Our Family Christmas Traditions

By 8:25 PM , , ,
Growing up in a family rich with holiday traditions I couldn’t wait to add them into my own home as well as add some new ones of our own. I love traditions and hope that one day my kiddos will say I loved that...
“We did ______ every year.
Below is a list of our old and new Christmas traditions we have meshed together for our own little family over the last several years. I hope these traditions inspire you to create your own list!

The Thompson Family Christmas Traditions

Pick up, purchase, and decorate a tree together the week of Thanksgiving every year. 
The season is always kicked off by a Thanksgiving night hayride through a local Christmas light display. For those of you local to the Atlanta area check out the "Gaddy's light display on Sandy Creek Rd." They were on the great light fight show last season and always have an awesome display. We hook up a hayride to the back of a truck and kick off the season with two rides through the display. The first so you can see everything on the left side of the ride and the second you switch sides so you can be sure to see everything on the other side of the display. 
Elf on the shelf always makes an appearance at our house beginning the day after Thanksgiving. 
We watch a multitude of Christmas movies together as a family throughout the season but always included are: Christmas Vacation, Charlie Brown Christmas, Four Christmases, Elf, Elf on the Shelf, Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer, The Christmas Story, and the Santa Claus. 
Christmas punch and cookies and tree decorating with our cousins at Grandma's house. One of our favorite traditions we wouldn't miss. 
Pink Pink at Macy's Lenox Mall– For those of you who are not native to Atlanta look it up. It’s such a fun tradition that includes a train ride on a pink pig on top of the mall. We love this sweet tradition and always go with my mom. 
We always spend at least one evening driving around looking at Christmas Lights in our Christmas PJs with a cup of cocoa while listening to Christmas music. 
Volunteering together as a family to give back to our community. We have volunteered at various organizations over the years but love using our time to give back to those who are not as fortunate as we are during this season. 
Leaving a basket of snacks and drinks at our front door for the delivery men and women who work long hours to make our lives a little easier this time of year. 
Christmas Eve Service and reading the Christmas Story before putting milk and cookies out for Santa. 
Day after Christmas shopping for all the deal on Christmas goodies for next year. 
Merry Christmas, sweet friends!

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My Favorite Collection

By 2:36 PM , , , ,
Tis the season! 

It's our first Christmas in our new house and while we are still not fully unpacked (I look forward to the day I can park in the garage again) we finally have completed decorating our home for Christmas. Because...priorities.

I don't "collect" a lot of things in general but most of my collections somehow revolve around Christmas decorations, ha, go figure. One of my most favorite things I collect is nativities. I love them for many reasons but the first is that I love the simple reminders placed around my home of the Christmas story and what Christmas is truly all about. The second reason I love collecting nativities is because it brings back special memories of Christmases past. I grew up with a nativity that stayed on our mantel during the Christmas season and my brother and I played with that little nativity daily for the first 10+ years of our life the entire month of December. Every year I would look forward in anticipation to my mom pulling it out of the basement and setting it up so we could resume play. I truly wanted the same for my kids which is where the story of this collection began. I think I am now up to 10 or more.  Today I thought I would give you a photo tour of my nativities throughout my home. 

My favorite is the homemade nativity my father in law gave me for Christmas a few years ago. As I mentioned above I grew up with a nativity on our mantel when we were kids and my brother and I played our little hearts out with that nativity and I wanted the same for my kids so my sweet father in law built me my own gorgeous nativity and my mother in law found vintage gorgeous nativity figures (hard plastic so they don't break) that my kids can play with...my kids love playing with it as much as I used to with my set growing up!  Below is a photo.

I also purchased a few years back (prior to having the set my FOL built) the Fisher Price nativity. My daughter who is now almost 10 months LOVES playing with this set. It is her most played with toy.  

Here are some of the other sets throughout my home including two mini sets, a set made of wood, a set made of ceramic, and more:

What is that one thing you collect and holds a special meaning to you? Do you have any Christmas decorations you collect? Please share below in the comments. 

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The scariest day.

By 10:11 PM , , , , ,
Anyone that follows me on Instagram knows that we had a pretty scary week last week that did not go as we originally planned. Our daughter (who is 9 months old) ended up getting sick on Thanksgiving and come Monday (5 days later) she was much worse off and one sick baby. My husband took her to the pediatrician since she wasn't getting better even though we figured it was viral and would have to run its course and I headed to the airport to fly out for work. On my way to the airport I got the call from my husband that our baby girl had tested positive for RSV, wasn't breathing normally, and the pediatrician was rushing them to the hospital. 

This was a minute of calm in the storm about 5 hours in to our journey from you know where still in the ER...ignore my puffy face and dad's pure exhaustion in the background.

Praise the Lord I had not yet gotten on the flight and rushed to the hospital to meet them. We ended up meeting on the way to Atlanta and arrived all at the same time to the ER. The ER upon taking one look at our little girl rushed us back to the trauma room (without even collecting our names or insurance// scary) and immediately admitted us to the hospital where we would end up staying for the next two days. Key the scariest couple days as of yet of my life. 

