Clare’s 6th, Christmas and a visit from family

Whew….December and January were busy but SO FUN!

December 14 was Clare’s 6th birthday, and her last day of school before the holiday break. That evening her BFF Cailey had a birthday party and our whole family attended. It was great fun, and it was nice finding a new soft play to look forward to this summer 🙂

That weekend we spent 2 nights at Atlantis celebrating, we enjoyed their Aquarium, water park (although the water was FREEZING!), holiday activities and amazing food.

Christmas Eve and Christmas were seriously magical…my favorite Christmas yet 🙂 It was so cool having all 3 kids excited for presents and Santa.

Shawn’s brother Courtney and our niece Lilli came and stayed with us during New Year’s. We had so much fun, did so many amazing things, but the best part was just hanging out and being together. It was so cool that Lilli is all grown up (15)…we could talk and have fun like friends! I can’t believe she was my little flower girl. Time flies!!!! Here are just a few of the millions of pictures we took:

As for 2018, I am continuing focusing on my physical health with diet and exercise, I once again did a round of Whole30 in January ,aka Dry January – no booze. I am also continuing with yoga and weightlifting. Shawn is also trying to focus more on his health, having joined a softball league and walking to work as much as possible. We are also trying to cut our budget – things are getting more and more expensive in Dubai, including the addition of a 5% tax for almost everything – including our already expensive utilities 😦 So far we have cut down (almost completely) on eating out, buying coffees out, and buying alcoholic drinks out. I even pack Shawn’s lunch for work 🙂 This is helping tremendously I think, as these things are astronomically expensive in Dubai. Also I have given my beloved baby sitter notice that as of May 1 we will most likely not be able to afford her services regularly. Right now she comes 2 mornings a week for 4 hours so that I can work out, etc. It is a luxury I have enjoyed and I know how blessed I am as a stay at home mom to have enjoyed it for this long. I always rationalized it that most people have their parents and/or in-laws around to help out with the kids, which we obviously do not. Anyway, health and budget are our 2018 goals. We shall see how we do!