Sunday, December 28, 2014

12.6.14 {Christmas Parade}

To finish off our St. Nick's Day celebrations, we headed down to the town park for their annual Christmas light parade & tree lighting.
It was 70 degrees out when we got our tree.
We were rolling our sleeves up by the time we had it loaded on top of the Jeep.
But, once the sun went down, it was an entirely different story.
We were FREEZING!!
Luckily we brought Norah blankets to snuggle up under, but you could tell she was still pretty chilly waiting for the 5k to end and the parade to begin, but when it did, she was all smiles!
She loved waiving to all of the floats & was thrilled to see Olaf and the local Girl Scouts singing along to Let It Go.
Santa rode in on a boat to end the parade & we scurried over to Santa's Village with the crowd for the opportunity to have her picture taken with Santa & Mrs. Claus.
But, first, we grabbed some hot cocoa & snacks to watch the tree lighting.
We were not expecting fireworks to go off directly in front of us.
Poor Norah was terrified & in tears.
She loved the fireworks on the 4th of July, out in the distance, but when they were 20 feet in front of us, it was a completely different story.
So, we decided that we would save our visit with Santa for another day & we headed home.
Maybe next year will go smoother and she can enjoy the freshly made snow & sledding, too.

12.6.14 {Our Tree}

After opening our St. Nick's Day gifts, we headed out to find our Christmas tree.  There are very few tree farms here in the Dallas area, but we were able to find one that was about an hour north.
The drive was beautiful!  We were surrounded by farm land & the weather was perfect!  It's strange cutting down a Christmas tree in 70 degree weather.
The tree farm was small.
It didn't even compare to what we were used to in Vermont,
but we were happy to pull up and see trees that were taller than us.
We had to buy pre-cut trees the past two Christmas' when we were in Maryland since none of the local farms could keep up with the population.  So, I was just tickled that we were able to cut one this year!!
We started off taking a hay ride to the fields.
Once we arrived, Norah & Brad set off to find the perfect tree.
They looked up and down every isle, Norah tested them out with hugs, & ran all around them, but we kept going back to the same one near the front of the field... and it really was the PERFECT tree!
The staff was amazing at this little tree farm & really completed the experience.
We will certainly be returning next year.

12.6.14 {St. Nick's Day}

St. Nick's Day comes every year on December 6th {and, for the longest time, I thought it was December 8th, so there have been many occasions where I had to scurry to prep for this tradition.  Luckily, those days were before Norah was born}.

I was excited to see Norah's face when she walked out to her wooden shoes this year.  She is slowly starting to grasp the meaning of the holidays.
Her face lit up when she saw gifts wrapped on the hutch & candy in her wooden shoes.  My child is a chocoholic!!
St. Nick left the traditional pomegranate, clementines, & even threw in an apple for Norah this year.  She even received a new Sophia the First ornament for the tree.
It was a great start to a busy day.

11.27.14 {Thanksgiving}

Every year, Omah & Opah split their time between Thanksgiving & Christmas with Brad & his sister.
Last year, we had Thanksgiving at our home in Maryland, so it was Jenni's turn to host it this year & since we all live in the same state now, we joined in on the fun.
I'll be honest, Thanksgiving is not my favorite holiday.
It's a lot of chaos & preparation for one day of stuffing our faces.
I always say, it just gets in the way of extra Christmas celebrations.  Skip the stress and bring on the lights and caroling!
But, it's always nice to spend time with family & friends, so I won't complain about it too much.

We woke up bright and early to the sound of excited kids!
We watched the parade & us ladies spent the day in the kitchen preparing the feast while the kiddos colored.
I made an attempt at my famous pumpkin roll... which was a BIG FLOP!!  Sending this hormonal pregnant mama to tears.
But, in the end, there was plenty of delicious food & great company!
Jenni & Mom took the kids to the park, while I put my feet up & rested a bit in the afternoon {I stole some pictures from Jenni's blog to store those memories}.

And, at the end of the day, Cooper had a birthday to celebrate!
He was thrilled to unwrap a giant firetruck and firefighter's hat!
These kiddos are growing up so quickly!

{the following photos are courtesy of Jenni's blog}:

Saturday, December 27, 2014

10.19.14 {Our Visit to the Pumpkin Patch}

Our family has left after spending time with us for Christmas.
The house is quiet... so very quiet.
I'm hoping to get a lot of photos edited today & get caught up on the blog over the next week.

Back in October we took a trip to a local pumpkin patch.
I took the advice of the locals & went to the highly recommended pumpkin patch in Flower Mound.
It was BUSY, BUSY!
Too busy for our little family to navigate through the crowds with a stroller.  But, Norah had fun climbing on the hay bales, rolling the pumpkins around, and enjoying all of the play houses.
She took a few shoes to the face & was pushed around a bit by the older kids.  We were pretty stressed out by the time we left.
And, you know how they say everything is bigger in Texas?  Apparently, so are pumpkin prices because a regular sized pumpkin ran anywhere from $45-60... WOW!  So, needless to say, we went home without a big carving pumpkin, but we were sure to pick out a small sugar pumpkin for Norah to take home!

When we got home, Norah was worn out.
She grabbed Brad's shirt & was dragging it around the house like Linus would.  It was a precious moment to capture in time.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Surprise, surprise... behind again!
By 2 months... I'm pretty sure that's a record!
On a good note, after starting my new photography business in October, work has been booming!  I could have never imagined I would receive so much interest in my work right from the start & it only got busier into November & December taking holiday photos.
I am so grateful that people who didn't know me gave me a shot & such a warm welcome to the area!
The downside to being so busy editing photos for everyone else, I don't have time to edit photos for myself. :(
So, here we are... half way into December & I'm all caught up on holiday photo shoots with a little down time until I have to edit client photos again.
Let's take a stroll down memory lane....

Back in October, Brad's family had a weekend off, so they made the drive to Dallas!  It was so great to see them for the short weekend.
We considered going to the pumpkin patch with the kids, but decided to stick around the area & took them to the park to soak in some sunshine and get some energy out!
They all took turns swinging while the Daddies pushed,
Norah & Presley hung from the slide,
Britton played & chatted with the neighbor kids while chasing bubbles while Cooper was the captain of the ship.
And Maddox, he was his silly, energetic self!
Tre, though... he seemed to have grown up overnight.  He climbed & played, but he is just so much more mature than he was even the last time I saw him.  Where did that little boy go??

The weekend flew by!
We ate Jimmy John's & watched Pippi Longstocking.
Jenni remembered every word to every song from that movie!!
We had one of our worst thunderstorms, yet, here in this house which sent us Mommas running to snuggle with the kiddos in the middle of the night to calm them down.
But, all in all, we had a lot of fun!
It's great spending time with Brad's family.
I can probably count on one hand how many times we got to visit with them since Tre was born.
If somebody told me 10 years ago that we would all end up in Texas someday, I would have laughed it off!
But, here we are & we're taking advantage of every moment we can while we're here!