Memorial Day Camping Weekend

We are back from a long (and FUN) camping weekend.  We spent last week getting geared up for it – MiMi and Grampy stocked up the camper while Avery and I made some goodies to pack.

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Avery was a big helper making apple chips.  Yes, he took a bite out of almost every one before putting them on the tray.
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That batch of apple chips barely lasted Friday afternoon – Avery devoured them as soon as we got to camp and shared them with his friends.  I’ll make two batches next trip. And if you noticed Avery’s face in the last picture…IMG_6491

He also helped me make cookies and since stirring is hard work, some flour escaped the bowl.

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Friday morning came and Avery was so excited…. that he just kept sleeping and sleeping.IMG_6499

I even tried my ‘mommy tactics on him – opened the window, turned on the lights… but he was still snoozing.  I guess he knew he had a big camping weekend ahead of him and he needed to stock up on sleep!  Friday at noon, we were off!  Grampy and I (Mimi had to work all day and joined us later Friday night) picked Avery up at daycare (which Avery thought was pretty cool since we had the camper with us!).IMG_6501

(Oh, Avery looks like a grump in this picture because he’s making a “Pokey Face”)

Just over an hour later, we pulled into the campground – and we were the first ones there! (first ones in our group – we had 6 sites reserved for my Papa’s side of the family – my Mom’s Dad).  After setting up the camper, we headed off to the railroad track.
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We stayed at River’s Bend, in New Haven VT.  It’s very secluded along a river, but there is a train track and bridge near the entrance.IMG_6506

We climbed up the hill and I snagged a couple good pictures of these two.

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I wouldn’t dare walk over the bridge part – eek too high.  But Grampy and Joseph did.

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Avery and I stayed on the tracks and I almost got a very poetic picture of Avery on the tracks, then the dogs photobombed it.

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We put down pennies and dimes for the train to flatten.  We went back on Saturday and we found them all – smushed.  Avery and Joseph (my cousin) thought it was pretty cool!
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To bring our first day camping to a close, we did popcorn over the fire…IMG_6518

Good thing we brought two bags of it because the first one exploded, haha.  Avery and Grampy enjoyed their usual nighttime snack.IMG_6520

The rest of the weekend was a blur of fun… lots of fishing, playing in the sand, kayaking, playing with family – cornhole and woffleball and some new game called KamnJam.  Avery skipped rocks in the water and rode his bike around with Joseph.  They played soccer and with this helicopter spinner Avery would let off and Joseph or Mia would catch.

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Grampy finally caught a couple fish.  Avery had so much fun playing with his second cousins – ‘my friends’ as he calls them.  He woke up Sunday morning and asked ‘where are my friends?’ since they only came for the day on Saturday and had left that night.  He really loves playing with them.

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Avery, Grampy, and I spent hours looking for fish.  I took this picture a split second before Avery fell in right there.  It was too funny.  He had a soaked pantleg (just one) and a shoe. We were all laughing.  The water wasn’t deep so he didn’t get far and his pants dried before we got back to camp.IMG_6536

The river was so low in places that we walked out to islands like this a couple times.  We found broken pottery, dug holes making rivers and floating sticks and leaves down – so much fun.IMG_6564

And Avery and I went out in the kayak 4 times I think… one time we even took Frasier along!

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I didn’t carry my phone around with me, so there aren’t pictures of every second of the weekend, but that’s what camping is all about – leaving work, and housework, and electronics at home and enjoying the outdoors and the people you’re with – and we sure did that.

We closed the weekend with smores… oh and catching a frog – the second one of the weekend.IMG_6566

Thank you Johnson Family for such a fun camping weekend.  Sunday afternoon while I was baking up a storm for the week and Avery was playing play doh, he says ‘I want to go camping’.  I think he had fun 🙂

❤ Meghan

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Surprises and Easter!

We started April off with a bunch of surprises – and not just any surprises… ones that had been in the works for MONTHS!

On just a typical Wednesday afternoon, Avery and I went out and instead of heading to a friend’s house (Kate, I used you as a cover!), we went to the airport to pick up MiMi’s birthday present.

Months ago, Grampy and I were talking about what to do for MiMi’s big 50th birthday and we decided on a dinner of close friends.  While we were running names, Mina’s name came up (she worked with MiMi as a teacher here in VT, had a baby last summer (Charlie), and moved back to Reno, Nevada), and we knew Mom would love to have her here, so I wung it and asked Mina if she would like to come (and Charlie too), and they accepted our invitation!!!

