Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 and on to the next!

We did it! Two weeks of night float are DONE and Ben has a few days to readjust to normal waking hours. Caroline and I will definitely miss having a girls night every night but we are so glad that Ben is home and his hours are going to be a little bit more regular for the next little bit.

Not wanting Grams to go--the cutest stowaway ever!

Those are the eyes of a little girl that was totally convinced that she was going to grams' house and that she would see me later. ha! Well, Grams headed home and Caroline stayed with me.

Popping popcorn and she wanted to watch perched up on the other counter

So we've seen Ben for a total of an hour everyday and this girl just would hug and cling to him. Ben really made a huge effort to play with Caroline between rushing getting ready and then heading off to work. This night schedule was brutal for Ben--Caroline and I had lots of fun--and it was hard to see so little of him. But we made it. We can always do hard things.

With some cold weather settling in we opted for Chickfila for dinner a night or two.

Playing and playing with Christmas presents. The rainbow blocks are huge hit--HUGE! Caroline has done so many different things with them.

Snuggles. I know I'm the adult but being home alone at night is my least favorite thing and it has been so cold that I just had Caroline sleep with me the entire time. Probably not that good for keeping Caroline in her room regularly but we had so much fun watching little shows, reading books, and getting in all of the snuggles. It made my mama heart so happy.

We read through a stack of books each night. Piggy Pie Po is always a favorite. 

Love me all the sleeping pictures of this sweet girl. A few nights she would tell me that she forgot how to go sleep...and she would just fight it until I would catch her all snuggled up and sleeping.

We tried out a new little library in a town close to us! It was so so so cute and we walked in to 5 little library volunteers just doting on Caroline. They had the most adorable story time planned and we lucked out by walking in at just the right time.

Hot cocoa mug treasure.

After a morning of jumping with friends we ran to Target for a few things--mainly because I needed stuff for a big deep clean I'm 2/3 of the way through. Anyways, we picked up a lunchable for Caroline --first one ever. She had tons of fun making the pizzas and sort of ate them. 

You've got mail! Kaylee and Kara sent some yummy smelling crayons! We love getting fun mail like this.

Our oven hasn't been heating up right so a guy came out to fix it. I made Caroline lunch and gave it it to her and she said "oh, thank you so much for my breakfast!" the guy working on the oven just laughed and laughed. Somedays it seems as if I really don't serve her breakfast--hungry all the time this week!

Loving all of the Christmas spoils...these shimmer and shine bracelets are just pure magic.

Love seeing her just play and create

One person is actually sleeping in this picture--I'm guessing it's easy to figure out.

We made a trip to Sam's and on the way back Caroline was chatting and asking all sorts of questions about her chatbook and then I heard these little snores coming from the back seat.

And it was pretty impossible to wake her up. Two hours later she did and she enjoyed a much later bedtime--that wasn't nearly as late as I had anticipated. I stayed up and read a book and watched some news.

Purple glitter bow for the sweetest girl around!

This girl LOVES chicken and strawberries--I feel so much better since Caroline now eats a meat protein and she LOVES it! Rotisserie chickens for the win!

The letter from Grams that Caroline said something about a hotel in Florida and swimming all day. I'm totally down for that!

I love seeing everyone's best nine squares for instagram. What a great year we have had!

After church today we ran inside and snuggled under blankets and watched shows and ate popcorn. It has just been SO COLD! 

Play away sweet girl!

Last meal of the year...simple spaghetti squash and sauce with a fruit salad. Orange have been out of this world recently!

And that's a wrap on 2017! What a fun and fast year it has been! We jumped from med school to residency. We are so so so grateful to be where we are. Caroline has grown and keeps us busy. She is sunshine in every sense and makes our home happy and bright. Our walls are covered in her art work and she is always singing the sweetest songs. Watching her grow through this preschool year has been allllll the fun. We can't wait for 2018 and the fun that we will have!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

A Chunky Christmas Post

I love the stillness of Christmas day! We are spending it at our home this year and it is so nice to have people sleeping, a little person playing, and sometime to go through pictures from the week. After a busy week the quiet has been so nice to enjoy.

Also after going through all the pictures I should have just broken this up into multiple posts--but HERE we are--one long chunky Christmas post. It was a great one!

We've had a girl's night every night--at least according to Caroline. Hopping in mom and dad's bed with popcorn AND a movie was a big treat this week. We watched the last little bit of The Santa Claus...perfect Christmas movie.

Mom came up and searched every HEB for honey drop mandarins and found them! These are 5,000 times better than any other citrus. I've done some extensive research and they are only offered through HEB and are grown in Texas. The only downside to Tyler is that it is home to Brookshire's and the closest HEB is 55 miles. Thank goodness there were still some left...honey drop season going fast and it's already over for 2017.

My mom arrived and so did hundreds of ladybugs. They were covering our porch, roof, and all along the back side of our house. The next day they were gone but it was so cool to see so MANY lady bugs in one spot.

I guess the Christmas crisis was opening up a present and finding the box was soaked--our chimney leaked after a 24 hour storm that just dumped on Tyler. Long story--the siding on our chimney needs to be replaced and should get replaced this week. 

