Thanksgiving 2018

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It should be noted that Thanksgiving 2018 was a lovely affair. Obviously I’ve neglected this special little blogging place of mine over the past two years, but wanted to make sure this got in the record books.

We’ve always done Thanksgiving at my mom’s house, which is lovely. I legit love Thanksgiving. This year, everyone had something going on. Bro was going to his wife’s turkey day, sis was headed to Door County. SO… we decided to head to California to see my favorite people on this earth. AKA my other “sister.” AND of course, my aunt & uncle and my cousin’s lovely manfriend.

The trip was magical and Thanksgiving was AHHHMAZING. It’s ridiculous how easy Thanksgiving is when you show up as a total guest. Normally, at mom’s, I am planning menus leading up to Turkey Day, helping cook  and setting up the day prior, and there early that day to cook some more.

This Thanksgiving, all slaving was done by my incredible Aunt and my mom’s cousin, Melissa. And oh my did they go above and beyond. Not to mention the fact that Melissa lives in a little California dream of a house. It was FANTASTIC. We brought some wine and a centerpiece (made by the kiddos) and then boom. Done.

While poor Melissa and Aunt Helaine probably needed a week of sleep to recover, the whole thing felt wildly easy, relaxed and just perfect to me.

It should also be mentioned that little C spiced things up when Mark forced her to taste the sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are her nemesis. She showed him when she instantly barfed right there at the Turkey Day table. Lesson learned.

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The rest of the trip was equally magical. My cousin’s boyfriend’s brother & his gf were there visiting, too! They are absolutely adorable and all four of them crashed at our airbnb one night. It was just so much fun.

Photos from the travel to Cali…

From our trip…

Highlights: Exploring neighborhood parks, venturing to the Grove & taking the Trolley, swimming at our AirBNB pool, picking oranges every morning from our AirBNB’s orange tree, Asian Day Spa-ing with Stef & Mom, Henry’s first time sleeping in a big boy (racecar) bed!!!, dipping our toes in the ocean, & of course, excessive time with my favorites.

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And, what’s a trip to Cali without some Disney magic, right???

All in all, A+ trip.

Valentine’s Day

2019 shaped up to be quite the little Valentine’s Day with my loves. From homemade valentine’s for the kids to hand out in class to our own little celebration at home, it was definitely one for the books.

While I recognize the exploited nature of days like Valentine’s Day, I still absolutely love the day. Why wouldn’t one embrace a day that literally exists as a reminder to spread love and kindness to the special people in our lives? Really, who doesn’t need a reminder?

So of course, I have to go over the top.

On Valentine’s Day, I woke up VERY early to make heart-shaped french toast with berries before my 6am workout. I hung up Charlotte’s homemade Valentines on the window and put their Valentine’s Day gifts up on the counter. Everything was set.

When I got home from my workout, the kiddos were in a blissful state. So happy with their breakfast and SO pumped to open their gifts.

Charlotte had been oogling this absurdly soft teddy bear named Puffles for weeks. She’d asked for it many a time and the answer had been no. SO… of course, I had to get her the damn bear for Vday… because she just loved the stupid thing. AND, a pair of stuffy slippers.

Hem got a light-up book, a wind-up dinosaur and a pull-back monster truck.

However, my favorite gift of the morning (besides my new leggings from hubby), were the socks I got for Marky! SO funny!

The kids spread love all day with their Valentines.

I also made chocolate covered popcorn with V-day sprinkles with little tags that said, “You Make My Heart POP”… but of course, in the fun of it all, I forgot to take a pic (although you can see it in the picture of Mark’s socks!)!

Then, at dinner, they got their favorite meal, which is noodles with fake butter. Seriously… favorite meal. AND, Marky and I got our favorite meal: RAMEN!!!

It was just such a good day. It might not seem like much, but there was just so much happiness oozing all over the place.

 

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Today, in honor of Pop and what would have been his 101st birthday, we went to dinner at his favorite restaurant… Nan even ordered his favorite meal.

While the kids made fine dining a bit of a joke, they redeemed themselves during our post-dinner ice cream stop!

Most importantly, the whole experience would have really been something to Pop. He would have just melted over the kiddos. He was something special… hopefully, smiling down at our messy attempt to honor him.

Oh How I Love the 4th

We had such a blast yesterday… despite the intense humidity and heat. We paraded in the morning, visited with some friends, then took the crazed kiddos home for nap.

Check out Hem’s dance moves! That boy loves to wiggle his rump! Haha

After all of the sun, we decided to switch up the plans from taking the kids to a party after nap to letting them nap late while I went to the party briefly with my neighbor.

The party was great, right on Lake Michigan! It would have been amazing for the kids and I started feeling guilty about changing the plans… until it started monsooning! My friend and I made it back to the car with only mild dampness, but the ride back home was a bit crazy.

I was happy to get home to the kiddos who were watching the Lion King!

Thankfully, the storm blew over and we were able to execute the final part of the plan: late night sparklers and smores with the kids. We had a great time!

Magic.

The Fam Heads to NY

Photos from our first family trip to New York to visit Mark’s sister. SUCH a great trip! We went to the beach, we had a birthday to celebrate Henry and Audrey’s birthdays, we played, C had her first mani/pedi… fun was had by all!

 

 

The Birthday Party!

 

 

The Beach Day

 

Charlotte’s First Mani/Pedi

Mark & I even got to head to the city where we ran into TOM HANKS!! See how well I played it cool? Then, we saw Waitress, starring Sara Bareilles and ran into Cynthia Nixon!

Saying Our Goodbyes

Miscellaneous Pics from the Trip

 

 

 

Happy [Belated] Halloween

Seriously, where the heck have I been?? I totally forgot to post Halloween pics! And, just for fun, I’ll throw in a few from Thanksgiving, too!

I thought long and hard about Charlotte’s costume, and ultimately, “we” decided to go with Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s (aka Audrey Hepburn’s character) and Henry was her Cat.

We had a great weekend of trick or treating, partying and fun!