First off, we headed to Ruby Tuesday's for lunch + Connor's belated birthday celebration with Mamaw and Papaw. He ordered vanilla ice cream with sprinkles for dessert - his usual, of course.
Next, we headed to Easton for the kids to go shopping with their Christmas money. Unfortunately, it was a rainy, yucky day but Papaw offered to drop us off at all our favorite places and be our chauffeur for the day. Lucky us. :)
First up was the American Girl store. Brooklyn had the option of picking out clothes + accessories or pulling her money together to buy an American Girl doll. She opted for another doll - one with dark eyes and dark hair. This girl knows what she wants! It was so fun looking at everything + picking her out.
Everyone headed to some other stores for Jacob, while Connor and I went to Build a Bear for his first bear experience. He picked out Chase from Paw Patrol - one of his favorites - and loved the whole experience!
We all went in to Costco and found some really neat things there. Jacob found a jacket + athletic pants he needed, I found a couple of sweaters for Scot + these really cool LED lights for under our kitchen cabinets for only $20. It's my new favorite store!
We stopped for a quick dinner at MCL Cafeteria. Such a throwback to my childhood years of eating there with grandparents and family after church. They still serve my favorite meal of fried chicken, mashed potatoes + the best mac-n-cheese ever. Oh, and chocolate cream pie for dessert. Yum.
After dinner, we drove around to look at Christmas lights through the streets in Westerville where I grew up.
We pulled into one neighborhood that I had never been to before, and Mom said "Somebody told me this neighborhood has the best Christmas lights, so we have to check it out!" I really didn't think anything about it, so I started snapping some pics, looking at all the lights.
And then we came to this beautiful house all decked out:
I got out of the car and started following her. Once we rounded the corner, I started holding back and said "Um, I don't think this is a good idea. I don't really do this kind of thing." But, I reluctantly followed her up to the front door anyway. (Later on, my mom told me she was so tired, she ran out of creative things to say. Ha!)
Once we rang the doorbell, a little person peeked through the crack and said "Hello-oo??!!" Then, a girl jumped out and I immediately recognized her. It was my best friend Jamie from elementary school! I hadn't seen her since 5th grade. Isn't that crazy??
We hugged + chatted away, our 4-year-old boys went potty together (ha!) + started playing like they were long-lost friends, her husband came home and did some magic tricks for us. It was seriously the most fun night! I will remember this moment forever.
(A big thank you to my mom for doing all the legwork + planning to make this all happen!)
Cutest family ever.
We left there and finished out the night with a drive-thru Christmas light display. We rolled down the windows (since the weather was so nice + warm), and the kids enjoyed it all.
The next morning, we were busy packing the van, saying our goodbyes + getting things ready to go.
Which also included a family bear hug, as requested by Connor. Screams, fighting and all. (That's real life for ya, ha!)
We were sad to go. The trip home is always the worst. But, it turned out alright because the younger kids were wiped and slept in the car a good bit of the way home, so Jake and I had time to chat + enjoy some peace and quiet. And reflect on what a great weekend we had with family.
(Plus, we stopped by Donatos on our way home and picked up two pizzas to eat later on. Our fav.)
Thank you, God, for family. Near and far away.