We had a very busy December (and early January) and I will try to document my favorite times through this post.
Papa came to Indiana to spend special moments together and celebrate Christmas. He and Anna decorated yummy sugar cookies together!
We took him to the giant gingerbread house at Purdue...
...and the HUGE Christmas tree too!
Papa gave the girls a "Frozen Christmas," where most of his items were from the Disney movie. Here he is reading one of their new Frozen books before bedtime together.
Next up, we went on a candy cane tour at a local candy shop in Lafayette - McCord's. We each made our own candy cane! I don't know why we didn't do this for the last 4 Christmases in Lafayette, it was so fun!
A couple of days later, we went on a short trip to Chicago. We had originally planned it in October, but it was rescheduled to mid-December when Curtis's mom passed away. Anna and Kate were reunited with their pal, Penny. We also got to meet her precious lil sis, Amelie (not pictured). It was so kind of the Fields to squeeze in some time with us before they left for Christmas!
Thanks to Aunt Megan, we went to 2 museums. Curtis and Anna posed with Sue, the T-Rex at the Field Museum!
This perspective was incredible - you can see how big Sue is compared to Anna and Kate.
We went to the Adler Planetarium, where Anna and Kate loved to play on the machines where they could prepare for blasting off.
They had such a great time that they didn't want to leave!
We rarely get pictures of ourselves, so we took a selfie in front of the Chicago skyline.
We hadn't seen the Ortlunds since seminary graduation in 2009, back before any of us had children! It was neat to see our kids interacting and playing together. The Ortlunds were nice enough to come downtown and brave the cold with us!
People kept commenting on how we had our hands full! ;)
Fast forward a couple of days and we traveled to Jacksonville, Florida to see my side of the family! I especially enjoyed getting to see my dad in action as he directed the music at Pinewood's Christmas Eve service.
On Christmas Day, we visited with several family members, including 2 uncles (not pictured), my grandfather (not pictured), and my grandmother (my namesake).
I struggled to determine which of these pictures I liked more with Anna and Grandmom!
The following day, we spent some quality time with some other special grandparent figures in my life, Grandpa and Sheila.
We went to their favorite restaurant and we got this cute picture with Grandma.
The day after that, we saw my dad's 2 brothers and their family. We met in Port Orange to make the drive easier on all parties. (It was a good halfway point.) I rarely get to see them and it was really nice to catch up and spend some time with them!
Anna and Kate LOVED spending time with their cousin (which is actually my cousin), Elle.
We spent the next several days hanging out with Grandma, Grandad and Uncle Benny! Kate and Anna would take turns riding this beloved horse at my parents' house.
Kate was quite good at pouring sprinkles and icing on the gingerbread cookies!
I thought this was a cute pose that Anna did at my favorite childhood park!
We enjoyed spending time outside since it's not very often we can in Indiana at this time of year!
We welcomed a new year - 2018!
Anna and Kate are still loving these little animals that Grandma and Grandad gave them!
One special memory of this trip was when Uncle Benny read his self-published children's book to Anna and Kate!
While we were in Florida, it actually got pretty cold so we just stopped at Vilano Beach quickly on one of our dates to say that we saw the ocean! My parents gave us 2 dates while we were there. Anna and Kate loved it because they had "grandparent dates" whenever we had a date. If only we could do that more frequently!!
Lastly, I had a play date with a good friend from high school, Ashlee. Our kids are around the same age and we try to get together whenever we're in Florida.
The kids had a great time! (You can't go wrong with Chick-Fil-A!)
Anna, Kate, and Grandad's favorite time of day was when they would watch Olaf's Frozen Adventure together. I thought this candid shot was sweet.
So, that was our crazy but fun Christmas break (if you made it this far)!! I cut out A LOT just trying to make this one blog post rather than breaking it up into lots of little posts. We're happy to be back home, not living out of a suitcase, and getting back into our routine!