This morning was the girls holiday program. They wore sparkly shirts, had curls in their hair and I teared up over silly songs like "Santa's Getting Fit for Christmas". Years before they've been slightly timid up on the stage. They must be getting the hang of it because this year I saw what appeared to be actual singing and dancing from my ladies.
Seriously, when did they become so grown up? I know it happens gradually but occasionally I see them and am caught off guard by how quickly it is going. Being around my baby nephew has made me realize it even more. You forget how much a newborn baby needs you. How physically demanding those years were. I got to babysit him last week and I held him the entire time because he's so darn snuggleable (may not be a word but in my festive mood it is now) and also because it made him the happiest. Doing things one handed quickly came back to me. Getting my other nephew ready for bed while holding the baby brought back flashes of holding baby Layla while tending to toddler Ava. The next morning we were getting ready to leave and all I had to do was tell the girls it was time to go and that was it. They put their own coats and boots on, they get themselves in the car, buckle themselves and are ready to go. When did that happen?!? No longer am I needed to tie shoes, zip jackets, open car doors. I don't remember the moment that changed. If I knew, maybe I wouldn't have been annoyed with the extra fifteen minutes it took to get everyone out the door. Or the extra five it took to put the baby carrier in its seat and then going around to the other side to put a toddler in. It all felt so exhausting at times. It is easier now but it makes me wonder if all that happened in a flash, how soon will it be before they don't even need us for driving them places? When it's a quick goodbye and then they are out the door, hopping in their own car and driving off into the big world on their own? Yikes. I can't even fathom that. In fact I do believe I'll get off this tangent and back on to holiday cheer. Because let me tell you...we are full of it this year. They may not be babies and toddlers anymore, but at this age they are full of all sorts of Christmas fun!
This afternoon we took the girls out of school early. The plan was to head to Chico Hot Springs for some family time and soaking. Apparently a big storm is coming so we decided to postpone for later this weekend. I haven't seen one snowflake fall yet, so it better start blizzarding soon. We still took them early and instead all cozied up on the couch to watch The Polar Express with popcorn and cocoa. Watching that movie as a family has become a tradition. I love it. My favorite line..."The true spirit of Christmas lies within your heart". In my heart this means family. This is what our weeks leading up to Christmas have been full of.
Our annual cookie making party with my mom, sisters, aunt and cousins-
There were some good looking gingerbread boys made. And a lot of candy eaten by littles.
There were merry cherry bars made...something my mama's been making every Christmas that I can remember. The tradition continues as she teaches my pretty niece the recipe.
And cousins around the tree. If that doesn't say Christmas, I don't know what does. There were a few boys missing in this shot...poor Greg looks so out-numbered.
And things like school holiday parties...
I got to help with Layla's class party and you could smell the sugar before you even walked into the class room. Let me tell you, these kids are hyped up for Christmas. If you are feeling a little scroogey this year, might I suggest going and hanging out in an elementary class. If you don't leave feeling the holiday energy that is radiating off the kids then something is wrong with you. They are so excited they can hardly stand it. Getting to be a part of that is fantastic.
From class parties to work parties...
Can I just say how much I love my hubby? He's the funniest guy. My office did an ugly sweater party and I've decided there is nothing better for a normally stuffy real estate party than ugly sweaters. It was hilarious and festive and good for a lot of laughs.
And of course things like playing in the snow. After the freeze out we had a couple weeks ago, things finally warmed up and we've been able to play outside in the winter wonderland.
And making tiny snowmen...
And big ones too.
I'm going to gush about the snow for approximately 6 more days and then things may take a turn for the worse. Right now I'm loving it and so happy we are going to have a white Christmas. It's been so beautiful...holiday lights shining and our town covered in a blanket of fluffy white.
The girls are now officially on Christmas break and I am thrilled. Two full weeks. Time to soak up more holiday traditions and simply be together. No school, homework, activities or schedules. No sharing them with teachers and friends. Selfishly, I get them for the next two weeks and I couldn't be happier about it.
Time to wrap it up and the most perfect song just came on so I think I'll just end with it...
"It's the most wonderful time of year. It's the hap-happiest season of all!! There will be much mistle-toeing and everyone telling you be of good cheeeeer, it's the most wonderful time of the year".
Yes, I do believe it is.