Monday, December 31, 2018

Christmas Break 2018

Christmas break ends on Wednesday and it has been a great one! Break could not have come at a better time. I so needed a little breather, time with my guys, family, and plenty of rest and relaxation. This break was so wonderful. I thought I'd organize this recap by day. Here we go! Get ready for lots of pictures....

Before Christmas, we relaxed, Hank got his first ever haircut, we ran lots of errands, and we went to visit the aquarium with some friends. So fun!

I adore slow mornings with these gentlemen 

On Christmas Eve, we went for a long walk, watched The Grinch, and put together our traditional Christmas morning French Toast Bake.
Santa came! Since we didn't put up a big tree this year, we brought down one of the pine trees from Hank's room. Easy peasy. I love his plaid reindeer stocking, we bought it at the coast last summer. 

 Christmas morning, after we opened gifts and got cleaned up, we headed over to my parent's house. Hank was super excited to see a big tree! My family hosted a wonderful dinner and spoiled us all. We had a great time.

By the end of the evening, Hank was 110% done. Poor buddy! 

snuggles with grandma 
Early the next morning, we headed to the airport to visit AJ's family in Redmond! It was a quick and uneventful flight and we got to Oregon in the early afternoon. It was fun to spend time together and Hank had his third Christmas. Ha! 

When you're at grandma and grandpa's house, mama gets plenty of time like this. 

The next day, AJ and I headed out for a little date day. Woohoo! We went to a delicious breakfast, walked around and did some shopping, and then saw The Mule. We both really liked it. That evening, AJ's childhood pals and their families came over for dinner. It's always fun catching up and reconnecting. 

Best avocado toast I've ever had! 

On Friday, AJ, Hank, and I went to the cute town of Sisters (like a 20 minute drive away). It's a Western-ish looking area with cute shops and restaurants.  We had a fun day exploring. We came home that afternoon and all took long naps (See? I totally needed the relaxation!) AJ's mom made my favorite dinner that night (champagne chicken). It was another awesome relaxing day of break.
I am LOVING this! We listened to it on repeat. Kelly Clarkson does "Never Enough." So. Good. 

I bought these little morsels. They were amazing. 

Guitar time with Gramps 
On Saturday, AJ's mom and I got a pedicure, we all lounged around, took a walk, and went to our favorite Mexican food place for dinner that night. Hank had SO much fun exploring around in a new place. That little guy explored every nook and cranny. He is certainly on the move! 
He LOVES looking at pictures of himself. Good thing those are never in short supply. Ha! 

He could fit all the way through. Ahhhh! 
Hank's face! 
A little card table to serve as a baby gate!

After dinner we drove around to look at some lights and spotted about 6 deer right in the neighborhood! It was so cool and we were able to get so close. They trotted off in a single file line, so cute! 
 We were all set to leave Sunday morning but our flight kept getting delayed. We were supposed to arrive home around 3:30 and we didn't end up getting home until after 8. We. were. so. tired. Poor Hank was a rockstar considering he spent the day just hanging out. He ate all 3 baby food pouches we packed (thank goodness we added them in at the last minute). There was a little play place in the airport so he spent some time there so that was good. He was not too happy on the flight home but about 20 minutes of fussing he finally crashed.
I LOVE this picture. My guys exploring the airport. We had to let him out of the stroller finally. He has a need for speed, and he really just wanted to crawl around.

 That's a wrap on our Christmas vaycay! We enjoyed every second with family and friends. We felt so fortunate this past year. Today has been for all. the. laundry., grocery shopping, settling back in, and making some to do lists. Tonight is New Years Eve, we are having some pals over for dinner, and will most likely ring in 2019 fast asleep. And I'm totally cool with that. Hope your holidays were merry and bright. Thank you for reading A Sunday Kinda Love in 2018.
Savor Your Sparkle,

Friday, December 21, 2018

December Reads

I'm here with my final 2018 monthly book post! December is busy but I was able to get into some good books! Here we go.....

1. What To Expect The First Year by Heidi Murkoff: Now this is sort of a cheater one to add to my December list because I read along with it all year as Hank turned each new month. I cracked it open while I was pumping those first few weeks and finished it up just last week. Just like What to Expect When You're Expecting, I think this book is necessary for any new parent (great gift alert!). I love how you can read along as the months go by and the super detailed index means you can look up almost anything you're wondering about. BUT.....this book can cause unnecessary anxiety. I freaked out when Hank wasn't smiling when the book said he "should be." Every pregnancy/baby/parenting book needs to be taken with a grain of salt and this is no exception. Your pediatrician, baby, and spouse are the varsity team when it comes to what's best for your little one. Nevertheless, this book was super helpful and handy, and I found myself picking it up again and again.

2. The Wondering Years by Knox McCoy: Knox McCoy is half of the talent on the podcast "The Popcast." I. Love. The. Popcast. I promise it'll make you laugh out loud and there's over 250 episodes. Give it a chance. Anyway, Knox wrote his first book which is sort of the male version of the Melanie Shankle, Sophie Hudson variety. Basically, it's humor, with a dash of memoir, and some faith lessons thrown in, all told in little vignettes. I liked this book, I really did, and found myself laughing out loud in parts. However, with all my adoration of the Popcast, I had much higher expectations for this book. I could have used more snark and less Sunday School. Does that make me a bad person? Well, anyway, if you're looking for a humorous, warm, quick read, this one might be worth it. Plus, Knox is so dang genuine and likable, that I pre-ordered this one on Amazon (I rarely buy books anymore) pretty much because I think it's so cool he made his book writing dreams come true and his thoughts deserve an audience.

3. The Mommy Group by Elizabeth Isadora Gold: I LOVED THIS BOOK! The funny thing is, I have a list of books I want to read and usually just choose straight from there, but every once in a while, I pick up one randomly at the library and it pays off. This book is written in a humorous journalistic style (a lot like "Living Danishly", "More Than Happy" and "Bringing Up Bebe") about a new mommy and the friends she makes in her artsy/yuppy Brooklyn neighborhood. It follows the author through her whole first year of motherhood and it was just a delightful read. It's funny, insightful, interesting, sweet, and so so so relatable. If you're a mom, read this one. I really enjoyed it.

4. The Bright Side of Disaster by Katherine Center: I had never heard of Katherine Center until her book, "How to Walk Away" was one of my spring Book of the Month picks and I really liked her writing style. This books was just's definitely chick lit in every sense of the word and plays out like a Hallmark movie. Which is fine by me, honestly. It is about a woman who suddenly becomes a single mom and then, bam, falls in love with the actual boy next door. Cute, light, fun, fluffy.

5. Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafa: I had heard that this book was a thriller like Gone Girl or Girl on The Train (I mean, it shares a title word with both of them), but this book comes nowhere close to those classics. It has very heavy, poetic writing and seems like it's trying too hard at times. The "dramatic ending" was sort of blah for me. There were a few times when I was reading this that I'd stop and look at Amazon reviews to see if I was alone in my thoughts about it. My views fit with the consensus: it tries but falls flat and the suspense of the murder mystery gets lost in slow wordiness. I'd skip it.

Sometime this next week I'll be working on my TOP TEN books of 2018. What a great year of books it has been! Grab a steamy mug of cocoa or a chilled glass of moscato, curl up under and giant blanker and get into those pages, friend! Tis the season!

Savor Your Sparkle,