Things I Never Blogged About: Christmas 2013

Playing catch up to share memories I never blogged about.. here’s Christmas 2013.

We celebrated Christmas a few days early at home with my family, and then packed up our kids and headed north for Christmas. It takes about 16 hours with two kids between eating, potty breaks, and etc. Our kids were great travelers on the trip up. Everyone was feeling sick on the way home, so that trip was pretty miserable.

We had a great time spending Christmas  up north. Chris’s family always goes all out for Christmas and we leave feeling so blessed. I’m so glad I married into such a wonderful family. My babies are lucky and get to grow up with a pretty great family–on both sides. We loved spending time with family, playing in the snow, and teaching Toby to roll over, among many other things.

Here are some scenes from our trip up north.

Watson Cousins

Watson Cousins

Christmas 2013

Milk + Cookies for Santa

Milk + Cookies for Santa + reindeer carrots

Cuties on Christmas Morning

Cuties on Christmas Morning

Furiously ripping into presents. Everything she opened, she responded with "it's just what I wanted." So sweet.

Furiously ripping into presents. Everything she opened, she responded with “it’s just what I wanted.” So sweet.

"It's just what I wanted"

“It’s just what I wanted”

Big boy chillin'

Big boy chillin’

Tobes learned to roll over on this trip, at 3 months old

Tobes learned to roll over on this trip, at 3 months old

Grandma Painting Elodie's toenails

Grandma Painting Elodie’s toenails

Big boy

Big boy

Grandma & her babies

Grandma & her babies

Toby & Grandpa

Toby & Grandpa

Snow Angel

Snow Angel

Elodie and Daddy playing in the 4 inches of show

Elodie and Daddy playing in the 4 inches of show

Family Snow Angels

Family Snow Angels

Snowman

Snowman

Anyone else missing Christmas already? Although.. I’m glad the weather is starting to warm up! Never mind, let’s hit the beach!

xoxo

Ash

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Jersey Shore

We’ve been home from the beach & back at work for 2 weeks. Needless to say, we’ve been pretty busy since we’ve been home so enjoy this tardy recap of our vacation.

Most of our trip was similar to last year, so check there for any missing details 🙂

We packed up our new mini-van & hit the road around 6:00 am, the morning before we were planning to arrive on the beach. We wanted to take our time to get up there and enjoy the trip. By the way–having a mini-van is AWESOME for traveling.

Van packed & ready to go @ 6:00 am

Van packed & ready to go @ 6:00 am

Since we had some extra time built into the trip, we were able to make plenty of stops. This kept Elodie & a 30-week pregger momma very happy 🙂

One stop was a drive-through zoo/safari somewhere along I-81 in VA. We bought a bucket of food, and drove around to see & feed animals. I didn’t love the animals coming right up to our car, but Elodie & Chris were having fun.. so that’s all that matters.

Stop in VA to feed some animals

Stop in VA to feed some animals

After our first long day of driving, we stopped  somewhere in Delaware for the evening. There’s a ferry that you can drive onto and it takes you from Lewes, DE to Cape May, NJ–Cape May, NJ is only about 20 minutes from our final destination in Stone Harbor, NJ. This saved us from having to drive too much the next day, and we thought it’d be a fun experience for Elodie.

DE-NJ Ferry

Driving our van onto the DE-NJ Ferry

On the Ferry

On the Ferry

I got a little sea-sick on the ferry, but Elodie enjoyed running around with Chris and looking for dolphins. We didn’t take it on the way home, but it was a fun thing to do once.

After the ferry docked, we had a short drive to meet up with our family and begin our lovely beach vacation.

Ahhh, finally at the beach

Ahhh, finally at the beach

The rest of the week consisted of beach, beach, seafood, ice cream, family, zoo, shopping & some more beach. Similarly to last year, the week were there happens to be around July 25, which is Christmas in July. Santa can be found all over town all week. This was an added bonus to our trip because we ran into him all over town. Between this & getting ice cream every night, Elodie was in heaven.

