New Year’s Eve

From Dec 30-31….

We had one final Christmas celebration with Brent’s family on the 30th to round out the holiday.

Abbi and Uncle Eric hanging out on the couch.


After lunch the kids were super excited to tear into the last presents of the year!


Big girls opening gifts…..


And Abbi was really excited to get her very first brand new electronics.  Lilli has had a Kindle for a few years now and loves it, and Abbi loves hers now, too.  They both have the same one and they’ll show each other games and it’s really replaced watching movies in the car on trips.  And with it being the Kids Edition if it breaks – it’s covered!


She also got this little cart that she loves – it’s hard to see but she’s keeping her baby entertained by playing it some sort of show on the Kindle.


Playing with Madison…..


The girls stayed for Granny Camp for a few days at the New Year, before school was getting started again.  We left them there and then headed back for a few days of quiet!


I finally decided to upgrade my Iphone.  I still had a very old 5 with a foggy camera after years of sweat and running and my battery life was terrible.  My work phone is an 8 and it really made me want to upgrade and we decided it was time.  And Lilli was pretty excited because that meant she got my old 5 and her 4 could be retired.  Her 4 doesn’t do some things that even a 5 can do, so we were all really excited by the upgrade.  And the battery life is no issue since she only sends a few texts to us every day and otherwise just uses it for games.


We had a lazy New Years Eve in cooking some steaks, playing games, and watching the countdown.


Abbi got to stay up until midnight for the first time so she was pretty excited.


Happy New Year!!


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Girls Day

From Dec 26 – 29….

Brent had to work the day after Christmas so us ladies had a full fledged Girls Day.  Abbi had been asking and asking for a hair cut, and she NEEDED it! Her hair was getting stuck in everything and it was just full of so many knots and tangles.  So our first stop was their hair appointment at the salon I go to.


Her hair grows SO fast.  It’s the envy of all the short haired girls in her classroom, some of whom still haven’t had ANY haircuts!


And Lilli was just wanting a trim.  She’s wanting to grow it back out some.


I didn’t get a good picture of Lilli afterwards (especially since she just wanted a trim), but Abbi got several inches cut off.  They both wanted Miss Megan to give them “curly” hair that day and she did a fantastic job.  They both felt so fancy after a trip to the spa.


And the back – they both got soft curls.


Afterwards we had lunch at Subway (their fave) and then went to Target to let Abbi get an “American Girl” doll and they picked out a salon chair for their dolls.


And a trip to Starbucks for their very own frappucinos.  I usually get one and have them split it in two cups, so they were pretty happy to not have to share one.


When we got home Lilli started her Girl Scout cookie sales.  This was her reaction as the first sales started coming in over her phone.


Winter night cuddles under my new electric blanket.  It’s been a family favorite this entire COLD winter!


My parents stopped by for present exchanges on their way up to Cincinnati.


And that Friday night Abbi was invited to Everett’s birthday jumpy party at Pump it Up.  She had a great time jumping and bouncing with her friends.


Lilli had a great time playing, too.  She made it to the top of the rock wall with no problem!


Enjoying their pizza and cake….


And the wildest part of any party – when they open gifts at the party.  I really think Abbi was over still eating her cake and never came over.  Or she might be right beside Lilli.  I do remember being ready to go and she was STILL eating her cake! She’s never been one to walk away from a perfectly good piece of birthday cake.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas 2017

From December 25……

Our girls woke up right around their usual time of 7:30 – I’m very thankful not to have kids who wake up at 5 am ready to tear into presents! They also know they aren’t allowed to go up there without us, so they always patiently wait for us to get some clothes on before they run for the tree.

There was a ton of squealing and excitement when they saw what Santa had brought.


We let them start opening our presents pretty soon after checking out everything from Santa.  Lilli had made a few things for us at school.


In her class they had made a few ornaments and some pictures for the parents, which is always the best gift.


Abbi was so excited to get her double stroller from Santa.


With some of their favorite things – Abbi and her bitty babies in their stroller, and Lilli with her new American Girl Tenney.


Playing with all their fun new things.


This is when Lilli opened the American Girl (like) doll that Abbi picked out for her at Target.  Abbi was so proud.  She had picked out the zookeeper one and it was really sweet to see how excited she was about Lilli having it.


And I was equally excited with my new (and larger) electric blanket! I freeze all winter and I love having a big heated blanket for lounging around.


Olli was pretty happy with his gifts, too.


We made a brunch and tried these fun eggs in a “hole” I’d seen on Pinterest.  You cut out your bread and then just pour the eggs in the middle.


The kids loved it and thought it was hilarious.


The rest of the day we just played and relaxed, the perfect way to spend Christmas after a busy holiday season.  Of course the babies did need some exercise.


They played with her new American Girl set for a long time.


Silly sisters.


That night we got the fancy popcorn maker out to watch Home Alone 2.  I doubt Abbi remembers it much and her faces were priceless.


It is such a bear to clean, but it does make movie night more fun!


Nothing makes Christmas better than the fancy popcorn!


