Friday, January 11, 2013

Christmas & New Years

Now that I have a moment to sit down, I can share with you our Christmas and New Year celebrations. This is the first time in years that we have gone what seemed non-stop. It was nice to see family and watch the kids in pure excitement, as this is the first Christmas that they had time with all families. It was also a lot on Kevin running from house to house and all over Georgia. It really started to ware down on him Christmas Day and the week of New Years.

Christmas this year brought much excitement to me when it comes to decorating! For the first time, we have the perfect house to decorate with plenty of space! Our tree fit perfectly into the corner of our living room, lighting it up every night. It was such a pretty sight! We also have more rooms now, leaving me able to brighten every room with a Christmas touch downstairs. The kids decorated the hallway upstairs and even put a small (pink) tree up. They decorated it with ornaments from over the years.

My 31 Totes - Happy Holidays & Santa's Workshop

This year I am so thankful that I managed to get all Christmas shopping complete BEFORE the holidays! That has never happened, but now I am determined to make it a habit. The early shopping thing totally worked in my favor this year. There was no last minute shopping and I didn't have to deal with the chaotic crowds. AMAZING! Plus, there is no way I could have taken it all on being that surgery was right before Thanksgiving and December left me still recovering.

Shortly before Christmas, Kevin and I took the kids to Bass Pro Shop to see Santa and check out their Christmas area for the kids. Each one saw Santa and had their picture taken, which of course made my day! Then we wondered around, playing games and having fun. I am amazed at Bass Pro and the set up they had, not to mention FREE pictures with Santa.

We woke up early Christmas Eve and spent the morning and early afternoon with my dad, Barb, siblings, and nephew. It was great to see everyone and I am sure my dad and Barb were thrilled to have all kids and grandkids at once. Everyone really seemed to enjoy themselves and were sad to see the afternoon come up so quickly.

Nicholas talking to Grandpa
Dad (Grandpa) and Caitlin
Nic with his cousin, Gavin and Whitney
Bre, Nic, Grandpa, Aunt Katie, Gavin, and Caitlin
Bre and Grandma Barb looking at Bre's new and awesome cookbook
 Following my dad's house, we spent the evening with my mom, Russell, and Ashton. The kids were happily overwhelmed about being able to see grandparents for Christmas! Everyone had a blast! We stayed there until around 9pm before finally heading home to get ready for Santa.

Me and my monsters
Me, Mom, and Ashton
Mom (Maw Maw) with her firstborn grandkids

 Maw Maw, Paw Paw, and Aunt Ashton bought Nic an Alien that he had to hatch and grow...that still "lives" on our counter

The red light indicates his heart is beating..yes, it really blinks

 We made it home shortly before midnight on Christmas Eve. Before going to bed, we let the kids open one gift, which has become a tradition from us to the kids. Every year, the kids open a gift on Christmas Eve and as far back as I can remember, it has been pajamas. Needless to say, the tradition from us to them has stayed in tact. This Christmas, they not only received pajamas, but also a fleece robe.

With Nic, it is close to impossible to take a photo with one shot... He is a clown

 Christmas day was great for the kids. They had a wonderful Christmas and spent all day surrounded by new toys, things to do, and clothes! Kev had a real rough day, so he slept or kept to himself. Once the chaos of the morning has passed, I found myself busily cleaning and picking up the mess of Christmas morning.
Nic's Santa gifts
Caitlin's Santa Gifts
Kids Gifts from Santa
Bre's Santa Gifts
The kids waiting to see what Santa left them
Nic saying "Ohhh I'm shaking my hiney", while he was waiting
Bre wrapped toilet paper for Nic and he was not happy. lol
My super cool wine bottle holder!!! It looks great in my dining room!
 The day after Christmas, we woke early to load the truck for our trip to Darien and Jekyll Island, GA. Kevin took Riley to the boarding place and I took Breanna to her doctor appointment, then we met back at the house and all headed out to the coast. Kevin's parents bought a coastal home in Darien in November, so they spent Christmas out there and we decided to join them. Being that we have 5 of us in our house, Kev and I decided to stay at a hotel on Jekyll with Bre and Nic. Well, they stayed with us the first night.

 Pictures of the new coastal home were taken in October 2012
SUPER CUTE home!!!
Congrats to David and Terri for their getaway home on the coast

 Upon arriving to the coast, we decided to go straight to David and Terri's to celebrate Christmas with them and eat dinner. It was our first time seeing the house furnished and we love it! It's perfect in every way for them and in a great location!

After presents and dinner, Kev, David, Bre, and Nic decided they wanted to go crabbing for a bit, so Terri, Caitlin, and I decided we were going to head on over to our hotel at Jekyll and let me check us in. Our hotel room faced the ocean, which was amazing! We arrived after sunset, so it was too dark to really see much of the water, but the sound was magical. There is just something so soothing about crashing of the waves. I absolutely love sitting near the ocean.

 Thursday was spent relaxing, crabbing, and enjoying the day. Thursday evening, Kevin and I headed back to our hotel KID FREE and enjoyed the night with just the two of us. On Friday, we woke up to a beautiful sunrise, ate breakfast, then walked on the beach. From there, Kevin I went to the Sea Turtle museum, which was pretty neat, then spent some time walking around St. Simon, which I loved! When we were crossing into St Simon there were signs that stated Sea Turtle crossing from May-July (or something in that area). I am now determined to go back out there during that time to watch Sea Turtles cross the road! How cool would that be? This trip was the first time Kev and I had the luxury of staying at the beach together and it was wonderful.

Sunrise from our balcony

Sea Turtle Museum
Baby Sea Turtle

St Simon
St Simon
St Simon
St Simon
St Simon
Walking on the beach at Jekyll
Some of the crabs that were caught

On our last day there, the girls decided to stay with Grandpa and Grannie and we would pick them up from David and Terri's house north of Atlanta that Sunday. On Saturday (our only day home), Kevin, Dad, and Josh spent the day out fishing and just hanging out. On Sunday morning, Kevin, Nic, and I headed to north GA to spend the day with David, Terri, Michael, and Mateo. We missed Maria, but she had to work.That evening, the five of us headed to the cabin and stayed there through January 2nd. We wanted to go somewhere away from the parties and chaos for New Years and decided the best place would be the cabin.The kids loved being able to run through the woods and we enjoyed the serenity of the mountains and cabin. 

Coming into Atlanta on our way to North GA
Yummy Venison Stew that we decided to make while at the cabin. Thanks Russell!!!
Yummy Venison Stew that we decided to make while at the cabin. Thanks Russell!!!
New Years Eve playing Beat the Parents with the kids

 Thank you all for a wonderful Christmas this year! It was great seeing and spending time with each and everyone of you!!!

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