Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas celebration no. 1

The hustle and the bustle of the holiday season has definitely begun for my family. As last week came to an end, it found us busy finishing some last minute shopping and packing to head out of town for our first Christmas celebration of 2015. After the boys got off to school on Friday morning I had a list a mile long of things to get done and it didn't take long before I felt completely overwhelmed. So, I did as any runner would do when they feel overwhelmed... I decided to head out for a quick run!
I clipped my orange (Fiercely United) Fellow Flower into my hair and headed off for a 4 mile run. Watch for an upcoming post where I will share some exciting news regarding Fellow Flowers!

Feeling refreshed and ready to tackle that to-do list!


Happy legs!
post-run stretching/yoga

Taking that time for myself put me a bit behind on my to-do list but it turned out that the run and post-run stretching/yoga was just what I needed to help refocus myself. I actually got everything done right on time and we were even ahead of schedule getting on our way.
We made it to the hotel and met up with my mom who arrived shortly after us. My brother and his family would also be joining us but would arrive much later. We spent the night hanging out with mom and the boys got a new movie that they ended up watching on her laptop.
Saturday morning we all met up for breakfast and decided on our plan for the day. My brother and sister-in-law needed to run a quick errand. The older girls needed to work on homework and the other kids were begging to go swimming. It was decided that the older girls would do their homework and the other kids would get ready to go swimming while Doug & Liz ran their errands. Tim and I decided that was our window to also head out for a quick run. The kids got ready to swim and hung out in Grandma's room until everyone else was ready to go.
Our hotel was located near the mall and other shopping so we were worried about all of the holiday shopping traffic and weren't sure where to go. We stopped by the hotel desk and asked where he would recommend we go. Dave was AMAZING!! He told us where all of the locals run which would require a short drive but I knew that wasn't an option because The Ugly Sweater 5K was going on in that area. We then asked about a route directly from the hotel. He told us a route that he thought would be good and then pulled up Google Maps and had us come around the desk to check it out. He even zoomed in and verified that there was a sidewalk for us which would make it the safest route. The only problem with said route was the MONSTER hill that we would have to tackle. We knew that route was our best bet so we headed out and took the challenge head on. Our pace slowed a bit but we beat that hill and had a great run! 

When we got back the kids were eager to get in the pool.

I think they all (big and little) had fun!
 After spending a good amount of time in the pool we decided it was time to take over the breakfast area in the lobby. We had hoped to use the conference room but it was booked for the day so the hotel said it was ok for us to use this space. This space would be used for meals, crafts, and gift opening... basically our whole Christmas celebration.

 For lunch we planned to have soups and sandwiches then we planned to order pizza for dinner. Once we got the food all set out it was very clear that there was plenty of food for lunch, snacks, AND dinner.

we were NOT going to starve
In my last post I talked about how I was feeling anxious about meals while we celebrate Christmas. I felt like I did pretty good given the above situation! I watched my portions and tried to make the best choices that I could. The only problem was the dill pickle dip and pretzel thins! That stuff should be locked up!

After everyone got their bellies full it was game and crafting time!

craft table
A picture of the girls crafting was posted on Facebook that afternoon and one of the comments was asking about the guys. The above picture was taken at that time as they were all outside checking out the weather and talking. I didn't get any pictures but they did all participate in the games and helped with some of the crafts.
games with cousins
After we cleaned up from the crafts it was time for presents! We decided to have a little fun in the process and to honor Grandma Betty. Mom brought Grandma Betty's BINGO game along so it was decided that we would play BINGO to open the gifts. The first person to get a single BINGO would be the first to open their gift. Then we continued to play and the next person to BINGO was the next to open their gift. We did this until everyone was able to open their gift. After you opened your gift you continued to play to try to get a "black out" and that person won $5.

It turned out to be a very fun way to make the gift opening more organized and to last longer. Once the gifts were opened we cleaned up and hung out watching some Christmas movies that were playing on TV.
Sunday morning we all enjoyed breakfast together before saying our goodbyes and heading back home.
Grandma Jane and her Grandkids

The whole family
 Before leaving Dubuque we stopped to do a little shopping and had some fun in the process! I love these sillies more than chocolate!

Isaac wearing a singing/flashing Santa hat

Riley the elf

Aidan wearing the singing/flashing Santa hat- it moved so much it made his whole head shake

my three crazies getting into the Christmas spirit

Overall, Christmas celebration number 1 was a big success! We all had a lot of fun and made some wonderful memories.

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