Prepare yourself, major picture overload!!! Christmas was filled with family, friends and a bit of travel. I apologize for taking so long to get these out, but they’re FINALLY up on the blog!!
Christmas began on Christmas Eve and our annual lunch and gift exchange at our neighbors. We treasure this time, the kids love watching “Mr. Ron’s” train sets, eating “Mr. Ron’s” pizza and exchanging gifts (of course!!)
Ms. Kathy is beyond excited that one of our children has picked up her love for riding horses. Let’s just say, the horse gifts may have out numbered the non-horse gifts, hahaha. This particular stuffed horse was handmade at the Amish Tack Shop (Loveville Leather) Kathy shops at locally. How sweet!!
Ron is so wonderful about asking me what the kids truly want for Christmas and their birthdays. When it was time to discuss Matti Jane’s Christmas present, my answer was simple – a set of sheets. Ron looked at me like I was crazy. She is obsessed with decorating and organizing her room and we recently bought her a new “more mature” duvet cover. She was dying for the matching sheets. Do you see that face?!?! Ron was finally convinced…hahaha
This guy is so easy to shop for…anything boy and he’s beyond EXCITED. A remote control car did the trick!!
Santa brought the kids paddle boards. The kids used ours last Summer and to have ones that fit them better will be great this upcoming Summer. Matti Jane got the iPod she was dying for, Chandler got a Polaroid camera and Shay got another remote control car, legos and a light saber.
We hosted Christmas dinner at our house but it was smaller than usual this year. Colleen and Ahmed were in the Bahamas. So, Miles, Michael, Leigha, Judson, Marlee, Lilly, my parents, Peter’s Mom and our good friends Lucas and Amanda. Early on the 26th, we got up and headed to the train station to drop Peter’s Mom off and then headed straight to BWI, we were heading to Tampa, FL for the next week!!!
We chose Tampa for 2 reasons…my girlfriend’s husband is now the assistant coach for the Tampa Bay Lightning and she and her kids are there often. They were going to be there for the week after Christmas as well. Secondly, Peter’s old PA lives in Tampa and we’d get to visit with her too!!
The afternoon/evening of the 27th, we were lucky enough to head to a game with Kelley and her littles. We vacation with them most Summers so the kids know one another pretty well, so they had a blast!!
That’s Jeff, my girlfriend’s husband, mid screen of the picture, in the suit!!
Thanks for the awesome seats Jeff!!
We were able to head down to the basement of the arena to the where the players’ and coaches’ family can go. Shay played hockey with some of the players’ kids…it was AWESOME!!!
The next morning, we got up and took a nice walk to a cute restaurant, Another Broken Egg Cafe, and then did some “jumping around” afterwards 😉
The next couple of days were spent having fun and making memories at the pool and the beach.
Kelley and her gang were headed back to New York a couple days before we were leaving for home so we did some exploring. Our first stop was at The Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Who has seen Dolphin Tale?? This is the home of Winter the Dolphin and where the movie was filmed. Pretty darn cool. I highly recommend it if you are in the Tampa or Clearwater area. Just keep in mind, it is a rescue aquarium versus a stereotypical aquarium, so much smaller in size.
After the aquarium, we went out to see some dolphins. Hopefully you saw my stories and saw the amazing clip of 3 dolphins riding in our boat’s wake!! We toured with The Seascreamer.
Later that evening, we headed to dinner. Chandler kept asking for crab legs…I’d say, we delivered 😉
And then there’s this guy again?!?!?!?
Another highlight was New Year’s Eve. Downtown Tampa hosted a Noon Year’s Eve for the kids, it was GREAT. A balloon drop, a DJ doing the countdown to Noon and lots of other fun elements.
This was the view from our hotel room balcony, the fireworks were incredible!!