December 2015, Latest & Greatest News

Our Merry Christmas

Our Christmas was filled with so much love & laughter. We could not have asked for a sweeter holiday. This little family of mine is blessed to have one another and those we love — both family & friends.

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On Christmas Eve, we kept things low key & hung out at home. Liam was hilarious because he took the iPad into his playhouse & watched Christmas cartoons while we were getting things ready for the day. You can’t see it in the picture, but he even had his crocs by the fireplace in there….so cute!

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We continued our tradition of baking cookies for Santa. For anyone who knows me, while I CAN cook & bake, I’m just not a huge fan & I’m all about shortcuts & time savers. So, yes, we did ready made cookies (aka, break & bake) again & I don’t feel bad about it. We have loads of fun decorating them after they bake 🙂 …Liam’s a big fan of sprinkles!

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Being silly while making food for the Santa’s reindeers

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Cheese! ….this is how we do winter in Florida….shorts & flip flops!

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It’s Santa Boo 🙂

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We went over to Mimi’s house for Christmas Eve dinner. Liam always enjoys running around (literally) with his cousin, Sierra. This was about a 2 second snap where they they both sat down together.

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When we got home, it was time to go out front & put the food on the lawn for the reindeer. This year, we did a mix of oatmeal, powdered sugar, and sprinkles 🙂

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At bedtime, of course, we put out cookies & milk for Santa. This year, we started a new tradition of leaving a magic key for Santa. Mr Elf had brought it one day for Liam, as he had been asking this year how Santa got in our house since we didn’t have a chimney (such a smart one, he is, right?!?!)

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As you can imagine, Liam was more excited than ever this for Christmas. He definitely did not want to go to sleep, but we reminded him that Santa wouldn’t come until he was asleep, so that helped. I think it was close to 10pm, when he finally drifted off. It was hilarious, though, because Daddy was up before the rest of us in the morning out of excitement to open presents and/or see little man’s excitement. Liam, though, is like his mama and loves his sleep. Thus, he slept in until about his normal wake up time & came out of his room at about 6am. When he did come out, he was wide-eyed to see the tree filled up! He came running into our room & said, “Hey guys, I made it onto the nice list!!” ….THAT was hilarious!

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Here’s a few pics of the morning. The one gift he had asked Santa for was a Bumble Bee Transformer, so he was excited to open that one up.

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Daniel Tiger!

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His face in this picture was hilarious. At some point in the month leading up to Christmas, he started to ask for the Star Wars Imaginext, and the Millennium Falcon….and mind you, he hasn’t really seen any of the movies. Daddy (being the Star Wars super fan he is) has been over joyed of little man’s interest in Star Wars. I’m not sure who was more excited when he opened the Millennium Falcon up…Daddy or Liam 🙂

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Liam had an awesome Christmas from all of his grandparents, too. He was so excited to get the Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage, Legos, a super-hero play set and a big boy bike!! I’m sure we’ll have tons more pics of him playing with all these in the weeks to come 🙂

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Happy Holiday wishes to you & yours, as well!

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December 2015, Sponsored Post

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey ~ LEGENDS

LEGENDS logo

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDS unveils the unbelievable to Children Of All Ages. Legendary circus artists from around the globe perform awe-inspiring feats of daring, spectacles of strength and thrills of wonder. Join us for an unforgettable family night of legendary proportions at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDS at the Amway Center from January 14-18, 2016.

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From Feld Entertainment:

Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson guides Paulo the Legend Seeker on a quest to discover real, living legends from around the world. Audiences will experience Alexander Lacey and his enduring bond with his lions, majestic leopard and tigers during one of the most captivating acts. The Solar Hawks, a dream team of acrobats, come together to amaze by attempting four consecutive triple somersaults on a one-of-a-kind double-wide trapeze specifically designed for The Greatest Show On Earth®. The Riders of the Wind, Cossack trick-riders will thrill as they thunder into the arena on the backs of thoroughbred horses stealing your breath with their daring stunts. Experience and learn about the special relationship between trainers and treasured Ringling Bros.® Asian Elephants as each trainer shows off individual elephant’s natural skills and abilities.

Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment
Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment

 

We had a fantastic time when the circus came to town last year, and the look in my little man’s eyes when he saw all the legendary acts perform was priceless! I cannot wait until we can experience it together again as a family.

