Holiday-ing

Guys, Orlando is fun. Thankful that I have a bro that lives by all the good stuff. We got our sunshine, gameday, Halloween, Shamu and Harry Potter on.

The kids were ACES during the car ride. Before departing I pictured us stopping a dozen times, masses amount of snacks consumed, the boys wiggling out of their car seats, but no — the ride was more relaxing than a trip home from school. Seriously, we stopped once to eat, once to get gas. Nobody tried to runaway. We watched Cars about forty times, but whatever works. I stopped by the dollar bin at Target and kept tossing them the most random crap (sorry don’t judge me later, kids).

Turns out Sea World is a stellar place for kids. 1. It’s free for kids under 2. 2. You can walk around do a ton of stuff, not just rides. 3. It’s free for kids under 2. 4. Rye now eats lettuce because he saw Shamu do it, technically it was a big honking manatee but a big “fish” is a big “fish.”

For Halloween, Rye was Olaf and Rhys was Marshmallow (the snow monster) from Frozen. That was the plan, until Roo opened the door and out popped Batman. Moms plans crushed. Dad fell victim to my devastation. Poor Rhys was running around in a fluffy snow suit in 80 degrees, without his partner in crime. I literally begged Ryder and at the ninth hour he came up to me, whispered, “Mommy, Olaf.” He was Olaf in about 2 sec. GO! Rhys won the cute costume award, melt my damn heart.

Again, thankful to have seen my bro and SIL again another time this year, pretty much lapping the number of times I’ve seen then in the past 3 years. Can’t even deal with my niece, I throw all of my girly wishes on her.

And how is it almost Thanksgiving.
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Labor Day Vibes

Could use a weekend from the weekend. Playing catch-up with friends and family. Great weather and good workouts. Bonus, college football is back. Uncle Mikey and Auntie Heather came in town and we had a good ol’ time tailgating. Feels like it’s been forever. I went from seeing my bro once a year, to doubling that time in a few months.

We are enjoying settling and entertaining in the new home. It’s awesome for the boys to have family to play with, along with a beautiful river pool. Sill, nothing beats sans clothes on our own back porch.

Hit up the zoo for more family fun, because that’s what you do with three kids.

I’m oddly ready for long sleeves and shorts weather. That little bit of Minnesota in me.

   
    
   

  

  

   
    
    
    

    
 

It’s A Small World After All

Took both babes to Florida and we got to meet their beautiful cousin, Amelia. We also got to see Mickey, Shamu, the ocean, and 100% humidity.

The boys did incredibly well given how we were always schlepping them all over God’s green earth. Rhys had one narly night of teething, and when you don’t want to wake up a house full of people, you and dad take turns going for a stroller ride around the neighborhood at 4AM. Otherwise, they loved the water, the Goofy hats and fishing with papa.

I was floored at how much fun all three kids had together. Sea World was a blast. Mikey took the adults to Discovery Cove – an island oasis where you can swim with the dolphins, or just lounge in your cabana. Oh, it’s also all inclusive. We earned it.

Ryder was definitely a bit too young for Disney, but he did great and still had a lot of stuff he could ride. They get overwhelmed easily with all the voices, characters, and other screaming kids. The photo of Ryder in front of the Epcot “golf ball” was a big deal, because Andrew has the exact same pic, which I didn’t know at the time.

It was a much needed vacation and as crazy as family can be, it was a good reminder that we can’t wait so long to hangout again.

   
                                                                              

Isn’t There Anyone Who Knows What Christmas Is All About?

Did Santa make his way to your house as well? We were able to sneak right up to him!
Santa

The holiday season is my favorite time of the year and it always goes by too fast. The lights, the smells, all seem to go by in a hurry.

