The Holidays – a Time of Joy and Laughter and …. Lots Going On

Hi guys! I made it back before we leave for Europe so I would call this a win.  I am really trying to get better about prioritizing my time.  There’s a million other things I could be doing, but blogging is such a fun hobby for me and I really want to make the time for it.

So after Thanksgiving we were home for a few weeks before packing up and hitting the road for Dallas.

Side note: I am really curious how other families/couples handle holidays.  Since even before Jon and I were married or even engaged, we have always alternated Thanksgiving with his family one year and Christmas with my family that year and then the next year is opposite.  My sister and her boyfriend are on our same schedule too, which is nice so we know we will see them at whatever holiday falls on our families time that particular year.  It gets a little more complicated with my parents being divorced and my dad being divorced from my little brother’s mom and alternating their custody agreement in the mix too.  It always works out, but sometimes it takes a LOT of planning,  I am waiting for the day we have kids and I tell everyone they have to travel to us instead of us traveling for Thanksgiving and Christmas every year…. because quite frankly, it.is.a.lot.  And I’m tired just thinking about all our traveling plans this past holiday season.  So this year for Christmas it was our turn to be in Nashville with my family.  So the plan was for me to drive (with the dogs) to Dallas and then drive to Nashville with my sister and her bf and their two dogs for Christmas.  It was going to be a lot of driving, but just kinda made sense with the 4 pups in tow.

Well, my sister realized she just couldn’t make the trip to Nashville due to her strenuous work schedule, which we all totally understand.  My mom volunteered to come down to Dallas for a long weekend before Christmas so I was happy I wasn’t going to have to make the trip to Nashville.  Well… my husband already had his flight booked (he is a diva and would not do the 10 hour drive with us ;)) and he had plans to hang out with the boy he mentored while we were in Nashville through Big Brothers Big Sisters and he did not want to cancel on him.  So long story short (although it is not short at this point…) my mom came down to Dallas for a few days and then I flew to Nashville with her to meet up with Jon.  We spent time with family and friends and then flew back to Dallas (my sister and her bf watched our dogs and when we got back to their house in Dallas, they were getting ready to leave for a wedding in New Orleans so we watched their dogs that weekend.  See, I told you it gets complicated.  A couple days later they returned and then my Dad and little brother flew in for New Years week! 2 weeks later we drove home and I was never so happy to sleep in my own bed. 🙂

So here are just a few pictures from our crazy holidays this year!

My momma (aka Mimi) is the favorite among the pups.  Riley always has to be near her at all times when she is around.

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Riley LOVES other dogs toys.  I mean he has a few favorites at our house, but he loves going through other dogs toys and testing out each one… and their beds too, I guess!

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Just cooking in the kitchen in our jammies with my baby Murphy.  He was really cuddly and clingy to me this trip and it just made me so happy.  Jon, can we please get a third dog now????

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We did lots of cooking!  My mom found this recipe for a festive appetizer.  All it is is sliced apples, chopped pecans, goat cheese and a drizzle of honey.  SOOO delicious.

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We went out to dinner at a new restaurant in Dallas and shared some yummy drinks and appetizers and all enjoyed our meals! It was fun to get out for the night!

My momma treated us to massages one day and I felt like a whole new woman.  I ended up getting another one the next week.  I just love a good massage.

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Alllll the yummies for sharing!

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These photos were all taken on separate days.  Riley and Otis made themselves right at home in our suitcases.  Too funny!!

My dad took me and Jon to a Predators game while we were in town. And they won!!

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So we hit a few honkeytonks before heading home (my dad and I may or may not have sang karaoke that night.  🙂

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My dad lives right near the park and with the unseasonably warm weather, we got in quite a few hikes!

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So we always laugh because my dad is not super handy and saves a lot of his projects for when Jon comes to town (Jon is not only super handy, but literally LOVES a project).  It makes my dad happy and drives me crazy because I find a new amazon prime box at my doorstep daily with some new gadget or tool. LOL.  One of the projects was setting up this lifesize chess board for my brother for Christmas. 🙂 How long do you think it took the three of us to figure out the directions?  Actually… don’t answer that! 😉

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Their next project was rearranging the bonus room so there was room to play pingpong!  My dad got a ping pong table topper for his pool table for Jacob for Christmas.

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My sweet Jeanne!  Jeanne and her husband, Harry, are our close family friends and I always make sure to fit in time to see them when I am in town.  They are both 95ish and still living independently.  Jeanne is the absolute sweetest and she reminds me so much of my granny, who I miss so dearly.

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Jon and I had a delicious Christmas dinner at my mom and stepdad’s house before heading back to Dallas to meet up with the rest of the crew.

 

On New Year’s Eve, Jon’s brother, Chris, and his gf Lindsey were in town too.  We took a carriage ride through Highland Park after dinner and got to see all the beautiful homes and lights!

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We rang in the new year with champagne and games at my sister and Max’s house.  New Year’s Day we had plans to attend the Winter Classic game (an outdoor hockey game), which just happened to be the Dallas Stars against the Nashville Predators.

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Let’s go Preds!

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They lost, but we still had fun.

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While we waited for the crowds to die down, we rode a little ride wayyyy up high an d got a pretty neat view of the stadium.

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The next day, Jon and I loaded up our pups, presents, and luggage and hit the road back to San Antonio!  We had a wonderful 2 weeks with the family, but man, were we exhausted!!!

