Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Happy Birthday Andy!!!

We had a great time celebrating Andy's birthday this year. It helped that it was on a Friday and we could have some friends over to help celebrate. While we didn't get snow (which for awhile there was a regular December 5 occurrence) we did have mild enough temps to enjoy a fire on the deck. We had a great spread with some tasty appetizers, a meat lovers lasagna, and a strawberry cake - per the birthday boy's request. 

A fun celebration for our wonderful December birthday boy!! :) 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Getting Festive...

I say it every year and I'll say it again - decorating the house for Christmas is one of my favorite things to do. Pulling out all the boxes, seeing all the ornaments again, remembering the moments they were meant to commemorate, listening to Christmas music, and lighting those first holiday smelling candles is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season! 

Another highlight is bringing out all of Adam's Christmas books and of course the return of Al! The look on Adam's face when he sees his tree lit up and books spread out in his room is always priceless. I cherish these moments as I know they won't last forever. 

I love our beautiful home all year round, but I must say, it was built for the holidays - it just sparkles and glows with all the twinkling lights, holly, and we must not forget the mistletoe! XO 

Another great tradition is to count down the days until Christmas which we do with a handmade chain garland and of course with a chocolate filled Advent Calendar (thanks Auntie Heidi!). 

The days go so fast but we're determined to make the most of them and soak up every moment of the holiday season! 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Thanksgiving at Wintergreen...

While I have loved the years where we've hosted Thanksgiving at home, there is still something so special about the Thanksgivings we get to spend at Wintergreen. The memories of 25+ Thanksgivings spent there and the family members we spent it with, some no longer with us, make for wonderful and nostalgia filled holidays. 

This year we had the added bonus of snow! Oh my did we have snow - a good seven inches I'd say. The kids loved that as it gave them their first sledding fun of the season. I just loved the look of it and the fact that we had a warm fire to keep us toasty! 

Thanksgiving day we did our normal routine - parade, cooking, baking, football watching, Thanksgiving gifts, picture taking, and of course a feast that made all the hard work worth it! 

A reward for our hard work (aside from the great meal) was a visit to one of the local breweries on Friday for lunch. Some local brews and some online Black Friday shopping - yes please!

Added bonus #2- we had a ton of extended family spending Thanksgiving on the mountain as well. Several times growing up we had these huge Thanksgivings with different families staying in multiple houses and us all convening for a big family dinner. It was always so fun and I have wonderful memories of those super sized holidays. It was fun to re-live a little of that this year. On Friday, as we cheered on the Hokies (woohoo - 11 years in a row of beating UVA) we had a dinner party with some pretty awesome cousins. We even had three "Maureens" under one roof! That doesn't happen very often. :) 

So much to be thankful for this year but most of all, thankful for my fabulous (and sure, sometimes a little nutty) family! XO 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Happy 9th Birthday Liddy!

Wow! How is our little puddin' head poppins already 9 years old!? Seems like just yesterday we were meeting her and falling instantly in love with her. Alas, time has flown, as it seems to do! 

Originally to celebrate we were just going to have a little party with just the four of us, but upon sharing that news with Adam he got really upset and started crying because he thought it was so sad that weren't having a bigger celebration. His heart is so big! I couldn't argue with his logic so we invited Uncle Mark, Aunt Kathleen & Olivia over for a more official birthday celebration! 

Liddy was treated with some yummy peanut butter iced blueberry muffins and gifted with all kinds of new toys to play with. 

Happy happy birthday sweet Liddy Poppins! We love you oh soooooooo much! 

Snowflake Stampede!

Two years ago we went to the very first Snowflake Stampede at Bull Run Regional Park. It was a run/walk through the Festival of Lights the weekend before they officially opened to the public. We had so much fun taking Adam through it (you can read that here) and were sad when they didn't put it on the schedule last year. I guess we weren't the only ones who were hoping to attend again as they put it back on the calendar for this year. Yay! 

We made a weekend of it by camping at the park, enjoying s'mores around the campfire and jumping in the leaves. 

The temperatures were pretty chilly, but we all bundled up (Aunt Kathleen came along as well!) and let the fun Christmas lights and Christmas music playing on my phone warm us up! 

I love this pre-Christmas tradition and hope Bull Run decides not to skip another year! :)