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Let’s Review! Christmas 2023

Whew! What a break! I can’t believe it’s already Thursday and Caroline has been back in school for three days since break!

Today I thought I would write a review of what we did over break…I’m trying to pick blogging back up again. It’s hard with Kate and Caroline both needing so much from me. Therefore I’m up at 5:30 AM trying to write not for the idea that I like getting up early, oh no no, my warm snuggly bed is beckoning me to stay. I am trying to get up and write because I find it gives me energy and I need some of that these days.

Alright, enough explaining let’s review!

Before the break, December was filled with lots of busyness of course! But our busyness was clouded by my Grandfather’s passing. He passed away December 4 and our hearts have been heavy since.

The funny thing is I had been saying the week before how grateful I was that all our family was healthy this Christmas season and we didn’t have a funeral in the near future. We spent last Christmas mourning the loss of my grandmother who passed away on December 7, 2022, and the Christmas season before that mourning my uncle who passed away on January 1, 2022. But as life would have it my Grandfather passed away this past season too.

Let me tell you the passing of loved ones is one of the easiest ways to bust that fun little Christmas festivies bubble.

All while mourning the loss of my Grandfather we continued on in our festivities and wrapping of gifts!

The break was also made a little wonky this year by Christmas literally being the first Monday of break. It happened so fast which I’m not sure I was happy about or relieved by…

My parents came to town Saturday the 23rd which was very exciting and sad at the same time. Exciting because we’ve never had Christmas with just them here but sad because they came for my grandfather’s funeral which was the 27th.

On the 24th we drove to the Brandon area which is about 45 minutes from us and where we used to live before Safety Harbor. We attended Mass over there at a sweet little Catholic Church (thank God we are Catholic and can go to Mass anywhere!). After Mass we spent the evening at my cousin’s house eating, playing white elephant, and spending our tradition of singing Christmas Carols.

I can honestly say the girls had the BEST time!

When we got home Santa’s elves as John likes to say (meaning us) had to get to work!

The girls received some “big” gifts this year and assembly was needed! Thank God my dad was here too because that kind of thing comes second nature to him.

The Jeep was a huge hit as well as the Barbie Dreamhouse…both took up all our space! And add those bean bags in and whew!

After opening gifts, we enjoyed breakfast with my parents. I think Christmas morning at home is truly one of my favorites. Watching the girls open gifts and eating a yummy breakfast with nowhere to go till later is just so much fun!

Later Christmas day we celebrated again with a delicious dinner and more cousin fun at my in-laws.

Is there anything better than playing with cousins?!

John was so busy this Christmas break! He literally worked Christmas EVE up to the moment of attending Mass and right after the 25th he was back at with a brief due on the 26th. Which meant I had my dad all to myself to do some house chores for me! He hung lights for me and replaced and rewired an old outlet that wasn’t working. He is amazing! And I’m so grateful for him!

Of course, as you know two days after all the Christmas fun we went to remember my grandfather. What a beautiful ceremony it was. Three of my uncles spoke and one of my cousins and each of them had the best things to say about my grandfather. It was lovely and deeply sad at the same time.

The day after the funeral my dad went back home while my mom stayed so she could spend more time with her family in Tampa.

Surprisingly I didn’t take a lot of pictures between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve….lame…

So let’s jump to New Year’s Eve! We didn’t have any big plans for this day. I’ve never been a big stay-up and watch-the-ball-drop person. I like to have fun but with little ones it’s nice to have them sound asleep before the multitude of fireworks begins. So we headed down to the marina in Safety Harbor with friends and had a fun little toast to the new year and went on our merry way!

The next day we woke up and headed straight to SeaWorld! It was fun getaway as we were supposed to be going to Atlanta but canceled our trip with everything that was going on with my grandfather.

After SeaWorld we took it a little easier said bye to my mom and boom I got the stomach bug! Not fun at all! Thankfully it was just me but oh wow how it reminded so clearly of how I felt just about every day of my pregnancy with Kate. Seriously almost to the tee except for the mere fact that I actually started to feel better once the bug was gone unlike pregnancy which lasted the full 9 months.

And now here we are today….trying to get back into the rhythm of things, trying to start blogging once again, and missing little miss Caroline as she is at school!

I hope you had a fun break and enjoyed catching up on ours! I’m hoping to put out some more travel stuff soon….I think I’m headed in that direction with this blog…we will see!



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About Me
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I'm Holley, I am a wife and mom who loves making each day enjoyable for my family! I'm so glad you are here! I hope you find ways to make your life simple, fun and organized! Enjoy!!!

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