5 1/2 Years!

As we said good-bye to January, we said hello to 5 1/2 years old for this little man. In keeping with our family photo tradition, here’s the latest teddy bear pic ❤

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February was a pretty eventful month for us, so the time slipped away from me before I could get this update posted. We had some fun playing with his shadow one evening after school just before we broke his arm — sooo, this WAS pretty close to his 5 1/2 mark, which technically fell on January 31st.

AGE: 5 1/2 years // 66 months

WEIGHT: 51 lbs.

HEIGHT: 3 ft., 9 in. // 45 in.

CLOTHES: size 5 or 6 to a size small — depending on the brand ; He went through a major growth spurt over the summer and continues to get taller. I feel like we had about a year & a half where he had slowed down a bit with growth and now he’s definitely making up for it 🙂 — He also is very into his own style of dress and I think I said this before….gone are the days where I can buy & dress him in whatever I want. He knows what he wants to wear on any given day and will often fight you on it. At least, he is into matching colors. HA!

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WHAT’S NEW:

Liam has continued to immensely change & grow since his birthday. Since he’s our only child, it’s hard for me to compare him to anything else, but at this point, I would say it’s probably this age. He’s just like a sponge and it’s really amazing to watch him learn and be curious about the world around him.

Since just after his birthday, he began Kindergarten. As I recapped in THIS post, he has far surpassed both Stephen and my’s expectations for what he’s been learning. Most currently, he is reading beginner sight word books, and eagerly asks what words are that he doesn’t recognize. He picks up on the meaning of things that I wouldn’t even dream about him getting. For instance, in the Disney movie, Moana, I didn’t think he would understand the significance & connection of the grandmother’s death and the stingray. As we were watching, he immediately told me, ‘I think the grandma just died and that’s her in the water now as the stingray to help Moana‘. I was blown away.

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In September, he started taking Taekwondo lessons. If you see my posts on Instagram, I usually refer to them as karate, but the boys are quick to correct me, as it is technically Taekwondo, and he is now certified with the American Taekwondo Association. He just completed his 2nd belt promotion and competed in his 1st tournament, so not only is he excelling but we are also so proud of the hard work & dedication is showing. A separate recap post is coming soon on all this, but of course, I’m running behind {story.of.my.life}.

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Our new obsession is Disney. We love ALL the parks here in Orlando, and for the 1st time for any of us, we are feeling total Disney magic being able to drop into  any of them when we have free time. Santa brought us annual passes and let me tell you, we have been totally been taking advantage of that! I haven’t counted exactly, but I think we’ve visited the parks about 8 times since the 1st week in January. I have so many super fun pics to post soon! 🙂

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NOT SO INTO:

I’m putting this update under the ‘not so into’ as it was a bummer. On Valentine’s Eve, little dude fell off a slide during after-care and got a hairline fracture in his humerus bone on his left arm. He was in a cast for 3 weeks. He did very well with it, but it was an adjustment. We had to keep it dry, so bath time was interesting, but he & Daddy did great with that! He is a lefty, too, so he was a trooper with getting by with his school work & using his right-hand for a while.

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The struggle is REAL people with homework, friends. Little man does fantastic with his schoolwork, and while he doesn’t get a whole lot of homework…he is NOT a fan {I mean, really, who is?} …We do the bulk over the weekends, and there is usually some timeouts involved & stern talks…lol! One day, I’m sure we’ll look back on this & laugh, but man, this is the one area where he really pushes my buttons.

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At some point, over the last few months, we magically {maybe?} entered the gaming universe {help me!}. I think it partly is due to the fact that there is an XBOX and a Wii at the after-care room he attends, so he’s been exposed and allowed to sometimes play it since school started. We also gave him my old iPhone {as an iPod} not too long ago when I upgraded. All I know is that one day, I feel like I blinked, and he was playing games on the iPod, iPad, and Wii more than he was touching his regular toys. I started complaining to Stephen, and he just laughed. Not cool! LOL 😛 — He was back in his play room over this past weekend digging into his toys, so needlesstosay, this mama was over the moon. I love technology, but I’m also all for old-fashioned fun for as long as possible.

