Holiday Flashback

Ok, we're going to rewind a bit over here because it seems like I'm working a little backwards with how I shared our holiday season. I know this time of year can be so busy for many of us with the hustle and bustle of the holidays, winter break for most of our kids, getting back into a routine after they headed back to school, and focusing on our priorities and initiatives for the new year. 

I shared recently about some of my favorites from the past decade and what my thoughts are for the new year. I thought it would be fun to look back on our time together as a family and share more about what our Christmas and New Year's celebrations looked like. 

I think starting right before Christmas is a good beginning point since the fun kicked off when A went on winter break that Friday before and my brother in-law came in from Cali. My boys have the best time with Uncle Chris and can't wait to see him again. We have a trip set for next month to go visit him and escape one of the harshest months of winter on the northeast. It's so cute because the boys have a little countdown going on on their calendar. Eric and I were able to meet him and his girlfriend and one of our other good friends in NYC for the night. As much as I would have loved to see the tree and do all of the touristy things, I think everyone else had other plans in mind and wanted to head to Brooklyn to get more of an urban experience. I was onboard with that because it's never a dull moment with this crew. We hit up this really cool Korean restaurant, stopped off at a tiki bar for some mai tias, and then headed to a rooftop spot (which unfortunately the rooftop was closed). We got an Airbnb for the night and then made our way back home the next day. It was so nice to enjoy our time together and I didn't bother taking any pictures. Sometimes you don't need to #documentallthethings.

I had every intention of keeping it low-key when we got home, but my sister called me and asked me if we sold our Sixers tickets for the night. She twisted my arm to go (it really didn't take any effort for that) and before I knew it I was getting changed and on my way to Philly. What I love about where we live is that I can be in either NYC or Philly within an hour. It ended up being such a good game! They won, which is always a plus, and we got on the jumbotron.

The next day we headed back to Philly (I know what happened to keeping it low-key?) with some friends for the Christmas market. We didn't get a chance to go last year since C was so tiny, but we made it a point to check it out this year, and I'm so glad we did. They added a lot more and there were so many parts that felt magical. The boys got to ride the carousel, enjoy hot chocolate, and admired the light show.

The next day we all relaxed for awhile before heading back into Philly (I know, we sound nuts) for the Flyers game. This was my first time at a professional hockey game and it was great to see them win. It was a lot of fun and I would definitely go again.

The next day was Christmas eve and my brother in-law was heading back to Cali to spend Christmas with his girlfriend's family. Eric, the boys and I, headed out to walk around our neighborhood and deliver our Christmas card and some baked goodies to our neighbors. I don't want to jinx anything, but it has been a mild winter here and it was almost 60 degrees on Christmas eve and Christmas. If you caught my stories you might have seen A riding around on his skateboard with his santa hat playing his guitar. He was seriously adorable! He even sung some Christmas songs when we got to the neighbors houses.

That night we headed to our candlelight service at church, which in my opinion, taking time out from all of the busy things around us to reflect and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas is what its all about. My mom and Dad both met us for service so it was nice to have all of us together. We packed the boys pjs with us and got them changed for the car ride home so we could also drive around and look at all the Christmas lights. It was the perfect way to end the night before setting out milk, cookies, and carrots for santa and his reindeers. The funny part with that was, we usually sneak over after they go to bed to take some bites and drink the milk, but wouldn't you know, Coaty (our dog) got to the cookies and carrots before we could. He of course left the milk untouched so we helped out with that. Unfortunately Eric started to come down with something and wasn't feeling the best. We got all of our gifts down from the attic (our hiding spot) and placed them under the tree. Then it was, Mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap, had just settled down for a long winter's nap. Ha! Not exactly. More like some nyquil, a box of tissues, and Christmas pjs in hopes that the kids wouldn't wake up too early. 

The next morning was of course, Christmas! The boys let us sleep in until 8am and then everyone was up with excitement. The baby started coughing over night and didn't seem himself so that was a little bit of a bummer. He was still adorable and got into the presents that interested him. We have kept with a family tradition that my parents did with us, which is reading Luke chapter 2 around the Christmas tree before any of the gifts are open. After that, we say a family prayer and then let the fun begin. We hosted dinner and decided to have it a little later this year. Since my sister and other family members have multiple houses to visit it was easier if we started dinner around 6pm. It ended up working out really well so we might stick to that in the years to come. We had a lot of fun catching up with family and getting to celebrate together. My brother and cousin hung around after telling stories and getting caught up with each other. I unfortunately started to not feel well and ended up falling asleep on the couch as we were all talking. Both Eric and I were down for the count after that. We had nasty head colds, congestion, fevers, yeah it wasn't fun. Both little nugget and C weren't feeling well either, so it was a mess in our home. A was the only one that didn't get sick. I think since it got a lot warmer the germs just went haywire and there was no stopping it.

The next day we had the baby's post-op appointment and were so happy to hear his surgeon is so pleased with results. We got the ok to take his no-nos off and he could go back to eating regular food. Hopefully if all goes well we should be in the clear with not needing any surgeries for another few years. The next few days consisted of us hanging out on the couch, watching a ton of movies, and trying to make it by. Lysol was our bff and since it was so nice we also opened some windows to try and get the germs out. The boys started to feel better and were anxious to get out of the house. Eric and I were still struggling a bit. Ugh, nothing feels worse then when you don't feel well and you still have to parent. #nodaysoff. I finally started to feel more like myself after a few days, minus the congestion (you might have seen my stories and the shenanigans with the baby nosefrida). We were a mess.

The boys had been asking to see Frozen2 for the longest time so I decided we needed to do something fun and ventured out. When we got to the movies they told us there was only one seat left (go figure). That wasn't going to work because we needed three. The next showing wasn't scheduled until 2 hours later which would have been past the price of the early showings (yes, I'm all about a deal). I asked the ticket guy if there was any way the seat was big enough to have the boys sit on my lap, and he told me to hang tight for a minute and that he was going to talk with his manager. He came back and said a 10:45am showing had just opened up and that he could get us into that. I was confused for a minute because I know there was no showing time originally listed for that and then it finally kicked in what he did for us. You guys, they opened a whole theater up just for us! It was amazing and seriously one of the nicest things, ever. The boys were sooo excited! We got to pick whatever seats we wanted and pretty much had the whole place to ourselves. They even made an extra sale because another family did come in right when the movie started and got to enjoy it as well.

Thankfully by new year's eve we were all feeling a lot better. We were able to do our 12pm kids countdown which we've been doing for the past few years now. It's always fun to celebrate with the boys when they aren't tired and cranky. We have a little milk and cookies toast to celebrate and enjoy lots of confetti and noise makers.

My older boys went to my mom's house for the night and we put the baby to bed as some of our close friends came over for a little dinner party. It was 20s themed and we all had fun dressing up and getting fancy for the night. I had fun with the decorations and putting together the tablescape. You all know me and my love for parties. It was so nice to relax at home, enjoy good company, light some sparklers, play some games, and get into comfy clothes and enjoy a fresh pizza for a little extra late night fun. I think this is something we want to try and keep up with for the years to come.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that your new year is already off to a good start!

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