I can’t thank you enough for giving me a week to regroup and unwind with my family this past week. I think this is the first time that I have ever taken this long off of my blog, but it was so needed and has given me some time to think about new posts and ideas for our site. I will admit that at first I felt a little bit of withdrawal, but as the days went by it was so relaxing to not have to think about anything but my two beautiful children!
Best of all, while I was relaxing, hubby was frantically working on migrating our giant blog from Blogger to WordPress. We had nearly 2,000 entries with a billion photos to move and it turned out to be quite the process. I am hoping it will be easier for me to do some customizing, better navigation, and a lot less “power outages.”
We did a holiday staycation this year and filled it with lots of fun stuff for the kids to do! Our Advent Calendar was packed with activities until the big day and one of our favorite nights was getting out to see all of the beautiful holiday lights in our new pajamas. As a special treat, we took the kids to Steak & Shake to get a kid’s shake while they enjoyed the holiday lights.
This was an exciting year because Emily really got into all of it and it was so fun for us to all be of an age where holiday lights are so cool!
Another favorite activity we did was to take the kids sledding. Last year they asked for sleds from Santa, but they had yet to have actually been used. I asked my friends on Facebook to share with me their favorite places in town to sled and we drove to three different locations before finding our perfect hill.
The kids (and I!) had never been sledding before so it was quite exciting for all of us. I screamed like a little girl all the way down, dragging my boots to try and stop myself while my husband stood at the top of the hill grinning down at me. I could see him doing this as I would slide backwards, terrified I would run into the telephone pole. We later found the equivalent of an entire haystack stuck in my boot zippers from dragging my feet , but it truly was the most fun I have had in ages… Oh, and the children loved it too!
I suggested hot cocoa and pancakes for a snack afterward, but the children were in the mood for chilly shakes and french fries. Luckily, kids eat free at Steak & Shake on the weekends, so we found ourselves over there for the second time in a week. Luckily, with the free kid’s meals, we were able to come out of there for $20. We came home to deliciously big bubble baths and holiday movies.
Another thing that I had been wanting to do with the kids was to take them bowling. We met up with our best friends and headed over to the bowling alley to play two games and split a pizza for dinner.
One of us would not remove our dress-up clothes after watching a riveting Barbie Nutcracker movie that she got for Christmas. It was not worth the tears to try and get her out of it and, in the end, made for some really cute pictures of the bowling ballerina princess.
Best of all, there was time. Time to knit, time to read, time to bake… time to do all of the things I really wanted to do. No time to clean or organize though. Our house remained a disaster because I was on vacation too. It was bliss!
There were gifts too…lots of them! Some of them have been stowed away to be savored when the first round of gifts get boring. A tote downstairs houses half of my kid’s old toys to be saved for a snowy day when the days are long. I will report to you all of our favorite gifts after we have given them a really good try. I only like to report on the items that have longevity so it may be a month or so before I share our real favorites.
That being said, this “Awesome Mom,” travel mug was lovingly chosen by my son at his Christmas store at school. I have never seen him so proud as he was the moment we opened his special gifts. A set of tools was chosen for daddy, a glittery bouncy ball was chosen for his sister, and this sweet mug was chosen for his mommy who loves her coffee.
The best gift for me as a mom though was coming down on Christmas morning after Ethan let us sleep in until his sister woke up. Laying on the floor were two thank you notes for Santa to thank him for his gifts. “Did you love what Santa left you?” He smiled up and me and told me, “I didn’t open them. I just wanted to thank Santa for stopping by.”
This month, I celebrate with you our SIXTH year of existence as a site. January 1st was our anniversary and I am so proud. Even after this fantastic break, I still could not wait to come back to all of you! It makes me know that I am in the perfect profession for me and I am so happy to share another year with you!
I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!