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You can catch up on all our previous monthly/yearly updates HERE.

Happy Half Birthday, Liam Michael! — Mommy & Daddy love you SO VERY much!

xoxo

Until next time friends,

Because We’re Moms

Hi Friends!

My latest post with Orlando Moms Blog is up today and it’s another one that I wrote from my heartstrings. ❤

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You can link to the full post HERE.

Being a mom is hard work but it’s THE MOST rewarding part of each & every day. In this post, I share some snippets of what being a mom means to me.

Because we’re moms, we hold their hands for a little while….but they will hold our hearts forever.

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thanks for reading!

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Valentine’s Week Wrap-Up

Our Valentine’s last week was everything BUT quiet 🙂

I started things out with putting up our usual few decorations around the house to spread some love & cheer. However, this year, I wanted to do something new & started THIS project I found on Pinterest. I put one heart up a day from Feb. 1st through Feb. 14th. for Liam. Each heart listed a positive attribute for him ❤ — he loved it & that made us happy! He said, “Thank you so much, Mommy!” after he saw the heart on the 1st day & gave me a great big hug! I hope to do this every year now.

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For his class Valentine’s this year, we looked through a ton of designs, and he chose THIS astronaut valentine, and we thought it was super cool & fun! The free printable was found online, so I printed it out on card stock. I literally ordered a bucket of astronaut men from Amazon and then used neat, sparkly black washi tape to secure them. LOVE IT!

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Since Valentine’s was falling during the week, we took advantage of the weekend before and had a date night. Bahama Breeze patio seating was perfect! 🙂 — Wee Man enjoyed a night hanging with his karate friends while we relaxed!

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After church on Sunday, we had a family Valentine’s breakfast at Keke’s — YUM!!

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Then, on Valentine’s eve — everything got turned upside down for the rest of the week 😦

I got a call at work that our sweet boy had fallen off of the slide at his aftercare program and hurt his arm. Not the best type of call you want to get, but you drop what you’re doing and go get your love.

After a visit to Urgent Care, it was determined that he had fractured his humerus bone in his left arm. They put a splint on it for the night.

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I didn’t even realize until looking through Facebook memories throughout the week that his burn on his little arm also happened during this week two years ago. Ugh…we need some good vibes on this week from now on.

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The next morning, the doctor and staff got him all fixed up with a shiny, red cast {he picked the color…his fave} 🙂 — he’ll be wearing this baby for 3 weeks. The doctor said for this type of fracture, it is very common to need surgery, but he does not. We are VERY thankful and blessed for that news!! We are also hugely grateful for the care and compassion for everyone at Nemours Urgent Care and Pediatric Orthopedic Clinic — They have been just absolutely amazing during this difficulty time for our little family.

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For the rest of the week, little dude insisted on sleeping on the couch. As long as he was comfortable and resting, we were ok with that ❤

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His teacher and class were so sweet and collected all of his Valentines while he was out 🙂

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While we had an adventurous week, we are very thankful that everyone is okay and that what is broken can be healed. Little man’s injury definitely could have been much worse. Being a parent will always keep ya on your toes. Kiddos are full of surprises and definitely don’t come with an instruction manual 🙂

Hugs,

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Catching Up From Winter Break

Time is, once again, ticking away faster that I can keep up with. With that said, I would be so mad at myself it I didn’t post these pictures and stay on track with chronicling our little family adventures, so here goes….

It already feels like a lifetime ago, but we had a bit of a vacation during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Liam was out of school and I was also off of work.

Liam had almost 2 and a half weeks off of school, in total, for his winter break, so his fun started the week before Christmas. Stephen & I were both still working, so he spent that week in camp. He enjoyed some fun with his friends, including a trip to Light Up UCF where he got to go ice skating for the very 1st time. Since he was on campus, I was stoked to be able to walk over on my lunch break and hang out with him for a bit 🙂

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The weather was gorgeous while we were off, so a trip to the park was a must. I was so impressed that Liam now knows how to swing himself — another milestone down in the books 😉 !

