Small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.


Christmas, Part 3

Last, but certainly not least, is our final Christmas celebration and weekend spent in Louisville visiting Adam's family and friends. Our first Christmas celebration weekend is HERE and Christmas Eve and Day are HERE.

Unfortunately, Christmas fell on a Wednesday this year and I had to work Thursday and Friday. Once I was off work on Friday we packed up the car and our little family (dog included of course) and headed to Louisville. We arrived late Friday night to Matt and Marty's house and even though Landon had just seen them the weekend before he was as excited to spend some more time with his favorite Uncle.

Saturday, the boys the boys hung out while Marty, Mary and I spent the day hanging out. Oh how I miss my girls! We grabbed some lunch at Chuy's which had the BEST white peach sangria's. Delicious!! Afterwards, we went ice skating at the outdoor ice skating rink located in Jeffersonville, IN. I hadn't been in a long time and Mary had never been, but we didn't do too badly. We started out holding hands, because good friends all go down together not individually.

But as worried as Mary was, she really good. She claims she isn't athletic, but she rocked it on the ice.

Marty use to be pretty in to roller blading which seemed to pay off. Skating was her idea and it was a great one. It's always fun to do something different.

Way back in the day I took lessons and use to be pretty good. Once we had been skating for awhile and I worked up some confidence and I tried to pick up speed and start crossing my skates like I use to do. That's when I fell. It wasn't a bid deal. Just bruised up my ego a bit, but I proved I needed some more practice to be a pro again. My favorite part of coming home is getting to see everyone but especially these two. I've met a lot of great people in Nashville, but these two are my sisters. I seriously miss them every day.

After our ice skating adventure, Adam and I went to Noni's house to celebrate Christmas with his family. Landon LOVES his big cousin so it's always great when the two boys can get together and play. 
We had a great Christmas dinner followed by our gift exchange.

By this time, Landon was all about gifts and starting to want them ALL for himself. We tried to tell him that on Christmas you give gifts to people you love, not just receive them. It seems to have a been a little steep for him to grasp. We'll work on it more for next year. He settled on helping other people open theirs.

I think Noni cleaned up the most. She might the best person to get gifts for, because she LOVES everything. She's always so gracious.

Nana gave Landon the cutest gift ever, a superman hoodie complete with a cape. He's just now starting to get into superheros so this gift was perfect for him. He really loves it and is always asking to wear it. For a boy, my kid is way too involved in his clothes. We have favorite shirts and shirts that induce crying. This is the top of his favorites. 

Adam always gets great pictures, but this may be my new favorite. Noni told me that night that he smiles with his eyes. I see it in this picture. 

And of course we had to get the group picture. As you can see, the kids fit nicely in the floor in front of the couch.

Christmas really is a magical time and not just for children. As fun as it to buy gifts for people, to give (and let's be honest) receive them, the magic comes from the people, not the presents. I'm grateful we got a chance to spend a little time with everyone close to us and still make time for us and ourselves. We were able to continue our favorite Christmas traditions and create a few new ones along the way.


Christmas, Part 2

I posted HERE about the weekend before Christmas, which kicked off our Christmas celebration.
This post is all about those two days...

When you're a kid, there is nothing more exciting than Christmas morning. The anticipation leading up to that morning is incredible. As I've gotten older, that anticipation has come back for me, but at a different time during Christmas. Now it comes every year at Christmas Eve. For me, the most exciting part of Christmas is Midnight Mass. I can honestly say that I look more forward to Midnight Mass than any other event during the year. I remember when it really became special for me. Having been to Christmas Eve masses growing up with my Father, I knew what to expect when Adam and I decided to go to our first Midnight Mass as members of the Cathedral in Louisville. The Cathedral had an amazing choir and beautiful organ so we decided to attend the choir's Christmas performance before mass. It was a fantastic performance, as expected, and the organ brought the Christmas music to life. Just before midnight, when Mass was set to begin, the lights were dimmed for the last song. Silent Night was sung by the choir and entire congregation without any accompanying instruments. There are no words that can possibly describe the feeling in that church as we all sung Silent Night. Mass started immediately afterwards and from then on it was all magical for me. Midnight Mass is the most special part of Christmas for me and the most moving Mass year in and out.

This year I had to work half of a day. Since I'd be cooking on Christmas, we decided to eat out for Christmas Eve. We had dinner at O Charley's, came home, and put Landon to bed just before 8pm (his normal bedtime). At 10:30 we woke him up and got him dressed in his Christmas outfit. He wasn't super happy about putting on his Christmas outfit as he wanted to wear his car pajamas to church.

We may have had to bribe him with a cookie to try and get a smile.

