Saturday, December 30, 2017

Christmas 2017

Christmas has always been a fun time of year.  Christmas with kids is amazing.  Christmas with older kids who are so into all the magic of the season is better than you could ever imagine.  We took our trip to Atlanta as soon as school got out for break, and we came back into town on the 23rd. 

After we took presents up to Atlanta and then brought some home, this is what our tree looked like.  It was so beautiful!

Christmas Eve fell on a Sunday this year, so we got up and got ready for church just like normal.  I planned to take a picture of all of us, but it was pouring outside, so this is all I ended up getting - haha.

After church we went to Grammy and Pop's house for a quick lunch so that the kids could see MeeMee and do Christmas with her.  She was going to be out of town for Christmas, so I'm glad we could make it work so that the kids could open their gifts with her.

For the evening of Christmas Eve, Gigi and Poppy came over to celebrate.  I probably mention this every year, but I love Christmas Eve even more than Christmas day.  The magic is everywhere, the anticipation is so big, and there are just so many fun things to do.  We always make homemade cookies for Santa, and I let the kids pick which kind they want to do every year.  This year, we went with a classic chocolate chip cookie!

After both kids had a bath and the cookies were baking, we made some reindeer food (oatmeal and glitter) for the kids to sprinkle outside.

We've got to make sure that Santa and his reindeer can find our house!

This is our 16th Christmas together!

Christmas Eve was a little extra special this year because 15 years ago on Christmas Eve, Matt proposed!  We were so young, had no idea what was ahead of us, but knew that we loved each other and wanted to spend our lives together.  Even though we were young and people thought we were crazy, I'm so glad we didn't listen to the negative.  We are happier now that those two kids 15 years ago could have even dreamed of!

Christmas Eve with Gigi and Poppy!

While the cookies were still baking, we watched The Grinch (and the old school one - it's our favorite!)

Once the cookies started popping out of the oven, we had warm cookies and milk while we watched!

After the movie was over, we got Santa's snacks ready!  Two cookies, a small glass of milk, and one carrot.

Gigi and Poppy left, and then we all piled in LL's bed to read The Night Before Christmas.  We all took turns reading a page (Cooper with some help) and it was just such a sweet time.

Santa came!!

The anticipation was high and the kids were up early!

They opened their stockings, saw their Santa presents, and were ready for more!

I didn't take any pictures while we were opening gifts - I wanted to just be in the moment, and it was so nice!

Hot chocolate, Christmas movies, and kids playing with toys - this was a perfect Christmas morning!

Oma and Opa came over around 9:30 and spent Christmas morning and lunch with us.  The kids were so happy and having a blast, but I also managed not to take a single picture (fail).  After lunch, Cooper went down for a nap (and maybe Mommy and Daddy, too).  LL wasn't feeling the greatest and was up at 3 am, so she tried to nap, too, but she wasn't successful.

After naps, we got dressed and headed out to Grammy and Pop's for our last Christmas of 2017!

It was a smaller Christmas without Uncle Bryan, Aunt Roiane, or MeeMee, but we still had a good time.  It was pretty nice to have a more "low key" Christmas.  While they weren't there, Uncle Bryan and Aunt Roiane dropped off presents for the kids a few days before.  Cooper is excited to officially be in the "big kid club" with his own BB gun!  Now he doesn't have to shoot LL's pink one anymore - haha.

When one kid doesn't want to take pictures anymore, you continue without them!  Haha.

A sweet present from Oma and Opa!

I honestly love the 26th of December, too.  Why?  Because we *always* stay home, and we don't make the kids find homes for their toys yet.  This means that our house looks like this for an entire day.  While the mess is stressful, seeing the kids have so much fun with all of their new toys makes me so so happy.  It's just such a chill day and I love that.

Here's a short video of our Christmas!

I hope your Christmas was just as magical as ours!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Atlanta Christmas Trip 2017

My sister lives in Atlanta, and we always try to go and see her sometime around Christmas.  Last year, we started a newer tradition of going up as soon as school gets out for Christmas break and staying for a few days.  Last year was our first year going right before Christmas and we loved it so much that we decided to do it again this year!

I had a 1/2 day on Wednesday (technically LL did, too, but she didn't go) so I went to school decked out in my Christmas spirit!

