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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thanksgiving Break 2017

We had a fun-filled Thanksgiving break last week- I think the best part is that we got to spend time with both sides of the family without having to travel at all!

Colby, Clara, and I kicked off the break by going to see "The Star" with Allison, Davis, and Avery the afternoon before Thankgsiving. It's a (cartoon) movie about the birth of Jesus (as told by the animals) and while it wasn't the most amazing kids' movie ever, it was a cute way of telling the story in a way the kids could appreciate.

That evening, Brian and Colby held down the fort at home (read: ate pizza and played video games) while Clara and I headed out to accomplish an important Thanksgiving Eve task: mailing our Christmas cards! 

Thanksgiving morning was spent meeting up with Allison for a walk (preemptive calorie burning) and then decorating for Christmas. We let the twins help up until it was time to put ornaments on the tree and after about 15 seconds of letting them be involved, we wisely turned on a show to distract them while we took care of business. Don't worry- I still let them hang their own (non-breakable) ornaments at the end :)

We spent the rest of the day at Brian's parents' house and despite the fact that their power was out for 6 hours (thankfully the turkey had already been cooked the day before!), we still had a great time. We did a few photo shoots, plenty of eating, and spent plenty of time outside thanks to the perfect weather. 

I kind of love Colby's crazy eyes in this pic!

(We took this while Brian was heating up all of the bigger dishes on the grill!)

The original Joiner clan (Don, Terrie, Shannon, & Brian)

The twinkies with Mimi and Granddaddy

We spent Friday visiting with my parents, who were briefly in town, and bravely doing a little bit of Black Friday shopping, where I finally purchased a crossbody purse, which, as some of you know, I've been obsessing about for several weeks now. 

Hello, pretty new bag (that was 50% off!!)!

Brian and his dad spent Saturday morning knocking out a project in the yard: basically we had this one area where the dog houses sat that had no grass in it and served primarily as a digging area for the dogs. The top "before" pic is after we moved the dog houses and leveled out the dirt. The bottom "after" pic is with the new pavers Brian and his dad put in:

We ended the day with dinner with some friends and much to the twins' delight, a slumber party with Avery.

Though Sunday was a little warmer than I prefer for November, the weather was pretty nice, so we spent most of the post-church day playing outside and trying to pretend we didn't have to go back to work/school the next day. It was the perfect low-key day to wrap up our break.

This weekend we'll be in full swing with Christmas activities, complete with visiting Santa, a Christmas dance performance for Clara, and co-hosting my annual cookie exchange with friends. 'Tis the season!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Five on Wednesday

1. The twins had their Thanksgiving program at school last week. In news that will shock none of you that know him, Colby opted (a) not to wear his pilgrim costume and (b) to hide in the back for the majority of the show. Clara was a little bit more participatory but still shy about it.

After the program, we partook in the daycare's Thanksgiving "feast", wherein Brian and I sat in toddler-sized chairs and the twins overdosed on rolls and strawberry lemonade.

2. I don't like to talk about work on here, but it is worth mentioning that I got to go visit one of our rigs in the Gulf of Mexico last week. We traveled via helicopter, which was pretty exciting until the journey home when we learned at our first fuel stop that the helicopter had a maintenance issue that couldn't be fixed. We ended up driving 5 hours home and all in all, I was awake for a full 18 hours, so I wouldn't exactly say I was in a decent mood by the time it all ended, BUT the rig visit was a cool experience, so there's the silver lining.

3. We went to a birthday party at the zoo on Saturday. I don't really have anything exciting to report about it as it was a pretty typical zoo trip... except the part where another kid got on the lion on the carousel before Colby got to it and he basically lost his mind. And instead of forcing him to pick another animal, I let him wait until the next go-around so he could get the lion. And then I sat there wondering if I was a terrible mother for making that choice and quickly determined that I am responsible for all of my children's bad behavior because in this instance, I rewarded it by letting him get what he wants. And the only point of this rambling confession is to once again remind everyone that mom guilt is very real and it follows you everywhere... even to the carousel!

4. I saw "A Bad Moms Christmas" with the girls from my small group this past weekend and much like the first one, it was kind of dumb and incredibly crude, but also much like the first one, it was really funny! And there were even a couple of poignant moments, so if you can handle the inappropriateness, then definitely go see it. 

 Me with some of my favorite bad awesome moms

5. Turkey Day is tomorrow! We'll be staying in town and celebrating with Brian's family, but will also get to see my parents briefly as well. Our contributions to tomorrow's meal are green beans and a sweet potato casserole, both of which I'm looking forward to eating. But if we're being honest, I'm just as excited about eating the rolls, so apparently the twins come by that naturally ;)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Why do I feel like I'm perpetually catching up?

Why hello there, readers, and hello there, mid-November! I know you're all pretty upset that I left you hanging after doing a post about pre-Halloween and then never following up with a recap of the actual Halloween happenings. That was incredibly insensitive of me.

The highlights: I stuffed my face at my department's annual Halloween breakfast and also took a half day of vacation, which meant I got to attend the twins' party at daycare. Once Brian got off work, we met up with the Olivers for dinner and trick-or-treating, which was a bit of a bust because of the rain. We headed back to our 'hood to finish up trick-or-treating and wrapped up just in time for Brian to watch the World Series while I sorted through and implemented the mom tax on the twins' candy.

We finished up the week with the twins' last soccer game, where it was clear both of them were ready for the season to be over (though Clara admitted later she was sad to be done and wants to play again soon... we'll see if that continues to be true)! 

Me: "Colby and Clara, smile! ... Please smile at the camera!... Ok just please look in the direction of the camera."

The twins also went to a birthday party for one of their daycare friends and I couldn't get over how much Clara and the birthday girl looked like they were 15 in this first picture:

This past week was also full of excitement as the twins had their first ever field trip! I remember when they were in the Infant room many moons ago and I saw a group of the Pre-K kids in their matching purple shirts heading off to a field trip and I thought to myself, "The twins will never be that old." Well not only did they get that old, but they did it a million times faster than I expected.

Anyway, they went to the library and although no books were actually read, apparently, they had a great time and are looking forward to more adventures with their pals.

Girls versus...


We were relieved not to have soccer this past weekend as it meant we got to take it a little easier on Saturday (though thanks to the time change, the twins were still up bright and early). Our friends opened up the cutest new coffee shop the day before, so we headed over to their neck of the woods to check it out. If you live out this way, go check out Holy Roast Coffee - you won't regret it (also, make sure to stop by the super cute children's boutique nextdoor!)

Clara chose chocolate milk and a side of sass

Brian had a nitro cold brew (whatever that means) and loved it... as did the Transformer in the foreground, of course.

Colby had a ginger orangeade (an original!) and I had dark circles under my eyes a hot chocolate, since coffee isn't my thing

Thanks to our ever faithful babysitters, Mimi and Granddaddy, Brian and I got to enjoy a night out with friends on Saturday celebrating a birthday at a local winery/brewery and it was awesome! Having uninterrupted adult time is obviously nice, but the cool venue was an added bonus- another place I recommend you locals check out some time.

We have a busy week ahead with pre-Thanksgiving happenings and, oh yeah, work/life in general... looking forward to a short week and some time with family next week to give us all some down time!