Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Year in Review - 2014 - Celebrations & Holidays

We kicked off the recap week with our travel adventures and then all of our "firsts".  Today, I recap all the big celebrations and holidays that happened throughout the year.

The first birthday we got to celebrate this year was Mimi's birthday in February.  After a crazy snow storm the week before, it warmed up rapidly and we headed to the National Zoo to celebrate Mimi's birthday weekend with us here in MD!

One of my favorite pictures of the year was taken right after we attended the local St. Patrick's Day parade.  Out for lunch in our green attire celebrating our "Irish"...

We celebrated Easter at Epcot wearing our bunny ears all day long...

Easter dinner was held in "Norway" with a few familiar princesses...

Although we spent the week before Georgia's 3rd birthday celebrating non-stop in Disney World, her actual birthday was just a quiet night at home with the three of us... and a few cupcakes...

During the first weekend of May, we held a party at our house to celebrate Georgia's turning 3.  This year's theme was... appropriately... Minnie Mouse...

Spring is always a busy time at the Thoman House.  Before I had time to fully clean up from Georgia's birthday, Mother's Day arrived on the scene.  I got to have a great brunch with my favorite peeps before getting shipped off to Red Door for the day.  YES, please!!

And because May is non-stop action, Nick's 36th birthday was the following weekend.  We celebrated at our favorite Greek restaurant...

We wrapped up May by celebrating the long Memorial Day weekend at home.  Warm weather arrived just in time for the pool to open!

Summer officially kicked off with celebrating our favorite guy on Father's Day...

Nick and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary on the beaches of Paradise Island in the Bahamas.  For some reason, the staff seemed to think it was our honeymoon, which earned us a sweet suite upgrade and a beverage or two...

Happy anniversary to us!

We unexpectedly spent the 4th of July holiday in Massachusetts after a busted AC unit at our house.  Uncle Andrew put on one heck of a fireworks display...

We celebrated Clay and Asha's (Nick's cousin) wedding along the California coast in early August with his family...

Did I mention the crazy after party????

We wrapped up the summer by spending the entire Labor Day weekend at the pool.  By the end of the season, Georgia was swimming like a fish all by herself in the deep end!

September brought us back to the west coast for my friend's wedding in sunny Seattle...

October brought Halloween and a huge debate in our house - polar bear vs panda bear.  Thankfully, I ordered the right costume and Georgia got to wear it to a few different celebrations at school and around the neighborhood for trick-or-treating...

In early November, Georgia celebrated a big milestone - her first night in a true big girl bed...

Our little turkey had a great Thanksgiving here in MD with Nick's family...

The following weekend, we celebrated Cookie Bake 2014...

My little baker...

December wrapped up with celebrating my 35th birthday and Nick's annual work party where Georgia FINALLY made friends with Santa...

Phew... I'm exhausted just recapping our year!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Year in Review - 2014 - There's a First Time For Everything

We kicked off the recap week with our travel adventures.  Today, I recap all the "FIRSTS" that happened this year.

First off, Georgia got to experience the beach!!  Granted, she put her toes in the Atlantic Ocean back in 2012 when we took our family trip to Atlantis in the Bahamas, but she was terrified of the sand and HATED every second of it.

This year, we took her to Hampton Beach in New Hampshire, where I grew up going to the beach.  And, she LOVED it!!!   Nick was so sad that he missed it, so we went back the very next day when he arrived from Maryland.  It was like a mini-beach vacation that week!

In her beloved Ariel bathing suit!

While we were home in New England, Georgia also played her first round of mini-golf

Already cheating at golf like her Daddy!

Speaking of summer adventures... Georgia also experienced her first trip to the dentist.  Initially, she was terrified and clung to me like a monkey, but eventually she settled in and was so brave!  It might help that our dentist's son is in her class at school...

1st trip to see Dr. Liu

Last March, we took Georgia to her first circus.  She loved the elephants... and cotton candy... and snow cones!  I'm so glad I read online about checking out the pre-show, because that was fairly amazing too.

All the faces of G!

Not to be outdone by the big top, she also got to experience Cirque de Soleil this year.  I wasn't sure if she would sit still for the entire show, but she was fairly mesmerized!

"Frozen" was the second movie that Georgia ever saw in the movie theater.  It has managed to stick around our house ALL YEAR.  If we're not singing the songs in the car or playing with all our "Frozen" merchandise, then Georgia is requesting hairstyles from the movie.  Introducing, her first french braid...

