Monday, December 20, 2010

Before I forget...

I mentioned when I shared our photos from our Christmas shoot that I may come back and share some more once our cards went out.  Well we have our last few cards going out this week which were delayed by address searches and snow but I figure I would go ahead and share our family portrait and card with everyone.
Our family portrait.  To accomplish this with a two year old meant me setting up the camera on a tripod, running to scoop up Ava, tickling her for a smile, and posing just in time.

and our card :) I had it printed on metallic paper for extra sheen.  It is really pretty in person.

A new tradition....I love traditions...

So this year being the first year that Ava is really into Christmas and is asking to see Santa, talking about  presents, pointing out Christmas trees and snowmen; we have tried to do something Christmasey (that really should be a real word) each weekend.  Last weekend she went to the holiday party at my Dad's work.  Since then she has asked to go see Santa again just about every day.  Well last Saturday Aaron went riding with Mike and Hilty on the eastern shore.  They stopped at a restaurant that was decorated for Christmas complete with a train that scooted along a track that was suspended from the ceiling.  He knew we would like it and wanted to take us back there.

So this Saturday we headed off to the Fisherman's Inn and Crab deck in Kent Island, MD.  Ava loved the train and in fact spent most of dinner distracted by the train.  Aaron and I enjoyed the wonderful food and Ava enjoyed the brownie and ice cream for desert.  On our way out we passed Santa and Mrs. Claus who were heading to a party in the back.  He took a few seconds to say Hi to Ava and tell her he would be at her house on Christmas Eve to bring her presents.  She grinned and her eyes twinkled and I thought I might just cry.

We then took her to Sandy Point State Park to see the light show and wouldn't you know that Santa beat us there.  He handed us candy canes as we paid for the light show and Ava grinned and giggled with excitement and told us she found Santa.  I pulled her out of her carseat and plopped her on my lap so she could get a better view of the lights.  I think next year I will book a ride in the horse drawn carriage instead...that looked like a lot of fun.  I think we have found a permanent new tradition.  We all enjoyed ourselves and Aaron got to see how excited his little girl gets in the presence of Santa (he missed the holiday party because he was still working nights).  It was amazingly perfect and even though Ava may not remember it all or even any of it (Aaron's says I'm weird because I can remember things from very early in life but I think he just suffered too many concussions and I am normal) these are the kinds of memories I want her to have. 

Waiting in Line to get in...Ava kept saying "look, reindeer"

 At this point we were transitioning from carseat to Mommy's lap

 You can't tell by the picture but Santa was perched on the end of a dock right over the water.
 Caught this guy in between motions.

 "Looook, Christmas trees, Mommy Daddy look" :)
 She then started finding "aguins" Ava language for penguins.
 This guy she called a yellow bear :)
 Another "aguin"
 Santa of course
 She loved the light tunnels

 "Loook  a Snowman"
 "Christmas trees, Christmas trees, Christmas trees"

 What neighborhood isn't complete without a blue roof house...hahhahahaha...the irony
 and what a wonderful way to end....Santa and his reindeer.

A Little bit of Norman Rockwell...

Nana made Ava a gingerbread house with one of those little box kits.  I have done those things twice.  The first time was back in 03 when my Mammaw was sick and my cousin Heather and I went to stay at her house for a week before Christmas.  We were successful with the gingerbread house meaning it stood...haha but it was way harder than we imagined it to be.  Then a few years ago Kate and I did one and it turned out a little better because I had done it once before.  However both times because two people were doing them we ended up with two mismatched sides.  Guess we forgot to sync our brains first.  I wish I had pictures to compare but really it would probably just prove to be embarrassing against Nan's work of art. 

She somehow took a box of gingerbread supplies and made it look like this...

I still need to take pictures of our tree and little Christmas village but here are some pictures of my Mom's tree and decorations.  Oh and I need to take a picture of the outside of my Mom's.  We helped her decorate the outside which we haven't done since we moved back in...yikes...1999.  Growing up we always decorated the outside of our house but we just never decorated the new house...not really sure why. 

Anyways it looks really good so I'll have to get a picture this week because in two weeks the lights will be gone.  How did that happen already....I hate that school made Christmas get here way too quickly.  Now if only my grades would get posted so I can breath easy and enjoy my break.

There is something truly magical about Christmas decorations.  It's like once a year no matter who we are or where we live we get to add a bit of Norman Rockwell into our lives.  Now this week just needs to SLOW DOWN just a little so I can enjoy it.  Yesterday I baked our sugar cookies (I finally think I found the perfect sugar cookie recipe after about 10 years of searching) and tomorrow night we will be sitting down as a family to decorate them.  More to come on that later this week :)

I am also looking forward to Christmas Day but not just because it's Christmas day.  This year Aaron and I decided to stay home (gasp...I know).  Normally we try to go to where ever my family is hosting then off to his Aunts all in the same day and it really is just too stressful.  I have ALWAYS wanted to stay home and just watch Christmas movies and enjoy the day so this year that will happen.  With school just ending and Aaron adjusting back to day work it seemed like the perfect year to just stay home.  I will be making pies and dinner for us and doing as much as possible in the days before Christmas so I don't have to do much on Christmas day.  I doubt this will be the new tradition as I doubt our families will put up with that but for this year it will be a welcomed change.