Good morning, friends! I hope you have had a wonderful start to the New Year. Currently, the house is a mess, laundry is everywhere, my to-do list is about a mile long, but I really just want to share with y’all about our Christmas before it gets too far gone!
For Christmas, we met with my mom, Pete, Halston and Kevin in a cabin-inspired Airbnb home on Lake Lure, NC. Lake Lure is situated among breathtaking mountains, so peaceful and quiet you could hear a pin drop. On a hike, you may have the occasional black bear sighting, as my mom and Pete did. It’s the type of place that when you’re there, it feels like the rest of the busyness of the world fades. And once we were settled in, we were all able to take a big deep breath, but the lead up to the road trip was pure chaos (as is expected!).
We had been planning on taking my car for the road trip as it’s a smoother ride than DJ’s truck, and Quinn seems to tolerate the longer rides in it better. However, with the storm and plummeting temps coming in, taking the truck was a no-brainer. The only problem was we didn’t have a cover for the truck bed (with the gifts, baby things and our own luggage we needed to use the bed!). On Sunday, I was calling every car shop in town and looking online for a cover that would come in on time for us to leave. I found one that would arrive the 21st. I then frantically called around to mechanics to have it installed on the 22nd, the day we were pegged to leave. Thankfully, Joe’s Auto in Stow agreed to make it work even though they had a full docket as was. They were so kind and had it done by noon on the 22nd. (Although they did mess with me and called telling me I had the wrong size cover- followed by, “just kidding, you’re all set!” lol, I needed the laugh that day, but I did believe him because I totally would order the wrong size). I picked up the truck, thanked them profusely, loaded it up after zooming around packing in the morning, and we were ready to hit the road when DJ got back from work that evening.
We left around 8 pm on December 22nd after dropping off Moose at Marie’s (so hard to leave him, but we knew the 9ish hour drive would be near impossible with him in the truck- more motivation for us to get a mini van ha!). While the driving through winding West Virginia can put anyone on edge in the middle of the night, we were lucky to have avoided the storm and only dealt with fog and rain.
Quinn did overall pretty well through the night. We arrived in NC around 6 AM on December 23rd to a balmy zero degrees outside. DJ and I were zombies- neither of us had slept a wink. My mom was eager and ready to scoop up Quinn- so I handed her over as I fell into bed and a deep sleep. I didn’t realize I hadn’t given her any of Quinn’s toys to play with or her pacifier- so my mom and sister got creative with entertainment using kitchen supplies!
Look at these two together! <3
When she started getting hungry, I got up to feed her, and just those few hours of sleep made a huge difference. I still had some cobwebs the rest of the day, but I could function!
I took in the breathtaking home. It was so cozy and not a detail was spared. A book was lovingly placed on the blanket near the fireplace, there was a s’mores station ready for the outdoor pit, a hot tub was sizzling and ready for all, and the view of the mountains and lake was magnificent. Here’s a compilation from the weekend:
Downstairs, there was an adorable little sitting area.
When I returned, I got both me and Quinn ready for the day. I put her in the most adorable onesie that our family friend, Melinda, made her that fit perfectly!
Quinn is pulling up on furniture at every turn! Too fast, Quinnie girl! Momma needs you to slowww down. She also started saying “uh-ma” over the weekend, which is transforming more and more into a confident “momma” by the day <3.
For lunch every day we were there I had a turkey wrap with veggies and hummus, a side of Siggi’s yogurt and some popcorners.
For dinner that evening, my mom made a delishh Jamaican curried stew. This is definitely going to be added to our winter meal rotation! We pureed up a bit for Quinn to enjoy too, and, boy, she did. It even had a little spice, but she didn’t seem to mind. Probably because I craved spicy food like nobody’s business when I was pregnant.
For dinners, we hooked up the Inglesina fast chair so she could eat at the table with us. LOVE this thing!!
The fam played Chameleon late into the evening (our current fav game) while sippin’ on Kahlua & Creams and orange vodka sprites. Pete dominated! I hit the hay earlier than everyone knowing I’d be up bright and early with Quinn.
And I surely was! Around 630 on Christmas Eve, I got up with her and made some oatmeal with pb and coffee. My mom heard us and snuck out to kindly hold Quinn, so I could eat my breakfast without interruption (it’s the little things as a mom, isn’t it?).
After her first nap, DJ took over so I could sneak out again for another run. Those little 30 min workouts through the weekend felt amazing. Sometimes if I try to add in a workout on daycare days I feel so guilty, so I don’t really enjoy it even though I know it’ll make me a better mom ultimately – it’s just a tug-of-war of the mind and heart!
For Quinn’s naps, I just walked her in the carrier in the downstairs sitting area.