Last winter brought lots of snow, but mostly in the form of 3-6 inches every other week or so.  AND THEN THE BIG ONE HAPPENED on Valentine's Day weekend!  We were forecast to get about a foot of snow, which is enough to majorly impact the DC region.  Instead, we woke up to closer to 2 feet of snow.  Georgia's first major snowstorm was fun for everyone... until she didn't want to come inside the house.

We avoided potty training like the plague for a few months, but luckily the kid can be easily bribed with skittles!  We decided to make the most of a 3 day weekend in January and pull the plug on diapers.  Thanks to another snowstorm, it turned into a 5 day weekend.  By day #6, she was off to daycare wearing her big girl panties!  I'll save the pics for her Sweet Sixteen party and her first boyfriend.

In September, Georgia attended her first concert at the National Zoo.  She had a blast dancing the night away to The Fray at Rock-n-Roar.  The only problem... she cried when it was all over.  Her first concert was a "roaring" success!

And this fall, Georgia signed up for her first soccer lessons with two of her good buddies from the neighborhood.  Sunday mornings in the early fall were spent watching her run around in a t-shirt and shorts (and carrying the soccer ball).  By late fall, we were bundled up in hats and gloves and G was kicking the ball like a champ!  The first ball and shin guards she ever picked out... pink... of course!

Hard to imagine that even when your kiddo is 3 years old, the year is STILL full of "firsts"...

Friday, December 26, 2014

Year in Review - 2014 - Travel

For the next week while we celebrate the holidays with family and friends, I'll be recapping our favorite adventures from 2014.  

First up...

We managed to squeeze in lots of travel, both with Georgia and by ourselves over the past year.

Our big family trip this year was to Disney World.  Lots of people warned me about going to see Mickey with a 2 year-old, but we had a blast.  It was my favorite trip of the year.  Was it tiring?  Absolutely.  Was it non-stop go-go-go?  Absolutely.  Was naptime an issue daily?  Yup.  But, in the end, we loved taking her there before her 3rd birthday!  She was in awe of everything, including the characters, the rides, the sights, etc.  Well worth every minute of planning, worry, food prep, etc.  Going with 3 adults was also key to keeping our sanity so that we could ALL enjoy the trip.  I firmly believe in a 3:1 adult-to-child ratio on any vacation!!

I think I devoted most of April/May to recapping our Florida trip:

My favorite picture from the trip (more because I NEVER expected her to actually wear this purple princess dress and she ended up wearing it ALL NIGHT on two different occasions that week!)...

Princess G

Nick and I managed to sneak away (aka - plan it the week before) for a long weekend in the Bahamas for our 5th anniversary at the end of June.  Thank goodness Mimi is a good sport when I call her and say things like, "Hey, you know how you are coming to visit next weekend?  Great - do you mind if we aren't here when you come visit????"  She always says yes, which grants us the opportunity to do these things...

Approximately 4 minutes into vacation and I'm already sun-burned.  Classic!

We even managed to squeeze in some scuba diving, which we hadn't done since before I was pregnant with Georgia!

Bahamas - Diving with sharks (my fave!)

In July, Georgia and I zoomed up to Massachusetts for a week of fun with family, friends, and 4th of July fun!  Meanwhile, Nick stayed behind in Maryland to make sure our AC started working in the house again before flying up to join us...

In the beginning of August, Nick and I jetted out to San Francisco for his cousin's wedding on the California coast.  We were barely on the west coast for 48 hours, but we managed to squeeze in a trip to see the giant redwoods, a winery, and attend a wedding!  We then zipped back to the east coast in style on a private plane (aka - spoiled for life!)...

We were barely back on the east coast for a month before Nick and I boarded another cross country flight.  This time, we headed to Seattle for one of my best friend's wedding.  Wild and crazy ensued while I reunited with a bunch of my high school friends as we explored beautiful Seattle (my streak of sunny days in Seattle continues!)...

AND... this is when you realize you wore the same dress to back-to-back weddings!

17 years since we graduated high school and it didn't feel like we skipped a day, except I forgot HOW MUCH I miss these people!!

CRAZY!!  In 6 months, we managed to squeeze in trips to Florida, the Bahamas, Massachusetts, California and Seattle!

