Holiday Season and Toddler Travels

Oh the weather outside is frightful...because it's been so darn hot. I hope that you all had a very blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. Our holidays are never the norm because we are a clergy family. That being said, we are creating our own traditions and putting our own style on the holidays.

One day, I was sitting at the computer looking at Groupon deals, as I so often do and I saw a deal for the indoor water park and resort. I clicked on it and realized that this amazing deal was only for one specific night, Thanksgiving. I told Nate, and he says, "Book it!" The past several years that we have been in McAllen, we have been blessed to be invited to be a part of our friends' Thanksgiving celebrations. This year we decided to lay low and take Zoe out to South Padre Island to splash around in the water. We took her to the Schlitterbahn water park and stayed overnight in their resort. It was only $69! You can't ever get a night on the island for that price, let alone three passes to the indoor water park included. We had a great time. It was a nice little one night getaway for our little family.

In October, my sister, Victoria got married. She and her husband Kurt, are both in the Army and had a small ceremony of about five people in Savannah, GA. Last week, she had a reception to celebrate their marriage. Because I would have to sell one of my body parts to afford to fly us all to Savannah around Christmas time, we drove. Twenty hours there and twenty hours back is no small feat with a toddler. Luckily, we have a very well mannered toddler who can be appeased pretty easily. We learned this trip that she enjoys pop music. Some of her favorites are "Focus" by Ariana Grande, "On My Mind" by Ellie Goulding, "Watch Me (Whip, Nae Nae)" by Silento and "Single Ladies" by Beyonce. She will stop yelling or crying and start dancing to these songs. She will also as for them by name, "Nae Nae, peese" and "My mine".

Dancing to "Single Ladies"

Traveling incognito. It's hard to evade all of the paparazzi when you're Zoe.

Family Pic! 

Stopped to visit Buccee!

Now, it wouldn't be a trip of ours if we didn't have at least a little drama. Zoe started developing a fever before we left on our trip. It was just a low grade fever and she was acting normal, so we didn't feel the need to take her in before we left. The night we got to Savannah her temperature had spiked and we decided that she needed to get her checked out, just to be safe. Anyway, a huge shout out to Blue Cross Blue Shield customer service and Pediatric Associates of Savannah for helping us out in our tourist time of need. She ended up with an ear infection.

I also need to make a big shout out to my man. Nate and Zoe had A LOT of daddy/daughter time on this trip. I had a lot Matron of Honor stuff to take care of. Nate is always super dad, but for this trip he was extra super dad. With Zoe's ear infection and the fact that they were pretty much stuck with just hanging out in a hotel room, it wasn't as easy to be the main person in charge. If it were me, I probably would have lost my mind. Nate has far more patience than I do.

Victoria and Kurt's reception was wonderful. There was good music and dancing.

The Happy Couple

My Date

The dancing machine.

Kisses from her favorite ladies.

Mama and her girls.

We all felt this way at the end of the night.

My beautiful sissy and my little baby.

One of the random things that happened on our trip was we were able to see some of our good friends, the Kelm Family. Pastor Kelm was my pastor in Cincinnati and he served in the Milwaukee area while I was in college up there. I used to babysit their kids. They were on their way to Gulf Shores, AL when we were on our way home. We got to have lunch with them at a Wendy's in Birmingham, AL. It was great. We don't get to see our northern friends very often, if ever, so it was a great treat.

How did these babies get so big?

We returned and it was Christmas. Shockingly, we did not go out of town (note my sarcasm). In the days leading up to Christmas, I worked on getting our Christmas cards out to our out of town friends. Our local friends will be getting them hand delivered at church because I am too cheap to mail them. Postage is expensive these days. Zoe and I attended two Christmas Eve services and then headed home. Nate had three Christmas Eve services and preached on Christmas Day. Zoe and I laid low on Christmas morning. She maxed out at two services. On Christmas morning I had to make and apple crisp and get a shower in. I turned on some Elmo for Zoe and hopped in the shower. Half way through my shower I realized she could be opening all of the presents. It would have been the shower that ruined Christmas! I hurried to finish my shower and ran out to the living room. The presents were safe. Zoe had great self control and waited until noon to open her gifts. I think that we will probably have to do gifts before church in the future. I was even getting impatient waiting until noon. Her favorite gifts this year were her Elmo chair, Little People Minivan and her kitchen. You can read about my painstaking search for the perfect kitchen here. It was quite the search.

Ready for church to start.

It's Christmas!

Watching Elmo while she waits for Daddy.

That's all the presents? I don't believe you.

Loving the Elmo chair.

I knew there was more!

I hope that you all had a very blessed Christmas! We have been very blessed and look forward to what 2016 has in store for us. 

That's all for now. God is good.

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