So, sneakily, Avery and I picked them up from the airport, and brought them home to surprise MiMi!  We had been planning for months, and the weekend before, I got to buy baby food and diapers for Charlie’s stay!
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Avery was very excited for our friends coming!  We picked up a couple things for Charlie’s Easter basket, and a few ‘baby’ animals for Avery and headed to the airport to watch the plane come in.IMG_5810

Avery took this picture! (see the BUSY airport behind me and the tiny animals?)IMG_5817

Burlington Airport is very small and not busy at all.  We only saw two big planes come in during an hour wait.  Avery had fun watching a small plane do touch and gos tho from the observation tower.IMG_5819

They arrived and we headed home! MiMi was so very happy when we arrived – there were tears 🙂IMG_5841
Mina and Charlie stayed with us for a week.  We converted half the finished basement into a room for them – and thanks to hoarding all of Avery’s baby stuff, we had everything they needed!

Charlie is 9 months, so he was sitting up, putting everything in his mouth – such a sweet age!
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I had the pleasure of making Charlie and Mina breakfast and lunch a couple days – he was so cute eating finger foods like hot dogs, scrambled eggs, and mac n cheese.IMG_5824

Oh and I got to fold his tiny baby clothes!!! So so so cute!IMG_5830

On Friday, Avery got a surprise – his 3 (second) cousins came over to play!  My cousins had a death in the family and asked me to watch their kiddos for the afternoon.  Avery had fun playing outside with them and later having pizza and a movie (our Friday night tradition).IMG_5838

We got snow Friday night, so Saturday we played outside with Charlie – it was his first real experience with snow!IMG_5843

Avery and Grampy had snowball fights and Charlie took a sled ride.IMG_5851

Saturday morning I took Avery to the town common for the Easter Egg Hunt – we met our friends Joayn and her son Caleb there.  After they gathered all the eggs and got bags of goodies, we went to their grandparents house so the boys could play and we had coffee and chatted – so fun.

Then it was back to surprise plotting because I had to pick up more supplies at the store (I got most of them the weekend before) for MiMi’s surprise party that night!

Mina made an excuse to get Mom out of the house with them, and then the party planning began!  Grampy made four different yummy meats,  Sarah and Jonathan and their friends Kelly and Amanda came with decorations and gifts and desert.  I made appetizers (I tried to keep it healthy with fruit and veggies and dips) and Charlie approved…

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The guests came with a dish each (thank you everyone!!!).  When MiMi got back home, we had a house full of people, and food!  MiMi was surprised and we all had a great time celebrating her big milestone with her.

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Avery helped her open presents… some socks, gift cards, lottery tickets, and lots of wine!IMG_5979
Sunday we celebrated Easter, and it was Charlie’s first!  Avery got a basket from the Easter Bunny filled with goodies.

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He got new underwear (The Easter Bunny must have known his current ones were getting tight!), chocolate eggs with characters inside, a ball set, and eggs that grow animals!IMG_5858

Avery was very excited about the chocolate eggs – he bit one and got the toy from inside and didn’t want the rest of the chocolate.  These eggs were months in the making – Avery always watches these youtube videos of eggs with tiny characters inside, but they don’t make them in the US, so we found them in China and had them shipped here a month ahead of time.  It was worth it, because so far Avery has opened two eggs, both cars from the Disney movie ‘Cars’ were inside and he loves playing with them.

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Charlie got shaker eggs and a bunny rabbit!  And two packages arrived with Easter books for the boys!IMG_5866

He seemed to enjoy them, just not the bunny ears – they barely lasted long enough to take this picture!

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MiMi and Grampy made a big Easter Linner (Lunch+Dinner, served early afternoon) and we got all dressed up for our family and friends to arrive.IMG_5880

I was so proud of Avery, he kept his tie on even though he complained ‘its hurting me!’… it was a clip on, and the shirt collar was big on his neck, so dramatic!

The kids at the kids table…

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And the big adults table…IMG_5882IMG_5883

The kiddos had a fun egg hunt downstairs…IMG_5888

And Avery worked very hard the two weeks before Easter making the Egg Piniata…

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He kept asking every time we put a layer on if he could smash it… well he finally got his chance to!

