On Saturday, we had the opportunity to celebrate the season in two amazing ways. One of our favorite cousins Mandy took Hannah to see the Nutcracker in Seattle. She was so excited to go and have a big girl date all her own. And thrilled with the special ornament Mandy got her as a memory.
While Hannah and Mandy were off on their adventure, Haley, Grandma and I went to Country Village. In case you haven't been there (or don't live in the area), its . . . well its . . . a country village?! It is filled with sweet little shops to poke around in, cottages to explore and always fun places for kids (like a big boat play set when it's sunny and tons of ducks to feed). We've enjoyed Country Village for years but I've never been there during December and it was truly a treat.
We walked around and discovered they had pony rides!! Haley could not have been more excited.
She kept a straight face the entire time yet as soon as the ride was finished, she began jumping up and down saying it was the most fun she has ever had.
We walked into a little tea shop and looked into the display case. Haley saw some pink meringue and couldn't wait to taste it. (I must admit, it was the sweetest little girl snack ever!)
We found Mrs. Claus and Haley got to talk to her for a while.
After enjoying the beautiful decorations in some of the cottages, we stopped and bought some kettle corn (from the blasted cutest older man I'd ever seen).
We ended our time at Country Village with a ride on the train. It was a bit rainy at this point but the train conductor had fleece blankets to wear on our laps as we rode and it was all worth it to see the smile on Haley's face as we rode around the entire village admiring the lights and decor.
It was a wonderful day and the girls could not stop talking all the way home about their adventures. Hannah sat a few rows behind the orchestra pit and even got to play a violin during the intermission!. She will never forget all she saw. And Haley couldn't wait to tell Hannah every bit of her day as well.
We were almost home and were admiring the many homes decorated on our way when we noticed a nativity scene set up in a church window. We had to stop and get a closer look.
We had all had a wonderful day full of music and lights and food and fun . . . and this scene quieted our hearts. Our conversation changed the rest of the way home. We were still thrilled with all we had done but spent some time remembering the story of the nativity. Christmas is filled with so many incredible moments to experience so many fantastic things . . . but when you step back and pause for a moment, the reason for such a celebration is in honor of this precious sight . . . God's son sent into the world as a tiny baby to awe and inspire us in more ways than any show or ride or treat ever could. I hope you are enjoying all this season has to offer . . . and have had a few chances to pause the hustle and bustle to be still . . .