And even now, I can't make this as detailed of a post as I would like. Mama just informed us last week that we're ALL going with her to Mimi's for Christmas!! I'm so excited I can hardly function! We're all busy packing up our last-minute things so we can go with her.
I decided that I MUST try to get this post done now, however. I know we'll have so many things to share with you after Christmas. I don't want this post getting lost in the shuffle.
About a month ago, one of Mama's online friends, Karina, contacted Mama, saying that her doll Rylie was interested in doing a Christmas exchange. We thought this would be a fabulous idea, so we agreed. A week and a half ago, we got a special package in the mail.
Maggie and I decided to open the package itself...
...but when we saw all of the wonderful parcels inside, we decided we should get the others to help us open them. :)
There was an envelope addressed to us.
Inside was a beautiful handmade card...
...signed by Rylie.
She included a few pictures of herself...
...and a letter. :)
We gathered everyone in the living room beneath the tree and passed out packages. I read Rylie's letter aloud, and then we began opening everything.
Alice started with a package marked "A first attempt"
Inside was this adorable denim and whale print backpack...
...full of goodies for us. It looked like an amazing first attempt to me! :)
One of the items inside was a Lisa Frank notepad marked with Hayden's name. Alice handed it over to her.
I thought it was very nice of Rylie to think of Hayden so specifically. Obviously, she's read the blog thoroughly to know that Hayden loves Lisa Frank (among many other things). :)
The backpack also contained an envelope full of photos.
They were all of Rylie and her friend Kaya. Aren't they lovely? :)
The last item was another envelope, this one unmarked.
Inside was a blank card that we'll be able to use for future correspondence.
Charlie's package was wrapped in pretty colored tissue and read: "For days on the go".
Inside were two denim bags, one matching the whale print backpack, and the other in pretty owl print.
When Charlie saw the two little Frozen bags, she laughed and said, "Emma and Hayden, these look just perfect for you two!"
Emma's package said "Dress Up" on the outside.
When she opened it, she discovered a plentiful pile of clothing. Skirts, shirts, a dress, and even an eternity scarf.
My littlest sister Ella's package read: "Add some SPARKLE to your holidays!"
Inside was a lovely handmade dress and headband. Ella said they reminded her of something Cinderella might wear. :)
Hailey had a package that was actually labeled with her name on it! :)
Once again, Rylie had obviously paid attention on our blog. It was full of fun Hello Kitty items!
Two notebooks, a journal, and a plush Hello Kitty. Hailey was thrilled! :)
I had a package that said "Pen your thoughts...or doodle a drawing". It sounded like an excellent package for me. :)
Inside were six handmade journals and one sketch pad. Some of them had our names on them!
Rylie's human friend Karina must be quite creative to make all of these things!
Maggie loved the blue tissue on this package.
Inside were headbands and a decorated hairpin to match outfits and bags we'd already opened, as well as several new hair claws.
Rachel had a package with her name on it just like Hailey had.
Inside were two Spider Man journals and a Spider Man mini poster.
As you can all imagine, Rachel was thrilled. ;)
Hayden and Coral opened a "Just Because" package together.
It had two My Little Pony Puzzle Erasers inside. Hayden loves My Little Pony, so this was a perfect gift for her to open. :)
Jenna's package read "Room Decor".
Inside was this fun handmade Frozen pillow as well as a picture holder for the wall. :)
We all had a wonderful time opening the gifts together and showing one another what was inside each package.
After visiting and swapping back and forth, we finally decided who would use each gift.
Hayden and Emma claimed the Frozen items (the bags and the decorative pillow).
Hayden also kept the journal and notepad with her name on them and the Fluttershy Puzzle Eraser. Emma kept the sketch pad, as she loves drawing the most out of all of us. She also took the unlabeled journal with the elephant print all over it. She said it reminded her of India and the Bollywood movies she loves so much.
Maggie decided to model the new clothing we got from Karina and Rylie. I was a bit surprised by this at first, but then I realized that it was most likely an excuse to escape the Dotted Swiss dress she despised so much. I'm not sure why she hates it so...it's one of my very favorite dresses, and made by a beloved friend of Mama's.
The above picture shows the shrug and denim skirt we got in the mail (the shirt and shoes were ours already).
We also got this beautiful, flowy yellow skirt.
Maggie decided she preferred the faded denim.
