December 2017

Our Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, everyone! Our Christmas weekend was jammed packed and filled with so much love & laughter. Hope the same for you & yours.

We kicked things off last Friday with Liam’s belt promotion ceremony at Victory Martial Arts. At this time last year, this was actually our very 1st belt promotion ceremony for him, so that was pretty cool to now celebrate a full year of earning belts. He moved up to Raon / Lion Decided.

We are so thankful for the leadership & guidance from his instructor, Mr. Johnson!

Saturday afternoon, we were beyond excited to attend the Orlando Ballet Company’s performance of The Nutcracker at The Dr. Phillip’s Center. This was the 1st time any of us had been to a real ballet show, so this was really cool. It was also our 1st time at the Dr. Phillip’s Center.

I would say that there are no ‘bad’ seats in the entire theatre, but we chose great seats. Here’s a view from where we sat. We were on the 2nd tier balcony….it was a bit higher that I would have liked & honestly made me a little nervous at first ….but we loved it!

The show was stunning & amazing! We were all enchanted & I would say this is definitely a new Christmas tradition for us. Liam’s favorite part was the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy (2nd set of pics below). He also loved the Mouse King. Pictures weren’t permitted during the show, but here’s a few gorgeous shots posted from the Company’s social media.

Photo Credits: Michael Cairns ; Orlando Ballet Company
Photo Credits: Dr Phillips Center

Liam chose the Mouse King nutcracker as his souvenir from the show. We put him up at home next to the nutcracker I have from my Grammy ❤

Sunday was Christmas Eve and we woke up to find Mr. Elf with a present for Liam, as well as his good-bye letter, his magic key to leave out for Santa & the reindeer food to put out that evening. Liam was very much so looking forward to hugging him for a few minutes, as we remembered he got to do that today.

Christmas Eve dinner was at the Bengel’s. We had Turducken ….a combo of Turkey, Duck & Chicken. It was surprisingly delish! It was a great evening with this group. Love them!

A little bit of SnapChat fun …..

When we got home, we got cookies & milk out for Santa …..

Christmas morning! Santa came ….excitement in the air 🙂

Yah, it’s the ROBLOX set I wanted 😉

LEGOS were a big part of what Santa brought. Liam is very into them right now (so is Daddy…lol). He was shocked to see he also got the LEGO Dimensions game for the PlayStation.

The aftermath…..his favorite was his skateboard & pads .

We knew a while back that it would end up just being us three for Christmas dinner. So, I booked us dinner at Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. We had eaten breakfast there during our stay for Liam’s birthday & loved it. I knew dinner would be great. It’s a buffet restaurant & the food is sooo tasty! Not to mention how much we love the resort!

The Christmas decorations were gorgeous!

Dinner was delicious! It was a mix of traditional menu items, like prime rib, mashed potatoes & sweet potatoes, as well as African-themed dishes like kokonut rice, seafood gumbo, hummus & flatbread, plantain crisps,  and couscous. The desserts were Christmas themed, too. So yummy!

After dinner, we walked around the property & looked at the animals. It looked like it was dinner time for them, as well. The giraffes were super close to the lookout area out back, and there were two babies with the mama. It was awesome!

After that, we wandered about & looked around. In another area, they were having a s’mores roast. Despite being so full from dinner, still, we had to partake. It was too fun to pass up! 🙂

We told him to stand still so we could take his pic & this is the pose we got …lol! What a little ham!

This was the sweet card Liam made us in extended day this year ….such a treasure ❤

It’s been a great Christmas season this year, and we are so blessed. Love this little family of mine.

Until next time, friends!

December 2017

Countdown to Christmas!

The countdown is on! Just a few days to go, friends! ….are you excited?!?!

We are in full Christmas spirit around here. It’s been a busy month, so let’s catch up.

Right after Thanksgiving, Our scout elf, Mr. Elf, flew back from the North Pole. He brought Liam a Disney Tsum Tsum Advent Calendar. It’s been really fun watching him open the door each day & see what new character he discovers.

