Family Recap: December 2022

Family recap from December 2022

We don’t typically travel to Disney as a family in December but we made an exception for Baby Bryce’s first Disney trip!

The kids LOVED showing Bryce allllll the things. It was precious watching them feel that magical Disney feeling that comes from getting to help others experience the magic!

Zach and I talked a lot on our way down about how to make sure Bryce enjoyed the trip – we did It’s a Small World as his first ride because it’s calm and simple! No scary parts at all – which then lead us to try out Jingle Cruise. He handled the cave part great so we did Pirates!

I’ve never met Santa at Magic Kingdom and it was on my must-do list. We were the first to meet him for the day and he was FANTASTIC!!!!

We did a little bit of splitting up too (I had a return to make at Emporium) iwhich led to my favorite Disney moment of the day – Kye and I went down Main Street and he got a slushee and we watched the Dapper Dans. I loved just a little bit of time with my first baby soaking up that Disney fun together.

We ended up leaving the park at like 1:30 and had done PLENTY for Bryce to have that Disney experience!

We went to dinner at Ford’s (my favvvv burger) and enjoyed the festive activities at Sunset Walk (which is literally a 2 min drive from our Disney Rental House)

Day 2 we hit up Animal Kingdom. Tess put in WORK with Baby Bryce and it paid off as he was all about her ๐Ÿ™‚ We kicked off the morning with Safari!

And had to say hey again to Bryce’s fav pal – MICKEY!

Kye was not really into the little kid stuff so he had his own fun riding Everest over and over again!

Lion King show is a must! It was so cute how hardcore ZACH was about wanting Baby Bryce to get to see it – Spear loves it so much too.

Spear had to go potty during lunch so he and I got a little quality walking time together – we talked through what he should do if he ever gets lost and he even used his own bathroom stall for the first time. Seeing him with Baby Bryce really did make me realize just how much he’s growing up.

Tess and I also got a bit of alone time while the others went to the Dino playground and she worked on badges for her book!

Surprised Britt with a Donald Duck meet and greet opportunity! I love that this trip worked out where I got at least a few minutes solo with each kid.

DUH the best part was getting to see the Merry Menagerie! MY FAVVVVVS!

Love the gorgeous artwork of them too – plus the MERCH!

Such a fun trip!

Christmas time means so many fun events! Zach hosted a Youth Event Christmas party, Kye attended the Christmas party with Colt’s youth group and the kids and Zach attended Mema’s family Christmas Party.

Britt was invited to a super fun holiday party at Kennedy’s and I loved getting to hang with all the moms too!

The kids loved all the fun festive dress up days at school – this year I was Britt’s “Room Mom” and she and I had fun planning her class party.

Britt and Tess both had parts in the school Christmas play! Britt was an adorable reindeer and Tess rocked her little elf costume.

Kye and Britt were in the same play together when he was in 5th so it was adorable that Britt and Tess got to be together in it for Britt’s 5th grade year!

Tess took her role very seriously and Britt had speaking parts but wasn’t the least bit nervous – they both did fantastic!

The school offers two showings so Zach, Mr Rusty and I attended one while Mrs Charlotte attended the earlier showing to make sure they had someone there watching them at each!

The kids could check out after the play – Tess wanted to check out while Britt wanted to stay with her friends ๐Ÿ™‚

We love attending the annual South Eastern Credit Union Christmas event! I needed a “holiday magic” kinda moment and this one never disappoints!

I hosted my last Christmas Book Club at our house!

Colt also spent the night for our annual wrap party with Kye – we watched another Christmas classic movie this year – A Christmas Carol.

We went to the dollar store to buy our stocking gifts for each other – it’s always so fun! Spear was SO into Christmas this year and wanted Britt to wear reindeer antlers with him to the store and she was all about it ๐Ÿ™‚

Daddy announced that everyone could pick one snack item to eat in the car as we drove around the look at Christmas lights – no surprise that Tess got popcorn!

The best part of the dollar store outing is the gifting – every year the kids hand out envelopes of cash to random strangers. This year Spear even participated!

We enjoyed looking at Christmas lights then we hit up Target on a Saturday morning (it was AMAZING – not crowded at all!) for our annual gift buying for each other. We got all of our buying finished and had a family fun breakfast at Waffle House together.

Tess wanted to have some one on one time and wanted to help wrap gifts so while the older kids were at the Christmas youth event she and I watched Jingle Jangle and did some wrapping!

Our last year participating in the neighborhood parade of golf carts. It’s one perk of living in a neighborhood that we will surely miss.

Spear was in HEAVEN. He had Christmas cookies and blankets and was snuggled between his parents with Christmas music on full blast while looking at all the Christmas lights!

Our elves brought us the cutest kit of little letters to Santa that they took to the North Pole and shrank for us to hang on our tree!

My favorite thing at Christmas is all the baking together! Spear is my first kid to really be allllll about helping with the Christmas cookies and I love it so much! It’s really important to me that my babies have happy memories of these kinda moments – not a mom that is stressed or rushed or frustrated. I soak in their joy!

