Sunday, February 8, 2015

Christmas 2014

Christmas came and flew right by this year.
I love to get the holiday started long before Thanksgiving so it can last as long as possible.  And I always have a decoration or two that gets left out {by accident} until about May.
Christmas gets better and better each year with Norah.  Last year we heard a lot of "seeeee.... seeeeee!!"  as she pointed to the lights.  This year, as we drove around town, she would point out the lights, tell me what color they were {and they were primarily "yellow" here}, and then she would demand "more lights!"  I looked forward to our drive to work every day & even started taking a new route where we would see lots of lights on our commute.  She loved it... I loved listening to her excitement in the back seat as I drove around!

Omah and Opah came to Texas for a week to celebrate Christmas with us.  Norah really attached to them this time around.  
Omah made her snowman pancakes & Opah gave her piggy back rides throughout the house.
She loved the special attention & hugs!! 

Norah's Uncle Justin sent her a Lambchop puppet for Christmas.  She saw the package when it arrived & keeping it from her until Christmas morning wasn't happening & I'm glad we gave in... it gave her an extra day to appreciate it.  She even tried hanging it from the tree.

On Christmas Eve, we tracked Santa!
Norah loved... I mean LOVED watching him soar over each country delivering presents to kids.  She has recently requested to watch Santa, but we keep having to remind her that he is home in the North Pole.
We went to Christmas Eve mass at 8pm.
She was so well behaved, loved being dressed up in her Christmas dress, & enjoyed singing and reading along with the rest of the congregation.
While we were at church, Bing delivered our Christmas PJs & a small gift for Norah, which meant CHOCOLATE before bed!!  YAAAY!!

And, we finally finished the evening with the traditional reading of 'twas the Night before Christmas.
My favorite memories are of Norah sitting on her daddy's lap being read to!

Norah has become a bit of a scaredy cat this year.  When we explained to her that Santa would come down the chimney and deliver gifts after she fell asleep, she responded with "No, thanks!"  I mean, can you really blame her for being nervous that a man she doesn't know is going to come into her home in the middle of the night??  She's a smart cookie!!
However, when she woke up in the morning to all of her gifts & her new big girl bed, she forgot all about how scary that all sounded and kept asking for more presents.

Two days before Christmas, Norah learned how to use door knobs.  *sigh*  Bad timing, little lady!  And, let me tell you... she is a little escape artist.  She's so quiet you would never know she wasn't still sleeping.
Brad & I were terrified she would wake up in the middle of the night & open all of her gifts, so we set the alarm for 6am & beat her to the punch.  She met us by the tree 45 minutes later with a huge sparkle in her eyes!

This year, we still had to push her to finish opening her gifts.  She always stops with only a handful of gifts left {and of course we save the best ones for last}, so we push her to keep going.  She's not keen on that idea, but when they're gone, she asks for more presents.  Next year, if she doesn't tear them all open in 30 seconds, we will save the remaining ones for later in the day.  Why not carry on the joy throughout the day??

We had a fabulous Christmas!
I was sad to not get our traditional picture in front of the tree this year {or a family Christmas card}.
Like I said, this Christmas seemed to fly by!
I couldn't hold onto it tight enough & it still slipped through my fingers!
But, I loved every second of the season!
Next year, we will have 2 little ones to celebrate the big day with & I couldn't be more excited for Santa's return!

Friday, January 2, 2015


Brad has had some time off over the holidays, which has been nice & allowed us to get all of these Christmas activities checked off the list without cramming them all into weekends.
This particular night we decorated the tree.
I was unwrapping all of the ornaments on our dining room table, so when I would hand them off to Norah to hang on the tree, she certainly favored that particular side of the tree.
She really enjoyed rearranging the ornaments, but for the most part, once the tree was decorated, she was good about keeping everything in place.

This year she hung our angel on the tree.
Daddy held her last year while he hung the angel, but this year, with a lift, she did it all on her own.

Brad made it clear {again} that he is not a fan of colored lights on our tree.  I offered to go out and get white lights {or, better yet, his own tree}, but he amused me for another year...
...and I'm glad he did, because the second Norah saw the bubbles in the bubble lights, her face lit up & she screamed, "BUBBLES!!!"
Who can replace that magical moment with white lights?? :)
So, even if it means they end up on a smaller tree, in a different room, the bubble lights will be as much of a tradition in our home as they were in my mom's!