Our lovely set-up. This tent was AWESOME for Elodie.

Our lovely set-up. This tent was perfect for Elodie’s afternoon naps.

The biggest difference from last year & this year, aside from my giant belly, was Elodie is a whole year older. What a difference a year makes! Last year she was drinking bottles, wearing diapers, and was only a year and a half.

Trying to make our lives a little easier, since we knew we weren’t going to have to be running back & forth for bottles and diaper changes, we purchased this tent in hopes that Elodie could just take her afternoon naps right on the beach. It worked like a charm. She loved it and loved napping in it. We loved it because we could lounge around on the beach all day and not have to worry about messing Elodie’s schedule up. Best investment for kiddos ever. I STRONGLY recommend getting one if you’re planning a long beach vacay.

Elode + Grandma

Elode + Grandma

Our nightly trip to the ice cream place

Our nightly trip to the ice cream place

❤ (30-week baby bump)

She loved digging in the sand

She loved digging in the sand

Santa!

Santa!

On one of the cloudier days, we took a day off from the beach to enjoy the (free!!) zoo. Elodie enjoyed the drive-through safari thing so much, we knew we had to take a day to visit the zoo. She is kind of obsessed with animals and had a blast.

Our day @ the zoo

Our day @ the zoo

Daddy + Elodie at the zoo

Daddy + Elodie at the zoo–don’t let her grumpy face fool you, she was having fun

As usual, vacation weeks always go by way too quickly, so we had to soak up every last ounce of sunshine and family time on our last day.

Enjoying the final day

Enjoying the final day

Family enjoying our last day

Family enjoying our last day

Another shot of that baby bump

Another shot of that baby bump

Chris + Grandma + Elodie

Chris + Grandma + Elodie

Thanks everyone for a great week! Looking forward to having our new addition with us next year!

xoxo

Ash

Summer Road Trippin’: Part 3–The Beach!

In case you missed this preview, we spent a week in Stone Harbor, New Jersey at the beach–this was the final destination of our summer road trip (check out part 1 and part 2).

Chris’ parents and one of his aunts & uncles rented a house a block away from the beach, as they do every year. Unfortunately, for the last several years, our school schedules interfered with the week of the trip.. until this year! Chris had been working hard during his first semester of grad school (which, by the way, he made all a’s this summer!) and I was home with Elodie for the majority of the summer–we were both SO ready for a vacation at the beach. Beach vacation meant golfing with family for Chris & getting a tan & reading for momma. What more could you want?

Beach House

A block away from the beach

Most days, we took Elodie down to the beach in the morning, then back to the house for lunch & a nap, and we hung out around the house in the afternoons. Mommy, daddy, grandma & grandpa all took turns watching her so everyone got to enjoy a little bit of what they wanted to.

All dressed in her beach gear

Enjoying a snack

Watson’s

Elodie + Grandma

She LOVED the water

Elodie in a baby pool we brought with us to keep her occupied

Flying a Kite

Spending the afternoons recovering from the beach by reading the paper

We were not only accompanied by Chris’ parents and one of his aunts & uncles, but 4 of his (adult) cousins as well. His cousins were there sporadically throughout the week, so we were glad we were able to see all 4 of them! We even managed to sneak away a couple of nights and hang out with them sans baby!

All the “kids”

Michelle + Jack, the newly weds!

Our beach set-up + spread out family

In addition to beach time, most nights we would walk to the downtown area where we did a lot of shopping and ice cream eating with the family.

Christmas in July @ the ice cream joint

Going on a walk

With Elodie in tow, we couldn’t have exiting outings every night, so there was even a little bit of the south brought up to New Jersey via low country boil one night.

Low Country Boil

One evening, Chris, his cousin Brandon and I made sure we went out to Atlantic City to try our hand at some gambling.

Caesar’s Palace + Trump Plaza in the background

Chris had been to Las Vegas before, but Brandon and I were definitely amateurs. We played blackjack with Chris for a while, but spent most of our time at the slots. Between Chris and I we ended up leaving with about $10 more than we started with! Not too bad, especially for my first time.

Our biggest win: put $5 in a slot machine and won this!

Unfortunately, our week had to come to an end & we headed home. It was a great vacation & we’re so thankful to have such a wonderful family to spend our vacation with. Thanks for everything, guys! We love ya & miss everyone already! It weeks like this that make us bummed that we live so far away from everyone.

Chris and I being lame before we left

We really hope to be able to join his family for future beach trips.

xoxo

Ash

Summer Road Trippin’: Part 2–New York

We’re back from our summer vacation! We are resting & getting ready to go back to work in a couple of days.

Now that I have more time on my hands, here’s part 2 of our summer vacation: spending a few days in NY with Chris’s family before we all headed to the beach. If you missed it, here’s part 1 in Nashville.

While we were in NY, we celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary by going out to get hibachi, went to the not-so-awesome Binghamton Zoo, did a bit of shopping, and spent some family time with Elodie’s cousins.

Celebrating Anniversary

Shopping with Grandma

Riding the carousel at the Zoo

Riding with Grandma

Petting the Goats

Pretty smudged butterfly

Grandpa’s Little Girl

She insists on pushing her stroller all the time

Looking at animals with Grandma

Grandma playing with her baby girls

Ball pit

More Ball Pit Fun

We had a fun couple of days in NY, but check back soon the the final (& best) post about our summer trip: the beach!

xoxo

Ash

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Stone Harbor, New Jersey

We’re still away enjoying family & some sun! Here’s what our view looks like most days. That little pool is for Elodie, to keep her cool & preoccupied. The weather has been beautiful, the water chilly, the seafood delicious & the family time priceless. Be back in a few days with some longer updates!

Summer Road Trippin’: Part 1–Nashville

On our summer road trip up north, we left ATL on Monday afternoon to head to Nasvhille, TN to spend some time with my sister & her family. We were only in Nashville for 24 hours, but those 24 hours were jam-packed with fun! Here are some snapshots of our time in Nashville.

Tuesday was mine & Chris’ 2-year wedding anniversary, so we had a fun day celebrating our anniversary in Nashville.

Elodie reading + laptop for movies + Chris doing most of the drving = our road trippin’ set up

Once we got to Nashville, we unpacked and headed to the Adventure Science Center for some afternoon fun. This place was awesome! If you’re ever in Nashville with some kiddos, check this place out!

Adventure Science Center

Elodie playing with boats

Playing hockey with the guys

Tall Watson’s

Strong man Raef, lifting up a car!

Elodie checking out the fake body

Me and Elodie in front of the Earth

Elodie and Daddy in front of the dinos

Elodie at the top of the Science Center–check out that view behind her

The next day, unfortunately my sister had to work, so we spent the day with Raef & JoJo. We went to a local park and visited the Parthenon. Since it was also our anniversary, the day was extra special!

Me sitting on the floor with the guys in the front seat & the babies in the back in their carseats. We need a minivan!

Parking it up

Momma and Elodie conquered the rock wall

The Parthenon

The Watson’s at the Parthenon

GIANT Athena Statue

Raef showing the thickness of the several ton door

Then, we got lunch before we headed out of town.

Baby lovin’ at lunch

The Original Oscar the Grouch–only in Nashville

We hit the road that afternoon and drove until we got hungry/sleepy. We did manage to stop in Louisville, KY for a romantic anniversary dinner & some play time for Elodie.

Elodie going for a ride

We had a great 24 hours in Nashville! Thanks for the hospitality, Williams Family! Love ya and hope to see more of you next time!

I’ll be back sometime to update more of our summer trip.

In the meantime, we’re heading to the beach in the morning. Ready to get our fist pumping-Jersey Shoring on!
xoxo

Ash

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Our 2 year anniversary

While on our road trip from GA to Nashville, TN to NY, we stopped in Louisville, KY at a McCalister’s Deli for our romantic anniversary dinner. Hopefully we’ll do something a little fancier when we get to our destination! 🙂 Love ya, hubs! Happy anniversary!!