Love having so many Christmas helpers and enjoying all the little moments leading up to the holiday itself.

My favvvvv though is watching the kids as they “sneak” to peek at the gifts under the tree. I write little hints on all the gift tags and they have so much fun reading them and trying to guess what is inside.

Britt was tripping OUT over a gift that said “to you from us for us” and I couldn’t resist adding another one that said “to yall from me for us” just to mess with her. It was hilarious!

Kye is also so fun to watch – I have learned to hide video games when I wrap them and this has lead Kye to guessing that every gift is a video game.

Our elves bring us so much joy each year too!

Our Family Christmas Card for 2022

Kye LOVES getting the chance to read to the kids at the elementary school. As an 8th grader he really came home most days overstressed and worn out and just over it – but on the days he gets to visit the Elementary School? He comes home BEAMING!

We had a proud parent moment that he brought home his extra CFA sauces to use with leftovers bc he didn’t want to waste them ๐Ÿ˜‰

Kye attended Exposure Youth Camp over Christmas break and had a phenomenal time and experience. He got home and we had a 45 min talk just he and I which did my mama heart so good and I loved hearing all about it! Kye often felt so lonely at school and this experience surrounded by fellow Christians helped remind him that he’s never alone.

Britt turned 11 this month and had her 11-year-old well-check-up visit at our pediatrician’s office.

At 11 years old Britt is 4 ft 10 3/4 in tall (58 3/4 inches). She grew 2.25 inches since her 10 year well visit and is currently in the 80th percentile for height.

They noticed a bit of a difference in her left eye – not major but enough where it could be causing some of her headache struggles. The dr suggested for her to make sure she’s drinking 6 8 oz glasses of water a day and taking plenty of protein.

It’s also wise to use blue light glasses for screen time. And it can help to have a little bit of caffeine.

She took filling out her pre-teen check up paperwork very seriously. Thankful she’s doing so well and is so healthy! We’d already planned to visit the eye dr for her vision so we continued with that game plan.

Britt was singing “all I want for Christmas is my two side teeth” this year! She lost them both back to back and pulled them all on her own!

While we wait to go to the eye dr I did go ahead and grab Britt some blue light glasses to hopefully help with headaches. I also read it can be caused by dehydration so we’re really focusing on that water intake!

For Christmas Zach gifted Britt a special night for just the two of them watching FSU’s bowl game. He went all out with snacks and treats and a themed set up! She felt SO special and loved it so much!

Britt is all about the Christmas magic but Tess is about making that magic! She was so fun this year helping me do all the things – she loved wrapping, crafting and card making!

She dressed up like a hedgehog for a part in a class play.

When Britt opened her special FSU gift from Daddy I didn’t notice Tess’s face but Zach did and he said her face kinda fell so he was quick to tell her that she could have a special Mommy night too!

We went to CFA for dinner and picked up popcorn from the movie theater. I loved our talk – she is a girl of big feelings and feel feelings and often doesn’t understand WHY she feels the way she does. We talked a lot about how I am always and forever a safe space for her to feel anything she needs to feel and I’m here to help her process all the things the best I can.

It’s tough when she’s upset and neither of us can really figure out the “why” but I’ve learned it’s helpful for her to be reminded that getting the feelings out IS healthy! She had a lot of feelings that night and she got ’em out and felt much better after.

Since we didn’t like the options of movies at the theater we picked up our popcorn and went home and watched Disenchanted – we loved it so much! It was also so cute because she wanted to re-watch it the next day with Britt.

We had a big milestone with Tess this month as we began to work through “The Talk” book with her!

My dad called to let me know his dog had died – it meant a lot to me bc he was vulnerable with me and we all know showing vulnerability is a huge way of connecting and let’s someone know you care. The girls made him cards to cheer him up and what Tess wrote was so special to me.

Just like Britt, Spear also had his well-check up this month at the pediatrician! He’s 5 year old check-up!

At 5 years old Spear is 41.5 inches (3 ft 5.5 inches) tall and in the 25th percentile. He grew 2.25 inches in the last year!

He is also 37.2 lbs and in the 25th percentile for weight.

We talked a bit about his eczema as he had a bad outbreak during our Disney trip with Baby Bryce and it was pretty bad on his face. We decided to switch to Xyzal liquid allergy medicine each nigth in hopes that it’ll help.

He had lots of fluid in his ears, as usual, so it was good to know we were making the right call for the tubes!

We also talked about his oral impulses (tends to put things in his mouth) and that’s something they said to also just continue to watch as it’s a rather “normal” thing for his age! She also said we were fine to not push him on weaning off the thumb sucking at night – but to keep a good eye on the skin!

He’s a healthy little boy and we are so blessed!

The big event this month was Spear’s surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids as well as insert tubes into his ears.

Bless his heart Spear came down with the flu and then an eczema outbreak all leading up to his surgery.

He and I kicked off Christmas break with a trip to Thomasville for his pre-op appointment. His drainage was so bad that he’d completely lost his voice at that point – made me so eager for surgery!