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Our local Christmas carnival made it’s way back into town, so of course, we had a great night of family fun! ❤

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We usually steer clear of the carnie games, but this time, we let wee-man stop & play. He was pretty pumped. He had to throw darts to pop the balloons…..and, he won a Scooby!

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Bumper car boys 🙂

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Liam was completely discouraged that he was still too small to ride the regular Himalaya, BUT found he was loving this mini-Himalaya {not that ya couldn’t tell from his face here}.

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We were definitely in an awkward ride phase this year. Not a fan of as many of the kiddie rides this time, like this one, but again, still kinda small for the bigger ones.

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Still had a blast at the carnival, once again! 🙂

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One of our other adventures on winter break was heading over to the Science Center to check out the NEW KidsTown. We had been anticipating this expansion for the longest time, so were super stoked to visit. We’ve always loved KidsTown when it was on the 1st floor, but now it encompasses the entire 2nd floor of the Science Center, and is just about 3 times the size of the old version at a total of 11,000 square feet 🙂

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As we walked through each of the room, honestly Liam and I were just amazed! It was so much more than what I thought either of us anticipated. There was a whole room for the orange groves that all the kiddos love. We didn’t even stop to play there on this visit, so definitely next time. He saw this ClimbTime structure and that was all she wrote, folks. LOL! We spent most of our time here. It was so much fun!

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DripDropSplash is the new water table & play area that is also WAY bigger than the previous water structure area and so sleek looking too, I might add ❤

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Toytopia was the traveling exhibit that was on the way out, so we stopped in for another look before we called it a day. Loved this gigantic Monopoly piece!

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At the end of the week, we were excited to have Papa G and G-ma come for a visit. These two had a blast hanging out ❤

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We closed out of winter break with a trip to the movies — SING!

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It was definitely nice to take a break from the hustle & bustle of work, school, homework & the daily grind. We enjoyed some good, quality family time and made some good memories ❤

Until next time,

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A Look Back on 2016

So here we are, at the tail end of January — another year gone by and now we’re welcoming in 2017! I feel like so much happened in 2016. Maybe it’s because we’re a young family? Maybe it’s because I’m just a sappy, sentimental kinda gal? ❤ — I like to take the good with the bad so while life isn’t all roses, we choose to be thankful for what we have & what we have experienced ….and we look forward to another year that we are blessed with! Cheers!!

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A recap of our NYE 2016 ….

We ran in the New Year quietly at home with just the three of us, but we had fun. The boys were playing with Christmas toys {Hot Wheels} gifted from Mimi & Papa D, so they were in heaven. For the 1st year, we let Liam stay up as late he wanted {or could stand it….he’s a light weight 😉 } ….he was getting a kick out of watching New Year’s Rocking Eve with me, but by 11:00ish, he crawled into our bed with Stephen at the commercial and that was all she wrote. The two of them passed out. LOL!! I watched the ball drop with the cat 😛 — I recorded it so they could see it in the morning. It was hilarious! ….We had done a family toast with sparkling grape juice waaay earlier in the evening so it was all good!

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Some highlights from 2016 ….

In January, we went to the Amway Center downtown to see Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDS. Little did we know, that this would be our last Ringling Bros. circus, as they are actually closing down in May.

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In March, Stephen turned 40!! 🙂

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In May, we dedicated Liam at our church. We are also so blessed & thrilled to say that we now have a church home for over a year. We’ve been consistently going each week & it’s been wonderful for all of us. This was definitely something that Stephen & I kept wanting to do and find a place that felt like home, and it was very important to us with Liam getting older. ❤

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In June, this little blog celebrated it’s 3rd birthday. It’s always fun to look back on past posts & pictures. Love to see the memories! As I have said in the past, I appreciate those of you who follow along with our adventures. As fun as it is to post, it actually is a lot of work to maintain this blog, but it’s something I enjoy & continue to do for Liam as a way to keep track of our memories for him ❤

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In June, Liam graduated from Pre-Kindergarten. I cried at his graduation ceremony when they all walked down the aisle to Pomp & Circumstance…..all I could picture was his 18 year old self and I lost it, like a baby!

