Friday, December 18, 2015

Five Things for Friday + Happy Holidays!

These are the last few holiday-related photos from our Florida trip last Thanksgiving.

Check out this gigantic tree at the Orlando airport! 

This was at the beginning of our vacation when we first arrived (which is the best time of vacation, if you ask me!).

This was the tree at our resort. 
It was a very rainy and stormy morning, but nothing the tree couldn't handle. 

And here's the tree on a nice sunny day (which also happened to be the day we were leaving, sob).
It was so big and Sam was so small! 

John wanted me to take his picture doing a handstand in front of the tree.

Look at all those nice big ornaments! So festive and jolly! 

These were some pretty decorations at Chicago O'Hare that I snapped a picture of while we waited for our luggage. 

And finally, I liked these elegant Christmas trees at our hotel in Chicago. 
(We always stay at this hotel when we travel through O'Hare because it's near the airport and has shuttle service and it has a really good deal on parking while we're away.)

And that finishes up the holiday-related aspects of our trip to Florida last year! I can now start 2016 with a clear conscience knowing that I at least started blogging about that trip (even if it did take me a year to do it!). 

And since it's Friday, here's a quick and festive five things from my week.

1. Peter put the star on top of the tree!

We bought this star before we had kids, so it's been twelve or thirteen years that we've had it. Sadly, this will likely be its last Christmas season atop our tree because once it was up we saw that it only lights up sporadically now. I'm a little sad that its days are numbered. This star has been the shining finishing touch on all of our Christmas trees for over a decade. It's watched over all of our holiday celebrations from the time we were newlyweds to having babies and toddlers and bigger kids, and having various beloved dogs, in three different homes in three different states. Sorry Marie Kondo, but I'm holding on to this. It may not consistently spark light anymore, but it does spark joy!

2. Sam was really excited last week when we went from having zero presents under the tree to having many, all in the course of one afternoon. The presents arrived on the same day from my mom and from Peter's parents. He counted them out and arranged them and asked me to go wrap more (because John had 14 and he had 10), which I didn't do. Believe me Sam, there's more coming! 

Go wrap more presents or else I'll shoot you with my Nerf blaster!

3. I was at Target this morning, and I was drawn to this this assortment of festive and bright ribbons and bows.
I love everything about this!  

4. Also at Target today, I saw this ugly Christmas skirt, which I promptly put in my shopping cart and bought. I think it's cute! I'd never seen ugly Christmas skirts before--what a great idea! I got my ugly Christmas sweater from Target a few years ago, and now I have a skirt to go with it. I think this is way more cute (and corny) than ugly. I'm tempted to wear it to church on Sunday, but I know I won't, which I'm sure is a good thing. But my Nursery kids would definitely appreciate it!

5. And one last thing from Target. (They should really be paying me for all the publicity I give them.)
I got this for our mantel, and I'm saying it to you!

I'm going to take the next three or four weeks off from blogging. I plan on starting up again sometime in January. 
I know you'll miss me but you'll be okay.

I sincerely wish you a very merry Christmas, and that the New Year will bring very good things for you!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmastime at SeaWorld

We went to SeaWorld (in Orlando) the day after Thanksgiving last year.
It was very nicely decked out for the holidays!

A Christmas tree surrounded by palm trees. I love it!
Also, Peter and Shamu in a Santa hat.

There's a part of SeaWorld called the North Pole. How appropriate!

Or maybe it's the South Pole?

Just wait until later in this post when you see these trees all lit up at night!
They're pretty during the day, but at night, they're gorgeous. 

We were photographed in an actual human-sized snow globe. There's a first time for everything! 
Just us...

With giant candy canes...

And with blowing snow...

We went on a Polar Express ride to the North Pole, where Santa was waiting. Sam was pretty excited about this!


Santa looked and sounded just like the Santa in the movie.

However, he turned out to be a little too stern for John, who stormed away after getting oversensitive and upset when Santa talked to him about the importance of being nice to his brother. I was so mortified! Seriously, what 9-year-old kid gets mad at Santa like that? I was furious with John, and I felt so bad for the guy playing Santa!

And it started out so well...

...and then there was one.
Santa looks kind of ticked, doesn't he? He wasn't the only one! I'm sure he felt bad, but I'm also sure he gets tired of dealing with bratty, overtired kids. John definitely got himself on the Naughty List that day!

And then nighttime descended, and the Sea of Trees came to life! It was so beautiful!
The reflections on the water were gorgeous.

This picture got the moon in it. Cool!

The trees gradually changed colors. It was peaceful and pretty to watch.

There were some nice illuminated trees on land, too.

And the best of both worlds, on land and on sea...

There was a nice Bavarian-like Christmas village right next to the Sea of Trees.

It even snowed! Crazy Florida!
It actually felt cold enough that day to be real snow. We went from sweaty heat on Monday at Legoland to shivering in our coats and hoodies by Friday at SeaWorld.

 We went to a Christmas Miracles show with the killer whales and a live singer and it was really good. We lucked out and somehow got great seats despite arriving shortly before it began.

(Pictures of the actual show to come in a future post!)

I liked this festive sailboat.

On our way out, we saw the tree that we saw on our way in that morning, all lit up. 

 Aren't we cute? Ha ha.

Santa incident notwithstanding, it was a very festive and fun day at SeaWorld!