For a limited time, I have an incredible offer to share with you! You can save $4 off tickets using promo code: 4MOM. Offer valid on all shows EXCEPT Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (opening night), Saturday at 3:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. Not valid on Front Row and Premium Seating, nor day of show. Offer valid through January 14.

Tickets for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS start at $16. Tickets are available at www.Ringling.com or www.ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster outlet, by calling 800-745-3000, or at the Amway Center box office (phone: 407-440-7900). For group ticket sales and information, call 866-248-8740.  The Amway Center is located at 400 West Church Street – Suite 200, Orlando, Florida 32801.

Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment
Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment

 

Free to all ticketholders, the All Access Pre-show meet the performers of The Greatest Show On Earth, get autographs, take photos and enter to win a one-of-a-kind pachyderm painting.

Ticketholders can purchase an upgrade and go backstage with a VIP Behind the Scenes Tour of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. The backstage experience includes an insider look at props and wardrobe, an up close and personal encounter with the animals and a chance to meet stars from the show. Fans will also have an opportunity to take pictures and learn educational fun facts.  To take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime experience, just log on to ringlingbros.expapp.com from your iPhone or Android smartphone, and provide your name, e-mail and phone number to become a VIP circus insider.

For more information visit Ringling.com.

Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment
Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment

 

If you are local, you should definitely take advantage of this fantastic promo deal for $4 off tickets with promo code: 4MOM. We hope to see you at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS when it comes to the Amway Center January 14th through 18th. Definitely not a show to miss!

Until next time, friends!

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December 2015, Latest & Greatest News

Happy Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas Eve!

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So much excitement in the air today. You can feel it all around! We like to call it, Holiday Magic.

Today was the last day that Liam woke up to go on a hunt to find Mr Elf’s hiding spot. He had so much fun looking for him each morning this past month. He would use his little Lightening Mcqueen flash light & walk around our house shining it in every nook & cranny. I will share pics of a few fun things Mr Elf did along the way this year, next week. Today, though, on his last morning with us, he brought Liam a special goodbye letter and a Christmas Box of goodies.

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I found the letter as a free printable online & I’ll share the link next week. It was perfect, though, because it allowed Mr Elf’s magic to be lifted for a few minutes so Liam could hug him & say goodbye. We didn’t realize how big of an impact this would have until we did it this morning. He asked to take him into his room & snuggle, so we said yes. When it was time to put him back in the Christmas tree, my sweet baby had tears in his eyes because he said he would miss him so much. His Christmas spirit is strong and we love him so!

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The Christmas Box was an idea you frequently see on Pinterest boards, but surprisingly (for me, anyhow), Stephen really wanted to do this, so kudos to him because he did the whole thing! My hubby is usually not the one into Pinterest type things, so I was stoked! It has new jammies to wear tonight, a new Christmas book, and a few small toys (Star Wars themed, of course).

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….Since it’s Thursday, and we love to do #TBT on social media these days, I thought it only appropriate to share one of my MOST favorite pictures of little man from exactly 4 years ago. On 12/23/11, I took Liam to the mall to squeeze in a last minute 1st pic with Santa (which came out fantastic, by the way). He was just 5 months old. Then, while daddy worked, he & I had a great time strolling through the mall shopping. I still remember that day like it was yesterday. I snapped this pic of him while we were in Barnes & Noble. Such a happy baby 🙂

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Last, but not least, is what has become our annual ‘Christmas Jammies by the Tree’ picture. I had saved Liam’s jammies from last year’s pictures and was thrilled that they still just barely fit this year, so we used them again.

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2015 ~ Liam: 4 years, 5 months & Timber: 13 years

For a look back on our previous years pictures, click HERE.

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We are off to bake cookies for Santa & make some reindeer food ❤

Until next time!

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December 2015, Latest & Greatest News

Priceless Memories — Family Pictures 2015

Last month, I made the boys dress up in color-coordinated happiness, so we could update our family pics. I was so happy to be able to have our photography session, once again, with our friend & family photographer, Dawn Geraghty. She is so talented and literally, the BEST to work with!

 You can contact her at: dawngeraghtyphotography@aol.com // facebook: Dawn Geraghty Photography // http://www.dawngphoto.com/

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We were so happy to include our fur baby, Timber, this time around in the session. He is an important part of our family, and we hadn’t done pics with him since Liam’s newborn shoot. The boys were such good sports, as we’ve had an unseasonably hot winter here in Florida. I picked out these “warm” outfits for us, and we all were dripping with sweat out at the park. LOL! …oops! I promised Stephen that next year we will wear shorts 😉 …although, seriously, are you not loving little man’s tie?!?!

