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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜›

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 โค ย …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,

A Look Back on 2016

So here we are, at the tail end of January — another year gone by and now we’re welcoming in 2017! I feel like so much happened in 2016. Maybe it’s because we’re a young family? Maybe it’s because I’m just a sappy, sentimental kinda gal? โค — I like to take the good with the bad so while life isn’t all roses, we choose to be thankful for what we have & what we have experienced ….and we look forward to another year that we are blessed with! Cheers!!

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A recap of our NYE 2016 ….

We ran in the New Year quietly at home with just the three of us, but we had fun. The boys were playing with Christmas toys {Hot Wheels} gifted from Mimi & Papa D, so they were in heaven. For the 1st year, we let Liam stay up as late he wanted {or could stand it….he’s a light weight ๐Ÿ˜‰ } ….he was getting a kick out of watching New Year’s Rocking Eve with me, but by 11:00ish, he crawled into our bed with Stephen at the commercial and that was all she wrote. The two of them passed out. LOL!! I watched the ball drop with the cat ๐Ÿ˜› — I recorded it so they could see it in the morning. It was hilarious! ….We had done a family toast with sparkling grape juice waaay earlier in the evening so it was all good!

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Some highlights from 2016 ….

In January, we went to the Amway Center downtown to seeย Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Baileyยฎ Presents LEGENDS. Little did we know, that this would be our last Ringling Bros. circus, as they are actually closing down in May.

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In March, Stephen turned 40!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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In May, we dedicated Liam at our church. We are also so blessed & thrilled to say that we now have a church home for over a year. We’ve been consistently going each week & it’s been wonderful for all of us. This was definitely something that Stephen & I kept wanting to do and find a place that felt like home, and it was very important to us with Liam getting older. โค

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In June, this little blog celebrated it’s 3rd birthday. It’s always fun to look back on past posts & pictures. Love to see the memories! As I have said in the past, I appreciate those of you who follow along with our adventures. As fun as it is to post, it actually is a lot of work to maintain this blog, but it’s something I enjoy & continue to do for Liam as a way to keep track of our memories for him โค

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In June, Liam graduated from Pre-Kindergarten. I cried at his graduation ceremony when they all walked down the aisle to Pomp & Circumstance…..all I could picture was his 18 year old self and I lost it, like a baby!

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Liam turned 5ย at the end of July, and {holy cow!} started KINDERGARTEN in August!! I thought last year’s start of Pre-K was a crazy milestone, but this is over the moon! We celebrated his birthday with a splash park party that was a super fun time with friends and family. We also went to the Jacksonville Zoo on his actual birthDAY. Kindergarten is proving to be a mindblowing experience for Stephen & I — seriously, it’s NOT the Kindergarten we went to as kids. I remember naptime, snacktime, and playing with toys. Fast forward to today’s Kindergarten and it’s serious learning …..and the kids LOVE IT! That is the awesome part for us. While we are trying to wrap our minds around it, Liam is thriving and loving life. It definitely makes your parent heart happy, and you just try to go with the flow. Things are just much more advanced and technology based than I anticipated they would be, but that’s ok!

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Since he wasn’t in daycare during the summer for the 1st time EVER, he spent his 1st summer in CAMP! He had a blast ๐Ÿ™‚

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At the end of June, I celebrated two-year’s of writing with Orlando Moms Blog โค ย ….So, at this point, it’s now been about 2 and 1/2 years that I’ve been on board. You can can link over to my posts with them HERE

In September, Orlando Moms Blog also celebrated it’s 3rd Birthday! Such a fun night ๐Ÿ™‚

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In September, we added a new member to our family! — at the time, Stephen brought home an adorable 2 lb kitten that Liam named Simba. We originally intended not to keep him but well, ya know how that goes. He’s now trying to play with Timber on the daily ๐Ÿ˜‰ — more details & pics to come soon!

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In September, Liam started martial arts classes! He is loving it and it’s something we are engaged in with him, as a family, as well.

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In November, Timber celebrated his 14th birthday!! โค

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Looking ahead to 2017….

I’m not one to really choose a single word or resolution, but I like to have goals. For this year, I want to focus on calm {which can mean a plethora of things on any given week} and organization. I have a few tools to help me get there. My trusty Emily Ley planner {for home}, Erin Condren planner {for work}, and Lara Casey PowerSheets to plan those goals! I think of it this way — Life is busy but it doesn’t have to be messy ๐Ÿ™‚

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Liam will be turning 6 this summer and then off to 1st grade! He’s already talking about both. I can’t even think about summer camp options right now, let alone, the next school year.

