Naps help ;)
Yes, I took over 2,000 pics on our trip and that didn't even include all the Memory Maker ones that Disney took!
The night we got home from Disney I was invited to an earring exchange party at Lindsay's! It was a GREAT chance to meet some NEW friends. Christian friends are tough to find and it was great mingling with these girls! It was so sweet of Lindsay to invite me and I had a wonderful time :)
The big goal for Dec was to get cracking on the healthier lifestyle train for Zach. Thankfully we're already pretty healthy eaters in our house, but we need to do better for him! I'm eager to learn if there are certain things to eat/avoid but for now we're just doing our best about it. My main goal this month was to nail down healthy breakfast and lunch options for him. It was tough at Publix. It was overwhelming and I even got a bit emotional (it was my first time telling a complete stranger what is going on and seeing her reaction upset me!). But we had a good solid start and Zach has been killing some pb&j and smoothies! I've been trying super hard to do a better job of sharing recipes as I cook them so be sure to follow me on IG and keep up with my stories if you're looking to add to your recipe box (everything I make is EASY!)
I do a lot of crock pot meals and that means a lot of canned soup. I want to try to learn new things that are still easy but can help us avoid canned soups (aren't they bad? I think they are bad?). I found this bagged chicken and roasted it up! It was a FABULOUS dinner and then it made for great sandwiches. The BIGGEST thing I've found so far is to completely cut out lunch meat. Y'all it's BAD STUFF. And I had NO CLUE and was giving it to Kye on the regular. He and Zach both are much preferring the shredded chicken anyway!
I was so proud of myself for using the bones of the chicken to make our own chicken broth. I've read it has a TON of health benefits so I froze it in smaller amounts and when I cook vegetables I toss it in with the water!
New recipe to try!
Not healthy but SO YUMMY
I had my yearly check up this month. Blah. It was SO CRAZY though to be there and NOT be pregnant! It was a first for me! It did also make me a little sad and seeing Tess's baby announcement in the room didn't help those emotions much. It's a stage of life that's over for me...but I'm thankful the baby stage isn't quite gone yet ;)
Movie night snuggles!
Shopping with Mama
This year we expanded our Disney Christmas Village and Kye was SO funny because he did NOT like the addition of more pieces. He said it looked too crowded haha I guess he's like his mama and likes to keep things simple ;)
Britt loved it though!
(and yes, this is with the additional pieces...like it's not too crowded AT ALL right?)
my little princesses!
I know everyone is obsessed with This Is Us but isn't it awesome? DUH I love the adoption storyline too ;)
This year I was WAY behind on wrapping gifts but Zach was AMAZING with helping! We also had a good system where the kids would put all the bows on :)
I bought this to start reading through the entire Bible. I've never read through the Bible so I'm really excited about it but also not putting any stress on it. I know I won't knock it all out in one year and that's ok! I got The One Year Through the Bible guide and love it!
I also picked up this DVD as a gift for the kids. It's pretty cheesy and very early 90s feeling? But hey it gets some great messages across in a new, fun way so I'm all about it!
I was REALLY excited about some of the gifts we got for others this year. We did several coated Yeti's and I worked with aNn Monograms for the perfect decals to personalize them! These were my favorites:
For my step mom, Audrey
For my dad (and yall this is legit the EXACT blue of his Corvette!)
For Mr Rusty
And, duh, I couldn't resist one for me too ;)
I was also pumped about this find! These ornaments were 80 cents each b/c they were marked Halloween for some reason! I stocked up and put pics of the kids from our trip in them, they were perfect bonus gifts for the grandparents!
I love love love a tree FILLED with gifts!
This month was ALL about DOLLS!
I LOVE Christmas break. I know a lot of people get annoyed with their kids being home all day but I stinking LOVE IT. We had a straight up chill time too. We slept in. We slow rolled naps. We stayed up late. It was glorious and so fun having kids old enough to be more flexible!
Crafts are a fav when the kids are home...an easy one? Christmas cards!
We also spent a lot of time jamming out to some Moana. Y'all the songs are AMAZING!
Since we moved in our house I have had a very hateful relationship with our kitchen light. It's beautiful. But it's SO DARK. Our lighting lady just did a terrible job. We have TONS of lights in our bathroom and then our kitchen was like a cave. It was rough. We added under cabinet lighting but that only helps so much. So we decided to release the whole light. I assumed it'd cost hundreds to find a light we liked. Um. How about $88! From Amazon! (direct link!) So cheap, and random, but PERFECT. It's so, so bright and it's AMAZING. I wish I'd switched ages ago and we're actually considering buying more of these to put on our front porch!
Every Christmas we take on a big project around the house. This year it was transferring all the bedrooms around. Kye stayed put but Britt moved up to the guest bedroom. Her old room will become the nursery. And Tess got a big girl bed! Whew!
In order to make all the transfers Zach first made me a storage closet off the playroom. This allows me to store all my craft/party supplies that were all in the guest room closet. Thankful for such a handy man!
My magic band for my annual pass arrived!!! I already have a red band so I did yellow this time and I LOVE IT!
The same day I got the exciting annual pass holder mail...I also got this extremely sweet note from our vet regarding Zeke. How thoughtful was that? And seeing his little paw prints? Totally made me cry. I want to frame them and probably put them in Tess's room :)
If you follow me on IG or FB then you've probably already seen this pic and heard about Tripp. He's a little boy in our community who is fighting cancer and recently underwent a full bone marrow transplant. I know his mom as we co-hosted a shower together. They are a precious family and they have a young infant while facing all the struggles that childhood cancer brings. You can follow their updates (I ADORE Kim, Tripp's mama, and love how she's handled all of this with raw honesty but also with strong faith and grace) on the Facebook page: Super Prayers for Tripp Lasseter.
