Wednesday, December 14, 2016

December Fun - The Nutcracker and a Party!

Hi, everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. Our weekends in December tend to be pretty busy, and this past weekend followed that pattern, for sure. It was a fantastic weekend, though, full of special time spent with many of our favorite people.

On Friday night, I escaped for a while to spend some much needed time with my besties, Amy, Angie, and Kendall. We all met at Angie's house, had chili for supper, then sat around in our pjs laughing, crying, visiting, and catching up on life. No pictures were taken at this little gathering, but it was a great night!

Back in October, my sister, Lisa, had come across a Groupon deal for tickets to the Tulsa Ballet's performance of The Nutcracker. The tickets were a good deal, so Lisa asked me if Brianna and I wanted to join her and Chloe Jo for the performance. I said yes, but didn't tell Brianna what we were doing until the morning of, and she was beyond excited for a day out with her bestie cousin. Lisa and I went to this ballet about 16 years ago, but neither Brianna nor Chloe Jo had ever been to a ballet. 

We dressed up "all fancy", and I even let Brianna wear a bit of lip gloss :-).

We picked up Lisa and Chloe Jo at their house, but before we left we had to take a few more pictures (of course!). 

Brianna and CJ looked just adorable all fancied up for the ballet. 

Brianna took this photo for us :-).

Bestie cousins <3 p="">

We went to lunch at Panera Bread, then headed to the ballet for a matinee performance.

The girls love their dolls, so we told them they could bring them with us. Natalie and Madison were so happy to see a live performance of The Nutcracker!

We arrived with about 20 minutes to spare and were glad we did. This gave us time to meet one of the ballerinas who performs in the show. 

Also, we were able to get our picture with a Nutcracker.

When we got into the theater, Chloe Jo seemed a little nervous. She is often reserved in new settings, so it took her a bit to warm up.

The girls thought the show should start the minute we sat down. We only waited about 10 minutes in the theater, but they thought it was soooooo long, haha.

Brianna was kind of bouncing off the walls with anticipation. I kept reminding her to calm down a bit!

So happy to share this experience with my girl!

Lisa took this photo of the girls, and I noticed that Brianna was making her "crazy eyes" in the photo. I told Bri to try and relax, and she said, "I can't Mom! I'm just SO EXCITED!!!!" 

Lisa and I weren't sure how well the girls would do during the actual show, but they were on the edge of their seats the entire time. When the curtain closed for intermission, they both thought it was over and were disappointed until we told them it was just a short break. 

Stretching our legs during intermission

When the show ended, Chloe Jo exclaimed, "That was AMAZING! I want to see it 15,000 more times!" I don't know about 15,000 more times, but I do hope we are able to take the girls again in a few years. It was a really special and wonderful afternoon!

Every year, we get together for a meal and a small gift exchange with Ross and Tia around Christmastime. We've been doing this for seven or eight years now, so it's definitely a tradition! When Lisa and Russ moved here almost five years ago, they started joining us, and in the past few years our friend, Cynthia, has also been able to be with us. Saturday evening after The Nutcracker, we all went to Ross and Tia's house for our annual Christmas gathering. 

Tia made some excellent lasagne, we visited, laughed, the guys played pool, and the kids exchanged gifts. We had such a nice time and left with our hearts full!

Our sweetie - Brecklyn, Chloe Jo, Brianna, Sadie, Brenson, and Brooke

Lovely children :-)

I wanted to get a picture of the guys, but they were too busy examining the trash.

Russ, Chris, and Ross

Then, of course, I asked Chris to take a picture of the ladies for me. Annnnnnd, this is what I got:

*Sigh* Lol.

Thankfully, Cynthia had a good shot on her phone that she sent me.

Cynthia, Tia, Chelle, and Lisa

There's always that one friend . . .  😁

On Sunday, we had our Christmas potluck and gift exchange with our church family. There was a little photo area set up which I thought was fun! And, our family picture is actually decent (not perfect, but not terrible either).

Bren and Momma

Chris, Lyle, and Russ

Bren, Chloe Jo, and Brianna

It was a full weekend, for sure, but my heart is overflowing!

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