Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas in Black Mountain (and the hard stuff) - Part I

For Christmas this year we did something really different.  My parents and aunt's family rented a large home in NC for us all to stay for a week.
  It was odd not having the "traditional traditions" but we had some fun memories. 
The house didn't have any decorations, so we all went to a Christmas tree farm and found our own.
It was a bit misty/rainy but everyone was a good sport about it.
We even got pulled in a tractor further into the farm to pick out our tree.
Beautiful scenery with many animals along the way.
And when we got there, it started really some of us ran for shelter.
And watched our tree get chosen.
The way back provided many laughs and entertainment, as we attempted to stay as dry as possible.
Luckily my uncle had trash bags in his car to help us stay a little drier.
I was glad the girls didn't seem to mind getting a little wet!  This is very unusual for Zoe.
Then we all watched my cousin, Michelle, do her magic in decorating the tree!
And Zoe got an introduction on how to play on an Ipad!
The rain continued for the next couple of days....and then it got colder....just not the right combo for the snow that was hoped for.
I brought all our advent crafts we had yet to do to continue there, and hopefully catch up.  We started out strong but Zoe lost interest later in the week when there were so many playmates.
One night we went to see the candlelight tour at the Biltmore.  Most of our group had never been.
I was nervous about how the girls would do. But they did well overall all.

 Driving up Zoe was very excited to go to a castle!
The live choir memorized her but she never found the princess that she was looking for.
I really hated that you were not supposed to take pictures, but I snuck in a few anyway....I've always been really bad at abiding that rule!
Shiloh started not feeling well that day, so only walked briefly and wanted her preggo momma to carry her most of the way.
The place really is magical in many ways!
Once we got home we had to have some snuggle time to recoup from all that rain!
We had some really rough nights with Shiloh, crying for hours, fighting any type of comfort and then falling asleep in our arms later in the day.  Poor thing was fighting something hard core, and wore this momma out (more emotionally more anything).  I was thankful I brought all my essential oils with me to help her get better faster.
This little girl sure does love her Poppy!
And is full of expressions and silliness.
Love this picture captured by Aarron.  Zoe has been into hide and seek lately!
Don't know what I would do without this amazing women!

Sweet Russell girls.
One afternoon we will able to escape, thanks to my momma, to the big old city of Black Mountain and enjoyed some local coffee.  It's always fun to continue to dream with my man about what our future may hold in this coffee world.
We have had very little time without children lately, little time to talk, to connect, to it was very nice.
Danielle and Aaron joined us for a bit too.
More of taking care of the little tired sickie when we got home.
Baby Lydia got much holding in as well!
My little runner sister encouraged me to take a walk with her in the neighborhood where we were staying.  And when I say walk, I mean walk up a steep climb to the top of the mountain.  I enjoyed it and the view but not so much the part where I was panting the whole way up.  Another fun thing about pregnancy!
She is so cute....even when she doesn't want me to take her picture  :-)
Lots of time in a house of little toys lead to lots of reading!
Luckily there were many volunteers.

And cookie makers.

The girls enjoyed watching the fire that Uncle Walt made bad it was way too cold to get a closer look!
A group puzzle enjoyed by most.
And playtime.

So many more pics...that needed to make a part II to come....

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