Christmas is my favorite time of the year.
We've been up to a lot of Christmas-ness lately. Doing things that make me so happy I could burst. You know the happy - when you can't fight back tears because you know that at that moment you are making memories that will last a lifetime.
It started at the beginning of the month when Miss Noelle rode in her first parade. Her ballet class, Tiny Toes, had a little float in our local Christmas parade. FYI - "float" means a trailer hooked to the back of a pickup truck decorated with a single strand of lights and some tinsel.
I was so proud of my little girl for actually going along with the whole thing. Crowds of people and moving objects aren't her thing and I seriously thought she wouldn't have anything to do with riding on the float when we arrived. But she sat patiently (for 45 minutes) until it was their turn to drive down main street and wave at the entire town. I walked behind the float with several other adoring parents and watched my brave girl grow up just a little more.
She amazes me.
The next morning sister really impressed me when she and her class performed for Santa and a large group of people at the annual "Breakfast with Santa." Noelle's ballet teacher told her to stand on a taped X on the ground and Noelle made sure after every eight count that she was in the middle of the X. It was the cutest thing.
About an hour away from our house is a street called Christmas Tree Lane. Every year the entire street puts up an extraordinary amount of lights. Each house has a different theme, some modest, some extravagant. Noelle and Noah sat in my lap and we cruised down the street at 2 mph sipping hot chocolate and singing carols.
After the 40 minute light show we asked Noelle what her favorite part was. Her answer? Not the singing elfs or even the Little Mermaid themed house. Her favorite was a single pink light on a strand of white lights. Gotta love that.
Christmas parties are always fun. Our church held a Christmas party for the children's ministry volunteers. My mom and dad were also there (here with my mom).
Noelle's play group met up at art class where they decorated Christmas tree ornaments and cards to give to mommy and daddy as gifts. Ya'll know how much I love home-made ornaments. Other moms are always impressed with Noelle's
obsessively neat craftiness. I wonder where she gets it :)
Santa even came to visit at art class! Noah gave Santa the side eye at first but found interest in his beard and decided Santa was an okay guy. Noelle made sure Santa knew she wanted a pink Princess bike for Christmas and she gave him the card she made - you know, the one for mommy and daddy.
Sunday night was the annual Candlelight service at our church. Amazing as always. Noelle sat with my dad through the worship until it was time to light the candles and sing Silent Night.
Mr. G and I hosted a Christmas party for our small group. We enjoyed a taco bar and then sat, very seriously, and created graham cracker houses. We have an incredible group - people who make our lives richer in many ways.
The finished products:
And the unanimous winner:
I decided to make a nativity instead of a house. I didn't have much time since Noah was crawling around looking for something to get his hands on.
These are a few of my favorite things:
My daily trip to the mailbox in December is one of the sweetest parts of the day. I love getting Christmas cards from family and friends, old and new. I especially love getting notes from friends who have moved away but remain close in our hearts.
Baby's First Christmas outfits
Afternoon fog. The only "white" Christmas we get.
And moments like this.