July 2017

Kindergarten ~ That’s a Wrap!

In seemingly the blink of an eye, Liam completed his first year of elementary school and is now a Kindergarten graduate. This was such a fun year and filled with so many new experiences.

It feels like only yesterday that I was putting THIS post up about the beginning of Kindergarten, and now, here we are. Enjoying the sweet simplicity of summer & gearing up for FIRST GRADE! Really?!?! — If I’m honest, there are so many times that I look at his sweet face & still see our toddler with his big brown eyes and favorite green paci in his mouth (*insert mama tears here*).


Just like with the 1st day of school, when we did that interview with him, I also wanted to do a fun wrap up interview to grab some memories on how he was feeling. I found these fun free printables online & plan to continue them through the years! This time, he even asked to write his own answers ๐Ÿ™‚

On the last day of school, several items were sent home. By far, these two drawings were my favorite. Liam had to draw himself back on the 1st day of school, and then again on the last day of school. While we knew he was making tremendous growth over the year with his learning & development, to see the difference in these two pictures literally brought tears to my eyes. The little blobby with stick legs & no arms under the sun on the 1st day picture was how he drew himself (and people) back in August. To see how he draws full-figure people now is so cool! We are so proud of him! Not to mention his creativity and imagination โค

Officially official ๐Ÿ™‚

In the last few weeks before the school year ended, we gave a few things to Liam’s teacher, Mrs. Juarez, to show our appreciation for all she had done this year. He loved her, which means we did too, and he thrived in her room. I wanted one of her gifts to be something personal from Liam, so I found this cute thank you note for him to fill out & color. He loved it! I loved that he filled in all the answers himself. He had just asked for help with spelling some of the words.

Here’s a few of our….

Favorite Takeaway’s From Kindergarten:

Last Day Smiles!! ๐Ÿ™‚

When I compare this pic of the last day of school to his 1st day of school pic, I think he honestly looks tired. LOL! It was a fun year for him but it was also hard work. Stephen and I joked many times that Kindergarten should be called “Kindercollege” …seriously, he did far more this year than we ever did at that age. He had actual subjects that he studied — reading, math, social studies, geography, science. He regularly worked on the computer, and we had really never let him touch a computer before school started. He learned addition, subtraction, all about about the planets, animals, and he was reading chapter books with us by the end of the year. His level of learning far surpassed anything we had expected. He was recognized as one of the top readers in his grade by the end of the year! We are SO SO PROUD of all his hardwork! โค

We are enjoying a super fun summer with this lovable kiddo and giving him a much needed rest. Soon enough, school will start up again, and we can’t wait to see what the next year brings as we embark on FIRST GRADE!! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Until next time, friends,

 

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! ย As you can kinda tell, Timber was not amused with my antics. This shot was Liam’s favorite, so it wins for getting posted ๐Ÿ™‚

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 โค

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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! โค

Until next time, friends!

April 2017

Celebrating 15 Years!

Today, April 13th, Stephen & I celebrate an incredible milestone of ย 15 years since we said, “I do” ๐Ÿ™‚

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Marriage is hard work, and I think we both would agree that we feel blessed to have made it this far….or, we are a little crazy for putting up with one another this long. LOL! ….Maybe a little of both. We laughed this morning because we picked out almost identical cards that we exchanged. I think it’s because great minds think alike & we are one another’s best friend โค

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ย We met in June 2000

Engaged in June 2001

Married in April 2002

Since then, we’ve been through 3 apartments and 1 house (bought in 2009)….Too many jobs to count, and that’s okay. All have been a blessing & got us to where we are today. We have 1 beautiful child, and 2 furbabies.

We were literally kids when we met & began this story, but we have definitely grown up together and have learned from each other and leaned on each other. So much has changed around us and in our families in these last 15 years. I am truly thankful for that hand I get to hold each day, still.

Here’s to another 15!…Love You, Mr. Murphy!!

