My Family Lights Up My Life! Fun at the Philadelphia Zoo’s Luminature

Yesterday, my daughter, mother, sister in-law, nieces and I arrived at the Philadelphia Zoo in the evening ready for some amazing sights. While the animals slumbered, the beautiful lights and decorations lit the night’s sky at their annual Luminature event. There was a huge light-up penguin show, a big flamingo tree, shimmer just about everywhere we turned, a sea display and gorgeous Christmas trees, and we were enamored by it all!

What made this evening extra special was watching my daughter and niece’s faces light up as they walked and even raced to the next light display letting out joyous giggles. I’m so grateful for these moments and am glad Quinn expressed interest in going for a third time.

All the best,

Tanya

A Merry Christmas with the “Presence” of Family

When I asked my daughter what she enjoyed most about Christmas yesterday, she said that she loved getting presents, but it made her feel good to give presents too because she loves seeing how happy people are as they open gifts. But she also said getting to spend time with family was something she really enjoyed.

Last year, we were stayed at home for Christmas as Covid restrictions were in full swing, there was limited vaccines and it was highly recommended that people limit their interactions to just their immediate family. With the Omicron variant on the rise, we may find ourselves back under restrictions as it continues to make its way to more people.

It’s times like this that I’m glad we have a relatively small family and that we’re all taking precautions to remain safe. While no one knows for sure what will happen in the days or months to come, just like Quinn, I’m so glad I got to enjoy the presence of my family for Christmas.

All the best,

Tanya

On the First Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to me…the gift of picking out our Christmas Tree!

On the first day of Christmas, my daughter gave to me…the gift of picking out our Christmas tree! This is one Christmas tradition with both love. This year, we did, however, break tradition. My family decided to vote. My husband wanted a less fluffy tree, and my eight year old wanted a shorter, less fluffy tree. Even though I prefer getting the tallest tree possible that almost scrapes our ceiling, seeing Quinn’s eyes light up when she found the tree she wanted made me feel merry.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, Target Gave to Me Pajama Fun with My Family!

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, Target Gave to Me Pajama Fun with My Family!

Even though my husband’s pajama size was all sold out, which he didn’t mind since he’s not into wearing funny pajamas, my daughter puppy and I absolutely love it! Well, our puppy tolerates it.

Here’s to having a fun-filled Christmas Eve, watching “A Christmas Story,” eating cookies, playing games and just getting ready and excited for Christmas Day!

All the bes,

Tanya

On the Fifth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Smile to see her on Santa’s Nice List

On the Fifth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Smile to see her on Santa’s Nice List.

We all know Santa’s making a list and checking it twice. He knows who’s naughty and nice. My seven year old may not be perfect, but she really is a sweet little girl who listens, never talks back, tries her best, does well in school, tends to our puppy Zack, helps out around the house (even though I occasionally have to give a gentle nudge) and was even willing to help me shovel snow when I told her she could just play.

Though most children are resilient, we mustn’t forget how tough this year must be for them with not seeing family and friends and possibly not doing traditional Christmas activities. I am so grateful for my daughter. She definitely deserves to be on Santa’s nice list!

All the best,

Tanya

On the Third Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me a Willingness to Accept and Love Me Just as I am!

On the Third Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…a willingness to accept and love me…just as I am! I’ve always loved Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, especially his story, and we’ve had him as a Christmas decoration for years now. But this year we had some new editions: the land of misfit toys characters.

Interestingly, my daughter didn’t recall most of these characters, so we rewatched the movie together in hopes that she would like it just as much as I do. I revealed to my seven year old that I identified with Rudolph, Hermey and the Land of Misfits toys because there’s been times, especially when I was younger, that I didn’t feel like I belonged and that I was nothing more than a Misfit.

She came towards me and put her hand on my shoulder to give me a hug and then told me, “Mommy, you’re not a misfit. Even if you felt that way when you were younger, you never were a misfit because you’re perfect just the way you are!” Hearing my seven year old say that melted my heart. I felt like a little girl again yet this time, I felt a healing from her words rather than a brokenness from my own inner thoughts as a child.

Now, when I look at the Land of Misfits characters all lit up in our yard, I think of hope and the benefits of being different and special all thanks to my daughter.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Second Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to me… Terrific Teamwork Decorating Our Christmas Tree

On the Second Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to me…terrific teamwork decorating our Christmas tree. After selecting and bringing home our Christmas tree, the excitement to decorate it with my daughter quickly builds. We stuck with our theme of pink, purple and blue this year since blue is my favorite color, and pink and purple are Quinn’s top two.

For the first time, we actually filmed hanging decorations from start to finish as part of her YouTube video, but as I reviewed and edited the footage, I found myself in awe at how we worked together as a team. We asked for advice on what should go where. I made sure to not hang certain ornaments I know she loves so that she’d have the opportunity to hang them herself. And we managed to get the tree decorated from top to bottom with the lights, ornaments, tulle and start within less than an hour.

We both love looking at our lovely tree all decorated for Christmas. It most certainly puts smiles on both of our faces.

All the best,

Tanya

On the First Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to me…fun times picking out our Christmas Tree!

On the first day of Christmas, my daughter gave to me…fun times picking out our Christmas tree! With Covid restrictions in place, some of our usual Christmas traditions just won’t happen this year. Even though we’ll miss spending time with family, going to see Santa and having fun dining experiences, that won’t stop us from having extra special moments this Christmas season.

One of our favorite activities is selecting our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. Usually, it’s just us and a handful of other families, but there were far more this year. It was nice to see how many people were already in the Christmas spirit. Quinn even decided to do a video for her YouTube channel on picking out our tree. Our tree isn’t as big as the previous years since we have our puppy Zack and weren’t sure how he would do with the tree, but we love it just the same. We both just love this time of year!

All the best,

Tanya

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Sweet Family Time in Hersheypark

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Sweet Family Time in Hersheypark!

Yesterday, my daughter and I had a wonderful time at one of the sweetest places on earth: Hersheypark! Though we’ve been there before, this was our first time going during the Christmas season. My sister and niece joined us, and we all had a wonderful time. It wasn’t overly crowded, it was unseasonably warm, and we got to see Santa’s reindeer, including Rudolph, caught a Christmas show, enjoyed some treats, hot cocoa and the beautiful lights everywhere.

Based on the fun we had, this just might become a new tradition for us each year. Today, I’ll have to keep it short so that my daughter and I can have some Christmas Eve fun! 😉

All the best,

Tanya

On the Second Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Gorgeously Decorated Christmas Tree

On the Second Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Gorgeously Decorated Christmas Tree…

“Fluffy already looks good, but she’s going to look fabulous once she’s all decorated,” my six year old informed me. Fluffy is not our pet cat or dog but our Christmas tree who got its inspired, allegorical name from my daughter. Every few years, we change the theme or color scheme of our ornaments, but this year, we both decided to keep purple, pink and blue (well more of a turquoise) because it reflects both of our favorite colors.

Though we already had plenty of ornaments we purchased last year, we went to Michael’s and got a few more for our tall tree to make it even better. Once the day came to decorate, I took care of putting in the lights, and Quinn did a good amount of hanging the ornaments with my assistance. She made it clear that she wanted to hang the ones that looked like sweet treats, such as donuts, lollipops and popsicles and that she wanted to hang the different birds and “special” ornaments too. I remember being excited to hang ornaments when I was younger, and I still am because I get to do it with my daughter and create special memories with her.

We’re both pleased with our tree that not only provides happiness but a feeling of accomplishments we admire its gorgeous ornaments.

All the best,

Tanya