Mr. Elf also brought a letter from Santa. Liam was able to read most of it himself this year, so that was pretty cool.

We decked the house out in our season’s best decorations. I have to say I am proud of how the front door turned out this year. I finally decided to buy fresh arrangements to display & am really loving it! Clearly, Timber is too 🙂  — lol!

With Liam getting bigger, it was harder to lift him to place the star on the top of the tree, but he insisted. We did good with the tree staying nice & decorated for that first weekend. I actually thought that Simba was going to leave it alone this year. Well… I was wrong. On the 3rd day, as we were getting ready for work / school, I heard the jingle of ornaments. I came into the living room only to find him flying out of the tree at me. At this point, we’re just trying to keep it looking decent. No breakable ornaments were placed on it this year, so at least there’s that.

Toward the beginning of the month, we enjoyed a date night for a holiday party with all of Stephen’s work peeps — the Orlando Claims Association Holiday Gala. Always a fun time!

The next morning, we were all up early for Breakfast with Santa at Liam’s school. The theme this year was the Polar Express, so he wore his PJ’s & had hot chocolate. It was super cute!

We didn’t slow down that day ….in the afternoon, we headed over to the Bengel’s for our SEVENTH Annual Gingerbread Decorating Party. This really is a great time with all our friends & the kiddos. Stephen & Lisa took their game up a notch this year & decorated a manor. They are crazy!!

We took time out during one of our busy weeknights to check out Light Up UCF. We have made it a point to stop by there the last few years when the reindeer come, so we didn’t want to miss it this year. We all think they are kinda magical in the true Christmas spirit 🙂 ….and, Liam LOVES riding down the ice slide there!

Last weekend, my dad & stepmom (Papa G & G ma) came down & we headed to Animal Kingdom for the day. It was fun to show them the park for the 1st time, as they had never been, and also check out their holiday decorations. Stephen ended up getting pretty sick, so sadly, he missed out on the fun that day.

The safari ride is one of our favorite things of all the parks. I feel like you can always see something unique or different. That day, the elephants were so close & the hippos looked adorable sunbathing!

We finally rode on the Wildlife Express Train & discovered Rafiki’s Planet Watch. I’m not even sure how we kept doing it, but until this visit to the park, we kept completely missing this. So, this was our very 1st time back there. It is awesome!! The train ride is great, there’s character experiences and this petting zoo area is so neat! We will definitely be adding this to our itinerary for future visits.

Great weather & a great day ❤

As we wrapped up this last week, Liam had his Winter Holiday Show at school. His music teacher, Mr. Mason, worked with all the kiddos to learn  Christmas songs with choreography. We just love it!

On Wednesday, it was Ugly Christmas Sweater Day for Liam at school. I am normally not very crafty for making these type of things, but I tried my best based on what he requested. We planned it out & it took me awhile (& a few pin pricks..lol!), but I think it turned out pretty good…or pretty ugly, right? 😉

Last, but most certainly not least, we took our annual PJ pictures by the Christmas tree. We tried to get both Timber & Simba this year with Liam, but Simba (as you can imagine for a cat) was not cooperating. Actually, in Timber’s pic below, Simba is behind them….you just can’t see it. Haha! This pic of Simba is as good as it gets.

This year’s pic of these two boys is a little bittersweet. Timber sleeps a lot these days….we actually had to wake him up to do this pic, so he was pretty groggy in this one. He’s in great spirits, still, but he’s our little old man. His most recent visit with our amazing vet revealed he does have kidney disease now. We have been watching his numbers slowly go up in his blood work for a few months now, so it’s not a shock to us…but still is not the news we wanted. We are working with the vet to do all that we can to help him & give him the best for as long as we can ❤

It’s almost Merry Christmas Eve, friends!! I am really looking forward to seeing little man’s excitement over these next few days!

Until next time,

November 2017

Thanksgiving Wrap-Up

Happy Thanksgiving! There is much to be thankful for, and reflect on, as we head into this holiday season.

