Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving Weekend

We had such a lovely Thanksgiving break. On Saturday morning, I woke up and said to Dave don't you have work today. It felt like Monday, but we had 2 more glorious days to hang out.  Thursday, we enjoyed pancakes for breakfast and a nice relaxing morning at the house. We headed over to Marcia's around noon to help cook and fry a turkey. Mom & Dad,  Jeff & Kelli and the girls, and Emily & Will all came over for dinner. We had a lovely meal and the older girls had a great time playing in the sandbox. We ended the night with a little friendly competition of heads up and then all headed home.

 Georgie took my phone and was taking cute. 
 Friday, Blakely and I did some black friday shopping. We didn't go till 9 am so it wasn't too crazy. We got tons of great deals at Kohls and I am happy to report I am finished Christmas shopping! I still have small little stocking stuffer things to get, but I am done with all the cousins and kids! Poor B was covered in clothes and toys :)
Friday afternoon, Dave & I headed out to Jessica & Gregg's for a Mex-giving feast with our dear friends. Gregg cooked out Mexican and we all just hung outside around the bonfire and caught up. 
 Saturday we went to Lowe's and picked out our Christmas tree, decorated the house, and headed out to Mellow Mushroom to watch the FSU vs. UF game. Delainey has been loving all things christmas themed and keeps saying "Oh my gosh! That is so beautiful" to everything she sees. LOL I love the holidays!  FSU beat the Gators last night so that was a nice victory for my team. It was nice for mom and Dad to have a night out while the girls got to have sleepovers with their grandmas!

One of the most exciting parts of Thanksgiving is that Dash the Elf is back and Delainey is loving trying find him each morning when she wakes up. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pre-Thanksgiving Festivities

Last week Delainey had her Thanksgiving program and feast at her preschool. She barely sang, picked her nose as soon as she walked up on stage, and kept telling the boy next to her to shush. So the performance was nothing to write home about... but the food was delicious! Everyone brought in side dishes and the school provided the turkey and we had a regular old Thanksgiving feast. Uncle Babe, Lala, Georgie & Ivy came to support D too which was so nice of them!

Last Tuesday, we had our November supper club and of course the theme was Friendsgiving. Our group of girls has been going through a lot lately and it is so awesome to see everyone pull together as one and help out those in need. I am so glad we started this monthly supper club 3 years ago. I am so thankful to have such great girlfriends whom I look forward to meeting with monthly as a whole group. We were missing lots this month, but the Turkey & conversation was amazing! I'm hosting in December so hopefully we will have the whole group attend and it will be a fun one!

This is really more of a Christmas tradition we do, but I am classifying it under Thanksgiving because it helps us realize all we are blessed with and to be thankful for everything we have. One of the main things I want to instill in my children is to share the things God has blessed us with, especially with the needy. Since Delainey is still too young to volunteer and really get an eye opening experience of what it is like to be poor, we have chosen to do the Angel tree each year. This year Delainey picked out a girl named Julia who was her age and seemed to have similar interests. I made Delainey take some of her own money out of her piggy bank and buy Julia something special that wasn't on her list from her now that she is old enough to understand what it's all about. She like any 3 year old wasn't thrilled to give away her money, but after I talked to her over and over about how some kids aren't lucky enough to get gifts at Christmas or have toys at their house to play with, she started to be more willing. We went and bought all the things on Julia's list and Delainey picked out a Frozen necklace with matching hair clips to buy as her special present from her. She brought her own purse with her money in it, paid the lady, and got her bag and receipt. It was so sweet to watch. I never want to have spoiled children and want to continue doing things to keep them grounded as they grow older and can see/experience more of the real world.
By the way, never cutting D's hair. She looks too old and I like it long a lot better! 

Thanksgiving 2015 has already turned out to be a fantastic one and actual Thanksgiving hasn't even arrived yet. We are all going over to Dave's parents house for dinner and bringing a few dishes each. And by all I mean his family, his sister and new boyfriend Will, my parents, and Jeff/Kel & the kids. Its going to be a fun, Loud one I'm sure! I hope everyone takes some time out of their crazy week to reflect on all they have been blessed with and really enjoy the important things in life...the people you love. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, so try to live each day to the fullest! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!! I know I have a TON to be thankful for! :)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Disney Cruise Recap - Day 3

Day 3, our last full day on the boat, was a very relaxing/chill day. The weather said there was a 80%  chance of rain all day so we were a little bummed about that. We still decided to head off the boat to play on Castaway Cay, Disney's private island. But first of course, we had to go have breakfast and this morning we did the breakfast buffet, which is Dave's favorite. He would eat at Golden Corral once a week if I let him. Yuck! After breakfast we headed off the ship.
The private island ended up being really nice! The water was gorgeous, they had a cool ropes course in the water as well as some fantastic slides, and some submarines and mickeys submerged under water to go snorkeling around.  They also had a nice area to eat on the island as well as the kids club area that was full of water toys where we could drop Delainey off. 

