Gobble, Gobble + It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

We have had the best Thanksgiving Break!! We had to celebrate the holiday here in San Antonio this year b/c Derek was on call during the month of November, so we spent our Turkey Day with the Gallimores & Goins. Although we certainly missed being in Georgia, we are so thankful for these precious friends in our life!

It was cold & rainy all weekend here, so it was perfect weather to stay inside, turn up the Christmas music, and deck the halls! I'm currently curled up on the coach next to the glow of our Christmas tree lights...perfection! Here are a few pictures from our weekend!

The girls put the vast majority of the ornaments on our tree themselves, they were very into it!!

Hadley sat for the longest time opening all of the ornament boxes and carefully unwrapping each one. :)

Setting up the "card tree" and the beloved train :)

All decked out in our winter coats for the first time this season to help Daddy with the outside decorations!

The past couple of years, we have just done the icicle lights along our roof. After our first Christmas in San Antonio last year, we learned most people here wrap the bottom half of their tree trunks in lights. So we did that this year, too! We said we're officially San Antonians now. ;)

Enjoying hot chocolate & Georgia football as our reward for finishing the lights in the cold weather :)

Isn't this how everyone watches the Dawgs play?!

Lots of time spent like this weekend :)
Shelby wanted Daddy to paint her nails, and he happily obliged :)

After baths tonight, we drove around to look at Christmas lights in our neighborhood and went to a local light show.
The girls loved it!

Other highlights of our weekend not pictured: potty training success!!!!!!, trip to the movies to see The Good Dinosaur (our girls officially love going to the movie theatre!), and four uninterrupted days with Derek at home--hooray for a quiet pager this weekend!!! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, too!!!


Wins for the Week!

I have no idea how it's possible, but here we are at the week of Thanksgiving! Crazy! We dubbed Thanksgiving Week as Potty Training Week in our house. Since Hadley was staying dry ALL DAY and only peeing/pooping in her crib at nap/bedtime, we figured we needed to at least give it a go this week since we'd be home and had the time to focus on it for a couple days. I could see it going either way--a smashing success or epic failure. But thankfully, it's been a smashing success! It's been at least 1.5 billion times either than the the first time we attempted potty training with Shelby. ;)  I don't want to jinx us, but it's seriously been a cake walk so far with Hadley. She wants nothing to do with the "big potty" and will only sit on her little "potty chair," but we've had HUGE success! We're sticking with diapers for nap/bedtime now since she's still in her crib and can't get out to go potty, but she's wearing underwear the rest of the day like a champ! There is a lot of excitement at our house right now!! :)

So potty training was Win #1 for the week, and our second win was this:

Our local Wal-Mart just recently started offering FREE grocery pick-up, and we tried it out for the first time today. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! I am totally not a Wal-Mart person, I think I've only been to Wal-Mart once since we moved to San Antonio and that was with my mom b/c we were hunting all over town for Fels-Naptha soap...and Wal-Mart was the only place we could find it. Anyhow, my point is I'm not loyal at all to Wal-Mart..but this service is going to change that big time!! The website to order was very user-friendly and the employees were super nice at pickup--they went over my receipt with me & loaded everything up in my car efficiently. The only things I was hesitant to order were produce & ice cream, but both came out great! I really can't say enough how impressed I was with this service from Wal-Mart! And the fact that I don't have to grocery shop with kids in tow or go up and down aisles hunting for those hard-to-find items anymore if I don't want to?! WIN!!!!

Hope you're having a great Thanksgiving Week, too! :)


Tuesday Tidbits!

Lots of randomness for you on this Tuesday morning! :)

--Our washing machine has been dying a slow & painful death over the past couple of months. We finally bit the bullet during the Veterans Day sales & got a new one! This is our first time with a front loader, and the girls have enjoyed watching in action. But Shelby's absolute favorite part of the new washer is it plays a little musical tune at the end of the cycle...it's like Christmas morning every time she hears it! ;)

--We found out last week that it's a very real possibility that we may not found out our next assignment until May as opposed to late December/January as we initially thought. May!!! As in, we would be moving in June/July and finding out in May. I can't even think about it right now. ;)

--Flu shots all around for the Smith girls a couple weeks ago followed by lunch with Daddy at Chick-fil-a! Both girls were champs for their shots & didn't even flinch! The girls enjoyed our matching bandaids! :)

--We randomly ended up seeing the new Peanuts movie on opening night. We had no plans to go see it then, but it was a rainy & chilly that night...so we thought, why not?! Neither of the girls had ever seen anything Charlie Brown related, but they both loved it! I think they particularly enjoyed the absence of any intense climactic scenes that most Disney movies have...the Peanuts movie was just light-hearted fun!

--We went & visited Santa this weekend at the mall to get our annual photo. :)  Shelby didn't nap that afternoon & worked hard on a wish list for Santa during her quiet time.