We kicked off our Thanksgiving Break with a trip to our happy place — the Magic Kingdom. This was most likely our last trip to this park before our passes are blocked out for the rest of the holiday season, so it was fun to check out all the Christmas decorations. It really put me & Liam in the spirit! Stephen had to work, so it was just the two of us hanging out. We found Snow White hanging out by Main Street in the Candy Cane Garden. It was such a sweet surprise.

While at the park, we decided to ride the Jungle Cruise over in Adventure Land, which I hadn’t been on in years & Liam had never been on yet. I didn’t realize until we got over there that it was done up with Christmas decorations & renamed the “Jingle Cruise”. There were the cutest decorations all throughout the ride, the boat captain’s commentary was all themed to the holiday, as well, and they were playing the “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas” song in line. I have to say it was so perfect and we loved it! So happy we found that! ❤

We took a road trip for the holiday & headed up to Jacksonville to my dad & stepmom’s. Liam fell getting out of the car on the drive up there & hit his cheekbone on the pavement. Based on his symptoms, his doctor recommended us to take him to get checked out at the ER. Not gonna lie that we were shaken up for hot second, but thankfully all was well & he is okay. The Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital in Jax was absolutely AMAZING and we will forever be grateful for their care. Also truly grateful for the support of our family & my sweet friend, Beamer, who was dealing with me texting her at the crack of dawn asking where we could take him up there.

 Love this boy! A little scraped up but blessed that he checked out okay. 

We got back to my dad & stepmom’s after our hospital adventure with enough time to still tune into the Macy’s Parade. It was the perfect distraction & helped to get us settled in & calmed down for the day.

I didn’t snap too many pics during our stay, but this was one memory I had to capture. When my dad is in the kitchen, this is how you find Timber. Sitting at attention & completely focused on him. Can you tell he loooves his Papa? It can’t be that he gets delicious treats or anything 😛 …lol

The obligatory pic of our fabulous dinner 🙂

I was one of those who did crazy online shopping both Thursday & Friday….but, we did brave the crowds for a bit on Black Friday to grab a few things I couldn’t find in my online travels. Thanks to Papa G & G-Ma for keeping an eye on little man while we shopped.

Friday evening it was nice & chilly up in Jax, so we had a fire out back to roast marshmallows & make s’mores. It was so fun!

Saturday morning, we headed back home. It was a great visit but we also wanted to save time for regular chores & breaking out the Christmas decorations (more on that next time). On Sunday morning, we had a visitor from the North Pole make his appearance again — Mr. Elf!! Liam loves the Tsum Tsum toys from Disney, so he was stoked to get an Advent calendar from Mr. Elf with that theme.

Mr. Elf also brought a letter from Santa. It was so sweet to see Liam’s eyes light up when we all read that together. He was a little more skeptical this year on how Mr. Elf got here & back from the North Pole …but this letter is the real deal. When we finished the letter, he said to us, “I BELIEVE …all 3 of us do and we have Christmas Spirit” ❤   ….yes, Little Man, yes we do.

A few weeks ago, he & I went to the mall to visit our favorite Santa’s helper (as we like to call the mall Santa’s). I was excited because we got the same Santa for the 3rd year in a row. Just love it! Liam asked for a skate board ….that was a shocker to us, but we’re working with Santa on it.

It was a great weekend, overall. Definitely looking forward to the holiday season.  Everyday is a gift, and we have much we have been blessed with. We are THANKFUL you have taken the time to stop by our little spot on this great big cyberspace.

Until next time, friends,

 

November 2017

Wrapping Up October!

Halloween weekend sure was a treat for us, again, this year!

At school on the Friday before Halloween, the 1st grade classes celebrated with some fall-themed activities. This was one of the treats Liam created & brought home.

Later that evening, we headed over to the Bengels for the annual Halloween bash. These two yahoos were my dates 😛 ….that bear head inevitably was tried on by every kid later that evening. I’m still not sure how I feel about that — #germaphob.

