When the Elf came to visit. . .

I hope everyone had a beautiful Christmas.  We sure did!  It seemed different than all of our Christmas' past.  This year RyAnne is older and understands the reason we celebrate.  She knows that Santa is real, Samantha is his helper elf and that Jesus was born on this very special day.  The night before Christmas she was having a hard time falling asleep.  She was filled with so much excitement!

She came walking down the stairs the next morning, very slowly.  I met her at the steps and let her know that Santa was here!!!  Her face lit up and she bolted down the last couple of stairs.  I captured her expression as she noticed the gifts Santa had left for her.  Pure joy!  She studied the wrapping paper from the North Pole.  It was different than all of the other paper.  RyAnne was so patient.  She waited for her Daddy to make his way down stairs.

Trey and I sat in the living room watching RyAnne open the gifts from Santa.  We watched her expressions of amazement and her continual "Thank you!"  After opening all of her "Santa" gifts, she looked at them and squealed, "I WAS a GOOD girl!!!!"  Trey and I looked at each other, both with a smiles from ear to ear and tears in our eyes.  Then we told here there were more from Mommy + Daddy.  She couldn't believe it.  This year she got everything on her list. . .well, except a horse!  lol  Not ready for that one yet!!! :)

You might be wondering. . .Where are all the photographs???  Well, other than capturing her initial reaction after seeing her gifts from Santa, I didn't take a single photograph with my camera.  I just wanted to take it all in!

I do have photographs of her seeing her elf!  At the end of November, Samantha, our Elf, showed up on the door step. RyAnne was very happy to see her. We talk about her elf throughout the year, reminding her that she's watching out for good behavior. :)

She was so happy she waved at her and started talking to her. 

And being as careful as she could be not to touch her, she picked up the box to show her off to Olivia and her cousin Haley.

The next morning Samantha helped herself to RyAnne's M&M's.  :)

Merry Christmas Everyone!