Thursday, January 21, 2016

Annual Christmas Tradition

Shortly after celebrating Thanksgiving and Tiny's birthday, we took a trip north for our annual outing at the Gaylord ice exhibit. This year we changed things up a bit and decided to go up the day before, spend the night and enjoy some away time. 

We were super excited when we checked in and learned that we had been upgraded to the penthouse suite. It had quite a bit more room than our usual Embassy Suites room and it even had a walk out balcony. Soooo fun.

Our hotel was linked to Bass Pro Shops so we headed over to check out their Christmas decorations and activities. Tiny objected even more strongly this time around to the carousel than the first. In fact, she didn't even make it until they turned it on. 

Taylor and Hal did some window shopping while we got Tiny dressed in a fun holiday outfit so we could go out to dinner. We all acquiesced to Taylor's request and ended up at Chili's. Because she would eat there every single day if it was up to her.

We also drove through Downtown Grapevine and saw the lights from afar but it was SO CROWDED that there wasn't a parking spot in sight. The next morning we had breakfast and headed over to the Gaylord first thing. This photo was taken on the way out - when we found the only thing there that Tiny wanted to see...the trains. ;)

I pretty much insist that they take a pic next to this reindeer every year. Tay was NOT excited at all. But more on that later.

This year's theme was Christmas Around the World and, to be honest, I had no idea what to expect and wasn't as thrilled about it as I had been some previous themes. But I was so pleasantly surprised. In fact, it ranks in the top three. And we've been going there for many years.

I mean...look at this!

A few (or more) pics from inside the exhibit...

...and my favorite part - year in and year out.

You'll notice that you don't see any pics of Tiny or Tonto. And that would be because the little one was not a fan of the frigid temps. Not even a little bit. So they did a quick run (literally) through of the exhibit and met us outside.

Unfortunately, my sweet teen woke up yet again the very morning we were supposed to have a ton of fun with an extremely swollen throat. Yet again. She was miserable throughout and barely touched her lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. We headed home immediately after lunch so she could crawl in bed and go to the doctor the next morning. 

She was diagnosed with strep - yet again - and this time it was just simply time to take some action. She'd had strep five times, several other bouts of pharyngitis and a tonsil abscess from February to early December. We dealt with the truancy officer (even with medical notes thanks to changes from the State of Texas) at school last semester and we were all simply DONE with her being sick all the time.

Thankfully we were able to get her into an ENT the following week and scheduled for surgery shortly before Christmas. As in three days prior.

Needless to say, it was a quiet holiday break at our house but she did EXTREMELY well - much better than we had been told to expect - and was such a trooper. We watched four seasons of Grey's Anatomy and I spent a whole lot of time with my girl. Which I absolutely loved. 

I also ended up with strep the week after she had surgery, which provided a large dose of irony, but we persevered and managed to rally a bit to celebrate the New Year. And by "celebrate," I mean we made homemade lasagna and made some cookies. :)

Sadly, Taylor had been so sick for so long that she never protested having surgery. Bless her little heart - hopefully she'll be illness free for the spring semester.