Friday, March 31, 2017


On March 17th we celebrated C turning seven with a big ole party Shopkins style at Cheerville.

The kids had the entire place to run, jump, tumble, slide and bounce.

So far, it's been her best birthday EVER (her words) but who wouldn't love a giant gym where you can run wild and scream for two hours with your best friends.

How is she seven?

(part of the birthday gang)

Everything was pretty wild that day and I barely got any pictures but I loved getting to watch all the kids have such a good time and C absolutely enjoyed spending her day with all her friends.

She was super surprised to see her cousins walk in from out of town.

On her actually birthday, we celebrated by having dinner at her favorite place, McDonald's.

If you haven't caught on, we have one Shopkins obsessed girl on our hands.  We eat, sleep and breathe all things Shopkins.  Poor U even walks around saying 'Shockins'.

With that, all she has ever talked about wanting is a big box of Shopkins.  Well, we made her dreams come true and her face was priceless as she opened it.

It was completely worth the mess it made.

Monday, January 9, 2017

The End of 2016

The end of the year always brings out this need in me to do ALL the things Christmas.  By October, I have all our weekends planned for November and December.  I cram as much as I can in those last few months.

This year we kicked off our All Things Christmas by going to craft time at Michael's to make ornaments.

C had the best time creating her little ornament.

Later that day, we headed to Nashville to see The Dancing Lights of Christmas at Jellystone Park.

We've never been and it did not disappointment.

The kids were mesmerized by all the lights.

We ended the night with our annual trip to Gaylord Opryland Resort.

That little tradition is more for me than anyone.  For some reason, it's not Christmas until I walk/get lost in Opryland.  :)

In between our All Things Christmas, we celebrated Thanksgiving with my parents and grandmother but not before B and C had a little Daddy-Daughter movie date.

My dad and I were splitting the cooking duties so between the movie date and nap time, I was able to cook in peace for once.

We enjoyed a nice little evening with the family and left with our bellies full.

The day after Thanksgiving is the day I put up my Christmas decorations.  The minute my feet hit the floor, I'm throwing up the tree and getting in full blown Christmas spirit.

That night after everything was up, C was looking at the tree and said she just wished there were presents under the tree.  Well, it's a good thing I was 90% done with my Christmas shopping because I made her wish come true.

The only downside was I had to listen to her for a month ask if we could open presents early.  *sigh*

We had a bit of unexpected excitement happen the Monday after Thanksgiving.  Our lights went out for about an hour but the way my crew acted, you would have thought it went out for days.

Thankfully we had plenty of headlamps and flashlights so we made the best of our hour by playing games and telling C how B and I lived in a world without iPads and iPhone.  After we told our stories, she asked if we lived in the old days.  Umm, negative Sister.  We aren't a million years old.  Kids.

Our next big adventure was a train ride to the North Pole.

I've been wanting to do this for a few years now but I wanted the kids to be the right ages.  C is at that perfect age for Christmas where everything is exciting and magical.

U was a little young but he still enjoyed himself.

On the way to the North Pole, Mrs. Clause walked through and greeted us and we were served cookies and hot chocolate.

After a 45 minute train ride, we picked Santa up at the North Pole.

He made his way through the train to greet each child.

Mine were more fond of him from a distance.  He tried to shake U's hand but U jerked it away before Santa could touch him.  Aren't my children the sweetest?

Decorating gingerbread men/houses made it on our All Things Christmas List again this year.

I was surprised at how well U did decorating the gingerbread men.

I would put the icing on and he would place the candies where they needed to go.  He enjoyed it way more than I ever thought he would.

C and I decorated the gingerbread house after U was asleep.

We make enough of a mess without having an extra set of hands helping us destroy my kitchen.

U had his first Christmas program at school.

There were no tears but he was more worried about waving at us than he was ringing his little bell.  Oh well.  I'll take a good wave over tears any day.

Big sister had her Christmas program the next night.

The weekend before Christmas, we headed north to celebrate Christmas with B's family.

Our weekends together basically consist of 6 kids, ages 9-2, running around the house chasing each other.

There are lots of screams, giggles and of course, cousin love.

We had more craft time at home thanks to Aunt Leslie sending the kids a Christmas care package.

Christmas Eve we spent the evening at my parent's celebrating.

One of the sweet moments we had was C and U singing Happy Birthday to Jesus.

The other sweet moment was seeing these three get super excited over the pjays Santa dropped off.

Ok so C was the only one who knew what was going on but still.  How cute do they look?

This year instead of leaving Santa cookies, we decided to leave him a few donuts along with a thank you note C wrote.

With Christmas being on Sunday, I was so afraid the morning would be wild and super rushed but it was the exact opposite.

The kids had plenty of time to open presents and play with them before we had to head off to church.

They even had time for a quick snuggle time on their new chairs.

Holla!  For even having time to take a family selfie.

As soon as Christmas was over, I was in 2nd birthday mode for U.

We had a Wild Things party for him at my cousin's new coffee shop. 

The theme was so fitting because that kid is wilder than a buck!

I loved having his party at the coffee shop!  We invited just our families and even though, it was open that morning, we had an open room to ourselves where we could sit and enjoy our boy and each other. 

It's hard to believe he is two.

After the party, we came home to nap and relax a bit before getting all rived up for New Year's Eve.

C was dead set on seeing the ball drop but I knew she would get bored by eight so I planned a new activity every hour from 6 to 11 (we were going to watch the early ball drop.  Ain't nobody trying to be a hero and stay up til midnight)

First, I gave us making mani's.

Then we had a scavenger hunt.

Next, we made hot chocolate and played Christmas Bingo.

We played a silly game Skittles.

Our final game was Dime in the Flour but C quickly turned it into Playing in Flour.

If you have small kids that want to celebrate New Year's Eve, I suggest planning activities every hour.  Even if one activity only last 10-15 minutes, I promise the time will pass quickly and your littles will love it.

Christmas break was quickly coming to an end so on our last day together, we headed to the Adventure Science Museum for a little play time.

C has begged us to take her for the last six months so we made her day by going.  It was U's first time and LOVED it!  He ran around like crazy looking and touching everything. 

We came home in enough time to enjoy a few spins around the yard on their new 4-wheeler.

We've had a hard time adjusting back to our school schedule but we are slowly making it.  #reallifeishard