Happy New Year to you and Happy Monday!
Returning to work on a Monday after a loooooong time away is always a shock to your system. It also doesn’t help that in the last 2 weeks I’ve only worked one day! But it’s good to be back into the swing of things and getting back into a routine.
The weekend before Christmas we were happy to be able to attend our friend Phil’s surprise party! His lovely wife Sabrina planned a surprise 30th birthday party for him at their house. Julia was a bit of a mess, having not slept in the car on our way there, but we had a wonderful time nonetheless!
Julia enjoyed playing with Koren and the other kids who were there.
We also enjoyed celebrating the last night of Hanukkah that week!
Unfortunately the following morning she woke up with a bit of a cold and fever so I kept her home from school for two days and then she was feeling better on Wednesday and was able to go back to school. Wednesday evening (aka Christmas Eve) we went to a “Misfit Christmas” party with our friends Samantha, Mark & Lincoln. They have this holiday party every year for people who don’t have family in town or don’t celebrate Christmas. We had lots of fun!
On Christmas Day, we drove to New Jersey to spend the afternoon & evening with My Uncle Neil, Aunt Karen, Lily, Earl, Uncle Billy, Aunt Lynda, Rachel & David. The only family missing was my Mom and my cousin Morgan’s family. We had a really nice time though and it was great for Julia to see everyone.
On Saturday after Christmas, we packed our stuff into Ken’s car and drove the entire way down to Delray Beach, Florida to spend a few days with Ken’s parents at their soon-to-be-retirement-home! Julia did spectacularly well on the drive there. We stopped at a McDonalds for lunch so that she could run around and burn off some energy in their playground.
And we were very happy when we finally got there…
And they also had a bouncy house, face painting, balloon animals, and more!
While we were in Florida, we got to meet Julia’s oldest living relative, 97-year old Uncle Maxie who is Julia’s great-great-great Uncle. If Nana had been there with us, we could have had 5 generations in one photo. It’s pretty amazing that Julia got to meet him, even though she won’t ever have any memories of him.
and we spent some time at the pool. Julia has made leaps and bounds since our trip to Aruba in August. This time, with the assistance of a swim vest and swimmies, she was able to swim all by herself. It was incredible!
and then that evening, Ken, Robert & I went to see a Panthers vs. Canadiens hockey game! It was a lot of fun but I must say, I had never been to a sporting event quite like that, where the away team had more fans than the home team and the home team was booed more than they were cheered. It was a lot of fun and the Canadiens won!
We all went out for a nice dinner at a Jewish Deli and then Ken & I went to hang out with Jonathan & Katie for a drinks and game night. We had a lot of fun with them and were exhausted when we got home at 1:30 AM!
New Years Day we drove up to Orlando to spend one night with my cousins Morgan, Mendy, Alivia & Sam. As is tradition, Mendy did a photo shoot with us… we went on a walk around a lake that had all these beautiful Christmas light decorations. Julia kept running through the arch-ways yelling “More rainbows!” It was pretty adorable!
Julia always loves playing with big kids, and Alivia and Sam were no exception. It’s hard to believe Alivia will be 13 in April… I definitely remember playing with her when she was much younger and she’s turning out to be such a pleasant pre-teen/teenager. It’s so nice to see her relationship with her younger brother and her parents. I hope Ken & I are that lucky!
After our night with Morgan & Mendy, we drove a few more hours north and met up with our friends Evan & Jade and their daughter, Leigha (who will be 20 months this month). We rented a house on Air BnB with them, which was the perfect setup since it meant we could hang out and have fun after the girls went to sleep. We had a couple of game nights once the girls were in bed.
They had fun running around dancing and singing and playing Ring-around-the-Rosie. They also enjoyed taking a bath together and reading bedtime stories. They were so sweet, giving each other hugs and kisses and just being generally happy little girls!
It was so nice to see Evan & Jade after nearly 2 years away and it was nice for Ken to get some great Ophthalmology advice from Evan, who is in his first year as a practicing Ophthalmologist. Hopefully we’ll get to see them again before 2 more years have passed!
Sunday morning we packed up our stuff, grabbed breakfast together and then it was time for us to drive back to Baltimore! Aside from a few moments here and there, Julia had another great travel day but we were definitely all happy to be home when we got back. Now we need to get back into a routine and get back to reality!