Countdown to Christmas

Happy Monday friends! I survived another week on campus, passed my exams, and hopefully rocked my last standardized patient ever! It was a LONG week with little time to do more than sit in class and prepare for the next exam. That being said, Christmas is FRIDAY and the countdown to Christmas is on.


We steadily have made our way through our Holiday Bucket List and scratched off the last line item yesterday with some Christmas baking. It was a far cry from my sugar cookies of the past but the girls had a messy blast and the whole process was absolute perfection and these might be my favorite cookies yet since both my girls dove in hands first.


Baking Christmas Cookies

Baking Christmas Cookies 1

Now, I plan to kick my feet up, enjoy hot cocoa, and relish in my Christmas movies for the next few days before they get put away for another year.  Some of my favorites include my all-time-favorite of Love Actually as well as The Holiday, Elf, A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, and so many more.



If you’re looking for some Christmas movies to enjoy over the next few nights check out this sweet calendar from Netflix.  The real question is how many of these movies can you sneak in to the next 4 days ….


Netflix Christmas Calendar

Hope your Monday is great and your week short :)

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This post is brought to you as part of my partnership with Netflix as a member of their Stream Team.

Our December Bucket List

Can you believe that Christmas is a mere 16 days away?! It’s going to be here before we know it! In an effort to make the most of this holiday season with somewhat limited free time I sat down and made our family a December Bucket List of all the things I hoped to do as a family before Christmas. I am sharing it with you today in case you too are looking for a fun family list :)


Holiday Bucket List
We have already started making a dent in it ourselves. Last weekend we cuddled on the couch in Christmas pajamas, popped popcorn, and watched a Mickey Mouse Christmas. Then Saturday we headed into town for our annual Christmas parade and got to wave at Santa! Sunday called for gingerbread houses which was almost too much for Bryn to handle.

Christmas Pajamas Sisters

Town Christmas Parade

Decorating Gingerbread House

What’s on YOUR Holiday bucket list?

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A Girl and Her Bike

Happy Monday friends!  I hope you had a fantastic weekend.  We got back to Savannah late Friday night after an uneventful day of travel.  Traveling with kids can be hit or miss and I am so thankful that our girls had mercy on us this trip :)  We woke up Saturday morning to see that Santa had made a final stop here in Georgia.  He knew we weren’t going to be home for Chrsitmas so he was a gem and came late for us 😉


Much to Emmalyne’s surprise, there under the tree was her very first tricycle.  The cherry on top? Its a FROZEN bicycle.  Cue the excitement.  My house is a mess, bags need unpacking, and laundry needs to be done but all of that was able to wait.  Because obviously trying the new bike out was a must.



We are still figuring out the pedaling dynamics and the difference between go and brake but so far she is doing SO good.  Emmie knows that she has to wear her helmet which just so happens to be Frozen as well.  So the perfect afternoon was spent as a family of 4 teaching Emmalyne how to ride her bike.  Do you think she liked it?

Bike 2

One of my favorite moments of the day was watching Chris take off down the street with Emmie.  I was in the front yard playing with Bryn and Bryn just took off running after her sister.  I know it’s just a matter of time before she will be pedaling beside her big sister!  Here is a quick video of the Emster in action:

Basically we had the perfect weekend! Anyway … I am off school for another week but Chris and the girls are back at it today. I officially start my Insanity MAX:30 challenge today and I have a TON of other things to get down before I start back to school! Have a great day friends :)
What was a highlight from your weekend?

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Grandma’s Pearls

I didn’t really write about it but back in October my Grandma Ida passed away from a long battle with cancer.  It was in the midst of the quarter and I wasn’t sure if I was going to bring it up on here or not.  Losing someone you care about is a deeply personal thing and while I love you guys, I am also a fairly private person.  She was my last living (full) grandparent which made me feel the loss even deeper.  However, a very special Christmas gift made me change my mind and I wanted to pay tribute to the amazing woman my Grandma was.

