Our little family has had quite the chaotic month!!

After spending a big chunk of November traveling for work, I stumbled upon an opportunity to move into a new rental in the beginning of December. I took it, and so we began the process of packing and moving. If you’re like me, you hold onto stuff for way too long so packing included cleaning and throwing things out, and it was a big job. I am so thankful for my sister, niece, nephew, and my friend Cole who came to help us move the furniture over, and I owe a LOT to my girls, because they did the majority of the cleaning after we moved everything out since I was still working during this time. I did take a couple of days off to get some things done, but we were in our previous apartment for 5 years, and in 5 years we accumulated a lot of stuff. We got rid of a lot, though, and we are now moved into and are settling into our new home. We moved from a 3 bedroom, 1 bath apartment to a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house a couple streets away from the old place. The new house is bigger and has a lot more storage, so even though we miss our old street, we love the new house and are making it feel like home.

In the midst of moving, we were also getting ready to head out on vacation and celebrate Christmas. This year, we started a new tradition of taking a trip for Christmas. The kids have so much, and as they get older, their wants and needs are changing to more expensive gifts or things that maybe can’t wait til Christmas or a birthday. My sister and I talked it over, and decided we’d rather give them memories than a bunch of stuff that will probably be forgotten within a couple of months, and this year we went to the beautiful Smokey Mountains. My sister and I and our kids had a wonderful and fun-filled holiday, in which we took the kids to an indoor tubing place (SO much fun!!) and shopping at the Tanger Outlets and The Island in Pigeon Forge where the kids got to spend some Christmas money they were given.

However, Santa still had to come visit, so the kids did have a couple of things under the tree to open. 😉 The only thing Sawyer asked for this year was a Wii, with Mario Kart for him to play on the Wii. I thought “Great… Doesn’t he realize those haven’t been made since 2013?!” I told him that a Wii would probably be very hard to find, since they stopped making them a few years back, but Sawyer wasn’t having it; he said “Mom, Santa can get it. He can find anything in his magic bag.” I love that he still believes in Santa, but I was panicking about Santa not being able to come through. However, Santa was able to make it happen and the excitement on Sawyer’s face over getting his Wii was priceless! Santa left Mario Kart and the steering wheels for it at his dad’s house, so I know exactly what he’ll want to do when he gets home from his dad’s in a few days. 😉

We had a great vacation in the Smokeys, but the night before we left, we ran into some plumbing problems at the new house. We came back home not really knowing what to expect. I was dreading coming home, not knowing if I’d find a mess or not, but thankfully our new landlord is amazing and got it fixed for us very quickly. Now that all the chaos of this month is over, we get to finish unboxing everything and settling into our new place.

All the changes going on within our family have been hard for Sawyer, but he has adjusted pretty well. He had a couple moments of frustration during the moving process, and he has said a few times that he misses our apartment, but overall I think he really likes the new house and his new bedroom. He was worried he wouldn’t get to ride the bus to school anymore (he LOVES riding the bus!) but he can, and he was very happy about that. He has developed a new tic, though, where his eyes blink a lot more and sometimes not at the same time. It’s a little weird to watch, but he says his eyes aren’t bothering him or anything, and he can still see just fine, so I guess I shouldn’t worry. I was worried how changing up our Christmas routine would affect him; Sawyer thrives on routines and hates breaking tradition, but he was very excited for the trip and especially loved the indoor snow tubing. As long as we keep some elements of our family traditions, he will accept the changes much easier. For instance, I packed the kids’ stockings and made sure to put them out for Santa on Christmas Eve.

2023 has been a wild year for us. When I think back over everything that has changed this year, it’s pretty crazy to look at all that is different at the end of the year vs. the beginning. Most of the changes have been good, though, and I am looking forward to seeing what 2024 brings us. We don’t have any plans for New Year’s Eve; we usually just play games and watch the ball drop in Times Square on the TV. This year the kids will be at their dad’s house for the holiday, so I’m planning on having a very low-key evening in. Things have been so busy lately, and I’m looking forward to being able to just stay in. I’ve started a re-watch of one of my favorite TV shows (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and I plan to just have some snacks and enjoy watching my show. Maybe I’ll play around on the computer and create some new graphic tee designs for my TeePublic store. Who knows…I may even go to bed before midnight!! 😉

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