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Month: January 2017

Emergency Passport, Atlanta and College Football

Emergency Passport, Atlanta and College Football

“When are you leaving?”

It’s the question we get asked multiple times per day. We originally planned to be gone the first of the year, but things don’t always go as planned.

We’ve been waiting on our visas to arrive and were thrilled to finally get them in the mail this week. Unfortunately, the excitement didn’t last long when we realized that one of the boy’s passports wasn’t in the envelope with the rest. And we always travel with all of our boys. 😉

We called the embassy the next day to try and figure out what had happened only for them to tell us they mailed all of the passports back to us. That’s a problem.

Now we either sit back and hope our 7 year old’s passport arrives…or we can take matters into our own hands.

We  decided the latter and needed to get a replacement passport as soon as possible. We called the US Passport Agency and made an appointment for the following day….in Atlanta. Both parents have to be present to receive a child’s passport so we woke up early the next morning and loaded up the boys for a road trip. Our appointment was in the morning and the sweet people at the agency told us to come back later that afternoon to pick up the newly prepared passport. So, we found ourselves in Atlanta for the day and needed something to do. No need to worry- there are plenty of things to do in ATL.

It has been fascinating to watch our boys become slightly obsessed with football this Fall. With that said- we decided to head over to the College Football Hall of Fame. 

The boys practiced their skills in the obstacle course.

Got in the game withe the virtual reality stadium.

And even had a chance to test their skills as a college football announcer.

I literally had to drag the boys out at closing time. If you have a football fan in your life, this is the place to go.

We closed out the day by picking up the brand new passport. So, for those keeping count at home– we have an unforeseen trip to ATL, emergency passport for the eight year old, a solid day at the College Football Hall of Fame… and an upcoming departure back to our home in the Middle East in the days to come.

And the winner is….

And the winner is….


The votes have been counted and the results are in.

Brook’s apartment ornament received 60 votes.

Britten’s Hermosa Beach ornament received 12 votes.

Two people declared the 2016 competition a tie.

I’m over the moon excited that I have secured bragging rights for 2017 but fully expect Britten to reclaim his title in the days ahead.

Ornament Swap 2016

Ornament Swap 2016

Last week our yearly Christmas date night and ornament swap went down.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about then take two minutes to get up to speed by reading the short explanation of our Christmas tradition.

The anticipation and build up was evident for many weeks leading up to our date night. Britten and I didn’t miss an opportunity to talk trash or taunt each other with the assurance that our ornament would win this year.

I’ll let you decide who you think came away with the win.

Here is the story behind the ornaments…

1. This past summer we took our first vacation sans kids since 2006 and I’m still not sure why we waited so long to do so. It was an amazing week touring L.A., riding bikes through Venice Beach and watching the Crossfit Games. One of our favorite nights during the trip was the night we went to Hermosa Beach, ate pizza at a little hole in the wall and sat for hours on the beach with our feet in the sand talking about life and dreaming about the future. As parents of many little guys, the opportunity to talk face to face with no interruptions doesn’t come often, which made this particular night such a gift. It was a night we both want to remember for a long time. Thanks to this ornament, we can remember it every Christmas when we hang the Hermosa Beach ornament on the tree. 

2. We have lived in 1,569, I mean a few different homes in our marriage. Each home was special and unique in it’s own way, but after a while it’s difficult to remember the various homes and what you treasure about each one. However, there are a few that have made an eternal impression on our lives. Our home in 2016 is one of those. The six story apartment building. The street name. The parking space under the building. The double glass door going into the lobby. The date we arrived. The city in which we lived. All those and more will be remembered each year that we pull out this hand painted Christmas ornament.

**If you’re wondering, the top two right hand windows were our home in 2016. And we also had the upper area which was the outside space for our kids to frolic. 

In my humble opinion, it was a strong year for Christmas ornaments and we will treasure both of these for years to come, but I’m leaving the final outcome of this year’s contest in the hands of my readers.

Notice I didn’t tell you who bought each ornament. That was on purpose. If you would, take a second to decide which ornament you think won this year and cast your vote. We look forward to gloating and basking in our success upon hearing the results.