Merry Christmas, from the Crumbs family to yours!
Many years ago Mr. Crumbs and I stopped sending Christmas cards to family. As much as we wanted to, we just couldn’t afford it! It was one of the many small things we gave up in order to save money and pay off our debt.
Our desire to share our year with you didn’t disappear though, so we now share our annual Christmas letter here on the blog!
You can read our previous Christmas letters from 2014 here, 2015 here, 2017 here, and 2018 here. I don’t know what happened in 2016… LOL!!
Without further ado, here’s our 2019 Crumbs Christmas letter!
The year started out pretty ho-hum here in Atlanta. We usually get some sort of snow, and we got well over a foot of snow just before Christmas 2018!!
But not last winter. We got zip, nothing, nada. And I think we were all a bit bummed.
So school started up again on schedule without much hoopla.
Later in January though, I had the honor of meeting up with several gals in my Young Living team in Asheville, NC. We stayed in a beautiful mountain lodge, tried to beat each other’s time in an escape room, and stayed up WAAAAY too late munching on tortilla chips and salsa (my personal weakness). I have the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful people online, but to get to meet them in person is such a blessing!
Looking back, I’m kind of thankful that January was calm, because February was not!
Mr. Crumbs had been testing the waters with magnesium lotion and this past February, he made it official! Magnesium Lotion Shop hit the ground running and so far has helped thousands of families sleep better at night.
He hasn’t left his regular job yet though, so he runs the shop when he gets home at night and on the weekends. The kids and I pitch in when there’s a sale (like Black Friday and Cyber Monday) so it’s truly a family business. It’s been a lot of fun watching the kids help him with the business… with the printing and labeling and packing… and we hope they’re learning the value of hard work.
We took 2018 off from gardening, but this year we re-vamped our front side yard and planted tomatoes, sweet peppers and hot peppers. Of course I can say now (several months later) that the harvest was great! It’s definitely something we’re considering for 2019.
Living outside Atlanta, we’re just a day’s drive from Florida… so naturally, when we think of where to go for vacation, we head south!
This year for spring break, we took the kids camping in Orlando and visited Kennedy Space Center!
If you’ve never been to the space center, YOU MUST GO! We all had an AMAZING day there. It’s super clean, enjoyable for the whole family, and a good balance of education and fun.
We also realized during this trip that our kids LOVE fishing! We picked up poles and bait at the local Walmart and they literally sat on the pier at the lake for HOURS (which – let’s admit – was nice for mom and dad too! LOL!!).
They had so much fun that going forward, they want to find camping places that have lakes or ponds so they can fish again!
The kids and I have a tradition where we get ice cream on the last day of school… except that none of the local ice cream shops are open, LOL!
This year we changed it up and went to a local smoothie shop, and it was SO GOOD! The kids loved it as much as I did, and we all decided to do it on the first day of school too.
When school let out, Mr. Crumbs and I sent them off to visit the grandparents in Delaware and we headed to St. Petersburg, Florida for SAILING SCHOOL!!
Mr. Crumbs has a dream to one day go on a huge sailing trip, and learning how to sail was the first step. Despite sleeping in a leaky boat with an overflowing toilet and the engine failing multiple times while out on the water, we passed! And we had a great time together too.
We packed food for breakfasts and lunches, but made a point to try out the local restaurants. We self-imposed a rule to never eat at the same place twice, which was fun and hard too – especially when we found a place we really liked!! But it was a lot of fun to experience more of St. Pete beyond the marina and the boat.
We stayed a few extra nights at a super cute AirBnB in St. Pete’s Beach to “decompress” from the stressful week, but also because both Father’s Day and my birthday and our wedding anniversary are all in the same week. So while sailing school was Mr. Crumbs’ idea, kicking my feet up and not cooking or cleaning for a few days was MY idea!!
While in St. Pete, we found a super cute local French bakery with AMAZING pastries. In fact, this place was SO GOOD, that it was the only place we broke our “visit only once” rule!
Funny story – Mr. Crumbs and I couldn’t decide which pastries we wanted (they all looked so good!) so we got FOUR for the two of us.
Now you guys – these pastries were HUGE. Like, half the size of my face. And hubby and I aren’t big people… so when the owner asked if these pastries were all for “just us,” we couldn’t help but laugh!
The Girl turned 10 this summer, which means my youngest is now a tween. WHAT?!
Despite the ebbing hormones and the fact that she’s outgrowing her clothes at breakneck speed, she’s such a joy to be with. She has such a great sense of humor and is truly fun to be around.
