January 09, 2015

Family Photos

This year I didn't hire a photographer for family photos, but instead asked our friend Kyle if we could tag along to his family photos and trade button pushing. He has a great camera and an even better eye, so I snapped his family and he snapped mine.

They got stuck in traffic, so I took a couple of Abby before they arrived. We were at the San Jose Hotel courtyard on South Congress. It was an early Saturday morning and there were guests sleeping, so we had to be extra quick and extra quiet!

Once we met up with our friends, we were able to get some great family photos. I knew the extra spot I wanted, so it was all done in just a few minutes. 

I loved the way they turned out, loved the cost, and loved that we had a fun morning with friends taking them. I will say I didn't love wearing a scarf for winter photos in 90 degrees. Phew- it was hot!

January 05, 2015

Abby's 6th Birthday and Party

This sweet girl turned 6 on us last Monday. I don't know how it happened. She actually weighed herself to see if she was bigger. That only happens as a kid! ;)

She was pretty pumped to get her first American Girl doll from us! We bought her Julie. She is a blond/blue eyed girl like Abby and has a braid in her hair, a popular style for our girl as well. Abby was smitten and Julie has traveled many places with us since. 

After lunch of her choice (Burger King), we went and saw The Penguins of Madagascar with our friend Eva. The girls loved the movie and the apple juice and Oreos I fed them.

Abby's actual birthday party was this past Saturday. She wanted a build a bear party and talked about it for months. I don't like a build a bear party at all (the focus isn't on the birthday girl but the stuffed animals, it ends up costing most parents money since kids want lots of stuff there, and the negotiating between kids and parents is brutal), but it is her birthday so I smiled and booked her party.

Since I wanted a little traditional birthday party time, we had brunch first in the food court. I brought the paper goods and balloons and set up early. We bought coffee and chicken minis from Chick-fil-A and then brought fruit, milk and juice and doughnut holes. 

We gave all of the kids these little treat bags filled with teddy grahams to say thank you.

We were set up and ready about 15 minutes early and Abby was so ready to see her friends. Having a party at the end of a two week winter break is brutal!

She enjoyed twirling in the empty mall while we waited. Having a party at 10:30 AM on January 3rd has benefits- it was just us and the mall walkers!

Here are the sweet little guests full of doughnut holes and chocolate milk and ready for a new stuffed animal! L to R: Michael, Abby, Mary and Lacee from school, and Addison. Michael and Addison are Abby's best friends and she just loves them both. It was fun to have them and add two new kindergarten friends.

It didn't take long for everyone to pick a new stuffed friend at Build A Bear. We allowed Abby to pick whatever she wanted for her pony and she lived it up! Ha! I'll never utter those words again!

Abby has already decided what she'd like to do for her 7th birthday! That is my little junior party planner. I love her so!

January 03, 2015

Winter Break Recap

  Like many of you, we've had a busy two weeks with parties, playdates and presents!

Abby's class had their holiday party on the Friday before Christmas. The kids decorated cookies and played pin the nose on Rudolph. It was cute and low key!

Abby sits at Table #5 with Jonas and Sawyer. Brook sits with them, but poor thing had the flu! I'm so grateful Abby already has such great friendships built. They protect her from peanuts, help her each day and she has missed them like crazy over the break! She has already asked why they can't all be in first grade together.

Marcus worked the first two days of the break, so we girls planned fun! We had a friend over and did lunch with another friend on Monday the 22nd and then did lunch and painted ice cream cones with Addison and McKenna. Carrie and I laughed we would have never entered a ceramic store last year. Fun things are ahead as littles get bigger!

We have explored lights in our area and downtown all month long! Jammies, Starbucks and a doll are requirements.

The week of Christmas, we even drove to nearby Georgetown to see the lights and visit an old-fashioned toy store. I love Georgetown!

 Marcus was off on Christmas Eve, so we took a train ride downtown and had lunch at Uncle Julio's. Abby brought along her camera and captured each train station and all of the big buildings! I love her interest in photography. It's cute!

Wednesday night, we got dressed up for Christmas Eve service. I love that service- everyone is full of cheer and we sing carols together before a good reminder about Jesus' birth and the importance of His plan for our lives.

Abby was excited to wear makeup and have her hair curled for the first time. I love having a girl!

It was fun to run into friends at service!

I love our church and loved seeing them do family photos on stage after service. Such a nice gift to have.

After church we ate an easy dinner and sent this one off to sleep. We kept presents pretty simple this year and since we don't do Santa, everything was already wrapped and ready. We just had to stuff the stockings.

Abby was up at her normal 6 AM and we were opening presents by 6:15. One day, she'll sleep in!

Her big gift was a new bike... she opened the helmet and then Marcus rolled the bike around from our bedroom closet where we tucked it the night before. It had been fun for Marcus' co workers for a few weeks now.

She has taken it for a spin a few times and it doing great! She rides very slowly and cautiously, but without us holding onto her!

After doing breakfast, we got dressed and headed out to deliver fun little toys to area Starbucks and the police and fire department. Everyone loved getting little gifts and Abby loved the hospitality returned to her at the fire department. We went and saw Annie that evening- super cute movie!

On Friday we drove to Kingsland and spent the day with Marcus' Mom. We had lunch at the Grand Central Cafe and visited the trains. I want to come back her and do family photos. It was a near little area.

Saturday, we hosted Christmas with my sister's family and my Dad & stepmom and her Mom. The highlight had to be the Jelly Belly challenge they participated in. Nothing like a barf flavored jelly bean to make the day festive!
My sister's family and Marcus and I stayed up late on Saturday night playing cards and welcome my Mom and her friend Chuck on Sunday for Christmas #4. 

They made Abby a pink doll closet for her American Girl and filled it with clothes and accessories. She has loved getting her dolls all dressed.

Winter break has been fun and busy! We celebrated Abby's 6th birthday on Monday and party today. More to come on that!


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