We went to Mass at the Nashville Cathedral which is a really beautiful church. Like always, we arrived at 11pm for the choir performance which included an orchestra.

If I'm honest, having a squirmy little two year old with us at Midnight Mass takes away from the experience in some ways. We were constantly correcting Landon to sit on his butt and to not talk. Maybe we are a little strict, but it's important for us that Landon can sit still and be respectful during church. Overall, he did really well considering it was the middle of the night and we made him sit still for over two hours. It was a wonderful Mass and I'm glad we went. We will always go to Midnight Mass and I'm already looking forward to next year's. Hopefully, as Landon gets older he can find his own magic in the Mass.

We got home well after 2am and went directly to bed. A little before 10am Christmas morning, Landon woke up and it was time to open gifts. This was the first year Landon was old enough for Santa and in Adam's family, Santa leaves gifts unwrapped which worked out perfectly because Santa brought Landon a tent. He came downstairs and saw it and had no idea what it was. He then opened his wrapped present from us (a sleeping bag to match) and we proceeded to explain to him that he could sleep in his tent. Once he understood, it was a hit.

He even got Daddy to get inside with him and play.

Once I was able to pull them out, we finished opening gifts. Adam got a set of trekking poles he's been wanting. He's on a mission now to become a mountain man.

And I got a new GoPro! Landon also got a shark race track, which in hindsight should have been given to him by Santa since it came in a million pieces and took Adam forever to put it together. Lesson learned.

Just about the time Adam finally got the race track together Grandma showed up. She was super excited to give Landon his gift, because she knew he would flip over it. And he did...

Landon loves the show Little Einsteins (he calls it Pat Pat) and told my Mom way back in October that he wanted a rocket ship. So even though Disney doesn't make it anymore, Grandma got on ebay and found Landon his very own Little Einsteins rocket ship. I'm pretty sure he officially owns ever mode of transportation now. The rocket ship takes the cake.

 We exchanged some gifts with Grandma.

Landon gave each of his Grandparents an ornament with his hand print. It's something we tried his first Christmas, but was a total disaster. Now that is old enough to follow directions we were finally able to make one successfully. They were a big hit with all the Grandparents and turned out super cute.

After we were finished opening gifts something crazy happened, I finally watched a Christmas Story. I know everyone else in the world has seen the movie, but I never had. Adam's been on a mission for 10 years to try and get me to watch it, but I always resisted. To me it just looked silly. Well something happened this year and I caved. We all watched it and I have to say it was pretty alright. Afterwards, Landon took a long afternoon nap, in his tent, while we prepared dinner. After an amazing Christmas dinner we spent the rest of the night playing and relaxing. Of course grandma had to check out the tent too.

This was our first Christmas away from our family. My Mom made the trip to Nashville to spend it with us, but we normally run around making a point to see all of our family on Christmas Day. Instead of the day being a whirwind, it was relaxed and simple. We didn't get caught up in getting Landon a ton of gifts either, but there was no shortage of Christmas joy. We got to spend lots of quality times on Christmas Eve and Day together as a family and I wouldn't change a thing. And speaking of family, this post wouldn't be complete without a Christmas picture of our furry son. Kaiser had a Merry Christmas too!


Christmas, Part 1

It's no surprise I'm two weeks late to making a post about Christmas...story of my life. I hope to stay more on top of blogging this year because it's a great way to journal our family events. I'm happy I haven't given up on it like I did so many times in the past, but there are still many events, activities and topics I wanted to write about in 2013, but never got around to it. So here's hoping I can stay more on top of it in 2014 and I'll start with backtracking a bit to the weekend before Christmas.

For us, Christmas came in three parts. Part 1 was the weekend before Christmas when my Dad, Step-Mom, Brother, and Sister-in-law came to visit and celebrate Christmas with us in Nashville.
Matt and Marty came in Friday night. We shared a great dinner and hung out at the house for the night. The boys got to play a little x-box (something they never do together anymore). Much to my disgust even Landon wanted in.

Luckily, the gaming station went home with Uncle Matt. If there is anything I will put my foot down on, it's letting my kid play video games...never going to happen. I realize he will hate me for it, but I really don't care.
So after a night of games we got up Saturday morning and the boys did their thing (visited the gun range) while Marty and I did our thing (shopping). Of course, Landon was forced to tag along with the girls for obvious reasons and likes shopping just as much as any other male. Ever since we've moved down to Nashville I've been telling Marty about downtown Franklin. It's full of cute shops and unique restaurants in an old town setting and I knew she would love it. Our time was limited and the weather was iffy, but we decided to go and walk around for a bit. We were both so happy we did. I hadn't been to Franklin at Christmas, but I should have known the shops would be full of Christmas decor and perfect for finding special gifts. I wish we would have had more time, but the trip was a big success because I did find a rare spice that I had been looking all over for.

