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Blog Update 5: Happy Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday, The Holiday Season, New Additions, and Traditions.

“The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings and seek out ways to make life better for those around us.” – Anonymous

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you had a wonderful day with your family and friends. After our busy morning, our family finished the day with full stomachs and gratitude. A restful nap was also thrown in there too.

I usually wait a few months before I do updates, so this is kind of a surprise that this one is coming out so soon after the last one. I’ve chosen to do this simply because there are so many things added to my schedule between now and the end of the year, it’s just best to stay on top of it and let it all out now… let most of it out now. So, let’s get to it.

As usual, thank you so much for sticking around for all of my shenanigans. I will be honest and say, I never thought I would’ve gotten this far. I know it couldn’t and wouldn’t have been possible without you. So again, from the very bottom of my heart, thank you!

The holiday season is about togetherness, family, and gratitude. At least for me, it is. I am one of those people who believe Christmas is more than just a day. It’s a feeling. It’s magic. It’s family. Its tradition. It’s a season of traditions. For instance, I don’t like to put my Christmas tree up until after Thanksgiving. If for some reason I can’t wait or we have big changes coming up (like we do this year), I will put it up Thanksgiving night. I even wrote an entire article about it for Jacksonville Mom. You can find it here. Another tradition is that I bake. I bake A LOT. This year Mark got to help me make each pie. He LOVES my kitchen aid mixer. His love of cooking and baking is really taking off and I love that we can do this together. Just another big change.

Speaking of big changes coming up, Make Your Mark has community partners! I will be making a formal announcement about those a little later on and I am thrilled about it. We also have a lot of appointments coming up. Both Mark and I have a few important doctor’s visits coming up. Mark’s appointments in the new year are far more important than anything I have going on, but I will be sure to have a post with that journey explaining a bit more.

Mark is his usual rambunctious, crazy, silly self. He is so loving and learning SO much every single day. We have full conversations and he is super picky about his food. He has moved to a big boy bed (a queen-size bed), and his room is going to be redone shortly. He is becoming so independent and learning to push boundaries. Mark is also good at testing my patience and ignores me when I say no. In fact, he likes to tell me “no” a lot lately. So you know… that’s fun.

Today, I turned my back for a second, and when I turned around, he was standing on his little table from Ikea. He loves the firepit and learned how to roast marshmallows. He learned to make marshmallows the way I like them, caught on fire and toasted. He is always exploring and pushing limits. Typical boy. I guess this is what it means to be a boy mom. I think it also means I have about 50 mini heart attacks every day. I love this stage, but MAN do I miss the baby snuggles. He is practically unstoppable now.

I’ve noticed that in my writing, I have kind of shifted focus from Mark’s journey to my own journey. I hope this is okay. I’ve been asked what the reason for the shift was. The answer, simply put, is that Mark is in school now during the days. He is learning something new every day and is picking up all sorts of new habits- both good ones and bad. He is growing right before my very eyes. I will be sure to continue sharing his progress and share stories of our adventures as they happen but for now, the next few weeks will be primarily on me. 2022 is going to be MOSTLY about him and it has to do with an announcement coming in a few weeks.

This holiday season, remember to shop small, shop local, and give back!

With the holidays coming up, I encourage you to shop small and shop local and with our partner, Bocabebe! Whether you are buying for a baby shower, or a new addition to your own family, Bocabebe has the cutest, safest, and best quality baby teethers and accessories. Mark couldn’t go without his for the longest time and they managed to survive the worst beating a baby teether can take. She has new products rolling out and takes custom orders.* If you are not buying for a loved one, a baby shower, or new addition, consider making a donation to Mark’s Mission. Please consider purchasing a preemie onesie, or a board book to be donated to Mark’s Mission for families to create bonding experiences in the NICU. Or, purchase a Bocabebe teether to be donated in our NICU Graduation Bags!

*Please note: I do not get paid for any of this. There is no financial transaction, benefit, or stipend given to me for any of this. I will not support or promote anything I do not believe in.*

Once again, thank you for coming on this journey with us. Thank you for your support. This is more than I ever thought possible and I am just grateful that you are still here.