Monday, December 19, 2011

Ho, ho, ho!

This was Hannah's first time meeting Santa ~ no tears! She had a major freak out when Rudolph came around to say hello while waiting we were in line, so I did not have very high hopes for a good St. Nick encounter. Lucy told Santa that she wanted a baby doll "named Hannah" for Christmas and that was it. She's been very cryptic about her requests this year, saying only that she wants some toys. Hannah's new party trick is to respond, "Ho, ho!" in a deep voice when asked "What does Santa Claus say?". It's quite entertaining!

I've had a blast this Christmas season watching these two become excited about lights and Christmas carols and trees and baby Jesus. Hannah likes to walk around holding "Jeeshus" from the nativity scene and Lucy is finally starting to get that Christmas is a celebration of Jesus' birth. Christmas has also been a truly lovely time of year for me, but it is ever so much magical when seen through the eyes of a child.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I guess that's why they call it the blues

We hit up the Highland Jazz and Blues Festival a couple of weekends ago, and it was suprisingly fabulous! The weather was warm, the food was good (we tried Geauxcicles for the first time - yum!), and the musicians were super talented. Plus it's set in Columbia Park, so there is a ton of playground equipment to keep the kiddos entertained. It was a very bohemian, spread your blanket on the lawn, bring your dog and your baby, and dance like a hippie kind of event... and I loved it.

We got there just in time to hear the Preservation Hall Jazz Band out of NOLA entertain the crowd - for free! They were really great and the girls loved dancing to those famous Crescent City jams. It's a super fun event for the city of Shreveport and we're already looking to going back again next year.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A thrill of hope

It is no surprise to anyone living in my household that I LOVE Christmas music. I have mixes on my iPod, listen to a holiday station on Pandora, and love traveling along with the cheesy holiday station on the local radio. The girls and I had a dance party in the living room to the Rat Pack holiday tunes the other night. I even burned a CD mix with my favorite songs on it as a Christmas gift for our family members many years ago.

And while I have many favorites, both secular (Zooey Deschanel's version of "Baby It's Cold Outside" from the Elf  soundtrack just knocks my socks off) and religious, there is only one song that causes me to sit in the driveway with the car running until it's over ~ "O Holy Night".  These lyrics and the musical notes that accompany them get me every single time:
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O hear the angels' voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.
I literally cry almost every single time I hear this song. It's stunningly beautiful. I've heard it so many times, sung by so many different artists, but something new stirred in me today while driving the girls home (listening to Mariah Carey's version no less): a thrill of hope. Because really, isn't that what the Christmas season is all about? Hope that God would send his son, the Saviour, so that we might be made new. Hope that broken relationships may be mended. Hope for a fresh start and a new beginning.

So during this advent season, I will pray for the thrill of hope to take seed in my heart as I prepare to hear the good news.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2 NIV)

Wordless Wednesday: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas edition

Mommy's little helper

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care

"Little Cindy Lou Who who was no more than two..."