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Charlie even took a few swings – and after two rounds, there was candy everywhere!

The surprises ended when on MiMi’s actual birthday, Grampy gave her two handmade aderondak chairs with their names engraved.  I was sitting in them this afternoon actually… oh see all the snow is finally gone!!!
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Now that all the surprises are out, I’m back to the blog.  So much sneaking around took lots of time and effort!  Next up… the plan for saving for our house!!!  It’s already in the works, just gotta bring everyone up to speed and get back on my monthly updates for it 🙂

Oh and a big thanks for everyones congrats on paying off my loans – so exciting and glad to share it with everyone!

❤ Meghan

Sun and Fun

I love Vermont, and how we get to experience all 5 seasons (for you flatlanders, the 5th is mud season), but man, this winter has been tough!  It’s been below freezing for two months straight, which means we can’t go outside for too long and add in the fact that I work from home, so I rarely get out – well it has caused some serious cabin fever.  It’s March, a week away from the first day of spring and this is what it looks like outside…

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So you can imagine how thrilled we were when we left that snowy wonderland behind us for the warm west coast! So on a wintery wednesday, I spent the morning packing a bag with short sleeve shirts, capris, and sunglasses (later dubbed ‘Averyators’, thanks to Robin).

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So that afternoon, we spent our first hour (of many for this vaca) in an airport headed for warmer climates…

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Since we flew out of VT, it’s a small airport and we had to transfer, so two flights, and a couple zzz’s later…

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(we flew over Vegas on our way… a little foreshadowing…)IMG_5396

We were in the sunny OC!

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Avery stayed back with MiMi and Grampy while Steve and I (who have been planning this for mooooonths and talking about it since the summer, before we were dating) visited our friends from high school, Robin and Nate.  Now let’s preface this big reunion vacation with a little backstory…

Robin, Steve, and I went to elementary school together.  Robin and I were the bestest of friends – my family practically adopted her.  She went camping with us when we vacationed.  Her pet rabbit lived with my rabbit at my house.  She ‘taught’ me how to ski. She called my Dad ‘Chef Boyardee.” Good times.  (Oh and maybe this is a good time to mention Steve and I went to before/after school daycare together where he sneakily stole my first kiss!!! But he broke up with me on the school bus – a bunch of times, so needless to say, that didn’t last long)

When Robin went to a different high school than Steve and I, we kept in touch, but then I met Nate (he had gone to a elem school in another town)… why or how Nate and I became close friends is beyond me.  But when Robin transfered to our highschool, I introduced her to Nate.  They fell in love, and after graduation, moved to California.  So essentially, I lost both of my best friends.  We all lost touch over the years.

Fast forward ten years, Robin and Nate (finally) got married last summer – in Vermont.  So to my surprise, Steve was there too.  We hit it off and started Friday Night Wine Nights together – so all summer we caught up (and tried some good and bad wines), and what do you know, we eventually fell for each other(Awe).  It was only fitting that Robin and Nate repaid the favor I did them 10 years ago 😛

Soooo ever since their wedding, we had been playing around with the idea to visit them.  And so, we did.  We booked the flights and flew out there with no agenda… no plans whatsoever.

We stayed with Robin and Nate’s in their adorable house…

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We met their two pets, who Avery was more interested to see when I face timed with him than me.  Abby:

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And Kunta.

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We had four fun-filled days with them.  Some of the highlights…

Fried Pickles!  After hours and hours on planes and in airports, Nate and Robin picked us up late Wednesday night and we went to dinner and introduced them to our fave app.

Drag Racing Nate’s New Car! After meanduring around a mall for the afternoon, the men endulged in some racing fun.

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We look so happy in this pic… at this point we didn’t know we’d be stuck in the car for 6 hours days later.

Nate and Steve found this place with a drag strip where you can race your own cars.  They signed their life away and Robin and I watched from the stands as they tried to beat other cars.

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Laguna Beach!

We rode down to the beach in Nate’s fancy smancy Camero.IMG_5405

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We walked around and checked out a few stores (I got and sent two post cards to Avery and my Grandma), then walked the sandy beach.IMG_5406

We sooo lucked out with weather.  It was litterally 90 degrees warmer than in was in VT.  70s in Cali and -20 to -30 in VT.IMG_5413

To say we were happy was an understatement.