She then paired it with this fun knit hat from Debonair Designs and declared that this was going to be her Christmas attire for the year. I don't think it was quite fancy enough for Mama, but she didn't argue. I suppose she was thankful that at least Maggie was out of her khakis for the present. ;)
Maggie decided to keep the whale backpack and the journal with her name on it. Although she's wearing the skirt, I'm fairly sure we'll all get to use it when we want to.
Charlie decided to keep the whale bag, the matching headband, and the green journal with her name on it. I find it incredible that Rylie and Karina even knew that green was her favorite color!
Jenna, our resident fashionista, was of course the most interested in the clothing. She decided to keep the dresses and the Rarity Puzzle Eraser. She and Hayden are both big fans of My Little Pony. :)
Here she is in the pretty floral dress with its matching hair pin...
...and here she is in the "Cinderella dress", as Ella has taken to calling it.
The matching headband is very lovely as well. :)
Of course, all of us will be able to use the dresses if the need arises, but Jenna will take care of them for us in the meantime.
Hailey kept her Hello Kitty items, and Ella took the other bag and matching headband. They both decided that the picture holder would look very nice in our room. Oh, and Ella also claimed the yellow journal.
Here is a closer look at some of their goodies.
Ella's bag and headband
Hailey's newest Hello Kitty.
I took my lovely new journal and also kept hold of the pictures and the letter from Rylie.
It was so special to get such a personal note from our new doll friend. I'll have to find a nice place for the pictures! :)
Another look at my journal.
Alice instantly claimed the eternity scarf.
She said it looked like something from Doctor Who. ;)
Here she is modeling it for the camera.
Rachel kept her special Spiderman journals and poster.
I'm sure she'll find plenty of uses for them. :)
Coral had a lot of fun playing with all of the claws Rylie and Karina sent.
Isn't her hair just amazing?
We had already wrapped our gifts for Rylie, but hadn't gotten them shipped off to her yet. As you can imagine, receiving her package made us want to get ours off to her right away! Maggie and I put everything in a box Mama provided, and Mama shipped it the very next day.
The following week, we got an email from Rylie with pictures and a thank you note:
Here she is opening our package.
Here's her first look at all of her goodies.
Since she sent us pictures and a note, we wanted to do the same for her.
Each of us chose something to send to her.
Alice and Ella sent her this cute Eeyore mug.
Emma thought that Rylie might enjoy some Lalaloopsy Tinies.
Maggie decided that Rylie needed a Jack Sparrow action figure, so she chose one of her own to pass on. :)
Coral collects Lalaloopsies and decided that Rylie needed one of her own. She asked Mama to please pick up a special one at the store for her. It looks like Rylie likes it!
Hailey sent a little Hello Kitty container with erasers inside.
Hayden sent Rylie one of her Care Bears.
Mama, Jenna, and Charlie sent her one of our Christmas dresses (I believe it is Emily's Holiday dress from American Girl). We thought the purple color would look nice on Rylie.
Here she is with all of her goodies. We also sent her a mini composition book, an Avengers coloring book (that was from Rachel) and a pack of Shopkins (those were from me).
Rylie looks beautiful in her new dress:
Here are her Shopkins after she opened them! :)
We're so glad she enjoyed her mini Lalaloopsy...
...and her Lalaloopsy Tinies as well.
Here's the email Rylie sent us, which she gave us permission to use in the post:
Wow! Thank you all so, so much for the lovely package!! It was so much fun to open; I was very excited! It's very special to have something from each of you!
I am thrilled to have my very first Lalaloopsy!! Thank you, Coral!
I was shocked to open up the purple holiday dress!! It's so beautiful! Of course, I had to change into it right away. =) Thank you so, so much Jenna, Charlie, and beast'sbelle!
The super cute Eeyore mug will be great for hot chocolate on these chilly, dreary winter days!! Thank you, Alice and Ella!
Of course, I greatly appreciated all the other treasures, as well! Thank you all for your generosity! (Tess, Emma, Rachel, Maggie, Hailey, & Hayden!!)
This has been such fun! I hope you all have a very merry Christmas!!!
We would like to take this moment to once again thank Rylie and her human Karina for all of the lovely gifts they sent. It was so fun opening everything and wondering what each package would hold! :)
I would love to continue on, but I really must go and pack for Christmas. Mama and the girls are just about ready to go. I wouldn't want to hold them up!
Goodbye for now, dear readers. You will hear from us again soon!
Pictures of Rylie used with permission.