Halloween fell on a Tuesday this year, so that made for an interesting & late night of trick-or-treating. Nevertheless, we trudged through and still had a blast! We continued our trick-or-treat tradition of hanging out with the Bengels in their neighborhood. Liam’s official costume was the LEGO minifigure Nexo Knights Clay character.

His costume was pretty cute and elaborate. A little hot, too, so I’m glad it was a cooler evening for us …he definitely needed it with all the pieces he had to wear. It included a tunic with detachable shoulder pieces, pants, mask and pair of hands.

This is our normal set up the last few years as we head out to walk the neighborhood 🙂 …we use Liam’s wagon to load up some drinks (child & adult beverages), as well as any other misc necessities (bug spray, jackets). Thanks to technology, Alexa joins us & provides our Halloween themed background music as we walk. It’s a super fun time …and Lisa & I usually end up having almost more fun watching our husbands goof off by the end of the evening after the kids are worn out 🙂

These kiddos move so fast from door to door that it was difficult to get any good shots this year. I was reading through last year’s post and remember how Liam really took charge then with being proactive with trick-or-treating. He definitely continued that this year. If anything, he was even more so. All of us commented how fast the kids were blowing through the neighborhood this year. Much faster than ever before. In fact, we went farther down & to more houses than we ever have! I think we all definitely noticed how much bigger they all were this year. It was a little bitter sweet.

As we walked from house to house, Liam was checking each one out. If the house was dark, he would yell out really loud — “this one is not celebrating!” 🙂 …At other houses where they got candy, we would get a report back on some of his more favorable collections before he even left the driveway. It really was hilarious!  …Speaking of that, one house we had never made it to before, gave each kiddo a goodie bag that had (no lie) about 30 pieces of candy in it. I thought the kids were going to come unglued with excitement when they came running back to us!! We were trying to figure out how we’d missed this house all these years? LOL

One of our favorite parts of trick-or-treating is getting to see all the neighborhood decorations. Some of the homes really go all out. It’s so fun! ….There are a few houses that we seek out especially — one that always turns their garage into a haunted house, one whose entire front lawn is decorated, and another who makes the whole yard dark & creepy looking.

End of the night shenanigans!

I would say this face was pleased with his haul. This ended up being WAY more candy than what any six-year-old could possibly dream off. He almost had more fun just counting all pieces once we got home more than anything else 🙂 ….extra candy pays off for gingerbread house making down the road…..hahaha!!

October went by in the blink of an eye, but it was a blast!

Happy Halloween!

HERE is a look back on last year’s fun.

Until next time, friends!

July 2017

Happy 6th Birthday, Liam!

This week, we celebrate our kiddo’s 6th birthday!

I can’t believe we have a SIX year old now! He has grown up so much since last year. I see a lot of change in him when I compare his pics from month to month, and he also has matured a great deal. Not to mention the fact that he will soon be taller than his mama. LOL! — He’s definitely getting closer & closer.

Here is the latest teddy bear pic ❤

If you follow our adventures, you know this teddy bear pic is a fun regular measure of growth for us. Check out all our past pics & updates HERE.


As is our tradition, we conducted our annual BIRTHDAY INTERVIEW. As with previous years, some of his answers were both quite surprising & entertaining! This time around, and for the 1st time, Liam actually insisted on filling out the form himself! He even read the questions. I was quite impressed. He got tired of writing midway through, so I took over, but he didn’t do too bad!

MORE FROM THE PREVIOUS YEAR’S QUESTIONNAIRE THAT WE USED:

What is your name?: Liam

How old are you?: Six

What is your favorite food?: Pizza

What makes you laugh?: Daddy shaking his butt

What are you afraid of?: Bears

What is the best time of the day?: Spending time with Mommy & Daddy

Where do you like to go?: Animal Kingdom Lodge

What do you like to do with your family?: Snuggling with Mommy & Daddy


Other notable things these days….

We have a kindergarten graduate! It was an amazing school year.

