October 2016

Spooktacular Fun :: Jacksonville Zoo

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Happy Halloween! We recently had a great time looking for tricks & treats at Spooktacular at the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens.

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We headed up their opening weekend & it really was a fantastic time. We went with my dad & stepmom, who also live up in Jax. You can read more on our road trip in my latest post with Orlando Moms Blog HERE.

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Over the summer, Liam started watching Grease a lot …like ya know, how kids are when they hone in on a movie or show. It becomes an obsession. It was definitely like that for us with this movie. It’s a classic & we were pleasantly surprised he became so fond of it. When we acquired a bag of hand-me-down clothes recently from a friend for him, there was this black leather jacket in it. Little man immediately grabbed it out and said, this is Danny’s jacket!!! {a.k.a. Danny Zuko} ….He then declared that he was going to be Danny for Halloween, and it stuck. A few more miscellaneous items later & the transformation was complete ❀

Ladies & Gentleman, let me present ….Danny Zuko

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The entire gardens were decorated for Halloween. It was impressive to see the amount of pumpkins that were carved! This scarecrow was a real person πŸ™‚ …Liam was not too sure of them. We tried to get him to take a picture with it, but that was a no go. LOL!

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Several different themes were displayed throughout the park, and were definitely from movies we all know & love. First up was The Wizard of Oz!

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LOVE THIS! Catching up with all the gang ❀

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This event was event was at night, so almost of the animals were asleep. Only the nocturnal animals were out. Β Totally ok & understandable. We did, however, get to see some of our favs, still. The giraffes were hanging out when we 1st got arrived. The baby’s are adorable!

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Also snuck a peak at Mr. Elephant πŸ™‚

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It was a gorgeous night. A cool breeze was coming through & the moon was full & bright. I loved the lights that were up all around. Such awesome atmosphere & so pretty!

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Glow in the Dark Cotton Candy! …super fun, but oh my!!

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Spooky Bridge all lit up for the night

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Liam’s all time favorite Halloween movie is The Nightmare Before Christmas. We were all over the moon excited to see the section the was decked out for this movie, including his fav main characters, Sally & Jack Skellington.

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Look! We found the Lost Boys πŸ˜› …don’t tell Peter Pan

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Fantastic night & great memories made! The holidays are busy times but we really love to get out there & adventure through our community….there are awesome events to experience together!

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Until next time, friends!

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Latest & Greatest News, May 2016

Our {Long} Weekend Recap

We headed to my dad & stepmom’s up in Jacksonville for Memorial Day weekend, and we had a great time with them. We don’t get a chance to take many overnight trips, or ‘get-aways’ so it’s always nice to head up there when we can.

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It was a relaxing & laid back weekend, overall. Those are always the best ones, right? Liam loved helping his Papa-G and G-Ma with various tasks around their house πŸ˜‰ …Here’s a pic we snapped of Liam helping bake some cookies ❀

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We all enjoyed some fun in the sun out at the MOST gorgeous beach house in the Ponte Vedra area. The weather was beautiful & the we soaked in the rays & splashed in the water. This view will never get old….

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Love this sweet boy ….

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He was the best swimmer all weekend. We were so proud & we know Ms. Katie would be, too πŸ™‚

Hanging out with his Papa…

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Swimming with G-ma…

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The house had it’s own private boardwalk out to the beach. So very nice….

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We played on the sand & in the waves for a bit. The rip currents were pretty strong, though, so we didn’t go too far out.

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Love this family of mine ❀ ….

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We will definitely be frequenting the beach this summer! Liam loves it just as much as I did as a kid, and still do!

Until next time friends πŸ™‚

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Latest & Greatest News, May 2016

Memorial Day ~ Past & Present

Memorial Day Weekend is upon us , friends! While many of us celebrate this as the unofficial start of the summer (my family included), let us not forget that this holiday weekend is not really why we are all taking a pause from work & the dailies….

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Here are some facts I found to begin to teach Liam about the holiday:

It started on May 30, 1868.
Union General John A. Logan declared the day an occasion to decorate the graves of Civil War soldiers, and thus, was called Decoration Day.
Twenty years later, the name was changed to Memorial Day.
President Richard M. Nixon declared Memorial Day a federal holiday in 1971.Β 

Going through our pics in recent weeks, I found that we have made a tradition of photographing this holiday. So, here’s a look back…

2012 — 1st Memorial Day at 10 months old. He didn’t want to keep the hat on & wouldn’t give up the paci for this pic πŸ˜‰

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2013 — We placed American flags in our yard to help begin to teach our little man about the importance of this holiday.

