Monday, December 30, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

My goal was to get my Christmas post on this blog before New Year's!  I am playing catch up from all the Christmas fun.  I'm always so sad to see Christmas over.  I love it and all the fun that comes along with it.  Soooo, lets rewind and relive all of our Christmas fun starting with the Friday before Christmas...
Friday, December 20:
Could we really call it a Christmas holiday without a trip to the doctor??  I think not and low and behold Cohen woke up Friday with a bad croup cough.  I would know that cough anywhere as we get it at least once a year.  I just can't believe she went the whole first half of the school year without missing one day.  I just knew we would get more sickness being at school but surprisingly we haven't and I'm thankful.  I was also thankful because croup is usually treated fairly quickly.  It was later in the morning when I really noticed her cough so I quickly called Dr. Setia and off to Athens we went.  I had planned to shop Friday afternoon in Athens anyway so this was just a little detour.  Suzy went with me and we made it work.  Cohen had a slight fever and I was out of Tylenol so I had to stop for that and after that fever went away she was much better.  In the meantime Suzy would go in a store to shop then come out to the car for me to go in.  Not the most fun way to shop but we made it work.  I was so far behind that we had to make it work.  That night we were supposed to have our family Christmas in Athens with Nana.  I was worried about Cohen not feeling well but the Tylenol really did the trick along with the steroid.  She did great and we had a lot of fun at Nana's.  We did skip out on going to the church service.  I kept Cohen, Savannah, and Kate at Nana's while everyone else went.  When they came back the girls were anxious for presents.  Cohen got a beautiful sweater from Nana and a book.  Kate got a book and a new hat/gloves set.  Of course you know my girls were all about the books.  Throughout the evening I think I got pictures of Cohen reading to Savannah, Kate, and Addison.  She is definitely my little book worm.  I may have mentioned this before but it is SO amazing to hear her read!  She has learned so fast and does so GOOD at it!  I am so proud of her, even though it makes me sad to think she may not want us to read to her soon because she can read to us!  Luckily she seems to love having us still read so I'm good with it :)  Watching her learn is just so much fun.
Playing school...reading to Savannah

New sweater from Nana!

Reading her new Frozen book to Kate
Reading it to Addison
I don't have any pictures from Saturday but we had a fun day!  Cohen had a morning playdate with Brooke and Savannah at Savannah's so we caught up on housework and did grocery shopping.  That night we had a Christmas party with all of our friends that night and it was a blast.  We look forward to that every year at Christmas.  The girls had so much fun playing with all their friends.  Kate really took up with Ella Grace!  Josie came home and spent the night with us.  Cohen always loves having her BFF here with us.  We will have to do it again before the holidays are over.
Sunday was a fun party at church!  The kids got to have a birthday party for Jesus and make some pretty ornaments for their trees.  They also got to play a fun game where you have a team of 3 kids, 2 are the reindeer and one is Santa.  The goal was for the 2 reindeer to pull Santa on his sleigh and cross the finish line before the other 2 teams.  Here is a picture of Cohen, Brooke, and Josie getting ready for their turn.  It was so cute to watch!

Sunday we did more shopping in Commerce on our way to our Christmas in Gainesville with Grannie, Papa, Aunt Vicki, and Aunt Danette.  It was a rainy mess but we knocked out a little more.  We had a blast celebrating with everyone in Gainesville too!  The girls got so many great things and so did Kelly & I.  Everyone in Gainesville really knows how to spoil us all!  Cohen & Savannah were so funny to watch.  They both got Discovery laptops and they thought that was a big deal!  Savannah even said, "I can't believe my eyes...a laptop!"   Cohen was fascinated with her new lego set, the high school!  She kept telling everyone that she had a new Lego set with 478 pieces!  When she saw that it was actually 487 she was blown away even more...those 9 pieces she left out of her original number make a lot of difference. haha!  She started to work on it the very next day and had it all put together in about 2 days!   We are convinced she may be an architect!  haha!   Kate opened a kitty cat hat & gloves set from Aunt Danette and she put it on immediately...gloves still attached to the hat and all.  I think that was her most favorite gift!  She was still a little worn out from her late night before and I caught her laying down on her new blocks box.   It was definitely a big start to Christmas for us!

                            Kate with her new book                  Cohen was so excited about this big bag!

Kate with her new kitty hat
So tired....
Monday I had 2 more stores to run to so I did that first thing that morning.  I wanted to be back as quick as possible to spend time doing fun Christmas things with the girls.  We made cookies which was almost a disaster!  Bebe had to come over quick to fix the problem we were having since it was her recipe, and sure enough it helps to put the flour in the dough....hmmmm.  Disaster averted and the cookies were great :)
That night we decided to make some hot chocolate and take some of our cookies and go see Christmas lights.  We picked Jessica up at the Pizza Shack when she got off and we all went walking around downtown Lavonia.  They have put up new lights this year and the girls really enjoyed walking around to see them all.  Not to mention having hot chocolate and cookies and being snuggled up in the stroller.  I loved doing something so simple but so fun too.
Best part of the cookies...batter.  And yes it tastes good with no flour in it...

