Technology Hiatus

Sunday, December 22, 2013
I have been away from the computer, my phone, and even the t.v. for most of the last few days, and I have enjoyed every minute of it. Personal time is very important to my little family, and I'm glad we know when to step away from all that is technology. So what exactly have we been up to? Let's indulge! Board games. Yes, one of the most basic, old school activities. One day while out shopping, we stumbled upon an entire selection of board games. Sorry, monopoly, twister, etc. You name it, it was there. We decided to purchase a few, and to be honest I had no intention of actually playing all of them. Well, I was wrong. We have played almost every game we purchased. It's been great to see Justin's competitive streak come out, as well as my own.

The Howland's also took some gift wrapping lessons. Before I go any further I have to say I have a lot of strong suites, but wrapping gifts is just not one of them. My gift wrapping looked like it was mauled by wild animals. I can't believe my husband actually did this with me. He actually followed the instructions a lot more thoroughly than I did, and his presents were wrapped beautifully. All of Ava's gifts (with the exception of her toy box) are wrapped perfectly under our tree. I know Bug is a little too young to actually unwrap her presents, but we plan on letting her play with the wrapping paper, and let all the pretty colors fascinate her.

Since the weather has cleared up a bit, we have been spending quite a bit of time outdoors. Cooper loves the backyard in our Texas home, and he constantly has his paws on the door. This is his new way of signaling for us to let him out. Rather than staying cooped up in the house, we have been dedicating a little bit of our days to playing with our pooch. Justin throws the ball around, Ava tugs on his ears, it's really a great time. I know since bringing Ava into our family, Cooper doesn't get the same kind of attention he did before. I actually feel really bad about this. To make up for the past few months, (aside from outdoor play), I jam packed all of his favorite treats in his stocking, we took him to the groomers to be pampered, and the lucky little pooch manged to get a small plate of spaghetti this evening. Cooper seems to be enjoying life a lot more this week.

I just mentioned how the weather had cleared up, but it managed to rain on Saturday. I was so bummed about this because I thought we'd finally be able to make our way to Belton Lake. Why is Belton Lake so special? Well it's the nature in lights tour. It costs a whopping five dollars (per carload) and you get to enjoy the drive through over five and a half miles of holiday- inspired scenes.You even get to stop by Santa’s Village for hot chocolate, homemade cookies, seasonal crafts and a photo with Santa. They pass out free ornaments, and you can get a pony ride, or even stop by the petting zoo. I know Ava isn't old enough to make these memories, but I thought this event would be so great for our family, especially with Justin home for the holidays this year. The nature in lights lasts all the way until January 5th, so I know we'll make our way down there before December is over. If anyone is in the central Texas area, and wants a special holiday treat for their family, definitely give this place a look see!

Well it looks like I'm off! Christmas is 3 days away, and I haven't even finished wrapping Justin's gifts. I'm cooking an entire Christmas meal on my own, and I am so excited about it. I've added a few special side dishes on our Howland dinner menu, and I plan on attaching pictures, and recipes to a Christmas dinner blog post for all my readers to possibly try.

♥- Leilani

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