We Meet Santa!

Hi there!  Wow, it was a full weekend followed by a very busy Monday.  My mom came into town on Friday evening, and we were all very excited to have her stay.  The Mr. left to go hunting VERY early on Saturday morning.  I also was up and at ’em early on Saturday to help serve breakfast at our church’s winter shelter for those who are homeless in our area.  It was an experience I hope we can share as a family once the kids are older.  I think we tend to label and put ourselves (and others) in categories.  As humans, it soothes us to organize our existence and make sense of our environment and those in it.  I think we (meaning me too) forget that we all have more in common than we think.  The people I served early on Saturday morning were just people whose circumstances are different from mine.  There were some morning-people, some cranky people, some polite people (actually no rude people), just people.  I’m very thankful for the experience.

So…after my early morning activities I picked up my mom and kids to head to the Breakfast with Santa event at my school.  It was so low-key!  It was the perfect recipe for a casual conversation with this guy…


They both did great!  Holden asked Santa for a Captain America costume…Helen just chilled on his lap!  No spit-up and no tears!

I got to see a few students and introduce them to my kids.  We also visited the book fair, and Holden purchased a book for himself and one to give his sister for Christmas.

After a quick pit stop at home to pick up my sister, we were off for lunch at Dish.  This was a fun restaurant in Virginia Beach…”Scandinavian specialties along with our great American favorites.”  -from the website


My delicious smoked salmon sandwich with avocado pictured below!


We ended our celebration (it was my early birthday celebration!) with a visit to The Royal Chocolate in Town Center for fondue.  IMG_4370.jpg

I think it’s clear that Holden was excited.  🙂


We were so full we hardly ate dinner later that evening!

Sunday was super quiet.  We (the kids and me) staying home all day except for a walk to the park.  I really hate missing church especially during Advent, but Helen is quite a wiggle worm during worship service.  I think we need to take the plunge and drop her off in the church nursery for worship service.  Clingy mom and baby problems!

Here’s Holden doing some crafting on Sunday…


We were so glad to see the Mr. on Sunday evening…he came home with two deer!  Lots of venison in our future!

Monday was back to work/school, but we enjoyed seeing Holden perform at his Christmas program.  The Mr. was on “dad cam” duty with the pictures, but I did snap this one of the three spectators (Moochie and Poppy were present but not pictured…we were so glad they joined us!)…what do you think of the Mr.’s face?!?


Whew!  I can’t believe it’s only Monday evening!  I’ve got THREE meetings this week plus just regular school stuff.  I can almost taste winter break AND am so excited!

My Christmas fun list still has cookie baking and some Rudolph watching on it.  🙂  What are you looking forward to in the Christmas celebration season?

Have a great week!



5 for Friday

This is it.  My last officially Friday with just me and H.  Next Friday, the Mr. will be off to enjoy the day with us.  You guessed it…the countdown to the end of summer vacation is going on in my head!  What a great one it has been!  Here are five things that pertain to this week!


Virginia Aquarium – H and I went off on an adventure to the Virginia Aquarium.  He was a reluctant participant (!) and said that he would rather “stay home all day.”  Umm…you are not the boss here, and Mommy wants to go!  IMG_2728


H loved checking out this map and asked me to point where all his family members live.


This scuba diver was kind enough to give H a wave.  He was cleaning tunnel tank.


Love seeing the animals from a different perspective!


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H said his favorite part was the special dinosaur exhibit.  These dinosaurs were robotic and very life-like.  We visited this room twice.  🙂

Inside the crab pot


Pretending to be in the marsh


The Marsh Pavilion is about a fifteen minute walk (for a preschooler) from the main aquarium building, but I thought it was well-worth it with all the kid-friend activities on the way and once we arrived.

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Gator Ally!  – We jumped around on the logs and pads trying to avoid being eaten!  🙂


The outside activities (plus many more!) pictured above were a part of the Discovery Path.  Very kid-friendly!  We even dug for earthworms!

I was a little skeptical that we would really “get our money’s worth” out of our visit.  It’s a little pricey at $37 total for the two of us.  BUT…Basically, we could have stayed about a couple more hours.  H was completely beat after about three hours.  He was a busy boy too!  We didn’t take the stroller or the carrier, so he was hoofing it the whole time.  He did a great job holding my hand which made things easier.  I may or may not have given him a big lecturer about “bad people” and how he has to stay close to Mommy in public.  Parenting success or fail?  I’m going with a tough love answers of success.


Picnic Lunches – We’ve had tons of picnics this spring/summer, and I plan to keep it going as much/as long as I can.  We had a little one this week with Daddy.  We topped off our lunch with some coin tossing and chocolate.

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We went to the Royal Chocolate, a favorite dessert treat for us.


See that blonde blur in the foreground?  Someone was a LITTLE excited about the chocolate!

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Love this quote on their sign! – Seven days without chocolate makes one weak…


Town Center was looking mighty pretty on this sunny day!


No Dessert and then DESSERT! – Let me tell you why we were all so excited about dessert…we’ve had no dessert since the weekend!  I know, I know…first world problems!  I put into effect a dessert law which I can do since I do the grocery shopping.  Instead, we’ve been having fruit and graham crackers (Thanks Moochie and Poppy for the dessert idea!).  Today’s treat was extra special and extra sweet.  The Mr. got two chocolate covered Oreos, and H got a chocolate and sprinkle pretzel rod.  I pieced out a big (no mini for me!) dark chocolate peanut butter cup.  I ate the first half at the shop, but don’t think I didn’t polish off the other half once H was resting!


Super Serious Yoga Class – I purchased a 10 class pass at a local yoga studio on Groupon for less than 50% of the regular price!  Although I feel a tad silly paying for a class when there are so many good resources online + the DVDs I already own, the class was great!  It really was nice to just chat with the other women in the class and be in a relaxing atmosphere.  The place was beautiful, and the studio rooms had padded floors!  No knee pain or uncomfortableness!  Let’s face it…sometimes our homes aren’t relaxing.  Especially when you’re trying to do down dog and your kid is trying to jump on your back!  I plan to go once a week until my classes are up.  Then, I’ll make a decision about how I’ll continue to practice yoga.


Christmas Shopping – OH.MY.GOODNESS – I admit that I’ve been doing a little Christmas shopping this summer…mainly for H. We do Secret Santa for some family members, and this Christmas will be all about my sister and brother-in-law’s (to be) wedding for my side of the family.  We can’t forget about the kid though!  In an effort to budget our money better, I like to buy a few things as I go along.  I usually end up buying enough to set some aside for his birthday in March.  I know!  I’m a planner.  I’ve bought a book, a board game, and a toy so far.  I got Magna-Tiles after ready great reviews online.  I purchased from Zulily for a great discount.  Here’s an Amazon listing.  I also got Count Your Chickensa cooperative game – praying beforehand may be necessary for cooperative purposes. 🙂


Image via Amazon


Image via Amazon

Do you do any Christmas shopping this early?  If so, what do you buy/who do you buy for?

If you practice yoga, what style do you prefer?  I’m a relative newbie, but I do like Vinyasa.