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I almost can’t handle the cuteness overload with this one of both boys…..

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You can check out last year’s pics HERE.

Until next time, friends!

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December 2015, Latest & Greatest News

Liam’s Pre-K Holiday Program

Last week, the teachers & students of the Pre-K Dept at Liam’s school performed a Holiday Program for us that was pure holiday magic. It was Liam’s very 1st school performance, so we weren’t sure how he would react to being “on stage” with so many parents & family watching him & his classmates. However, we quickly realized we had a little star on our hands, as he ate it up 🙂 …all of the kids were adorable & the teachers did a fabulous job of teaching them & choreographing these little 4 and 5 year olds.

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Each class sang two holiday songs, and then, at the end of the program, they all grouped together to sing, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”.  They had been practicing learning the songs and their ‘dance moves’ since just after Thanksgiving. I would always ask Liam on our way home from school if they practiced that day, and I think he was over it because at one point he said to me, “Mommy, why do you always ask me that?” ….hahaha! Guess, I was excited little man!  🙂

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Here’s the video of his class’s performance. Again, SO PROUD!! He did so well! As much as we asked him beforehand, he had never showed us what they were going to do or practiced at home. We’ve been singing Christmas songs together in the car, but that’s it. Everything else was all learned at school.

When we got home that night after the program, he said to me, “Mommy, was I so cute beautiful & adorable?” Ugh, my heart was in a puddle. Love this little dude so much!

Until next time, friends!

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December 2015, Latest & Greatest News

ICE at Gaylord Palms

Last weekend, we went to ICE at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center. This year’s theme features everyone’s favorite Christmas poem by Clement C. Moore: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. This is Liam’s favorite bedtime story to read at this time of the year, so we were really excited to check it out.

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We knew it was going to be cold in there….seriously, they keep it at a chilly NINE (9) DEGREES!!! But, oh my goodness, when we stepped inside it literally took my breath away it was SO COLD. They give you parkas to wear over any warm clothes of your own that you bring, but wow, I was still not prepared. That was absolutely the coldest temps little man had ever been in, too!

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Despite the extreme temps, everything really was so beautiful! The idea for ICE came from the Ice Festivals that take place in China, and the artisans that create the masterpieces we see here are actually flown in from over there because of their amazing talents. Each block of ice weighs 300 lbs & food coloring is used to create the brilliant colors we see 🙂

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The Stockings were hung by the chimney with care….

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I loved little dude in his parka 😉 …at the end of our walk-thru, all of our faces were honestly feeling frozen but he didn’t understand the feeling. He put his little mittens up to his face and said to Stephen, “Daddy, what’s happening to my face?” 🙂

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The details on each sculpture were so amazing!

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Daddy & Liam!

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Loved this Christmas tree. Liam just wanted to touch everything. It was hilarious because the staff member had to say to everyone as you walked into the exhibit — ‘don’t link the ice’ ….haha!

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Ice Slide Fun!!

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Nutcrackers!

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Nativity scene. Simple – white – ice ….just.beautiful.

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This picture is hilarious. This was taken after we had waited in line for an hour & were about to enter ICE. We were actually in front of a green screen. Liam was.over.it — he didn’t understand what he was about to see & the last thing he wanted to do was take a picture (can you tell?!?! …LOL!)

Until next time!

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December 2015, Latest & Greatest News

How to Host a {Stress-Free} Gingerbread Decorating Party

Hi Friends!

I’m sharing some holiday fun over on Orlando Moms Blog. I hope you will check it out 🙂

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You can link to the full article HERE

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I am all about having fun with my kiddo at the holidays and making memories to last a lifetime. What I am not about, however, is stressing myself out in the process. One tradition we enjoy each holiday is getting together to decorate gingerbread houses. Over the years, we’ve perfected the process to make it as simple as possible, so today, I’m sharing my tips with you!

Happy Reading!

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December 2015, Latest & Greatest News

It’s Christmas Time!

