A Winter Holiday Celebration

Little man has been busy spreading holiday cheer, and we are eating it up! Look at this super cute angel he made in art class ❀

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Last week, I headed over to his school in the morning to catch his Kindergarten Winder Holiday Celebration. Each of the five classrooms performed a Christmas themed song. He had shared bits & pieces of his class’s routine with us at home, but he made sure to tell us that we had to wait to see the whole production in person.

This little smirk is what I get from him often ….sometimes it means he’s being shy (as he was a bit in this pic) and sometimes he’s up to no good πŸ˜‰

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The song his class had was ‘Groovin’ Elf” ….so, of course, they all came in dressed as cool little elves. LOVED IT!

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Mr. Mason, his music teacher πŸ™‚

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No stage fright for little man Murphy….

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At the end of the show, all of the classrooms got on stage together and sang — We Wish You A Merry Christmas

After the show, his class had their holiday party, and they made a few crafts. Last Friday was also Pajama Day at school, so he was stoked to wear those PJ’s to school!

The bell craft was fun, as it’s a countdown to Christmas. He gets to cut a ring off each night. He knows when it’s just the bell left….it will be Christmas!

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A few weekends ago, we had also went up to his school for Breakfast with Santa ❀

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The cafeteria was decorated so cute by the PTA. Liam asked if the real Santa was there or if this was a helper. {We tell him that the Santa’s that he sees out & about in the malls & stores are helpers that report back to the North Pole}. I told him this was also a helper, but he looked at this guy, and told me I was wrong. This was the real one ❀

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Love this boy & all the holiday magic he brings into our home. It’s just THE best!

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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 ❀ …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 πŸ™‚

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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 ❀

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

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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 πŸ™‚

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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 ❀

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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 πŸ˜‰

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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 Β 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 onlineΒ 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 ❀
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Had to grab a pic of these two putting the star on top of the tree πŸ™‚

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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!

Β Until next time, friends!

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Our Merry Christmas 2014

How many times have I used the word “fun” in 2014? I have lost count, but I will tell you that having a 3 year old at Christmas time has been FUN πŸ™‚

While we kept things pretty low key around here, we did enjoy ourselves by visiting some family and partaking in a few of our family traditions last week.

On Christmas Eve, we baked some yummy cookies for Santa. Liam really enjoys helping in the kitchen. We love to cook and bake with him ❀ …..look at those little hands using the cookie cutters!

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After cookie time, we headed over to Mimi & Papa D’s to have dinner and celebrate the holiday. We also got to spend some time with Aunt Heather & baby cousin, Sierra.

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Liam got to open some presents and it was awesome to see his excitement. He had mentioned a few times over the last few months that he would like the Mickey Mouse Club House, so he went bananas when he opened this. He actually said, “Oh, I always loved this!!” ….I mean, really….how hysterical is that?!?!

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Last year, he took FOR-EVER to open presents, as he very carefully unwrapped each one. This year, we explained to him how fun it is to “tear ’em open” and he quickly got it…and loved it! He was going through his presents like a champ! Opening each one with great enthusiasm! That continued on into Christmas day, so it was super fun to watch πŸ˜‰

We have quickly become fans of Imaginext toys from Fisher-Price. This gift below from Mimi & Papa D, as well as the loot from Santa have given little man quite the super hero collection πŸ˜‰

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Once we got home, it was time to get ready for bed…..but 1st, we had to sneak outside to feed the reindeer! Mr Elf had left Liam this cute bag of food on his last morning with us. We also said bye to him, as he headed back to the North Pole that night, & put out Santa’s cookies before heading off to sleep. If you recall my recap post about Mr Elf, I had mentioned I had wanted a good bye letter from him to Liam….we ran into some time difficulties & that didn’t happen this year {unfortunately}, so I’m saving that for next year.

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Christmas morning was a flurry in our house! Little dude woke up before the sun and was a joy to listen to as he snuck up to the tree to check out what Santa brought. He was so excited and happy……from our room, we could hear him whispering to himself — “Look at all the presents! I love you, Santa!” ❀

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In the months leading up to Christmas, the only thing Liam would say he wanted for Christmas was a Mickey Choo Choo Train. Naturally, you can imagine his excitement, when he opened just that! He said, “oh, I got it! I love it!