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Liam turned 5 at the end of July, and {holy cow!} started KINDERGARTEN in August!! I thought last year’s start of Pre-K was a crazy milestone, but this is over the moon! We celebrated his birthday with a splash park party that was a super fun time with friends and family. We also went to the Jacksonville Zoo on his actual birthDAY. Kindergarten is proving to be a mindblowing experience for Stephen & I — seriously, it’s NOT the Kindergarten we went to as kids. I remember naptime, snacktime, and playing with toys. Fast forward to today’s Kindergarten and it’s serious learning …..and the kids LOVE IT! That is the awesome part for us. While we are trying to wrap our minds around it, Liam is thriving and loving life. It definitely makes your parent heart happy, and you just try to go with the flow. Things are just much more advanced and technology based than I anticipated they would be, but that’s ok!

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Since he wasn’t in daycare during the summer for the 1st time EVER, he spent his 1st summer in CAMP! He had a blast 🙂

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At the end of June, I celebrated two-year’s of writing with Orlando Moms Blog ❤  ….So, at this point, it’s now been about 2 and 1/2 years that I’ve been on board. You can can link over to my posts with them HERE

In September, Orlando Moms Blog also celebrated it’s 3rd Birthday! Such a fun night 🙂

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In September, we added a new member to our family! — at the time, Stephen brought home an adorable 2 lb kitten that Liam named Simba. We originally intended not to keep him but well, ya know how that goes. He’s now trying to play with Timber on the daily 😉 — more details & pics to come soon!

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In September, Liam started martial arts classes! He is loving it and it’s something we are engaged in with him, as a family, as well.

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In November, Timber celebrated his 14th birthday!! ❤

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Looking ahead to 2017….

I’m not one to really choose a single word or resolution, but I like to have goals. For this year, I want to focus on calm {which can mean a plethora of things on any given week} and organization. I have a few tools to help me get there. My trusty Emily Ley planner {for home}, Erin Condren planner {for work}, and Lara Casey PowerSheets to plan those goals! I think of it this way — Life is busy but it doesn’t have to be messy 🙂

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Liam will be turning 6 this summer and then off to 1st grade! He’s already talking about both. I can’t even think about summer camp options right now, let alone, the next school year.

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We are continuing to enjoy our new church home, and in doing so, are becoming more engaged through serving and participating in events. We are excited to see what this year has in store as the church also continues to grow!

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We got annual passes to Disney for Christmas, so we plan to pretty much live there on the weekends. Hahaha! — Seriously, we’ve already been there every weekend this month. Definitely already developing an obsession, but it’s super fun! This is the very 1st time that Stephen and I have ever had annual passes there, so we are, for sure, just as excited about this as Liam is 😛

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Not every part of every year is wonderful, but find the joy in each day. Focus on the positive. Don’t let negativity bring you down.

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LOVE,

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Our Merry Christmas {2016}

Merry Christmas!

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With Christmas falling on a Sunday this year, we had a whole weekend of fun-filled holiday goodness! Liam was out of school the week before, so he had a ball at winter camp with a few field trips & activities. Both Stephen & I had to work through the 23rd, and that evening, Liam had a very special celebration, but more on that soon! Once we wrapped all that up, it was full-on Christmas mode! I have been blasting Christmas tunes  everywhere I go since just before Thanksgiving, and this weekend was no different. I LOVE Christmas music and it really tickled me this year because we noticed that Liam now knows many of the words to the songs we play on the regular.carpenterschristmasChristmas Eve, Liam woke up to a special present from Mr. Elf. He also delivered his good-bye letter to him that included a note that he could hug & kiss him bye again this year for a few minutes without his Christmas magic leaving. Mr. Elf was set to return to the North Pole with Santa that evening. Last year, Liam was VERY sad to see his friend leave, so we were anticipating that again this year. However, it was not as bad this time around because of the gift he brought Liam. He had asked Santa for a stuffed Mr. Elf toy, and THAT is exactly what he got from Mr. Elf! He was ecstatic!!

