I thought I’d be blogging a lot more during our holiday visit to see my family but, to be honest, traveling with two kids is a game-changer when it comes to finding time to blog. I used to be able to count on Chase’s nap time to blog when we travel but, with Ryder in the mix, my blogging windows are much smaller and I’m doing my best to roll with it. Life feels busier and more chaotic than ever but also so incredibly full.
When I find myself feeling guilty for not checking in on the blog or accomplishing pretty much anything other than just being a mom to my two kids, I try to remind myself that these baby and toddler days are so fleeting. I know I’ll never regret neglecting anything on my to-do list in favor of holding Ryder and kissing his chunky little thighs or curling up on the couch to read The Polar Express for the thousandth time with Chase. And I’ve been doing plenty of that over the past week!
I flew to Jacksonville with the boys last Thursday and Ryan and Sadie drove down to join us a few days later. This is what we did for Thanksgiving and since it worked so well, we decided to travel the same way for Christmas.
Since our arrival in Florida, we’ve filled our days with gingerbread house decorating, sugar cookie making, beach walks, church and more!
I even managed to make a quick day-trip to Orlando with Ryder to meet my friend Laurel’s beautiful baby boy and spend time with some of my closest friends from college.
I miss them tons and it was so good to have a day together, even if it did pass by in a flash.
And you better believe we’ve been spending as much time as possible with our niece, Callie! I cannot believe how much she’s grown since Thanksgiving and her smiles just melt our hearts.
Oh but before you get the impression that the holiday season with two little babies and a three-year-old in the mix is all perfectly sweet and dreamy, I’ll just go ahead and share this pic right here:
It is absolutely wonderful but there are absolutely moments when everyone is losing their minds at the same time… adults included! Ha!
But back to Christmas!
My mom, yet again, poured her heart into making our Christmas a wonderful one from outfitting our family in matching pajamas to making some of our favorite holiday dishes on Christmas morning — cheese puff casserole and monkey bread!
(In case you’re wondering what a three-year-old looks like when you tell him he has to stop playing with his new toys for 2.5 seconds for a quick family photo, check out Chase in the above picture.)
This Christmas was a special one because it felt like the first year Chase really understood the whole Santa thing. He was a little nervous about the thought of Santa visiting our house at night but felt reassured when we told him Santa wouldn’t come in his room and he was totally safe. On Christmas morning, he woke up wide-eyed and amazed at the gifts under the tree and was really excited about a note Santa left with his name on it.
My brother-in-law’s mother, Susan, joined our gang (matching pajamas and all — she’s such a good sport) and arrived at my parents’ place with Leslie, Ross, Callie and Kona (their chocolate lab) a little after 8 a.m.
(Quality photo bomb by Ross!)
Sadie was ready for her morning nap when they arrived and happily joined a snoozing Callie on the couch.
On Christmas afternoon, things got a little competitive when a gingerbread house competition took place this year!
Ryan and I took some time to decorate one house while Leslie and Ross decorated another. Parent duty called so neither duo finished and voting has yet to take place. Once we’re all done, I’m thinking I may turn to Instagram Stories to set up a voting poll to decide the winner. We’ll see!
Oh and Chase, my mom and I decorated this house earlier in the week:
Clearly we were feelin’ gingerbread house decorating this year!
As for the rest of our holiday Florida trip, we have a few fun things on the agenda including visits to a local nature center, Zoo Lights and The Kennedy Space Center. I hope you are all doing well and thanks so much for taking a minute to stop by the blog today!