She was gifted tickets to two different concerts, and lucky me, I was her plus one! We had such a blast having these two nights all to ourselves with no boys. I look forward to more “girl nights” in the future!
For her birthday, we tried dyeing her hair blue with food dye… which didn’t work. A neighbor girl used kool-aid and it worked TOO well – her hair has been dyed red since summer! Which made me thankful that A) we didn’t use kool-aid, and B) we don’t drink kool-aid!
We traveled much of June, which is normal for us, but it means we spend July at home. This year we spent several days boating at the local lakes.
I’ll tell you what – it’s hard to beat packing lunches and spending the day on the lake!! I think those were my favorite days of the summer.
The kids start school the first week of August. The Girl is in 5th grade, The Boy is in 7th and they’re both in band (she plays flute, he plays percussion). The Girl chose cheerleading as her sport this year, and I must say, it suits her well! I think after a season of gymnastics and then dance, we may have found a winner!
I think this is the first year I was bummed the kids went back to school. When they were younger, I couldn’t WAIT for them to go back. Young kids thrive on routine, and summer just begs for anything but that.
But as my kids get older, they’re just so much fun to hang out with!! Between the pool and concerts and basketball games and just hot chocolate dates, I wasn’t ready for them to go back.
The following week I went to a conference in San Diego. I was able to hob-shnob with some pretty impressive health experts, but also hang out with some of my good blogging friends.
My grandmother turned 80 this year, which is a HUGE birthday milestone and we wanted to do something really special for her. She’s always taking care of other people and can be very stubborn when it comes to letting people treat her… which makes taking her to dinner or really treating her to anything really hard, LOL!!
So we simply made it where she couldn’t treat and we took her on a Caribbean cruise with the kids!
It was truly a trip of a lifetime and I’m so thankful to have spent that time with her. She was hesitant at first, but wishing the trip was longer when it was time to go home. THAT’s how you know you had a good trip!
The Boy turned 12 which means I have one year left before I have a teenager in the house. HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?!
He’s also growing fast and eating tons and dodging those awful hormones, but he’s growing into such a wonderful young man. He still loves the outdoors and he’s starting to like kombucha, which is fun for me because we try a new flavor each week from Sprouts. (It’s part of our weekly nature walk date while his sister is at cheer practice.)
He’s taking a break from basketball and has become a seriously good ping pong player. We gifted him a set of new paddles for his birthday and it’s now a rarity that he doesn’t win the game. Which is good, because he’s a very sore loser, LOL!!
He had a ping pong tournament for his birthday and Mr. Crumbs took him with on his annual trip to the Annapolis Boat Show. This is something Mr. Crumbs did with his dad every year growing up, so it was special to surprise my father-in-law with my son going too.
While the boys were away, The Girl and I adopted a puppy!
Her name is Cammi and she’s a Chihuahua with a little bit of Dachshund thrown in there. As of this writing, she’s 5 months old and getting used to the routine of sleep, eat and potty outside. The kids are doing a great job taking care of her, and she does a great job of keeping my lap warm during the day.
I’m still a leader in Youth Group, and this year our small group went as the cast of Parks and Rec. This was the first year I’ve ever dressed up as a guy… but I think I played the part well!
November is bookmarked with good friends and good food.
At the beginning of the month, I went to Nashville for another conference and again got to see some good blogging and business friends. At the end of the month, I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for 10!
We had the traditional turkey and mashed potatoes, but the rest of the meal was NOT traditional – which makes me laugh. I’ve always felt like I “had” to make such-and-such dish for Thanksgiving dinner, but why? Who says that’s a rule?
So like I often do, I broke the rules and did my own thing. And you know what? It was perfect.
With Thanksgiving so late, December came and then all of a sudden it felt like it was Christmas!
I know there were a few band concerts, kombucha / hot chocolate nature walks with my son while my daughter was at cheer practice, and of course our annual cookie decorating bonanza. We also hosted Mr. Crumbs’ parents for a long weekend, which is always a pleasure.
We have family that lives on a small farm in South Carolina, so this year is littered with weekends away visiting them, catching sheep, wrangling chickens and watching my nephews grow up and mature way too fast too.
Tell me this – what’s up with kids growing up so fast? And what can we do to stop that from happening?!
As for Mr. Crumbs and I, we’re good. It feels weird and kind of boring saying that, but that’s how it feels. Nothing major this year. We’re all healthy and enjoying what God has put on our plates.
We work hard so we can play hard, and we feel incredibly blessed to be able to do the things we can do because it wasn’t long ago that we couldn’t. And we pray that God never lets us forget that.
In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
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