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We were in loooove.IMG_5416IMG_5419

We picked some seashells for Avery (he loved them and brought them to school to show off)

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The water was cold, but bearable.  I mean, common, we spent hours at the beach in February!!

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Awe.  Aren’t the newlyweds too cute! (Nate was actually trying to push her in…)IMG_5426

We loved it so much, we thought we would just stay and buy this fixer upper…

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We washed up and had some drinks and food right on the beach.IMG_5439IMG_5445

When we got back to their place, we were raring to go out to the Lakers game that night….IMG_5447

Lakers Game!

Before heading to the game, we visited my second cousin Kellee and her two kiddos and two dogs.  She’s the daughter-in law of my Uncle John, the one I’m buying the house from.  It was so nice to finally meet her in person!  Then it was off to fight traffic on the way to  LA.

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Robin and Nate had got us all tickets to the game that night, and not just any tickets…IMG_5458

Yep, we were THAT close.IMG_5460

mandatory ‘We’re Sitting THIS Close” photo to prove it.IMG_5461

We had drinks and prezels and smoozed with Denzel and Mark Walberg. (no, really, they were there!)

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And we even made it on the big screen!!!  I was waving and smiling and Steve was like what?

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The game was very close and exciting.  I’ve been to Celtics games, and even sat in box seats thanks to my company, but these seats… amazing!!!IMG_5466

Oh and on our long ride into LA for the game, we decided, hey, we don’t have plans for the weekend, so let’s go to Vegas.  And…. we did.

Vegas!

6am the next morning, we were on the road headed to Sin City!IMG_5468

Steve had never been, the rest of us had, so we were on a mission to show Steve what Vegas was all about.  The ride was just over 4 hours… lots of nothing to look at on the way….

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A random pitstop along the way…

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We arrived, and stayed at the Aria, one of the new hotels.  I wanted to stay at Treasure Island, but they had been booked – can’t blame them, we booked a hotel the day before going!

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So smansy, we walked into the hotel room and the window curtain opened up and music turned on… we weren’t in Kansas Vermont anymore!IMG_5483

We went exploring on the strip, and our first stop was the M&M store!

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I got Avery these M&Ms, personalized with his name (he was thrilled when I brought them home)

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“Oh hey, we’re in Vegas” selfie with New York New York behind us.IMG_5480

After lots of exploring, we sat down for some food on the strip.IMG_5482

After some napping and slot machine fun (not! we lost $11 and called it a night), we headed off to Fremont Street.IMG_5488

So many lights… and so many people!

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Nate and Steve did the Zip Line…

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Then it was back to the strip to visit the Bellagio fountains and atrium.IMG_5493IMG_5494

And then we did what any kid-free couple does late at night while in Vegas…. we grabbed some food, a six-pack, and headed back to our hotel room.IMG_5505

I think my fave part of the trip, other than all the laughing between all four of us all vaca, was relaxing in bed the next morning… ahh sleeping in is sooooo nice.

Before we headed out, we endulged in some more candy and chocolate….IMG_5506IMG_5507

Then began our 24 hour journey home.  We drove back to the OC, which took forever!  We were tired and sick of sitting before we even got to the airport.  Demonstration… Left, on the way TO Vegas.  Right, on the way BACK from Vegas.IMG_5511

Other than oodles of traffic, we saw a fun road sign.  IMG_5512

And it didn’t rain allll vacation, until we got in that car to drive back.  Good timing.

Our flight back to Newark was delayed a little bit, then 4 hours later in Newark (now morning on the east coast), we had a 6 hour layover thanks to a delayed plane.IMG_5514

When we were on the final plane ride home, we were a bit excited… and tired!IMG_5515

We finally got into VT 24 hours after we had left Vegas.  We only had a few hours of sleep while on the planes (I cannot sleep on planes) and it took us the next week to catch up on sleep I think.  I was excited to see Avery when we got in though.  MiMi had kept him home from preschool so he could meet us at the airport – he ran up to me and told me about the planes he was watching and he wouldn’t let me go.  Such a fun vacation, but we will be VERY happy if we don’t see an airport for a while… good thing our next visit with Robin and Nate will be here in Vermont after we buy the new house this fall!

