So the Christmas season began, and we moved into the house. Once we got settled, we went into Christmas mode.
First Elizabeth went to visit Santa. She was great and walked right up to him. She was shy when he spoke to her, but in the end told him she wanted "Presents" for Christmas. We were able to get a cute picture, and she was so excited that she gave us a thumbs up. Please ignore Santa though. He was a little bored...we were the ONLY people there. I guess middle of the day in the middle of the week isn't when most people go (though I would suggest this to parents as the photographer is willing to take multiple pictures). Anyway, this turned into our Christmas card this year, as we didn't have time to take any pics in front of the tree as usual.
Baking and more baking came next.
So in true Smith/Looney/Bailey women fashion, Elizabeth and I started baking as early as we could. We started with sausage balls, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, rocky road fudge, and sugar cookies. It was our hope we would get to take a lot of these to the library Christmas party...but unfortunately an ice storm arrived and we were stuck at home (and the library canceled the party). We actually ended up giving away a lot of our treats, but we're glad we made people happy. After our first round, we helped Grammy make the famous fruit cake cookies, and we made some more oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for Aunt Melissa (those are her favorites). Soon after that came pumpkin roll, more sausage balls, pecan pie, and a lot of regular food. But Elizabeth definitely is learning a lot. She can already break an egg without making a huge mess and does well measuring. Her favorite items to make so far are biscuits and rocky road fudge...mainly because she can pat the dough for the biscuits and try the fudge as we make it (that girl LOVES marshmellows).
So this year a lot of our Christmas gifts were bought online or in the after Thanksgiving sale. Not to sound cheap, but Mark and I were money saving fools this year (we have to be considering all the changes we've made this year- WAHM, new house, construction, and new baby on the way). We brought down our cost considerably by waiting for deals etc. I've even started using ebates, so whenever we have to buy something online I go through their site. So far I've earned 20 cash back for just using their site to buy gifts we were already going to buy. The only downside, no Amazon listed and they usually have the best deals when you figure in shipping etc. I'm all about the deals now, so much so I think I'm driving Mark crazy, but I know he was excited when he got his free starbucks and extra starbucks presents for much less than usual. ;)
Mark and I also delved in stay up all night to wrapping on several occasions. We discovered this technique because wrapping with a two year old is a little bit of a challenge, particularly when she wants to "try" different bows until it is perfect. Plus and I'm sure others will agree, it's easier to do a bunch at once when you have all the stuff out than one gift at a time. I have to say, two super late nights and I was wishing that stores still wrapped gifts!!
Lily, my niece, was in a production of The Nutcracker Ballet. She was one of the dancing bon-bons and was so adorable. Elizabeth LOVED seeing her and enjoyed the ballet. Although she did think that Uncle Fritz was a vampire and announced this to everyone there. lol. Elizabeth talked about it for days and still looks at all the pictures in the program. I guess we'll be doing ballet in a few years...