We turned lemons into lemonade and just opened up the presents that were wet...there was NO WAY after wrapping everything that I was going to redo it--so Caroline was extra happy with more presents to open. AND the chimney is getting fixed so it all works out!

Art with Grams

Jill made my mom a stocking! I love our little lineup--and having a mantle and fireplace!

Put right to work coloring.

Slumber party everynight with Grams and they read stacks of books each night. A few Christmas stories and a few well loved books. So sweet to see how much Caroline loves her Grams.

We went to Up in Lights-- and it did not disappoint. We drove through twice. And it was a huge surprise to find out it was just down the road.

They had everything in lights--tunnels, Noah's ark, name it, it was out there!

Zebra blanket for the girl who loves zebras. 

Zebra pants, Zebra blanket, Zebra girl

Love this girl.

Blast from the past--Caroline is in love with her lite brite! I remember mine and LOVED it so it's been fun to play again. Caroline is obsessed.

Snapchat has the best Christmas filters!

We went and saw Ferdinand with my mom. Total treat and super cute movie. I love how they pulled the story from the book and it was just SO GOOD.

Some more kitchen gear. Caroline has been serious cooking the past few days. Apparently that's all she needed to get back into using her kitchen.

Silly Christmas Caroline

Caroline carries around this cookbook and my mom and I couldn't stop laughing when we had her say the title of one recipe "Veggie Wedgies" either it is actually really funny or we were super tired. Veggie Wedgies.

Snowglobe art. Art Kids Hub has so many fun tutorials--and Caroline has a new favorite thing to watch. I'm not crossing my fingers but I am super hopeful that the days of watching play doh tutorials are over! ha! I can't stand those! But the art and drawing tutorials are something I love!

Ben and I went to see Star Wars and grab dinner so Caroline and my mom played with beads--oh these are fun!

AND the dress up box! I thought I missed the Halloween sales but I was able to find lots of fun dressups right after for Caroline...and my mom did too! So we are fully stocked and ready for lots of dress up with friends.

Gingerbread decorating round two! Not a smooth as the first round but it was fun...until Caroline got bossy.

Caroline told us all that she needed a break. So funny. She cozied up with all of the pillows and a blanket in our bed. 

Before Christmas I felt like I narrowed down and slimmed down our menu so I wouldn't be cooking or baking a lot. At the end of the day--on Christmas eve I listed everything I made and realized I totally failed at doing less! ha! At least I didn't make cinnamon rolls this year! Christmas day was easy peasy with overnight cowboy casserole and a roast in the crock pot. But Sunday it was one thing after another!

Christmas Eve was a bust getting to church. Ben was up all night because of his weird schedule and I was up most of the night just not feeling well at all. We slept through our alarms and Caroline slept in too. By the time I woke up we had 3 minutes before church started. Bleh. I reallly wanted to go but the stars were definitely not in line for that. Once we got going though a lot got accomplished and it was a fun day!

Two pies. I realized I had two crusts and ingredients for both a pumpkin (that I planned on)} and an apple pie.

Cookies for Santa

White Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels. Plus a salad and cream cheese bacon wraps. It was a day in the kitchen in between playing! I am SO GLAD that Christmas day was low key and that I did all the prep beforehand.

Skyping with Uncle Mimi. Matt is serving in Ecuador so before we jetted off to a get together with friends we got to see Matt! Ah! He is such a good missionary and his accent is so FUNNY.

The Rhodus family invited us over for a Christmas eve mini-dinner and nativity. Caroline looked forward to this all week and was so excited to dress up and tell the story of baby Jesus. She played and played in their playroom and then dashed downstairs to dressup as Mary. It made her night! She absolutely loved it.

We came home and opened up our sibling exchange gift from Jake--he got Caroline a zebra--which was absolutely perfect. 

Cookies and chocolate milk left out for Santa. And three cookies was the compromise. Caroline wanted many and I wanted two so we settled on leaving out three. Santa almost had a dozen cookies on his plate. Pretty sure I remember doing the same thing as a little girl.

Surprises left by santa

Christmas morning fun!

This was her favorite gift! And to think we almost didn't get it because we were finished Christmas shopping. She has been creating and creating...all Christmas day.

Gift for Grams

She enjoyed her chocolate Santa all morning.

Van Leeuwen family shirts! A throwback and Ben totally loved it.
Also we are now stocked with playdoh--the selection has dwindled the last few weeks--thank goodness Santa saved the day!

Allllll the shopkins! We have quite the collection at our house and Caroline knows EACH ONE. We are already on the hunt for one...send diet coke ha!

More and more crafting!


Ben and a new down comforter just for him! He has been waiting months for this!

We had the best Christmas and spent the day playing and relaxing until Ben went to work...and even then we still played and relaxed. Caroline wishes that Christmas didn't end and asked me this morning if I had any more presents to wrap up...sadly I am all out of presents. BUT we have had so many new things to rotate through today--and in the weeks and months to come. 

Above all I am so thankful for my family --- that my mom was able to be here and Ben  had the day off. We've been scrambling around so it was nice to have that peace and calmness of Christmas that I think we all needed. I hope all of our friends and family had an equally as happy Christmas.