Looking at the lights...Cohen is showing off her ice skating move too.

Snuggled up in their jammies!
Tuesday was Christmas Eve!  Cohen was so excited to tear off the last link on her Christmas chain that she had brought home from school.  The only sad part about Christmas Eve was having to say goodbye to our elf Emma.   I have to say I hate that too.  I don't like things to end :(  I'm way too sentimental...its sad.  We had a nice day at home though and enjoyed ourselves. Cohen and I made a gingerbread house, and I decided that foam gingerbread houses are not my favorite :) However, making something with her is my favorite so we made it fun.   That night was our Christmas Eve service at church.  I always look forward to this because it so calm and quiet and just peaceful.  It also is a great time to just stop and realize what this whole season is about.  As I get older I really appreciate that more and more.  After the church service I always like to make a quick stop by the cemetery.  Christmas is so full of memories...making them and remembering the ones that have been made and for me my Daddy is such a huge part of those.  I miss him so much...all year really but at Christmas I get emotional because I can't help but wonder what he is doing on this special day.  I always visualize this HUGE party going on in heaven for Jesus :)  I can only imagine what it looks like and for some reason I think of him and the front row seat he had along with my other family members there.  I guess we all have our own spin on things!  ha!  I also like to visit the cemetery at night on Christmas eve because it is usually clear and open and when you look at the stars you can try to think back to what it must have been like on that Christmas Eve for Mary & Joseph.  Maybe I'm just a deep thinker!
Christmas Eve night we also always go to Larry & Lydia's for a special dinner.  Lydia goes all out and it is always so good!  Kate was starting to run a fever and get stuffed up so I knew a cold was coming on.  Just in time for Christmas of course!  We all got to open ornaments from Aunt Vicki.  She always puts so much thought in just the perfect ornament for everyone and they are always so beautiful.  Kelly got his GA series ornament that we all LOVE!  I also got a GA ornament that was so cute!  This year we actually had our first GA tree in the house.  Aunt Vicki has supplied all of the ornaments just about!  It was great though...a white tree decorated in all red & black!  The girls got initial ornaments that were precious!  I love this tradition!  These ornaments are some of my favorite gifts from the entire Christmas.  Pop read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" to everyone and then we had to pack up to come home so we could get the cookies ready for Santa.  Kate crashed in the car before I could even give her some Tylenol but she slept so good all night.  Cohen was so excited!  She left out her cookies, waved goodbye to Emma, and then headed to bed.
The finished product while everything was still sticking!
Pretty table decorations
This is Cohen's one tooth smile :)  She does it A LOT!  That other tooth is loose though so it won't be long before we really have a snaggle tooth!

Her new ornament!
Pop reading the book to everyone
Cookies for Santa!
Santa has come!
Christmas morning had finally arrived!  Kelly and I were up first because we actually set an alarm since we had breakfast to cook too.  The girls still enjoy their sleep :)  We started breakfast and it wasn't long before I heard Cohen.  I had to stop her real fast because Kelly likes to video the girls coming into the living room.  Kate was feeling pretty bad so we knew we wouldn't get much out of her at first.  Cohen was so excited though.  She came into the room and her eyes were just looking at it all!  She went right to looking at her stuff.  She said, "I got everything on my list!" which was great to hear since the list had a tendency of changing.  She is like her mama though...she went for the stocking first pretty quickly.  Kate didn't understand until later that morning that there were things inside the stocking too.  It wasn't long before Auntie P, Brock, and Devin had come and we all ate breakfast together.  Suzy, Denny, and Nanny stopped in to see what Santa had brought and so did Sug, Pop, Aunt Vicki, and Uncle Davis.  It was a busy morning but a fun one.  Kelly had been planning to try out his turkey fryer that he had got for his birthday.  It was delicious!  I see many more of these in our future.
Santa came for Cohen!
Santa came for Kate!

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She loved her glasses!


In goes the turkey!
We headed to Sug & Pop's house at lunch.  We all ate lunch and then opened presents.  There was more goodies to enjoy!  We were there until later that afternoon then headed to Bebe's to spend Christmas night there.  It was more yummy food!!  Holidays really bring great meals don't they!?  We opened presents with Bebe, Auntie P, Devin, Chance and Brock.  Cohen was so excited to get a new American Girl, Saige!  One thing I really enjoyed this year was how Cohen was excited to watch everyone else open their gifts.  She stayed on me all day to open my gifts from her, Kate, and Daddy. She was even into making sure Dooley opened his treats!  I hope that this only grows each year and we have to make sure of it.  I want her to always realize how fun it is to give.  I know thats a lot for a child though but I'll take it :)  We really had such a great day and were very blessed.  I love being able to be with my family and to see excitement all over my kids faces!

Happy...sitting with Pop and has a sucker

Kissing on Daddy!
Later that night...opening Minnetonkas from Mama & Daddy
We did our last Christmas celebration on Thursday with my family.  We all went to Suzy & Denny's to celebrate with everyone.  It capped off our wonderful Christmas!  Now for the clean up to begin...

