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.

12.6.14 {St. Nick's Day}

St. Nick's Day comes every year on December 6th {and, for the longest time, I thought it was December 8th, so there have been many occasions where I had to scurry to prep for this tradition.  Luckily, those days were before Norah was born}.

I was excited to see Norah's face when she walked out to her wooden shoes this year.  She is slowly starting to grasp the meaning of the holidays.
Her face lit up when she saw gifts wrapped on the hutch & candy in her wooden shoes.  My child is a chocoholic!!
St. Nick left the traditional pomegranate, clementines, & even threw in an apple for Norah this year.  She even received a new Sophia the First ornament for the tree.
It was a great start to a busy day.

11.27.14 {Thanksgiving}

Every year, Omah & Opah split their time between Thanksgiving & Christmas with Brad & his sister.
Last year, we had Thanksgiving at our home in Maryland, so it was Jenni's turn to host it this year & since we all live in the same state now, we joined in on the fun.
I'll be honest, Thanksgiving is not my favorite holiday.
It's a lot of chaos & preparation for one day of stuffing our faces.
I always say, it just gets in the way of extra Christmas celebrations.  Skip the stress and bring on the lights and caroling!
But, it's always nice to spend time with family & friends, so I won't complain about it too much.

We woke up bright and early to the sound of excited kids!
We watched the parade & us ladies spent the day in the kitchen preparing the feast while the kiddos colored.
I made an attempt at my famous pumpkin roll... which was a BIG FLOP!!  Sending this hormonal pregnant mama to tears.
But, in the end, there was plenty of delicious food & great company!
Jenni & Mom took the kids to the park, while I put my feet up & rested a bit in the afternoon {I stole some pictures from Jenni's blog to store those memories}.

And, at the end of the day, Cooper had a birthday to celebrate!
He was thrilled to unwrap a giant firetruck and firefighter's hat!
These kiddos are growing up so quickly!

{the following photos are courtesy of Jenni's blog}:

Saturday, December 27, 2014

10.19.14 {Our Visit to the Pumpkin Patch}

Our family has left after spending time with us for Christmas.
The house is quiet... so very quiet.
I'm hoping to get a lot of photos edited today & get caught up on the blog over the next week.

Back in October we took a trip to a local pumpkin patch.
I took the advice of the locals & went to the highly recommended pumpkin patch in Flower Mound.
It was BUSY, BUSY!
Too busy for our little family to navigate through the crowds with a stroller.  But, Norah had fun climbing on the hay bales, rolling the pumpkins around, and enjoying all of the play houses.
She took a few shoes to the face & was pushed around a bit by the older kids.  We were pretty stressed out by the time we left.
And, you know how they say everything is bigger in Texas?  Apparently, so are pumpkin prices because a regular sized pumpkin ran anywhere from $45-60... WOW!  So, needless to say, we went home without a big carving pumpkin, but we were sure to pick out a small sugar pumpkin for Norah to take home!

When we got home, Norah was worn out.
She grabbed Brad's shirt & was dragging it around the house like Linus would.  It was a precious moment to capture in time.