Tonight we embarked on our annual epic Together family outing to the Valley Junction holiday open house.
We do so love the Valley Junction open house. We go every year and freeze our patooties off and have a wonderful time. Somewhere I have pics of Bubs sitting on Santa’s lap and screaming when he was just one year old at this thing. Sigh.
Tonight instead of screaming, I’ll be darned if that child didn’t run right up to Santa and give him a huge hug.
It was one of the cutest things he’s done in a very long time.
Then we tried for a picture of all three kids with Santa and Mrs. Claus. We were afraid that Little One would be scared of Santa. (Not that that would have stopped me from taking a picture because I happen to think that pictures of crying kids on Santa’s lap are kind of funny.) (Yes, I am a very mean person.)
But Little One was not in the least scared of the jolly old guy. In fact, I think for a minute Art was worried that she might have found a new favorite fellow.
After the kids all sat on Santa’s knee and told them their deepest hopes and wishes and dreams (hahahahahahaha), we had cookies and really revolting hot chocolate and a candy cane and then it was back outdoors to brave the cold.
But first, a shot of Little One all bundled up under the special quilt her Auntie Karen made her.
(Guess which cookie-crumbed person wasn’t actually invited to be in this picture?)
I. Adore. This. Picture.
Once we were all bundled back into our cold weather gear, we headed back into the winter wonderland and soon found ourselves at the loading point for horse-drawn wagon rides. We got there at just the right time, so of course we had to get on and ride around!
Little One really liked the ride. She bopped on my lap to the rhythm of the horses’ clopping feet and jingle bells.
Which was cute.
After our wagon ride, we headed down the street and found the carolers singing. They sang several songs, including one just for Little One about a baby’s first Christmas.
Which was cute.
But not as cute as the baby herself.
The child just simply loves music.
Which, and it may surprise you that I say this, is cute.
(There was a lot of cute at Valley Junction tonight, and a whole big bunch of it was in that stroller!)
Next we meandered (and by meandered, I mean walked briskly so as not to freeze our patooties off) to the old caboose. This is a family tradition. Go to the caboose. Take picture of kids. Be entertained by how truly bad the picture is. It’s like a tradition!
Seriously. It’s a tradition. You can see last year’s pictures here. And don’t be surprised by how we did the exact same things last year as this year, because the whole thing is a big tradition and you don’t mess with tradition. (One difference, last year I had a weensy baby bump. This year I had a ginormous stroller carrying a 22-pound 7-month-old in a snowsuit and covered in two heavy blankets. Can I just say, keeping her warm was a lot easier last year? And that the belly fat isn’t nearly as cute this year as it was last year?)
Anyway, our last stop was the coffee shop, where the boys got hot cider to warm their insides up.
There was a guy playing live music tonight, which Stinky and Little One especially enjoyed.
(This picture makes me happy. Stinky sat like that for a long time.)
And if Art had had any fears that Santa had taken over as Little One’s favorite fellow, I don’t think they lasted very long.
(Sorry it’s blurry. It’s so sweet and I love it so I just had to use it anyway. He is an absolutely wonderful daddy to our kids.)
We’ve gone to Valley Junction. Now Christmastime is officially here.