Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2016! And holiday recaps

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{Long post alert!}
Happy New Year! (What?!)  I hope everyone is having a fabulous start to the year!

My apologies for being silent for a while.  I really try to blog when I feel inspired, and while I did have some ideas and recipes to share, I have been making it a point (or at least trying) to be more present and focus on the here and now with my family.  More on that in a bit.

The holidays were upon us SO fast, amirite??  Suddenly it was Halloween and before I knew it Thanksgiving was long gone and Christmas was staring me in the face saying "Ready or not, here I am!"

Ayden has been growing and changing so much that it's nearly impossible to keep up.  He talks non stop from the moment he wakes until bedtime, knows over 200 words, and is putting words together.  We were impressed when he would point and say "gloves" when one of us was doing dishes.  Then one day he said "Daddy's gloves" and blew our minds.  That same week he pointed at his binky (a monkey Wubbanub) and said "Please--have--monkey"  !!  What?  Who is this man child and where is my tiny baby?  I am daily in awe of this little creature that we made.  I can't believe I carried him, gave birth to him and that he is the little person he is.  It's incredible!

Christmas Day at the Santa Barbara Mission ~ checking out the live nativity animals!
Bubble time is the best time ;)

Thanksgiving was going to be a quiet thing at home with just the three of us.  My brother- and sister-in-law were hosting and Hubby's parents were driving up to San Mateo to be with them.  Then Hubby sent me a text "I'm thinking of driving up for the day" meaning all three of us drive 5 hours one way, have Thanksgiving dinner, then drive back.

Let's do it!!

With a toddler!?


Were we crazy?  Probably.

Road trip!  Hubby loves selfies ;)
The drive up was easy and mostly uneventful.  Mostly.  At one point some lunatic ran us off the road, and although Hubby expertly got us out of a fishtail and back on the highway, I found myself envisioning the worst and burst into tears.  I was still rattled when we got to R&B's house.  Brother Bear promptly made me an aperol spritzer to get me into the holiday spirit, which worked. ;)  Ayden and his cousin D had a blast playing all afternoon!  D has an arsenal of really rad toy trucks, as well as a train table.  Translation: no prying those boys away for anything!  They ran around screaming and yelling, played in D's rocket ship tent, jumped on the couches and rounded out the day with a bubble bath.

Post-dinner lego sesh

Dinner with the family was amazing and we celebrated Lita's birthday with cupcakes after dinner.  It was a great day! The drive back... well, that was a different story.  We assumed A would sleep the whole way home since it would be bedtime.  He fell asleep not 2 minutes after we hit the road.  Score!  Then he woke up 30 minutes later... and was awake and screaming the rest of the 4.5 hours.  Can't win 'em all ;)

Fa la la la la...

Christmas was approximately 5 minutes after Thanksgiving and I found myself totally unprepared despite having lofty expectations of getting my shopping done early and sailing through sans stress.  Hubby's birthday was the 2nd and we both had to work.  While I got to surprise him with some sweet Lulu swag, we never got to actually go out and celebrate. :(  Major fail.  Next year - err, this year- Imma do it up BIG, babe.  Vegas, anyone?

Decorating for Christmas is always one of my favorite things to do, but this year was super fun since I knew Ayden would totally dig it.  After he went to bed one night I made some extra chocolatey hot chocolate (I'll post a recipe sometime!) and put on my virtual elf ears and got to work.  It was so fun seeing his face light up at the snowmen everywhere and the sparkly garland and lights.

Elf sighting at Home Depot!

Best. Day. Ever.

When it came to tree shopping we made the rookie mistake of taking the toddler with us.  It went as well as you can imagine.  Total bust.  We decided to try again the next day and have him spend some time at the grandparents' house while we shopped.

I'm always of the go-big-or-go-home mind when it comes to Christmas trees.  I want a huge, full Nordmann fir taking up half the living room.  We couldn't find any decent ones that weren't crazy expensive, so Hubby suggested a tiny tree.  I was meh about it.  The little trees just didn't feel like Christmas to me.  We spent over an hour digging and looking through tiny trees and somewhere along the way I really started to love them.  We decided on one with a super spindly top and loaded 'er up and took it home.  Ayden was in love with it!  He kept saying "Oooh, treeeeeeeeee!!" and petting the branches.

Toddler free tree shopping! Yayuh!

It passed inspection ;)
We celebrated Christmas a weekend early, as R&B&D came down to visit.  Santa got Ayden his very own giant fire truck like D's, along with a wooden recorder that may or may not have been hidden the very next day. ;)

Christmas day was a relaxing day at home with just us three, which I loved.  Ayden had even more presents to open and we got to FaceTime with my parents while he opened his presents from them.  He is totally obsessed with the dinosaur-transporting truck they got him!

"You smell like beef and cheese.  You don't smell like Santa."

And now here we are - 2016!  A new year with a clean slate.  I usually make half-hearted resolutions like " I'll be more organized" or "I'll stop spending frivolously" and those are broken within the day. lol  This year I want to focus on family.  I want to be more present and in the moment with my loves, and work harder at unplugging.  If I constantly have my nose in my phone I am going to miss these beautiful fleeting moments of Ayden's early childhood, and no email or status update is worth that.  I also want to be better about taking photos of us as a family.  I have 16,000 photos on my phone (no joke.) mostly of Ayden.  There needs to be more of the three of us, even if it means stopping random strangers and asking them to take a photo of us (something I always feel awkward doing).

Phew.  Didn't I warn you it was a long post?  If you've stuck around, thanks for that!  I hope this year you are met with many blessings and complete happiness.




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