Wednesday, December 30, 2015

things i don't want to forget [Christmas edition]

This was a really good Christmas Season.
And I was really bad at blogging it.
And as I was just sorting through pictures, I just needed to make sure I documented a few things that I want to remember.

So, consider this my 2015 Christmas catch-up.

--- The weekend after Christmas, we went to our usual 'Christmas Tree Lighting' event at Scottsdale Quarter, the fun outdoor mall nearby. For about a week we had been prepping Rae to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what she wanted. Which, all she wanted for Christmas was literally, "one jingle bell!" I mean, how great is that?! She even wrote Santa a little note telling telling him that she was a good girl and that all she wanted was a jingle bell! That girl, we can't get enough of her! Anyways, we had been practicing in hopes that her preparation would outweigh her anxiety in the moment and that she would have a successful chat with Dear Mr Clause.
So the day comes and we wait and wait in line. On the event website it told us to bring our own camera to take pictures with Mr Clause, so when we got up there, I pulled out my phone. The little elves quickly shut me down and told me if I wanted a pic, I'd have to pay a hefty fee. Which, of course I didn't want to pay. But, that was fine. We could live in the moment and just enjoy the event without a picture. So, Rae marches up, gives Santa a big ol' hug, and starts chatting with him. He ask's her what she wants and she happily tells him, "A jingle bell!" just like we'd practiced. This is where it get's good though. That Santa proceeds to tell her that she might ALSO want a dolly....and maybe a dollhouse too? And Rae was like, "uh...yeah!" And he's like, "Okay, be a good girl and Santa will bring that!" Afterward Garrett and I were like...."WAIT WHAT?!!!!"
Rae talked about it non-stop for a week. At one point she even insisted that she rewrite Santa's note to tell him to nix the jingle bell and stick with the dolly and dollhouse. Needless to say we were fuming. This just in, Santa! Do not give suggestions! I'm pretty positive the Elves already had a plan for Miss Rae's gift's under the tree, and dolly's and dollhouses were not part of that plan. We decided to just kinda ignore the situation and let it play out how it will. One day in the car, when Rae was retelling the Santa story, I mentioned that maybe she already had enough dollies. Luckily she quickly agreed and declared that what she really wanted was "One surprise!" So, it all worked out in the end.
Other pics from the tree-lighting event, complete with fake bubble snow, smores, and Christmas carols w/ Mrs. Clause:

--- Garrett's work Christmas party this year will go down in history as the best work party ever. Ever. Mostly because we won $50 to starbucks PLUS a new iPad! I mean, can it get any better!? The whole theme of the party was 'casino night,' complete with fake money and everything. But before anyone got started, they had a door prize. Someone's seat had the Ace of Spades under it....and that person happened to be me! Boom....$50 to Starbucks! Then in an awesome round of fake craps (complete with 30-1 odds and snake eyes!) we turned something like $60 fake dollars into $1800 fake dollars. It was totally awesome! Then, we turned that fake money into raffle tickets and won an iPad. We left the party with the two prizes that had the worst odds of luck was on our side that night, for sure!

--- When all the tree-lots started popping up, Rae got so excited to go pick one out. We knew we were going to borrow a fake tree from our friends, but we decided to go check it out anyways, just for the experience. While we were there, this sweet little girl came up to us and told us that she wanted to buy us a little Christmas tree. She pulled out $20 that she had earned from doing extra chores and bought us the sweetest, littlest tree on the lot. We kinda didn't know how to respond, but seeing this little girl going around spreading Christmas cheer was so heartwarming and inspiring. It was definitely something we won't forget. The little tree ended up being the 'kids tree' where Rae could hang all her home-made ornaments. Plus, it made our house smell divine!
let it be known that their jammas shrunk in the wash....:)

---On that same note, seeing Rae come home with ornament after ornament, and Christmas crafts galore was such a delight! One of the highlights of our season for sure!

--- The Polar Express movie was definitely on repeat all season long. For some reason, all of us were digging that movie.....hence, Rae's original request of "one jingle bell." When we weren't watching Polar Express, we were reading Christmas books and singing Christmas songs and wearing matching elf-jammas!

--- The ward Christmas party this year was a "Night in Bethlehem" theme. It was so so cool and presented some really beautiful conversation pieces for us to discuss with Rae.

--- Lastly, we got to implement one of my favorite traditions into our holiday season! Growing up, we always had a manger by our tree, and when we did good deeds, we would put a piece of straw in the manger. The hope was that on Christmas eve, baby Jesus would have enough straw to keep him comfortable and warm. This year, Garrett's mom sent us the most darling manger, straw, and baby Jesus....complete with the sweetest story to read to the kids. It brought the spirit of the season into our home in a way that will never be forgotten. We are so excited to get it out again next year! (If you're interested, google "Soft Enough for a King." It's amazing, I promise!)

It was a really really magical Christmas, you guys!

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