Thursday, December 24, 2009

traveling arkansas and Christmas in batesville...

We loaded up the Jeep to the roof and headed toward Batesville Wednesday morning.

Once we got to Batesville we unloaded the car and headed over to Quitman to visit my grandparents.  This was the first time Essie got to meet them and she sure put on a show! Unfortunately I forgot to take pics!

Then we jumped on over to Heber Springs to visit my Aunt Ann and Uncle Tom.  Here is Essie and her Aunt Anna Lee.

Then we finally made our way back down to Batesville to my parents house.  We went ahead and did Christmas with my family on Wednesday night so that Haley could spend actual Christmas morning with her mom.

Haley RACKED up this year...she got so many cool toys.  I'm not sure where she's going to put them all!

Essie got a busy ball choo-choo, a musical table, and this toy globe thingy.  She loved them all.

But I think she liked the tissue paper the BEST!

She got so excited that she kissed mommy and then pinched my nose!

What?!  No more presents to open?

That night she got to spend some time with Nana & Pa and look (grab) their pretty tree...

and she got to take a bath in her new duckie tub! I found this at Target for only $10! It quacks and has a hot sensor.  I deflates for easy travel and she LOVED it.

Just look at her maxin' and relaxin'!

On Christmas Eve morning we got up and had a BIG breakfast.  My brother Ryan and niece Haley came back over.  We had biscuits with white and CHOCOLATE gravy.  Ooooh mamaw's chocolate gravy recipe...pure heaven I tell ya.  We only have it maybe once a year but it is AMAZING!  If you have never had it...I will post the recipe on my recipe blog at some point and you HAVE to try it.  Trust me...a southern delicacy! 

Essie got to try some level 2 foods today...she had apples and blueberries this morning.  She was ALL about that!

This afternoon we exchanged gift with my friend Julie and her was so nice to see them! And Essie took a very short nap...

We had our big Christmas dinner this evening and Haley, her mom Nichole, and baby brother Sam came back over to join us.  Essie and Sam were so cute together...they were born only 2 days apart!

Essie was so enthralled with him!  She just could NOT take her eyes or hands off of him! 

She kept slapping him and grabbing him...I don't think she's ever seen a baby her size before!

Nichole gave her these SUPER cute zebra print boots...Oh my heart they are to die for!

Our dinner was amazing as well....we had turkey,

my favorite cornbread dressing.

My dad made homemade rolls...also my mamaw's recipe...the BEST you've ever had.

And Pioneer Woman mashed potatoes...if you've never had these...hop over to her website and get the recipe and MAKE them!  they have cream cheese in read that right...cream cheese. Oh my word.

My parents are known for their over the top yard displays (remember the Halloween post?) and Christmas is even bigger than that!  Their house resembles the Griswalds!  It rained the whole time so I didn't get many good pics of their yard stuff but TRUST ME it is incredible! If it can get better pics I will post them later!

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