Christmas {2016}

Merry Christmas! We have been having so much fun this week and I have so many pictures to share of all of our adventures with all of our visitors.

Before Christmas, we had our friends in town for a few days to play as they were on their way down to south Florida. I had to work until Friday, but Greg and the kids had a great time. They went to the Science Center, the park, and we made s’mores on the front porch after dinner one night.

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As the Mangos were leaving, my parents, Michael and Rachel were arriving for Christmas. I ran 10 miles with the girls on Christmas Eve before we were off to church in the afternoon for our candlelight service. My favorite.

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After putting milk, cookies, and carrots out for Santa and his reindeer, we woke up on Christmas morning to see what Santa brought and exchange gifts. We spent the rest of the day playing with our new toys, inside and outside.

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We headed to Light Up UCF on Tuesday to ice skate! It was the first time ice skating for the kids and the first time in a very long time ice skating for the rest of us. Crosby didn’t like it, but Kenley loved it! We went back out a second time and it was hard to pull her away.

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On Thursday, we got to meet up with our friends who were visiting from Canada! We had a perfect morning. We had breakfast at Townhouse, then went strawberry picking!

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The rest of the week included drinks at the Brass Tap, dinner at Tijuana, gelati at Jeremiah’s, swimming, trips to the park, donut making, and shopping. We’ve had such a good week!

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We had a wonderful Christmas and a great week with family!

Family Photos {2016}

I was determined to make 2016 the year that we got family photos taken again. We hadn’t had them taken since Crosby was born three years ago! All of those photos still filled all of the frames in our house and while I treasure those pictures, I wanted updated ones so that I didn’t have to continue looking at myself just one week postpartum. Not to mention, the kids have changed SO much in three years. So, on my birthday this year, we headed to Baldwin Park for a mini-session with Ashley of Dearly Photography. I am over the moon with how many great shots she got of us in just 20 minutes.

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Thank you so much Ashley!

Christmas at Seaworld // 2016

Another item on our advent list this year was to see the Christmas lights and decorations at SeaWorld. We went last year for the first time and absolutely loved it. Instead of the Polar Express this year, the main attraction was Rudolph and friends. I was a little bummed that the Polar Express wasn’t back because it was really so cool last year, but Rudolph was a nice change of pace and something new for us to see.

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Unfortunately, it was pushing 90 degrees when we arrived. Nothing says happy holidays like sweating like crazy walking around to look at the decorations. Luckily, when the sun went down it was a little better, but it was still really humid.

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We only rode a couple of rides since the lines were a little long. The kids could have looked at the train display all day. We watched them go around and around during the day and then again at night when they were all lit up. It’s such a cool display.

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We were ready for the Sea of Trees show which had a cute little introduction and skit before the light show started. Crosby joined the other kids to sing a Christmas carol and was asked to participate in the show!

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The show did not disappoint and Crosby did such a good job ringing the bell. He was all about it! After the show, we headed over to see the Rudolph in the Christmas village.

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The line for Rudolph and Clarice was a bit long, so we met Bumble instead before we walked around to see the lights.

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The park was beautifully decorated and the lights were amazing. We had such a great time once again this year.

advent calendar activities {2016}

Welcome to another season of Pinterest Christmas!

Pinterest Christmas

My first project for the year was to come up with activities to fill the buckets of our diy advent calendar. I am so excited for all of our fun activities this month. When I sit down to make the list of activities, I always have my calendar out so I know what fun things we already have planned so I can fill those buckets first. Next, I fill in the remaining weekend days since those days are good for more time-intensive activities. I fill in the remaining days with activities that worked well in the past, or with new ideas from Pinterest. This year, my friend Lindsey shared her list with me, so I borrowed some of her ideas to mix in some new ones.

{1} Find Sprinkles the Elf [on the Shelf]
{2} Mail Christmas cards
{3} Go to Disney Springs to see the Christmas decorations
{4} Build a gingerbread house
{5} Make reindeer chow
{6} Have snowflake pancakes for dinner
{7} Get a blizzard at DQ
{8} Wear Christmas pajamas and read Christmas books
{9} Listen to Christmas music
{10} Build a “sand” man at the beach
{11} Donate toys and clothes to others
{12} Kenley shops for Crosby’s gift
{13} Drink hot chocolate with marshmallows
{14} Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas cartoon
{15} Make a Lego Christmas ornament
{16} Family movie night: The Polar Express
{17} Crosby shops for Kenley’s gift
{18} Go to Sea World to see the Christmas lights
{19} String popcorn for the Christmas tree
{20} Drive around and look at Christmas lights
{21} Celebrate Christmas with friends
{22} Roast marshmallows over the fire and makes s’mores
{23} Make Christmas cookies for Santa
{24} Go to the Christmas Eve service at church

Some activities are small compared to others, but I don’t want to over commit ourselves or feel like we are rushing from one thing to the next. The point is to enjoy the Christmas season together as a family and that is what we intend to do! You can see our previous activities here and here.

Keep an eye out for other fun projects coming soon as part of Pinterest Christmas and don’t forget to check out Misha’s projects at Emerald City Diaries.

You can also see past Pinterest Christmas projects here.

Happy December!

Field Trip to the Farm

On Kenley’s birthday, we all took a field trip to the farm! Thankfully, the preschool and VPK classes went on the same day, which meant Greg and I could both go too! This was Crosby’s first field trip…I’m still not sure how he’s old enough to go on a field trip…and Kenley’s second field trip. She was so excited that it landed on her birthday too, just another fun thing to do in the month of October!

We put the kids on their respective buses and Greg and I followed behind in our car enjoying some quiet time together. We went to Green Meadows which is an animal farm and petting zoo. We saw all sorts of animals, rode the train, went on a hayride, and picked a pumpkin at the end of the trip. It was an action packed three hours and we got tons of pictures of everything we did.

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It was such a fun day!

Brick or Treat 2016 

In the midst of our crazy month of October, I put Legoland on our calendar since they were hosting Brick or Treat. We had never been to this event before so I figured it was a good excuse to get down there. Along with trick or treating in the park, the fireworks show was scheduled to start at 8pm, so we took our time getting out of the house. The kids ended up taking a nap in the car on the way there which was great!

We arrived at the park around 1:30pm and we could already tell that it was more busy that it normally is. Of the few times we had been to the park, we haven’t seen any of the shows, so we started with the Lego Movie 4D show. The kids really liked it! We rode some rides and checked out the new Ninjago figures for the new ride opening soon.

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To be completely honest, the first couple hours were a struggle. There was a lot of whining, complaining, and threatening, but once we decided to change into their Halloween costumes, the mood totally changed. After being a little scared of the giant Lego mummy, they got their picture with him and we were off to Brick or Treat!

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We also had to get our picture with the pirate Lego man since Greg and I were sporting our shirts. We originally had gotten the shirts for pirate night on the cruise, but they worked out well for this trip too!

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The weather was absolutely gorgeous since we went on the coolest weekend of the month.

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The little path was lined with the most adorable Halloween Legos. I really want one of these guys for our yard next year!

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We grabbed some dinner and rode a few more rides before the fireworks started. Crosby loved playing in the waiting areas building Legos while Kenley rode the rides that he couldn’t.

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We were all handed our 3D glasses for the fireworks show which turned out to be amazing! The glasses made it seem like there were Lego bricks bursting in the sky with each firework. It was really cool.

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We had such a great time at Brick or Treat! The kids each came home with a new Lego set as part of their birthday presents so the fun continued the next day when we got to build them. Hopefully we’ll be back next year!