Hello, hello!! Today we’re hitting the road toward Valdosta, Georgia, where we’ll stay the night, then tomorrow we will drive to Disney World!! We have been anxiously anticipating this trip for some time now, and IT’S HERE! IT’S HERE! I will have a few posts coming at ya this week, but rest assured, I am not blogging while at Disney World. If you find yourself asking throughout the week “how is she finding time to blog while at Disney?” – I’m not. I have pre-written these posts ahead of time!
Valdosta is only about 3 hours north of Orlando. We decided to stay the night there so that we wouldn’t have as far to drive in the morning. We should get to Animal Kingdom shortly after the park opens tomorrow and enjoy a full day at the park!
I’m excited (and a bit nervous) to see how this trip is going to go. I know it will be tiring, but David and I have made a pact to not sweat the small stuff. The girls will probably be beside themselves excited, which means they may not be using their best logic (you know, all that logic that 5 year-olds and 2 year-olds have), but we are going to try to just roll with the punches. Thankfully, my parents are with us this week, so we will have some help reigning in all that energy. We want for everyone to have a good time, we want to say yes as much as possible, and we want to spoil the heck out of them this week.
Now! Let’s rewind a bit and I’ll quickly recap the past week or so. Last Thursday, Raley had her Thanksgiving program and feast at school. This is something special that the teachers organize for only the 4-year-old classes (this is the oldest class before they head to Kindergarten). Parents and grandparents are invited to come watch a short program of songs that they’ve learned, then sit down to a feast.
Raley used to be quite shy when it came to singing on stage. For a couple years in a row, any time she’d get on stage at school for any program she would either stand there and not sing, or cry. I’m very proud of the confidence she is gaining. You can still tell she’s a tad bit reserved, but she sang all the songs and did all the hand motions.
The ladies at MMO prepared all of the food for the feast, and boy it was delicious!! We are so grateful for these wonderful ladies who put so much hard work into teaching our kids and for preparing special events like this for families to enjoy.
Last weekend we were sort of joking about the fact that the entire weekend was filled with Christmas activities and it wasn’t even Thanksgiving. I sort of like that some Christmas events happen in November though, because then December isn’t quite as jam packed. On Friday night, I took Raley to see The Dance Company’s production of the Nutcracker. This is our third year seeing the Nutcracker together, and I love that she gets just as excited as I do. Eventually we will include Audrey in this little tradition, but I don’t think she was ready this year. Hopefully next year she’ll be able to sit still and enjoy it.
Raley kept asking “when is it my turn to dance on the stage?” Just the fact that she’s asking this question makes my heart happy, because of how stage-shy she used to be. One of her student teachers from last year, Miss Taylor, was the Snow Queen, and a young lady from church, Kaylee, was the Sugar Plum Fairy. They were both incredible! We ended up finding both of them and getting pictures after the show. This was like meeting a princess to her!
I took her to Dairy Queen after the show and we enjoyed a quick ice cream date.
Saturday morning, I took Raley to the Christmas Open House in downtown Athens. There was a makeshift ice skating rink, and Raley skated for nearly an hour. She could not get her feet under her at first, but she quickly caught on and was skating around on her own in no time (when I say skating, I really mean walking in skates. But I was impressed at how well she kept her balance!)
We hopped in and out of a few stores, walked through a quilt show, and got some chips and cheese dip and Lucia’s. She was the one who asked if we could go into the quilt show and she enjoyed looking at all the different designs. I think she just liked being able to do big girl things with Mommy, which I very much enjoy as well!
Saturday evening we met my parents at the Huntsville Botanical Garden for the Galaxy of Lights. On certain nights in November, you can walk through the light displays and in December you can drive through. We definitely prefer to walk! We can set our own pace, and it feels so great to be outside in the crisp, cool night air! They had hot cocoa and cookies to warm us up about half way through. The girls loved it! We ended up running into some friends from church so they were excited to walk with their friends. It was pretty adorable.
Sunday after church we met David’s mom and sister Lindsey at Bridge Street for lunch, then walked around for a bit before seeing the new Grinch movie. We happened to run into the best Santa! He is such a sweet man.
The Grinch movie was so good! Nothing will ever beat the original, but this will definitely be one that we’ll buy and will go into our Christmas movie collection. Audrey was fascinated by it. She sat unusually still for a majority of the movie. She got antsy at the end, but overall she did great for her age.
She was definitely exhausted by the time we left!
Our church holds a holiday gift drive each year, so I packed up the girls one morning and strolled around Target to pick out gifts for a little girl close to their age. I enjoy involving them with this process, because I think it is a wonderful learning opportunity for them. Audrey wasn’t quite understanding yet, but Raley does, and it’s sweet the things that she wants to get for them. Sometimes I have to reign it in, but I’m very proud of how thoughtful she is.
We spent Thanksgiving at David’s parents house with family. The girls finally got to jump in a pile of leaves! It’s so cute watching the joy something so simple brings them.
We ate a delicious meal, got real nice and full, put the girls down for a nap, and played a new board game that Lindsey and Brian brought with them. It’s called Ticket to Ride (anyone out there ever played this?) It was alot of fun! It involves a bit of strategy – one I’d like to buy for ourselves!
We had planned on going to Atlanta and doing Thanksgiving there with my brother and his family, and my parents, but poor Addy came down with RSV this week and ended up having to be hospitalized. Thankfully she is ok and on the mend!
I went out and did some Black Friday shopping in the morning, got a pre-vacation mani-pedi, then went home to take it easy for a bit. After nap time, we went to my parents’ house for lasagna – the Houghton version of a Thanksgiving meal this year, and we’re not complaining!
We rounded out the weekend by making sure everything is packed as it should be and watching the Iron Bowl.
I’m excited to share our vacation with you next week, but in the meantime you can follow along in my Instagram stories! Have a wonderful week yall, and say a quick prayer for safe travels for us if you don’t mind 🙂 See ya real soon!