Hello Monday – Life Lately – November/December 2021

Happy New Year and Happy 2022, friends!!!
I’m definitely late to posting this, but I wanted to make sure it didn’t sit as a draft forever.  I was trying my hardest to blog at the end of 2021 but it didn’t happen as much as I had hoped.  Mostly because I have a TikTok addiction and, well, December got the best of me.

Also, be warned, this is a looooong post.  I posted upwards of 60 pictures, so if you make it though I owe you a coffee or something. 😉

Let’s get to it, before that darn TikTok app calls my name…

Jon and I went to see Dave Matthews waaaaaaaay back at the beginning of November.  We spent the night in Grand Rapids and we had an amazing time.  Adult drinks and time to just sit and enjoy each other was exactly what we needed.  HUGE thanks to Grandpa George and Grandma Terri who held down the fort while we were away.


Amway Grand Plaza.  Absolutely stunning.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House…

Jon in his natural habitat…

Timer photo!

Walking back to our hotel.  We never had to go outside all thanks to the amazing skywalks!  Being that we live in Michigan and it was November it was the best thing ever – Hello no bulky coats!

The day before Thanksgiving we made a trip to Frankenmuth and took the kids to one of our favorite water parks – Splash Village.  It’s never busy the day before Thanksgiving and we love having the place to ourselves.

Jane was extremely hesitant at first.

There was a certain…ahem…toddler situation that involved the throwing away of a swimsuit and lots of scrubbing and cleaning, but we rocked it and girlfriend managed it all like a boss.
The next morning was quick as we were getting kicked out of our hotel room at 11 and on top of it, we needed to be dressed for a Thanksgiving dinner.
With about an hour left in our stay I realized Jane could go down the big slides so long as she sat in my lap.  Jon and the kids were on the other side of the park so on a whim, I decided to go for it.  We climbed to the tippy top, Jane was not having it, but I plopped her in my lap and down we went.
She.  Loved.  It.
So we went again.
Meanwhile, Jon and the kids were apparently looking everywhere for us.  Oops!
They eventually found us on our second or third time down and I’ll never forget Jon’s look of disbelief of Jane sitting on my lap as we came out of one of the huge waterslides!
I still couldn’t believe it either.  Jane wanted to go over and over and over…so that’s exactly what we did as we watched the clock tick down to departure time.
Finally with 15 minutes left in our stay we all ran upstairs and got dressed as quickly as possible and then I kicked everyone out to the arcade as I finished getting dressed and frantically packed up the room.
It was totally worth it though, totally worth all the times we went down the slides as a family!  I just can’t believe we’re to this point.  I feel like Jane was born, then we were stuck inside due to the you-know-what and now she goes down huge waterslides!
One of my favorite pictures of her!

Later that day we turkey-ed it up at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  Here are the kids trying to coerce Jane to take a picture.

Glasses for me due to yet another popped blood vessel.  Ugh.
The next day we headed to get a Christmas tree.  The morning we ventured out for our tree the roads were crazy, icy and awful aaaaand to top it off, there’s still a Christmas tree shortage here in Michigan.  This is the second time we’ve visited this particular tree farm and we’ve very much enjoyed it, but we also knew it was going to be slim pickings.  I kid you not that we picked the very first tree that we found, actually, Henry found it first so we jumped on the opportunity and ran with it!
The tree below was not the one, but we like to joke with the kids about small trees or oddly shaped ones.  This one was pretty cute, I’ll admit.
Us with our tree and if you look closely, my poor red eye.

The next day was the Michigan/Ohio State game!  We met up with some friends hours before the game and we were doing shots of Fireball just before 8 a.m.  I regret nothing.  LOL!
We had great seats.  I normally like to sit up high, but this corner had a lot of action.  It was a cold day, but luckily we had plenty of layers and lots of toe and hand warmers.
After the EPIC win the crowd stormed the field…after I realized what was happening I convinced Jon that we should go, too.  I’m so happy we did!  We’re part of one of the best Michigan games ever and once again, I regret nothing.  Bahahaha!

We had friends jokingly ask if we stormed the fields…
Sure did! 
Jon and his Arnold pose!
The following week I took Jane to our neighbor, Amy’s, work for a craft show and for a tour around her facility.  Both Amy and Jane were thrilled.  They’re basically best friends. 
Henry finally received a dapper haircut…

Jane and I attended story time at the library…

Hot cocoa and pizza and a huge little smile…

Eliza lost a tooth minutes before piano…
Another happy smile and lots of play dough…
Sister moments…
I do believe Eliza had gotten hurt and Jane was tending to her…