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After a nap time, we headed down to Grammy & Papa Rock’s and shared Christmas dinner & celebrated the day. Santa came for little man, there, too….by that point, I would say we were on toy overload. Definitely a blessed little dude πŸ™‚

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We have been seeing Liam ride a trike at school & wanted to get him something he could also enjoy at home. He still has the trike Santa brought last year, but it seems to be very heavy in weight & a bit hard to pedal. It wasn’t hard for us to brainstorm on this Original Big Wheel, which has recently made a comeback.

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It was so nice to also have my Grampy at my mom’s for a bit. Love spending quality time with him! Liam gave him a great big hug & it was so special!

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Liam was not smiling in this pic because we made him take it before he could open presents….LOL!!

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It was a great holiday, and I would say, our most fun with Liam, thus far! Hope you all enjoyed, yours, too! Merry Christmas!!

~H

Fun With Mr Elf

Last year, we introduced the Elf on the Shelf to Liam & he named him, Mr Elf ❀

This year, I wanted to make Mr Elf’s return special, and also be more of a re-introduction, as I suspected, Liam wouldn’t entirely remember him due to his age. We pretty much guessed that part right, which is totally fine, and again, just like last year, we keep Mr Elf pretty light-hearted and fun. It’s not really that he’s “watching” and waiting to catch him doing anything bad. I love me some Pinterest inspiration, and found this great FREE Santa stationary here. After looking at a few different examples of peoples letters that were posted on various sites, I came up with our own. So, Liam’s letter was brought by Mr Elf on his 1st morning back to our house (the day after Thanksgiving), but it was from Santa. It basically told him why he sent Mr Elf to hang out with us until Christmas, that he knew a few things he had been telling us he wanted for Christmas & he would do his best to try to get them for him, and to remember the REAL reason for the season ❀ ….we also left the Elf on the Shelf book on his table that 1st morning so we could read it together.

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Overall, Mr Elf doesn’t get into too much mischief at our house. I particularly liked his choice to play with Liam’s Toy Story pals, but neglected to realize that Liam would immediately try to pick Mr Elf up and also try to play with him as soon as he saw him in the morning…..LOL!! Ooops! πŸ™‚

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Β Occasionally, Mr Elf is known to bring Liam a small present. Liam is LOVING Rudolph this year, so he was super excited to find them both in the tree one morning!

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They say elves love sugar, so it should be no surprise of this, right?!?! ….I was cracking up πŸ™‚

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The next day, after the syrup incident, Mr Elf was found taking a bubble bath πŸ™‚

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Hanging around like Spider-man….

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Liam was super excited when he found Mr Elf hanging around on the wine rack with this awesome shirt from the Incredibles!

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Again, with the sugar….

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tiny clothes line of tiny clothes……surely, he thought he could fit πŸ˜‰

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We have been having a lot of fun with Mr Elf and can’t believe it’s just 5Β more days until Christmas! Since Christmas Eve is the last morning Liam will wake up to “find” Mr Elf this year, I am working on a good-bye letter for him to have with him, as he will go back to the North Pole with Santa that night. I’m working on a version that will let his magic be lifted for the day, so he can give him a hug, as he keeps asking….I think he would really like that πŸ™‚

Until next time friends!

~H

Week-In-Review

Last Friday, we had the amazing opportunity to go to the Marvel Universe LIVE! show at the Amway Center.

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Don’t have to tell you that little man was pretty captivated πŸ˜‰ ….full show review with fun pics coming soon on Orlando Mom’s Blog!

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Saturday, we were excited for our Annual Gingerbread House Decorating Party with our gang! I can’t believe this is the 5th year we’ve gotten together to do this. So fun!

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For a look back on last year’s festivities, check out our post here.

BEFORE the craziness

BEFORE the craziness

Lisa is AMAZING because she collects ALL the gingerbread house kits from us beforehand and works hard to build them & puts together this beautiful spread for the families. All we have to do is show up & have fun πŸ™‚

 

the AFTERMATH :)

the AFTERMATH πŸ™‚

Daddy & Liam kicked off the decorating.