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas Eve

From December 24….

Christmas Eve fell on a Sunday and our church closed its services with a candlelight ceremony.  They had candles for the kids that had the wax guard, so both Abbi and Lilli grabbed one heading into the auditorium.  We lit them by passing the flame down the aisle, and mostly I was just holding my breathe hoping Abbi didn’t decide she was done with hers and light the whole place on fire.  I held mine and helped her with hers, and Lilli never took an eye off her candle and was so glad when it was time to blow them out.  She said it made her so nervous.  Ha!


Matching sisters.  I realized I didn’t have anything new for them for Christmas so I grabbed these at Target really quickly the day before!


That afternoon it was time to make cookies! Lilli is an old pro and really didn’t need a bit of help.


Abbi didn’t need much help, either.  She got in there and was using the rolling pin and really only needed help NOT using a ton of flour.


Baking pros.


I’m basically out of sprinkles after all of this.


She had even managed to die her hands “rainbow” from all the sprinkle usage!


The finished product turned out really tasty and not half bad to look at!


We watched Polar Express and they got to each open one present before bed.  Then they picked out cookies for Santa and Mrs Claus and carrots for the reindeer.  They were wearing their new PJs from their elf, Flower.


One last holiday pose……


Holiday letter to Santa with instructions….


They watched their annual Santa video and checked his location on NORAD before deciding they needed to get in bed.


And of course we had to read The Night Before Christmas.


I’m pretty sure he’s making up some words!


Once the house was quiet and everyone was still…..Santa came!


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas Celebrations

From December 22-23…..

The best way to kick off Christmas break – a little house cleaning! We turned some music on, everyone cleaned for an hour, and we got a lot done – which is usually how we clean the house.  Everyone likes using the Swiffer Wet Jet – and while I’m not sure how much cleaning is really done, everything is REALLY wet.  If you haven’t seen a Swiffer Pad completely dripping and unable to hold any additional liquid, you’ve never had Abbi clean your floors!


After chores were done we all headed to Target together for the last of our shopping.  We split up and traded off, letting Abbi get something for Lilli and vice versa, and letting each of them pick out something for Brent and I.  As soon as we met back up Abbi immediately told Lilli what she’d picked out for her.  It didn’t even take 30 seconds for the secret to be up.


That evening we had the last of our season tickets for the Symphony – tickets to see the orchestra along with Home Alone, the movie.  Home Alone is a family favorite that we ALL love and somehow haven’t worn out yet.  We didn’t think Abbi would really sit still through it so we just got two tickets and let Lilli pick one of us to go with her as a special “big kid only” outing.  Since she was my last minute date to Jennifer Nettles, she and Brent went to this one.


Since they ate at home before going he treated her to a Coke at the symphony hall and they had great balcony seats for the show.  The orchestra played along with all of the score pieces – you don’t realize how much music is in it until you attend something like this!


They had a great time, and that’s a tradition I can see the four of us picking up next year as Abbi gets older – and needs less potty breaks.  They got drenched walking back over the pedestrian bridge afterwards – we have had the most insanely wet winter.


Meanwhile, I let Abbi pick something fun for the two of us to do and she wanted Sweet Cece’s ice cream.  I got a Starbucks soy vanilla latte from next door and she got candy with a side of ice cream.


We also did a little shopping across the street at Nordstroms and Rack.  She definitely had a good time being the solo kid on our errands.


The next morning we had tickets to Cheekwood’s Breakfast with Santa.  I’d always heard good things about their event but never had a chance to go, and it does sell out early every year.  With our membership it was really affordable, and so well done that it will for sure be something we do every year.

Our free library picture this year was Santa was terrible so we didn’t have a ton of hope that Abbi wouldn’t cry this time, too.  We waited outside for them to open the doors, then you go in and pick your table, and you can either go through the breakfast buffet or go ahead and do your Santa picture.  We went ahead and did our Santa picture since Abbi + waffle syrup would definitely equal a sticky picture! Lilli saw Santa come in and was blown away – she typically tells Abbi that the Santa’s they pose with are just his helpers because he’s so busy.  When she saw him she asked us if this was the real Santa.  I don’t know but he looks REALLY good.  And then miracles happened and Abbi walked right up and smiled!


The staff directing everyone was great and you got as many pictures as you wanted with no rush.  We asked for a Selfie.


And they took one of us – I like the selfie better.  The backdrop isn’t that great and we were so spread out that the selfie just turned out cuter.  I wish we’d been able to go to the event earlier in the month because these would’ve been great Christmas card photos!


And Santa took plenty of time asking them what they wanted and asking if they’d been good.  Abbi wouldn’t talk to him, but Lilli did represent for her.


And the breakfast was SO good! Waffles, sausage, eggs, fruit and of course cocoa, orange juice and coffee.  When you’re done eating they had cookies to decorate.


You got to put all kinds of toppings on them – the girls dove right in but we were stuffed.


Afterwards we walked around outside and admired the fake trees they had up for Lights, their holiday display.  We thought it was existing trees wrapped in lights, but the entire thing was fake.


