Thursday, December 28, 2017

A Very Merry Christmas

I hope everyone had a fun and festive Christmas! We definitely did. We decided to stay home in Philly for the holiday (way too expensive to fly anywhere) and enjoy each other. Plus, who wants to drag gifts back and forth? Not me! And since Santa decided to deliver the mother of all gifts for the girls - a Barbie dream house - thank goodness we were at home! Other than the craziness that is Christmas morning, we had a very relaxing and fun weekend. 

my favorite picture of the girls. 

counting down with their Advent Calendars!

A few days before Christmas we decided to make Santa some cookies. I was feeling energetic and whipped up some sugar cookies and frosting. Cookies came out pretty good. Frosting....probably should have bought that. You will see why as you scroll through the photos. 

OMG hurry up and cook cookies!!!

decorating is serious business
The final product. Charlotte on the left, Norah on the top and me on the bottom.
frosting wasn't as thick as I would have liked so it was a bit more like painting. :)

We also stopped in to see Santa one more time. Charlotte made sure to tell him that she left her list with Jinx if he needed to know what she wanted. Norah told Santa she wanted 1.candy 2.presents 😂😂

family pic! Love this

Finally Christmas Eve arrived!! It was also our last day with Jinx. He hid somewhere very cool with a frozen surprise for the to Disney on Ice!!! Yay!! The first time we took Charlotte she was 2 years old, so we were excited to now take Norah. After breakfast we braved the freezing temps and headed to the show!
Norah "we're going to watch what?"      Char "I think I'm excited?!" 

a little more enthusiasm on the train. Maybe because it's the train - they love public transportation!

family selfie waiting for the show to start!

checking out the ice and the zamboni! 

silly girls making silly faces during intermission

a few pictures of the show. not quite the same as being there! 

having fun on the ride home. It was so cold!

We got to open one special gift on Christmas Eve - a book for all of us about Harley!!! He looks beyond thrilled to be the star! Thanks Nana we love it!!
Harley has his own book! he's famous!

And of course we had to set out cookies, carrots and milk for Santa! I'm sure he was beyond impressed with our cookies this year :)
counting out a carrot for each reindeer 

the before Santa and the after Santa

And finally....the main event....CHRISTMAS MORNING!!! We had two very excited girls. But thankfully neither of them woke us up super early. Norah woke up first around 730am and we all went in and woke up Charlotte. The look on their faces as they saw the gifts and Barbie house and stockings....priceless. 

Charlotte had been asking for that house for about a year. She got more and more vocal about the dream house over the last few months. Thankfully she behaved herself and Santa was able to fit that monster in the sleigh. He also managed a Barbie camper too. Lets just hope the girls can share these without too much fighting. 

taking a break from gifts to eat BACON!!!

Back to the gifts....this time some of Nana's!! We even got to FaceTime Nana so she could see too!! Baby dolls and Barbies oh my!!

family selfie 😍

And finally, just like the Disney tickets we tried to focus less on presents (hard to tell from that background) and more on experiences. So we decided to book a ski trip where Charlotte can hopefully take lessons (if she doesn't freak out) and they have a huge indoor water park for all of us to enjoy! 

Merry Christmas Mr H!

playing Santa - complete with reindeer and a beard!! This kid!!

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas too! Happy Holidays everyone!!! 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

All things Holiday

Raise your hand is this is your favorite time of year! Me too!! I love the Christmas season. All that time with family, the traditions, the memories. I especially love it when I am not stressed about purchasing and wrapping gifts. This year was one of those years. I managed to get my act together early and purchased all the gifts by cyber Monday. I even had most of the stockings done by then too (which is no easy task). I would like to say I plan to do that every year but I'm a realist, it will probably never happen again. But luck was on my side in 2017 and I'm savoring the moment. 

It has been a fun and exciting couple of weeks. From traveling to the DC area for Thanksgiving to taking the train in the snow with Santa. We have had quite a bit of snow so far this year and managed to make our very first snowman! Well, first for me and the girls - Daddy is a professional. And while it can get a little boring when the weather gets cold and our activities get limited, we are (so far) loving the change in weather! There is something beautiful and magical about the seasons. We are excited for our first Christmas in Philly. 

In early December we hopped aboard the West Chester Railroad with Santa! Nikki and I booked this way back in September and got so lucky when it started snowing the morning of the train. It made driving a little slow going, and it was definitely chilly, but the ride on the train was beautiful! And just look at those photos! The girls had a great time singing Christmas carols and sipping hot chocolate on our 30 minute ride. And when we arrived we got to say hello to Santa! Daddy wasn't able to go with us that day, he was battling a wicked sinus infection. We sure missed him and can't wait to take him with us next year!

So excited Grandma, Aunt Nikki and Ryan came with us too!

trying to catch some snowflakes
all aboard!

Santa stopped by our seats to say hello!

playing in the snow and putting those new boots to use!

my bitty girl 

our house covered in snow!

selfie with H - he is beyond thrilled. 

All that snow was perfect for making a legit snowman - who the girls appropriately named Frosty. Charlotte and I worked super hard on his head while Daddy made the rest of him. I was impressed! And every morning the girls went out and checked on him, counting his buttons and readjusting his nose until he finally melted away. 

On one of the warmer nights we headed over to Sesame Place to experience A Very Furry Christmas. The decorations were amazing - various colored trees lined the entrance, a large tree that put on a light show to music was just inside the park, and a variety of other lights and decor were scattered throughout. And all the shows had a fun Christmas theme. We rode a few rides, watched the Elmo show (our favorite) and braved the cold air for a few more rides before heading home. It was a lot of fun! 

hey I can see ur tonsils!!! 

In mid December our elf Jinx joined us for adventures and fun. He was a little uninspired this year and didn't get into many mischievous activities while visiting. He seemed to just putt putt around the house and in each of our rooms. I didn't get very many pictures of him this year - but we all had fun looking for him each morning.
day 1!

a few more Jinx adventures. Jammies and swinging from the ceiling. 

On the last day of school before break the whole school put on a little production of the birth of Jesus. Charlotte was one of the angels. Norah and her classmates were the sheep. They worked so hard practicing for weeks and did a wonderful job! Charlotte and her classmates sang so many beautiful songs. Matt and I were so very proud of both girls! I could not stop smiling the entire time. 

Charlotte with two of her best school friends. 

And our final event of the holiday season was Matt's work Christmas party. Actually it was an ugly sweater, white elephant gift Christmas party. We store bought our shirts, but I had a little fun with my hair. I didn't win ugliest outfit - but after seeing everyone all decked out this year I am inspired and already thinking up some fun outfits for 2018!

the best worst outfits!

And finally, just a few more fun photos over the last few weeks!

exploring the mall and running a few errands with my baby girl
LOVE LOVE LOVE this movie!! 

lunch with my girls!

teacher gifts this year - water tumblers

piano lessons with Dad.