We have a kiddo who can now read! He has been doing a great job of keeping up with his reading on his own over the summer, too, and building on his skills. I can already tell 1st Grade is going to so much fun for him 🙂

He is also very good at spelling now, too. Gone are the days when Stephen & I can spell things out to one another when we are trying to talk about something without him knowing.

He stayed pretty even with his growth for the majority of the school year and was wearing a size Extra-Small to Small in boys and a size 13 boys in shoes. However, towards the end of Spring, he went through another growth spurt, and we could tell that he’s probably grown a few inches again. He is definitely moving into a size medium boys in clothes and has already went up a half size in shoes this summer.

We started karate (taekwondo) in October, and he’s been doing so well. I think he has probably built some lean muscle from all the work he’s put into his classes there, so I honestly don’t think his weight has changed too much, but we’ll see with his annual check up in a few weeks. He can almost do a full splits from all his weekly stretching in class…that’s pretty impressive. Last we checked, he was at 52 lbs. He is definitely a strong boy!

He is still our little dancer and is SO good at it. We love to watch him. His latest obsession is the JUST DANCE game for Play Station, and it’s hilarious how good he is! High scores all the time!

He also loves to sing and still knows the words to most songs better than me.

When he is happy or excited, you will see him skipping along next to you.

He loves to color, and is really good at staying inside the lines now.

If it’s dark in a room in the house, he doesn’t like to go in there alone. He will ask you to come with him and turn the  light on first.

He is wrapping up his 2nd summer of Junior Summer Camp. This year, we continued enrollment at the same camp but also mixed in a week of vacation bible school, which he absolutely loved.


This year, we spent his birthday weekend at Disney. Back at the beginning of the year, we asked him if he would like to have a whole Disney weekend of fun & stay at a hotel on property or have a party with his friends. He was thrilled to choose to stay at the hotel. We don’t do many overnights away from home, and almost all we’ve done in the past have been staying with family. Thus, he was extra excited to check out a hotel experience & do it in Disney style!

I have SO many pics to share soon, but for now, here’s a few of our favs. We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and the first evening, we celebrated his birthday with dinner in Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom — Cinderella’s Royal Table. During the meet & greet with her before dinner, she danced with him …..it was THE sweetest moment!

Happy 6th Birthday, our sweet little man, Liam Michael!

You continue to overflow our hearts with joy, love & laughter. You are our biggest & brightest blessing. It is our privilege to watch you grow into such an amazing & beautiful little person with the biggest personality! Daddy & Mommy love you!

 

July 2017

Star Spangled Fun 2017

We love the 4th of July in our house, so I can’t let the holiday sneak away without sharing our long weekend fun!


We started the weekend off with Liam’s belt promotion ceremony with Victory Martial Arts.

He moved up in belt rank to Cheeri recommended from Baeoh in the Tiger program. We continue to be so proud of him for his accomplishments, hard work & dedication. Huge thanks to Mr. Johnson and Mr. Valle, as well! Mr. Valle is off to college now, so we will miss seeing him each week, but we’ll definitely be keeping in touch!

Saturday evening, we intended to go mini golfing but the rain thwarted those plans. Instead, we headed to the bowling alley.

The boys were very competitive with one another. My score was awful….hahaha! A good time was had by all, though!

My little artist creating a work of art with his gnome for the front walkway.

We couldn’t let the holiday go by without a celebratory photo. Trying to get both of these boys to BOTH look at the camera was work, peeps!  As you can kinda tell, Timber was not amused with my antics. This shot was Liam’s favorite, so it wins for getting posted 🙂

Monday, it was a just me & little man hanging out while Daddy was visiting his Grandma. So, we had a movie date. Despicable Me 3 was super cute!!

On the 4th, we all got up bright & early and headed out to Cocoa Beach. The weather was gorgeous but it was a scorcher out there.

The sand by our chairs was too hot to play in, so we were building castles by the sea shore ❤

Finished masterpiece by Liam & Daddy….