❤ Meghan

Can You Feel the Love

Can you feel the love (tonight)?  Avery’s been watching Lion King way too much if I’m quoting songs from it for blog posts!  Can’t lie, I have fun singing along to all the movie’s songs, cuz knowing all the words after not seeing it for 20 years is pretty awesome.  Hakuna matata!

We sure felt the love this weekend for Valentines Day.  As with any holiday, we prepped goodies during the week beforehand.  Avery played with scissors, glue, glitter, stamps and markers to make homemade valentine cards for Aunt Sarah, Grampy, and Great Grandma and Grandpa.  For Mimi, Avery painted noodles and made her a necklace!
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Avery’s school had a Valentines party on Friday, so I scoured Pinterest for ideas.  I really wanted a Valentine that didn’t have candy (because I knew there would be lots of candy, which kids love, but I’m sure they won’t need more of after a candy filled party!) so I found one with cars – perfect for my car loving kiddo. The example online had a cheap little dollar store car, so I splurged and got real hot wheel cars that the kiddos would actually keep and use for a long time.  I used the paint program on my computer and printed the simple cards.IMG_5200

Some cutting and taping, and a few minutes later, I had this!IMG_5201

And a lot of more minutes later I had all these!IMG_5202

Avery was soooo excited when he saw them.  And when we brought them to school, I put them in a bag and he demanded to carry it and stopped and showed everyone his valentines as we walked to his classroom.  As kids came in, he kept asking if they wanted to see his Valentines.  It was adorable.  I had to put them away for the party later otherwise he would have handed them out right then and there!

That night, Avery came home with a goodie bag of all the Valentines from school.  He dumped it out on the floor and spread them out to show us.IMG_5242

He also took Mimi’s out from school and checked those out too.  He was most excited about the lolli pops – still one of his favorite candies.

Saturday morning, we opened Valentines gifts.  Avery got a box of chocolates and a fun card from MiMi and Grampy with a Lightning McQueen bracelet.IMG_5247

Grampy also got him a bunch more finger lights (Avery got a set of these for Xmass and loved them!) so we had fun turning off the lights and playing with these yesterday!IMG_5259

And then Avery opened his gift from me while Grampy opened his gift from Mimi…

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We had a theme….

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And of coarse the shot is blurry!  Grampy got blades for his razor, and Avery got a shaving kit!

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Avery got a car like his friends at school, candy for his Pez, and some jelly beans of coarse 🙂  Mimi got a massager from Grampy and we tested it out!

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Avery got me a card that said ‘I love you’ and two new books for story time at night.  Then we were off for a fun filled morning at ECHO!  It’s been freeezzing here, so since we haven’t been able to go outside, we had some fun at the aquarium inside.

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We saw turtles, fish, star fish and frogs!

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Avery had fun in the games exhibit too.IMG_5266

That night we had a yummy family dinner together and before bath, Avery and Grampy shaved together…IMG_5268IMG_5270IMG_5271IMG_5272

I made a batch of heart cookies for Steve and he brought me the most beautiful bouquet!

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Happy Valentines!

❤ Meghan

Holidaze

Brace yourself, this is a long one!  I know I’m super overdue for a post, so here goes the holiday recap…

To start, Avery had some fun school festivities in December. First, he had a Polar Express Day! Everyone dressed up in PJs, brought stuffed friends/toys, watched the movie, and had popcorn!
When we got to school that day, the door was decorated

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And there were train tracks in the hallway….IMG_4579

Avery chose his fire truck PJs, and Simon and his blue blanket to bring with him.IMG_4581

When he came home, he was raving about everyones different PJs, and how he loved the popcorn (one of his favorite snacks!)

Next up, was the holiday party at school.  The kids were so cute, with reindeer hats they made using their handprints.

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They had red pom poms on popsicle sticks for noses too, so cute!!

The preschool & afterschooler’s sang a song:

Avery is on the left, in the green and white striped shirt… you know, the one whose nose won’t stay still… haha.

And the kiddos exchanged gifts (books)
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Avery gave a friend a ‘Frozen’ book, and she gave him a construction pop up book.

And to top it off, the kiddos had some special holiday cake (Well, Avery had frosting, haha)

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Our next holiday celebration was Valyou Family Christmas.  And somehow I fell into the role of planning and prepping for it (not complaining, I just think it’s funny – and so happy with how it turned out!).  So, our big family came together

Thanks to my cousin Danielle, Uncle John, and Brittany, homemade decorations covered the room, making it look so festive!

