We are fortunate to live on a street with lots of young families like us and most of them are transplants just like us. Actually, we've met very few people who are actually from Colorado! Our street has an annual progressive dinner every December where we eat a different course at three different houses. They've been doing this for years with different people hosting each year, so I volunteered to do the appetizers at my house with the help of our friends Kim and Ed, who live next door. One family hosted the kid dinner at their house and we had one babysitter keep all the kids there and they ate pizza and watched Christmas movies while we enjoyed ourselves across the street. It was great to see everyone's homes decorated for Christmas and we got to eat wonderful food and it was a chance to get to know some of the neighbors that we didn't know as well. By the way, Maggie lost a tooth during the evening and she put it under her pillow and Ian and I totally forgot to leave the tooth fairy money!! We felt like the worst parents EVER. I guess we were too tired because we crashed and didn't even remember that she'd lost that tooth. But get this - my friend Kim did the exact same thing! Her son Joe lost a tooth the same day Maggie did and they forgot to be the tooth fairy too! The tooth fairy did finally make her way to our street...the next night!
We weren't quite sure how we would be spending Christmas Eve this year since in years' past we always had family nearby to spend that special time with. We decided we needed some traditions of our own! My mom's family had certain traditions such as going to the Peabody in Memphis with our family one weekend in December and we always ate at the Rendezvous. I remember going during both of my pregnancies and ordering a plate full of pickles at the Rendezvous! With Ian's family, we always do Christmas Eve lunch at Judy's with the Frost gang and play Trivial Pursuit. Christmas afternoon is spent with Mike and all of his sister's. Then we head to my Dad's in North Little Rock to see his family. So, this Christmas Eve we went to our Methodist church for Christmas Eve service then over to our neighbor's house and we ordered Chinese take-out from Mark Pi's and we played games. The kids ran wild in the basement all evening until we had to go home and play Santa. We woke up the next morning to see that Santa had come. Apparently Santa put the gifts in the wrong room (according to Maggie) so when she peered over the stairs and didn't see the gifts in the same room as the tree so she momentarily freaked out because she thought Santa had not come.
We left CO on Christmas day and drove to Arkansas, where we spent a week with the Perrys, the Ponders and Bookers. The girls were so happy to be back in Arkansas and Ian and I had a chance to go to several movies and to dinner with friends, which is something we don't do much here since we have to get a sitter to do those things now. It was great! The girls got to spend a lot of time with their cousin Ethan, which they loved! They also spent time with cousins Betsy and Ryan at Marmee's. My dear friend Kristin came to Hot Springs one day and spent the day with us. When my kids see Kristin coming they know they are going to get lots of presents from her. So, they always love to see "Aunt Kristin" as Maggie refers to her. Jill, Kristin and I took Maggie and Betsy ice-skating at the outdoor rink in Hot Springs. We also got to spend time with my two friends Carrie and Catherine and their spouses. We went bowling at the Professor Bowl in Little Rock. That's something we used to do back when we all lived in Little Rock when we all were first married almost nine years ago! It was great to see them.