Freezing Rain and a Choo-Choo Train

There’s something incredible about a child’s wonder. As a mom you feel this overwhelming responsibility to show your child the “magic” of each holiday… to expose them to wonderful adventures and experiences. You are in charge of building beautiful childhood memories for them to treasure forever.

Add in the fact that I’m a stickler for traditions and I haven’t completely parted with my own child-like excitement for Christmas , and you get some pretty high hopes for the season. I envisioned a million and one activities where Emmy’s eyes would light up with surprise and amazement.

Well, as everything goes with kids, most things don’t go according to plan. We’ve been battling snot and congestion since the week before Thanksgiving. We’ve opted for playing at the house and hiding from germs, over living out the Christmas dream. It’s been pretty disappointing to pass up thing after thing, only to spend our days watching countless hours of sesame street and sleeping off the “ickies”.

I’d set three alarms to remind me the morning Christmas Train tickets went on sale a month ago. We’d been looking forward to this fun night with the kids for a while! When the kids had barely recovered from their colds and a forecast of 36 and snowing showed up, our hearts sank. We worked to get tickets for another night with a forecast of 59 and sunny. When the day arrived and it was 39 and freezing rain we decided to bundle the crew up and not miss out on one more exciting Christmas adventure. I’m so glad we went for it and made the best of our night. The cousins were bundled indeed. We had under armor long underwear on them all, four layers of warmth, and hand and foot warmers going. The mini van totally delivered. We packed all eight of us in, four massive carseats, and Dora dvds for entertainment on our hour plus drive. Success! 🙂20131221-121017.jpg

We left only an hour late after bundling, gathering, buckling, feeding, and herding everyone. We only got a little lost on the way and finally arrived by 7 pm, just as the freezing rain started falling. We headed straight for the train ride. The kids were giddy with excitement as we waited in line. They pushed their faces through the freezing bars of the fence to watch the train roll by. Let the eyes full of wonder begin… 🙂 They do a beautiful retelling of the gospel as you roll by massive artwork and live reenactments of the Bible. Their favorite part by far was spotting Baby Jesus in the manger. I got to say it got me a little emotional to hear Emmy’s sweet voice whisper in awe, “Baby Jesus”.20131221-121551.jpg

Then, there was our visit to see Santa Clause. I was expecting some tears from Emmy when she saw Santa once again. Instead, we got the funniest moment of the night when she covered her face and “hid” from him instead. I’ve never seen her do this before. It was like she decided to go to her “happy place” and pretend it wasn’t even happening. When I pulled her hands down to make sure she wasn’t crying behind them she just closed her eyes. She is too funny…

We had a great night riding the carousel and ponies, walking through the adorable little town, and eating sinfully delicious cinnamon rolls. Emmy loved dancing to all the fun music filling the streets. Love this punkin! Oh, and this brave man wore shorts and a t-shirt. I wonder if there was any regret there?

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We finally left at 10 pm. I couldn’t believe how well Em hung in there, just happy to be with her sweet cousins. We figured the kids would crash a couple minutes down the road since it was already 2 hours past bedtime, we’d worked hard, and finally warmed up. After many rounds and renditions of jingle bells, ABC’s, Twinkle Star, and Jesus Loves Me, we pulled into the Juarez driveway at 11:15pm with four awake children. Definitely the latest Emerson has ever been awake. What a trooper!

I’m so glad we went and made some fun memories! Next year we are going the day they open in hopes of a beautiful sunny day. Here’s hoping we make it to Rhema lights before the New Year…

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