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Someone might have been eating more candy than what was going on the house, at one point πŸ˜‰

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Working hard…..

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Mommy helping out with the action

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All done & proud of his work of art ❀

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So much fun!!

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And then, peeps…..there was this πŸ˜‰

Lisa & Stephen continued their crazy {yet hilarious} tradition of decorating their own house after the kids wrapped things up. Let me tell you….it was serious business. They even recruited Haven this time around to help them.

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Gettin’ crazy!! LOL! πŸ™‚

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Ta da! ….they are not proud or anything…ha!

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The Bengel’s neighborhood has a fun tradition in December of a surprise visit by Santa. We were thrilled that he came by after the party…great timing!! Liam was SO surprised that he came all the way down from the North Pole just to say hi to them! πŸ™‚

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After that, he discovered the Bengel’s Polar Express choo-choo train {again} & that was all she wrote, folks. If you recall, he found this last year & we couldn’t pull him away. He LOVES trains!

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It was a fantastic evening at our Gingerbread Party with friends!! We laughed that we’ll be doing this each year until at some point, the kids will be sick of it and it will be just the adults on the patio decorating the houses πŸ˜‰ …

Until next time, friends!

~H

Our Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, everyone! Hope yours was a good one! We had a nice, quiet holiday, this year.

Mr. Elf made his last appearance on Christmas Eve by bringing Liam a bucket of reindeer food. While we tried to move him about once a day throughout this last month, we definitely didn’t go crazy with this little guy, as Liam was just starting to “get it” with him. Most mornings as we got closer to Christmas, he would ask where Mr Elf was, so I would say he enjoyed him. We also kept the whole experience with the elf fun & light-hearted, so I think that helped. For us, it was more about finding the elf everyday and not that he was “watching” Liam. I’ve actually felt a little bad these last few days, as he’s asked where he was a few times & I don’t think he understands that he doesn’t come back ’till next year. However, we did have a good time sprinkling the reindeer food out in the front yard before bedtime on Christmas Eve. My flash on my camera was being testy so unfortunately I didn’t get a good pic to share. I got the idea here from a pin off of Pinterest. I ended up finding the cute reindeer buckets at the dollar spot at Target the week before Christmas so it worked out perfect!

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Christmas Eve, we just hung out at home & did a few fun things like putting up Christmas window clings & baking cookies for Santa.

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That evening, we headed over to Stephen’s family for dinner. Liam got to visit with his aunt Heather & new baby cousin, Sierra — it’s her 1st Christmas πŸ™‚

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When we got home, it was PJ time, feeding the reindeer, and putting out milk & cookies for Santa. As soon as the plate of snacks were set out, we didn’t even blink before little man was helping himself to the treats! LOL …it was so cute that we just let him go…he enjoyed a cookie AND some milk!! I guess you could say that he wanted to make sure that tasted okay for Santa πŸ˜‰

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Once he was fast asleep…..SANTA.FINALLY.CAME!!

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Liam’s big gift this year was a tricycle. I spent a long time scouring over Craigslist trying to find one that we thought he would like. We knew we didn’t want to buy it brand new because (a) if you look hard enough, you can find great deals on Craigslist and (b) we weren’t entirely sure he would like the tricycle so we didn’t want to splurge on it, just in case. One day, literally a few months ago, I found this Schwinn blue trike & knew it was THE one. Best of all, the family we bought it from said their son never really liked it, so he didn’t use it. It honestly looks brand new still AND it still had one of the tags on it! Definitely a steal! It was so hard to keep this hidden for months!

When we heard Liam wake up and stumble into the living room, I peaked out of our room to see his expression. He walked up to his trike & looked all around it. Then, he walked to the side of the tree and checked out the presents.

So cute!!

When he walked into our room next, the 1st thing he said was, “I got my bike! …and my presents!” ….melt your heart!

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Going for a test ride right away!