Can you tell she was excited to show Santa her list?!

I love everything about this picture!! Shelby was going over her list in detail with Santa while Derek & I desperately tried to
convince Hadley that Santa really wasn't all that bad. ;)

--We also made a trip to the zoo this weekend, which was hands-down the best zoo experience of my life! We figured out shortly after moving here that the zoo is just not something you should EVER under any circumstances do in the summer in San Antonio. Crowds + 100 degree temps + animals that are hiding in the shade = no one having any fun. But the zoo during the fall/winter is perfect here!! We went on a cool/dreary day, so we practically had the whole zoo to ourselves & the animals were super active! Our favorite part of the day was getting to see the lions & their 4 month old baby cubs. The lions are usually very sedentary and are always napping when we see them..but not on this day!! When we first got there, the parents were watching the cubs play. But then all of a sudden, the daddy lion got up and nudged one of the cubs initiating a family wrestling match!! It was the coolest thing ever! It felt like we were in the middle of a National Geographic show or something! These pictures don't do it justice!

This is the daddy literally rolling on top of his cubs, it was hilarious & so cool to watch!
Shelby kept saying "They're just like us wrestling!"

--Shelby's school has a plethora of pets. Here they are holding one of the bunnies one morning, I promise no bunnies were harmed! ;)

--All of a sudden, I am so ready for Hadley to be potty trained! She could essentially already be wearing underwear--she keeps her diaper bone dry all day long and will only pee or poop in her diaper when she's in her crib for nap or bedtime. It's fantasic that I never have to worry about bringing diapers anywhere or changing her in public. The annoying thing is I have to put her down for her nap, then go back in her room five minutes later to change her wet diaper b/c she won't nap if it's wet. Then I have to go in another five minutes later to see if she's pooped...b/c heaven forbid she pee & poop in the same diaper. Going in her room three separate times to get her settled down for nap is driving me crazy recenly even though it's been our norm for a few months now. Hadley is clearly more than ready to be potty trained...we just have to get her to realize the potty isn't so bad...similar to the whole Santa thing! ;)  I totally thought she would be more interested in potty training than Shelby was at this age b/c she has a big sister that she wants to be just like...but she wants nothing to do with the potty AT ALL. Even though she's successfully gone a couple times, she acts like a sad little puppy if you ask her to even go near the potty. We're hoping to give potty training a try during Thanksgiving break next week since Shelby won't have school and we can stay home & focus on it for a couple of days uninterrupted..we'll see how it goes! ;) 

I think that's it for today..Happy Tuesday, Everyone!! :)


Top Five Friday!

5. The Middle Place
I can't recommend this book highly enough, a tear-jerker for sure! I loved everything about it! It is a memoir about the author's life as she deals with her own breast cancer diagosis closely followed by a new cancer diagnosis for her beloved father. Elle wrote this review for The Middle Place that I saw on Amazon's listing for the book: "Bravely reveals the frightened daughter inside the grown-up wife and mother." I think that sentence sums up the book perfectly, and it's why I related to this book so well--I truly feel like I'm in "the middle place" of my life missing my parents & sister like crazy but acting like a grown-up with my own family in San Antonio. Go read this book now! :)

4. Blardigan

I know I've mentioned the Pinterest Told Me To blog before {link HERE}, but it bears repeating! Shopping for clothes is not fun or at all practical when you have two kids in tow, so I'm terrible at keeping up with fashion trends..but this blog keeps me in the loop! Pinterest Told Me To named the "blardigan" a must-have item at the end of 2013..and she hasn't stopped talking about them since! ;)  They're pretty pricey {found HERE at Nordstrom}, but they were included in Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale this summer & I was able to snag the berry colored blardigan then! I'm actually wearing it right now as I type. ;)  The girls adore this sweater b/c it is so amazingly soft, so they're constantly all over me when I wear it! ;)

3. Fall Weather
Even though both girls were in shorts on Wednesday, cooler temps have finally arrived in San Antonio..as evidenced by the blardigan above! ;)  It's so nice to finally ditch our shorts and sandals and put on our fall clothes! I'm sure we'll be ready for our warm weather again in about a week though, ha! ;)  Anything below about 65 degrees is considered "soooo cold" to our girls! :)

Waiting to pick up big sister from school in the car with Mommy for warmth today..it was in the 60s ;)

2. The Patience Song
So I don't know about you, but if I had to pinpoint my biggest struggle in mothering young children it would probably be patience. And if I had to pinpoint my kids' biggest struggles with behavior, it would probably boil down to patience, too. After I realized this one day, I started wishing there was a patience song that we could sing when we were on the verge of losing our cool to help us remember to be patient with one another. I was wanting something similar to the magical clean up song that makes cleaning up oh so fun, but for patience. Much to my delight, that existed!!! Below are two songs that we found on YouTube that we love and literally sing every single day in our house now. The first one is hands-down our favorite, but we only sing the chorus. :)  I thought I'd share the songs here in case anyone else is like us and needs a good reminder throughout the day! And seriously, these songs are just as much for me--if not more!--as they are for my kids. ;) 

