Christmas and Ringing in the New Year 2022/2023

Phew!  It’s been quite a week so far…and it’s only Tuesday!  I haven’t been able to find much time to blog this last day and a half.  Today I’m sharing the last half of our Christmas break.  Our first half was a busy one at home, while the week that followed Christmas was a busy one on the road!

We met up with our friends, Stacey and her daughters, Madison and Abby, at our local Children’s Museum!  Stacey is a rockstar of a Mama and homeschools her girls, so we don’t get to see them much.  It was so nice to catch up and the kids always have a great time when they’re together!

Also, don’t mind Jane’s lip.  She fell going up our stairs…yes, UP.  Of course she did, just as we had a million places to go and people to see.  #threeyearoldlife


These two girls used to go to preschool together as well as take dance.  It made our hearts happy to see just how well they still get along after all these years.

We then headed over to visit some of our longest besties, Damien and Laura.  We hadn’t been over to see them in yeeeeears.  They just built a gorgeous home on a lake and it was so much fun to take it all in!  We’re so happy for them!!!  Jon also made friends with their rescue pup, Sunny!
Jane and their daughter, Willa, hit it off and were immediate besties!!!
We spent the night at Damien and Laura’s house and then headed to my sister’s the next morning.  Jane stayed up pretty late so I was hoping she’d fall asleep on the car ride over.  Jane and car naps rarely ever happen, but I was crossing my fingers she’d just let go and nap and just as we were to my sister’s house, Jane closed her eyes and fell asleep!!!!  We knew she needed to rest so that she’d have fun at Aunt Kimmy’s house, so we drove around for quite a while!

My side of the family was meeting up at my sister’s house just as we did last year.  
I tried to sit for a moment and take in the fact that my dad had just been sitting in this space in front of me a year before.  It’s surreal.  I could imagine him there so many times and the jokes that he would have told. 

We ate our feelings.  There was an abundance of pizza and treats and it was everything.

The grandkids are growing too fast.  Dad would be so proud of every single one of these tiny little people. They’re the best group of kiddos.  

My sister and her family got a Pop-a-Shot for Christmas and apparently I had a skill I didn’t know about!  It was so much fun!
Henry and his cousin, Christian!

My mom even took part!

The unwrapping of gifts!  It was so fun for the kids to have so many presents this year!

Later that night we headed to my mom’s house to spend the night.  I figured it’d be nice to keep her company, especially the next morning.  After all, nobody is there to make her coffee anymore, so anytime we spend the night I get up and make the coffee…it’s the little things, you know…
Eliza found one of these!!!!  She asked what it was for and I was beyond thrilled to show her!  LOL!
After coffee and visiting we headed out in the afternoon for the waterpark!
We were meeting up with a bunch of friends from high school.  A lot of the people you see in this picture also attended Michigan State, so sometimes we refer to them as our Michigan State friends, even though some of them I’ve known since I was in elementary school.  Even Jon went to Michigan State for a year!

We love getting these kids together!  They’re also a great group and they all get along super well!

This is also the same group that came over for the 4th of July last year and who’ll be coming again this year!
These ladies are amazing and I’m so lucky to get to know them more and more every year!  

Jane was loving the Zehnder’s Chicken!
We were ready to party!
We took the kids out to the waterpark before settling in to watch the Michigan game and before our dinner reservations!
We had so much fun, but it was time to watch the Michigan game!  
Just before halftime we had to get around for dinner – all 33 of us were eating together and luckily there were tvs in the dining room!
I sat at the kids’ table which was fine with me because I could watch the game!
Jon was off somewhere partaking in the adult beverages.  LOL!!!
The girls got their faces painted.

I told Jane that we weren’t getting our entire faces painted so we settled on a a rainbow butterfly and I was going to ask to put it on her cheek.  Well, as the man got started he looked at his board for a “rainbow butterfly” and just started before I could say anything.  As I looked at what he was looking at I realized that the “rainbow butterfly” was a huge face painting.  Oh.  My.  Gosh.  
Let me tell you, I have NEVER seen Jane so dang happy in my life.  It’s like it was meant to be and after seeing her love on that face painting and admire herself in the mirror, I just let go and let Jesus.  LOL!  I had no idea how it was going to come off…

I can’t stop laughing at these. 
Then, I was all, let’s go to the waterpark and then I realized what was about to happen…

This girl’s heart sank upon learning that, well, the butterfly was washing off in the water.  
This was happening to other kids, too.  I guess this is what the hotel wanted to have happen…to have it wash off in the water???  At one point I turned to another set of parents and asked, “Who’s idea was this?!”  
Needless to say, it did all eventually wash off.  My emotional support margarita helped get me through the dilemma of a very upset three year old’s melting butterfly face.
My niece/sister works at the waterpark, so it was fun to find her!!!

The hotel had desserts upon desserts – it was AMAZING!!!!  They also had a magician, a DJ and lots of dancing ensued!!!!

Later that night, Jon and the kids counted down to midnight and watched fireworks through the waterpark glass windows!

Meanwhile, Jane and I had been like this for an hour and a half.  LOL!
It was weird to not be out ringing in the New Year with everyone, but keeping this little girl up until midnight just wasn’t going to happen and I was completely okay with it!  I’ve had a lot of fun New Year celebrations in my life and after the year that I had, I was okay being alone in the quiet of it all.  

The next day we waterpark-ed it up like crazy.  Jane and I went down the big slides no less than 30 times and we really got our money’s worth!
Later in the day we headed back to our room and rested before leaving the park to meet up with everyone at a local brewery.  I felt like I hadn’t seen Henry so I grabbed him for a selfie!
Eliza and Evelyn being silly!  Evelyn and her family live in Texas so we don’t see them much, but the fact that we see them as often as we do is impressive on their part!  They drive to Michigan a lot and we love their company!
The next morning, we used a voucher for a breakfast and said our goodbyes to everyone.  Jon packed up the car and I went with Jane to pick out her prizes from the arcade.  She was one happy girl!
Once home we took down the tree and I took down all the Christmas decor.  I so desperately attempted to do this before our time away, but I was just too busy tending to the kids and packing!
I really loved this tree this year…
Eliza accompanied Jane and I on our grocery shopping trip two days later.  She was home from school because she didn’t feel well, but as the morning went on she felt better and better and well, we needed food so I told her to sit in the grocery cart…  I think she was really run down from the looooong weekend.  

She was back to her happy self in no time and to be honest, I loved having her home with us for one more day.  

Wow….that was a lot even for me to remember all over again.  Ha!  Honestly though, the busyness of it all was good for me…it was good for my heart.

Happy 2023, everyone.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here!

Marie 🙂

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