Since Georgia only came on 2/5 of those trips, we owe a huge thank you to our trusted babysitter.  The only reason I sleep well on those trips is knowing that G is safe, well-fed, happy, and excited to be spending the weekend with her beloved Mimi.  I get texts non-stop and picture messages of all the fun things they are doing, which lets me enjoy wherever in the world Nick and I happen to be.  Without her, our travel wouldn't be possible..

Thanks, Mimi!!

Next up... all the "firsts" of the year!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Birthday with a Side of ICE!

After already being quite busy with various holiday celebrations on Friday and Saturday evenings, we were off exploring yet again on Sunday to celebrate my turning the big 3-5!  Eeeek.... definitely not getting any younger around here!

After opening some presents in the morning and relaxing for a bit in the afternoon, we decided to head to National Harbor and check out this year's ICE! display.  In our Pre-Georgia days, Nick and I loved to go every year and check out the show...

2009 - A few months after we got married

Last year, we brought Georgia and she HATED it!  She wanted out of the big blue puffy coat and complained the entire time.  She wasn't even entertained by the ice slides and this kid typically loves playgrounds.  I think we were in and out of the show within 5 minutes.  

So, once again, we decided to just wing in and see what happened!  Perhaps she'd feel differently about the show this year OR she'd be a lunatic again.

Arriving at National Harbor as the sun set over the Potomac

We decided not to even attempt the big blue puffy jacket this year that they loan you to go into the display.  Instead, we brought ski pants and a jacket for Georgia, along with her gloves and a hat.
**Sidebar shout-out to my amazing co-worker who always gives me her daughter's hand-me-downs.  We're lucky to get a random snow day or two here in suburban DC, so it's hard to spend a ton of money on snow boots, ski jacket, etc. every year when you might get a few days wear out of them before kids outgrow them.**

Heading into the ICE! tent with a gorgeous sunset over the Potomac.  Note that Georgia HAD to bring her new BFF, "Everest" (aka - the build-a-bear dog that she got at the ACAS party the evening before).  She might believe that the dog is from her beloved "Paw Patrol" and we may not have corrected her!  Another tip from Good Parenting 101!

This year's theme for ICE! was "Frosty the Snowman" and it didn't disappoint.  The colors were absolutely amazing!  It's hard to remember that this is actually carved ice when you are in there walking around.

Our timing could not have been better early on a Sunday evening because the place was fairly empty.  The best part - Georgia liked it this year, which meant I actually got to see and enjoy it this year vs last year when I grabbed her and hauled her out of there in under 3 minutes!  Happy birthday to me???

Checking everything out

We quickly arrived to my most favorite part of the ICE! experience... the ice slides!  Last year, Georgia went down one time and was totally done.  This year, we stayed on the ice slides until our butts were frozen... literally!  SHE LOVED IT and went down again and again and again with Nick and I switching off to go with her.

Heading down all by herself since she was tall enough this year!

She even loved coming down the slide backwards!

We were fairly frozen by the time we finished with the slides, so we walked fairly quickly through the remaining rooms and skipped over the ice carving demonstrations.  It was amazing when you emerged back into the DC air - it felt like the Bahamas outside!  

G and her beloved pup on the North Pole Express train

Some highlights from ICE! 2014

Literally, a picture of my child waving to me to hurry up...

We thawed out on our way to dinner and enjoyed a nice meal with a surprise treat for me at the end...

Our night wasn't quite over yet.  During our last visit to National Harbor in the fall, Georgia was mesmerized by the new giant National Wheel.  She begged to go on it, but we just didn't have time on that trip.  But, we had time this weekend!  

Ready for our ride!

Soooo.. the Capital Wheel is big.  Like really big.  I don't mind heights, but this was BIG!  Holy moly.  It's nice that each gondola is enclosed and heated.  Did I mention it was big???  Georgia loved every second.  I may have threatened Nick's life every time he moved and made the gondola swing.  It wasn't a short ride either - you definitely get a decent ride.  180 feet is pretty tall.  It may have been my first and only ride on the giant wheel!

Once we were back on stable ground, we headed back towards the Gaylord Resort to retrieve the car.  But, our timing was spot on.  As we walked back into the resort, their nightly fountain show and "tree lighting" was starting.  Again, usually we are among the masses on the weekend watching the show, but the Sunday night show was empty.  It even "snows" inside!

Mesmerized by the fountain

And with that, we wrapped up a CRAZY busy weekend!  But, we all had fun.  We got to spend a ton of time as a family, celebrate the holidays, and my birthday.  

Only one more weekend until Christmas!