Snow Day!

My Mom only wanted one thing for Christmas, and that was for it to snow in Southern Arizona.  It happened for a few days last year, but it did not seem like it was going to happen over the holidays this time.  She must have been on the “Nice” list this year, as she got her wish right before they headed back home.

Pretty sure I am about to be hit with a snowball…

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Finding Time for Rest & Relaxation

Any single parent is bound to tell you that it is difficult to fit in time for yourself or something other than child-related activities.  I assure you that I am no different.  When you get the chance though, I highly recommend taking it, as you do not know when you are going to get an opportunity again.  With my parents in town for the holidays, I definitely made good use of a few hours away from cleaning and making meals that will only be half eaten.

Pretty sure I got a double bogey on this hole…

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Merry Christmas from the Calkins Family

I will post a good summary of our Christmas holiday later, but wanted to wish all of you a Merry Christmas, from my family to yours.

Different Card; Same Adorable Niñas

This is our family Christmas card that we sent out this year.  Bill Bonner at Reign Photography took our pictures for the second consecutive year, which we were obviously very happy with.  Thanks again, Bill.

It was honestly really tough to fit an entire year into an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper…

Along with our Christmas card, we also sent out our Year in Review.  While I have seen them, I had never done one before, and I will admit that it was quite hard to condense our amazing year down to a few bullet points.  For followers of this blog, you probably read the first-hand account from most of these adventures, but there may be a few new ones that snuck in there.

Actual Gabby Quote: “I want a unicorn… and a girl to ride the unicorn… oh, and I’ve been a really good girl… so please get me that.”

Since most of you probably did not get these in the mail, the girls and I just wanted to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas.  I hope you all have a great holiday season and I will try to get in another post before we head to Great Wolf Lodge in Scottsdale for New Year’s.

Thanks for checking in on us.

Cheers!

Night of Extraordinary Lights Holiday Village

There is no shortage of things to do around the holidays.  Unfortunately for us, any activity, especially one in Tucson, takes away from preparing for the girls’ grandparents to arrive on Christmas week.  Thankfully, Fort Huachuca has plenty of holiday events.  And when one of the biggest of the season is literally a block from our house, there is really no excuse not to grab the girls and join in on the fun.

The girls started off the Christmas season by each eating an untoasted marshmallow from the S’mores station… absolute sacrilege.

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It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas

While developing a routine for yourself and your children is absolutely critical to being a successful single parent, anything that falls outside of that routine needs to be made into an event, to be lifted up as a spectacle.  Whether it is going to Grandma’s house, the zoo, or the children’s museum, every event needs to be celebrated and made into something uniquely memorable.  Christmas itself is enough to celebrate, but it is important to make all the little things that are a part of Christmas an event themselves.  Here’s to the 3rd Annual Calkins Family Christmas Tree Decoration Event!

I hope the girls know that this is the “before” picture…

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Princess Baking

While we were eating dinner the other night, Gabriella was thumbing through one of last year’s Christmas gifts: The Disney Princess Cookbook.  While debating on making Bull’s-Eye Pizza (Brave) or Ham and Cheese Biscuit Braids (Tangled) in the future, the girls simultaneously saw something that they both wanted to make.  Since it was easy and we had all the ingredients, it looked like after dinner the Calkins Family would be making Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo Magic Wands.

They love any baking that involves sprinkles

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Fundraisers

As any parent will know, your children are always watching you and picking up things from your behavior (for better or for worse).  Because of this, you always need to be on your toes to ensure that your children are picking up the right values.  Sometimes you get lucky though and can show these values through your normal actions.  This happened a few weeks ago when we attended back-to-back fundraisers, with my daughters learning the values of helping support others.

And this is why I still carry wet wipes with me, because sometimes napkins will just not do.

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Play Dates

A couple weeks ago, Elaina’s best friend, Elora, invited Elaina and Gabriella over for a play date with her and her sister, Emma.  Since we had not already planned our activity for that Saturday, the girls gladly took them up on the offer, “scheduling” a home-and-home (for all you college football fans) with her parents for this and the following weekend.

From this perspective, I just realized how expensive this activity looks (it is not)

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