More to the Story Monday…Christmas Edition

Last week was FULL of festive activities in our home!  Our kiddos are at a sweet sweet age of excitement and imagination!  It truly is a wonderful time of year.  But with every picture you know…there is more to the story!

Not every kid can say that Santa lives down the road from their house.  We can!  A family in our community runs a Santa house for the month of December.  It’s totally FREE and totally worth it.  A large drive in style movie screen is set up in the field while waiting to see Santa.  There is face painting.  A live nativity.  Surprise visits from Mickey & Minnie.  Hot chocolate and roasting marshmallows!

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This was our second time to visit the Santa house and I’m definitely thinking we can now call it a tradition.

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Riley was not so sure this year.  While she enjoyed all the activities leading up to meeting Santa…the white bearded man was NOT something she appreciated.

Hints why only Colby got his picture with Santa…

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We also learned it may be a few more years until we try to go and see the Mouse.

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After meeting Santa, why not have pajama day at school???  Wearing the same shirt you wore to meet Santa.  My boy knows what he wants to wear and when.  Even if it still had a hot chocolate stain or two from the night before…

What better way to get in the Christmas spirit than SNOW!  In Georgia, in December!!!

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This was no “light dusting” it was 10 inches!!

Colby ran into Riley’s room Friday morning and said “Happy Christmas!!” and I found the blinds looking like this…

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This boy LOVES the snow.  I kid you not when I say he asked to go outside 1,000 times before 9 a.m. Friday!

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But of course, when one loves it the other not so much…

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Why not close off a snowy weekend with a Christmas play???

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We knew it would be a stretch to take two littles to a play but we did surprisingly well.  Riley made it through half of the play…with gold fish and a lot of squirming.  Then she spent some quality father daughter time riding the escalators and roaming the halls for the second half.

Colby made it through the entire play!  Not without his fair share of “Can we go home now…” and other sweet things little boys say.  But, we made it!

‘Tis the season of memory making and holiday cheer.  But always remember, to every “perfect picture” is an even better story!

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Advent Season

The countdown to Christmas is happening!  We have a lot of ways we are tracking the days for this special season.

We have a paper chain hanging on the back of Colby’s bed that we remove a link from every night.  Halfway through the chain is a blue link which is his BIRTHDAY!!!  Every night after he takes off a link he insists on counting the remaining links.  Boys got to plan and make sure he knows what is coming!

I am reading Paul Tripp, “Come Let Us Adore Him,” 25 day advent devotional and it is rocking my socks off.

It is a fresh look on what a HUGE deal the birth of Jesus was/is in our lives.  Today’s reading focused entirely on my sin.  Because it is only when we realize the really bad news that we can truly began to understand how GOOD the news of Jesus’ birth is!

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-You should totally check this out if you haven’t already!

And as a family we are going through Ann Voskamps, “Unwrapping the Greatest Gift, A Family Celebration of Christmas.”

In the middle of November several of the momma’s from church did an ornament exchange to prepare for this event.  Every day we read a passage from the Bible as well as from Ann’s book that takes us through the Scripture showing Christ at every turn.  After the reading we have a hand made ornament that corresponds to each days theme.

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Before this all begins to sound too perfect and you decide to give me “mom of the year” award here’s a few things you should know…

On our second day I cut the reading short because it was just before nap time and the kiddos were literally melting down and I just wasn’t sanctified enough to deal with it.

We missed our third day (because it was a Sunday, how bad is that!) so Monday we hung two ornaments and once again momma summarized a bit for the sake of attention span.

And today, after lunch the kids were focused, the ornament was hung, and the reading was going well.

We were reading about Abram and the many blessings God planned to do in his life and how Abram was going to be a blessing to others and I asked my 3 (almost 4!) year old to share some of the blessings God had placed in his life.  And without missing a beat he responded,

“I’m blessed by my sister and my loud toots…”

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-this picture was taken immediately after the toot comment.  Needless to say it took a minute to reign the conversation back in.

It’s a sweet and often stinky season in our home but I am so thankful for these tiny disciples and the advent season.

