Sunday, December 2, 2012


All week long, I've been talking nonstop about three things I was determined to accomplish this weekend:
1. Going shopping with my mom at a store I've been wanting to check out
2. Taking the girls to see Santa at the Enchanted Forest
3. Getting our house decorated at long last! (And yes, I do realize it's only the first weekend in December, but it feels like everything should have been up ages ago!)

(Of course, every weekend this time of year also comes with a fourth unstated goal: Consume as many Pumpkin Spice Lattes [tall, soy, no whip] as possible in a two-day period. Looking at it that way, this weekend has been a nice success indeed, regardless of what else I have or have not accomplished! Ha!)

Saturday started off with the much-anticipated shopping excursion with Mom. When we came back home, look what Chris had dressed the girls in:
That's right, the Vaf himself dressed them in outfits proudly declaring their future OBU Tiger status!

After meal time and nap time, we loaded the girls up for their first-ever visit with Santa...
They had no idea the excitement that was awaiting them!
... at the Enchanted Forest! Back when I saw Santa for the first time, it was at the Enchanted Forest in the old Goldsmith's downtown. Yep, I'm apparently so old that department stores were still maintaining a downtown presence back when I first came on the scene. Nowadays, the vintage Christmas display is housed at the Pink Palace, and the whole thing is a fundraiser for LeBonheur, which the girls are personally fans of.

Don't even get me started on my love for the Pink Palace! (NERD ALERT: get ready.) My junior year in high school, we had to write a term paper on any topic of our choice. I chose to write about Clarence Saunders and the history of the Pink Palace, and, while I NEVER would have admitted it at the time, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute I spent researching and writing that thing! I spent lots of time in the Memphis Room at the main library, and I even got to take a behind-the-scenes tour with the curator of the Pink Palace. It was so much fun!!
So the girls made their first trip to see three amazing wonders all in one fell swoop: the Pink Palace, the Enchanted Forest, and.... SANTA!

Shockingly, when they arrived, they seemed far less enthused than I had hoped and expected they would be... but, to their credit, they had fallen asleep in the car on the way over, and we had to wake them up once we arrived. Also, you should know that Tamsie is wearing my Christmas dress from my very first Christmas! Of course, I was six months old at my first Christmas, and Tamsie is now 13.5 months... if that tells you how tiny they are... or how big I was!

Leading up to the Forest itself is the Festival of Trees, with each tree sponsored by an organization or corporation. The girls were in awe of everything!

The lighting was awful, but I wanted to be sure and get a picture of the Church Health Center's tree, since I happen to be a former CHC employee!

This is Varsity's Dr. Seuss-inspired tree... and Varsity is where I worked back in college and immediately following graduation. This tree was by far one of the girls' favorites!

See what I mean? T's staring in wonderment, while E is going bananas with the chain in front of the tree.

In front of LeBonheur's NICU tree.... Now I have a special place in my heart for this sort of thing!

Up close: Patching up the tiniest miracles! I love it! :)

It also featured bottles like these, which I wanted to snap a picture of since T and E first learned to drink from this very same kind of tiny bottle back when they were NICU babies!

Into the Enchanted Forest at last. This mouse reminded us of Chris, even though he tried his hardest to deny it! This is basically how he ends many of his days: asleep in the recliner with a book! ;) Poor guy just wears himself completely out working so hard and helping so much around the house. There's always lots of work to be done around here, folks!

Snow bunnies and friends!

Evie saw this penguin and proudly announced, "Duck!" It seems that everything these days is either a duck, a dog, or a tree. On that note, sometimes it's hard to tell whether Evie is saying "tree" or "T," which is what she calls Tamsie.

Chris declared the fox on the right to be the Emo Fox. Not sure what's up with the recurring emo theme throughout recent blog posts, but there it is.

T and E in Santa's Workshop

"Beh" and "baw" - T&E-speak for "bear" and "ball"

They were crazy about this reindeer! Please note that Evie has one sock on and one off. Thank you, T?

Gingerbread castle!

And here's a picture of a picture of the girls with the Big Elf himself! They took to him quite well!

Later that night, we took them to their first-ever Christmas party at the home of one of Chris's co-workers, and then we ran them by my parents' house to see their Christmas tree! "TREE," in case you haven't guessed, is now their favorite new word. I just noticed that Captain Jack is making a cameo in the background of this one!

Tamsie, her Grandma, and Santa

They are pointing at everything these days!

Evangelyn is enthralled by the Christmas tree! She'd touch the pine needles and then draw her hand back to this position as soon as she'd realize that they're prickly!

Tamsie loves trains right now. She was pointing to a little train here.

She couldn't get enough!

OK, I'm just including this one to show her cute little curls.

My mom and dad also just got a new kitten, Little Walter, who was first introduced to the girls Saturday night. Somehow, Tamsie immediately knew what to do with him: pet him and love on him! :)

Evie was a little more skeptical at first.

Should she?

"I don't know, should I?"

... and she goes for it! She approves of Little Walter!
Tamsie in her cute dress (from Grandma) that she wore to church this morning

My dear old friend and lil sis Beth sent me this necklace along with T and E's birthday gift a while back! Isn't it fabulous?!
Well, tree decorating is officially about to commence around the Vafi house, and then it's on to my next big projects: Christmas card selection and more gift shopping! Christmastime, here we come!!

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