Archive for December, 2011

We had a very fun and busy holiday season! We enjoyed lots of great time together as a family; I am so grateful Jim was able to take some time away from work. Molly and I are going to miss him dearly when he goes back to the office next week!

The week before Christmas, we had a cookie decorating party on Tuesday and celebrated Jim’s 36th birthday on Thursday. Molly and I took Jim out for burgers for lunch, and Nana kept Molly so Jim and I could go out to a nice dinner to celebrate.

We visited Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens to see the Christmas lights {will post *cute* pictures in a separate post!} and took Molly to McAdenville, aka Christmas Town USA. She loved it and has been asking about it ever since.

Jim and Molly decorated more sugar cookies on Christmas Eve and we went to the carols and candlelight service at church. Then, we dressed Peaches in her Christmas pj’s, put out the reindeer food and cookies for Santa, and read the Christmas story before putting Molly to bed so Santa could visit.

And what’s the best part of baking? The bonus, of course!



My parents went to church with us and stayed for baked ziti, salad and sugar cookies.

On Christmas morning, Molly woke up around 7:30; we opened gifts here and then went to my mom’s house. Beverly, Ben, Jackson, Benjamin and Addison also joined us for breakfast and gifts. My dad always makes eggs and sausage, and it wouldn’t be Christmas morning without sausage balls! We came home for naps all around and then headed back to my parents’ for dinner. Christmas night dinner has always been my favorite: We always have a good spread of yummy sandwiches and snack foods. This year we had bbq sandwiches, ham delights {a personal favorite!}, sausage balls, chex mix, buffalo chicken dip, mac & cheese, baked beans, and parmesan bacon dip.

We also had cupcakes and sang “Happy Birthday” to Jesus after dinner.

On Monday evening, we all went to my Grandma and Grandaddy’s for dinner and then on Wednesday, Jim’s parents came to visit to wrap up the Christmas celebrations.

My little family had a wonderful Christmas season. I am so fortunate to have a loving husband and a beautiful, sweet baby girl to celebrate with. It meant a lot that Molly enjoyed the story of Jesus’ birth and searched for nativities all over town. She loved looking at Christmas lights and our Christmas tree. Seeing the holiday through a child’s eyes – MY child’s eyes, at that – brings a new meaning to the holiday. I wanted this to be a special time for her, and I truly think it was a magical two weeks. She was excited to “hang out” with us, ate too many sugar cookies, stayed up too late and was incredibly exhausted, which made for some trying times; however, the fun and sweet times outweigh those more difficult moments and I hope we were able to create some wonderful memories and beginnings of lifelong traditions for her.


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I did not make a special effort to take Molly to see Santa this year because 1) I remember last year’s reaction and 2) she isn’t very fond of strangers {or sometimes even people she knows}. However, last night we made our annual trip to Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens to see the Christmas lights and it just so happened that Santa was there. When I asked Molly and Addison if they wanted to see Santa, they both said yes and trotted off in that direction. Molly took one look at him and ran out of the room.

Addi was a bit more curious, so Santa lured her to him by tossing candy canes at her. She would inch closer to pick up the candy canes until finally she was right in front of him. Beverly tried to plop Addison on Santa’s lap, but Addison started crying. So then Beverly sat on Santa’s lap and Addison sat on Beverly’s lap. {I have the picture to prove it – will have to post tomorrow!}

An aside: Does anyone else think the whole sitting-on-Santa’s-lap deal is a bit creepy? I mean, he *lured* Addison to him with candy, he’s dressed in costume, kids sit on his lap all day and he too eager for Beverly to have a seat with him. I mean, really. Weird.

So anyway, we enjoyed a lovely evening in the gardens, chasing after Molly and Addison. You would have thought that Molly had never been allowed to run free before; she was all over the place! I was literally huffing and puffing at points trying to keep up with her. She also had two big spills but seemed more upset about her broken candy cane than the actual fall.

At the end of the night, we were hanging out while the kiddos checked out the trains and Molly and Addison continued to run around. Molly was testing her boundaries and kept going farther and farther away from the group. At one point, she went around a corner and all of a sudden I heard her shrieking and saw her running full-steam towards me. Jim was across the room, laughing, and then we saw Santa walk around the corner.

She had caught sight of him walking towards her, tossed her milk cup and took off.

This morning, I asked her if she wanted to wear her Santa dress and she emphatically said no. I didn’t make the connection to last night’s experience until just now…

I wonder how much it is to hire a Santa year-round to ensure that she doesn’t run away from me in stores and parking lots? It might be worth the investment…

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It’s highly unlikely that any child of mine will ever be able to carry a tune, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy belting out a song every now and then, right?

Molly’s class performed two carols for the Young at Heart group earlier this month, and tomorrow is her class party/performance. This girl is ready! She has been practicing all month, multiple times a day, even during nap time.

Enjoy your own personal performance. {Just in case you can’t tell, the first song is “Away in the Manger” and the second is “Jingle Bells.”} I pretty much tear up every time I hear Peach singing “Away in the Manger.” She is so sweet and I seriously am in LOVE with her. But don’t be fooled by the sweet girl singing in this video – I thought our neighbors were going to come through their window watching a difference kind of performance {of the tantrum variety} from Molly this morning. But I digress; that’s a story for another day.

Without further ado…

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Last Saturday, Jim, Molly and I rode with my parents to the mountains to get our Christmas tree. We told Molly we were going to a tree farm and then I immediately regretted that, realizing she’d want to see cows and horses and sheep and ducks. And a barn. I was able to quickly interject that the farmers only had time to grow trees and that there’d be no animals. Luckily, she accepted that.

M was such a good traveler, tree picker-outer and winery guest. {Yes, that’s two times in two months that I’ve taken my two-year-old to a winery.} After we picked out our trees and wreaths, we drove a little farther up the mountain to have lunch at a cute little cafe where we almost got into a scuffle with an older woman about a table. No blood was shed and we got the table, so all was good.


We finally found the perfect tree:

And if fit perfectly in the middle of our family room. Ha! {Ok, it was a *little* bigger than we originally planned.}

Then Molly was a great helper, putting all of the ornaments on the same branch.

When she finally accepted that branch would hold no more ornaments, she was happy to tell me where to put the ornaments.

The stocking are hung and the tree is decorated…now I just have to get to the rest of the decorations!

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