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Monday, January 27, 2014

Pre-NYC Christmas

For you long-time readers you already know this tradition. And I repeat it every year haha but I feel the need to explain it again since my readership has about doubled since last year around this time! I know the new friends may be confused ;)

Zach and I both love Christmas! We started a tradition before we had children where we went away at Christmas time together and exchanged our presents. Once we had kids, we decided to keep this as a tradition. On Christmas morning we ALL open gifts at Mr. Rusty's and Mrs. Charlotte's house (Yes, that means I don't get to have a Christmas morning experience with my babies at my own house...used to bother me, but it was a deal breaker for Zach in our relationship so I've embraced it!). While it's all very fun, it's also VERY crazy. As any parent will tell you, Christmas becomes about the kids. And we love that! However, we also love each other just as much (well...actually more!) than we did pre-kids and we value our quality time together. Lord willing, we will always take a little get away trip together around the holidays and we will use that time to reconnect, focus on each other, and exchange our presents! We do save a gift to open to each other on Christmas morning but that's it! We open the rest with just us!  

This year our "little" trip was a bit bigger than normal. Zach and I were both very heartbroken when things didn't work out for us to get to go on the Aflac National Convention in October to NYC. Mr. Rusty, Mrs. Charlotte, Casey, and Jordan all got to go (and even Aunt Karen and Barry!) but we didn't. Boo. So we were bummed out a bit but decided to find the good. Why not do a combo NYC-Christmas trip? We've both always wanted to go to NYC at Christmas time! Plus by doing it as our Christmas trip Zach wouldn't have to take off as much work as if we did both trips separately, Mrs. Charlotte would be able to keep the babies for us (rather than someone else keeping them if we'd gone to NYC since she went on the trip too!), and it'd be more affordable than if we just went to NYC on our own randomly since we have money set aside each year for that Christmas trip!

Our flight left Valdosta at 11 am so we had the kids stay with Mrs. Charlotte the night prior to our trip. That way we could go to dinner and could exchange our gifts. It didn't make sense to try to take our presents with us on the plane and such so we decided to have a chill night at home and open them there! 

I was early in my pregnancy so I wasn't feeling too amazing. No appetite, and very sleepy. I was an awful date haha! We went to Olive Garden (Aflac mailed Zach an awesome gift card in appreciation for his hard work...we love free food!) and enjoyed some "us" time!

Ready to exchange gifts!

Zach with his gifts for me

And my gifts for him!

Yes, we go overboard. We have a budget and are really good about sticking to it but this year we both did great with finding deals and making that money go further. Zach especially did awesome! Usually I have WAY less gifts than he does but this year it was pretty even :) We don't treat ourselves very much through out the year so holidays are a time for us to treat each other! Zach especially needs clothing and I typically get him a lot of nice clothes for work and such. Majority of the clothes he wears are things he's gotten from me as gifts!

I like to buy a cookie dough ornament each year...this year was about my pregnancy with baby #3!
Typically my gifts from Zach include: PINK tote bags, something from Coach, and Victoria's Secret clothing. This year didn't disappoint ;) 
Beautiful Coach gloves for the cold NYC weather!
I've had the same keychain since 2006...excited to have a "grown sexy" one now haha
Zach and Kye both love Splash Mountain and Zach has said we need to get the movie that the ride is based on. I've actually never seen it? I heard that it's no longer in circulation b/c it's considered racist? I have no clue what we are in for when we watch it but I had to find it on this classic dvd random website! 
Zach has read the Game of Thrones books and is loving the series on DVD!
Clothes, clothes and more clothes ;)
Zach was SO thoughtful in picking out two of those Alex and Ani bracelets for me! He got me a gold starfish one and a silver compass :)
Do yall watch Shark Tank? We LOVE it and I found Zach a Misson Belt that we'd seen on the show...it's his favorite and I am def putting it on the list to get him different colors in the future!
Coach bag that folds up super small for travel!
Another thoughtful gift...a statement jacket for me to wear on the trip! Sadly we learned this lesson a few years ago (Zach forgot!) but I can't wear Victoria's Secret jackets! My arms must be too short? The size that fits my arm length is too tight in the shoulders and the size that fits my shoulders is waaaay too long in the arms. It was a beautiful purple color though! I returned it and got some stuff after Christmas from their instead!
Big gift! Gold Coach Purse! I've always wanted one and I LOVE how massive this beast is!!! 
(Btw...all Coach stuff I own comes from the outlet!)
Zach's big gift! Some golf thing...haha it's like a laser range finder?!?! 
Zach did so great with his budget that he had money leftover and surprised me with some spending money for our trip for us to go shopping!!! Yay!
Zach's gifts from me (like I said..a lot of clothes! I also got him a dark brown suit and a charcoal gray one! Man looks sexy in a suit!)
My gifts from Zach!
We got everything done that we could prior to going to bed that night. Bags were packed, all our Christmas cards were addressed and stamped and in the mailbox, and the house was picked up after our gift exchange. We had a nice night together and both really loved all of our gifts! 

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