Friday, December 9, 2016

Photo Dump (November)

I already blogged about the big events (Will's birthday and Kentucky) that happened in November, but here is a photo dump of the little happenings.

11/5: A nice Fall afternoon at Meadowlark Gardens.
11/8: We took the kids to the polls.
11/9: A rainy day and they insisted on going back out after we got home from school so they can use their umbrellas.
11/20: This is how Will texts. πŸ˜…πŸ˜†πŸ˜‡πŸ˜ˆπŸ˜‰πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜‹πŸ˜ŒπŸ˜πŸ˜ŽπŸ˜–πŸ˜”πŸ˜“πŸ˜’πŸ˜œπŸ˜πŸ˜ž
11/22: Thanksgiving lunch at Anna's school. This year we brought Chick-fil-A!
11/26: Upon returning from Kentucky, we found one of our goldfish died. So the next day, we got a new one. Will got to pick it out (a little white one) and named it Blue Eye. The fish's eyes aren't actually blue anything but Anna has a fish called Pink Eye (eyes really are pink) so Blue Eye it is. (Back story: When Anna got her Pink Eye, we got one for Will too, but it didn't live long (could be because Will dropped the bag, could be something else...?), so we had promised him a new fish once a current fish dies to make room for more.)

One last picture. This is actually from today, 12/9. See this building? I love this building. Because it's where I work and it's THREE minutes away from home. But, today is my last day here. *insert all the sad and crying emojis here* Time really flies. I remember talking about it with coworkers and it seemed so far away, but it's already here. When I come back from Taiwan, I will start my drive to Maryland.
It's the end of an era....

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, December 5, 2016


This kids and I are leaving for Taiwan in five days! Nothing is packed, but I am not sweating it. We will do laundry Thursday night, and all the clean clothes will go into the suitcase instead of the closet. Easy peasy, right? I am excited for Taiwan, but also dreading it, if that makes sense. I am sure it does to all the parents out there ;) Since I will be solo'ing (with help from my parents), I am setting expectations low for this epic journey. We will see what we can, eat what we can, and hopefully make good memories and, most importantly, get back home safely.

So! I am trying to squeeze in some Christmastime fun in the week and half that we are in town this December. First, we put up the kids' Christmas tree. Since we won't be here for the holidays, we only set up the little tree in the family room this year. Luke set up the tree and the kids went at it. The ornaments (all homemade) on the kids' tree haven't changed much since we started it 3 years ago... It's not realistic to add any new ones this year, but maybe next year!
^^haha, Will.^^

New for us this year is Jingle on Lake Anne...which brings me to this question, isn't it funny how things sound better on paper? Go ahead and click on that link and tell me that you wouldn't want to go too? Well, the "Holiday Arts & Crafts Market" was probably two or three stands, haha. It wasn't a complete loss though -- I mean, the weather was nice, kids enjoyed decorating (and eating) the cookies, and I visited somewhere new. And yes, Santa and his Elves came on a boat and paddle boards. We didn't get our pictures taken with Santa (too much craziness!), though.  
As promised, we returned to Freeman Store to see Santa this year.
This is seriously the best place to see Santa if you live in the area. FREE, no crowds, and the store itself is just lovely. We bought a little Virginia wall art :)
Both kids were a bit shy to talk to Santa, but mustered up the courage for the sake of presents. Santa said PokΓ©mon is very popular this year. Not surprised :)
I thought we were going to miss seeing Santa this year because of Taiwan, but I am so glad that the date still worked out. Now lets just hope Santa finds us in Taipei!
Happy Christmasing Everyone!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Will is FIVE

Earlier this month, Will turned 5!

That morning, he came downstairs to find balloons and presents. This year he was very specific about what he wanted for his birthday and HE COULDN'T WAIT FOR HIS BIRTHDAY TO COME so he could get his hands them. His birthday loot? PokΓ©mon cards, PokΓ©mon cards, and more PokΓ©mon cards.
Will_5th Birthday
Instead of boring cupcakes, Will requested doughnut holes to bring to school. Luke and I once again debated on whether or not we should just send in the treats in the morning with Will or bring them to school later during snack time. Since this is Will's last year at preschool, we decided to go :) The class sang Happy Birthday and Luke passed out the doughnuts. It was over in 5 minutes and back to the office! haha!
It was still great to be there though :) We learned that Will is the best calendar helper and that his teachers think he's soooo ready for Kindergarten.

I can't remember what we had for dinner that night...I think it was just regular home-cooking...since we had already gone to Pho 75 over the weekend per Will's request. After dinner, it was time for cake! We turned off the light, lit the candle, and sang to our birthday boy. We all loved the ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins.
^^Please note the purple #5 candle from Anna's birthday.^^

Just like all moms out there, I love pictures with everyone in them. Glad I snapped this quick one before cutting into the cake.
Because Will attends birthday parties regularly, he actually asked for a birthday party this year. We convinced him that a birthday trip was the way to go so he went along with it. One of these days though, I want to agree to having a birthday party and invite all his friends. I think he would be so happy and excited.