 After a bit, we headed back to our house were my Dad and Cathy had arrived. We hung out for a bit and caught up while Landon napped. Then we headed out for dinner downtown. On the way, we stopped at the Parthenon hoping to see if it was lit up for Christmas.

And it was! It's a pretty neat structure and since it's going to be a few years before I see the real one, I'd like to go back one day and take a tour of the inside. After a quick walk around, we headed to dinner at Rodizio (the Brazilian Steakhouse that we had visited a few months before). The first time we went, my brother and I both agreed that Dad would love the place and we talked it up so much that he really wanted to go. It was the perfect occasion and we were right. Dad loved it!

Of course, the lamb was his favorite, but he really enjoyed the variety they offer and everyone loves the delivery. Us second timers were much smarter and made a point to eat a little less. Adam even branched out a bit and tried a Chicken heart (personally that's past the line for me). I was just happy to leave not feeling overly stuffed

And while many pictures were taken through the night this is my personal favorite...

Landon is such a ham, but boy does he love his Grandpa!! After dinner we took advantage of the extremely warm weather (turned out there was a tornado warning) and walked around downtown a bit.

We made it up to the big tree and took a few pictures. Landon thought the tree was pretty cool. Can you imagine how big it seems to a small kid?

Once we got home we exchanged gifts. This was the first year Landon was ALL about presents. He didn't want to poise for pictures with his gift. He just wanted to open them...all of them.

Of course he cleaned up too. Papa and Nana got him an easel to color on. Ever since we painted pumpkins back in October he's been asking to paint so we knew he'd love an easel. And we were right! He's been coloring non-stop ever since.

In case you couldn't tell, that's a dragon. There is no artistic ability in his genes, but he sure does enjoy it. Plus it's a quiet activity which makes us super happy. He also got the cutest little piece of luggage from his Uncle and Aunt. He's so proud of it and was able to us it last weekend. He proudly rolls it around the house and helps me pack it for trips. As much as we travel back and forth I know he will be getting lots of use out of it. And did I mention it's adorable?

As much as Landon enjoyed getting his own gifts, he also liked to help other people open theirs.

It was all very exciting for a two year old. And even for some of us a bit older than that.

Since we wanted to be sure to spend Christmas Day in Nashville and not traveling I was so happy that this part of my family was able to celebrate Christmas together. Especially for Landon's sake. It's strange living away from your entire family at the holidays, but we were able to come together and have a great Christmas filled weekend. We recently started a new tradition of trying to get a family portrait at each holiday.
Here is Christmas 2013 with the Biscan's and part 1 of our Christmas extravaganza!


A Year in Review

2013 was a great year for us. It was a busy year; A life changing year. Here are a few highlights...

In January, we kicked it off big when Adam and I celebrated 10 years together!!!!!

We also we celebrated Landon’s 2nd birthday!

In February, we spent lots of time at the Farm enjoying the setting. This cute little white calf was born.

In March, Spring arrived and with it one of my favorite holidays, Easter. Landon loved looking for eggs.

In April, we celebrated Adam's big 3-0 by taking a weekend trip with friends to Red River Gorge.

Also, Dad and I started our wine club outings which we continued throughout the year.

In May, we made Memorial Day much more meaningful by attending the memorial ceremony for my Dad's troop.

And Adam got to be a race car driver for a day.

In June, we took Landon on his first hike and explored the trails and creek at Otter Creek.

I also found a new favorite Summertime hobby, picking fruit which started with Blueberries.

In July, we spent lots of time at the pool and Landon became a pro on the diving board. 

We also had a visit from the Greens and spent a great weekend hanging out with cousins.

In August, Adam accepted a new job in Nashville, TN and moved down to start working.

During that time, I started looking for a job, left mine of over 9 years, and packed up our house. At the end of the month, Landon and I went on a trip to Daytona Beach with my Mom right before starting our new chapter.

In September, we settled into our new house and jobs, but we came back to Louisville for an amazing going away party.

In October, we celebrated the wedding of my dear friend Brandi. 

We also picked pumpkins, carved/painted them and celebrated Halloween superhero style.

In November, we finally had some time to explore our new state and take a few hikes.

Also, I traveled to Lisbon, Portugal for work.

In December, we celebrated Christmas all month long. From picking out a tree and decorating it, making cookies, Christmas work parties, and multiple Christmas celebrations with family. My personal favorite though is always Midnight Mass.

2014 should be an uneventful year compared to 2013, but I've learned that you never know what the future will hold. Regardless of the changes that 2014 may or may not bring, my hope is that it's filled with at least the same amount of happiness and joy. If so, it will be another great year.