The night before his surgery we took the girls to Big Papa and G-Mama’s for the night (Kye was in Alabama at Exposure). They were both emotional telling Spear bye!

Zach and I wanted to soak in that quality time with him. He wanted hot dogs and chips so Mexican it was!

He wasn’t allowed to eat or drink after midnight so we let him stay up a bit late and have a treat before bed!

When we arrived at the hospital in Thomasville we were greeted by our preacher which was SO thoughtful and kind! He brought Spear a gift – a mug which he was excited about.

Spear was also excited about the gown he got to wear and that he was able to leave his socks on. I brought lots of books and his ipad and I was thankful as it took AGES for him to go back. Like almost three hours.

They hooked him up to the monitors for his heart and oxygen. He wasn’t a fan of the bracelets or the bandaid on his finger but thankfully they were able to remove them pretty quickly.

They gave him medicine that was a combo of a few things to help him relax. They told us they’d wheel him back and then do the laughing gas so he’d be asleep before they even did the IV!

Waking up was a bit of a struggle – he was just really sad and confused. The dr said both his tonsils as well as adenoids were very enlarged so we should see a big impact!

Our first stop was to get ice cream and frosted lemonade for the ride home! We started the motrin right when we got home and I let him skip naps so I could monitor him. He enjoyed resting and playing with a puzzle set.

He was given a steroid to start the day after surgery to take for 5 days. The ONLY discharge instruction we were given was to not give any aspirin! The dr was very chill about recovery process and didn’t have any list of no-nos. He said if Spear wanted to eat, let him.

I ran to the dollar store and got all sorts of fun drinks and fun cups to help encourage him to stay hydrated! We did a protein shake, go gurt, and popsicle for dinner but he asked for a biscuit so we let him go for it.

Recovery, overall, was very smooth. He had some rough nights and rough moments but overall it was a very very easy process for him!

While Spear had a rough December in many ways, he also LOVED the Christmas season! He was so fun this year and was so into it! He even had a little “Christmas party” in his room. And he pretended to be Santa by glueing together pieces of paper to make his list (Tess was the first name on the nice list!).

I also got to soak up a lot of Spear time during his recovery from surgery and we enjoyed lots of quiet moments together.

While we had Christmas break down time I did a lot of purging and found a lot of good oldies too (like my CD collection!). I tossed allllll the baby things. A little bittersweet but also thankful to be moving after my kids had outgrown this kinda stuff!

I love the lazy days of Christmas break and how it allows for some solid sibling bonding – with Spear being post surgery the girls did a great job helping “nurse him back to health”

Tess and Kye had come down with the flu at the tail end of our Disney trip at the end of Nov and Spear started feeling sick soon after. It was a rough month sickness-wise!

Kye and Spear were so cute playing on the stairs pretending to be on the Polar Express.

We had the annual cousin sleepover to kick off Christmas break and that night Spear seemed like he wasn’t feeling great so I called the teledoc to go ahead and get him tamiflu. When we woke up the next morning ALL the cousins had slept in until 8:30 which was a small miracle!

I happened to open my phone to the news that my uncle had passed away. It was sudden and unexpected and he was the father to my bff cousin. It hit me very hard. I made the call to go pick up the meds for Spear so I could feel the feelings and not be at the house with all the kids.

I get ready EVERY DAY. I literally hadn’t even brushed my teeth. I was just a sobbing mess and when CVS said I had to go inside I didn’t even care. I had on my pjs and some flip flops and I just kept right on ice rolling my face while I picked them up.

Naturally, we spent a good bit of time this month going to check on the progress of the new house! We caught some changes that needed to be made and enjoyed making memories at our future home…Spear made himself right at home by pooping in the yard haha.

Zach and I each had our things we were most excited about – his was our shower and mine was my closet!

The kids all loved to play while Zach and I would do our walkthroughs. This month it really started to feel REAL. It was exciting to see what we’d been planning for the last 18 months start. to come to life. So thankful for Zach and his heart in wanting to give our little family a place to create so many memories together.

When the framing started for the 2nd story it got extra exciting! Britt was especially eager to get to go into her room! I don’t do heights at all so I opted to wait to see the 2nd story until the stairs were installed ๐Ÿ˜‰

For NYE 2021 we were in a plane heading to Colorado so this year we got to be back to our annual tradition of a fancy-if-you-feel-like-it-dinner!

We use Christmas china for “Feast Mode Beast Mode” on the 27th and our wedding China for NYE. We were all so thrilled to have Kye home from Exposure!

I bought a NYE hat at Walgreens and thought it’d be fun to each take a turn wearing it during dinner – when you have the hat you get to share: your fav memories from the prior year, your review of how you did with your goals, and what goal you’d like to work towards for the year ahead!

Every year we all agree that the fav moments were trips we took together – we are BIG on memory making but it’s those little every day moments that truly bond us the most.

In 2022 I decided to stop making birthday videos for the kids on their birthdays and instead decided to make a yearly recap video! We loved watching it together ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m so incredibly thankful for our little family. The love and bonds we share!

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