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Little People Wheelies track — another fave from Santa

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Papa Murphy & family sent him a Rudolph jack-in-the box. This has been a huge hit. He calls it his reindeer music box. It plays the Rudolph theme song when you wind the crank to make Rudolph pop out.

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Great Mimi was so thoughtful to send him this teddy bear. As you can see, he gave it lots of love right away!

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One of his presents was the Fisher Price Medical Kit. Here he is giving Christmas Mickey (a present from Mimi & Papa D) a check up!

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There was so much excitement from the morning, we were all tuckered out. Especially Timber….as you can see πŸ™‚

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I’ve been trying to get some good shots of Liam riding his tricycle, as we’ve taken it out for a few spins over the last few days. Here is one pick above from Christmas day. Below is a quick snippet of him riding yesterday. If you push him around, or, as in this video below, let him go down a driveway, he gets the concept of pedaling. However, we are still working on learning how to do it solo on a flat surface. That will take some time still & that’s ok!

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We hope you all had a very Merry Christmas, as well!!

Much love….the Murphy’s

Holiday Magic

Where is this month going, people!?!? Good grief…I can hardly believe Christmas is in less than a week. So much happening in such a short time.

Last week, Liam had “Santa’s Workshop” at daycare {school}. This is the 1st time they have done this and to be honest, I questioned why it was even being done at his age group. I mean, I remember doing this in like, elementary school…taking a few dollars to school to buy presents for mom & dad. Realistically, there is no way a 2 year old is going to understand this concept of shopping for us on his own.

Buuut, me being me ….I didn’t want him to miss out on anything OR feel left out if others in his class went, so we sent him to school on the designated morning with a couple bucks. The report we got back was that one of the teachers helped him to shop & he enjoyed himself. When I asked him that evening how it went, all he remembered was that he ‘touched the tree’ …he LOVES Christmas trees this year, so he was thrilled to see the school’s tree set up in the workshop & apparently he got to touch it. That topped the shopping experience. Ha! Here’s a few pics the school took of it, though, so that was cool.

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The 3 presents he bought us were wrapped & sent home with him. So cute! Now, the story gets more fun. In the spirit of the season, I placed them under the tree when we got home that night, and we began to go about our nightly routine. Let me pause to mention that there were no other presents under the tree. The way we’ve decided to work things in Casa de Murphy is similar to how it was for us growing up. Santa brought all the presents. {Honestly, as a kid, I thought that’s how everyone did it, but as an adult, I’m finding out everyone’s traditions are vastly different…I could write a post just on THIS topic down the road.} Anyhow, Liam was in the living room watching Mickey & we were in the kitchen chatting. Next thing I know, we hear…..riiiiip….’umm, what was that?’ ….RIIIIP …..Yeap, we look into the living room to find our little man sitting next to the tree TEARING OPEN those three little presents ….our three little presents that he bought us. LOL!!!

I said, “Liam, what are you doing?”

“I, open” — with a big grin

“But, those are what you got mommy & daddy for Christmas”

“No, for Liam”

So, we just laughed, and let him go. Stephen got a cute Christmas coffee mug. I got a gingerbread picture frame and a pretty fashion necklace that I will proudly wear to work.

The best part is when he opened the necklace, he goes, “OH, I LOVE IT!!” and put it on! That was the cutest ever. I managed to snap a quick pic of that moment.

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Last weekend, we went down to see Grammy & Papa Rock. It was a really fun day for Liam. Grammy had surgery recently so we haven’t been able to see her in a while while she’s been resting, so we let the two of them spend some quality time together and he loved it….they both did πŸ™‚

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Santa also came a little early this week for Liam from Grammy & Papa Rock. Since he has been quite the little chair stealer of Daddy’s lazy boy, we thought it would be fun to get him a little chair of his own. A few friends have this one from Pottery Barn Kids & I fell in love with it, so Liam is one lucky little dude to be able to have his very own, too.

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We have some fun things planned over these next few days. I hope to have some more posts up between now & Christmas for you!!

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I know I need to take my own advice on this, too …but we should take time out from all the hustle & bustle of this crazy time and enjoy the MAGIC of the season …..enjoy your family & friends…those you hold dear & love.