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What’s on YOUR Wishlist?!

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Attention Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and any other “amazingly good must have deals,” I cannot handle you anymore.

You are stressing me out.  You are making me feel like I am behind when it comes to all things Christmas and gift giving.  You are bringing to my attention things I do not even want or need.  Yet somehow slicing prices in half makes me question myself and causes me to want to purchase everything, instantly.  Can we just STOP.

You are messing with the indecisive, people pleasing, surprise gift giving side of me and I cannot handle it.  So starting tomorrow, when the deals are gone and the “shoulda coulda woulda” feelings stop, I’m going to do my Christmas shopping.

I’ve got a list, I have a plan, and it’s going to be good!

What about you???

What has made your Christmas list this year?  I’m not talking the list you have made for family members you need to buy for.  I’m talking your list.

Can I tell you about something I put on my list last year I think you should add to yours?!?!

I was coming up on the first birthday of my second child and feeling a huge desire to get into a routine.  We had just moved to a new state and I was ready to make friends and plug in as quick as possible.  While at the same time I had some baby weight and extreme fatigue that I was just done fighting so I did what anyone would do…

I added “Gym Membership” on the top of my Christmas list!!

Christmas morning I was handed a wad full of cash held tightly together by a sweatband (cute, huh?!)

And for the next month I searched.  I visited the local YMCA.  I toured the mega gym and saw all the high end equipment.  But everywhere I looked I couldn’t get passed a few key things…

  1.  Holy smokes, gym memberships are expensive!!
  2. How am I ever going to find the time to attend as many classes or workout here to make the cost worth it?
  3. Are my kiddos even going to like the childcare??  Will they be sick all the time because I keep dragging them out of the house?
  4. Am I going to have to try to do this at night and miss time when my family could actually all be together…
  5. I am not sure I’d ever actually work to my fullest using equipment with people all around watching me…

And before I continue, this is not me saying gym memberships are bad.  I’m simply sharing my story and my season and the struggle I ran into with last years Christmas gift.

There it is again that “people pleaser” in me having to make sure no one is upset by my own experiences, haha!

So, after several failed attempts I began to feel frustrated.  I was ready for a routine and structure, I needed fitness and nutrition help that would be a win for our pocket book as well as my family.

I remembered before we moved to GA meeting a girl who did some at home workouts through a company called Beachbody.  I had done a trial of these workouts in October and really loved the programs but then life turned upside down with our move and things fell through the cracks.

So with my sweat banded ball of money by my side I reached out to Lauren, “girl from KY who did at home workouts,” and I was amazed to see my gift was more than enough for 1 year!  As we talked I learned about the hundreds of programs with guided workout plans and nutrition…

Routine, check!

I was invited to join monthly challenge groups with like minded ladies who would be working out and setting goals all while encouraging one another.

Community, check!

And I saw before and after pictures from Lauren as well as countless others and I thought, “Whhaaat?!?!”

Lose baby weight, check!

Jan. 19, 2017 I joined my “at-home-gym” and haven’t looked back!  That “random girl” from KY has now become one of my best friends.

Who would’ve thought a request for a gym membership would transpire into a lifestyle change and now even a coaching opportunity?  It has truly become the gift that has kept on giving!

Ladies, instead of asking your family to spend money on a sweater that’s only going to be in style for a short time, or even that other “must have” splurge…

Why not ask for a gift this year that will go way beyond a sparkly red bow or even a sweat band, depending on who is in charge of the wrapping!

Here’s what I bought…

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Annual All-Access Beachbody Challenge Pack & Shakeology 

(Did you click the BOLD letters above?  There’s a link with a video telling you all about it!)

At risk of starting to sound like a Cyber Monday deal, I’ll stop here.

Let’s talk!

Email: csalter327@gmail.com

FB or Instagram:  TreyandChelsea Salter

 

 

 

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More to the Story Monday

I don’t think there is a better post on this “cyber Monday” than a recap to our Thanksgiving weekend!