We decided to forgo our usual trip downtown to see the fireworks this year, and instead, we did some at home. It’s always a little more challenging when holidays fall during the week, so we decided to be creative this year. It worked out well since we’ve actually been seeing quite a bit of fireworks lately on our trips to Disney. So none of us felt like we were missing out {I looove my fireworks!}

photo credit of mommy & daddy by Liam 🙂

Our little firecracker!

You can link up to the posts from previous 4th of July celebrations — HERE

It was a great weekend celebrating our nation’s birthday! ❤

Until next time, friends!

July 2017

10 Tips For a Safe July 4th!

Happy Birthday, America!

I want to share another post I wrote a few year’s back for Orlando Mom’s Blog, as the tips are still relevant for each & every 4th of July holiday. Many of us choose to celebrate with fireworks (who doesn’t love them, right?), so let’s always remember to be safe while we are having fun celebrating this great holiday for our nation.

When I think of the fourth of July, I think of fireworks. Yes, I realize that we are celebrating the birth of American independence, but ever since I was a child, I have always associated this holiday with those beautiful colors that light up the night sky.

Even at 34 weeks pregnant a few years back, I made my husband take me out in what seemed like 100 degree Florida heat to gather around Lake Eola here in downtown Orlando to see the spectacular fireworks show. Now that we have our little man, we have continued the tradition of returning to see this show each year. I truly love seeing my son’s eyes light up as he watches what he believe to be magic!

Whether you are like our family & choose to go to public fireworks events, or you like to do them at your home, please always remember to be safe! While fireworks are fun, we must not forget that they are dangerous. Only adults should handle them, and children & pets should be closely supervised while around them. Children like to do sparklers, and admittedly, we let our almost 4 year old do his 1st sparkler this past weekend. We made sure we stood right next to him & he held it far away from his body, but I will tell you that this momma was still a tad bit nervous. If you are not comfortable with it, don’t do it. Simple as that. Little arms are short, and sparklers can heat up to a staggering 1,200 degrees. A great alternative to sparklers is glow sticks! I know my little one LOVES them & never turns one down.

Here are my TOP 10 Tips for Fireworks Safety this July 4th:

1. Obey all laws regarding the use of fireworks.

2. Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents.

3. Point fireworks away from your body, other people, homes, and keep away from brush and leaves and flammable substances.

4. Light one firework at a time (not in glass or metal containers), and never relight a dud.

5. Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed on the Fourth of July. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they’ll run loose or get injured.

6. Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.

7. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show.

8. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

9. Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.

10. Never try to make your own fireworks.

Did you know there is a National Council on Fireworks Safety? Many of my tips were taken from the recommendations on their website — www.fireworkssafety.org

I hope you & your family have a happy & SAFE Independence Day holiday!

April 2017

Our Easter Egg-Stravaganza! {2017}

We had so much fun for Easter last weekend!

I had put up our decorations around the house earlier in the month, so we had been feeling festive already 🙂

After work & school on Friday, we attended Good Friday services at our church. Brad Gray (@WalkingtheText) was back again to guest teach & his message was awesome! Liam hung out in the Kids Care area and did this cool art project while they learned about the significance of the day. It was a chalk handprint and of course, Simba walked all over it out of curiosity as I was trying to snap this pic 😛

We had a busy holiday weekend planned, and we jumped into it 1st thing Saturday morning. Orlando Mom’s Blog was hosting their 1st ever Egg Hunt out at Lake Meadows Naturals Farm in Ocoee. I loaded the boys up & we headed out to have some fun, and I was also working their craft station for the morning.

Would you believe there are 2000 chickens in this room?!?!

Well, hello little cow! Liam loved exploring the property and greeting all the animals. In addition to this cow, he saw a horse, a llama, ducks, goats, a pig and baby chicks.

This is such a neat little gem tucked away in our Orlando area. I can’t believe I never knew it was here. They raise cage free chickens and sell the hormone free eggs. They have a small general store on site, and even have fresh produce that is grown on property.

Once my work with OMB was done, we did the egg hunt together & had a great time! It was a fun morning!