Grandma Ida



My grandmother came from humble beginnings on a farm in the midwest.  She grew up during the Great Depression and her stories of that time were both heartbreaking and enthralling.  Her life was a hard one but she made the most of it.  My grandmother buried three children during her lifetime (out of 7) which is heartbreak no mother should have to endure.  What she lacked in wealth my grandmother made up for with humor, laughter, and love.  She never had fine things but what she did have she treasured.


When she passed, my mom asked me if there was anything I wanted.  She listed what few things there were and I decided on this stuffed bunny that I had memories from my childhood of.  My mom set off to mail it to me, but a simple mistake by UPS sent it to my mom’s house instead of mine …. where the box was stolen off the porch and the bunny lost forever.  The loss hurt because it was the one treasure I would have of my grandmother.  However, I was thankful because another package with my mom’s treasures was left untouched.


So when my mom sat my sister and I down at our family Christmas saying she had gifts from Grandma I wasn’t sure what to expect.  We were handed these little boxes to open.  Inside, was a poem.  If you know my mom you also know she loves to commemorate everything with a  song 😉


Grandma's Pearls 2


My grandmother had a string of faux pearls that my mother took, had restrung, and given to us as bracelets to cherish for ever.


Grandma's Pearls


I miss my grandma and there have been tough moments since she passed, like deleting her mailing address from my Christmas list etc.  Her faith was deep so I know she spent the holidays partying it up with Jesus at the greatest of all birthdays in heaven for Christmas.  While this bracelet would mean nothing to someone else, it will be one of my most cherished possessions.


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Adventures in Vegas

Happy Friday friends!  I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and that Santa was good to you 😉  We are wrapping up our adventures in Vegas and are hopping on a plane for the second half of our vacay in Phoenix!  Wanted to pop in and share some of our adventures here :)


Ethel M’s

Christmas is one of my father-in-laws favorite times of the year and the outside of their house can rival any Christmas light show, however, going to look at Christmas lights is one of his favorite things to do.  So we loaded in the car and headed down to Ethel M’s for their outdoor Christmas light display!

Ethel M's 2



We had a great time walking around and looking at the lights.  The highlight of Emma’s experience though was the chocolate store 😉  We got amazing hot chocolate and other treats to take with us.  This Christmas light display was FREE and a ton of fun!


Mastro’s Las Vegas

Martin and Yon wanted to take us out to a nice dinner one night and arranged for a babysitter to watch the girls.  Martin had a great year at work and they also wanted to celebrate my first year of PA school so we went to Mastro’s.  We wined and dined and had a great time!  The filet minon was perfection and the lobster mashed potatoes (!!!) are a MUST.


Maestro's Vegas



Mount Charleston

One morning we made the 30-minute drive up Mount Charleston for breakfast.  Getting up in the mountains is one of my favorite things and the views didn’t disappoint!  The little lodge was quaint and the food delicious.  However, word to the wise, the pancakes are MASSIVE.  In fact all the portions were huge so we had way too much food!


Mount Charleston Pancakes



Boo Boos

Emma got a little boo-boo while on our trip.  We took her to the park and she was swinging.  She must have leaned back and lost her balance but she did a back flip off the swings.  Thank God she was ok!  A little scrape on the forehead was all we got but my heart nearly stopped!


Boo Boo


Penny Slots

Chris and I aren’t big spenders when it comes to gambling but I LOVE the penny slots!  I discovered the Zuma one on this trip and had a ton of fun …. and walked away with $90!  Too bad we had NO IDEA what was going on – we just kept hitting the bet button HA.




Unruly Zin

Lastly, you MUST try this wine!  I am not a huge red wine girl – it gives me a headache – but this Unruly Zin is truly phenomenal.  I just googled it online to see where in AZ I can pick some up for my family 😉




Next time I blog I will be back home in the dessert!  Have a great weekend friends!


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