Will didn't get a party, but a week before his birthday, my parents took the kids out for some Chuck E Cheese's fun. I can't believe we have been going to CEC for the past 3 years now for Will's birthday. He still loves it so much!! πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—
There is so much to say about Will, but it's hard for me to put them into words. Yesterday at his well check-up, he weighs almost 43 pounds and stands a little more than 43 inches tall. That means, he can ride pretty much all the thriller rides at Disney World! That means, we will definitely be going again, just don't know when ;) Will is the sweetest, he calls me his "cute mommy" and his last words to me before bed is always, "good night ai ni oh mama have a good sleep!"

Will is my sunshine-y boy, he never wakes up on the wrong side of the bed and is pleasant to deal with. Sure he can be a little whiny, which makes my blood boil, but as long as you reason with him ("we will do it next time, OK?"), he's good. Will LOVES to sing. He's constantly singing and making up his own songs. This morning, I heard him singing a Christmas song (I think it was Rudolph?) in his little voice and that just warmed my heart so much. I didn't mention this in the Dutch Wonderland post, but we went to a Chinese restaurant for dinner on that trip and his fortune cookie read, "Those who wish to sing will always find a song." Yup, that's Will.

Anyway, a very happy birthday to our best son! We adore you!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

thanksgiving 2016! roadtrip to kentucky!

For our Thanksgiving 2016 craft, we did a newer version of the original handprint turkey. Even though we traveled this Thanksgiving and didn't make these until after Thanksgiving, on Black Friday, I am glad we were able to crank these out. I love our annual Thanksgiving craft tradition :)

Anyway, happy belated Thanksgiving everyone! Up until this year, we have always stayed locally for Thanksgiving, but this year, we drove 1200 miles round-trip to Kentucky to meet this one-month old young lady:
It was a whirlwind of a trip. On Wednesday night, just before we went to sleep, Luke and I agreed that if we woke up in the middle of the night, we would just get in the car and start the 9-hour drive. It turned out that we both woke up around 11:30 that night (Wednesday), so we loaded up the car, woke up and kids, and left the house at 12:30 in the morning (Thursday). It was then over the mountains and through the winding roads to Uncle Andy's house we go! We got to Louisville right at 9:30am, ready to spend the entire day with the family!
^^cute Ava^^

That night we had a big fancy traditional Thanksgiving meal that fed 10 adults, 5 kids, and 1 doberman. Everything was delicious...I think I want a traditional turkey meal on Thanksgiving from now on, instead of our usual Chinese mish-mash or Boston Market takeout. I also really liked the chicken pot pie from Cotsco!
Our original plan was to stay until Saturday morning, but we ended up leaving around 3:30pm on Friday afternoon to avoid potential traffic. As I said, the trip was a whirlwind. But we did everything we wanted - we met baby Ava, saw my brother's family, and spent Thanksgiving together.
We didn't plan to sightsee, but I am happy that we made a quick stop to the Big Four Bridge, which is a pedestrian bridge that connects Kentucky and Indiana, crossing the Ohio River.
^^The view of downtown Louisville from the bridge.^^

We made it to the other side, and here are the kids in Indiana!
Although the trip was very short, it was a great one. In all, we were only gone for 48 hours, with almost 18 of them in the car. When I told my coworkers about our plan, they all looked at me like I was crazy and suggested that I think twice because it was the busiest traveling time of the year. I am glad Luke encouraged me to go because it all worked out and we all got to meet the newest member of the family before she grows up all too quickly. So this Thanksgiving, in addition to being thankful for growing and healthy children, family, money, I am also thankful for this special trip. The kids love Kentucky and already said they want to go back next Thanksgiving. Kentucky = unlimited screen time.
^^Driving in the middle of the night, we broke the rules and let Will sleep in the 3rd row in the minivan. Anna was in her carseat, under that pillow and coat.^^

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Our First Covered Bridge!

Just before we left the hotel the next morning to head home, we made a really short stop to one of the many covered bridges in Lancaster County. We used Google Maps (what was life like before Google?) and found Kurtz's Mill Covered Bridge to be only 10 minutes away, so off we went though the country roads!
Well, it wasn't overly exciting, but it was a very pretty place to walk around. But now that I've done one covered bridge, I probably don't need to do another one again :) Actually, I take that back. I would looooove to do a leisurely tour of covered bridges during peak foliage one of these days.
Rock throwing is always a good time.
Overall, we had a great 24 hours in Lancaster. This was our second visit and I still love the area. Maybe next time, we will pick a warmer time of the year to visit. The first time we visited was in a February. Ha, that was nuts.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!