February 2016, Latest & Greatest News

Our Happy Valentine’s {Recap}

Last weekend was such a fun-filled weekend for us. We hope you all had a lovely (total pun intended) Valentine’s Day, as well! ❀

Hop on overΒ HERE for a look back on last year’s festivities, as well as previous year’s photos of this sweet day.

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Our fun began on Friday, as little man had his Valentine’s party at school. He was super excited for this. Party days always mean fun treats for all friends, and we were bringing special plates & napkins to share this time πŸ™‚

I tried to get him to wear his Valentine’s shirt from the previous 2 years but he was NOT having it. When I showed him the shirt with the heart & the truck (see last year’s pics) and told him he would still fit into it….he said ‘No’ 😦 …this mama was sad. Not gonna lie. He basically said the shirt was for babies and his friends weren’t going to have shirts like that. Sooo, while I can still get him to humor me with the holiday shirts, I got him an updated, more ‘big boy’ shirt to wear this year πŸ™‚

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We are big into coloring right now & all things crayon, so we made these super cool heart-shaped crayons to give out to his classmates for Valentines. I wrote about it over on Orlando Moms Blog πŸ™‚ …Liam even did extra work this year and signed all his cards!

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Party time at school!

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My boys surprised me with flowers ❀ …Liam picked them out all by himself!

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Checking out his valentines from his friends. We made a box for the 1st time this year that he had brought to school so he could have a place to put all the cards in. It was a lot of fun decorating it together….although, he did get distracted a bit in the process. HA!

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An awesome surprise arrived in the mail from his Pepe Murphy….a personalized Valentine’s book. LOVE IT! I always had wanted to make one of these for him. Such a cool idea.

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While Daddy worked on Saturday, we made cupcakes. Someone couldn’t wait to get his hands on them.

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Always being silly πŸ™‚ ….even when I was trying to get a nice, smiling photo of the two of us to show off our finished products. I have to tell you that he chose to eat a cupcake with NO frosting. What?!?! …complete nonsense.

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This cutie was waiting for me Valentine’s morning. I love that Daddy helped him to work so hard to write everything out himself. Liam hand-picked the card, too. ❀

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We let him choose where he wanted to go for a family Valentine’s Day brunch after church….he chose Golden Corral because of the chocolate fountain (i’m totally not kidding….his words). Hahahaha!!! Gotta luv it! ❀

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Our weekend was filled with many smiles and a whole lotta love. Wouldn’t have it any other way. Hope yours was, too!

Until next time, friends!

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February 2016, Latest & Greatest News

4.5 Years — Oh My!!

Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was posting about how much fun we had at little man’s 4th birthday party? How are we already half way to 5?!?! Ya know that saying….”The Days Are Long, but the Years Are Short“? …well, it’s SO true! Don’t.Blink.

Keeping up with our photo tradition, here’s the latest of Liam with his teddy bear. You can catch up on all our previous monthly/yearly updates HERE.

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AGE: 4.5 years // 54 months

WEIGHT: approx. 42.6 lbs. (he was 41 lbs. at his 4 year check up)

HEIGHT: 42 1/4 inches – or – 3 ft. 5 1/4 inches (he’s grown an inch 1/4 since his 4 year check up at the end of August….WOW!!)

CLOTHES: We stayed pretty steady all of last year in 4T but I would say we are pretty strong into a growth spurt now & are quickly growing out of that size. I am now buying all Β “big boy” size 5 or size XS. No more toddler clothes! He also just moved up a size in shoes and is now in size 11.5.

FAV FOODS: if we could buy stock in Publix popcorn chicken, we would. That’s a definite ‘go-to’ on days when we are short on time and he is a HUGE fan. He tends to be more of a snacker or likes smaller meals. He likes cereal, mandarin oranges, bananas, cheeze-its, cheese, and peanut butter sandwiches.

FAV WORDS/PHRASES: I should log a journal for all the hilarious things this little man says to Stephen and me. Seriously, some of commentsΒ that come out of his mouth are unbelievable. He really has the best sense of humor! If he sees we’re upset about something, he’ll say, “you get what you get and you don’t get upset“. Yes, admittedly it’s a sassy response & one that he most likely heard from a friend at school, but the 1st time he said it, I laughed so hard. It was SO unexpected. When he gets mad at us, he says “I’m not your friend anymore“, and likewise when he really wants you to do something for him, he says “Please, I’ll be your friend“. Ah, such persuasion.

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FAV ACTIVITIES: We recently re-modeled the office/playroom, so he loves to play in there with all of his Imaginext toys, superheros and cars. Watching & listening to his imaginary play is something I could do for hours, and of course, it’s super fun to join in & play with him. He also LOVES to listen to music and sing and dance. I still say he’s going to grow up and do something in the arts. His teachers at school say he was Latin rhythm and ask us where he gets it…HILARIOUS!!

DISLIKES: There’s not too much this little dude doesn’t enjoy. Since Pre-K started, I guess you could say he has not been the biggest fan of doing the structured writing activities and learning to write, in general. In a way, I don’t blame him, as I was kinda on the fence for how much is expected of our little 4 year olds, but I didn’t want him to fall behind. We encouraged him and have been careful to not push him…and, I’m really happy to say that he’s made remarkable grown since August. He has learned so much and it’s crazy to see how much his handwriting is improving. Very proud of this boy! /// On another dislike note, I have to say that this boy is JUST like his mama and completely dislikes waking up in the mornings unless he wakes up on his own. Poor Stephen! haha!! πŸ™‚

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As I began writing this post last week, FB showed me these gems in the memories feed that we’ve been graced with lately. I don’t know about you, but I am so enjoying these blasts from the past. Such sweet, sweet memories ❀

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This photo captures the heart of our sweet boy. His pure joy. He asked to pose like this after we did the regular teddy bear pic, and how could I say no?

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Happy Half Birthday, Little Man!! — Mommy & Daddy love you so VERY much!

Until next time friends,

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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 πŸ™‚ …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 πŸ™‚

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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 πŸ™‚

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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 πŸ™‚

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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 πŸ™‚

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Happy Holiday wishes to you & yours, as well!

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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 πŸ™‚

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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!

Β You can contact her at: dawngeraghtyphotography@aol.com // facebook: Dawn Geraghty Photography //Β 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 πŸ˜‰ …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

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 πŸ™‚

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The Stockings were hung by the chimney with care….

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I loved little dude in his parka πŸ˜‰ …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?” πŸ™‚

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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 πŸ™‚

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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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰ — I think I said his name Β & Β ‘careful‘ Β & ‘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 πŸ™‚

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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,Β 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 πŸ˜‰

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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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ˜‰

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Had to start our Thanksgiving morning with Macy’s Parade, right?!?! πŸ™‚ ….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 πŸ˜‰

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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 πŸ™‚

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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. Β 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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Latest & Greatest News, November 2015

Welcoming Back Elf on the Shelf

It’s Elf Return Week!! Exciting times around Casa de Murphy, people! Our elf, Mr. Elf, flew back on Saturday night & Liam was SUPER excited to discover him when he woke up Sunday morning πŸ™‚ ….I will be sharing pics of our first week of fun with him later this week.

For now, be sure sure to check out my latest Orlando Moms Blog post for some Elf on the Shelf fun.

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You can link to the full article HERE.

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I’m sharing some ideas for keeping the Elf on the Shelf fun & lighthearted in your home. Plus, a list of easy & simple suggestions to get you started with your elf. I also am excited to share a FREE printable calendar to help you plan your stay with your elf ❀

Happy Reading!

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