Busy, But Beyond Blessed!

What month is it? What’s my name? Wow…it’s been a busy one and an even more busy January (hence the reason I’m just now getting this written and posted). Sorry, I’m a slacker. Here goes…December is always quite the interesting month, both professionally and personally. It is filled with numerous activities that all seem to get crammed into the first three weeks because everyone is too worried to interfere with the holidays (and rightfully so). This just means we are jam packed during that time. Brayden enjoyed a playdate with her BFF, Cora (it’s been over a year in the making). The girls enjoyed breakfast with Santa Claus one morning. It was so cute! They wrote their list of what they wanted and placed it in his mailbox (they even received letters back from him a week later!). I got some holiday shopping done at a local craft expo and that evening, we enjoyed an adult night out with Trent’s exercise friends. It was a fun night! I hosted a cookie bake at the house, so we enjoyed plenty of treats each evening and they were gone in less than two weeks (oh my!). Trent volunteered at Brayden’s movie night at school as well.

Trent and I enjoyed a fabulous 24-hour rendezvous to Raleigh one weekend! We toured the Porsche exhibit at the NC Museum of Art where we drooled over our dream cars. It was so awesome to learn more about these vehicles and read the stories (Janis Joplin’s Porsche was there, too) as well as how fast these babies can go! That evening, we attended Trent’s company’s holiday party and spent the night. It was a quick getaway (thank you, Aunt Patty and Uncle John for watching the girls!). Brayden attended our neighbor’s birthday party at a kids’ spa (this was adorable in so many ways) and then I took off for a work trip for five days. It is hard being away from my family during these trips. Don’t get me wrong, it is very nice to have a change in pace and not sit at a desk every once in a while, but being a road warrior is overrated. I could NEVER be in sales/consulting and have to travel all week, just to be home on the weekends. No thank you. While I was gone, both girls had their holiday concerts and Trent said they did great!

We had a dinner/holiday party at our house with our neighbors and the Dunlaps and had a blast. The six kids played together and ate dinner, we put them to bed, then the adults ate dinner and played games. It was a very fun night and I hope to make a tradition out of it! Mimi & Dadaw invited the family over to their place for a fabulous Christmas buffet, followed by gift opening. I love how the family has continued to grow over the years and my favorite part of all is watching how happy my grandparents are, just relishing in the family they’ve created. It’s a beautiful thing to witness. We attended a Christmas Eve service at church as well. This year was particularly special during the holidays as not only did Trent’s parents visit the week of Christmas, but Thad came to visit as well. The girls hadn’t seen him in a couple years, but that didn’t make a difference. The three of them were best buds all week. It was so great watching them play with their uncle and take lots of “selfies”. I know he had a blast hanging out with them, taking them to Starbucks, having tickle fights, and reading to them. It was a great week! Lastly, we enjoyed a date night out with our neighbors and then ventured to Greensboro for a New Year’s Eve party at our good friends’ home. We’ve rung in many NYEs with that posse of peeps and it was awesome to do it again!

During the holidays, Trent enjoyed a three-week vacation and I took two weeks off. I realized that since I’ve had a job out of college, I’ve never taken that much time off consecutively. It was much needed and deserved. We both get a lot of vacation at our jobs and (obviously) don’t take enough during the year because we face the quandary of potentially losing days if they aren’t used. I guess it’s a good problem to have, but we hope to be more disciplined in taking more vacations (spread out) in 2014.

Hanleigh’s obsessions are now hotels and Chick-fil-A. She thinks whenever we are spending the night away from home that we are going to stay at a hotel and gets super excited. Also, whenever we drive by a Chick-fil-A, she asks if it’s open and when we say “yes”, she yells “yeah!” (however, she doesn’t usually ask to go there after she asks us this). I think she just understands that they have a playground and that is the coolest thing ever!

Brayden had a ringworm develop on her right thigh this month. It didn’t bother her, but we treated it and it’s finally going away. During this same visit with the doctor, I mentioned how Brayden isn’t a fan of fruit and won’t try anything new. The doctor told us to give her one bite of fruit on her plate with nothing else (not even anything to drink) and the rule is that she has to eat it before she can have her dinner. We tried that a couple nights and it worked, however the novelty faded fast. By night three, she was just boycotting dinner, so we went back to what we were doing previously, but with a little twist. We are still giving her everything on her plate at once, but she has to have two bites of her fruit, otherwise the choice is seven bites (a bite for every year she is). So far, it’s been working.

I just realized this. Do you see a theme above with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays? Eating delicious, scrumptious foods, surrounded by family and friends. We are so blessed.

Brayden-isms:

  • Nana was visiting and was playing cards with the girls. Apparently, Brayden got upset about getting stuck with the Old Maid and later told Trent that, “I wish Nana picked from the bottom because that is where old people draw from!”
  • We get many eye rolls around our house these days. One day, Hanleigh was doing something typical for an average three-year old when Brayden looked at her, rolled her eyes and said, “When will you ever learn, Hanleigh?”
  • I was reading one evening with her when I pointed to a kid on one of the pages and said, “Geez, that kid has a horrible haircut” to which she responded, “Yeah, a bad haircut. Totes.”
  • Brayden was telling Trent one evening that her finger was hurting (she had cut it earlier in the day). Trent said, “Well, it hasn’t been hurting for that long” to which she said, “Hey, it’s not from the Crustaceous period!”
  • We were out to lunch one day (yes, at a restaurant) when Brayden sat up on her knees in the chair and started moving her butt around in a circle up in the air. She paused, pointed behind her back and said, “This thing has a mind of its own.” Oh my goodness.

Hanleigh-isms:

  • Hanleigh was looking at my tablet one afternoon and I asked her what she was doing to which she replied, “I’m finding a phone for me to buy when I’m four that is blue.”

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