Often I make an entire post about our Christmas Break adventures but I figured our Dec was pretty bland so I'd just stick it all in the monthly summary post :) We chill a LOT over Christmas Break and we also grub out a lot too. Every year Zach goes feast mode beast mode and cooks a big meal on both Dec 26th and the 31st. This year we kept it simple b/c Daddy was BUSY with all the room stuff ;) But we still ate on our fancy Christmas china and the kids still drank out of "fancy" Aflac glasses and we still had a blast (And Kye still showed up in his underwear haha).
Our Christmas dinner (on Dec 26th)
Have I mentioned that I have THE BEST MIL? When I was a hot sobbing mess I found a super sweet card and some of my favorite candies on my doorstep :)
Britt's makeup vanity was a HUGE hit for a gift and she was obsessed with putting makeup on Tess ;)
I'm shocked I didn't gain a million pounds over the break. I WISH I was one of those girls who got stick thin when stressed but instead I'm a hardcore emotional eater. I lived off Christmas cookies. I've found that IF you're emotionally eating and ONLY emotionally eating that you really don't gain weight b/c you're on the toilet so much with a messed up stomach haha
I mean I ate cookies when I was nervous...
We had strange weather over Christmas too. In 2015 we had record highs (like 88 on Christmas day) and this year we had like a week of super cold and rainy and then a week of super warm and sunny. I prefer the warm and sunny personally!
I really wanted to take the kids out to Wild Adventures. I tried arranging plans for friends to come with us but it just never worked out so I went solo! I think it's so funny how people think I'm so brave to take all three of my kids places by myself. Y'all. They are MY kids. I mean more power to you if you have a nanny or a mom who likes to tag along and help or something. But I've always been pretty hardcore about being able to fully care for MY kids b/c they are MINE. We really had a BLAST! I think I'm at my coolest as a mom when I'm riding solo ;) I just can really focus on the kids so much and be all about them when I'm not having adult conversations or getting someone elses opinion on things. I'm still cool when we're all together as a family, duh, but I feel like I have to be more "hardcore mom." Anyways we just went out there for a few hours and lived it up! I was proud of Kye because he understood that it wasn't going to be a roller coaster situation and he still had a great time :)
My beauty queen!
These big kids and the spinning dragons!
I love this haha Kye looks like he's THE KING
I'm SO GLAD the stinking dinosaurs are LEAVING. They made this huge deal about them and advertised about them and everything and yall it's like this little tiny walk through with large foam dinosaurs. To their credit I guess, Tess does love them
Kye can't stand the safari b/c the line is always long so we ride the turtle jeeps instead ;)
And of course we had to stop and see Tess's favorite monkeys!
We had 30 min left before we had to head home and the kids just wanted to play on the playground. I was a little bit stressed trying to watch all three of them (these parents who just mess with their phones the whole time are beyond me...maybe I worry too much but I have to have eyes on my kids). Someone did come up to me and tell me that we need to have Tess enrolled in gymnastics b/c she is crazy strong. Which is true! She's JUST like Kye at this age. He always had this crazy strong upper arm strength and Tess is the same. She was climbing up a rope ladder thing and this lady said her older sons couldn't even do it.
So much fun!!!
We always get together with Aunt Katie to exchange gifts! I LOVE how much our kids love and adore her. She's been such a constant in my life these past 12 years and I'm so thankful for our friendship!
Florida State also played in a bowl game over the break. Like a true fan I wore my FSU gear and got my kids all dressed up and everything. But unlike a true fan I then went out to dinner (Keeli, my queso bff!) instead of watching the game haha it was a crazy one though and I did watch the very end!
Britt LOVES to bake! I was SO excited by this little baking set Mrs. Charlotte got for her for Christmas. We had BAD LUCK with the Easy Bake Oven last year and this was a HUGE upgrade. We all loved it and had SO much fun baking a special dessert for our NYE feast (and they were actually YUMMY)!
Ending the year and ending crib life in our home (at least for now)
Last feast of the year! Steaks!!!
As always we talked about the past year. Great memories. Favorite trips. And we talked about the year to come and our hopes for it. For Zach and I 2016 was SO tough on so many levels, but I'm thankful that negative energy wasn't absorbed by our children. They had a great year and I'm thankful for all the wonderful memories we shared! They bring brightness to even the darkest times!
We usually go to bed and don't watch the ball drop but we BOTH wanted to stay up and say GOODBYE to the crappy year that was 2016! And we did it in style with yummy gooey brownies and ice cream! We watched X-Files and then watched the ball drop!
I love this quote to describe me and love the hope it gives for the new year!
Videos from This Month:
- Back from Disney, checking Kye into school
- Britt and Tess playing school
- Mom life: doing nails in the car
- Tess and Kye playing fooseball
- Kids brushing my hair while sick
- Living that dollar general life
- Dollar General 2
- Big Kid present wrapping party
- Disco Dance Party
- Discussing the new Mickey Christmas Houses
- Kids playing sweetly
- Britt and Tess hiding
- Leaving CFA breakfast
- Post Christmas Feast
- Kye and Britt Dizzy Dragon
- Kye and Britt hopper
- Tess and Britt jumping
- New Craft Closet 1
- New Craft Closet 2
- Organized Attic Space
- Me leaving on FSU game night
- Egg cracker that came with Britt's baking kit