I rode to school with Kayla and the kids and Matt came to pick me up so that we could hit the road as soon as school was over!

Lola is getting pretty old (13), and we don't really like to board her at the vet anymore.  My sister loves Lola, so they were totally fine with her coming up with us!

We didn't know it yet, but Cooper had a 102 fever - which probably contributed to him taking a (very) small nap in the car.

Pretty sure she was faking most of this - haha.

We made it!  We got there around dinner time and spent the evening just hanging out with everyone.  Around dinner time we realized that Cooper had a 102 fever.  He was feeling pretty crummy (especially his throat) and wasn't in the best mood.

We woke up to find that Sparkle made the trip to Atlanta to see us!

I slept with Cooper the night before so that I could keep an eye (and ear) out for him and check on his fever through the night.  Boy.  We had a rough go of it.  He was so restless and neither of us got much rest.  You would never have known it by how he was ready to go the next morning!

We have this same toy at home that he rarely plays with.  Ben has the same thing and Cooper is obsessed.  Go figure.

Gino had to work, and Matt and Laura took the kids to the park for a little while while I slept for a few more hours.  That rough night really kicked my butt!  The kids had a blast playing at the empty playground, though.  The cold sure doesn't bother them!

He might not have slept well but he woke up fever free!

They didn't stay at the park too long because it was so cold.  We spent the rest of the morning just playing at Aunt Laura's house.

Stair races!

This boy was out at nap time!

We had originally planned to go see Coco, but I just didn't think that there was any way that Cooper would sit still through a movie.  Instead, we went and did indoor glow-in-the-dark mini-golf!  Well, the boys and the kids did this while Laura and I walked around the mall.

Matt and I both have tried to get the kids to do these bungy trampolines for forever, but they never will.  Well, put them with Ben and they'll try almost anything!  All three kids did it and loved it!

He's still not too big for me to carry!  

The next morning was the main event of our trip - Snow Mountain!  We went last year for the first time and loved it!

Family pic in front of the presents!

You can't pass up the huge mistletoe in the middle of the village!  Plus, grossing out our kids is one of our biggest privileges as parents - haha.

When we did a comparison from last year, we realized Matt was wearing the same hat, jacket, and shoes - haha.

Gino didn't go with us last year, so Laura didn't get a kissing picture.  They made up for it this year!

The kids remembered everything from last year so they were so pumped and ready to go.  Here we are on the moving sidewalk headed to the first tubing session of the trip!

I can't even tell you how many times we lugged these tubes up to the top.  It was a lot!

LL absolutely loves Snow Mountain.  It is a favorite for her around Christmas for sure.

This is what I find when Matt airdrops all the pictures from his phone to mine.  At least it was my hiney and not one belonging to someone else, right??  haha.

They also have a huge group tube that you can go down.  The kids LOVE this one!

They also love finding our picture when we get to the bottom.

We took a little break from tubing to go play in the snow area.

It was a really foggy/drizzly day which made it hard to see the mountain, but made it awesome for pictures!

This is a snowman making girl!

Her snowman last year and this year.

We saw them blowing out this "snow" and thought it would be cute to get a picture under it - until we realized it was chunks of ice and really hurt if you got hit by it!  I'm so surprised that they put this in the "kid" area??

More tubing!

After tubing we went back to the house for lunch, naps, and warming up.  That night, we had plans to do our Jammy Cocoa Christmas in Atlanta.  Gino wasn't feeling good, so he stayed behind.  Laura and Ben went with us, but they refused to wear pj's.  #partypoopers

Our clan decked out in pj's and ready to see some lights!

We typically go to Starbucks for treats, but Ben and Cooper wanted milkshakes, so we went by Chick-Fil-A to get those before we went to Starbucks.  When we go there, there was a huge line (which is random for like 6:30 on a Friday night).  Turns out they were having a spicy chicken sandwich promotion where everyone in your car could get one for free.  None of us eat them, but Gino sure does!  We got 6 and brought them home to him!

Getting our treats from Starbucks!

There was no shortage of fun houses to look at near their neighborhood!

Here's a fun video I put together from our trip!

We had a blast and came home ready to celebrate Christmas!