It is safe to say we did it up right, we began early Wednesday morning traveling to KY.  And mom and I hit up Kroger with a list for not only everything we would need for a Thanksgiving feast, but also food to feed 13+ for 3 days…y’all!!


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We spent the actual Thanksgiving day in a bit of a non-traditional way.  Mimi allowed Colby to plan the menu for our Thursday since we were waiting for the rest of the family to arrive for our “official” feast on Friday.  So who doesn’t want to finish up the Macy’s parade with some digorno pizza and Mac-n-cheese???

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And our day concluded with a trip to see “The Star!” Because after all, it’s the Christmas season now! (Although I confess we put up our Christmas tree Tuesday night before heading to Ky.  I felt like I was doing something wrong the entire time but it sure made it nice to come home to yesterday!)

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The kids really enjoyed the movie.  Riley “talked” through the entire thing and Colby kept asking when the bull was coming on…thank you “Ferdinand” previews for confusing my child.

And I may or may not have been a bit obnoxious about making it to the movies on time.  For some reason I was convinced Thanksgiving day was the busiest movie day of the year, as you can see by the crowd in the background of this picture, it’s not.  Rest assured all those I “rushed” to make it to the movie a bit early were quick to let me know I was wrong.  Oh family, they’ll keep you honest!

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The ladies in our family kicked booty when it came to food prep and getting things done this year.  We have never been known for our “promptness” (is that a word?) BUT this was our year!!  We had lists, schedules, and a plan! And a whole lot of fun doing it!

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We even had a kids table this year!!!

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Whoever came up with this glorious idea deserves a hug!!  The kiddos laughed, pretended to play “p.j. Masks” and they might have actually ate a bite or two in the process.  Does it really matter as long as they’re happy?

Believe it or not, the cousin happiness lasted our entire visit!  Close quarters and 3 year olds can sometimes carry its own set of issues, but not this year…

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This year there were pretend puppy dogs, lots of hugs, movie time, and…HAPPY MEALS!!

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Our Saturday was spent with the “Ballou” side of the crew and even involved 1 year wedding cake that Mamaw Peggy & Layton shared with us!!

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Happy Anniversary you two lovebirds!!

And of course there were more casseroles and turkey…and that beloved kids table!!

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Thanksgiving 2017, you did not disappoint!


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Dont let the silence of this family photo deceive you, I think we are all taking a bit of a breather on this Monday after!

Shew!  Until next time!

 

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I’m Feelin’ 29

Friday I celebrated my 29th birthday.

I love BIRTHDAYS!  Especially when they fall on a Friday and you have the ENTIRE WEEKEND to celebrate.  I must say, my family and friends treated me well as I entered the last year of my 20’s.

It began with my in-loves keeping my early riser son on Thursday night so I could sleep in.  Can I hear an AMEN?!

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Then Friday my hubby worked from home so I was able to schedule a hair appointment while Riley spent some quality time just her and dad (or at least lunch time and nap time.)

The hair appointment was…eventful.  I requested a beginner stylist and definitely got one, BUT…I was only charged $20 for cut & color.  So that was def a win! (You’re welcome for that random tid bit)

After the salon it was time for the hubby and I to hit the town.  We went out for BBQ and came home to confetti cheesecake (Ya’ll!!!) and presents!

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I absolutely love the messages on social media, phone calls, and texts that come through on a Birthday.  I firmly believe that at least once a month we should celebrate a birthday just so we can hear from so many wonderful people!

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But Friday wasn’t the end of the celebrating…

A lazy Saturday…

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Followed by family pictures!!!  Yes, I milked it for all it was worth, one of my birthday gifts was taking a few photos with our crew.  I hope to have some to share here soon!

Friday I was on the phone with one of my sisters and she asked me if I felt any older.  To my surprise I said, yes!  My kids are getting bigger, my hubby handsomer (that’s a word…) and I’m having to work harder to keep up.  Yes, I feel older.

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But I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  A WHOLE lot has happened over the last 29 years and the Lord has been so good and so faithful.

I cannot wait to see what this last year of my 20’s holds…and I can guarantee it will NOT be boring.

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