Dad & Delainey did some slides, Mom & D snorkeled and did the ropes course. She was actually able to breath through the snorkel and look down which was a new feat. Then we dropped D at the kids area and we ate lunch and hung out on a hammock and just relaxed until we picked her up an hour later. We had a good time on the island, and the rain held out for us, but boy was it cold without the sun shining to warm us up!! I would definitely prefer going back there over Nassau though in the future! We took a few family shots on the way back on the boat. :)

We headed back to the boat, showered, and went to watch the movie Inside Out in 3D. After the movie, we dropped D at the kids club and went to play some very intense games of bingo. Sadly, we did not win. I was only 2 numbers away from getting a blackout  in the final round with a $2000 prize, but no cigar. After Bingo we picked up D, went to watch a show and then headed to dinner. We dropped Blakely off in the nursery since we booked 3 hours of babysitting a few months ago and figured why not use it.
We enjoyed Dinner just the 3 of us at the 3rd dining room on the cruise, The Royal Palace. Delainey kept saying it was Cinderella or Belle's castle...or all of the princess's castle. LOL I had fried Brie for my appetizer, French onion soup, Chateaubriand steak (dynamite) and creme brûlée and a grand mariner soufflé for dessert. It was my first time eating soufflé and I'm obsessed! Delainey was picked up by counselors from dinner and brought up to the kids area (part of their Dine & Play idea ever. What kid wants to sit still at dinner for 1 1/2 hours. They eat and then are picked up after 45 minutes with the dine & play deal). Dave and I didn't know what to do with ourselves without kids after dinner, so we headed to the adult only bar to have a drink. 10 minutes later, I got a call saying Blakely was upset. Well of course she was they didn't feed her when I told them to which was an hour ago! Oh well it was almost time for the Farewell party with the characters, so we just took her about 45 minutes before her time was up.

The last party of the cruise was a farewell party and it was a mixture of meet & greets with the characters and some singing and performing. They actually called up some of the kids from kids club to sing with the Dickens christmas carolers, so of course Delainey jumped all over that idea. She didn't rely sing, but it was cool for her to stand up there. She is at the very top in the bottom picture. 

After the farewell party we headed to bed because we knew we had an early morning ahead. We had to get off the boat somewhat quickly since Dave had a surgery at noon that he had to be back for.

The next morning we woke up, threw on some clothes, ate some cereal and fruit in the room and then walked off the boat. It was quick and painless walking through customs. And off we were headed for home by 8:30 am.

We had such a great trip! Delainey LOVED it and kept saying "I'm breaking my heart, I'm breaking my heart." We would ask her why and she said "Because I love this more than Disney world." Haha
She was not a happy camper the trip was over and that we had to get off the boat, but we promised her another cruise one day in the distant future. I'm glad we got to make some special memories that will last a lifetime and just enjoy my little family of 4. #mclaughlinpartyof4  What's our next adventure??? :)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Disney Cruise Recap - Day 2

Day 2 began with an early morning wake up after a rough night of lots of feedings for Blakely. We were up in time though to enjoy the balcony and watch us pull into port in the Bahamas. You can see Atlantis in the picture to the right if you look really close! (Please pardon my appearance. Mom was exhausted and enjoyed 2 cups of coffee at breakfast!) 

We had a lovely breakfast (Eggs favorite) and decided to hit up the pool again while majority of the guests left to go walk around Nassau. We played in the Splash pad area for a while because this was the only place Blakely could go since swim diapers aren't allowed in the pools. The pools were pretty cold so Delainey enjoyed the hot tub and the yellow Mickey slide that was meant for kids. She literally ran back and forth between the two for at least 2 hours. Blakely took a nap in the stroller after the splash pad, so Dave & I enjoyed some Pina Coladas and a movie while catching some rays. We did at one point go to check on D to make sure she was doing good and we couldn't find her. I went into panic mode for about 10 seconds before calming down and knowing she had to be in 1 of 2 places. Of course she was on the slide, but David just couldn't see her up top! 

We of course took a swim break for ice cream cones. It was Blakely's first time tasting ice cream and of course she was obsessed with it!

Delainey rode on the Aquaduck with me and Dad even got some good pictures of us when we went by. I swear teeny little Delainey was on there with me lol. 

Around noon, we headed back to the room to put on clothes and have lunch on the boat before getting off to walk around Nassau. Every single time we walked by these huge portholes, Delainey would have to lay in them.

We got off the boat and headed to the straw market so D could pick out some fun souvenirs from our trip. She chose a Hello Kitty straw purse and the lady even put her name on the back. We also got a key chain and magnet because that is what my girls collect on all trips/vacations we go on! We walked a few more streets and were ready to head back to the boat to relax (take naps) before our show and dinner. No offense to anyone from the Bahamas, but I thought it was nothing exciting and I probably would not have got off the boat if I had to do it again. 
Everyone napped for an hour so we were back in action and ready to party for the big Pirate night ahead of us! We took Delainey to the kids area and headed to the show. It was the Disney Villians show hosted by Haddes from Hercules so we chose to have her skip it so she wasn't up all night with nightmares. After the show we picked her up, ate dinner and then headed to the pool deck for the big pirate party. (My one complaint of the cruise is that all the parties don't start until 10:15 pm. That is late for little kids!) We of course pushed through though.

They did a great show that was themed around Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, but it was Pirates IN the Caribeean....clever! We learned how to be a pirate and all the characters chased Jack Sparrow around the stage as he swung in from up above. (You can see him in one of the photos below). Then the show concluded with fireworks off the side of the boat and than a late night dance party! Delainey did great until about 11 when she hit a wall and Dave had to carry her down kicking and screaming :) Blakely was a champ and slept through ALL of it in the chest pack! Even through Mom's crazy dance moves!

I forgot to take pictures at Dinner, but we were in the Enchanted Garden this night and the atmosphere was cute. Delainey kept saying it was Tiana's restaurant from the Princess & the frog. The food though was the best of all 3 nights! I had a tuna avocado tower for my app, a romaine wedge salad, prime rib and scallops over israeli cous cous for my entrees, and sundae for my dessert! Both of the entrees were amazing!!