Yesterday we made our way to visit Santa at Bass Pro.  I wanted to wait to go on a week day because I figured it would be less crowded, but Shawn convinced me to go.  It was busy, but can't really complain too much.  They have it planned out perfectly.  We got a pass to come back and since we had a few hours we did some shopping, lunch, and enjoyed wandering Bass Pro.  

We lunched at Four Peaks Brewing since we love it and don't normally head that way it just made sense.  

Shawn and I shared the chicken fried sandwich.  The. Best. Ever!

After lunch we hung out at Bass Pro.  Reece went on her first carousel ride.  She was freaked out at first and had a death grip on me.

Pose like an animal.

After some exploring we headed down to visit Santa.  The girls made some friends while playing with lincoln logs and coloring.  Reece slept most of the 30 minute wait and then wanted to explore.

Finally it was our turn to visit the jolly ol' man himself.  We were certain that Reece would cry so we weren't surprised when it happened.  Ava asked for a barbie camping set and Adisyn asked for a barbie house.

This photo is hilarious, even Santa.

Afterwards we headed home Reece went to bed, Ava and Adisyn watched movies, and Shawn and I enjoyed the fire in the backyard and a cold one.  

When the girls woke they were welcomed by Elfy!  Oh yes, he's back.  This year he brought a book, The Polar Express, one of their favorite Christmas movies.  They were so excited and started reminiscing about all the places they found him last year. 
(notice the tree is bare the lower half one word hint, Reece).

I've been trying to collect 25 Christmas books one to read every night in December until Christmas. They might get a few more from Santa.  Who knows.


The day after Thanksgiving was the girls' cousin annual movie night.  This years feature was Santa Claus.  It was a fun night complete with hot chocolate, popcorn, and matching jammies.

This photo makes me laugh.  Reece seemed so concerned about why Mabel was crying.

Can't get enough of these sweet girls.  And the second picture of Reece, too funny.

Reece had to join in the fun and not sit still and attempt to take the other kids popcorn.

And then made a huge mess with her oreo.

It makes my heart explode to see my kids play with their cousins, even though they don't always get along (normal).  I'm so happy they get to share memories and grow up together.  It makes me wonder how close they will be when they are older.  
After the movie we checked out some of the lights in the neighborhood and headed to Nana and Papa's for a bit.  Reece couldn't stop staring at the gigantic Santa.  Great night.


As the holidays approach I can't help but get super giddy and excited.  In many years past, as long as I can remember, we decorated the day after Thanksgiving.  Well, we've officially changed our traditions and decorate even before Thanksgiving.  I never wanted to take away from Thanksgiving by decorating early, but it hasn't changed anything.  I'm still just as thankful and cherish the holiday. So that's that.

On to tree decorating...

I made a yummy pancake breakfast, sipped coffee, and played Christmas music.

Reece has been totally in love with the tree.

And playing with all the ornaments.

A favorite of theirs; their polar express bells turned ornaments.

The obligatory playing in tree box photo.  They all love doing this every year.

Christmas magic always makes baby tears go away.

I just love these memories with these four.


The week of Thanksgiving Shawn took off work.  The girls still had school so we couldn't go anywhere, but it was nice just to hang out at home and relax some before the craziness of the holidays began.  My aunt and uncle were visiting from Oklahoma and we were fortunate enough to spend some great time with them.  We took them to Barnone since it was the week of opening.  And I LOVE supporting small local companies and appreciate skilled craftsmanship.  

We went the day after their grand opening and fortunately it wasn't overly crowded.  We were so impressed and loved all the shops.  Our first stop was 12West Brewing.  Can I just tell you how excited we are to have a great brewery bike ride from our house.  Anyway, the beers were good and the atmosphere was perfection. 

We enjoyed our flight and then headed over to Garage East.  There we played board games and enjoyed talking with the owner.  (major photo fail of all of us, whoops).

We had a great time and look forward to future date nights there.

Thanksgiving day.
We made our sweet potato casserole and Shawn made a pumpkin cheesecake pie totally from scratch even the puree.  It was the best pumpkin pie I've ever had.

So thankful for these four people.  So cliche and so true.

 Not sure what was going on with Adisyn in this picture.  She was happy, but I guess didn't want to take a picture.  We even got a profile of Rico.

We planned to spend most of the day at Shawn's parents'.  Reece has been breaking in three molars, poor baby, and has been sleeping a lot.  So, when she woke from her nap we headed over.  The weather was nice and we enjoyed the company and the food.

Afterwards to headed home to enjoy some dessert with other family.  We played some card games, laughed a lot, and enjoyed each other.  It was a great way to end the day of being thankful.



Okay I'm a bit behind, but better late than never.

For Veteran's weekend we planned what was likely going to be our last trip of the year in Little Things (the official name of our travel trailer).  We again were undecided where to go and didn't want to freeze too much.  It wasn't until a few days before we left we decided to head back to Mogollan Rim.  It's just SO beautiful!  This time we didn't have the twins with us, sadly.  They've been begging to go up north with Nana and Papa. We had a great time, but I felt my heart heavy as half of it was in Show Low.

We arrived early Friday morning and found a spot right on the rim this time.  It was still crowded, but not nearly as much as last time we were there.  Likely due to the dip in temps and the roads are no longer maintained after Nov. 1st.

This trip we were both so much more laid back with packing.  I was pleasantly surprised how much easier it was even only being our second trip.  And bonus we didn't lose any water this time and tried out the shower.  It was warm and cozy and just what we needed.

To give you some perspective on this awesome spot.  The rim just ahead of the truck is where we spent most of our time during the day.  It was so peaceful and beautiful.

Reece did awesome and stayed warm at night.  Shawn and I hung out by the fire after she was asleep and imitated movies and had the best time laughing like high school kids.  We met our neighbors and at first were concerned about them sleeping in a tent as the night time temps were in the 30's.  After talking we discovered they just moved here from Illinois.  Pretty sure they could handle the colder temps better than we could.  We also watched the sunset every night and played photographer.

Unfortunately this trip we had great reception.  It wasn't the unplugged I wanted and needed, but since our twins weren't with us it was kind of a relief.  We made a conscious effort to avoid the social media crap and just enjoy the moment.  It was an unforgettable trip and was the perfect way to celebrate our Veterans and what they've given us.


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