We had my family in town for belated birthday, early Christmas celebrations and Andrew’s dad popped over to spend Christmas with us. I relate more each year to the Griswolds, but you go with it and embrace all the chaos. (yes, please get a load of Norak’s “It’s A Wonderful Life” hoodie) –

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Rhys was in awe of everything, and Ryder looked for Elfie every morning somewhere “up high.” He’s more of a hide-and-seek toy for now…next year he’ll be reporting to Santa. The boys made some uber cute holiday ornaments and presents this year. Our tree is starting to fill up with memories. We spent most of the holiday watching “Prep and Landing,” “Rudolph,” and of course “Go.” Ryder can’t quite articulate “Frozen,” but “Go” works for us.

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We’ve started our family traditions, which includes a special Christmas Eve dinner and late night showing of “Die Hard.” I still track Santa! My favorite iPhone app. On Christmas Day we take our time opening presents, and by time I mean all day. It helps Christmas last just that much longer. New this year, moose mugs! Egg nog tastes much better when you cheers to Cousin Eddie.

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Santa was kind to us, and hopefully the boys will let us live in the small house they are building. Personally, I’m enjoying Ryder’s basketball goal and tunnel tent.

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We didn’t get a white Christmas, in fact all our snow melted away. It came back late Christmas day and we got 5 inches the day after. Close, Frosty, real close.

Wrapped up the holiday with some skiing, and next year we’ll be taking Rye with us.

I’m glad we got to enjoy family and let the holiday linger. Don’t worry I’m still listening to Christmas Music…

Hope everyone had a relaxing, restful holiday and remembered the reason for the season. Prost!

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You set standards that no family activity can live up to.

We hosted Thanksgiving for close friends and Pop Pop. Andrew and I have cooked in the past but hosting is a different deal. I think we were in bed by 9 that night. Norak’s Sweet Potato Casserole took home the blue ribbon for best dish again. Applause. I was partial to my Bourbon Pecan Pie.
I don’t remember the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade having that many commercials as a kid. Show the floats and get on with it.
Thankful for a big fat Detroit Lions win. That is truly a family Thanksgiving tradition.
Wonder what Matty and Calvin bet on for the UGA/Tech game?
I’m having a hard time believing it’s December and that Ryder is going to be two.
Saw a random Black Friday advert, the day after Black Friday, and ended up scoring my new little dreamboat – our snowblower, Mr Plow. Thankful that with this honkin’ investment we’re certain to get no snow this winter. Andrew has only asked to show me how to use it a dozen times. I mowed the yard 9+ months pregnant, I got this.
Roo’s been traveling, I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants, and knocking out my Christmas shopping.
This is my favorite time of year. I adore the music and will watching all the classics. From Scrooged to Christmas in Connecticut.
Off to try to sneak in some holiday baking.
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Leftover Halloween Candy

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What else do you do with two boys? Olaf and Kritoff were a strong second.
This might be my last chance to put Rye in what I want him to wear. Batman was a little standoffish of his costume at first, but once he got the hang of the outfit he was flying around. His school took the kids trick-or-treating in the morning, and melt my world. It was fun to see him get the hang of grabbing candy. This boy is not shy!
Trick-or-treating Halloween night was awesome. He had a such a good time. After we took him around our block he helped hand out candy. At one point we looked around and he had wondered back on the sidewalk and was walking up to our neighbor’s house. MORE candy. So we took him around the block again. His fluffy winter hat probably didn’t help his disguise.
We managed to get him to say “trick or treat” a few times, and dad fed him candy.
Definitely a solid start to the holidays.

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Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch

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Minnesota is on fire right now. Indian summer. We were in the high 60s and low 70s. Glorious,even the locals have commented that they’ve never seen the fall trees this bright with color. It’s like someone took a highlighter to all the trees.

We took the boys to the great pumpkin patch. There really is no better fun that hanging out with the family on the weekend. We moo’d at the cows, ran everywhere, crawled everywhere, and played in the hay.

It’s going to be such a week for me. Looking at all the pics we took absolutely melts me.

Bonus tip, look desperate and people will be more than happy to take a family photo for you! We ended up with some great shots from a super nice guy.

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