Our Story

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Ben and I met in 1996, began dating in 1999 and married in 2001. Now 20 years and 2 children later, we have returned to where our life together began. Ben works for the Federal Reserve and I have the privilege of staying home with our two precious boys.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Day!

Santa came! Santa came!
And two little boys were so excited! Ethan woke up first, ran into our room, then ran to wake up Caden, then ran back to our room saying Hurry, Hurry! It was time!
They did slow down long enough for me to take a quick picture at the top of the stairs.
 Then they headed down to check everything out
 Whoa! That's the Ultimate Garage that Caden asked Santa to bring!
 Love this face! Star Wars body wash in his stocking
 Wow! The Star Wars Disney Infinity Xbox starter pack!
 Miles from Tomorrowland
I love his excitement! It's so sweet!
 YAY! The Nerf gun that he asked Santa for!
A drum set from PawPaw Forrester and Nana Lyndy!
With headphones ;-)
The aftermath...
 Then it was time to get everything out of boxes and start on some heavy duty playtime!
 Ethan is learning how to accomplish the Jedi mind trick
 That evening we went up to Ben's dad's house to open gifts with them. Since Ethan had already gotten his drum set since it was so big, Caden got to open his gift there.
A punching bag with boxing gloves. The boys think this is exciting...Mommy is waiting to see how this turns out ;-)
 PawPaw Forrester and Nana Lyndy opening their gifts
 Then picture time with the Taylor side of the family
Ben's sister, Donna, and Roger
 His niece, Brandi, with her family
 And Ben's nephew, Roger, with his family

We were supposed to be heading down to the farm for a few days to see Granny and Grandpa for Christmas but half of South Alabama is under water and roads are closed so we have to reschedule that trip :-( The boys and I are so sad. Granny even has the wagon ready and waiting for Caden.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Week

Christmas week was spent in a blur of traditions. I love that we have certain things that we do every year!

We returned from Alabama Sunday evening, unpacked, ordered pizza, and got to bed to get ready for the week ahead. Monday morning came and the boys and I headed out to finish some last minute shopping and pick up Daddy's Christmas present. Then we headed to Gainesville to meet Ben's family for dinner. Ben's nephew, Jared, and his sweet little family were in town and we were excited to get to see them! Ethan and Caden are completely enamored by Jared and his job "fighting the bad guys" so Ethan had a ton of questions. Jared was so incredibly sweet and attentive to him!
On Tuesday, we started with some of our traditional activities. The boys decorated sugar cone trees and made gingerbread reindeer.
 Love this sweetness but I can't tell you how short-lived it is
 Wednesday morning we had Santa waffles for breakfast
 Then the boys decorated sugar cookies and put together their gingerbread house
That afternoon, the boys went shopping with Daddy and Wednesday night they got to snuggle in their sleeping bags as we watched Christmas movies.

On Christmas Eve morning, we had reindeer pancakes
 Then the boys watched Home Alone while I made brownie trees, Jesus's birthday cake, and banana doughnuts. The banana doughnuts were turned into snowmen and reindeer :-)
 Then it was time to get ready for Christmas Eve service at church.
After church, Rylie came home with us and the kiddos had a great time "deconstructing" the gingerbread house while I finished putting dinner together before our annual PJ Christmas Light ride.
We were excited to have the Martin's join us this year!
The bright flash of the camera definitely made for some interesting faces on the kids ;-)
 Nothing beats comfy Christmas jammies, chocolate milk(it was too hot this year for Hot Chocolate) and homemade cookies while you look at lights!
Then it was back home to sprinkle reindeer food across the lawn, set out milk and cookies for Santa, and get to bed! 
 Loving brothers...can't believe it's not a tackle!
 Mommy and Daddy quickly put their presents under the tree for the boys before Santa arrived!
 Then Santa showed up, ate his cookies and drank his milk, then completely overtook the living room
Whew, what a week!
This is always one of my most favorite weeks of the year and I'm always a little sad when it comes to an end.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Family Pictures

One tradition we have are family pictures in front of the tree. This year was no different, so here are the best of the group :-)

The Whole Bunch
 Mimi, Maw-Maw and the Grands
 Maw-Maw and her great-grands
 Mimi and her grands
 Maw-Maw and Mimi
Chad, Ashley & big sister Collier
I can not wait until next year's picture!
  The siblings minus Morgan :-(
Three out of four isn't too bad, though
 And our crew
Done! Until next year!

Christmas at Chad's

Once the school week ended, we headed to Huntsville to see my family and have Christmas at Chad's. Chad and Ashley hosted this year and cooked. What a treat! It was VERY different sitting and watching as opposed to being in the kitchen! We came in Friday night but the trip was exhausting with crazy traffic so the camera didn't come out until Saturday morning.

Sweet cousins!
 Collier's new favorite hiding place :-)
 Since everyone was in the mood to draw and color that morning, we gave Collier one of her gifts early so that she could have some fun!
 Chad and Ashley did a terrific job on dinner, complete with appetizers prior to the main course!
 Ashley's tablescape...
 ...complete with place cards. I will definitely have to step up my game next year! I have all of the pretty stuff, I just usually don't get it out. I will try to do better in the future :-)
 Kid's table
 Dinner time!!
 After dinner, sweet girl woke up from her nap and had a BIG surprise for us! She's going to be a BIG SISTER!!!! Aunt Nikki is on Cloud 9!
 I love this picture of Collier playing with Ethan's hair! So sweet!
 I think her art supplies were a hit!
 And then it was finally present time...exactly what the boys had been waiting for!
Collier helped play "Santa" and gave Uncle CJ a present
 Then she got to open one of her own
 And Caden was overly thrilled to have a present of his to open as well
 Maw-Maw and Doc were excited about their jewelry making supplies
 I love this face! He was so excited to get a military tank!
I LOVE that I got this picture...
 ...before CJ figured it out ;-) HaHa!! Too late!!
 Ethan was NOT ashamed to wear his crown
 Sweet girl buckling her baby in her new stroller
 Oh, I think this one will be a hit too!

We had an amazing weekend in H'ville and time with family always ends too soon :-(