Other than almost losing her at a rest station and the endless "are we there yet??" questions, the trip down was actually pretty uneventful. We met up with Stacy and Zo at the mall in Greenville to just look around some before heading on down to Anderson.
BG and I got there first and perused the kids' clothing section for a bit while we waited on the girls. We also avoided the Santa hanging out in the department like the plague. That was fun.
When they showed up and the two littles locked eyes, it was over. They both gave each other shy smiles and then it was like no time had even passed. They giggled, they chased each other, they wrestled around the mall play place. It was fantastic.
We had to separate them for the drive back to Anderson and I basically had to swear on my life to BG that they would be back together soon. They were not okay with being apart again. Thank goodness we had a weekend of fun planned for them.
S and her husband planned a little cookout for that night so we got to see a few more old friends and have a few laughs over drinks and football before we girls decided to pack up the kiddos and head into town to check out the Lights of Hope. We drove through twice as the kiddos "oohed" and "aahed" over every single light and we girls managed to continue to catch up over the squeals of joy and the sounds of Christmas music on the radio. It was fantastic.
After the second loop through the lights, we decided to park and check out Santa's Village. Based on the girls' reaction to Santa at the mall earlier that day (they were fine to wave from afar but there would be NO lap sitting apparently), I was a bit nervous to see how this Santa trip would go. I needn't have worried.
Zo wanted zero to do with him, but BG? BG loved him. And even though she had an accident in my perfectly planned out Christmas outfit before even leaving the house, leaving her in a less than "Christmasey" outfit, I had to oblige her getting to sit with him. And then I had to oblige my "Mom needs every picture ever" and had to buy one. Because duh. And also because that smile. Duh.
After letting the kids run out a bit of their rambunctiousness in Santa's Village, we packed it back up and headed home. S and I did everything we could to get the girls calm and ready for bed, but it was all for naught. They weren't having it. They were too, too excited to be together.
They wanted to sleep together, but that was a hot mess of disaster that we finally had to split up when Zo's crying was frustrating BG so bad that she tried to make it stop with a pillow. True story. They got separated.
Finally, they hit the hay and S and I got some much needed catch up time over a couple of bottles of wine. It was good for my soul. I so miss my friend.
Way too few hours later, the girls were up. And raring to go. S and Zo spoiled us and BG had a few presents to open that morning. Ms. Stacy knows my girl. You can't fake that kind of smile.
That afternoon, we all packed up and headed downtown for the annual Christmas parade. BG and I have been to this parade every year she's been alive and I was so thrilled we were able to make it this year. This year was also the best one yet as most of BG's favorite people (family not included) were there. She was literally giddy with excitement when she laid eyes on "Miss Bitme" and MK.
The parade was amazing. BG and Zo danced and clapped and had an absolute blast. They managed to climb into Britt's lap for a good portion of the show leaving her almost immobile with a lap full of babies, but they weren't stepping more than two inches from her. They sure do love that lady.
We had an absolute blast. I was so sad when the parade was over.
But Britt had another surprise in store. She took us to one of the town's spas that was holding an "afterparty" of sorts full of cupcakes and face painting and yep, even Santa! MK and BG climbed up their together, but once again, Zo was not having it. No Santa picture for that girl this year!
After cupcakes, we made our way to the face painting where B managed to convince BG that she needed a reindeer on her face. Since my child pretty much adores Britt, that didn't take too much convincing. So she climbed right on up. Only the lady didn't do a tiny, little reindeer on her cheek like we were expecting. Oh no. The lady painted my sweet girl's entire face into a reindeer (or a Cats cast member, you be the judge), and while we adults were absolutely crying with laughter, my sweet girl sat as still as a stone while she got her face painted for "Miss Bitme".
Seriously. Sometimes this child is so sweet I can literally feel my heart aching.
When it was done, she took off to go show Britt how it looked. She was a little proud I would say.
I'm telling you, if you manage to find friends that love your children as you do, you are beyond blessed. Mr. P and I? we are beyond blessed in that department.
All too soon, it was time to wrap it up. The last thing I wanted to do was get in that car and drive away from that town. From these people.
Coming home to Mr. P was amazing, but I'd be lying if a little piece of my heart isn't back with these people in Anderson.
And clearly so is BG's. When I picked her up from school the next day, I asked her how her day was and if she liked her class.
She responded "yep" to which I said "Oh good! So you want to go back to school tomorrow?".
To which she responded "I'll go back to school tomorrow. But it's going to be Miss Bitme's school".
Guess we'll be putting another trip on the calendar soon.