And we had to stop in and see the reindeer they bring in for the season.


It was cold.  It was raining.  Basically the same as every other day from Dec-Feb this year!


They crack each other up.  I prefer this one million times to the days when all they do is bicker!


A little creative packaging.


Show time!


We had the Godbys over for a holiday dinner of chili and potatoes, and pizza for the kids.  The kids table was more than happy to pose! I’m not sure why they all sat on the same side since we eat in another room!


Friends will always help you look your best.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Last Day of School!

From December 21…..

The last day of school before Winter Break is always the best, and this year Lilli had her big Chorus performance!

This year she had wanted to do Chorus – it’s only open to 3rd-5th graders, so all semester one morning a week before school she goes to Chorus with a bunch of her friends.  The Dance group is open to 4th and 5th graders, and Stage is only for 5th graders. She wants to try Dance next year and Stage in 5th, or at least that’s her current plan.

We’d heard her practicing the songs all semester and now it was time to finally see them on stage!


She’s on the front left side, 8th kid from the left (as you look at the stage.)


A little more of a close up during one of the songs…..


During some of the songs the dance team danced while they sang, sometimes it was just dance, and sometime chorus.  Even though she’s been in gymnastics since she was 4, I was always a little worried she might not be seasoned enough for Dance team next year.  After the performance I no longer have that worry.  It’s very low key and definitely open to all……


The full Chorus.  It was a cute performance with songs, a video storyline and just a fun little Winter Break message.


Her favorite and mine – a song from Hamilton.  Complete with Chorus “moves”.


Their performance was at 9 and then their Christmas party at 11 so I worked from home that day and came back for their holiday party since they were getting out a half day.  She invited her friend Emerson to come home with us and play for the afternoon.  They gave Ms Smart big hugs and told her they’d see her next year.  She is literally the sweetest teacher ever and I hope Abbi has her in a few years!


Meanwhile……Abbi was having a big day, too! They had PJ and Polar Express Day.  Miss Rachel sent me this sweet picture.  Abbi has the best teachers, they are all so sweet and cuddly to her and are so fun to be around.


They got to watch Polar Express and even had a conductor and hobo come to class.  They all got Golden Tickets and had so much fun.  This is her class and the class of 3/4s that she was in last year.  Abbi’s class is standing while the younger ones are sitting.  Her teachers are in the back left – Miss Allison, Mr Collin, and then Miss Rachel is next to the hobo (her boyfriend.) Miss Rachel is leaning on Miss Barb, who was one of Abbi’s teacher’s last year.  Abbi’s on the left side in front of the Conductor – next to her bestie Stella and behind her boyfriend Isaac.


That night we decided to head out for some holiday light viewing.  Abbi decided to move back to the third row and she’s still there.  It somehow keeps the peace so much better.


We waited 45 minutes to see the Sunnyside lights.  It was just nuts and we were frazzled by the time we got up there.  It’s really fantastic and this was the last year he’s doing all these lights to honor his son who passed away several years ago.  But the crowds this year were insane and by the time we got up to it we were ready to call it a night!


He decorates several houses on the block and is still going to do a small display next year, but this was the last of his big over the top displays.  We’re pretty sure the neighbors on his street won’t be mad since traffic is INSANE and it would be a nightmare if you lived on the street.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas Personalities

From Dec 17 – 20…..

These two cracking themselves up while seeing if they can have apple slice mouths.  And mostly Olli is just hoping something lands on the floor for him to eat.


It’s sad how Abbi just has zero personality.


I think if this was cheaper we would have bought it!


Brent and I had some extra time off left we needed to take, so we took a day off and headed out to wrap up the rest of our holiday shopping.  We got the rest of what we needed for the kids, had lunch at a Mexican restaurant, relaxed a little at home, and then both went to Abbi’s Christmas party.  She thought it was the coolest thing ever that we both came, since typically only one of us (or neither) come.  The preschool parties are…..basically just a snack.  They don’t play games or really do anything, so most of the time we don’t attend.  Her teachers did a great job with their Grinch theme and everything looked cute.


There’s 19 kids in her class and they all enjoyed their fun Grinch themed snacks while the movie played in the background.  Abbi has 3 teachers and she really likes all of them.


Abbi loved the punch – I tried a little and it was great! One of her teachers is very artsy and creative and does a great job with the decor and their crafts.


After we got home we headed out to do a little shopping for their teachers.  Paper Source was a big hit with them, it’s such a cute store.


We also went to the library for their Finals week festivities.  They were having pizza and all kinds of things for the older kids to help celebrate finals week and help them relax.  They had a “puppy” event where they brought in dogs for the teens to play with and help as a study break.  I think Lilli had envisioned a room with hundreds of puppies just running free, so she was a little disappointed to see 3 dogs on leashes you could pet.


I had told her she could invite a friend home from their half day of school to play with while I worked.  She invited her friend Emerson and that week they worked on a to-do list to make sure they squeezed as much fun as possible in before the end of the day.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment