We managed to visit Santa Claus two times this year. The first visit was at Bass Pro Shop on Black Friday. I pretty much knew Miller was at the age where Santa was the scariest man on earth. My favorite Santa picture of Ellie is when she was almost two and we can't even see Santa's face because her entire arm is covering him! This may sound awful but I secretly love a screaming Santa picture. Memories for sure!
Miller really surprised me and did not cry this first time! He has a petrified blank stare on his face and did not sit long, but long enough to snap a picture. I thought it turned out precious and the Santa at Bass Pro was great!
We went up to the Greenfield Bank a couple of weeks later and tried again. I think we have a winner this time!
Miller says: I will high five you all day long but I do not want to sit in your lap!
Of course Miss Priss was all about Santa and made sure to tell him all about the American Girl Spa chair she was asking for.
We survived both visits and pray Miller likes the jolly old elf a little better next year. Bless his heart!
Since I am on a blogging roll, I thought I might try and start recapping our Christmas season. December flew by in a flash (as always) but we were able to do some fun things and make more memories!
We hosted a Christmas Tea for our little church girl friends one Saturday. The girls decorated Christmas tree ice cream cones, ate snacks and made ornaments. It was a fun morning with some very sweet girls.
On Ellie's actual BIRTHday, we had cake and ice cream with a few family members. It was very laid back and quick but Ellie received some very nice gifts and we all had fun visiting. I of course had to do a little decorating and had our favorite cake lady make us another yummy cake. It was all perfect!
Peeps and DeDe came up the night before to keep the kiddos while I worked that day. It was a huge help and we of course loved having them here.
The birthday girl!
While the guests were arriving, Ellie and Miller serenaded us with a little karaoke.
Miller made sure sissy had plenty of help opening her gifts. She received so many nice things!
Singing Happy Birthday to our FIVE year old!
Miller was in a major cheesing mood. I snapped some super cute pictures of him before the party started.
It was a fun relaxing night with family. Can't believe my baby is FIVE!
For Ellie's birthday this year, we opted out of doing a big party and decided to take little family getaway instead. So last Friday after school, we loaded up and headed to St. Louis! That morning before school we ran into Walmart to get cookies for her class and a birthday doughnut. We don't really eat donuts very often and Ellie took 3 bites of this one! But she had a great day at school and was SO excited when all of us picked her up and headed north.
I knew the way to Ellie's heart was American Girl, so we planned the weekend around going to the AG Store and everything we could do in our time allowed. We have been once before (right before Miller was born) but this trip was even better! Since we were celebrating a pretty big birthday, I planned a few surprises for her once we were there. We didn't eat in the Bistro last time, so I managed to get us a reservation and even planned a little birthday party. It was definitely the highlight of the trip for both of us.
We stayed in a hotel about a mile from the Chesterfield Mall. Friday night once we arrived, we went straight to the mall. We walked around the AG store for a few minutes while waiting to eat at the Cheesecake Factory. Miller loved the store as much as sissy!
This girl and her "noodles"...
After dinner, we went back into the mall to walk around and play. We rode the carousel...
The Choo CHoo...
And Ellie did the spider jump!
After we'd had enough mall games, we headed back to the hotel for the night. Traveling with little ones is never easy. Our kids sleep in their own beds (for the most part) and Miller has been in his crib since he was two weeks old. I just don't do well having him sleep in the same room as me. Which means...hotel sleeping is interesting! We learned while at the beach last summer that the pack n play fit in the bathroom. It was dark, we turn on the fan...and BAM we had an extra room for Miller man. So on this trip after we finally got him settled down and sleepy, he slept great all night in his little room. The only downfall to him tying up the only bathroom is when someone has to use it! Ellie NEVER wakes up to potty in the middle of the night...but wouldn't you know she did that night. So at 1:45 am we threw on our shoes and headed downstairs to potty in our PJ's. Always interesting and NEVER dull with our crew!
The next morning we were up around 7:30 and headed downstairs for breakfast.
After we were all dressed and ready to go, we checked out of the hotel and headed to the mother ship to begin our BIG day!
Our surprise lunch reservation was at 11:15 so we decided to arrive at the store right when they opened at 10. That was a great decision because we were able to get a close parking place and a spot at the doll salon with no wait. We shopped and shopped and had a ball!
Kit had her hair braided...
And we walked around and found a few goodies to bring home with us!
Thanks to quite a few sweet family members, Ellie purchased the "snack cart" for her dolls and a hair styling accessory kit. Both are precious and she was so so excited to have them. She is super protective over them and has played with it non stop.
She got new Pj's for herself and for her doll from Mommy and Daddy. She of course had to sleep in them the night we got home!
After our shopping spree, it was time for our Bistro lunch! Daddy and Miller opted out of joining us which really was for the best. I was able to direct all of my attention to Ellie and Miller had a blast in the kids play area at the mall. I had told Ellie that morning that we were eating at the Bistro but did not tell her that I had booked the "Deluxe Birthday package" so that was another fun surprise!
We each got a drink, a small plate appetizer and an entree. The package also came with the cutest and yummiest birthday cake!
As soon as we were seated, they gave Ellie and Kit matching birthday crowns, a high chair, and a cup and saucer that we got to take home with us. We also got to take home the napkin ring/hair bows. They really do it up right at the American Girl Store!
Such a big 5 year old...
I got the fruit kabob for my small plate... and E had soft pretzel bites.
She of course ordered the "butterfly pasta". Look at that face. She was just so happy to be there. But then again...so was I.
The BEST day with my girl.
Our sweet waitress made a big announcement throughout the entire Bistro announcing Ellie's 5th birthday and everyone sang! So fun!
She then sliced the cake for us and brought us ice cream in little flower pots.
And finally, she brought Ellie her goodie bag full of fun American girl treats. Kit got a birthday celebration t-shirt, an American girl balloon, a shopping bag just her size, and stickers. Everything was so cute and special. The perfect celebration for our sweet girl!
After lunch we took a potty break and I had to snap a picture of this. Doll hangers in the bathroom! They've thought of it all!
After we said goodbye to our beloved store, we walked over to meet Daddy and Miller at the mall and then headed to the Magic House Children's Museum for more fun!
We LOVED the Magic House on our last trip and stayed almost 4 hours. We didn't stay quite as long this time because everyone was wearing thin, but we still had fun and got to check out a few new things that weren't there the last time.
Not 5 minutes after we hit the road to head home, these poor babies were OUT. Such a fun, fun trip celebrating our big FIVE year old!
I'm a Tennessee girl, born and raised. A wife to a hard working high school football coach and a work-from-home momma to a spunky 4 year old little girl who keeps me on my toes and the sweetest baby boy, Miller who makes our family complete. I love my family, cooking and entertaining, social media and dressing my kiddos. (Yes, dressing them IS a hobby!) Welcome to our crazy life, where we are just trying to balance it all!