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This year we had it at the Eagles Club (Thanks Grandma), so with Grampy watching Avery, Mom, Sarah and I got to decorate.

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Mom made some homemade centerpieces too – mason jars filled with candy, wine bottle corks, popouri, and an electric candle.
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I even setup a DIY photobooth that was a hit, especially with the little ones.

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I used leftover streamers, and gathered props from around the house.  We bought 3 mustaches, and mom made a couple beards, but otherwise, it didn’t cost anything to make… and the pictures came out pretty funny…
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Oh and following last years tradition, we wore ugly sweaters, and Avery and Grampy wore shirts from their favorite Christmas Movie, Elf.
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Grampy’s shirt says ‘Son of a Nutcracker’, a quote from the movie.  Avery’s says ‘Grandson of a Nutcracker.’

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Our family members arrived and the yankee swap table quickly filled up…

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We played a 28 person yankee swap, with a twist!  Everyone had a number on their card, and inside was instructions to either keep their gift, swap with anyone, or something silly like swap with the tallest person, the person with the biggest feet, or whoever looked most like Santa.

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Uncle Mike brought his new puppy, Willow.

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And thanks, to my cousin, Amy, we got lots of family pictures- Our little family.Capture

Gram, Gramp, and Dad’s siblings (the parents & their EIGHT kids):

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The ELEVEN grandkids (only 1 of us is missing, Miss you Eric!):Capture4

The NINE great grandkids (2 missing, Benj & Ellery):

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And the whole fam (missing Eric, Lindsay, Benj, & Ellery)

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Next up… Christmas Eve.  We played games, had snackies, and Avery enjoyed his first shirley temple!

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(Toddler Tip: Make a shirley temple with apple juice instead of ginger ale)

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We played Avery’s favorite board game… candy land!

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Aunt Sarah was home from Grad School – Avery was very excited to see her.

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Avery and Grampy got a little gift to wear to bed… matching PJ’s!  (A tradition my sis and I used to do every year as kids, and we are happy to hand it off to them now, haha)

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Avery set out cookies, cheese, and milk for Santa (Yes, he asked to leave santa cheese… the kid loves cheese), and we sprinkled reindeer dust (he made at school) on the back porch and left a carrot for them too.  We read the night before Christmas and said goodbye to the Elf on the Shelf.  Avery was very excited for Santa to come, and fell asleep pretty quickly.

Then the ‘grown ups’ stayed up for some more festivities…

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Dad and Steve had way too much fun, obviously.  A couple drinks and a long golf card game later, we all headed to bed to wait for Santa.

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Christmas morning… Santa had come and Avery was very excited!

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He went right for the firetruck, checked if the cheese and carrot had been eaten, and immediatly wanted to open presents!
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We started with stockings.  Avery got a new toothbrush, socks, jelly beans, and a new loufa for bath time.IMG_4695

He got a new sled – which we still haven’t used.  It’s been below freezing here for a while and we have little snow.

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Aunt Sarah made pancakes, and Avery put out a fire while she was cooking.IMG_4699

After the stockings, we had a yummy breakfast…IMG_4700

Pancakes made with love 🙂IMG_4701

Then started the gifts… Avery got Chutes and Ladders and Candy Land.IMG_4710

He got food for his kitchen.IMG_4713

And a playmat for his cars and trucks!IMG_4720

I scored a pink headband for running in the cold.

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Aunt Sarah got this little something from me:

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She’s a college student, so I wanted to give her money, but didn’t want to be lame about it.  And we’re big fans of Forest Gump, so I think she liked 🙂

She got Avery and I a year membership to Echo (the aquarium & science center in Burlington)  We’ve already gone once – they had reindeer during our visit too!

Avery and Grampy got eachother ‘shooting things’ as Avery calls them.IMG_4725

We’ve since had fun making targets with stacking cups.. so much fun for when we’re stuck inside this winter.

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Avery even got a viewfinder.  He looked inside at safari animals, and says, ‘How’d he get in there?!’ haha

And a few hours later, Avery’s loot looked like this!

