Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas 2013

It really started to feel like Christmas when we went to Hot Springs to look at lights on the Eve of Christmas Eve! We went with our favorites, the Pilks, to Garvin Gardens. It was our first time there & it was beautiful!! Afterwards, we drove downtown and around a neighborhood my parents always took us to when we were kids. It was the perfect night with our fab friends!
This is probably the sweetest picture SB has taken for me in a looong time. Not sure if you've noticed, but he doesn't slow down or look at the camera often anymore! He loves him some Addie though! Definitely a framer!
After spreading Christmas Cheer on Christmas Eve morning, we went to Blake's parents to open gifts & celebrate with his family!
It took a little bit to get Sawyer focused on opening gifts. He would open a gift & immediately want to play with it, so there would be a small fight trying to get him to move on & open more. Ha! He started getting the hang of it though!
We bought Nerf guns for our little boy cousins which of course led to an all out Nerf gun war around the house! Sawyer's faces were hilarious!!
Per tradition, we played family BINGO! I only got a few games in before SB demanded my attention to go night-night.
Santa visited, and, I think, did a FAB job! Thankfully, he was too tired and full to notice we didn't leave him any milk or cookies!
LOVE, LOVE the bag of unwrapped toys he left!!
Christmas morning!!!
Blake's back went out on Christmas Eve unloading gifts from the truck at his parents, so, after 20 minutes or more of assisting him out of bed & helping him get dressed, we finally made it into the living room with Sawyer to check out his gifts!
Sweet baby said "WOW!" when he saw his work bench!
We had invited our families over for brunch so they could watch SB open gifts. With LOTS & LOTS of help from J-Pa & Dee {since Blake's back was out} we cooked brunch for 12 people!
Bacon, eggs, biscuits, gravy, sausage cream cheese rolls & a pan of cinnamon rolls of course! Yum!
Christmas morning was SO.MUCH.FUN with Sawyer. He had the best time opening presents & playing with his new toys with all of our family there!
Santa visits our princess puppies too ;)
We spent the rest of Christmas Day playing & resting!
That evening, we went to my Uncle Gary's house to celebrate with the rest of my family. We played Dirty Santa again this year & it was so fun! I thought we took one of the best gifts to give! My parents, uncle, aunt & nana all wear readers and are constantly looking for a pair or borrowing a pair from each other because they're lost or broken. So, I bought 11 pair of readers from the Dollar Tree along with an eyeglass repair kit, some cleaning towels & glasses chains. I thought there would be lots of "stealing" of this gift but nobody ever picked it to open! When it was Blake's turn to draw, he picked it from the unopened pile just to get it out there. We were going home with the stupid glasses until the very end of the game when some "stealing" finally started and my aunt ended up with them!
Surprisingly, the items that were more desirable than my glasses were a 1D pillow & leopard print hat, a Chillow, & a Target gift card!
In the end, I think everyone got just what they wanted :)
And as quickly as it came, Christmas was over! Although, I'm still enjoying my decorations, so it may stay "Christmasy" around here until Valentine's day ;)
xoxo - the Barnetts

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Cheer

Elf says "Singing loud for all to hear is the best way to spread Christmas Cheer!" 
Well, Elf has never heard me sing! Ha!
I think FOOD is the best way to spread cheer all year round & Christmas Cheer {in the form of the Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Rolls} will  become a new tradition of mine after taking inspiration from one of my favorite bloggers, Fancy Ashley!
The night we got home from Branson, I whipped up 10 pans, or 93 Cinnamon rolls, to deliver to some of our friends & family for them to enjoy on Christmas morning!
It was a lengthy {approx. 4 hour} process, as the dough is made from scratch obviously!
Thanks to Nana for the rolling pin & the entire Justin Timberlake 20/20 Experience album, I enjoyed every second of baking these babies!
Oooohhh, the ooooey goooey goodness!!
I could block some of your arteries just by telling you how much butter went into the making of these magical treats!
I packaged them up with plates & instructions {similar to, but not as fancy as Fancy Ashley} for delivery on Christmas Eve!
The best part was spreading Christmas Cheer to friends we don't see often enough!
I hope to expand my operation next year so that more of our friends & loved ones can enjoy this new, delicious Christmas tradition of ours!
xoxo - the Barnetts

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Branson Trip

Last weekend, we took a family trip to Branson for Christmas!
I haven't been to Branson at Christmas time since I was a kid. I was very excited to spend this time with my 2 favorites :)
Nana brought Sawyer to my office on Friday afternoon, Blake came to get us when he got off work at 3 & we left straight from there. We stayed at the Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing & it was beautiful!! We had the most wonderful view!!
We got to our hotel just in time to change into our PJs and
 catch a ride on the Polar Express!
I may or may not have shed a tear or two on the Polar Express because it was so magical...and Blake may or may not have laughed at me!
Sawyer was a little restless on the train, but had a really fun time!
It was late & raining when we got off the train & we were starving, so I went to the only place open near us - Waxy O' Shea's Irish Pub - to get us some food!
It was only slightly awkward being in a bar in my red & white polka dot pajamas :)
Sawyer hasn't stayed in a hotel since our beach trip when he was 9 months old. I'm pretty sure he thought it was the coolest thing ever! He had the best time running and playing and exploring our room. Having a picnic on the coffee table was really exciting to him too!
After a good night's sleep we woke up ready for breakfast! Ha!
Breakfast is our favorite part of the day!
It rained ALL.DAY on Saturday & it was SO.COLD!
After breakfast we went shopping for a little bit around the Landing.
We went back to the room for a little bit to rest {and dry and thaw out} before going to the Dixie Stampede!!
Dixie was PERFECT!! It was so much fun & the Christmas show was amazing!
We sat on the end of the second row on the "South Pole" side. Sawyer was so good the entire time and really enjoyed the show! He got a little restless towards the end so we let him up to stand & play in the space next to our seats. The "elves" serving us were so sweet to him. He was very good and so cute when he started clapping for the performers!
It was still raining of course when we left Dixie Stampede so we just went back to our room to hang out so Sawyer could run around & play.
We had a fabulous view of the fountain show from our balcony, so we watched that every hour on the hour! Ha!
It finally quit raining around 8 pm, so we went out to walk around and see the lights & Santa! There were not many people out. SB had the best time running around looking at everything!
I see a trip to The Price Is Right Live in our future...Sawyer got SO EXCITED every time he saw a sign for it! Ha!
The boys were done after all that fun!
I stayed up to watch Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake on SNL :)

It was the perfect Christmas vacay with my sweet little family!
xoxo - the Barnetts