Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Longwood Gardens Holiday visit & Santa pics

Friends, I just want to say Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays. 
We had a lovely visit to Longwood Gardens over Thanksgiving weekend and I just wanted to share some of the pics. This year, as the twyns were turning 6, we made an effort to go later (2 pm) and stay later (6 pm) so that we could enjoy the Christmas lights. They were beautiful. 

Although, we hyped it up to the kids that it was a "Christmas light show", and my daughter, in her infinite wisdom, quipped, "This is not a light show, this is light bulbs." So be careful of your semantics (although there is a dancing water light show, which was not enough apparently.) 

Because we were bringing the grandparents and making reservations ahead of time, it worked out to just get a year-long membership! Members don't need to make reservations on most visit days (the holidays are a bit different.) Plus, it is mostly tax-deductible. So we look forward to making some Spring and Summer visits there. The train area has been moved closer to the cafe, so this is much more convenient in your roundabout tour of the gardens. 

Also, this year Longwood was named "best restrooms"??? So we had to check this out. Apparently it is a "green" area (off to the right as you enter the Conservatory) and very hobbit-like and cute. 

Lastly, I had to share our Santa pics this year! The twyns were sooooo excited to discuss with St. Nick their year, what they wish for, and what cookies he would like on Christmas Eve. So so so super cute. And no more tears! How could we forget this pic:

Thank you for sharing our world with us. Looking forward to 2015. 

Love and Peace, and Big Hugs [times two]!! 

Ashley @ TwynMawrMom

Monday, December 15, 2014

Holiday Survival Essentials

Well Hell-OOOO my friends! It's been a busy December so far, yah? [read in hopped-up mommy-Midwest accent]

I know you are missing my posts about the Elf, family fun, and training, but honestly, so far, this month has been about ETSY for me. The holiday. orders. are INSANE. Thanks for keeping mama busy ;)

If you aren't already following me on Facebook, keep track of me there when I'm quiet here. I've been able to share a few fun custom requests and mind-blowing space-time-continuum phenomena. Truly.

Anywho in the middle of this craziness I'm inspired to write my five most important things I couldn't get through this holiday without, maybe we can all stop and be grateful for...

1. The Bus Driver
I'm no longer dropping off and picking up my twyns from school every day. Is this a small miracle invented by some sort of classic governmental decree? Yes. Does this give me at least an extra hour per day to get modern sh** done? YES! Thanks, bus driver!

2. Gingerbread Lattes
We know, rationally, that gingerbread is just a made-up flavor that could exist on Earth 365 days a year, but it doesn't. We only get it when those little red cups come out and the Baristas write the word "Gingerbread" on the chalk board in our school of life. And when it does, and when they do, we get a little happier inside. Sad, but true. And then we get a little more energy, and the mommy cliche spins on and on...

3. Light Timers & Remote Controls
Hubby has gotten more into the Christmas lights this year. Partly because of this product. And this product. And magically at 5 pm: Christmas appears! We came home from a family Christmas celebration this weekend and our trees were already lit. We thought: did we leave them on all weekend? Nope! Our daughter was just able to wiggle in the door before us and this was the first thing she did. EASY!!

Speaking of Hubby, as you know, he likes to 'do' things, rather than to 'receive.' So I'm shopping for him here, a great new gift site specifically geared towards men, which sends a crowbar with each crate to open it!: 
Man crates! Ha!
4. Family
I realize that there was a time in my life when family was thrust upon me, and it did not seem like a choice that all of my cousins and great aunts and grandparents would invade my home and bedroom and I would be sleeping on my brother's floor for Christmas. Then there was a time when I would rush home with the crowds in the airport or the train station so that I could join these people for these special meals and events and sleep on the couch in blissful choice for Christmas. Then there was a time when my own family was born, and I peppered the house with decorations and scents and food in the joyful anticipation of hosting those cousins and grandparents for Christmas. And I realize how special all three of those scenarios are. Thanks to family.

5. Ideas and the Internet
Honestly, what did our mothers do without the ability to Google "non-toy gift ideas for a ten-year-old boy"??? The growth of not only online shopping, but also mommy blogs and the sharing of all this information is, at times overwhelming, but ultimately, a fantastic resource for gift-giving. I truthfully have been blown away by my options of giving gifts that have a charitable or community component to them, or educational component, and most importantly, a sharing component to them. My kids are really enjoying games this year, and things we can all do together. This has become really important to us to make us sit down and focus on nothing else but each other, even when we have spent the whole day in the same house together, but haven't really interacted. Don't. forget. about. games! I posted about Busytown on Facebook, but we also just recently received an early gift called Deer in the Headlights. It's just a card game with some specialized dice, but it has already provided a lot of laughs.

Ok there's my list! What's yours? 
What would you put in your man crate?
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