The most wonderful time of the year

December 17, 2012 at 11:41 am

It seems like my every little expression of happiness on social media the past few days has been marred by a twinge of guilt considering the extreme grief being felt by the whole country over the recent horrors. Like just about everyone, I’ve been choking back tears at every news story and feeling the need to clutch my children randomly. But my kids are not traumatized, although they know about what happened. For them, it seems remote and just “a story”. For them, all they can really think about is the fact that Christmas is next week! For them, we are continuing to celebrate the holidays and have as much fun as possible every single day. For me, it’s tinged with guilt, but that’s okay. I’m a grown-up.

Catching up the past few days…

Friday (12/7) in Orlando on our romantic getaway:

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Saturday (12/8), leaving Orlando:

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Stop for lunch in Plant City:

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After lunch we stopped by Parkesdale Farm Market for produce, strawberry syrup, and dessert.

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Home again!

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To Largo Central Park with Grandma and Chewie:

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Picked up hot dogs from Luke’s Coney Island on the way home.

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Grandma went back to Tennessee early on Sunday morning. Chad went to the Bucs game that day and the boys and I just hung out at home. I hardly took any pictures all week.

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This Saturday morning (12/15) we headed downtown for The Color Run.

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We met up with friends and ran/walked (mostly walked) the whole thing with my friend Jenny of MetamorFit and her sweet daughter.

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My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-49(Click this image to see Cal de-colorize his hair)

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We had a blast, obviously. I spent Saturday afternoon baking Lemon-Coconut Squares for a holiday cookie swap on Sunday.

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Saturday night (after removing as much color as we could from ourselves), we went to a holiday happy hour at our most awesome friends’ house.

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I took a photo of the bar, but then didn’t take any more photos.

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I would have taken twenty photos except the person in these photos who is not named Caroline gives me a hard time about my little blogging folly (and pretty much about everything else too):

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Thank you for a great party CC!

Sunday morning I took the boys to the Henry B. Plant Museum at the University of Tampa for their annual Victorian Christmas Stroll.

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The Henry B. Plant museum is on the site of the historic Tampa Bay Hotel, and it is gorgeous.

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The Victorian Christmas decorations in the beautiful building were amazing.

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They had a scavenger hunt for the kids where they had to search for the face of Henry B. Plant in each room. This really got them engaged in looking at all of the antique furnishings.

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We really enjoyed the stroll and I also found a couple of gifts in the cute gift shop. They have lots of really neat Victorian style jewelry and gifts as well as vintage-style Tampa items in there. Before driving home we walked around the gardens a bit.

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Once we got home I got ready to head to the Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers First Annual Holiday Cookie Exchange.

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Cookie overload! The amazing Steph was nice enough to host us and she had really cute decorations and had devised a fun contest. My Lemon-Coconut Squares won “Best Tasting Cookie”! Steph also had take-home boxes for everyone to use and homemade thyme-mint foot scrub as favors. Thank you so much Steph! I loved hanging out with all these ladies again.

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We had samples of all of the cookies as well as some savory items supplied by Steph and guests. This was Grace’s sample plate, but it could have been mine if I had actually made a plate instead of just walking around nibbling.

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Of course it was a super fun party because we ALWAYS have a blast when we get together. Plus, Steph is obviously a great hostess.

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I packaged up two big tins of cookies to give as gifts and we still have a bunch for us to enjoy.

So besides all of that there has been lots of holiday shopping/wrapping/card sending and my daily one mile at least. That is pretty much the only December challenge that I have kept up with. I KNEW I would not be able to keep up with the photo challenges. They are fun, but once you miss a couple of days they don’t have the same appeal. I have NEVER kept up with a month-long photo challenge for the whole month, even though I have started several. They are still fun while they last so I don’t care. I’ll continue to start them and not finish them. I probably won’t be doing anymore “Dedicated in December” updates. Sorry if I’m not inspiring anybody right now. I’m having too much holiday fun to worry about it. Hope you are too!

Cya.