Surprising Papa

My grandfather that lives in Charlotte turned 93th in the middle of January. My mom & her two sisters concocted the idea for them to plan to go spend a long weekend with him in February to celebrate his birthday & to have his grands & great-grands arrive Friday to surprise him with a big family visit & dinner Saturday. & it worked!

Tine & her family were the first grands to arrive late afternoon taking Papa by surprise. We left after work Friday & after a bunch of traffic leaving town, made it through north Charlotte without a traffic blip & arrived just after dinner. We snuck as quietly as two super excited 5.5 yr olds can sneak down the hallway & yelled surprise! My cousin Preston & his family showed up not even 5 mins after us. Just in time for the 5 great-grands to help Papa blow out his candles on cake #1!Suzs treats Papa greatgrands cake

All the family stayed at a nearby hotel with the cousins & kids being 3 rooms in a row making for lots of little cousin fun & late nights! We had breakfast together Saturday morning, all headed uptown to ImaginOn then Mom kids & I had lunch at the nearby 7th St Market.

Suzs Treats ImaginOn

Saturday afternoon, Jason & I took off to NoDa Brewery while the grandparents watched the littles.

Suz's Treats NoDa

We all met back up to get ready for dinner complete with lots of “look at my twirls” from the little girls & try my drink & hair wand from the bigger girls. Then it was dinner time. We had our own dining room but 5 kids 5.5 & under meant lots of Clubhouse shenanigans!

Suzs Treats Papa dinner

Followed by another late night at the hotel with kids running & bouncing from room to room before finally crashing at 11p! So much fun! So tired Sunday morning! We all decided to head back towards home in the rain Sunday morning. & thankfully all got home uneventfully.

Lucy & I even had time to make it to her first girl only birthday party for a classmate. Spa themed & Lucy left with make up on! This was such a wonderful weekend!

Paddington 2

I think Zach & Lucy have reached (finally) an awesome age to watch movies at the theater. They get it ~ the excitement, the big screen, the popcorn!

Paddington 2 Popcorn

So when we were invited (& you were too!) to go check out Paddington 2 recently, I was so excited! We studied up, watching Paddington the Saturday (& Sunday) beforehand. Zach & Lucy (& us too) had the characters fresh in our minds & couldn’t wait to see what kinds of trouble Paddington might get himself into &, we hoped with the help of the Brown’s, out of!

We were overjoyed with Paddington 2!

Suz's Treats Paddington 2

Paddington was his same sweet, friendly, funny bear self that Lucy & Zach fell for in the original Paddington film.

Paddington 2 begins where the first film ended, the rare bear, Paddington happily lives with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens & in Paddington fashion, has befriended almost everyone in the neighborhood. Paddington, in search of the perfect birthday gift for his Aunt Lucy, ends up being a witness to a crime. Then Paddington, the Brown’s & friends spend the rest of the movie trying to solve the mysterious disappearance of the gift & get Paddington out of trouble.

We laughed out loud, L&Z got a little bit nervous, & we were all happy at the end. I think Lucy & I might’ve even had a sweet little tear in our eyes at one point! Zach & Lucy loved the cooking scenes. They laughed & laughed over the laundry. Our friend Jack “loved how Paddington made friends with all the neighbors & had special friendships with each one”. I loved how Paddington showed everyone how being polite wins every time.

sleepy Paddington 2 Zach and Lucy

when Mommy says pose for a photo an hour past bedtime…

In the weeks after (as y’all know, I’m usually universally late) watching this new film, we’ve picked up 7 Paddington bear books from the library & re-watched the original movie weekly. Zach & Lucy can’t wait for us to watch Paddington 2 at home when it comes out on DVD.

Have y’all seen Paddington 2 yet? What age did you find was the “sweet spot” for taking kids to the movies & them last all the way through?

While we were given advantage movie passes to see Paddington 2, their generosity didn’t change my review of the film.

Join Us at the Movies – Paddington 2

Zach, Lucy & I are so excited to have the opportunity to see the promotional screening on the new film Paddington 2 NEXT Tuesday Jan 9th at 6:30p at the North Hills theater. And even better, you & your family can join us!