When we got home, it was time to color Easter Eggs! Trust me when I tell you that this was THE FIRST TIME that we have done this with Liam, and seriously the first time Stephen & I have done this in probably 20 years. It was a learning experience for all of us to say the least, but we had a good time with it! Liam thought it was such a neat thing to be dropping the eggs in the colored water and watching them turn colors! By next year, we will be pro’s 🙂

Liam’s 1st batch of colored eggs for Easter!

It was a long day so we all were tired that evening. It was to bed early, especially so that the Easter Bunny could make his rounds. He was pretty excited with his surprises for Liam this year and they didn’t all fit in his regular basket, so he had to leave out an extra one 😉

We were up before the sun to check everything out. Not surprisingly one of wee-man’s favorite things was this stuffed poop emoji. LOL!

We had to be at church at 7:00 am, so we were out looking for the eggs hidden by the Easter Bunny with a flash light. Hilarious!!

Easter service was great! Here we are in our Sunday Best ❤  …we went for family breakfast at KeKe’s afterwards. It was so yummy!

That afternoon we were invited to our good friend’s Jenni & Delia’s for an Easter Sunday Lunch — Cuban & American style. We had an excellent time catching up with friends & hanging out. Look at these super cute cakes we enjoyed for dessert. They were courtesy of both Delia & Lisa — and let me tell you, these ladies duked it out to make sure they were on point! haha!

After lunch, it was our last egg hunt of the weekend. This one was serious business. I was trying to take pics while he was hunting and he literally told me,”No time for pictures, Mommy!”.

Afterwards, all the kiddos sat on the front lawn & were checking out their loot. It was all business talk, as they even were making swaps & trades. Too funny!

Finally — he posed for me!

Believe it or not, Liam was still not tired once we came home, so we made our very 1st trip to the pool for the year. I don’t think we’ve been in since September-ish. His swim instructor, Ms. Katie would be super proud of him because he jumped right in and swam like it was nothing. He remembered everything she taught him. I know I was very impressed! I could already tell it’s going to be a great summer!

We had a jammed packed weekend, but it sure was another Happy Easter! We are blessed!

Until next time,

December 2016

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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December 2016

ICE! at Gaylord Palms ~ 2016

It’s become one of our family traditions at this time of the year to head over to the Gaylord Palms Resort and check out ICE! This is literally two-million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures that we can walk through to a different holiday theme each year. There are also ice slides and the whole scene tells a cute story. Not to mention, the attraction is kept at a super cool NINE degrees!! BBRR!!

You can see our fun from last year HERE.

We were so excited to go this year, as it featured A Charlie Brown Christmas. This is one of our childhood favorites, and of course, now one of Liam’s ❤

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As we waited in line to enter the exhibit, the staff member literally reviewed this with us. Seriously, this was hilarious!! 🙂

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The details in the ice sculptures are just mind blowing. While the chilly temps will literally, at first, take your breath away, lol….walking around looking at these beauties will, too! So, so pretty!!

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While we laughed at being told not to touch the ice, little man kept asking to touch it…I mean, look at it….for a kid, even for us….you really do just want to reach out & touch it!

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They did such an awesome job of capturing all of our favorites moments from the Charlie Brown Christmas special. LOVE IT!!

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Charlie Brown & Lucy ❤

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This was the ice slide room! Super fun!!

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Schroeder!!

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Linus …and he was holding a real blanket ❤

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Both Liam & Stephen went down the slides (there were four). My hands were so cold that my phone didn’t register my fingerprints to take the video & it messed up (such a bummer). While I was waiting for them to slide down, another lady’s phone froze….THAT’s how cold it was in there! Really!! So, here’s a screen shot of when I tried to 1st start the video 🙂

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Say cheese! …It’s the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree!

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We were seriously just so in love with all of these vibrant colors & details!

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Once again, the last room was the Nativity Scene, and it was breathtaking ❤

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Such a fun-filled family day!

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Until next time, friends!

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