Tell me all about your holidays!! Did you travel or stay home?  Do you have to switch off between families for holidays if you are married?  If you have kids, did you continue to travel each holiday or make the family come to you?

Love you all!!!!! xoxoxox I will be back after our Europe travels!!!

Where The Heck Have I Been? 2020 Year of Getting it Together… Maybe :)

Hi friends!  It has been a minute.  Well actually it has been over a month and for that, I am sorry.  I’m sure you all felt the craziness of the holidays with work, travel, plans and all the above.  And over here, let me just tell you, it has been a *hit show.  I had all these great posts planned for the holidays, but time just got away from me.  So moving forward in 2020, I am going to start scheduling my blogging time like I schedule any other meeting or workout or appointment.  Because if I don’t… it just won’t happen.

There is just so much to fill you all in on so let’s just start by reviewing the holidays and closing out 2019.  More to come on this in a post soon (it is already written, I just have to clear a few things by the hubby – I may overshare just a bit), but 2019 was one hell of a year for me…. and not in a good way.  I tend to think I am generally an optimist, but yall, 2019 got me down.  It hit me hard in the face and I am still trying to recover.  It was a year of lots of changes, good and bad, and just not a lot of consistency or normalcy (something I REALLY crave 90% of the time).

We spent Thanksgiving in Indianapolis with my in-laws.  It was really low key and a nice time to just relax.

A little work before our flight to Indy.  My coworker is not exactly the most motivating.  Yes, he climbed up on the bench then onto my dining room table (I change up my location when I work from home or I get so BORED) and proceeded to just stare at me and whine until I gave him a treat.  He is so BAD, but he is my baby so I let it slide. 😉

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Another picture of proof that Riley is the baby aka the king of our household.  He is such a diva and we love it.  Callie girl is still over here being weird as ever and we love her for it. 🙂

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So since we had so much going on before the holidays with work and such, this was the first year I did not send out Christmas cards…I am very disappointed in myself and will get my act together in 2020.  But, if you need to see a potential…this is what it would have looked like.  Me smiling, Riley not sure about it, and Jon not taking his eyes off the tv for some sports game or something.  We are a hot mess.

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Us with my husband’s family. 🙂

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We had a new addition this year (brother-in-law’s gf) so I had to document. 🙂

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We ran the Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning and it was way warmer than most previous years which was nice!

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Me and my half blind side kick!

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We cooked so many yummy meals including steak, lobster and scallops for Thanksgiving dinner.  And I took zero pictures. 🙂

We went to see the lights at the Museum of Art, which is quickly becoming a favorite tradition of ours!

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And we had a nice family dinner at Ambrosia.

I always get one of their yummy salads and the salmon because it is just so darn good!

Me and the grinch… and his fro. hahahah!

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I know I have shared a lot about my bowel resection surgeries and my back/neck pain over the years.  I am happy to report that my tummy is still feeling GREAT after my latest surgery in October 2019.  My head/neck pain (it is chronic at this point lasting about 7 years) came back ROARING in December and has had me down for the count more days than I would like to admit.  I’ve seen a few more doctors with not much more news.  We do think most of my pain is stemming from my jaw.  Long story short, I had a VERY expensive mouthguard made to readjust my jaw to alleviate the pain.  Well… a VERY hungry doggies (ahem… RILEY) decided to open the case and EAT it… I mean he actually chewed the entire thing into small pieces (dog for sale… anyone want him???).  Just kidding!  But we realized this jaw pain came back in full force a few weeks after this incident.  So I am currently trying to find a new jaw specialist in San Antonio (I had this guard made in Nashville) to get a new one made.  Jon has made me approximately 10 dentist appointments and while I know they can make me a night guard to helping with teeth grinding, I know I need a jaw specialist that will make another guard that literally repositions my jaw to alleviate the pressure causing the pain to my neck and down my back.  So… here we go.. I know this is all temporary, but can I just say that being an adult sometimes just SUCKS??  It is just plain hard trying to keep up with life amidst all the pain, appointments and frustration. I will get it all figured out soon, but thanks for sticking with me during this trying time.

In other news, our Christmas/New Years was really fun! I have lots of pictures to show yall!! Hoping I can get my act together and get a post ready for this week before Thursday… because we leave for Europe on Thursday night.

One of our friends is studying abroad and a couple of our other friends planned to go over to visit and travel while he is there.  We originally said no, we can’t make it.  But then, one game night and 2 glasses of wine later, we had two tickets to Europe. 🙂 🙂 🙂 LOL.  We found tickets so cheap that we could NOT pass up the opportunity.  My husband and I have been all over Europe a few times (my dad lived in Switzerland for 4 years so we took total advantage of visiting every chance we got), but we haven’t been to 2 of the 3 places we are going.  We are going to Munich (have been to Germany, but not Munich), Innsbruck (I have been for a day or two when my sister was studying abroad there) and Prague (we both have never been!).  If you have any suggestions for these cities, send them my way!! I will be sure to take lots of pictures and share when I get back.

Happy New Year to all my blog family and friends!! 2020 is going to be a great year!!! (this is what I was telling myself before I fell 2 nights ago and ended up in the ER with 2 staples in my head….).  My friends all told me they are going to bubble wrap me up tight.  I honestly think this may be the best course of action….

Till next time, friends!!

Fill me in on all you have been up to!! How were your holidays?  New yEars? Any intentions or resolutions?

XOXOXO

Taylor