Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lights of the Ozarks

Downtown Fayetteville is BEAUTIFUL during the Christmas season.  It's called 'Lights of the Ozarks,' and the city starts decorating back at the beginning of November (I was off a day the first of November and several rows of parking spots were blocked off downtown because they were putting up lights!).  We always go there and see the lights but I was so excited to take Sara Kate this year.  She was so aware of seeing lights on houses and trees around town so I knew she would be in awe of the lights downtown.  We actually went to see the lights about 2 weeks ago but she was not behaving or listening so we didn't stay long.  Mom and dad came into town on December 23 so we decided that evening was the perfect time to go!  It wasn't too cold plus grandparents available to take pictures and help wrangle a busy 2 year old is always a plus! :-)

Sara Kate was so excited to see the lights!!  And what was SO cute and precious to me (and a random person that heard it) was that she kept saying she 'wanted to touch the Christmas.'  Precious.  I hope I always remember memories like that.
For those that have never seen it, our whole downtown is completely covered in lights.  We didn't get alot of pictures because of wrangling that busy 2 year old but I just love seeing our little downtown every Christmas season.
A couple of years ago I heard that Lights of the Ozarks was going to be shut down because the city didn't have it in their budget to pay for it.  Then I heard an anonymous donor stepped forward to cover the costs.  Is that true?  I don't know, but Chris took a picture of this the night we we were there.  I guess local support helps make this Northwest Arkansas tradition happen.  And it is quite a hot bed of activity during the holiday season!!
Here's an attempt at a picture with my busy girl!  This was in a spot where she was 'touching the Christmas' (touching the lights wrapped around that tree behind us).
 I was so glad my mom and dad were there with us.  Sara Kate's first Christmas (when she was almost 9 months old) we went to see the lights for the first time with Chris' parents.  I love making memories like this.  And of course Sara Kate loves her Ghee and Poppa!
And once again, we were glad my parents were with us so we could capture a family picture!
Anyone who visits Northwest Arkansas during the holidays or lives in our area should visit downtown Fayetteville!  We are so glad we live here and can experience this local tradition every year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas 2012

* Picture heavy post!  You've been warned! :-)

Merry Christmas!  This year was such a fun Christmas.  We had all our Christmas' in one day, and they were all on Christmas Day!  We didn't stress or play up the whole Santa Clause thing this year with Sara Kate because she doesn't really understand yet.  She was just excited about Christmas and that was fine with us.  We had my mom and dad here with us so we did our family Christmas with them first.  After she went to bed on Christmas Eve we got all the presents out and around the tree.  
We got her up around 7:30 and brought her into the living room.  She was so excited about the 'presents' as she kept saying.  We attempted to get her picture in front of the tree (1 shot is all she would allow!) before she helped me hand out the presents.
 She loved being a big helper, although she occasionally got distracted with the presents!
 It was finally time to open!
 Her big present from us was a play kitchen and we saved that for her to open last.
I love this picture.  She looks so happy and so big!!  Unfortunately we didn't have time to put it together then because we had to hurry and make breakfast and get dressed to go to Chris' parents.
We were at Chris' parents house at 11 and we had Christmas with them.  The whole family was there...his grandpa, his sister, her husband, our niece and nephew, and his family from Texas, which includes his uncle, aunt, and 2 cousins.  With his family we buy presents for the kids and all the adults do a gift exchange.  It's fun, although it was a gift card Christmas, which was fine with all of us!!
 Even on Christmas Hayden is the most serious child on the planet!! :-)
 Zachary and Uncle Ron
After we did gifts, it was time to get ready for lunch.  My mom and dad came over and we had a big feast with everyone.  It was so nice having so much family together in one space.  We missed having my brother and his wife there, otherwise it would have been complete.
Now for silly snap shots...
A grin!  Can you believe it?!
After the meal, the kids had SO much fun playing dress up with Hannah's Christmas present!!
This boy doesn't stand a chance with girl cousins!!
According to the weather, we were SUPPOSED to have a white Christmas, which I was so excited about because I've never had a white Christmas, but we only saw a few flurries.  The big snow storm went south of us.  But we had a great Christmas.  We were so blessed to get to experience so much family together on such a special holiday.  Sara Kate has had so much fun playing with her kitchen and doll and puzzles and Elmo game and zoo train and books, etc!  She was really fun this year, and I know it'll only get better from here.  Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Charlie Brown Christmas

Last year for Christmas my best friend gave Sara Kate the book, 'A Charlie Brown Christmas.'  It has the buttons off to the side you can push to make sounds that go along with the story.  She didn't care much for it last year but has LOVED it this year.  I think we started reading it back in October or November.  Her favorite part is at the end when the kids all sing 'Hark the Harold Angels Sing' and it ends with them saying 'Merry Christmas Charlie Brown!'  She will sing along at the top of her lungs, doing her best to get the words.  It's precious and I got it recorded last weekend.  
In other Christmas related news, I think we're about ready!  We got our tree up the Sunday after Thanksgiving and Sara Kate quickly learned not to touch the tree!  In fact, her favorite thing to say is 'don't touch the Christmas tree or you go to time out!'  I touched it the other night and she said, 'Mommy!  Don't touch the tree!  You go to time out!'  Sassy little thing.
We only put on the red and gold plastic ornaments.  I didn't even put on my silver bells this year.  With her grabbing ornaments and running daily there for a while, I didn't even want to risk breaking something.  We need a new tree skirt also, which we never bought so it's kind of sad looking, haha.  It's not perfect looking this year but our pastor preached a great sermon a couple weeks ago about while we're trying to find the perfect tree or perfect strand of garland or perfect poinsettia, that's not the purpose of the Christmas season.  What a great reminder, as the day before I was trying to buy the perfect poinsettia's for the church and every day I think about how un-perfect our tree looks this year.  But I suppose it is perfect for this season in our lives.
We can't wait to see Sara Kate on Christmas this year.  She is very aware of the tree and lights around town and the songs and her Christmas outfits, and that is so exciting.  So as everyone finishes their last minute prep, we hope ya'll have a great weekend-before-Christmas!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Saturday Fun

We had a nice relaxing Saturday spent at home just doing alot of playing.  Chris has been working quite a bit lately because of the time of the year so Sara Kate was mega attached to him on Saturday.  We had no real plans until the evening so we enjoyed our day at home.  We did a little of this...
 A little of this...
We, and by 'we' I mean the 2 and 1/2 year old living in our house, threw an epic tantrum for no real reason and Sara Kate was not pleased about the fact that I took her picture during said tantrum...
Once the tantrum subsided we ate some sandwiches and changed clothes to go outside and play.  We did some of this...
 A little of this...
 Had some fun on the slide...
And loved on the puppies...
Before going in for a nap.  

After nap Sara Kate's day got really exciting because she went to spend the night with MeMe and Poppa!  Chris had to work and we had a wedding to go to.  Unfortunately I had to go alone but I had a good time with friends.
Chris got to the reception in time to photograph the bride and groom's exit to sparklers.  I won't share any pics now but maybe another time!  He has such a good eye!  Big congratulations to our friends Leah and Wade!

Now that football season is over hopefully we can enjoy more relaxing Saturday's with lots of play!