Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

We had a really great Christmas and enjoyed having family come for the holiday. Mom and Glenn; Dad and Donna; and Erin, Josh and Cameron all came to visit, and it was so nice to have everyone here.

Santa had come through Mom and Glenn's neighborhood the week before Christmas, and Ella had been able to see him then. He gave her a candy cane and told her she was a good girl. Her reply: "I am." Needless to say, she was very ready for Christmas to arrive.

The 3 of us before church on Christmas Eve

Ella with Grandma and Granddad

Christmas Eve service at our church is a "family service" meaning that Ella does not go to Noah's Landing and instead sits with us for the service. She has not yet mastered the art of being quiet during church and some of the highlights included her singing the Backyardigans theme song, yelling at Cameron six seats down the row ("sing it baby Cam!"), and praying out loud while our pastor was praying, repeating what he said. I was THAT Mom, hissing in her ear the whole time. Yikes!!

Things were definitely more her speed back at our house she was able to be her true wild self...

Having fun with Cameron

Cameron does this adorable move where he lifts his arm up toward the fan

Steve built a fire on the deck and we roasted marshmallows

With Granddad

Some treats for Santa

On Christmas morning Ella was really excited but almost shy about seeing what Santa had brought her and wasn't in a huge hurry to get downstairs, she even wanted to read a book first.

She followed the trail of candy canes that Santa had left for her and was really excited to see that he had eaten his treats. She said "there's just crumbs left!" - although she did tell me she she wished he had taken the plate with him back to the North Pole (maybe next year!)

On her new scooter

Little cuties

Little Santa hard at work

Ella made ornaments for everyone with paint and glitter, and colored a special wooden one for Cameron.

Hug for Grandma

Another fan salute

Erin and Cameron

Ella loved opening all of her presents. She was completely spoiled (Santa has nothing on grandparents!) and wanted to open and play with everything right away.

Snoopy Sno-Cone Maker from Mom - we used to have this and I can't wait to try it out again!

Giving a gift to Grampy G

Mom and Glenn

Dad and Donna

Dressed up like a princess in her new dress-up clothes from Grandma and Granddad (side note: her 'treasure chest' is now going to be the place I will check first if anything is missing around here)

Lucky guy getting a big kiss from Cory

It was without question, Ella's ideal day. Family at the house, presents, new toys, jammies most of the day, plenty of sweets, no mention of a nap, and nothing on the agenda but playing all day - she loved every minute of it.

Some group photos after Christmas dinner

Upside down with Grampy

After so much pre-Christmas preparation and anticipation, I am always a little sad to see Christmas end, and this year was no exception. With Ella being so into Christmas it really makes the season that much more fun.

I love seeing it through her eyes and I really enjoy how excited she gets about everything. It was definitely a great Christmas and I am so happy we had everyone here to celebrate with us.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Visit with Santa

Ella's preschool had a Breakfast with Santa party last week and I decided to let that be our Santa visit for the year and save a trip to the mall and the big line to see Santa.

She stumped me on the way to school because she wanted to know if we were going to see Santa's sleigh and the reindeer in the parking lot and then wanted to know if he has a car or did he walk? Eek, so many questions!

It took her a little bit of time to get up her courage to go talk to Santa but then she was ready and actually went up by herself to talk to him. I think it helped that she was in an environment she's really comfortable in and had her friends there too. She did not want to sit on his lap but they had a nice little chat and she got a bag of treats from him which was what she was most interested in.

Disney on Ice

We took Ella to Disney on Ice a few weeks ago. I knew she would like it but underestimated just how much she'd like it, and how great of a show it would be for adults too.

Ready for the show!

Ella loved seeing Mickey and Minnie. They skated by and waved right at 'her' and she waved back for about ten minutes straight :)

Cinderella's carriage

Many princesses

Minnie and the Tangled horse. We haven't seen the movie Tangled, but the Tangled part of the show was awesome, lots of acrobatics and even some flying, it was definitely my favorite part.

Big hug from my baby after the show

I love that Ella is old enough that she can appreciate shows like this, and I look forward to many more to come!

Cameron's 1st Birthday

It is hard to believe it's already been a year since Erin had Cameron, but he turned 1 on December 4! Ella and I went to Charlotte for the weekend to celebrate his 1st birthday.

Erin and Josh held the party at Mom's apartment and was Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme. The decorations looked great, food was wonderful, and the birthday boy couldn't have been any cuter!!

Cameron wasn't sure about his cake at first but he got into it after a while - you can see how much enjoyed it!

Opening his birthday gifts

Ella playing outside with Erin's sister-in-law and niece

Cameron with Grandma and Granddad

With Grammy and Grampy G

Sleepy little guy after his big day

Grampy got a ball pit for Cameron and Ella and Cameron were so cute playing in there together

Fun playing on Sunday morning

Happy 1st Birthday sweet Cameron, we love you so much!!!