Saturday, December 17, 2011

Oh Niabi Zoo, we missed you.

Tonight we decided on the spur of the moment to go to the Light Up The Zoo event at Niabi. This is the first year they reopened for a week to visit the zoo all lit up for Christmas. We all bundled up and set off to wish all the animals a Merry Christmas. Obviously many of the animals were not out to see the children at night in the middle of December, but some were and Evalee had a good time seeing them. We visited the elephants first, as usual. She very excitedly told the light up elephants stationed outside the elephant habitat "HIIII!" and then was even more excited to peek into the elephants' window and see them eating their dinner. She could have waved at them through that window for an hour. We also got to see the sleeping monkeys, the mama and baby giraffe, the swans, lots of birds and reptiles, and zebras. It was cold, obviously, but there wasn't a wind and it was wonderful to be outside for a while and moving around. The carousel was running for Christmas, which was very The Catcher in the Rye-esque, so we couldn't resist a ride. In fact, Evalee bolted for the carousel the minute it was in sight. She chose a rooster to ride this time and spent her whole ride laughing and saying "buck buck buck" like a chicken. The moment spinning around the carousel with Christmas music playing, my baby girl's eyes filled with happiness and excitement, and my husband standing proudly by just may be my "Christmas" this year. Every year, it seems, I have a moment that, when I close my eyes and think of Christmas, it comes to mind. Last year's moment was on our couch: cuddled under a blanket with a sleepy Evalee with all the lights off but the Christmas tree and watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The year before, it was a moment of solitude, sipping hot cocoa in the dark waiting for Travis to get home and listening to Christmas music over a cracky radio. I never know when it will hit me or what it will be that sparks it, but the feeling -- the moment of pure, absolute peace and happiness -- always feels the same.

Sleeping monkeys

All bundled up to see her friends

"Merry Christmas monkeys..."

This is the best we could do for a picture together.

Pure joy.

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