Pictures with Santa

I walked into my friend Ashley's house on Wednesday November 5th and I immediately was staring right at her Christmas tree.  Upon looking around the room I started to notice that all of her holiday boxes were out and she was decorating!  I had mixed emotions.  On one hand the warmth of Christmas that I felt made my heart flutter a little.  On the other hand I didn't want my heart to flutter and get too excited when the festivities of the season were still far off!

I like to think that I follow the unofficial rule of not listening to Christmas music until Thanksgiving weekend.  The Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade gets me into the spirit and it doesn't stop until New Years.  But this year I wrote a blog post for my friend at Mine for the Making about holiday traditions and something lit a spark in me.

It was this picture.

When we were two months into foster care our family was invited to our agency's Christmas party.  There would be free food, gifts for our kids, face painting, games for the families and more.  Ryan and I were mostly excited to have something to do on a Saturday morning with our wild boys and one year old, but we had no idea that this party would become something so special to us.  

The party included free pictures with Santa, but not just any Santa- like the BOMB of all Santas.  I will never forget taking Big E and little E to sit with Santa, my memories of them aren't that great- but I will never forget the sparkle in their eyes when they were able to talk to Santa.  Whether you believe in recognizing "Santa" or not, I strongly believe that kids in the system need a little magic and smiles especially during the holidays.  During the time that those boys were away from their parents and siblings, Santa was able to give them some hope for a good Christmas.

Now as I reflect on the three Christmas parties that we have attended, it gives me such joy to look at our pictures with Santa.  Not necessarily because he is the most cutest and real Santa that I've ever seen, but because I'm able to capture the growth and change that has happened in our family.  We have been beyond blessed by foster care, adoption and even biological surprises.  I can't wait to have my family sit with Santa this year to document our newest daughter and the size of my littles! And now that I've reminisced over these pictures we WILL be putting our tree up a little earlier this year, sorry Ryan!

Side note- I lost the picture of the boys with Santa from the party! However, this was one of my best friend's dad playing Santa at another outing we did that was FREE for our family, can't beat that!

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