Christmas is over, but it has not yet left the town square. I had a family portrait session there today, so I walked around before they arrived. The square never ceases to make me feel nostalgic. It is quaint, and southern, and traditional.

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This was the easiest Christmas of my adult life. No one came over, albeit the usual relatives like my brother, aunt & uncle, papa & mema aren't exactly high maintenance. Just my mom, my sister and myself catering to Aurora as usual. We didn't have to get up early and stress out. It was a very relaxing day. Rory did wake up earlier than usual, but she crawled into my bed and watched my phone until Auntie Brie came and opened my door. She was thrilled to see the presents surrounding the tree and that the cookies she left out had been eaten. She wasn't too thrilled to have to wait while the old folks sipped their coffee and rubbed their eyes (I'm referring to myself). An eternal 20 minutes later we allowed her to rip into her brightly wrapped and packed gifts with equal politeness and ferocity. She was even generous enough to help the adults unwrapped their stuff too. Did I mention she was exuberant with each new toy, and abruptly threw each item of clothing across the room? Then we had cinnamon rolls for breakfast and went to walk around the town square.

We walked through the Enchanted Forrest of Christmas lights and saw a house that had lights set to music. Then we went home and ate a delicious lasagna that my mom made from scratch, she is the best cook on the planet! It was a good, simple, happy Christmas.

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Needless to say all this pushing has finally caught up with me. Today I woke up feeling like I had the flu. Selling the house, holding a yard-sale, and throwing Rory's birthday party has taken it's toll. But it's all in the past and here are some photos from the party.

Not exactly Pinterest perfect, but I gave it my best shot. I think it turned out pretty cute, and all the kids had fun. I managed to snap a few photos of everything before it got too crazy. But I didn't get many shots of Rory's friends or the photobooth, it was rather stressful & I just wanted to enjoy the party.

I managed to vlog a bit too, by the way I've been doing Vlogmas. I've missed a couple days now, but go check it out.

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Not only are we moving, we're moving cross country. From Texas to Oregon. Basically I'm moving to a new country, without the language barrier.

So far I am trying to plan rest stops every 5 hours or so to water the animals and stretch our legs.
Here to Amarillo TX
Amarillo to Colorado Springs CO
CS to Grand Junction which will be our overnight stay at a hotel
GJ to Salt Lake City UT
SLC to Boise ID
And then finally we will arrive in Oregon.

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Aurora's turning the big 3 in January, and our theme is unicorns! I'm obsessed with unicorns, therefore so is she. Rory's birthday is my big event every year, we don't do much for other holidays, so this party is when I go all out! I am trying to get as much done beforehand as possible to minimize stress. I have plenty of DIY decorations to make, but I've also ordered plenty from Amazon to put the party over the top.

Being in January, I have to plan the whole party indoors. I would love to have a unicorn scavenger hunt or a bounce house, but chances are it will be very cold. Nonetheless toddlers are relatively easy to entertain so the activities I have planned so far are coloring unicorn masks, ring toss, pin the horn on the unicorn, and of course a photo booth.

I've outdone myself with this years party favors, I think this party will be a hit. I may have gone overboard, but I just want my baby to have the best birthday. She doesn't get to go on a lot of play dates or hang out with other kids often enough. Not like one day will make up for that, honestly it's just as much for me as her.

Obviously I won't get any food until right before the party, but here's some inspiration. There's eight weeks before the party and the guests have been invited. I'd say I have it pretty well planned.

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This month was kind of a mess, in retrospect I accomplished a lot, but it started off with my mom's father passing away, and ended with me sick and miserable with the cold from hell. I had several successful photo sessions, a couple cancellations, and the best wedding of my photography career to date. The latest of which has resulted in what I hope will blossom into a business relationship with a new, modern/rustic venue in town. I also was able to enjoy pumpkins, hayrides, and fall festivals with my daughter (who will be 3 in two months!) and my mom and my sister. My mom turned 56. And although I might not be able to quit waiting tables as soon as I hoped next year, I still never cease to strive for my own business & passion.

November Goals:
- More daily vlogs
- Blog fitness journey
- Christmas mini sessions

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As you can see, Aurora and I were mermaids for Halloween! Auntie Brie joined us as a pirate for our spooky adventures.The day before Halloween we went as a family to a fall festival at our YMCA, then to Granscary haunted house and cemetery hayride.

Halloween day was cold and rainy, but we weren't going to let that stop us from trick-or-treating. We went around the Square and then to Family Fest at the First Baptist church, saw a few friends, lots of costumes, and even Princess Ariel! Most importantly, we went home with lots and lots of candy.

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Today Aurora and I went to Arison Farm's Annual Pumpkin Picking Event! There's vendors, food, music & hayrides. The vendors included locally made soaps, honey, toys, face-painting, books, clothes & more. Lots of fun to be had, we didn't get our faces painted because the line was really long.

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My Papa (pawpaw) aka grandpa passed away. It was sudden but not unexpected, he suffered from Alzheimer's the last several years of his life. I didn't have much of a relationship with him, I was one of 17 grandchildren.

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