Wednesday, July 30, 2014

(Thanksgiving and) Christmas (and New Year's) in July

No, we're not actually celebrating Christmas in July... I'm just finally posting about last holiday season this July! 

Nonna and Pa (my parents) came to spend Thanksgiving with us last year.

Family photos!  Missing Grant and Lindsey, though...

While they were here, we had some family photos taken, went to the movies -- to see Frozen on the day it opened, before it became THE (kids') movie of the year -- made a trip to the Museum of Science, and ate lots of wonderful Thanksgiving food, of course.  I'm sure we did more than that, but that's all I can remember.  Just one more reason why I really ought to post more regularly on here...

The girls had SO much fun with Nonna and Pa during Thanksgiving break!

Thanksgiving dinner, including the highlights, turkey and pumpkin pie

Nonna and Pa's visit also coincided with the Great Haircutting of 2013.  The what, you ask?

Well, Ramona, who had never had her hair cut at all, EVER, decided that she wanted to cut off pretty much all of her hair, so that she could donate it to Locks of Love.  Hair donation was something that had been mentioned to her offhand, probably six months prior.  Someone had commented on its length and said that it was almost long enough to donate (most places require 10-12 inches minimum).  Ramona of course wanted to know what that meant, and why people donate their hair, so we explained that you can cut your hair and send it away to be made into wigs for kids who don't have any hair because they're sick.  Well, Ramona was sold.  She wanted to donate her hair.  And so began her at-least-once-a-week inquiry as to whether her hair was long enough to donate yet.  By Thanksgiving, it definitely was.

Before, during, and after.  Such a difference!  Oh, and Amelia got a haircut, too.

Now, I'm not normally very sentimental about hair, and have been known to make fun of people who get emotional about getting their hair cut...  (I mean, it's just hair!  It grows back, geez.)  I was a little sad, though, to see Ramona's gorgeous golden spirals go.  After all, those baby curls will not grow back!  But any lingering doubt I may have had about chopping off all that beautiful hair was far outweighed by how proud I was of my sweet three-year-old, adamant about doing what she could to help another child in need.   

The four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas always seems to fly by, and last year was no exception.  What did we do?  Well...

...Louisa had her half-birthday...

18 months old!

...We took the girls to Stone Zoo for Zoolights...

At Zoolights, the girls met a reindeer and admired the lights...

...and visited with Santa, of course!

...We picked out a tree from the local Boys and Girls Club and decorated it...

It was Louisa's year to put the star on the tree

...Ramona went to a barnyard babies event at our neighborhood library...

Oh, this child loves animals... Just as enamored with the rooster and pig as she was with the puppies and kittens!

...The girls performed in their respective school concerts...

Poor Amelia, doomed to a lifetime of being relegated to the back row... and Ramona got to hold her class stuffed animal during their performance

...We enjoyed the first snowfall(s) of the season...


...We celebrated with friends at various holiday parties...

Holiday party animals

...And otherwise got into the Christmas spirit! 

December = lots of Christmas prep!

We were supposed to travel to Nashville to spend Christmas at Chad's sister's house with his side of the family, but between me being out of work and them prepping to put their house on the market, we decided the trip just wasn't in the cards for us, and so we prepared to spend Christmas in Boston for the first time since 2007, and for the first time EVER with just our little family.

Luckily, we didn't celebrate the holiday entirely alone, as Grandma and Grandpa (Chad's parents) very graciously changed their travel plans so that they could spend a few days with us before Christmas, before continuing on to Nashville on Christmas Eve. 

Aquarium fun with Grandma and Grandpa... The stingray touch tank was everyone's favorite part.

Top: Baking cookies and opening presents with Grandma and Grandpa
Bottom: Amelia and Ramona got scooters.  Louisa was upset she did not... But she was happy to borrow Ramona's until her newly-ordered scooter arrived a few days later!

And while we missed the extra catching-up with our extended family that we usually get at Christmastime, it was kind of nice to be in town for the holiday, seeing our neighbors at church on Christmas Eve and waking up in our own house on Christmas morning... I'm not saying that we'll skip the big family holiday again anytime soon, but it's nice to realize that Christmas is just as meaningful when the celebration is smaller and quieter. 

Christmas Eve: before church and after Santa's visit
Christmas morning!!!

Just the cutest little Christmas diaper and leg warmer set ever!

We wrapped up the holiday season -- and the year! -- with a little New Year's celebration at home.  We dressed up, ate cupcakes, and let the girls stay up late watching movies, waiting to see the ball drop midnight. 

New Year's Eve and naps on New Year's Day

Ramona was the only one who actually made it.  (Louisa was down for the count around 10, and poor Amelia just couldn't keep her eyes open after 11:30... so close!)

Happy New Year, more than half a year late!  But hey, at least I'll be posting pictures taken this year from here on out.

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