Saturday, December 28, 2013

Looking back at 2013

As I sit down and reflect on all that our family has been through this past year I am so, so thankful.
Our hands and our hearts are full.
As I sit here on our new couch-our first large purchase-EVER- looking at our glowing Christmas tree my eyes well up with tears because I am so incredibly thankful.
It's crazy really that something as simple as a couch can make one so happy!
I'm a simple creature I guess :)
I'm thankful that God has blessed me with this life.
This sometimes overwhelming, crazy, loud, chaotic, insane life that at the same time is incredibly fulfilling, filled with grace and forgiveness.
A life that I wouldn't trade for any other spot in the world.
I know how tough this life can be, and I know how much it can break you down and how much you may NOT want to get back up when it does beat you down...
but that is not who I am.
I have always been a fighter!
I have always been one to make my own path when one didn't exist, or when I was told it was impossible.
One thing I know for sure from this past year:
I will do whatever it takes, however I need to, to provide the very best for my family.
Nothing is more important to me than family!
I want my children to grow up humbly.
I want my children to know the meaning of love, of sacrifice, and of fun!
I don't want them to grow up too early like I had to.
I want them to enjoy their childhood-for all that it is worth!
I want them to make messes-so together we can clean them up.
I want them to get in trouble and learn lessons so we can instill good traits in them
I want them to make bad choices-so they feel the difference of making great decisions.
I want the BEST for them!

2013 held a lot for our family:

~I started back to work full time in the office 
~We officially have a Kindergartner and a 2nd grader-YIKES!
~We have a 3 year old who refuses to potty train.
~All 3 of our boys are really really into Wrestling.  I'm talking they live, eat, and breath WWE.
~I launched my business as an independent Consultant with Rodan + Fields
~I started running
~I lost 40 pounds
~I became a soccer mom
~ I passed my P&C Insurance exam
~I attended my first blogger conference #jerseylove
~Favorite movie: Pitch Perfect
~Favorite songs:  Work B*tch by Britney Spears and Roar by Katy Perry
~ We officially have a 3,5, and 7 year old

Well I guess that about wraps up our year!  
We're definitely looking forward to what 2014 has in store for us! 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Winter Wonderland at Congress Hall

Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post but as always, all opinions are my own.

Yesterday my family and I had the pleasure of attending Winter Wonderland located at Congress Hall in Cape May, NJ.
Winter Wonderland runs November 29th 2013- January 1st 2014.
Winter Wonderland consists of Breakfast with Santa, a magical Christmas train ride, a carousel ride, story time with Mrs. Claus, and and amazing shopping village certain to fulfill all of those Christmas wishes!
Breakfast with Santa runs Saturdays November 29th 2013- December 21, 2013 with 2 seating times offered:
The first seating is at 8:30 am and the second at 10:30 am.
They also encourage you to make reservations for Breakfast with Santa as well by calling 609-884-8422.

I can honestly say this was my first time ever at Congress Hall and certainly my first time partaking in their Breakfast with Santa event!
Congress Hall certainly turned up all the magic for this event!
From the moment we arrived you could tell they completely transformed the grounds into a true Winter Wonderland complete with a carousel, Santa's workshop where Mrs. Claus read to children for story time, a beyond huge Christmas Tree, and even an adorable little train that took you around the grounds of Congress Hall.

We started our day off  enjoying breakfast with Santa and as we entered Congress Hall's Ballroom it surely did not disappoint!
The teal colored walls, extravagant chandeliers, and black and white checkered ballroom floor were an amazing backdrop for the enormous poinsettia Christmas tree fixed in the center of the room where Santa himself was seated!
Breakfast was out of this world delicious and the fact that it was a buffet really gave my children the oppurtunity to eat whatever suited their fancy that morning.
They had options of  oatmeal, cereal, eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles, and everything in between!

After we finished breakfast we headed to the front of the room to meet the big guy himself!
I can honestly say for me as a mom, this was the highlight of my day!
Congress Hall had one of the nicest, most gentle, down to earth Santa's I have ever met- he was even funny too!
In fact, he was able to get our 5 year old-for the first time EVER-to whisper into his ear what he wanted to Christmas!
Our 5 year old has never even gotten close enough to Santa to tell him what he wanted to Christmas!
Plus we were able to snap a quick picture with all of our children in it-and that is priceless!
Needless to say that experience in itself made the trip completely worthwhile!

After we met Santa we bundled up and headed out doors to enjoy the outside entertainment.  First up was the train!
We all piled into the train (the caboose of course) and were off for a ride.  
It was a pretty smooth 5 minute ride, and my boys were just over the moon to be riding on a train!
They could not contain their excitement!

After the train ride, we headed over to the carousel where our older boys were able to go for a little merry go round ride and enjoy themselves.  
After the Carousel we headed off to Story time with Mrs. Claus- which came in a close second for my day's favorite activity, as well as my children!
Just as I can not say enough for the Santa Claus that is inside Congress Hall-I had the same feelings about Mrs. Claus.
The Mrs. Claus at Congress Hall just had such a cheery, upbeat disposition to her-and she's surely got an answer for every question the children asked her!
Her enthusiasm, encouragement, and the way she prodded each child to join in during story time was just magical for our family!
You could literally see the sparkle in all of the children's eyes that were gathered around her for 
Story time.
Once story time was over, our oldest son was able to write a letter to Santa which was addressed to the North Pole and placed it in the "Santa Mail" special mail box making sure it would reach the North Pole-he was so excited!

We certainly were lucky to experience such a magical morning this Holiday Season thanks to Congress Hall in Cape May, NJ.  I highly encourage you to  check it out with your spouse or family as well as it is an event that does not disappoint!  As we left my kids immediately asking if we could go back the following weekend because they had such a great time!
Enjoy some pictures below!

Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post but as always, all opinions are my own.