Friday, December 27, 2013


JOY is the perfect way to describe our Christmas.  
Seeing JOY in the eyes of our daughter as she looked at Christmas lights this season.
Seeing the JOY on her face as she met Santa on Christmas Eve.
The JOY we all experienced in celebrating the birth of our Savior who was born in a manger.
The JOY and excitement of opening presents on Christmas Day.
The JOY of spending the holiday season with family we love so dearly.
Yes, this Christmas season was definitely filled with JOY.  
Pure JOY
JOY to the World! The Lord has Come. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Lights of the Ozarks

We have been so incredibly busy this Christmas season and the season has flown by.  But we FINALLY made it down to the Fayetteville square tonight to see the beautiful Lights of the Ozarks.  We have been every year, and I love this Christmas tradition.  This year we went with our friends, the Hunleys, and Sara Kate loved being there with her friend Ella.
Ella is adorable, and she and Sara Kate are such cute little friends.
The girls ran around and looked at all lights, pointing at this set of lights and that set of lights, giggling, and following each other around, climbing all over the rocks.  Last year Sara Kate wanted to 'touch the Christmas,' meaning she wanted to touch the lights.  She was more excited about seeing this year than touching...although there was a little touching between the 2 of them...sneaky girls!
Downtown Fayetteville is totally covered in lights.  They start preparing months in advance and it's a huge attraction for our town.  It's really a beautiful sight.  
Ya gotta love a Razorback out of Christmas lights!! :-)
Chris took some cool shots of the lights.  I love the blurred effect on lights so I thought these pictures were neat.
It is FREEZING outside tonight so we didn't stay too long, just long enough to walk around and see all the lights and get some pictures!
Chris went back and looked at old pictures and he did a little comparison.  2011 is on top and 2013 is on bottom.  Love this!!
One last story to make note of...and this story is seriously the awkward moment of my life!  We got around to the east side of the square and Sara Kate was following Ella, and Rachel and I were following close behind the girls trying to get them to slow down and come back.  Well I look up in this cute little corner covered in lights with a bench and there was a guy down on his knee, proposing to his girlfriend.  And it was being recorded.  And Rachel and I are in the background, right in the line of the video recorder, yelling, "Ella!  Sara Kate!  Slow down!  Come back!"  The girls were headed straight for that spot, we couldn't hardly stop them, they fussed when we grabbed them (especially Sara Kate...'stop, put me down!'), and we quickly took off...and all that was recorded in the background of someone's sweet little proposal.  I was mortified when I realized what happened.  Needless to say we never walked back around to the east side of the square after that!  FAIL!!!!  

Happy Christmas week!! :-)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Snow Day Videos

I mentioned in my last post that Chris made several super cute videos of Sara Kate during this winter storm and they are on my Facebook page, but I thought I would go ahead and post them here.  The quality is better on my Facebook page than here but you can get the gist.  We watch them and laugh and laugh!  I figure they're too good not to share! :-) 

The first was Sara Kate going down her slide in the snow.

The second is our first adventures in sledding...Chris called it 'Learning to Sled.'

The third video is our troubles in sledding...Chris aptly named it 'How NOT to Sled!'  Haha!!

Snow Days

We have been snowed/iced in here at the Michaels household for 4 days now.  On Thursday morning sleet started falling and bridges and roads quickly started icing over.  Schools stayed closed and my office closed a little before 11.  I was home around 11:45 and this is where I have stayed!  It sleeted all day long, and it sleeted so hard it sounded like it was pouring down rain.  Snow started falling in Benton County during the day but snow didn't start here until around 10:00 that night.  But once it started it snowed hard and didn't stop until Friday afternoon!  First thing Friday morning Sara Kate started begging to go play in the snow.  So after I got breakfast in the oven, we went out an played!  I have been waiting on pins and needles for 3 years for a snow day with Sara Kate.  The winter I was pregnant with her we got tons of snow.  The  year she was born we got tons of snow.  And we've had nothing since then.  So I was beyond excited to have this snow day with her!!
 I got to teach her how to make snow angels.
 She went down her slide and I pushed her on the swing.
I showed her how to make snowballs.
She had big fun. We stayed out about 30 minutes before coming back inside.  Of course she wanted to go out again and I told her after she took a nap we would.  Another thing I've been looking forward to is taking her sledding for the first time.  So that's what we did!  There's a pretty good hill that leads down to our neighborhood playground so we walked down there with our sleds.  
If you've seen my Facebook page, you may have seen the sledding videos Chris has posted.  They are fantastic!!  Sara Kate LOVED sledding.  'Again! Again! Again!' she asked.  I absolutely loved experiencing this with her!!
Sara Kate LOVED being out in the snow!  We stayed out about an hour before having to head home.  It was a blistery 18 degrees!  The only way we got her happy about leaving was the lure of making snow ice cream!
 Saturday we had more fun adventures in sledding.  Sara Kate kept asking to go 'skating' again (sledding) so after her nap we headed out again.
Our sledding hill was a little more treacherous and we had some hard times, including Sara Kate face planting in the snow, Chris wrecking, and me running into the rock wall (thankfully it was me and not Sara Kate!!), but the entire time Sara Kate laughed the most precious laugh filled with glee.  She had such an amazing time.  I loved every second of it.
This is our neighborhood park.  We go to a nearby school playground often and to the bigger city parks in town, but we love having a park within walking distance.
We stayed until it was starting to get dark and again and we had to coax Sara Kate home.  No snow ice cream this time, but cooking dinner and playing inside made her happy.  

Ever since it started snowing she has said she wanted to build a snowman (another first) but the snow has been too powdery.  I told her we would try today.
I thought we might have enough melt to get it to pack good but it was still too powdery and not much melt.  Despite the powder, we tried.  My southern girl snowman building skills are pretty pathetic!!  In fact, they're down right laughable! HA!  In my defense, we didn't have snow down in south Arkansas when I was a kid (if we got anything we got ice) so I didn't get many chances to learn to build a snowman.  But Sara Kate had a great time, and that's all that matters!
She kind of looked like the little brother from 'A Christmas Story!'  Haha!!
 Without further ado, here is our sad little snowman.  I think Chris and Sara Kate named him 'Barry.'
 This is one cool dude!
We tried to build another one but the snow just wouldn't cooperate with packing and it was getting dark and very cold.  Maybe tomorrow.  Speaking of tomorrow, it will bring schools still closed so Chris and Sara Kate get another day home.  I think I have to go into work at some point but not 100% sure yet.  I'm really not looking forward to driving north if I have to go!  But I have loved spending the last 4 days with Sara Kate experiencing new things, things that I have been dying for her to experience!  I'm so glad we finally got the chance to sled, build a snowman, make snow angels, and have a snowball fight!  This big snow came so early (we got about 6 or 7 inches on top of a everything totally covered with a pretty good layer of sleet) and it got so bitterly cold (near 0 degrees!), it seems we might be in for a long winter.  If it happens, I'll welcome more opportunities to have more winter fun with my girl!