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We are continuing to enjoy our new church home, and in doing so, are becoming more engaged through serving and participating in events. We are excited to see what this year has in store as the church also continues to grow!

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We got annual passes to Disney for Christmas, so we plan to pretty much live there on the weekends. Hahaha! — Seriously, we’ve already been there every weekend this month. Definitely already developing an obsession, but it’s super fun! This is the very 1st time that Stephen and I have ever had annual passes there, so we are, for sure, just as excited about this as Liam is ๐Ÿ˜›

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

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LOVE,

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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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It’s Christmas Time!

As we wrap up this 1st full week of December, I am definitely feeling the Christmas spirit all around. Maybe part of it is because decorations have been out in the stores since August….#kiddingnotkidding

No, but really, we were completely excited to break out the holiday decor as soon as we wrapped up Thanksgiving. It was a busy weekend after coming home from my dad’s for Turkey Day, so it took us a bit longer than I had planned to get everything up, but the house is looking festive now โค …Of course, the kitty is keeping us VERY busy with his mischief & antics with the Christmas tree.

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Last week, we kicked off the season with our annual Gingerbread Decorating Party. This is always a great time with our friends. A few of us girls gathered together a couple nights before the party to put all the houses together & have a few laughs ๐Ÿ™‚

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Liam was excited to get to work on his house. It was hard to even snap some of the pics this year because almost every time you asked him to stop and ‘say cheese’…he would reply with “I can’t, I’m busy.” …hilarious!

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I might have bribed him to get this pic โค

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This was his, ‘can I eat another piece of candy?’ face ๐Ÿ™‚

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He wanted to spread the icing himself this year and he picked out all the candies. He’s getting to be so big and he’s very creative. He also knows exactly how he wants things to be & look.

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Finished!

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And, of course, as soon as the kiddos wrapped up, the big kids jumped in. Lisa & Stephen have gotten very serious about their joint decorating adventure over the last few years. It’s quite amusing!

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We joked around this year that this party is going to turn into the kids just playing & only the adults decorating houses. Hahaha!

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I have to say that their house turned out pretty amazing! They were impressed with themselves, too, as you can see from their pic below ๐Ÿ™‚

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The Bengel’s neighborhood has a cool Santa that comes by, and the night of our party was actually the night he came! It was SO exciting for everyone.

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We grabbed all the kids really quick and headed out front. Santa came up the driveway, greeted everyone, and gave each kiddo a little box filled with small trinkets & candy. It was so sweet โค

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Afterwards, we headed inside & had our gift exchange for the kids with a few of our friends.

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Liam was stoked — he got his 1st NERF gun! ….P.S., Daddy was too ๐Ÿ˜‰

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We’ve really enjoyed attending our new church home this past year, as I’ve mentioned in past posts. It’s such a blessing to share a deeper learning and understanding ย of the Advent season with Liam.

We had a guest speaker, Brad Gray, last Sunday for the 1st of a two-part series about the meaning of Advent. Let me tell you ….it was so good!! He covered so much education & history about the Bible and what was happening in the world at the time of Jesus’ birth. I honestly had no idea. I can’t wait to hear the rest of his message this weekend!

It’s called the Fullness of Time and I highly recommend you take a listen, as it’s available onlineย HERE

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Sunday morning, before church, Liam popped up & immediately declared he had to write his letter to Santa. So, that’s what we did โค
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Had to grab a pic of these two putting the star on top of the tree ๐Ÿ™‚

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It felt good to finally have the house decorated by the end of the week. This pic is kinda dark, but the living room looks so cozy with just the glow of the Christmas lights & the fireplace.

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Some of our other decorations….and Christmas cookies about to bake!

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Can’t forget the outside decor, too!

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And, this gem! If you read my last post, you know we went to see the big guy last month, so I’ve been saving this for awhile now. We LOVE our Santa at our local mall. Liam was a little nervous again this year, but he went up to him without any forcing. He asked him for Hot Wheels. Afterwards, you could see the excitement in his eyes, and he said to me, ‘that wasn’t bad at all‘.

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We have a lot to look forward to this month & much to share! This is truly a magical time. Especially when you share it through the eyes of a child. Hope that your Christmas season is off to a fantastic start, as well!

ย Until next time, friends!

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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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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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ …Here’s a pic we snapped of Liam helping bake some cookies โค

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 โค ….

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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