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That afternoon, we attended the Christmas Eve service at our church. Towards the end of service, there was a candlelight activity as we shared how Jesus is our light for the world ❤

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Some of our family was unfortunately sick, so thwarted plans landed us out to eat. We chose Bahama Breeze, and it was a perfect dinner! We beat the crowds, and the weather was amazing to sit outside.

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Liam was even able to play corn-hole while we waited for our food 🙂

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Once we got home, little man helped me to make cookies for Santa! We even made them from scratch this year. If you know me, then you know that’s means LOT 😉 …I haven’t made this cookie recipe in years, and was honestly so happy to do it with Liam this year. They came out so cute!

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After cookie baking, we put on jammies and put out the reindeer food in the front yard. Liam thought he kept hearing Santa’s sleigh ❤

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Even though he knew Santa wouldn’t come until after he fell asleep, Liam was not happy about bedtime. When we put out Santa’s cookies & milk, I asked him to smile for a picture. This was as good as it got. Ha!

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….and, once he was fast asleep — Santa arrived! ❤

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Christmas morning, wee-man slept ’till about 7:00am. Stephen & I laugh because, as kids, we can remember waking up before dawn with excitement. Not our kiddo. He {like his mama now} loves his sleep, and has snoozed till early morning every Christmas so far. When he did get up, he came into our room to wake us, and said, “I got presents! There’s a big bag & that’s my drum set! Come look!

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Daddy & Mommy picture courtesy of Liam 🙂

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So, he went for the big gift bag 1st to open, as he was convinced that was the drum set he had asked Santa for on his list. It wasn’t {it was the castle in the pic below}. However, Santa did bring him that drum set, so he was stoked when he did finally open it!

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Silly boy….

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Liam’s BIG gift this year was one that we were SUPER excited for, as well — ANNUAL FAMILY PASSES TO DISNEY!!!!!

Liam had a special gold box to open with a few things inside to reveal the gift:

Santa wrote him a letter to explain that he was getting the passes & why.

A fun “ticket” that said, Liam is going to Disney! All by himself, he actually read it & that was awesome!!

A Disney autograph book to take to the parks.

Magic Bandits to put on his magic band once we get them.

His Mickey ears {fun fact: I found these in his closet from when we took him on his 2nd bday for his very 1st trip there, so this worked out perfectly. You can check out that post HERE}.

*special THANK YOU!! to everyone who helped make this happen ❤ *

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His face as he was reading his ticket ❤

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I would say that is the face of one happy, little man!

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The animals were not left out of the morning, either. Santa brought them some treats. Timber snoozed most of the morning, though, while Simba raced around stealing bows & pieces of wrapping paper. Don’t be fooled by this cute pic….the tree skirt later was dragged half way across the living room! By Wednesday, this year, the tree was down. We have always waited to take our decorations down until after the New Year, but this crazy boy kept me on my toes just a little too much 😛

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After a relaxing afternoon, we headed over to our good friends to have Christmas dinner. Plans turned into the three of us having dinner at home, but we are very thankful & blessed to have great friends who insisted we not be alone for Christmas dinner. We really had an enjoyable evening! Here’s a pic of Liam & James playing out back with James’ new boat.
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We are so grateful & have full-hearts as we wrap up another magical Christmas season! We had a lot more fun throughout the rest of Liam’s winter break this past week, & I’ll be sharing more of that soon.

For a look back on our previous Christmas celebrations —

2013

2014

2015

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Much love…

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