XOXO

March 2017

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 โค

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚ — 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 ย 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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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 ๐Ÿ˜› — 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,

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 ย 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 candlelightย activity as we shared how Jesus is our light for the world โค

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ …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 โค

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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! โค

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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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!ย 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 โค *

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His face as he was reading his ticket โค

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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 ๐Ÿ˜›

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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

Merry Christmas Eve!

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Merry Christmas Eve!ย 

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Sharing some more of our family pics with Dawn Geraghty Photography that we did with a Christmas theme. LOVE these few with Liam & the vintage fire truck!

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Wishing you & your family Christmas blessings! โค

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May your holiday be filled with joy & laughter…

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…peace & love โค

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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 โค

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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!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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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 โค

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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 โค

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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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 โค

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Such a fun-filled family day!

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Until next time, friends!

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December 2016

Priceless Memories ~ Family Pictures 2016

Last month, we got together, once again, with our favorite photographer, Dawn Geraghty, for our annual family pictures session. As always, she did not disappoint with the amazing shots ย & moments she captured of our little family.

We love working with the natural light & elements outdoors, and Dawn does a fantastic job of capturing that vision. We are also just absolutely blown away by how much Liam has grown since last year. That is one of the main reason’s why I ensure we do these pictures annually because our little man is definitely changing right before our eyes. I want to capture every moment that I can โค

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

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We were anticipating this would be a fab session, so while we had his Kindergarten pics taken with his school, we really didn’t invest in a package with them. Instead, Dawn captured this image & it really show’s Liam’s true personality…..

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Total silliness but LOVE it โค

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And, some more gorgeous updated shots ….

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Here is a look back on the family pics from the last few year’s:

2014ย \\ย 2015

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Until next time!

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November 2016

Thanksgiving Wrap-Up

Happy Thanksgiving! Our pastor said the following sentiment at church on the Sunday before turkey day, and I thought it so appropriate & super cute…..

We hope you & your family had a holiday weekend filled with the five F’s:

FAITH

FAMILY

FRIENDS

FOOD

FOOTBALL

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We took a road trip for the holiday & headed up to Jacksonville to my dad & stepmom’s. Keeping with tradition, we kicked off our morning with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was so cool that this year’s parade was it’s 90th anniversary!

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He drives us nuts at times, as any 5 year old does, but this boy is the most loving kid ever. Definitely take pause on this day to celebrate just how blessed and thankful our family is. There is MUCH to be thankful for each and EVERY day….all the little things that we all too often take for granted.

As I look back on year’s past pics — HEREย , HERE , and HEREย ….I am amazed at just how much Liam has grown. Especially since last year. What a growth spurt! His little baby face has changed so much โค …definitely tugs on this mama’s heart strings.

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These two silly boys ๐Ÿ™‚ …They were permanent begging buddies in the kitchen. Hilarious!

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Cooking up some yumminess in the kitchen! Almost time to eat!

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We had a great spread for our Thanksgiving Day meal — all the traditional trimmings, and including both a turkey and a ham. Stephen helped with keeping an eye on the ham, which we cooked on the grill. So tasty! Liam even helped baste it at the end.

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The day after Thanksgiving, we took full advantage of living in the Sunshine State and went for a walk on the beach. It was a little cool but definitely refreshing. We even took the dogs with us, and Timber had a ball! It was his 1st time with his paws in the sand in years โค

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Timber followed Stephen out to the sandbar and then swam back to me. So cute!

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Buddies! ๐Ÿ™‚

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We headed home on Saturday. I had full intentions on putting away the Thanksgiving decor and putting up ALL the Christmas. LOL! — it was a good plan. It ended up taking me most of the week but no worries.

What was super fun was that Mr. Elf flew back to see us from the North Pole on Saturday night! Liam woke up to him hanging out here on Sunday morning โค

He brought him some new pj’s and some candy. More about that next time!

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It was a great weekend, overall. We hope you all had a restful & fun holiday weekend, as well.

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We are THANKFUL you have taken the time to stop by our little spot on this great big cyberspace.

Until next time, friends!

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