Happy New Year, and hellooooo 2018! Boy oh boy, am I glad to see you, and by “you”, I mean 2018 and you readers. 🙂 Our entire family has been out of all of our routines the last two weeks (hence the 100% planned blog break), but we’re all gladly jumping back into them this week. Having Jamie home with us 24/7 the last three weeks has been incredible, but it’s time to get back to reality for everyone.
The last time we talked, we were on the brink of Christmas Break and were immensely enjoying our quietest Christmas season ever. Well, that quiet didn’t last for long. Not long at all.
We picked up speed a few days before Christmas, and to be honest, we still haven’t quite caught our breaths. Things have been kind of insane in our humble abode, but the silver lining in all of the rocky times has been easy to find. Plus, we had one of our greatest Christmases ever.
Care to walk through the last couple weeks with us? Buckle up! (Cracking my fingers now in anticipation to write many words…)
We did a lot (a lot!) of baking for various reasons, but my favorite sweet treat that Hadley and I made was these hot cocoa mini cheesecakes. Oh my goodness!
We celebrated Jamie’s birthday on the 23rd, and poor guy… this was how his last birthday gift looked. After wrapping a thousand and one Christmas gifts and a load of his birthday gifts, that last gift just didn’t stand a chance. Wrapping has always been my least favorite part of the holidays; Not even joking. I stink at it, so I kind of hate it. LOL. Gift bags for all from now on! 😉
We did have the most awesome day on Jamie’s 30th birthday though, and I can’t wait to tell you more about it soon because it was truly celebratory!
A few days before Christmas, we took a play from Shay‘s book and had ourselves a little Jammy Cocoa Christmas. Dinner at home was particularly chaotic that night with the kids, so Jamie and I were both feeling a little tense. I decided to turn our moods around and told everybody to put on clean PJs and get in the car pronto. I didn’t even tell Jamie where we were going, but he laughed at me like he always does and played along like the trooper he always is, hustling to get the kids in their jammies and buckling them in the car.
And what a stinkin’ blast! We got hot drinks and cake pops in Starbucks (“We love family traditions!” said the baristas after seeing us in our pjs, even though this was our first attempt at this – haha), drove around for over an hour seeing Christmas lights, and jammed our little hearts out to Christmas tunes. Pretty sure we will do this until we have grandchildren. What fun.
I was able to squeeze in little shopping dates with the girls individually during the week before Christmas in attempt to have some one-on-one time with both of them, even if it was just a shopping trip.
Christmas Eve morning was the happiest because we finally got a tiny bit of snow. Hadley had been waiting patiently for our first snowfall, so waking up to it on Christmas Eve was really special. She ran in our room yelling that it was Christmas!
We bundled everybody up (hooray for Hadley’s completed set of hand-me-down snow apparel for Sadie!), and we had about 30ish minutes of fun before the girls decided that they’d enough of the cold stuff.
We had a restful day that day and then went to the Christmas Eve service at church late afternoon.
We haven’t established a Christmas Eve dinner tradition yet, so Jamie made a tasty Hello Fresh meal, which hit the spot. Hadley and I made some homemade cookies for Santa (our 3rd year to do this together after dinner on Christmas Eve), and this year we used this recipe from one of my all-time favorite bakers, Sally. Everything she shares is golden!
I tried to snap some pictures of the girls in their jammies before bedtime, but one of the kids is always running off and the other one is laughing. They’re a couple of goofs!
I’ll go ahead and say that my absolute favorite part of Christmas is being together with our families. It always is. Every single holiday always feels more special when enjoying it with loved ones. This year was supposed to be spent with my parents here in Kansas, but not only did we have a million things going on before and after Christmas that prevented us from being able to focus on company, but my family also had their fair share of complications that would prevent them from traveling.
So we mutually decided to spend Christmas from a distance. And you know what? We had the absolute sweetest holiday. So good, in fact, that this is the only picture of me on Christmas Day. I actually never got out of my pajamas until I showered that night. It was GLORIOUS.
We FaceTimed with our families for a good long while, plowed through a bottle of champagne throughout the day together, cooked up a delicious big traditional meal at our leisure (we justified the leftovers as worth it!), and let the kids play with their gifts all day long (every single one was opened, GOOD HEAVENS).
I look forward to resuming spending Christmas with family next year no doubt, but amidst an unstable season for us right now, having a low-key day in our home with our babies was welcomed and so memorable.
New Years Eve
New Years Eve and Day both hovered about 0 degrees, so hanging at home was our plan. We aren’t much night (or party) animals anyway, so being at home with our girls and making our own fun has been our preferred way to ring in a happy new year. I always think “Aww we should have a get-together or go out and do something fancy” and then we laugh and think about what homebodies we’ve become. 🙂
We decided to go on a little midday date though, so while I got ready the girls got their “lips painted” too, per Hadley’s request (and then Sadie’s demanding of it after seeing Hadley’s lips haha).
We ran a couple miles up the road for a mid-day happy hour at Liquid Art Winery, one of our favorite spots in town. So beautiful inside the facility and out! A couple mugs of their hot mulled spiced cider while sitting in front of the fireplace really hit the spot.
The rest of the day consisted of playing with these nuts before making another Hello Fresh dinner, except this one also included a cocktail to make (we just had to add the champagne for us and Sprite for the girls). 🙂
We took this picture on NYE last year (2016)…
…so we decided to recreate it again a year later after doing a Netflix countdown with the kids before bed. 🙂
In other news from Christmas Break…
I’ve been working out at 9round as much as possible and absolutely love it. Can’t wait to share more as I continue to learn and improve at this gym.
On the day we scheduled to have the carpets cleaned throughout our entire house, we also had a million other shenanigans go down. A broken toilet, possible frozen pipes, a broken furnace, an iced over driveway (that’s on a hill), frozen carpet cleaner tubes, carpets that won’t dry because the house is so cold, butt-dialing 911, and two kids who are so out of sorts because of it all. We made it through that disastrous day in one piece, but barely…!
Two days later we left the house once again so a professional photographer could come take all of the listing pictures. Trying to scrub and stage this whole house with the stir-crazy girls at our heels was HARD. Really really really friggin hard, and a task we WAY underestimated. Basically two steps forward, 1.5 steps back. Jamie and I were so exhausted but also really satisfied that we got through it on our own.
And finally, tis the season to pass around all the germs and crud. Jamie had a horrible case of the flu come on out of nowhere on the 20th (I thought he had a “man cold” and was shocked when his temp read 102.8!), so he was down for three straight days recovering after a trip to the ER. The girls both came down with some weird virus where their cheeks turn blotchy and bright red (holy itchiness for both of them), and poor Sadie’s eczema went through the roof (off to the doc for new meds we went!). I came down with a bronchitis-like cold on Friday that I’m still fighting through, but thankfully don’t have a fever and feel okay besides some occasional chest heaviness and coughing.
Well, 31 pictures and 1480 words later, that’s a wrap on documenting a mostly wonderful two-week Christmas break for the four of us DeSpains. Thanks for reading!! I’ll be back tomorrow and the next day and the next day with more content to blab about. 🙂 xoxoxo
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to two little girls (ages 5 and 2) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo