we spent last weekend sharing more of that wonderful holiday cheer with lots of friends. the bean's girl scout handmade gift exchange kicked it off, and i love how these three are literally BFFs.
on saturday morning, they continued the fun as they walked the glendora christmas parade together. as we usually do, we dropped the bean off with the group and then headed on down to the end of the route to watch the parade and meet up with her again for pickup.
since we always have time to kill before we have to get there, we hung out at the local coffee bean & tea leaf with her friends' dads while the moms ended up walking the parade with their little sisters. by the time we made it to the end of the route, the parade was about halfway finished. we still got to see a few fun things, like this group of dogs and their owners who'd just graduated from the very pricey local obedience training center.
and then it wasn't too long before we spied our girls, carrying their troop banner and looking really excited about it. heh.
the next day i got up early to get the house ready for one of our favorite traditions - one that we'd had to miss last year due to a serious inability to coordinate schedules. luckily we were able to pull it together (thanks to a cancelled cheer competition), and so our annual dancey-dance girls' cookie party was on for 2019.
i was a little nervous about how it would go this time around - the girls are a lot older now, with most of them in junior high, and it had been two years since we'd gotten together. while their moms said that everyone was super excited to be able to do it again, i had concerns about how it would go. only one of the girls is still dancing, and the rest are into soccer and volleyball (and cheer, in the bean's case).
and because i've done aprons for them several times in the past, i figured i'd make them something that hopefully they'll like enough to use year-round - hand sanitizer and lip balm cases, with a matching zipper bag.
i made a few of those infinity scarves with a hidden pocket for their moms, but i somehow managed to forget to snap a picture of them. just imagine plaid flannel scarves in neutral colors...it wouldn't have made for a great photo anyway.
after i set the table i realized that i probably should have made something for the bean as well, because her place looked pretty sad and empty. she didn't seem to mind though, which is pretty much what i expected.
once everyone arrived the girls all made a beeline for the back yard, where i'd put the puppies so that they wouldn't get in the way or try to jump up and eat their cookies. and it seemed that cocoa and teddy made for the perfect icebreaker, because while it may have been ever-so-slightly awkward in the first couple of minutes, in no time at all the girls were all giggling and chatting like no time had passed. phew.
they were having so much fun, in fact, that i ended up poking my head out the door to ask them if they even wanted to do the cookies at all. the reminder worked, because they came inside right away and took their places to get down to business. it was really nice to see that they really did still want to decorate their cookies, and seemed to have a blast doing it.
later, we gathered them in the back yard again for a group photo:
and then brought them back inside to recreate the annual shot. check it out - this was their first one, a whole six years ago (the old lady was super bummed to miss this):
and now. look at the difference! holy cow.
i got the moms together for a picture too, because we so often forget to take ones of ourselves:
and it came to an end all too quickly. none of the girls wanted to leave, and we were all so happy to have found the time to get together and save the tradition. every year we talk about doing it again in summer, at least once, and then the usual scheduling issue always gets in the way. hopefully we can break that streak in 2020. fingers are crossed.