Weekend wrap-up : Nutcracker and an early Christmas (and BSM)

A weekend wrap-up with a Best Shot Monday thrown in for good measure 🙂

Dressed up for The Nutcracker - 12/15/07

On Saturday, the fam and I drove down to Denver so that Ava and I could go see The Nutcracker Ballet (thanks to the tickets I won from Mile High Mamas).

It turns out that when they recommend that you arrive two hours before the performance, they weren’t kidding around. Traffic was a bit crazy and, since we’d never been there before, we didn’t know exactly where Jody should drop us off, etc. We got into Denver an hour before the show was to start, but by the time we figured out where we needed to go and I got to the ticket window to turn in my voucher for actual tickets, it was only 30 minutes ’til show time. Unfortunately, that meant that the really good seats were already taken. The seats they had available were for the second balcony and were honestly still quite good, but had we been earlier we could’ve had great seats. C’est la vie, live and learn, and all that jazz. 😉

Of course we hadn’t yet eaten lunch and with little time to spare, we dashed over to the nearest coffee shop and ordered a couple sandwiches which we scarfed down in record time, before a hurried walk back to the opera house. Ava and I said goodbye to Jody and Julian and headed in to get to our seats just minutes before 2 o’clock. The show ended up starting about 5 or 10 minutes late, so we had time to sit there and catch our breath before the curtain rose.

Another problem with arriving at the last minute is by the time we got to our seats they were completely out of booster seats, so Ava sat on my lap for the show. It was actually kind of sweet that it worked out that way (other than the time she tooted on my leg – doh!) since she and I were able to whisper back and forth in each other’s ears throughout the performance. She, asking me questions or making observations – during the Christmas party at the beginning: “I wish I could be down there,” – when Clara was dancing with the nutcracker doll: “I wish I could be Clara” – and me explaining parts along the way. It was also nice to have my baby girl sit in my lap for that long. It’s been a long time since we’ve had that kind of closeness for such a long period of time.

Ava enjoyed the first act tremendously, but grew a little bit restless towards the end of the second act. Overall, she did really well though and said she loved it and wants our whole family to go back next year to see it. 🙂 She told her grandma and Aunt Carrie that her favorite part was “when they went up on their tippy-toes like this” and she did her best ballerina impression. My favorites parts were not of the show itself, but of when we went to the restroom during intermission and saw so many little girls trying to walk on their tip-toes while saying, “I’m a ballerina.” And when Ava whispered, “Mommy, I love you” to me as we watched the first act. 🙂

After the boys picked us up, we all went out for a tasty Italian dinner, then headed home. Jody and I got the kids ready for bed, then wrapped presents. Even though it was a bit hectic getting to the Nutcracker, it turned out to be a fun and memorable day.

Ava, Amy, Jody and Julian in our new aprons - 12/16/07On Sunday we decided to do an early Christmas celebration, which really boiled down to opening presents. Since we will be out of town for Christmas this year (we’re driving the Kansas-Oklahoma border to spend the holiday with Jody’s family), we thought it’d be nice to let the kids open most of their presents from us, and all of their presents from Grandma and Grandpa in MI, Sunday morning so we’d have the full day to just hang out and play. We’re taking a few smaller gifts with us on the trip for them to open there, and will have the bigger items from Santa (doll house and train table) ready for them when we get home. (I’ll need to blog about how we got started on saying gifts were from Santa another time because this is a first for us this year and not something I was really planning on doing. But like I said, that’s a story for another time.)

Anyway, we had a nice lazy day. We opened some presents, ate a late big breakfast, opened some more presents (Check us out above in the groovy new aprons my mom made us! Ah, the family that bakes together. By the way, I’m counting that as my Best Shot Monday pic.), and ate a late lunch. Julian had a nice nap and Ava and I stayed in our pajamas until nearly 4 o’clock. The kids played and enjoyed their new toys. Jody and Ava did a jigsaw puzzle together. Aunt Carrie came by for a visit in the evening. It was a good, leisurely day and a nice end to our weekend.

We have a busy week ahead of us – packing for our trip (we leave on Saturday), a preschool tea, parent-teacher conferences, a possible dinner with my sister AKA Aunt Carrie, baking, painting a bird house for Ava’s teacher’s present, getting my holiday cards ready to be sent (late, I’m sure, since they won’t even be here until later in the week). It’s going to be good practice for me to just breathe, slow down and, like the Tees for Change shirt I love says, “choose happiness.”

If you didn’t catch it, my Best Shot is the picture of the 4 of us above. See more best shots over at Picture This (click the button):
little bsm button

22 thoughts on “Weekend wrap-up : Nutcracker and an early Christmas (and BSM)”

  1. What a wonderful experience for you and Ava and a memory for sure. I wish I could have done something like that with Micheyla.
    Just to let you know you made the Magnificent Mamas blogroll this morning…I am updating and you definitely earned the spot!

  2. That sounds like a wonderful weekend. Your description of the little girls at intermission dancing on their toes pretending to be ballerinas was so cute.

  3. That’s a great photo of you two! What a sweetie, too, saying she loves you for bringing her…and the little girls on their tip toes…ah, sweetness. 🙂

  4. So glad you haven’t sent out holiday cards yet as well! I just ordered mine last night, and they won’t be here for a week, so mine will definitely be late this year.

    What a lovely experience for you and Ava and what a nice relaxing early Christmas you had. Thanks for sharing. I have to tell you I teared up a little bit at Ava saying “I love you, mommy.” — Oh! That is what it is all about!

  5. We had a Nutcracker date this weekend, too – and the entire 2nd act I had a little someone on my lap, and whispered comments very similar to yours. So fun!

    I love the apron photo – how fun to get all of you in the shot, too!

  6. LOVE the aprons! SO cute! I want some LOL This was a happy post to read 🙂 Isn’t it fun watching the kiddos grow up? Sammie had her school Christmas sing today and I just watched AMAZED at how much she knows and what she has accomplished! They are growing so fast and it is a bit bittersweet for me!

  7. What a wonderful weekend that sounded like!! Thanks so much for sharing.

    Please tell your mom that the aprons she made look amazing. I would even buy one! She is obviously is very talented.

  8. That’s one of the best family portraits!! Glad the ballet turned out well, despite no booster chairs. The Nutcracker DOES get long toward the end, but what a good girl Ava was to sit through it all. I’ll bet she’ll want to take ballet lessons before long!

  9. I’m late to this party, but I just wanted to say how much I love the apron family portrait. Also that your Mom should be selling those, they are truly fabulous! Maybe on Etsy?

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