1. Time with this guy

During residency and fellowship, Derek has attended national medical conferences in various cities across the county. At each of these conferences, there is an annual jeapordy style quiz bowl game for the residents & fellows to participate in. Each program that participates has a team of 2-3 people, and Derek has typically been on the team each year. Last year, he was the champion at the allergy conference in Atlanta & this year the conference just so happened to be in San Antonio...so I had the pleasure of attending with Derek while the girls stayed with a sitter. I am SO glad I got the opportunity to go!! It was so fun to get to see Derek in his element!! And to appreciate just how smart he really is ;)

Derek's fellowship program at Lackland AFB is truly amazing. They compete against teams from prestigious programs like Rutgers, Emory, & Mayo Clinic, but Wilford Hall at Lackland AFB is the reigning champion! Derek has won the title for the past two years, but Wilford Hall itself has won 13 out of the 24 years since the inception of this annual competition! Pretty impressive!!

After the competition, we got to eat dinner out and re-hash the night together. It was seriously so fun. After dinner, we still had a little time left before we had to relieve the sitter so we went to Target...where else?! It was fun to aimlessly roam the aisles with Derek without a list in hand. ;)  We ended up with some great stocking stuffer items for the girls! :)

Happy Friday to you!! :)


Disney World 2015, Part 5: Magic Kingdom + Boardwalk + See Ya Real Soon, Disney World!

We certainly made the most out of our fourth and final day of visiting the parks at Disney World--we spent it at our favorite place, Magic Kingdom! The park opened at 8am that day, and we wanted to get there as early as possible to try to beat the crowds to the Princess Fairytale Hall...and we succeeded! We only had to wait about five minutes to meet Rapunzel & Cinderella--score! (We'd already seen Cinderella at Cinderella's Royal Table the day before, but the girls had never met Rapunzel before!) While the girls were meeting Cinderella & Rapunzel, Derek was standing in the longer line for Anna & Elsa. But by the time we were done meeting the first two princesses, we only had to wait about 15 more minutes. Yay! Every other time we'd passed by the Fairytale Hall, the waits were always 60+ minutes & we just refuse to do anything longer than 30 minutes. With young kids, crazy long waits just are not worth it to us! But getting to the park super early was definitely worth it in our opinions! :)

Shelby checking out how Rapunzel's skin & hair felt ;)

Shelby already had her eyes on Queen Elsa in this picture ;)

Shelby got a little nervous talking to Elsa :)  And I love how Hadley
is looking up at Elsa here!!

Still talking :)

Love Shelby's pose here :)

After meeting the princesses, we made a bee line back to Main Street to hunt down some breakfast before taking advantage of our Fast Passes. We had early morning Fast Passes to Splash Mountain & Big Thunder Mountain Railroad--two "big kid" rides that Shelby had never ridden before & that typically have long lines. We were super excited to have Fast Passes for these! Shelby LOVED both rides, especially Splash Mountain! And while we were in Frontierland for those two rides, we ran into Sherrif Woody & Jessie from Toy Story!

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad!

After one final ride on Barnstormers & the Ariel ride and getting a treat (what's Disney World without lots & lots of treats?!), we headed back for much-needed naps!!!

We had planned on going back to another park after naps, but we were all just done. ;)  We enjoyed dinner at our hotel, playtime at the playground, and ice cream for dessert!!! Our tired feet thanked us! :)

Nothing like wresting with Grampy before bedtime :)

Our last day at Disney World was a rest day/non-park day for us, and we went to the Boardwalk for the very first time! It was just a much smaller, less commercialized version of Downtown Disney in our opinion. But the bonus was we found another new playground for the girls there & of course another place to get ice cream ;)

That about wraps it up for our Disney World trip!!! But first, here's two random pictures that somehow got out of order with the others, but I still wanted to include them for our blog book! We always take the Monorail to/from Magic Kingdom, but we decided to try out the ferry one day! :)

Shelby enjoying the view :)

Hadley & Grampy walking hand in hand after our ferry ride :)

And that's it for Disney World!!!! It was such an amazingly wonderful trip packed full with memories that will last us a lifetime! My favorite thing is that Hadley is still talking about our trip & all the fun things we did/saw there. It was so fun taking her for the first time as a "big girl!"  And of course the other other huge highlight of the trip for me was experiencing all of my favorite rides with Shelby for the first time! And last but not least, we are SO thankful for all of the time spent with our families!

And here's Miss Hadley on the flight back to San Antonio....you know the kid that NEVER sleeps in the car or in the stroller and the one that can take or leave naps? Clearly, Disney World wore her out!! ;)  This is the sign of a good trip! :)

Until next time, Disney World!!!!