We were in a trauma room in the ER for the first few hours where they did chest x-rays, ran an IV in our baby's hand, and hooked her up to tons of monitoring and wires including oxygen in her nose. For those of you who haven't been in this situation seeing your baby almost life like strapped down to a table with wires coming out, tears streaming out of her eyes, and vitals plummeting without the help of oxygen is a pretty terrifying thing to witness. Emotionally it was very challenging on us both to say the least. The next two nights my baby girl slept in my arms in a hospital bed (with the exception of being woken up by nurses every hour throughout the night and day). We were relieved when she FINALLY felt well enough to start getting bored being stuck in the same room and hospital bed on Wednesday and are so thankfully that today, Sunday, she finally seems to be back to her self. 

cuddles with my girl

We were so happy to finally see some smiles

While it was some of the scariest moments of our life we left the hospital overwhelmed with gratitude. Being in a children's hospital and just observing the children and parents around you who live in this situation and worse day in and day out puts so very much in perspective. We are SO very thankful to all of you who prayed for our little girl (and us), we are so thankful for incredible nurses and doctors and to live in a country where we have amazing healthcare (as one of the doctors told us if we hadn't had access to the hospital when we did we probably wouldn't have our baby with us today), we are thankful to have jobs that will allow us to pay our hospital bills when they come in, we are thankful to our companies for being understanding and allowing us to take time away from work to be with our baby, and last but not least we are SO thankful to those of you who called, sent texts, and brought us food and clothes both at the hospital and last week when we got home. 

finally feeling well enough to be "bored" and to sit up...watching Minnie with Daddy on his phone

All I can say is wash your hands. Wash your kids hands. RSV is out there and powerful and can be oh so scary. Also...

The power of prayer, ya'll. 
Again, thank you. 

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Dressing Your Babes Adorable on a Small Budget

By 9:45 PM , , , , ,
It's no secret I LOVE dressing my kids up in cute clothes. From dressing our son in adorable "big boy" clothes (bring on the boots, belts, button ups, and sweater vests) to dressing up our little girl aka my live baby doll (hello Texas size bows and all things smocked and girly) I truly enjoy dressing my kids in adorable clothes. However, I simply can't justify spending a ton of money knowing with the way they are growing there is a very real possibility they only wear the outfit a couple of times at best. Today I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite places to shop for kids clothes without spending an arm and a leg. 
The Smocking Bug - truly love this shop to purchase relatively inexpensive (for smocking at least) adorable smocked wear. Here are some photos of my favorites I have bought from them in the past. 

 Terrible photo but both kids were in the cutest outfits. Also bow is from the hairbow company (detailed below). 

Amazon - don't underestimate it guys...I have bought SUPER cute clothes from Amazon for my little girl from Amazon. I recently purchased my daughter's complete thanksgiving outfit for family photos all from Amazon. It included these knee high socks,  this cute outfit and these moccasins. Serious I am a huge Amazon fan. Their kids clothes are super affordable, have turned out to be great quality. Plus they allow me to shop from my living room and have free returns, um, hello.  

Mudpie - they have the cutest stuff. Especially holiday clothing. And they run sales that you simply can't beat. Check out their clearance and stock up for the next season. Seriously...I bought her Halloween outfit for next year for $1.74. Check out their sales under $10 for the best deals. I paid $4 for a needlepoint football belt for our son that is Southern Comfort cute. The below outfit I purchased for like $8. 

Once Upon a Child or Consignment Sales - ya'll don't underestimate a good consignment store and/or sale. I have gotten some of our best, most adorable things at Once Upon a Child and consignment sales. Lots of it is either barley or never been worn (again kids grow out of stuff crazy fast). For smocked outfits expect to pay around $10, cute boutique type outfits between the $5-$8 range. Typical Carters outfits are usually $1-$3. My favorite consignment find was a pair of almost new looking Ariat boots for my son for $1. Yes, $1. My husband is legit jealous. These boots new in toddler size run over $90! I also love to stock up on costumes at consignment sales. My little ones love to dress up and $2-$5 is my price range to stock up on costumes at these type of places. 

Hairbow company- this store has quickly become my go-to for adorable clothes and those "Texas size" hair bows for my daughter. They truly have the cutest clothes that are unique, adorable, boutique quality for super low prices. Especially when they run sales. Plus once you join their rewards program they send you for coupons and rewards. LOVE THIS COMPANY. I also purchased the adorable tiara (pictured below) for my daughter from this company for $1.50 that she wore when we were in Disney last month.  Ya'll so many people asked where we bought this baby tiara. I literally had someone offer me $30 for it if I would sale it off her head. Probably should have taken them up on it but I wanted it for the rest of the week. Below is one of my favorite outfits and the tiara I was referencing.

Those are my top 5 places to purchase inexpensive, yet adorable clothing for my kiddos from most recently. But we would love to know...where do you get cute, affordable clothes from your kids? Comment below and let us know! 

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By 7:00 AM , , , , , , , ,
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