I just love this time of the year — the decorations, the music, the smells, the traditions ❤ ….now, if we could only talk mother nature into giving us just a tad bit cooler weather here in the sunshine state, that would be swell 😉

As soon as we got back into town from my dad’s after Thanksgiving, we broke out the decorations & got busy making the house look festive. I have to say that having an excited 4 year old as a helper this year definitely made it extra fun 😉 — I think I said his name  &  ‘careful‘  & ‘just a minute‘ at least 100 times as he helped me take things out of our storage bins. He is SO excited for Christmas this year! We had to explain what “Christmas time” meant and that we didn’t jump from Thanksgiving Day to Christmas Eve in one shot. Ha!

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Placing the star on top is his favorite 🙂

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Our tradition is to welcome back the Elf on the Shelf once our tree is up & decorated. So, Mr Elf did fly back from the North Pole last Saturday night, but more on that next time!

He also was thrilled to have his Little Peoples Nativity Scene back. He happily played with that for a majority of the afternoon. Made my mama heart happy ❤

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Early last week, Liam was over the moon to find a letter in the mail from Santa, himself! He danced all the way down the walk way & into the house!

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We headed out to Light Up UCF for an impromptu meet up with Mimi & Aunt Heather & cousin Sierra after school last week. Unfortunately, it was raining, so the lights were off…BUT, they had reindeer there that night!!! SO COOL!! — Did you know their coats are water proof??

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He also got to ride the ice slide. He thought it was the greatest thing ever. Not to shabby for our Florida boy 😉

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Saturday, we were all excited for our 5th Annual Gingerbread Decorating Party! This has become such a fun tradition for us both as a family & for all of us as friends. LOVE IT ❤

For a look back at last year’s party, click HERE

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I asked him what his favorite part of the party was afterwards. He said “the candy” …..as in, eating it! Can’t tell, right?!?! Hahaha!!!

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All done!

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And, of course, let’s not forget what happened to poor last year’s masterpiece — lol!!

After the kids wrapped things up….the “big kids” (aka, Lisa & Stephen) went to town on their house. This has become these two crazies little tradition & let me tell you they take it pretty serious 🙂

At one point, when Stephen was helping Liam, I suggested a few things to add & I was told, “no, we’re saving that for later” — wow!!!

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I am in LOVE with this!! ❤ ….We haven’t always been fans of Santa pics (it is kinda intimidating, right?!?!) but he did it this year! When he was done, he was so proud of himself & so were we for conquering something that he was kinda scared of. He even said, “that wasn’t bad at all!” Love that little dude so very much! We celebrated with hot chocolate!

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Until next time!

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Latest & Greatest News, November 2015

Thanksgiving Wrap-Up

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you & your family had an awesome day with your loved ones and were able to reflect on the many blessings that we all have ❤

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We kicked our holiday weekend off with a super cute lunch at Liam’s school. Little man was thrilled to also see his daddy pop in to join us, as we thought he wasn’t going to be able to make it. It was a great time!

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We headed up to my dad & stepmom’s house in Jacksonville for a few days, so that meant a road-trip. Timber is not as great a traveler as he was in his younger days. So, below is how he rode for the majority of the trip….in Daddy’s arms. Not to mention the fact that our normal 2 hour drive literally took us FOUR hours….SO not fun with our whining fur baby & one impatient/excited 4 year old….but, we eventually made it up there & had a great time 😉

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Had to start our Thanksgiving morning with Macy’s Parade, right?!?! 🙂 ….I think I was more excited to watch this than Liam. LOL!

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I honestly didn’t snap many pictures throughout the day, but this was a cute one. Timber was unsuccessfully begging for a hand-out 😉

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So thankful that this guy calls me mommy ❤

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Turkey time!!!

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Always the helper in the kitchen….potatoes may or may not have been dropped on the floor a few times 🙂

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We took a trip to St. Augustine to see their “Night of Lights” …the city was all decked out in beautiful white lights.  Liam was in awe & walked up & down the sidewalk singing Christmas songs to himself & us….cutest.thing.ever ❤

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We asked him to stand in front of the Ponce de Leon monument to snap his pic….instead, he thought it was the perfect place to make shadow puppets…hilarious & imaginative!!!

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Loved the tree in the town square, so we took a quick family pic ❤

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Here’s a look back on previous posts from Thanksgiving:

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It was a fun & relaxing weekend. So nice to spend time with family and also talk to those that we weren’t able to be with. Life may be busy & hectic, but when we take time to pause & reflect, we really do have much to be thankful & grateful for. Each day is a gift ❤

Until next time, friends!

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