12 Days of Christmas (9, 8, 7)...

Only 9 days until Christmas - Put your Santa hats on - it's time to sort some gifts!

Our countdown continued with our church's annual Giving Tree sorting! We have been in charge of this ministry for the past three years and while I can get frustrated with the process (and the lack of direction following) I am so glad that we do this. 

It is the best way to get the kids involved in giving back in terms that they understand. From writing tags and setting up the tree to sorting gifts and making sure they are all accounted for, they play a very active role in making sure this gets done!

What I love even more is that they can all actually help! We had a blast pulling all the gifts from the closet and sorting them into groups by agency. 

We also had a ton of volunteers help package the gift cards for a maternity shelter in Temple...

and count gifts for St. Joseph Manor in Bryan and others for some Head Start kiddos in College Station.

Amber and her kiddos helped me a ton this year which made the process even more fun! We sorted, counted and bagged over 400 gifts from our church...every single one sealed with love!

Only 8 days until Christmas - Let's add to our manger scene!

So, I'm not gonna lie. This one was a last minute substitute for something else I had planned, but Josh surprised us with tickets to Star Wars and my parents were heading to town for the night which meant free babysitting! Gigi helped the kids put together a manger scene while we enjoyed a night out with friends and that's maybe the best gift ever!


ps. How cute are the boys in their {unplanned} matching shirts?!?! We were all in our favorite SW gear... because clearly.

Only 7 days until Christmas - This is a time for family - we're heading to BATON ROUGE!!!

I somehow managed to keep this little outing a secret - even though they knew we were going to BR at some point. They were super pumped about it and got even more excited when they discovered that Alfie had plans to join us. 

Gigi and Pops left early on Friday with Landry in tow. Me and the bigs left at 10 so they could be counted present for school. We made just in time to sit and visit for minute before heading out to dinner with my dad's siblings and all my cousins. 

Every time we do this, we basically take over a restaurant. Imagine lots of loud talkers, mouth kissers, and a steady cadence of "you need to eat!" and that's my #bigfatItalianfamily.

In other words - the perfect evening. 

Because #whole30 was clearly off limits this trip! :)

The next day we took this crew to visit Santa before heading back to the house for... 

MaMaw's NINETIETH birthday celebration. 

90 years - that's just crazy and obviously amazing and we were all so glad to be there for her special day!

We partied hard on Saturday and then headed to NOLA for one last special surprise... 

but I have a whole post planned for BR/NOLA so come back! 

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