Longview & the Magic Tree

December 19, 2017 | The journey out to the lake-lights takes a little bit of planning — and asking D to leave work a bit early. He was so excited to bring his new electric car, because waiting in a car-line and driving through a long processional with ZERO emissions is his JAM right now… 🙂 We made it through the lake lights in record time, even arriving just after 5 PM! We drove through McD’s for dinner and then hit the Magic Tree…this year the weather was so much nicer, and I snagged a ton of images. E ran and threw hay at anyone who was near, but it was awesome. It’s the best time of year!

And add in some family-selfies/cell photos

Gingerbread House

December 16, 2017 | This year, I made the mistake of purchasing a pre-made gingerbread house where YOU have to make the icing. Ugh…never again! I think it was more like cement than icing, so thank goodness we had a tub of icing in the cabinet. D and I took turns attempting to use the icing-tube on this house, and simply gave up…ha! E didn’t mind at all, with our attention on the icing she could sneak all the sprinkles in the world. Which is the best part of building, right? 🙂

Light Shows!

December 14, 2017 | There are several light displays around our metro, and a new one popped-up this year at our Community Center so we added it to the plan! After admiring the tree a bit, we loaded E into the car wearing her jammies with a candy cane. The Comm Center was a quick-stop…after a cover/parody of Love Shack (“Toy Sack”) we had to go to the spot that’s always been a favorite (Farmstead)! She loves lights like her momma, and it was nice enough that we could let E poke out the top of the sun roof! The looks I got when I got out of the car to snap that image…ha! Totally worth it!

Union Station

December 11, 2017 | Last year we did our annual Union Station visit the Monday after turkey-day, but this year it just made sense to wait a little bit. We avoid the crowds, yet get to enjoy all of the fun things they have to do! The flu has been bad this year, so I’m pretty sure I went through a whole package of cleaning wipes by the end of the day… 🙂  She loves the big tree, can give eyebrows like nobody’s business, and just has a blast running around all of the outdoor toys. I helped her write her photo-Christmas list, because there’s a slot to mail it to Santa inside! We picked her annual ornament — another cupcake, only it’s yellow on the bottom this year — and slowly made our way back to the car. I’m so thankful that D can take a day off work to make this happen each year!

Horse Carriage

December 4, 2017 | We participated in this neighborhood event last year, so as soon as the sign-up e-mail came out I jumped in again!  It’s “free” (HOA fees cover it), & E loves to talk about horses as we comment on all of the incredible lights displayed around our house. I love that the driver plays music, and despite the WIND it was really cool…until I attempted a family-selfie with my SLR.  E’s face says it all!

Cell phone pics — “Before” image of the family, video during, and then a fail on the phone-flash made having someone else take our pic impossible!

G Kid Event & Luminary Walk

December 2, 2017 | D’s company puts together a kid event each year at an arcade, where the kids can meet Santa and we walk out with a printed photo or two. E was super excited to talk to Santa this year, and the fact that we were going to a “party” made her extra excited. The noise level was a bit insane, but it was a pretty good morning.

After a LONG nap (for E and I), we decided to head to the Luminary Walk. Hot coco was the ticket to convince E. It’d been a few years since our rough experience when she was a baby, and now that the event is over multiple weekends we figured let’s go! The car made it about a mile out from the entrance when traffic backed-up. Dave was NOT thrilled about the waiting, but we really had nowhere else to be so I convinced him this was happening… 🙂  After 20-minutes passed to get in, we were finally walking to the event.  This year they spread the gnome houses out a lot, along a much wider path, which fixed the biggest issue from the time we went before!  E walked most of the time by herself, was INFATUATED with the Opera-singing-Santa, downed her warm-cider, and ran to every light feature she saw. Pure heaven for this busy toddler. We ended up walking out to the car singing “Jingle Bells” while E had the hiccups… 🙂

ETA: Dave didn’t bring a coat, and regretted it IMMEDIATELY.  That night, E decided to vomit everywhere at 3 AM…joy!