Thursday, January 31, 2013

Evan James Hardin

I got to meet my sweet little nephew, Evan, in December.  The sweet thing is so cute and has a funny little personality.  He seems so easy-go-lucky during the day and loves to keep his mommy up all night.    He has too many plans for sleep.  His first night at my parents' house was a little rough, but he eventually settled in to the new surroundings and warmed up to all of the unfamiliar faces.  Lisa is such a good mom to him and loves him more than anything.  It has been fun sharing baby stories with one another and laugh about all of the wonderful (and exhausting) things new moms get to go through.

Here are my oldest and youngest nephews:

Dad turns 60

My dad turned 60 in November and so we planned a little party for him after Christmas.  Due to some, well, technical difficulties, we had to cancel the party last minute and change it to a family party at the house.  It actually worked out beautifully and we had such a nice time with dad.  I think he was touched that all of his children and grandchildren came together to celebrate his 60th.  We decorated the house, made a photo collage, and gathered memories from friends and family to put in a book for him.  He shed some tears, blew out his candles, and had a great time.  It was a very special night for all of us.

Christmas at the Evans, 2012

On Christmas Eve, we went to my parents' house to see the whole family-Jackie, Shawn, Lisa, all of the grandkids, and the spouses.  The girls were SO excited to see all of their cousins and get ready for Santa.  It took some work, but they finally went to sleep just in time for Santa to visit.  

Here they are making cookies for Santa.

Elizabeth is such a wonderful young lady!  Harper just adored her and Elizabeth was like a little mother the whole week.

I don't think I've ever seen so many presents in my LIFE!  Ryann corralled the kids in the entry way while I snapped a picture before the mayhem.  Um, yes, it is still pitch black dark outside-and EARLY.  The kids had a great time opening presents. 

Then we got ready for an awesome dinner!  We had all of the traditional food and surprisingly tons of leftovers.  

Jackie came the night of Christmas and we were so happy to see her, Chad, Sam, and the boys!

The Wallaces joined us for Christmas dinner.  Brian and I love that we can all get together and have Christmas and Thanksgivings together.

Here are the girls watching a movie.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Christmas Eve at the Wallace, 2012

We had Christmas Eve morning at the Wallaces and the girls got to once again open presents.  Santa visited the girls the night before and Harper got to sit on his lap and Kate got to gawk at him in horror.  Ha!  It was pretty cute.  Harper kept encouraging Kate and saying things like, "it's okay, Kate, Santa is nice to the kids."  I don't have any pictures of it though-I need to get some and add them.

They opened gifts and then we went to Brian's grandmother's house so she could meet Kate.  It was really sweet for all 4 generations to be there and the 3 generations of girls.  Harper's middle name is named after her great grandmother, Rosemary, and she warmed right up to her.  I thought it was so cute when she climbed right up on her lap and started talking to her.  I don't have a bunch of pictures of that either-my hands were busy with two munchkins.  Harper has a sweet soul and all I had to say to her was that it was her great grandmother and she acted like she had climbed up on her lap every day for years.  

Harper and Kate won't get to know their great grandmother as I've known her, but Rosemary has always been so loving and full of grace and she still is.  Hopefully Brian and I can bring instill those lovely qualities in the girls.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Memphis Botanic Gardens Big Backyard Holiday Lights, 2012

While we were in Memphis, we went to one of our favorite places, the Botanic Gardens' Big Backyard.  It is this adorable place for kids compete with tree houses, fountains, mazes, and themed playhouses.  There are music, science, and play aspects to the park and the girls just love it.  We've been there in the summer but this was our first time going at night for the winter lights.  

Harper got to meet this ice princess.  Say the word "princess" and Harper is in!  She was in total awe of the princess.

Here's everyone ready to walk in.  We got very lucky with the weather-it was the one day it wasn't raining or freezing.

Harper loves her Mimi!  Look at how they use old couches and sinks as planters.  It is so whimsical!

And Kate loves her Pop!

The lights were so pretty on all of the trees.

We thought this would be a cool picture, but between it being night time and trying to get the kids to smile, nothing would quite cooperate.  HA!  Oh well.

They had a little house filled with styrofoam "snow" for the kids.  It was very slippery.  We let Harper in for a little while.  I think she likes the real stuff much better.

My favorite part was the life size light bright.  They fashioned a chain link fence with lights behind it and had buckets of color water-filled water bottles for the kids to make designs on the fence.  It was so pretty!

They also have these adorable themed houses that each have a different activity inside.  It was dark inside and I think it freaked Kate out a little bit...

At the end we drank hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows to make s'mores.  

This was a special memory and so much fun for all of us.  I know Brian is happy that he gets to share special memories like this with all of his girls (including his mom).