My Darling Hayley Bug,
So we are into the new year by about 3 weeks and I have really slacked on the blog….I never wrote about Christmas! The season was so busy as it is, and we have been full force into growing High Cotton Closet and spending every other moment with you! So I will catch you up to speed.
Right after Thanksgiving we began to decorate for Christmas. We wanted the whole family to go pick out a Christmas tree, but since you were sick, an I was too with the tail end of the morning sickness, Daddy went to get our tree and picked out such a beautiful one! You have loved every bit of the transformation of our house to a Christmas wonderland! You love our 2 “Kissys” (Christmas trees as you call them) and you call out big tree “Daddy’s Kissy” and the smaller tree “mommy’s Kissy.” Grammie heard you say that and wondered “Where is Hayley’s Kissy” and went out and found you one for your room and you love it! You and I went shopping for “toddler friendly” ornaments and decorated you tree with your “Sweet treat” ornaments. You love to play with them and point to each one and name what they are…Ginggy’s house (gingerbread house), popsicle, cupcake, cookies, candy cane, lollypop, etc. You also like to point to all of the Christmas trees and tell everyone “Mommy did it.” Ha! We also have a life size Santa that you just love! You call him “Tanta Coss” and you love to hug him and play with his shoes.
Last year I painted you a nativity set made of blocks, and I also found you a “little tikes” nativity and you love to play with both of them. You can name the angel, some of the animals, you call the wise men “mens” and you favorite is “baby jeeesus”.
We also started a new tradition this year. Each night in December you get to unwrap a Christmas book a read it before bed time. Some are fun Christmas books (with Elmo and Mickey), but most of your books are to teach you the true meaning of Christmas…the birth of Jesus Christ. We want you to always know that no matter what, you always know the real reason for the season…when God sent His son to earth.
We also want you to understand how blessed you are, especially this time of year, and learn that giving back is one of the most important things you can do to impact the lives of others and spread the word of Jesus Christ. This year, we adopted students that in Baleigh Berry’s special education class at school. Shena realized on a field trip one day that these kids were in need, and after talking to their teachers, we (as a group of friends) decided that we wanted to give them a good Christmas, so that they did not have to go without. We also, like every year, helped our Sunday School class pack shoeboxes for operation Christmas child through the Samaritan’s Purse (a Christian organization). People from all over the world pack shoeboxes with small gifts and essential items that are sent to children in 3rd world countries so that they can experience Christmas and learn about Jesus Christ. It is an amazing organization and I love to take you to pick out gifts for the boxes every year.
We did several fun things preparing for Christmas. One of the most fun was when we went to the Gaylord Texan just outside of Dallas. There is an amazing Christmas display of toy trains, Christmas trees, Gingerbread houses, and even an all ice sculpture experience called ICE! Grammie, PawPaw, Daddy, you and myself; we all went the week before Christmas for a night and we had the BEST TIME! You absolutely LOVED every second of it! You loved staying in the hotel and running down the hallways, decorating gingerbread cookies and getting to meet “Gingy” the life-size gingerbread man (you loved him and took pictures with him), looking at the waterfalls, watching the toy trains, admiring the Christmas trees, the ICE experience, eating cotton candy for the first time, and even sitting on Santa’s lap!
The ICE experience was SO COLD (only 9 degrees) but so fun and beautiful! We all bundled up, the gave up big blue parkas, and we went in. There were huge life-size colored ice sculptures of frosty the snowman and his friends, trains, houses, Santa and his reindeer, even a huge clear ice nativity! It was amazing! You were in awe of everything and I had so much fun just watching you look at everything.
To our surprise, u=you love Santa! Most kids your age scream and cry at the thought of sitting on Santa’s lap, but not you! You were so excited to sit on his lap at the Gaylord that you went right up to him. One day, when we were out picking up a last minute gift for Dada at BassPro shop, we came off of the elevator and you saw Santa and before I knew it, you ran right up to him to sit on his lap! I was so surprised and so glad that you loved him!
Since we rotate holidays between my parents and Dada’s parents, we did Christmas with Nana, Gappy and Grandma the weekend before Christmas. Nana came in town for the weekend and that Saturday afternoon, Gappy and Grandma came over and we opened presents with them and I cooked a big traditional Christmas meal- Ham, dressing and cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, deviled eggs, sweet potato casserole, rolls and pecan pie for desert…yum!