Jane eating snack/lunch at Thursday play group…
Grandma Terri and Grandpa George attended the kids’ first ever piano recital, which was so kind of them given they live two hours away.
This is what Jane wore to the recital.  This was not a battle I was willing to fight, so Frozen snow boots and a Belle crown for the win.  Haha!
The kids did fantastic!  We were so nervous for them since the church was full of lots of people.
Seriously…so, soooo proud of them!
The next day we headed to our annual pictures with Santa!  We head over to a photographer about 30 minutes away and pretty much do the same thing every year – Pictures with Santa and then we go to a “fancy dinner” since we’re all dressed up.  This year was a tad different, however, due to the pictures being moved back due to illness so we were also able to visit the town’s Retail Open Houses, which is so fun!  The town is full of carolers, hot cocoa, more of Santa, all the stores have desserts … it’s quite literally a Hallmark movie in every sense of the way and I love, love, love it!
The following Saturday we decided to be nuts and surprise the kids with a Michigan basketball game!  Henry had his basketball game and then we loaded the kids in the car and headed over to Ann Arbor for a 1:00 game…in the middle of nap time.  Henry loved it, Eliza eventually loved it and Jane was …well, the blurry picture speaks a thousand words.  LOL!!!
Henry was ecstatic!
Naptime struggles.  I can’t help but laugh at this defeated little two year old and her maize and blue pom pom…and the Michigan stadium behind her.  It’s just so sad and absolutely hilarious at the same time.  
Later that week, and while big sister was at school, a little somebody donned big sister’s mermaid swimsuit and tail and we played veterinarian.  
We attended a birthday party!
Jane picked out and wrapped presents for Henry and Eliza…
…and this is how we continue to pose for pictures… I’ll never understand.  Haha!
While the kids were at piano we constructed winter crafts and this snowman will FOREVER have my heart.  I remember Jane making it and me just going along with it and it’s just so very funny to me!!!
Dress up days started at school.  I honestly wish they’d have all the schools and grades do the same holiday spirit days (Henry and Eliza are in two different schools), better yet, let’s pass out the spirit schedule for Homecoming AND Christmas in September.  Amen.
Ugly sweater day for Henry and pajama day for Eliza.  I had to buy women sized sweaters for the kids because they were all picked over.  We don’t have many places to shop here in town.  It’s basically Meijer and Walmart.  I was grateful to find what I did and after a little rearranging, Henry’s shirt ended up being a little more his style…even for an ugly sweater.  😉
Next up, some holiday running around and some mommy desperation to be able to think while I passed back a treat to Jane.
Why I allowed this, I’ll never know…
All clean.  Jane had been talking about wanting to find a ladybug.  I most definitely didn’t think we’d find any sort of bugs in December, but sure enough she found one and she wanted to sleep with it.  Sooooooooo……
When she awoke, Miss. Ladybug was missing.
*shrugs shoulders* Oops.
Next up, and I’m thinking out of order, library time.  Not much to report other than Jane’s cuteness.
Jane had a special play group party on the following Thursday, so we dressed up and had a great time!
The play group put on a great event and served an entire Christmas meal!
Henry had his 5th grade band concert.  I grabbed this screenshot from my phone.  Henry did amazing with his speech, and once again, we were incredibly proud of how well spoken he was.  Oh and his friends did an amazing job, too!  My heart, oh my heart!
The last day of school before break consisted of Henry sporting holiday spirit and Eliza wearing her ugly sweater.
While the kids were at school, Jon and I went shopping as our one and only quick shopping outing!  We managed to load up and get a lot done, though!
At some point Jon got out the train set for Jane and she was in love with it!
Henry had his last basketball game (he’s in the middle in the blue).
Eliza and her friend, Ashlyn, carried Jane around like this.  Hahaha!  Oh to be the littlest friend…
After Henry’s last game we busted out the gingerbread houses that our elves had brought.
Jane was having zero fun.  😉
Our neighbor brought over gifts for all of us…  
We visited our local grocery store and this greeter, Carl, loves Jane.  Jane now reminds him to do a magic trick every time we go shopping.  He’s seriously the cutest.
I don’t know what’s happening here, but I feel it in my soul.  Haha!
Eliza made a store…
We drove through the Michigan International Speedway lights!
Jane helped drive…
At some point she tried to fit in this box…
I’m sharing this for my own memory of how much she laughed at my silly faces…
We went to our Kindermusik class, but someone wouldn’t look up and smile.
She wore this outfit (it was Eliza’s) and told everyone, “Don’t touch me, I a wittle elf.”  My heart.
We started in on more Christmas traditions.  Jane sat here for three hours and decorated.  She absolutely loved it.
Lastly, we finally finished Harry Potter!!!!!!!
This was HUGE for us!!!!
We started reading the series in late summer of 2020 in an attempt to provide the kids with more excitement with all that was happening around us and in this crazy world and I’m so grateful we followed through.  I’m so proud of them!
Another screenshot from a video from my phone…
There you go!  PHEW!!!
I’ll be back with more Christmas goodness- gotta document it, you know!  
If you made it all the way through I owe you that coffee.  😉
Thanks for following along!
Marie 🙂


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