12.11.14 {A Visit with Santa}

Since Norah was terrified of the fireworks at the park & we didn't have the opportunity to go sit on Santa's lap that night, we decided to head down to Bass Pro Shop to check out the Santa there... I had heard great things about the experience there & I knew Brad would be all about going to Bass Pro Shop.

When we arrived, we expected a long line, but we were lucky to only have to wait for about half an hour.
Norah was so excited.  
She kept pointing to Santa & the choo choo!
I thought, "this is going to be a huge hit!"
Boy, was I wrong!!
She was happy up until Daddy handed her off to Santa.
Those smiles immediately turned into a meltdown!
I was actually convinced at one point she was going to be sick & Santa was going to need a wardrobe change.
But, all was better again once Santa handed her a candy cane & she was back in Daddy's arms.

We rode the merry-go-round a few times as Norah waived to Mommy {or Daddy} on each go around & did some browsing!
This was a year of Santa pictures in the books...
...maybe we'll get a smile next year {or two screaming kids}!

After our Santa adventure we went to the mall across the street to find some dinner.
Norah's face lit up as soon as she saw the gift shop to Rain Forest Cafe!  The entire time we were walking around the mall she asked to go back to the "frog."  So, we figured why not eat there for dinner.


As soon as we entered the restaurant, the waitress sat us down under a moving cheetah.


Norah was TERRIFIED & wouldn't leave our laps.  We asked to be moved next to the fish tank, which they were nice enough to do so, but then there was a moving gorilla with a Santa hat in sight.
There wasn't a seat in the entire restaurant that got her away from a moving or roaring animal.
We managed to eat our dinner, while holding Norah.
She didn't take a bite of hers, so we headed home vowing never to return again!
It certainly was a traumatic night for our little 2 year old.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

12.6.14 {Christmas Parade}

To finish off our St. Nick's Day celebrations, we headed down to the town park for their annual Christmas light parade & tree lighting.
It was 70 degrees out when we got our tree.
We were rolling our sleeves up by the time we had it loaded on top of the Jeep.
But, once the sun went down, it was an entirely different story.
We were FREEZING!!
Luckily we brought Norah blankets to snuggle up under, but you could tell she was still pretty chilly waiting for the 5k to end and the parade to begin, but when it did, she was all smiles!
She loved waiving to all of the floats & was thrilled to see Olaf and the local Girl Scouts singing along to Let It Go.
Santa rode in on a boat to end the parade & we scurried over to Santa's Village with the crowd for the opportunity to have her picture taken with Santa & Mrs. Claus.
But, first, we grabbed some hot cocoa & snacks to watch the tree lighting.
We were not expecting fireworks to go off directly in front of us.
Poor Norah was terrified & in tears.
She loved the fireworks on the 4th of July, out in the distance, but when they were 20 feet in front of us, it was a completely different story.
So, we decided that we would save our visit with Santa for another day & we headed home.
Maybe next year will go smoother and she can enjoy the freshly made snow & sledding, too.

12.6.14 {Our Tree}

After opening our St. Nick's Day gifts, we headed out to find our Christmas tree.  There are very few tree farms here in the Dallas area, but we were able to find one that was about an hour north.
The drive was beautiful!  We were surrounded by farm land & the weather was perfect!  It's strange cutting down a Christmas tree in 70 degree weather.
The tree farm was small.
It didn't even compare to what we were used to in Vermont,
but we were happy to pull up and see trees that were taller than us.
We had to buy pre-cut trees the past two Christmas' when we were in Maryland since none of the local farms could keep up with the population.  So, I was just tickled that we were able to cut one this year!!
We started off taking a hay ride to the fields.
Once we arrived, Norah & Brad set off to find the perfect tree.
They looked up and down every isle, Norah tested them out with hugs, & ran all around them, but we kept going back to the same one near the front of the field... and it really was the PERFECT tree!
The staff was amazing at this little tree farm & really completed the experience.
We will certainly be returning next year.