You had fun opening all of your presents from your grandparents. Nana got you a baby cradle and high chair for your baby dolls and you love to put your dolls in them. Gappy and Granma got you Frizen books and Frozen toys (you are a little obsessed with Frozen at the moment!), A red wheelbarrow and a pink motorized golf cart. You were scared of the golf cart (still are) and will not ride in it, although now you will sit in it….but that it. Ha! Dada even tried riding in it to get you to do it also, but with no luck. But he was hilarious riding in that tiny car though. HAHA!!!
You also celebrated with your best friend Conly Rose and y’all exchanged gifts. You got her a Monogrammed Frozen Elsa towel and she got you a beauty kit, with a mirror, rollers, a comb, hair clips and a play hair dryer. You two always have so much fun playing together.
On Christmas eve, you and I spent the morning opening your Christmas eve box and baking Santa cookies! Your Christmas eve box had your Christmas morning pajamas, your book for Christmas eve night, aprons for you and your baby and all of the ingredients to make Santa cookies. You and I baked chocolate chip cookie for Santa and you had the best time! You love to bake and help me in the kitchen.
Christmas eve night, we went to Grammy and PawPaw’s to celebrate Uncle Bobby’s birthday! Uncle Bobby and Aunt Dee came in town and we threw a 30th birthday bash for him, complete with matching shirts and gifts. You even said “hap-py bir-day to you!” for the first time. PRECIOUS!
Then we brought you home to put you in bed so that Santa could come! We woke up Christmas morning to all of the toys that Santa brought you! Grammie, PawPaw, Uncle Bobby and Aunt Dee all came over that morning in their pajamas to watch you open and play with your toys from Santa. You were a very good girl this year! Santa brought you a little trampoline (or a “jumpertrene” as you like to call it), books, activity play set, a “Hug Me Elmo,” a bouncy house, a stroller for your babies, A princess 4-wheeler, puzzles, pajamas, a doll house, colors and paints and more! You are one blessed little girl! After you opened all of your gifts, I cooked Christmas morning breakfast- Scrambled eggs, bacon, homemade biscuits, cheese grits, and fruit salad!
After breakfast, we all got dressed and went to Grammie and PawPaw’s house to have Christmas over there, exchange gifts and have dinner. We all exchanged the gifts we got each other. Grammie and PawPaw got you an Anna and Elsa doll (from Frozen), puzzles, books, a 4-wheeler for their house, and a bouncy horse that you love!
We also had a surprise for Grammie and PawPaw! We told everyone that we decided to no find out if baby Bowdon #2 was a boy or a girl, and that we were going to let it be a surprise like we did with you. But after everyone opened their gifts, we had one more gift for Grammie and PawPaw to open together…..
That’s right! Baby Bowdon #2 is a BOY!!! You are going to have a little brother! It was very special to share this news with PawPaw because we are naming your brother William George Bowdon V (the 5th) after Dada, PawPaw , your great grandfather and great-great grandfather. Once they figured it our, your Grammie started to scream with excitement and PawPaw began to cry. It was such a special moment!
After we opened gifts, we put you down for a nap and realized that you had a fever! Oh No! It is becoming a trend that you get sick on major holidays. 🙁 But we gave you medicine for it and luckily it was gone a little later. After your nap, Aunt Maredia and Clyde came over to eat a delicious Christmas dinner that Grammie cooked! We all had a great time spending time with each other. Later that night we spread the news about baby boy with Gappy and Granda (they came over to our house Christmas night to see you) and Nana (we called her).
We had such a wonderful and blessed Christmas and I will cherish all of these memories forever!
And now we are into the new year, 2015. I have been so busy working with Grammie to get High Cotton Closet off the ground. We are working so hard on new designs, getting everything set up, and marketing. this whole process has been a fun challenge and we are learning so much. But the biggest lesson it has taught me (and which I am still learning) is how to balance my work with being a Mommy. Being a mommy will ALWAYS come first! ALWAYS! When you are awake, or at home, my attention is on you, not work. I never want you to feel like you come after my work, because you don’t, and you never will. Daddy helps with playing with you and putting you to bed to give me little extra work time. It will always be a balance that I will constantly juggle (especially when baby brother arrives), but I would give it all up in a heart beat if it became too big for my children or family…because you, daddy and baby brother mean more to me than anything in this world! It is my promise to you that I will not sacrifice my time with you for work.
I love you more than you can ever possibly imagine! XOXO, Mommy