Christmas Day

Tylee had quite the struggle deciding what to ask Santa for this year. I love Santa, love Christmas, and love to talk about anything and everything surrounding it. That means I started asking in October what she thought she might be wanting. It changed a hundred times and she finally decided on a little art kit that she saw on TV. I tried and tried to convince her that Santa brings big things but nope! She wanted Graphic Skinz. 
Well, turns out, Santa brought that to the Elks Kids Christmas party - so the thought process had to start all over! Just a few days before Christmas, she finally decided on a rainbow colored pompason chair! Perfect! 

As I've mentioned before, I really struggled with getting my DSLR out this past year. I'm already doing better and am excited to be more intentional with it this year. So...here is all I have from Christmas morning. 

Nice, huh? 

And at my Mom's...

And my Dad's...

I think my sister got some (which is why I was less worried about it) but I'm still disappointed. Oh well, I think Tylee may be one of the most photographed children ever, so it isn't that big of deal. 
We truly had a blessed Christmas and enjoyed every moment of togetherness. Tylee was spoiled rotten and we had a wonderful time with family. What more could you ask for? 


Christmas Eve

My blogging and picture taking has been horrible this year but I did whip out the 'ol DSLR for some Christmas fun! Definitely a wake-up call that I need to do better with my pictures next year. I started prepping for Christmas this year back in early November. I feel like we took full advantage of the season and made the most of our days. With only 4 short weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we got the Christmas stuff out early so we could enjoy it as long as possible. We decorated and decorated and decorated some more! Top that off with some Black Friday shopping and we were knee-deep in holiday spirit! 

The days and weeks leading up to Christmas are even more fun for me than Christmas Day. There is always some let-down on Christmas that it is all over so I tend to enjoy the pre-Christmas festivities a little more. The Saturday before Christmas, I put all the finishing touches on the gifts under the tree. I was officially done!  
With the way the holiday fell this year, I had to work on Christmas Eve so thoughtfully planned ahead and got our cookies done early. Tylee usually only lasts a couple of rounds with the rolling and cutting so it is kind of nice to get that out of the way. 

Sticking with tradition, Grammy came out on Christmas Eve to decorate. I think we only made it through about a 1/4 of the tray before we were ready to move on to presents! 

Poor Merle was at the wrong place at the wrong time! 

After the decorating, we had dinner and did presents with Grammy. Tylee chose to do presents last so she could have something to look forward too. She most definitely is my child! After presents, we went to town and looked at lights, then let Tylee open her Christmas jammies before setting out cookies and milk for Santa. Julie and Isabelle got jammies too! 

Tylee went right to sleep that night and woke up about 7am the next morning to the sound of TJ and I talked. We heard her yell from her room, "If you guys don't stop talking, Santa isn't going to come!" Little did she know...he already had! 

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!


Happy Halloween!

My years of picking Tylee's costume are over. Sigh. Thankfully, I was still able to take one that she wanted and spice it up a little. They just grow so fast and with all that growing, they grow opinions too! Not only do I not get to choose her costume, it's sad to think that we may only have 3-4 years of trick-or-treating left. In the blink of an eye, she could be dressed in a cheerleaders costume at this very stadium, except it won't be a costume - she will be cheering on the Grizzly's! 
Her class party was the day before Halloween so while I had her in Altamont all dressed up, I decide to do a little photo session before the big day. I usually try to take photos before Halloween because she is always too excited to get going. Pretty adorable, if I do say so myself! 

On Halloween night, we went to my boss' neighborhood in town again. That has definitely become a tradition for us and happens to be one that I just love. Halloween is a holiday that I never anticipated being so much fun and I will be so sad when my little trick-or-treater no longer wants to trick-or-treat. With Mom and Dad, anyways! 


Tanganyika Wildlife Park

We had some things come up in October and didn't make it to the Tulsa State Fair, which is usually our last ditch effort to enjoy the beautiful weather before winter hits. We also missed a pumpkin patch trip so I was looking for something new to do before we were stuck inside for 4 months. When Tylee was around 2 years old, a friend had told us that he had taken his kids to the zoo in Wichita and they got to feed a giraffe and all kinds of really neat stuff. Later that fall, we decided to go check it out and took Tylee to the Sedgwick County Zoo. Except there were no giraffes to feed. Nice zoo? Yes. What he was telling us about? No. I later learned that he was talking about the Tanganyika Wildlife Park in Goddard and we just now got around to checking it out!
Tylee tends to be somewhat of a chicken so I wasn't sure whether to tell her about the things they offered to prepare her a bit or leave it all a surprise and hope she participated. I ended up looking it up on Instagram on the way and couldn't hold back - it looked like SO MUCH FUN. And luckily for me, she thought so too! She was ALL IN!  
Giraffe Feeding
Lorakeet habitat - definitely freaky! 
Kangaroo petting zoo. The baby in that Mama's tummy ended up coming out and hopping around, then went back in. Coolest thing I've seen! 
And the bunnies...Tylee's favorite part. We are planning on getting a bunny next Spring so she is very interested in bunnies right now! 
Guinea Pig Feeding
Llama Train - which replaced the camel ride that day because the camel decided to take down his trainer and stomp on him. I doubt Tylee ever rides a camel in her life after witnessing that. 
Icecream break! 
Monkey Island
I was the most disappointed in the lemurs, but only because people on Instagram has posted a bunch of selfies with them and such. We were told to sit on the rock and be still while the Lemurs came over to visit us. We had to hold our hands out flat while they walked on us and when I moved my hand to pet one, I got in trouble. Definitely a neat experience but we must've been there on a bad day or something. 
The place was really, really neat, clean, and organized. It wasn't overly busy and we got to spend as much time as we wanted with each animal. I would highly recommend this place to any one that is interested. We've been to 8 Zoo's in 6 years and this is by far the neatest place I've ever been. I should add a disclaimer that it is kind of expensive but definitely a priceless experience if you have little ones! 

These impromptu mini-vacations have become some of my favorite things. Just me and the two people I love the most doing something together as a family. I wouldn't give that up for the world.