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Ok, so as you can probably tell, we’ve been listening to Christmas music just a bit over here.  Our (I guess I have to use the term our losely, I have decided it also includes Parks and the dogs but Andrew definitely is not included:() favorite christmas album has to be Hanson “Snowed In”  This has been my favorite since probably high school and I project will continue to be my favorite christmas album until the end of time ever.

Now, while I love listening to Christmas music, I’m not one of those people who can’t wait until Thanksgiving because we have to get out the Christmas decorations.  I actually figured out this year that our Christmas decorations consist of:

  • a christmas tree
  • ornaments & star for the tree
  • christmas stockings
  • a nativity scene
  • christmas books
  • a children’s nativity scene (for Parks to play with)

the end.

So, it’s possible that we might decorate as much for Christmas as the Grinch.  But, that doesn’t mean I don’t love this season!  Especially with Parker in tow, we are starting so many new fun holiday traditions that I thought would be fun to share with you all:

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1.  Playing with the nativity scene.  So far it seems her favorite “character” is the angel, followed closely by baby Jesus.  She does seem to think that being on top of the stable is far superior to being in it, so she makes sure everyone gets a chance at this prime piece of real estate.  Since she loves it so much she’s getting a touch and feel Christmas Story book in her stocking (shh don’t tell…)

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2. Wearing Christmas jammies.  Every year, our family gets christmas jammies (although Parks is the only one who’s jammies have a christmas theme).  Then on Christmas eve we all wear them as we wait for Santa to arrive!  It’s such a fun tradition and an awesome way to trade out some worn and tired pjs

icm_fullxfull.34062803_z9djmfh54cgw440co4wo3.  A new Christmas Ornament.  Every year growing up, each kid would get to pick out one new ornament for our tree.  It was so much fun to pull them out of the box in subsequent years and remember when we had picked them out.  Parks didn’t get to pick her own out this year, but we made sure she’ll have one to remember her 1st Christmas by!

IMG_37464.  We also made ornaments this year!  While I know her little hand won’t always fit on an ornament, I hope creating some sort of Christmas Craft will be a tradition we continue every year.

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5. Christmas Cards!!!  This is probably one of my most favorite things to do every year (and receive, please send me a christmas card, ok?).  I love sending out cards to all our friends and family and getting awesome cards in the mail (who doesn’t love mail right?)

We have a few things left on the list to do before Christmas as far as traditions go, but I’ll share them with you as we get to them (if we don’t do them, they won’t be traditions until next year I guess.)

 

What traditions do your family do for the holidays?

Any suggestions on other holiday traditions we have to try?

What is your favorite Christmas CD?

Do you love Hanson as much as I do?

 

 

So you know that song Some Nights by Fun that was popular like 2 years ago and was thus overplayed like a lot? Well I still love that song. It’s awesome. And those of you who don’t think so (cough entire family and husband cough) can just deal with that. So there.

We started our trip down to bald head island for thanksgiving vacation last night by listening to, you guessed it, some nights on the radio. Which was promptly followed by another song that apparently I am the only one who still likes (except if that was true, would they still play it on hits 1 on the radio, I think not) Roar. Since I was driving, I laid claim to the radio and insisted that they all become a little more cultured by listening along, haha.

We’re finishing up our drive today, with this amazing view.

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I know, you’re totally jealous right?

Here’s to hoping for an uneventful and quick rest of trip, some better pictures to share with you when we get there, and some more great songs on the radio while we travel(I’m thinking I will walk 500 miles?)!
Oh, and that this little one will continue the trip just like she started it (such a good little traveler)

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What are your Thanksgiving plans?

Favorite traveling song?

When you’re traveling, do you like being the driver or passenger?

Today, I rebecame (it’s totally a word), an official Pennsylvania resident.  Well at least temporarily for the next 15 days while they decide if my picture matches that of a wanted terrorist, bank robber or identity thief.

Obviously, Parker and I spent our morning at the DMV.  It was actually a relatively quick and pleasant visit once we got there.  I had my first ever issue with Google Maps on the way and our 15-20 minute drive ended up being an hour long drive = ugh.  Amazingly apple maps was easily able to get us there (yet another surprise for the day).  Also, please don’t judge me based upon this photo.  This is very dirty hair, plus slightly unhappy baby and I can’t quiet get my head to be at the angle the photographer wants me to have it at photo.  The first one was amazingly better, but apparently wasn’t able to be used for my license.  Granted, either is a step up from the mug shot I had on my Delaware license (no smiling in Delaware – don’t you even dare to try)

By the time we got home, Parks was ready for a nap so I took the opportunity to clean up the house and rake up some leaves.  While I was raking, Andrew pulled up!  He left work early to spend the afternoon with Parker and I 🙂  Parker was very excited to see him when she woke up from her nap, and I have to say I loved having Daddy home for the day too!

We had a nice lunch together, played together on the floor and then took advantage of Starbucks but one get one on holiday drinks this week.  I feel like life is always better when we’re all together so this extra time was definitely appreciated.

