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Charlotte, Christmas, Family, Hadley, Holidays

Searching Out Santa

It’s an annual tradition in our family to head to Santa’s Village to see Santa. We like to go early in the season to avoid the crowds and to give Santa plenty of time to get those gifts made. The big kids were over the moon excited to see Santa this year which was a lot of fun. And Hadley didn’t seem to mind him either!



James wouldn’t sit on Santa’s lap but he gave him a fist bump!

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We were the first in line to see Santa and went to explore the rest of the village after we’d met the big guy. Charlotte wrote out her Christmas list and then stuck it in Santa’s mailbox.

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(If you can’t read it she asked for art storage, a dolphin baby, a Santa baby, and a Rudolph baby. I’m happy to say that Santa came through on all of those requests.)

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The kids were mesmerized watching the trains and loved seeing the singing and dancing penguins.

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And Hadley was just happy to be there and that it was warm enough that she wasn’t all bundled up in her jacket!

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We ended our Santa’s Village night with our traditional feast at Commerce Kitchen.


Trips in previous years: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009

Christmas, Family, Throw Back Thursday

Throw Back Thursday

Christmas Goofy Face


I’m guessing that this picture, from December of 1987, probably shows my personality pretty well.  I’m sure that this was just the picture that Mom was hoping for all dressed up in my nice Christmas dress.  I feel like I’m saying this a lot in these throw back posts but, I’m sorry Mom!

Books, Christmas, Gift Giving, Hadley, Personal, Shopping

Put Me In the Story


Back in November, Courtney DeFeo hosted a series on her blog called #SHOPWISER giving everyone options of how they could shop for Christmas in a wiser way.  And some of the items that she was featuring included giveaways.  I loved the concept and found a lot of Christmas gifts this way.  I also, of course, entered for all of the giveaways.

(FYI, I typically enter for giveaways even if I don’t need something because number of entries on giveaways are a big indicator for others who might do giveaways in the future and I want to support the bloggers and those giving away items.  Just my two cents, but if possible, enter for giveaways even if you personally couldn’t use something.  You can always donate it to someone who can if you win or let the blogger know to draw another winner.)

I was SO EXCITED when Courtney let me know that I had won a personalized book by Marianne Richmond!  I had purchased “If I Could Keep You Little” when Charlotte was younger and she loves it still so I thought it would be neat to start our new baby’s book collection with a personalized book that was all theirs.  At the time we didn’t know what we were having yet, but they let me wait to order the book until we found out that Hadley was coming and picked out her name.

Hadley’s book came ages ago and I’ve been meaning to share with you about it but am just doing so now because we’ve been putting the final touches on her room and I remembered to photograph it.  I love reading it with Hadley’s name in it.  Her name isn’t on every page but it’s on a lot of them, including my favorite page that makes me smile since both of my kids have picked out their own clothes since they were about 18 months old.


You can even write a little dedication and insert a picture at the front of the book.  We didn’t do the picture since we don’t have one of Hadley yet but I loved getting to write a dedication to her before she was even born!



Put Me in the Story has lots of books available for personalization by lots of authors, but I love Marianne’s especially because they are filled with beautiful hand drawn art and say the things that I want my kids to remember me saying to them.

Thanks Courtney for helping me start Hadley’s library collection off with a book that’s just for her and not one handed down by her siblings!

**I was given this book for free as part of a giveaway but a review and links were not required or requested as part of this giveaway.  None of these links are affiliate links and I don’t get anything for sharing this with you or if you purchase a book.  Please see my link/review disclosures for more information.


Christmas, Family, Friends

Friends For Life

Way back in 2008, I shared about my Mom’s Birthday Club and the Christmas party that they had that year.  I don’t think we’ve been able to make a gathering since then so we were excited that were were going to be able to join in the fun this year.  The party was at the roller skating rink in my hometown and Charlotte was very excited about going to a place called the “Skate Castle”.  I’m not sure that it lived up to her expectations since in the past month she had seen Cinderella’s castle, but she still thought it was neat.



Charlotte tried to skate but got frustrated very quickly.  James was a big fan of the roller racer’s after Memma took him around on her lap for a while.  And after seeing James enjoying it Charlotte was quick to join in the fun!  They have also added a blow up area and a big play area that Charlotte enjoyed.

I most enjoyed seeing the people that I’ve known for my whole life and their families.  It’s hard to believe that eight couples started this group but they did!  I don’t even know how many “kids” there are now but I know that this picture is missing a lot of them and there are two unborn babies in that picture too!

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When I edited my pictures I thought I’d see what pictures I had on the computer from prior Birthday Club events.


Three families of kids at the beach – 1985

1986 1st Christmas

Five families of kids – 1986


Seven families of kids – 1987

1992 Christmas

Birthday Club Christmas – 1992 – Same Skate Castle as this year’s party


1998 Christmas


2002 Christmas

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2008 Christmas

And you know those friends that you’ve known your whole life?  These two definitely make that cut.  I spent lots of time growing up with Catherine and Carolyn and am loving getting to see their beautiful girls grow up.  It was fun to get to see them again!

1995 CK CA JG


1998 CA JG CK BW


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