Friday, January 1, 2016

December 2015

There were so many Christmas-related events in December but we did squeeze in some other events in the month.

Aubrey's cheerleading squad wrapped up their season with a party and awards banquet. After all the drama that went along with this season, I was glad to see it end. Aubrey was pretty sad about it ending, but glad football season was over for her. 

The MICS cheerleaders had their mini cheerleading event for K-2 early this year. Aubrey was excited to get to cheer more and they added in stunts that stopped this momma's heart for a few beats.

We also convinced Aubrey to pull her last top tooth that was hanging by a thread and she got many comments about asking for her two top teeth over Christmas.

The last newsworthy event of the month involved every single member of our family being sick. Mason started out with another ear infection. But, after some extra loving and a day of antibiotics, he was back to normal.

The rest of us getting sick was not cute enough to get pictures for. Aubrey, Todd, and I all got a nasty stomach virus the day after Mason's ear infection and it was bad. I honestly don't think I would wish that mess on my worst enemy. Luckily, it all started on a Friday and we were good to go by Sunday. We managed to clean and disinfect our house with a whole can of Lysol after that event because I had no desire to keep that mess in our house. 

For New Year's Eve we let Aubrey stay up to watch the ball drop on tv and I was surprised she managed to be wide open and full of energy until about 11:30. Todd and I were both struggling to keep our eyes open, but we all made it to midnight. It was fun to spend that time with her and I can't wait until the whole family can go out together and do something fun.

So, that was our December. It was such a busy month but still managed to be my favorite of the year. Despite the few days of sickness, it was overall fun and exciting and lots of good memories were made. We can't wait to see what 2016 holds for us!

Christmas 2015

I swear, Christmas just gets better and better every year. As the kids get older, I have more and more fun watching them enjoy the season. They start adding presents to their wish list right after their birthdays and their anticipation is so high all year. As soon as we decorate the house after Thanksgiving, their imaginations are in full gear. We try to balance out the wishes with lots of talk about the reason for Christmas and why its such an important holiday to us. They seem to be understanding Jesus a lot more and getting that we give presents for a reason and that makes my heart happy.

After starting the holiday season with decorating, our next Christmas adventure was going to Christmas in Davidson. I had never heard of this event before, but our nanny works for a chocolate company in Davidson that was set up at the event and she said I should bring the kids up for it. The cute little downtown of Davidson transforms into a Christmas village for a few nights with crafts, horse rides, food, and entertainment. The parking in Davidson is so limited, so they offered shuttle rides in the form of a trolly from satellite locations. Mason was fascinated with the fact we were riding in a trolly. Once we got into Davidson, I quickly realized it was going to be a long night because it was sooooo crowded. Their downtown is really small and it doesn't take much for it to be crowded, so adding in an event makes it nuts. But, the kids seemed to enjoy it and it was nice to get out and spend time together. We ended the evening by watching the live nativity put on by one of the churches and that was great way to get some good discussion in about the reason for Christmas. I hope we can go back next year and I will be a little more prepared to handle the craziness that went along with the event.

Selfie on the trolly ride

Watching the living nativity

After school let out for break, we finally were able to see Santa. Northlake Mall set up the Santa experience a little different this year. You had to book the event in advance and pay up front. I was a little put off by the cost, but once we got there and it started, it was totally worth it. It had a Shrek theme and we got to ride in a virtual sleigh, get a pilot's license, and then end with a visit to Santa. Mason wasn't the most cooperative with Santa at first, but he finally warmed up and we got a great picture of them. 

Our next holiday event was walking through the lights at McAdenville. I love sharing this with the kids every year since I grew up just a few miles from McAdenville. They look forward to seeing all the lights and getting hot chocolate to warm up. We did it for the first time this year with no stroller and that was a mistake. Mason started complaining about being tired 1/4 of the way in and that went on the rest of the night.  It is so neat to see how much the town has changed over the years but still looks the same in many ways. We took a break about halfway through and ate dinner at the little restaurant in their downtown. The kids were able to get their hot chocolate and we made the trip back to the car. It was another nice night that I am glad we got to spend together.

The kids with Santa and an elf in front of the lake

After that fun, Todd and the kids took off to Raleigh to visit his family for Christmas. I had to work and stay home with the dogs so I got to enjoy 4 days by myself, which was a nice treat. Todd and the kids had a blast and were all spoiled before coming home Christmas Eve.

Once the kids got home on Christmas Eve, I planned some fun activities with them to give Todd a break. I bought and assembled our first gingerbread house and the kids had a blast decorating it.

After decorating the gingerbread house, we baked cookies for Santa. The kids love to help me in the kitchen and this was no exception.

Right before bedtime I let the kids open their presents from each other and then we set out treats for Santa and the reindeer. We ended the night by reading Twas The Night Before Christmas. The kids didn't seem to interested in the poem, but its one of my favorites and I hope they grow to love it.

Christmas morning the kids actually slept until we woke them up at 7:30. They tore through their presents and the squeals of happiness as they check out their toys never gets old.

First view of their haul

First view of their gifts from Todd and me

Checking out their scooter and bike

After we finished at our house, we drove to Todd's parents' house for family time and breakfast. The kids were given handmade bows and arrows and they were instantly hooked.

We came home and let the kids enjoy their new toys outside.

We wrapped up the night with my family and dinner at our house.

So, I would say Christmas was nothing but awesome this year. I am sad that the season is over, but excited the kids enjoyed it so much. It really is true that Christmas as a parent is even better than Christmas as a kid.