In other news, Parker has definitely mastered the hissyfit.  I’m not sure that’s supposed to happen at 7.5 months but the other day I was trying to take a video of her happy morning self (of all things!) and so she couldn’t have my phone.  This is the video I ended up with

Pathetic right?  I feel like starting this early cannot be a good thing… oh dear…

Finally, I made the most amazing cookies yesterday.  Toll house now sells a bag of peanut butter and milk chocolate chips mixed together in the same bag.  I followed my usual recipe but they turned out absolutely wonderful.  I was about to take a picture to show you when my phone died, and lets be honest this cookie is not going to last until when my phone is undead so you’ll just have to trust me on this one.  Fan-Freakin-Tabulous.  Just another reason why I’m glad PA doesn’t list your weight on your license (Delaware does – how weird is that?)

Do you like your drivers license picture?  What’s your favorite type of cookie?  Favorite Starbucks holiday beverage?

So you know how we had an Olive Garden night a little while ago and I promised to share the amazing recipes? (I promise they’re way better than even going to Olive Garden, especially since you get to keep the leftovers).

Now I’m gonna be honest, both times I’ve made this we’ve ended up crowing down so fast I don’t have a picture. Maybe next time?

First up, these breadsticks. Probably, definitely not in any way healthy for you but definitely wonderful. I followed the recipe exactly as is.

Next, I loosely followed this recipe for Zuppa Tuscana soup (my Olive Garden fave). I substituted spicy chicken sausage (trader joes brand) for the regular sausage and turkey bacon for regular bacon. I also attempted this time to use Greek yogurt instead of whipping cream, which I don’t recommend trying (lesson learned).

Finally the salad. My mother in law bought Andrew and I some legit Olive Garden salad dressing like a year ago (I’m
hoping it’s not expired…). I added some romaine, tomatoes and onion(I’m not a fan of olives so I left those out) and topped with some Parmesan cheese. My only regret was that I didn’t make more! 1 bowl was not enough.

Moving on to my other copycat of the day- this little goober.

I realized today just how much she loves to copy me throughout the day. From drinking my tea, to stealing my sunglasses to eating my food(eating the same exact food that is given to her is not quiet the same..) this little one is copying me.

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She might actually go beyond the whole copying thing considering she much prefers the food I’m about to put in my mouth to the seemingly identical food she has in front of her, and obviously my water tastes better than hers.

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Which is actually a bit scary. I guess I better keep it together, cause she’s kinda a big deal you know.

This face

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is the face of a baby who slept in until 11am this morning!

I have to say, I think this is a girl who knows how to take care of her mama. I’ve been absolutely exhausted since this weekend and a few extra hours of sleep was exactly what I needed. (Obviously she didn’t mind either!)

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Isn’t she the best?

Once we got up, Parks and I made the most of our day by:
-Making and eating some banana chocolate chip and cinnamon apple pancakes

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Yum…
-cleaning the house a bit (vacuuming and laundry etc.)

-a trip to Starbucks with Aunt Steff for a much needed pumpkin spice latte

-our weekly grocery shopping trip to Trader Joes

-a quick 3 mile run around the neighborhood (apparently neighborhood runs are very relaxing for this little one)

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– followed by an early bed time for the baby(she was exhausted) and an amazing Olive Garden copycat homemade dinner (I’ll share it with you soon, let’s just say that I may never have to eat at Olive Garden again)

All in all, Id say it was a wonderful day:)

This week, I decided to stop making excuses and start running fast again. Since I started running after Parker was born, it’s been, “I just had a baby __ months ago” or “well I’m running with the baby jogger so…” But now it’s time to stop, suck it up and push myself.

Fast forward to Friday, when Parkie and I went for a 4 mile run at our fav running spot. It was an awesome day to get fast because:

1) As I was walking to the start of the trail, a large group of high school xc runner ran past us. Nothing like a little competition to speed you up. We followed them for the first 1.5 miles (when they turned around :()

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2) Parker has stopped sleeping while I run, and has started watching. I love listening to her giggle and yell as we run. As an added bonus, she now feels that she needs to “hang on” which makes me feel mega speedy.

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3) When we finished, I noticed that there was another trail going uphill that had been decorated with jack o lanterns – just the excuse I needed to do some hill sprints!

After our run, Parker and I went to my sisters homecoming football game.  Audrey is a senior and was on the homecoming court.  Obviously, we had to go to show our support (even though it was well past someones bed time).  During our brief time at the game we decided a few things:

1) High schoolers are crazy – sauce

actually that basically sums it up.  Between hitting people with balloons, random awwws, girls wearing kitty cat ears (to show support for the girl on homecoming court named kitty) and the condemned section of the bleachers (just the last few rows, obviously the other rows connected to them were totally safe…) I decided that this will probably be my last high school football game of the year.

Ultimately, Kitty did win homecoming queen, but we’re still very proud of Audj.  Doesn’t she look beautiful?20131018-232151.jpg