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2014 — I will admit that this weekend has become our family’s tradition of our 1st beach trip of the year. Even living in Florida, we do take a break from the sand for a few months, so this does kinda kick things off for us for the summer. I think it’s more because it’s the 1st long weekend we have off of work in a while.

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2015 — Last year, we did American flags & pinwheels in the yard. Liam was a great helper!

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And now, a look at this year…

2016 — It was essential that we got our American flags, again, this year. Liam actually saw them in two different neighbors yards earlier in the week, first, while we were driving to school. He remembered that we had put up our own flags, and specifically requested to get ours out after school that day. You bet we did πŸ™‚

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Happy Memorial Day, friends!

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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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January 2016, Latest & Greatest News

Happy New Year!!

2015 ~ Another year gone by….

As, we all too commonly hear as we grow older, the years seem to fly by in the blink of an eye. This one definitely did for us. As I look back on last year’s New Year’s post, I can’t believe how much Liam has changed. Scrolling back through the year’s pictures reminds me how much he is growing right before our eyes ❀

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Some highlights from 2015….

We revamped the blog with a new look back in June & that was actually our busiest day of the year for page views! Thanks for all the love for me & my boys this past year. I started this little blog a few years back as a fun hobby, but also with intentions to someday turn this into a series of keepsake books for my little man. Ultimately, that is why I do what I do. Keeping track of our memories for him πŸ™‚

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Liam turned 4 this year and started Pre-Kindergarten! Such a huge milestone. We celebrated his birthday with a wonderful splash park party with friends & family. Pre-K has been an amazing experience, thus far, and Stephen & I can’t believe how much he is learning so quickly. He can write his full name. All the letters of the alphabet and his numbers through ten by heart. He can count to 100. He knows all his colors. Just this last week, we learned he can spell numbers 1 through 10….I have to say we were blown away. I, mean, he’s 4! I don’t think either one of us were doing these things at 4. Times have definitely changed. We absolutely LOVE is Pre-K teacher, Mrs. Samar, and her assistant, Ms. Kaylee. Can’t wait to see what the 2nd half of Pre-K brings!

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We made several home improvements this year. I really believe that more you do to your house makes it feel more like a home, and makes you feel more invested in it. At least, that is the way we feel about it! We put a new roof on in late spring. It looks awesome! We changed the color of the shingles in prep for painting the house, which will be coming in the next year or so. We re-modeled our master bathroom. We actually had some mold issues in the shower, so we were SO glad to have that resolved! The finished product was beyond words. We literally felt like we had a whole new room. I will have to post pics of this sometime.Β In late August, we had a water leak in our office / playroom. Β Anyone that has been though this knows what a mess this whole process is, but eventually, we got things cleaned up and back on track. It allowed us to completely (I mean that literally) clean that room out and re-do it. We are still getting the finishing things put back in there, and I’ll have some pics up of that up soon.

Oh, and we canNOT forgot that we moved little dude out of his nursery gear and into his big boy room in late spring / early summer! That was a pretty big undertaking, as we completely changed outΒ his room with new furniture, decor & paint, but it was such fun!

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At the end of August, I celebrated my one-year anniversary for writing with Orlando Moms Blog. This is a great group of gals to be a part of, and I truly enjoy it. You can link over to my previous posts with them HERE.

I am proud that I was also featured in 4 issues of The Moms MagazineWinter 2015 / Spring 2015 / Summer 2015 / Back to School 2015

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A recap of our NYE 2015….

We rang in the New Year quietly at home, but that’s the way we like it. Little man helped me make some yummy chili in the morning that we had for dinner. We put on our party hats in the evening and headed out front to play with the rest of our fireworks left over from the 4th of July. Our neighbor had some big fireworks so that was pretty cool, as well! I caught this pic above as one of them went off.

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Looking ahead to 2016….

Liam will turn FIVE this year & begin KINDERGARTEN ….hold onto your seats, this mama is gonna lose it! πŸ™‚

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We have some more projects around the house we would like to do, so we shall see!

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I’ve declared that we are going to start eating dinner at the kitchen table with NO electronic devices (imagine that, right?!?!). Overall, I want to put down our devices & just.be.more present. I can check things when Liam’s asleep or on my lunch breaks. I can rearrange to make better choices. I read this article in The Wall Street Journal & it really struck a cord. I don’t want my little one to grow up thinking he’s less important than me checking my phone / iPad or having an attitude because of it.

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

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Happy New Year!!
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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

Liam’s Pre-K Holiday Program

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

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

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

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

Until next time, friends!

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December 2015, Latest & Greatest News

ICE at Gaylord Palms

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

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

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