It was tough at times feeling like I was missing out on precious time with the rest of the family I rarely see. But on the same token, I love Quinn’s nap time because it means cuddles for me. At home it’s a non-issue (I even can often get things done while she’s in the carrier or walk so I’m getting exercise), so it’s hard to have incentive to try the crib… But a time like that where I felt like I was missing out was a good reminder of why it’d be good to get to sleep in a crib on her own for naps. She does it at daycare (cat naps, but still), so I know she can do it! I told DJ one of my NY goals is to get her taking one solid crib nap a day by March. I don’t think that’s too lofty at all. I just need to be consistent which I have not been. It’s tough with my work schedule being so inconsistent & with all the sickness we’ve had recently. And I mean, again, it’s hard to turn down the sweet snuggles! Ok, I’ll stop now with my stream of consciousness lol.
P.S. DJ offered many times to do the carrier nap with her, but I was worried about her getting overtired if she fought falling asleep, so I just said I’d do them.
Anyway, once she was up and ready to groove for the rest of the day, I changed us into our outfits for family photos. We took many, and of course, I have to share most of them :).
I did a little mini haul of outfits from H & M for Quinn- they have such cute stuff & you can find great deals!
I do love the neutrals, despite the “sad beige baby” warriors out there.. but come on, no one can accuse this girl of being sad!
For dinner, we had salad, wild rice, peas, veggie shish kebobs and beef tenderloin with bearnaise. As Quinn has tolerated yogurt and me eating a little goat cheese without issue, I decided to have a little bearnaise – and she seemed to do well!
I had this alcohol-removed Luminara wine my mom brought along for dinner- it’s the best NA red wine I’ve tried yet! Good “fake” reds are really hard to find; whites are much better. But this was as good as it gets IMO!
Quinn had a serenity kids beef, kale and sweet potato pack. These were easy to bring along to make sure she got her solids in while traveling. She loves these packs, and they’re made with only organic good stuff.
Once we got her ready for bed, we started a couple new traditions. First, we traditionally celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve with my dad every year, so as a way to honor and remember him we decided to have Quinn open one gift on Christmas Eve.
She opened her first ornament that matched her nursery theme <3.
We played a round of Chameleon and then loaded up Church on the living room TV.
Quinn and I called it a night so we could be rested for Santa’s arrival!
Doesn’t get cozier than this!
Before doing gifts, we enjoyed a spectacular spread my mom put together of my grandma’s mouth-watering quiche, cinnamon rolls, a tofu scramble, pastry, bacon, egg scramble with no cheese (for me), tater tots and fruit!
We poured mimosas, and my mom and I enjoyed non-alcoholic mimosas made with Surely wine (incredible).
Quinn opened some of her stocking after breakfast before taking a nap while the rest of us exchanged gifts. She snoozed well in my carrier despite the shuffling of wrapping paper and sound of torn open boxes.
Sweet girl & her first stocking!
DJ took the pic after she woke up, and it melts my heart!!!
and we sure did have fun!
We checked in with Marie, and she sent us a Google file with Moose pics that helped us being away from him. He seemed to be having a blast! I admittedly did cry on Christmas because I missed him soooo much.
How cute is this. It amazes me how she can get them all on a schedule. Also we were all cracking up at Moose choosing the smallest dog bed.
And that brings us to December 26th, sadly our last day.
We started the day with more fun by rolling one of her new gifts (a sensory ball) back and forth. Seeing how excited/proud she gets of herself brings me so much joy!!
Oh, and we couldn’t let Christmas pass without putting Quinnie in this outfit…
We relaxed most if the day then packed up to go. Quinn soaked up some treasured last moments with her Grammy, Grampy, Aunt Hally and Uncle Kevin.
On our way out of town, we stopped by my Aunt and Uncle’s home in Asheville. It was special getting all the little cousins together for the first time!
Also, this was my first time going to my Aunt and Uncle’s new home- it is a renovated barn, and it may be the most incredible home I’ve ever seen!
We left around 630 pm to hit the road after enjoying dinner and each other’s company. Quinn was not having it on the way home. Considering we have done three big overnight trips like this, and this was the only rough leg we’ve had, I consider ourselves pretty lucky. She was definitely overtired and, ironically, when babies get overtired it’s harder for them to fall asleep. We saw this scenario play out much of the drive home. I was so desperate at times to settle her I would lean over and nurse her for comfort in the car seat, lol. When she did finally stop fighting it, I had to hold her hands or she’d startle awake. Thankfully, she slept well once we were home by around 4 am, and then she was her happy self and made a great unpacking buddy the next day :).
Thanks for sharing in our very special Christmas with us! Thank you also to my mom and Pete for putting this unforgettable family trip together!
Questions for you:
- Do you usually travel for the holidays or stay local?
- What was the highlight of your Christmas?