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I know, it looks overboard, but it wasn’t.  He needed some warm clothes, socks and underwear, and a new lunch box, so Santa brought those.  We were also using our 1985 versions of board games, so he was due for some that didn’t have faded colored cards that we couldn’t tell red from orange.  He got a few travel essentials, like the blue lap table, coloring book, preschool activities book, and three new movies (because honestly, we need a break from watching the same ones we have over and over!! haha).

Then we piled into the car and visited both sets of Grandparents, came home and had a yummy Xmass dinner together.

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Then after Avery was in bed (tired boy!), Steve and I exchanged gifts.  I was spoiled with a massage gift card (which I already used… ahhhh so nice!) and I made him a blanket (cuz he’s always cold!)
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Such a fun holiday.  Avery is at such a fun age that this Christmas was even more fun than the last… just keeps getting better and better. Now if I could only say that for Avery’s sleeping and eating habits!

Did I mention we had fun?  😛

❤ Meghan

It’s Beginning to Look…

A lot like CHRISTMAS!

We put the tree up last weekend, and since then it’s been gathering a few gifts.  Avery’s been super good and hasn’t even tried to open them.  We do find Avery over by the tree sometimes moving ornaments, and stealing candy canes (usually with the help of Grampy because Steve and I put those up high on the tree so ‘someone’ couldn’t reach them…. and by ‘someone’, I meant Grampy).  I’m 90% done Christmas shopping too, so the gifts I have are wrapped and sitting under the tree.  One week away… gotta finish up fast!

Avery is very excited this year.  It’s such a fun age.  We started talking about Christmas the night of Thanksgiving when we read the Elf on the Shelf book.  Since then, Avery’s excited every day to look for the Elf.  He’s been super sneaky this year (he zip lined thru the living room the night after we put up the tree!).  I swear, we have more fun looking for him than Avery does!

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Some mornings I find Grampy wandering around the house and eventually coming to me asking “OK, Where is he?!’

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Avery tells us the Elf flies around because he has magic.  And if Avery isn’t behaving, we remind him that the Elf is watching and 9 out of 10 times, it helps 🙂

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Now, if you’re familiar with the Elf on the Shelf tradition (we started it last year), you know that the child(ren) get to name the elf.  Well, last year, Avery wouldn’t name him.  The only thing he would name him after I asked him was ‘Bunny’.  This year however, our elf had an identity crisis, and changed names.IMG_4491

Turns out, the elf also visits Avery’s daycare, and at daycare, the elf’s name is Henry.  So, one morning when I was getting Avery dressed in the bathroom, he looked up and saw the elf and pointed saying ‘Ah! It’s Henry!!’  Took me a minute to talk with Avery to figure out where the name had come from, haha.IMG_4543

Oh, bonus points if you can find the object the Elf has carried around with him every day…. 😉

It’s not Christmas without…. SNOW! (seriously, how do you people do it in Cali and Texas and Florida?! And you’re probably thinking we’re crazy with all this white stuff thinking how do we do it?! haha)IMG_4503

We got a big snowstorm last week that lastest DAYS.  First, it was freezing rain, then it snowed a bunch (8 inches-ish) one afternoon-evening.  Then it kept snowing (another few inches) the next few days.  All the schools around here were closed on Wednesday, and the snow finally stopped on Saturday.  Luckily, I work from home so I didn’t have to worry about commuting.  Plus, Avery’s school was open when school was closed (yay!).

Avery loves the snow.  He still loves his shovel the best.  I think we shoveled the front porch 3-4 times last week, haha.  And over the weekend, Grampy snow-blowed and we knocked the giant iscicles and snow off the roof.
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The snow on the edge of the roof curled around and did this… pretty cool!

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Steve took advantage of the snow and surprised me with a snowshoeing trek up the notch Saturday afternoon.
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This is the same place we went hiking in October… look at the difference in scenery.

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Love this state! #ilovermont
We soooo have to get Avery a set of kids snow shoes now that hunting season is over and we can go wandering in the woods around the house.

Tis the season to give gifts, so I sent out cards to our friends and family.

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It took me a couple weeks to take a few minutes here and there to order them, address them, and send them out.  Last year I ordered 50 and ran out, so this year I ordered 75 to be safe and I think I have 4 left.  Phew, close call.  I need to stop making so many friends!