Suzy & Nanny

Monday, December 23, 2013


Last Sunday I headed to Charlotte to meet up with my BF Jessica and away to New York we went!  Jessica is getting married next summer and we decided since she has never been to NYC, we would have a fun WAIF weekend!  Tina took the train in from Pennsylvania and Tara was already in the city waiting on us to arrive!  What a fun trip we had!  Jessica & I started our trip off with a laugh with our taxi ride.  Its always an adventure with us!  When we made it to our hotel Tina & Tara were waiting on us and we knew our room as soon as we stepped off the elevator...
On the plane
Enjoying our expensive cab ride...

Arrived at our room!!
Sunday night we headed to dinner at Tortilla Flat.  I think we were all starving because we actually got there really early.  It was delicious!!  We had dinner and stayed for their trivia night.  It was a fun fun night.
Our first attempt at a group picture in the elevator

Since waifs love bikes this was a definite photo opp
What are the odds?! Our waitress had on a UGA shirt

Blurry, but Tina found some Ravens gloves!
Monday we got up, got ready, and headed for breakfast.  Tara was the best...she would find restaurants for us and all we had to do was get ready and head out.  After breakfast we got started with a lot of walking to see the city.  We started with a stop at Macys...

...then we headed into Times Square stopping in any stores we felt necessary:)  We had to go into Toys-R-Us to see the enormous Ferris wheel inside the store.  We then made our way to Rockefeller Plaza.  We were anxious to get our first glimpse of the big tree!   It is so big but the best view is of course at night when the lights are so beautiful!

From Rockefeller Center we made a stop at St. Patrick's Cathedral, the American Girl store, and then had to see all the amazing windows at Saks and Bergdorf.  The Bergdorf windows were my favorite.  Each window had a holiday theme...Halloween, Valentine's Day, 4th of July, April Fool's Day, and Arbor Day.  Not all the most popular holidays but these windows were amazing.  The pictures do not do any justice at all!

St. Patricks...there was a lot of renovations going on so this is all I took.

The Holidays on Ice windows at Bergdorf Goodman...So pretty!

Valentine's Day

April Fool's

We made a stop at FAO Swartz then made our way to Central Park.  This was so pretty so I have lots of pics!  After leaving the park we went into the plaza for a quick stop then caught a cab back to Rockefeller Center.  It was getting darker and the tree was looking even more beautiful.  This was definitely one of my favorite things from the trip!
The Plaza
Plaza lobby

Central Park

One of our many "selfie" stops!
Hailing her first cab...or standing there while Tina gets one

So many beautiful lights
We had tickets to see the Rockettes that night.  This show was FABULOUS!  It was another favorite of mine on the trip.  They were so good!  The entire show was great and I hope to see it again one day.  You weren't allowed to take pictures of the show but I did snap a couple on my phone.  The live nativity at the end was incredible so I had to try to get that!  I can't say enough about how great it was.  
Inside Radio City Music Hall

The Live Nativity at the end of the was beautiful

Rockettes costume history

While Tina & Tara get a cab...we take another selfie!

A look into Times Square at night

We had a great dinner after the show then headed back to our hotel to crash.  All that walking makes for some tired waifs.  The hotel had hot chocolate and cookies each day and we really loved this little treat too!
Tuesday we were up ready to go again.  This day we woke up to snow!!  It snowed most of the day and we loved it.   We had breakfast then took the Subway down to the Staten Island Ferry.  We were going to try to get a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty.  We got lucky and were able to see her.  The pictures show how snowy and foggy it was.  We could see better than the pictures show.  It was very neat.  And out of all my trips to NYC this was my first Subway ride!
We loved seeing the Christmas trees for sale on the sidewalks

Our breakfast stop

You can see in this picture how hard it is snowing
Subway selfie!  Just bought our first ride!

Leaving on the can see the snow and fog

Lady Liberty through the snow

After we got off the ferry we made our way to Starbucks!  Nothing like a warm mocha as you walk through the snowy streets!  We went to Wall St. then onto the 911 Memorial.  The last time I was in NY the site was still in the clean up process so seeing the pools was nice.  It still hurts to think of all the lives lost on that day.  I have to say that those memorial pools are so peaceful and calming and in the midst of such a big city that is nice.  I look forward to going back when the museum is complete.

The original Capitol
Waifs & Washington

The North Pool

South Pool

Loved this pic that Tara took
 We had to head back to the hotel at this point so we could thaw out and dry out.  Snow doesn't sit on those busy sidewalks very turns to water.  I didn't have on rain boots this point my feet were starting to get cold and wet.  We got to the hotel to change and then Jessica & I headed out for a little more shopping.  A couple of hours later we headed back and all headed out for another yummy dinner.  We even made a donut stop afterwards.  I would say we had quite a memorable trip to the city.  I love my waifs and our trips are always such a blast.  So thankful for each one of them!

Our dinner spot

Wednesday we headed back home.  It was a fun trip but I was so excited when I got to see my babies, and my sweet hubby!!