Suz's Treats Paddington 2

Per the email I received about this film, here’s the synopsis. In this new adventure, Paddington is now happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, where he has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes.  While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s hundredth birthday, Paddington spots a unique pop-up book and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it. But when the book is stolen, it’s up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief. This film has been rated PG for some action and mild rude humor.

Check out the official preview!

If you can join us, & we hope so, use this code ST0109 at www.wbtickets.com to print your tickets. (I can admit 10 prints with 4 passes per ticket for a total of 40 seats!)

Stay warm this weekend! We plan to do lots of cuddling on the couch watching movies!

COCO

I’m sure you’ve heard of the new Disney*Pixar film coming out just in time for Thanksgiving weekend family trip to the movies: COCO arrives in theaters today!

Zach & Lucy were so excited to see Coco! They posed in front of the first poster when we saw it after the showing of The Man Who Invented Christmas.

Zach Lucy Coco Suz's Treats

We’ve been talking about it for a couple weeks when we’d see the trailers on TV including this one.


Coco Official US Teaser Trailer

They were excited for the music. I was too! I was also just a lil nervous to how my more fearful Zach would take a film that centers around the day of the dead & features a ton of skeletons. I had high hopes Zach would get wrapped up in the story & forget to be nervous, but I brought my husband along with us just in case.

The main character Miguel (voiced by newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of being a musician like his hero Ernesto de la Cruz (voiced by Benjamin Bratt) despite his family’s generations long ban on music. Balking his family, Miguel sets off to try to prove his talent, but due to a mysterious & magical chain of events, winds up in the colorful Land of the Dead. Together with a charming trickster he meets named Hector (voiced by Gael Garcia Bernal), Miguel tries to discover the real truth about his family’s past.

Lucy loved it. She laughed. She got a little nervous & used it as an excuse to climb in my lap & cuddle. & my extra napkins (leftover after our popcorn snacking) came in handy when I realized I wasn’t the only one shedding a few tears towards the end!

Lucy COCO Suz's Treats

Lucy with her favorite COCO characters

& my suspensions about Zach rang true. Once Miguel was in the Land of the Dead (which coincided with their usual bedtime), Zach turned to Jason & said, I’m tired, let’s go home. While he was tired, he was also too scared to stay. So they spent a good 45 minutes in the lobby while Lucy & I watched Coco.

Suz's Treats Zach COCO

Of course as Lucy talked non-stop on our drive home about silly Dante the dog & how Hector/Ernesto/Miguel got along in the Land of the Dead, Zach wanted to hear all about it & wished he’d stayed in. But we all agreed, Coco will be a film we have at home & re-watch (over & over) once it’s on DVD.

I think this will become the next huge Disney*Pixar hit! COCO is fun & funny for the kids while also bringing home (even for 5.5 year olds) that family & generations of family is sweet, special & treasured. A perfect reminder as we head to be with 4 generations of family this Thanksgiving holiday. Hope you & yours have a very happy Thanksgiving!

While I was giving passes to see COCO for myself & family, their generosity did not effect my honest review.

The Man Who Invented Christmas

Are you in the holiday spirit & ready to go to the movies this Thanksgiving weekend?! I know of a couple great new films coming out & I’m so excited to share my thoughts on them with you. First up.

The Man Who Invented Christmas tells the behind the scenes magical tale of Charles Dickens & how he came up with the infamous Christmas Carol, the novel that forever changed Christmas as we know it. The film is based on the book by Les Standiford of the same title & shares how Charles (played by Dan Stevens) used real life events & people along with his wild & vivid imagination to create the timeless characters we all know & love including Marley, Scroogie (played brilliantly by Christopher Plummer) & tiny Tim.

Man Who Invented Christmas Suz'sTreats

This film is rated PG & is considered a comedy, drama. Hearing Christmas & PG, I decided to bring along Zach & Lucy as well as my aunt to our showing. I should have watched the Man Who Invented Christmas trailer first. Zach & Lucy loved the reclining seats, the popcorn & the costumes. But they didn’t “get” it. The story was just over their 5.5 year old heads.

My aunt & I really enjoyed it though. We loved that it is based on a true story & gave us the background story of Charles’ family as well as depth behind the characters I love. So, if you have older children, tweens/teens, take them & go start the holiday season with a movie that will help you remember what Christmas really is all about.

While I was giving passes to see COCO for myself & family, their generosity did not effect my honest review.