Merry ChristSMITH! {December Shenanigans}

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December has been a quick and busy month. We kicked it off with some Christmas decorating and tree trimming. Our tree this year was less than stellar, but it got the job done. While we didn’t put out all of our ornaments or decorations because of our impending move, we did just enough to make it feel festive. Plus, it just doesn’t feel like Christmas without a tree filling the house with that awesome smell and glowing lights!

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We had a 9 day trip to Savannah and then Daytona (Chris went to Clearwater for a work trip) in the beginning of December. It seemed like a good idea (before we got our December 26 closing date). Even though it was right in the middle of Christmas season and our big move, we had some nice visiting time with my dad and step-mom and then my mom and Grandma in Daytona. The kids loved all the time with their grandparents.

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One of my favorite memories from last December was our advent calendar. Each day was filled with a fun activity or treat to experience with Brady. This year we did something similar, but we wanted the focus to be more on the act of giving and doing for others (with some fun stuff for the boys mixed in.) Here’s some of our activities we did…

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Making cards and giving candy to the kids in Brady’s class.

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Surprising the boys with their train track around the tree one morning.

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Donating a gift for Toys 4 Tots.

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Eating treats and watching a Christmas movie.

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Visiting with our elderly neighbors and bringing them a Christmas present.

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Picking out Christmas presents for Albert and Gato.

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Getting Peppermint Chocolate Chip milkshakes from Chick-fil-A (mommy’s favorite tradition!)

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Making Candy Cane Brownies for our neighbors.

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Christmas presents for the trash collectors (Brady’s most favorite activity!!)

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Breakfast for Dinner!

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Baking cookies for Santa (frosting/sprinkles for Brady and Nolan!)

Some of our other activities included cleaning out our old toys and giving them away, putting a surprise present in the mailbox for the mailman, looking at Christmas lights, and surprising Brady’s teacher with her favorite coffee one day. I hope these are traditions we continue as it was such a joy watching the boys experience the act of giving and getting to spoil them a little along the way.

While much of the month was consumed with thoughts of our new house and tons of to-do lists, we appreciated any small moments where we got to slow down and enjoy Christmas, our boys, and our new hometown. I loved getting an afternoon to myself to do some exploring and shopping downtown.

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Nothing like walking around downtown on a chilly day! (especially if you have hot coffee in hand, like I did!)

I also loved baking cupcakes and getting to go to Brady’s class celebration for Jesus’s birthday.

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How cute are these kiddos?!

But, admittedly, lots of adult beverages were consumed after bedtime this month to help keep our sanity.

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Even though adding a big trip and a big move to an already busy month at times made us a little, cray cray…

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We are abundantly aware of the many, many blessings God has bestowed upon us. We are constantly in awe of all that He has provided for us and give thanks for the good, the bad, and the crazy every day!

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We spent our Christmas with Grandpa and Nana, opening gifts, eating, and getting ready for our big move.

We hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and will have a blessed 2015!