And instead of giving gifts to each of Avery’s teachers, we chose to give the Preschool a gift: Snowman and letter foam sticker kits.
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Avery had played with a fall version of these at the Turkey Trot, so we found them on sale (50% off!) on Black Friday, so we snagged them and the kiddos had fun making snowmen and their names.

Our latest holiday project was thought up by Mimi and Grampy.  We took gingerbread house making to the next level and made a candy log cabin!

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Avery had so much fun putting the candy on….IMG_4562

But I think he liked it so much because he got to EAT the candy too, haha.IMG_4549

We had waffer cookies for roof shingles, gummy bears, gum drops, necco waffers… and marshmellows.  Yum!IMG_4551

Avery was so proud when we were done 🙂IMG_4560

Grampy even drizzled some chocolate on the roof… looks so yummy!!!IMG_4561

Only 7 days until Christmas, and Avery knows it!  Mimi made a couple advent calendars for him and he never forgets to open his number every day!

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He’s got cars, candy, play doh, and an ornament.  So fun!  (Mimi made the calendar out of a muffin pan – pretty cool!!!)IMG_4280

We have a busy week, and our holidays start this weekend with Valyou Christmas on Sunday!

Happy Wednesday!!!

❤ Meghan

 

if you don’t already, follow us on Instagram – lots of photos of our daily shenanigans posted more frequent than blog posts 😉

Oh Christmas Tree

It’s a winter wonderland outside, thanks to the snowstorm we got here over the past couple days.  Schools were closed, roads were a mess, and the power threatened to go out.  Now there’s 8 inches or more of snow on the ground…. Avery is thrilled!  And I’m happy we got our tree last weekend because trekking thru this lovely white stuff would have been pretty funny.

On Sunday, we took a drive to a tree farm to pick out and cut down our Christmas tree.

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This was Avery’s first trip picking out a tree.  In years past, we used a fake one, and Mom and Dad even brought a tiny one down to Boston from Vermont one year.  Growing up, we would always go out looking and cutting down our Christmas tree, so it was very exciting for Avery to join in the tradition this year.

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We arrived, grabbed a sled and saw, and walked around in search of the perfect tree.  The tree farm had lots of rolling hills and roads.  Grampy and Avery piled into the sled and took the fast way down – sledding down the hill ahead of us.  Grampy said Avery was pretty excited when they got to the bottom (defined by the tree they crashed into) and yelled and cheered when they finished.

So, after looking around, we found a few contenders.  Avery picked the winner, and before chopping it down, we snagged some photos.

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Avery helped Grampy saw the tree down…

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We hauled it to the road and put it in the truck.  Before we left, we stopped to see Santa!IMG_4369

We brought the tree home and later that night, we decorated it.  I asked Avery to demonstrate where the tree was going and how big it was…IMG_4379

And after clearing a path, Grampy and Mimi brought the tree in…IMG_4385IMG_4386IMG_4389IMG_4391IMG_4393

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Grampy clipped the branches down low – to make room for all the presents, of coarse!  Simon and Avery were intrigued…

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Avery helped pour water in the tree stand.

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It’s very exciting putting up a Christmas tree, especially with Christmas music playing and a broom stick to dance with…

And then it was time to decorate!  Lights first….IMG_4404IMG_4407IMG_4410

Avery likes colored lights best, so those went on next…

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While we were working on the tree, Grampy was making homemade pizzas for dinner.  Avery wanted in on the fun, so Grampy showed him how to stretch the dough…

Next, garland…

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Someone made a little house out of the furniture shoved on the side of the living room.  Avery had me put a blanket over his ‘house’ too, haha.IMG_4415

Next, ornaments…. see that concentration!?

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Awe, it’s so cute to see Avery’s baby ornaments… he was so tiny…and bald!IMG_4425IMG_4430IMG_4432

We have ornaments from when I was a kid… so many art projects, gifts, pictures that make for a very eclectic tree!

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Next – tinsel!

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And finally… the star!

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Sarah and I would take turns every year putting the star on.  This year, it was Avery’s turn!  And to prep for the tree skirt… we needed to do some clean up…

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And so, the tree is up!!!  The next morning… the elf went zip lining with candy canes!IMG_4449

Now, we just need some presents under that tree!  Avery is really understanding Christmas this year – he’s got an advent calendar adding the days up until Santa comes.  He’s helped pick out and wrap gifts.  It’s going to be a fun holiday season!

❤ Meghan