1. We had a quick visit up north this past weekend. Without Mom and Dad living up there anymore, it's getting harder and harder to make the trip. I love not having to be in the car for 5+ hours as that was pretty much pure misery with 5 kids, but I really miss my extended family. As families grow and get busier with their kids (us included), it's harder to steal away and go off visiting. I knew I needed to see Amma before Christmas and my heart ached to see everyone else as well. We set out on Thursday right after Ben got out of school. I had the van packed and movies at-the-ready. A quick stop at Mom's to pick her up and we were on our way. We stayed at Whit's house which is becoming a fast favorite. All the kids play so well together and I can't imagine a place that feels any more homey than hers. It's a welcoming home for sure.
2. This week is getting the better of me...I have once again disappointed the planner in me and am scrambling to get all the presents and food prepped for Christmas Eve. We are spending it at home with the kids, enjoying some family time together. Christmas Day will be at Nana's and then Grammie and Papa will be hosting Christmas on December 30 since Jamie and Jordan will both be home for the holidays. Some day I hope Christmas will slow down, but at least this year we get Christmas Eve...and I'm so thankful for that.
3. Mom invited me to the Ladies Christmas Brunch at River of Life a few weeks back. It is becoming a tradition (our second annual one) and one that I look forward to each year. Last year Jill was there too, but since Willow was born just a week before, we are giving her a pass this year. The brunch is so fun and relaxing. The men of the church serve the meal and wait on you. Dad was our personal waiter, bringing us tea and anything else we would ask for. They also have vendor tables set up all around the perimeter of the room so there is even a little shopping to be had. It was lovely and I really enjoyed getting my mom all to myself for a morning. Disclaimer: don't mind the hair sticking up off the top of my head. It was like that all morning and I've had to just get over it...so you will too. :)
4. When you have been diagnosed with CVS (cyclic vomiting syndrome) and are forced to carry throw-up bags in your vehicle...at least your little one can make the best of the situation. Apparently these bags also make great foot warmers. Just thinking now that I better make sure that she didn't put a hole in the bag, or we are going to be in for a fantastic surprise when we really need it for it's intended purpose.
5. This weekend was bitter cold. No...frigid cold. Hmmmm.....nasty cold? Sigh. It was ridiculous. No...it was beyond ridiculous. We bottomed out at -22 degrees and that was just the actual temperature. With the wind chill figured in, it was a balmy -40+. You couldn't even get out to pump gas without your skin literally hurting and your nose freezing up. I know this because I was forced to stop for gas. Honestly, if our weather were normally like this, I would be packing our house up and looking for a new destination. I hate winter. Did I just say "hate"??!!? Yep....sure did. I don't even like it when it's 20 degrees outside...but -40 just makes me plain ol' cranky. I long for summer already.