It’s the first “Slice of Life” post in 2020, which is a bit ironic because there’s not a single picture in this post that’s actually from this year. 😉 We’re going to rewind just a big to mid-December 2019 and catch up on some random life happenings that haven’t made it to the blog yet.
My dad snapped this picture of Jillian at their home while she was sitting in the rocking chair that was gifted to me when I was her age. He’s put all of my girls in this chair at some point during their infancy and taken pictures. I need to see if I can find the pictures and put them all next to each other eventually, with a picture of me as a baby in this chair too. Once day I’ll get around to that. 😉 Also, zip up jammies are life! This chicks LIVES in them.
I wrote a post years ago about “Don’t say no when you can say yes”, which is a motto my mom shared with me when I was a new mom. I think about it from time to time when my girls ask me things; “Am I saying no because I have a logical reason to say no?”
Often the answer is that I’m saying no just to say no without any real thought because my decision. So on one particular night last month, the girls asked me if I was going to the gym in the morning and if I could bring home doughnuts from the new shop around the corner on my way home. I was about to say no because why do they need doughnuts on a random Wednesday morning?
But then I randomly thought about my mom’s motto. I could say yes. So I did, and then I enjoyed a doughnut with them. And their smiles said it all. I felt good about my decision to pop in and get them doughnuts for no other reason except that they asked nicely, they’re great kids, and I had no real reason not to scoop some up.
We love Sadie’s preschool! They put on a sweet Christmas program every year where each class gets on stages and sings a few songs, and it’s pretty stinkin’ precious! I don’t take for granted that our kids have all four grandparents that live in town. We spent so many years being so far away from family, so a picture like the one below is something I treasure.
Last year the kids wore Christmas dresses, but this year the attire was Christmas jammies. We love our middle girl!
Mid-December brought the annual Army/Navy game, which was watched with 100+ other West Point alums at a country club in Huntsville. It was a rough loss for Army, but we enjoyed conversation with new friends we met.
After the Army/Navy game, we went home, grabbed the kids, and headed a couple houses down to our neighborhood’s Christmas party! The hostess had lots of games to play with the kids, which I thought was really sweet. Usually the kids are just tucked in a room to play, but I thought it was so nice how intentional she was about making sure they were included in the Christmas party fun too.
We were walking in to church one Sunday, and the parking lot attendant said that we should take a picture because we were all semi in the same color… so we did! I don’t ever turn down an offer to get a pic of the five of us, even if my kids are doing the “growl smile” and are annoyed. 😉
One morning right before Christmas break, my friend Erin arranged a little playdate at Cabela’s of all places! Santa was there doing pictures and visits for free and had lots of activities for young kids. Such a fun (and free!) idea.
As for us mamas, we parked it at some indoor picnic tables and talked while the kids had a ball. We followed it up with a quick lunch at Panera and headed home. The two moms to my left and right have babies born the day after Jillian, so talking with them was like a breath of fresh air as we discussed the exact stages our babies are all in. Sometimes getting out of the house with a baby to hang with friends is more effort than I want to put in (especially since a baby is always content just to hang and snuggle at home), but I never (ever ever ever) regret it. Especially if they are moms who get you and lift you up just by being around them.
Speaking of amazing friends… I love these women. Alyssa (on left) lives four houses down, and Jordanna (dark hair on right) used to be our neighbor but moved to the next town over last summer. We recently took advantage of a free evening and had the best dinner together recently. We had so much catching up to do and couldn’t stop talking (so much so that we looked around at 9:15, realized we were the only people left in the restaurant, saw that it had closed at 9, and sprinted out!) LOL.
And these friends! It’s funny… I always put my pictures into the post first and then add captions, so it wasn’t intentional that I have three pictures in a row with friends.
But seriously… these girls! I have known all of them for 20+ years. The four of us on the left all pledged the same sorority together too. I’ve walked through a lot of seasons of life with these people, and all living in the same town together again IS. THE. BEST. Savannah (on the right) and her husband Kyle hosted a great Christmas party about a week before Christmas (remember the matching outfits Jamie and I wore? LOL) and made it an adult-only event.
Everyone had enough time to secure childcare, and then we enjoyed actually hanging together without our kids running around. It’s rare that we hang together without our kids, and even though we like to see them all together, it’s nice to have uninterrupted conversations too. 😉
Jammy Cocoa Christmas 2020 was… not awesome. Ha.
We look forward to this tradition so much in December. Inspired by Shay Shull, we put on matching pajamas, grab treats at Starbucks, and then go to the Botanical Garden’s “Galaxy of Lights”. We started this in 2017 and enjoy it tremendously.
But this year kind of sucked thanks to poor planning and a screaming babe. Yikes!
December flew by, and we really didn’t have a chance to do Jammy Cocoa Christmas until the Saturday before Christmas. Trying to get into the Botanical Garden the Saturday before Christmas was the worst idea. The line to get into the gardens was about 15 minutes long, and then the line to actually start seeing the lights was about 45 minutes in from there. And once you’re in the Gardens, there is no turning around.
Well, Jillian screamed absolute bloody murder the entire time unless I was sitting in the back seat nursing her (we were driving 5 MPH for 90 minutes). This was miserable for me though. The big girls also hadn’t napped that day, so they were complaining the whole time about how tired they were. We didn’t even start seeing the lights until 8:30 p.m., and they usually go to sleep at 7:15 on days they haven’t napped.
We didn’t anticipate the crowd, plus we assumed that by leaving the house around 6 p.m., Jillian would sleep the whole time. But all of that just backfired in the worst way.
Getting Starbucks was super fun of course, but after we snapped this super happy pic, the entire night fell apart. We will do this again next year, but go on the first Tuesday of December at a time that is way more conducive for our kids. Mom and Dad fail. We laugh about it now, but it was a pretty torturous night!
Annnddd that’s a good chunk of some random happenings from December. 🙂 I have a bit more “Slice of Life” content to share tomorrow, so keep an eye out. 🙂 Have a great Thursday!
What was your favorite family outings from the holidays this past year?
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