounter again, but with a friend, and she chose Handley.  Her mom planned the whole day without either of the girls knowing and it was a big surprise for both of them that they were going today.  I woke Handley up this morning and told her she needed to get dressed and eat breakfast quickly because she was going to have a play date with Avery.  She was really excited just to see Avery and you can imagine how excited she was when Avery arrived and told her what they were doing!

I loved that they had a photographer there taking pictures of the entire experience for the girls!   

Not only did they get to do the dolphin encounter, but they also got to spend the entire day at the aquarium.  Handley came home telling us all her amazing experience and says she wants to do the dolphin encounter for her birthday, too.

Last year before school started I knew that Handley wouldn't know a single soul at her new school, but I prayed that she would meet new friends and at least have one friend in her class that she would connect with.  I never could have imagined the sweet friendship that she and Avery would have developed and I'm so thankful for friends like her for Handley!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Gingerbread Houses 2014

It is sort of becoming a tradition for the kids to make gingerbread houses each year with Gigi.  Last night she came over to babysit so I could go to a work dinner with Robby.  She took the opportunity to be here with them at Christmas time and ran with it!  Upon arrival she had the kids help unload a gingerbread house for each of them, platters to display them on and enough candy and icing to decorate about 20 houses!!! They were so excited and couldn't wait for me to leave so they could get started!

When I got home later on I was super impressed with how well they decorated them.  I was actually a bit shocked at how well thought out they were with their designs.  Gigi took lots of pictures so we could see all the fun they had.

This morning when I woke them for school, they were each so proud to show us what they had made and tell us all about it.

Harper's house

Hudson's house

Handley's house