January 16, 2016

Merry Merry!

We had a very full holiday season this year. Since the last post Mom, Katie, and I ventured out to a holiday art festival, Eleanor and I hit up The Nutcracker,  Katie and Brian joined us at the Zilker Trail of Lights, and Justin and I watched Eleanor's adorable Christmas program + picnic at school (yes, it was nice enough to sit outside on the school lawn sans coats - we love Austin!). We also visited Santa, which as you'll see in the pics below, didn't go over too well.

Christmas Eve day we drove up to Georgetown to visit Great Aunt Sally, Great Uncle Jim, and Cousin Dave. We enjoyed a delicious lunch while trying to keep Fisher from breaking various things in the house or hurting himself with his wild antics. At one point, I turned around for about 10 seconds while in the house and he was GONE. He had unlocked the door, escaped, and was outside waving to the lawn crew next door. That kid.

Christmas Eve night we hosted a few family and friends for happy hours/apps, which was fun. It was pretty chaotic with all of the kiddos and trying to prepare dinner for our immediate family, but we love living a space where we can host people. After our friends left, we gorged on our 2nd Annual Christmas Eve fondue dinner.

It was super fun to see the kids in action on Christmas morning. Eleanor was all about the presents this year, and Fisher could have opened up his existing toys and been floored. I'm sure this is the last year we'll get that demeanor from him. I'm feeling a little guilty with all that the kids received... spoiled rotten by grandparents/aunts/uncles, etc. Most of the gifts were super practical and not frivolous, so that's a little comforting.

After spending the day packing for Florida, we ventured out to Chinatown, a local Chinese restaurant, for dinner. One of the best decisions I've ever made to NOT cook on Christmas night. I made reservations back in November thinking that we would be busy prepping for our week long trip, and who wants a bunch of leftovers that we can't eat? Dinner didn't disappoint, and we may just make this a tradition!

We left for Pensacola on the 26th. It was a rough start since we arrived at the airport, and there was literally NO parking. Like full. Completely. We finally managed to find a space in short term parking which basically meant we needed a second mortgage to pay the bill upon returning back to Austin. We then arrived at the airport to find that our flight was delayed, which meant we couldn't connect in time. Long story short, we finagled a way to get out that day and fly into Mobile, AL. All in all it was 11 hours of traveling, but I was pretty surprised at how smoothly it went.

We spent 4 nights in Pensacola with the entire Thomas family: Woods from Chicago (Elizabeth 5 years old, Thomas, 10 months), Pensacola Thomases (James 23 months), and Bama and Papa, of course. Five kids under 5 was pretty manic, but we all had a great time. Bama and Papa's new house is perfect, and they're super close to Nick and Jane, downtown, the beach. We then drove to Santa Rosa Beach for 3 nights where we rented a condo on the beach. The weather was super cold and rainy, but we made the most of it.

After returning back to Austin on 1/2, it's safe to say we were all SPENT. Christmas "vacation" was a lot of work, but we wouldn't have missed it for anything. It was great to get back into a routine and back to school. Eleanor started back on 1/5, and Fisher's first day was 1/6. It was a bittersweet day as a mother - excited for this new chapter for Fisher because I know he'll thrive at Athena. But I selfishly want my baby to stay my baby forever. Needless to say it was an extremely tearful drive home from school the first day. While Fisher has had some issues with drop offs and pick ups, his days at school are fun/stimulating/busy. Each day he seems to get better acclimated thanks to his amazing teachers.

Another first - Eleanor started ballet and tap class last week. Our next door neighbor owns and teaches at a studio nearby. Miss Leigh was utterly amazing with these girls. During ballet, she had 15 3.5-4 year olds completely focused on class, in line, and for the most part their hands to themselves... pretty impressive. Being in the studio brought back so many memories of me in the studio growing up!

As I type this, I'm off to NYC for a much needed kidless weekend with Justin. The Goldman annual sales meeting is this week, and I'm meeting him for some big city living/eating/friend visiting for 3 whole days. So stay tuned for that update...

Hope everyone's 2016 is off to a good start. The Thomases have so much to be grateful for as we kick off a new year - family, friends, health, and so much more;)

Excuse the onslaught of photos and videos. This is what happens when you spend 3 weeks in a row with kids with both parents as well as various other family members...

Zilker Park Trail of Lights did not disappoint! Fisher's first year...
What's that you say? We can ALL go on the giant ferris wheel together? Yippee! That's Fish's "cheese" face.
Sheer joy

Ferris wheel PLUS carousel. What a night!
Helping Daddy clean the pool


Justin let me pick out a new bike for my birthday, so we went out on a Saturday in December and picked out this beauty. Then, we biked around town for a day date without kids.

Along the same thread of cashing in gifts... Justin treated us three to a spa day for Mother's Day this year. We finally decided to indulge. It was super relaxing and followed by a delicious dinner at Clark's.
Mother/Daughter night out at Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. My social calendar was pretty full in December!
I was surprised she lasted past intermission. Ellie's favorite part was the Sugarplum Fairy.
Kids are obsessed with watching movies. Fisher actually focuses for long periods of time. It's the perfect babysitter when we need one.

Movie snuggles

Eleanor at yoga camp during school's Christmas break.
Sister delivered holiday cupcakes to Daddy's clients. Best assistant ever!
Eleanor didn't feel any good Santa vibes either...
I somehow coerced this forced these smiles...

Aunt Sally told Eleanor, "Santa must have flown over my house to visit children already because I found some ornaments that he dropped from his sleigh." This turned in to a Christmas "Easter Egg Hunt" of sorts, and of course, E was up for the challenge! Here she is counting her bounty from Santa's sleigh.
So proud. These ornaments have become a daily treasure.
Fish with his peanut brittle, up to no good.
It's not a visit to Sun City without a golf cart ride!

Dinner at Chinatown on Christmas night didn't disappoint!

Not many pics from Christmas day because of the craziness of opening presents... we were fortunate enough to get out for a midday bike ride though.
Next stop, Pensacola Beach! I packed swimsuits for the kids but didn't bring them with me to the beach because it wasn't super warm and I didn't think they'd actually get IN the water. Terrible assumption = naked kids.

James is a keeper! 
Cousins having a terrible time together.
Brought out an old relic from Daddy's childhood. They don't make toys like these anymore!
Cousin Love
Thomas kids with their kids.
Five cousins, five years old and under.
Uncle Nick and Thomas

Our kids love the beach and their Bama;)

Sleepy James

Uncle Nick and Fish

Storytime with Bama

Rain won't stop these silly gals from playing outside!
These two monkeys easily went through 30 bananas while we were in Florida.
Three of my favorite peeps ever.
Naked Fish making Thomas laugh.

Day 1 in Santa Rosa in swimsuits

Day 2 bundled up.

The day before Fisher started school, we had a date and did all of his favorite things. 
First day dropoff. This was right before I burst into tears in the car.
Thanks to Fisher's amazing teachers, they sent pics and texts every day (and continue to) and also call every night to talk about Fisher's day.

Go Fish was one of Ellie's favorite Christmas gifts.
Buddy donning this adorable hat, made with love by Grammy.
Our budding ballerina.