1. Our tree tilts ever so slightly to the left, and the tree topper could fall at any moment, but both look beautiful none-the-less. The stockings are hung by the chimney with care, and the fireplace roars to life every evening. The lights framing our front entryway hang more elegantly than ever before (to be clear, our lights don't necessarily hang elegantly, they just hang more elegantly than in years past), and Will turns them on every evening as soon as the sun dips below the horizon. Yes, it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.
2. Our annual drive (in our pajamas) to count Christmas lights didn't go quite as well as we'd hoped - we tried in vain to find our "winning" house from last year and the little one fell asleep from boredom - but the cookies and milk we enjoyed on our drive were delicious!
3. We attended multiple Christmas parties, including one at Hallie's preschool and Christmas at the Creek, where we watched Will's friends Kaylee and Danielle dance and the kids went down the tallest inflatable slide I'd ever laid eyes on. Seriously, the slide was three stories tall. Hallie climbed the ladder and started down the slide with no problem, but as soon as she left the safety of the platform, she kind of bounced up in the air (she didn't weigh enough to stay firmly on the surface of the slide) and screamed - a terrified, not excited, scream - the entire way down.
4. Tom and I took the kids to see The Nutcracker for the first time. Ballet Brazos, a local nonprofit organization with which Hallie's dance studio is affiliated, put on its second annual performance of the traditional ballet last Saturday afternoon. Will and Hallie both knew a number of kids in the show, so we made it a point to purchase great seats and show our support. The ballet itself was lovely, but this was my favorite part of the afternoon:
I honestly can't look at this picture without tearing up…when did my boy get old enough to bring a girl flowers?!
And while I'm certainly not encouraging these two kiddos to grow up any faster than they already are, I love this little mouse and wouldn't be at all upset if in 10 or 11 years I was taking a similar picture of her and Will on their way to prom.
5. This adorable little firecracker - my niece, Lily - turned three this week. It seems like just yesterday she joined the family, yet at the same time I feel like I've always known and loved her. Happy birthday, Uncle Lily!