I cannot imagine life without this man!
Dan's birthday weekend was the perfect time to put up our Christmas decorations.
We bought a larger, pre-lit Christmas tree from Costco this year, and we love it! I hung Advent envelopes over our fireplace with a Scripture verse and candy inside. Emma has read the verses to us each evening and the girls love getting a daily candy surprise as we count down to Christmas!
We hung some of the more delicate ornaments near the top of the tree, but *somebody* is determined not to let that stop her. Heh!
Dan's back was finally feeling much better, so he decided to get on the roof to decorate with lights. My dad helped me with the yard decorations.
Our sweet home, ready for Christmas!
We attended the Norfolk Grand Illumination Parade this year for the first time. Dan's parents, and our friends, Jenna and her son Elisha came, too.
Group shot before the parade started. It was one of the biggest parades we've seen and lasted 2.5 hours!
I love Emma's expression. She absolutely loves parades, and asked if she could ride on a parade float someday.
We visited Busch Gardens Christmas Town with Dan's sister, Robin and her family. It's such a beautiful place to enjoy during the holidays!
Our group watching the Sesame Street Christmas show in the kids' play area.
My parents and I drove to the Washington DC area to spend an evening with my Aunt Ann, cousin Kim, and her family.
It was so nice to catch up with them! Kim (3rd from left) is in the Navy and has recently been re-stationed in Washington DC.
My parents, Dan's parents, and Dan and I went to see a Mannheim Steamroller concert.
And we spent Dan's birthday weekend in Williamsburg so we could watch the Colonial Williamsburg Christmas Parade, then have Dan's birthday party with the family. This was our group sitting in the cold, light rain, waiting for the parade to begin. We all had a blast despite the drizzly weather.
Dan's funniest birthday gift was an "old man" cane with accessories from his (older) brother, Tim. It came with a huge "happy pill" box, an ear megaphone, Coke bottle glasses, and an "old man coming through" horn to honk.
I'm sure he'll put it to good use. Haha!
The following morning, I ran the Busch Gardens Christmas Town 8k Dash. Dan and my former co-worker, Lori, were supposed to join me, but Dan was worried about re-injuring his back, and Lori was sick that weekend.
But I found a fun friend at the race and had a great time. :)
Robin and Rob's church entered a float for the Hopewell, VA Christmas parade, and Emma's wish came true when they invited her to be an angel on their float! She was so excited about it until she had to sit around and wait 2 hours before the parade began. She was *this* close to deciding she was done when I offered to ride with her, just to keep her from bailing. So I ended up being the biggest angel on that float, but Emma was happy. We sang Christmas carols and waved to the crowds and made a fun memory.
Emma and I with her cousins Miriam and Naomi
Hallie didn't ride on the float, but she wanted to dress like an angel after the parade was over, too.
We attended Emma's elementary school Christmas performance, which was adorable.
Emma is standing on the very right in the red dress.
We visited Regent University's Christmas Village, and Hallie and Emma got a kick out of the kids' activities - especially the teacup ride.
Dan and Hallie spun together
Emma's in the shadows, riding with her friend Elisha and his mom, Jenna
My coworkers and I coordinated a women's Christmas potluck at work.
All dressed up for the party
All the ladies enjoyed the food and a white elephant gift exchange. The men in the office enjoyed the leftovers!
Dan and I got fancied up and attended my company's Christmas party on the Spirit of Norfolk harbor dinner cruise.
Emma got to dress up at school during her last week before Christmas break. We didn't have a Christmas character costume, so we improvised to make her a rosy-cheeked snow girl. So cute!
Hallie and I participated in Emma's class Christmas party on her last day before break.
The kids did a gift exchange, ate Chick-Fil-A nuggets for lunch, and decorated cookies for dessert. The girls did a thorough job decorating their cookies, and only ate the sprinkles off the tops.
Now Dan and Emma are on Christmas break and we've gotten to enjoy fun days off together. The weather has been cold, but generally nice, and I got some sweet pictures of the girls playing in our front yard.
We love this busy, fun season!