Friday was our last full day together and I booked our crew a reservation for a wagon ride at Lazy 5 Ranch in Mooresville, North Carolina. We visited Lazy 5 years ago when Chase was a toddler and I had a feeling it would be a hit with our animal-loving gang on Friday. A wagon meanders through 3.5 miles of land and visitors can see and feed more than 750 animals from 6 different continents, including cows, pigs, deer, antelope, birds, sheep, goats and even giraffes!
It was chilly on Friday and we were grateful for the blankets and jackets we brought along on the wagon ride. We had a great time feeding the animals and laughing at the animals who were especially brave, inserting their large heads and long tongues between us on the wagon.
The kids were really into it as well — even the littlest members of our family — and we agreed Lazy 5 was a great way to spend our afternoon!
(I love this pic of Chase and my dad. I swear Chase was in heaven and thought he was on a Pop playdate during my parents’ entire visit.)
We spent the rest of our Friday eating Thanksgiving leftovers, puzzling, coloring the giant cardboard playhouse I got for the kids, exploring the little island near our house (the one that’s walkable since the lake is currently so low!) and enjoying our last evening together.
Our family planned to scoot out on Saturday morning to avoid heavier holiday traffic on Sunday (they all remember horrific traffic returning to Florida from the mountains on the Sunday after Thanksgiving a few years ago) and we spent Saturday morning helping everyone get out the door. By 10 a.m. everyone was on the road and our family was ready to pile into the car to get our Christmas tree!
We were blown away by the trees at Josh’s Farmer’s Market and when we commented on how beautiful and full they all looked, a man working at the farmer’s market said they are the best trees they’ve seen in several years. They were stunning and we didn’t have any trouble finding a 9-foot tree that called to us!
By the time we made it home and got the tree into our living room, we were hungry and dug into lunch before bundling up for a family bike ride.
We rode to a little neighborhood park where the boys had a blast playing in the trees, swinging on the swings and exploring the little hidden trails.
As we biked home, the big kids loved flying through the leaf piles in the street which made me and Ryan smile and remember for the one millionth time how awesome it is to be a kid. There’s something about kids (and dogs!) that always serves to remind me to remember the little joys in life like leaf piles, sunny days and a great climbing tree.
Saturday evening looked like picking up my car (we took it in earlier in the day for new tires and an alignment), a quick stop at the grocery store, Thanksgiving leftovers and movie night!
We’re getting a jump start on some holiday movie favorites this year and watched The Grinch for the first time this season. Our kids are not the bravest when it comes to movies (even a lot of Disney movies are still too spooky for Ryder and Rhett) but the 2018 version of The Grinch was a huge hit! (We streamed it on Amazon Prime.) The big kids cracked up throughout the movie and Ryan and I love it, too! Even Rhett sat still cuddled up in my arms for the movie and liked it. A win all around.
Sunday morning began with waffles, indoor football and Christmas stories on the couch before it was time to head off to the 9:30 a.m. church service.
After church, we made our way to Lowe’s to pick up lots of lights for our Christmas tree. I wasn’t feeling the lights we used last year and am a bit of a psycho about lights looking too white/blue (I prefer an old school golden glow) so we loaded up our cart with my favorite lights and a few more odds and ends because Ryan cannot be stopped at Lowe’s.
After lunch at home, we decorated our tree and I love it so much!
Also, I will recommend the ornament storage box I bought last year for all the years to come because it’s been such a game changer.
It truly made decorating our tree this year a breeze — no unwrapping individual ornaments and everything remained in-tact and unbroken. Win!
Once our tree was up, the boys were ready for some outside time, so they played on the beach near our house with Ryan while I made a big pot of turkey soup with the final remains of our Thanksgiving turkey and knocked out a little online shopping.
In case you’re nosy like me, here’s what I bought over the weekend when basically everything on the internet was on sale (and still is for one more day):
Gifts (I am not going to specify who these are for to try to keep things a little bit of a surprise for loved ones over here): Dohm White Noise Machine / Bentgo Kids Lunchbox / Anthropologie Mini Hair Clips + Beaded Bracelets + Maeve Fuzzy Slippers / Rifle Paper Co. Stitched Notebooks + Nutcracker Puzzle + Holiday Candle Set / Satin Bow Barrette / Christmas Chickens Sweatshirt / BOMBAS Socks / Mini Claw Clips
For the boys: Western Chief Rain Boots / Cotton Day Crew Socks / Crayola Twistables Crayons / New Balance Slip-On Sneakers (the next size up in our boys’ favorite sneakers — they reach for these over all others) /French Toast Joggers (another great find for slim kids) / Nerf Guns / Turtle Ornament / Hand-Painted Pet Ornament (of Pepper for Ryder this year!) / Crocs / Metal Racer Remote Control Cars / Reversible Reindeer Plush
Personal buys (aka my daily staples I stocked up and a few things I couldn’t resist): ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Naked Cleansing Balm + ELEMIS Resurfacing Pads / Philips Sonicare Toothbrush (my electric toothbrush recently died a slow death and needed replacing) / Target Velvet Bow Barrette (in black) / Pilcro High-Rise Taper Jeans / Tarte Blush Tape + Shape Tape
We then did the whole evening routine — baths, pajamas, stories and bed! Thanksgiving break flew by for our family and it’s back to our usual weekday routine this morning. The holiday season is officially in full swing! I hope you all have a great week!