Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Cousins + Christmas Cheer!

Back today with another dose of Christmas cheer! We've been at it again with all things merry and we're soaking up every minute of this amazing holiday and trying to make the most our of our remaining time in Nashville! Here's a look into last's week's round up of all the shenanigans. Picture overload ahead!

Truth me told in regards to moving, leaving this house has never been terribly hard for me because I never really considered it my forever home. I've loved this home, I've spent two years raising my babies in it and it has brought tons of great memories and it's beautiful, but I full well knew from the get go it was a transition home. Regardless of whether we stayed in Nash or moved back to Louisville, we never planned to be in this exact house more than a few years ... so leaving the house isn't hard. But leaving this city is breaking me down. Morning snowman snuggles help ease the pain :)
 But Nashville nights celebrating my gal pals don't make it any easier to leave.
 Nor do Holiday Christmas parties with some other pals.

 But, we're packing regardless and soon will have to say goodbye ... and once again we loaded up the car for another weekend away.  It seems we're not very good at staying in one place for very long.
 We were headed to Cincinnati for the weekend for Christmas round 1 and 2 with my extended families. Daddy had a few meetings in Louisville Friday morning, so we headed in late Thursday night and spent the night in Louisville to break up the drive. We had plans to visit the Galt House hotel and see their AMAZING Christmas Kaleidoscope exhibit for the third year running ...
But, when we arrived our little three year old was on a TERROR. So we pulled the "do that again and we're not going" threat one too many times until finally we actually followed through on the threat and told him he wasn't allowed to go. And then we got to the car, we were all sad. It was the night we had planned and to be honest, it's not like we had a real "home" to go back to and pass the time. We were just passing through the city so it was a late unplanned stop ... so we took a side route and instead took the kids to the mega cavern and did a drive through of Lights Under Louisville. So we KIIIND of followed through on our word? Ha!

 You drive underground and through the cave around 5-10MPH ... and most everyone unbuckles the littles, rolls down the windows so you can enjoy the music (it's warm in those caves!) and it's such a fun festive night. And Bennett thought it was AWESOME that we were inside a real cave.

 Such a fun little stop!
 The next morning, hubs had a few morning meetings before we headed to Cinci - so I caved and took the kiddos to the Galt House :) Can you tell we're complete pushovers. Spoilt rotten they are! Ha!

First, Bennett requested to ride the train .. and Baby Sister joined him for the first time!
 Then it was onto the Belvedere for the Kaleidoscope exhibit -- this year's rendition was the 12 days of Christmas. Our faces were projected on the four calling birds and Bennett thought it was, and I quote "SOOO STINKING COOL!"
After the Kaleidoscope we made our way to the Holly Jolly Elf show ... but not before we hit up the hot chocolate bar and snagged a bag of blue cotton candy (because that's his favorite color if you didn't know, which I'm not sure it's possible not to know that if you've ever met the kid).
I love them, and their blue faces.
 Bennett loved the carols, Lainey loved the music and it made us happy.
 And then we hit up the Christmas village and Lainey met a real snow fairy princess.
And Bennett made sure to not miss his chance with Santa (for a third time this year) to tell him about the blue yoyo he was expecting.
 And then before we hit the road, we waited out the train line so the littles could have their turn at driving the train! Winning!
And Lainey waved the whole time. My heart.
We met up with Hubs and hit the road to head north to Cincinnati for Christmas round 1 with my mom's side of the family. It's been a tough year losing my grandmother, so it was extra special for everyone to be together.

 Everyone purchased toys for the littles - nine in total were in attendance -

 Chocolate Santas all around.
 And light up necklaces for tails.
 And then we played a hilarious game of White Elephant ... everyone was to wrap something they had in their home and no longer wanted and some of the "presents" were hysterical ... and stealing got FEIRCE!

 It was a great night, and always a blessing to be surrounded by family!

 Friday, we had a lazy morning at my family's home in Dayton, KY ... it's on the river just across from Cincy and where we were hosting my dad's side of the family Christmas (round 2)!
 And before we knew it, more family .. and more fun! And a sister always makes the day brighter!
 These people are icing on the cake :)
  And Abby Girl cupcakes obviously don't hurt.

My sweet grandmother suffered a stroke last week, (prayers please) so we were extra thankful she was out of the hospital and able to be with us another Christmas!  She and her sister, Nancy, had a lady come to their home to fix their hair before the party and they both looked so pretty!

A momma and her babies.
A room full of food, family and fun.

 And our annual Christmas PJ picture!!! 10 babies this year and another Dykstra little on the way!
2014 (apparently I forgot to blog this - FAIL)
 The littles opened their gifts.
 And then EVERYONE was surprised by a special visitor ... SANTA!!!

 And Mister B was NOT going to miss out on another chance to snuggle up in his lap!
 Lainey was still not having it.

The adults played another round of White elephant, and Lainey just kept finding any surface she could to climb up on and sit. We've got a wild one on our hands folks!
 And finally it was back to Nash for a few final weeks! And we topped it off by having a farewell lunch with our best buddies, Jack and Brooks.

 You've been good to us Holiday season, we're so sad you'll be ending soon; but can't wait for the final two weeks!

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