|The beautiful all white chapel tastefully decorated|
On the third day of our twenty-five days we spent some time in the Brookside neighborhood of Kansas City soaking in the culture and traditions of the Plaza area.
We started the evening off attending the Christmas Opera at Saint John’s United Methodist Church. The two part opera, based on “Good King Wenceslas” by John Mason Neale and a comedy version of “Saint Nicholas” by Richard Shephard & Mark Schweizer, was performed by UMKC undergraduate students. Especially fitting as Saint Nicholas day is this week!
Marshall was very excited to go to the opera as we dressed him in his ‘nice’ clothes. Marshall has a well known love of nice quality clothes and it is not unusual for him to refuse to wear things he deems not up to his standards- high maintenance little fella’. He was especially excited as he was able to wear his red sweater vest hand-me-down from his older cousin Isaac. (Side note: Marshall even fished the sweater vest out of his hamper and put it over his pajamas at the end of the evening). When we allowed him to wear his dress shoes he got even more excited and kept pointing to them and saying “Oooo!” and clapping.
We also reinforced the idea of charity with Marshall by donating to the Baby Grace Mission of Kansas City. It’s a newer mission solely dedicated to babies born into poverty in the Kansas City area; they collect monetary donations, diapers, wipes, and other infant/ toddler necessities. We are trying to make a point to donate to children’s charities this holiday season in Shay’s name. Shay is the baby we lost to a chromosomal abnormality- Shay meaning ‘God’s Grace’ and being a gender neutral name as we decided against finding out gender. Brad & I truly hope that these small gestures made in memory of Shay will help make Shay matter and make a difference in other people’s lives.
Anyways, back to the opera. Marshall was given a small nativity poster with sticker book before hand. Marshall was very excited as stickers is one of his favorite things in the world so it was nice to hold him over before it started with the stickers.
|Marshall sticking the Nativity stickers onto the scene
and Dad explaining the picture to Mads
Once the opera started Marshall was pretty intrigued with it all. The performers started in the back of the church, which is where we were located (when you have a toddler you live in the back of areas). Marshall immediately grabbed a hymnal book to imitate the performers holding their folders.
|Watching the beginning of the opera|
|Pretending to be an opera singer|
Marshall tried following along and paid pretty good attention to the performers considering his age and the fact that the opera wasn’t targeted towards children (which we knew going in). We are very thankful for these free events that allow us to expose Marshall to these different experiences. We started losing Marshall’s attention part way through and he just up and ran out of the chapel, mid performance, when he saw a woman preparing the refreshments for the end. Marshall is quite the cookie monster so when he saw the woman with over-sized chocolate chip cookies he was out of there and quick. He got his cookie and we decided to leave to walk the Plaza. A toddler with a big chocolate chip cookie in an all white chapel just didn’t sound like it would end well.
The Plaza Christmas lights are a must-do in Kansas City. There is quite the to-do about it and people rent horse drawn carriages and helicopter rides to see the lights around the shopping district. We went the cheaper route and got coffee (blueberry smoothie for Mads) and walked around to see the lights.
|Walking to Latte Land in the Plaza|
|Marshall pouting about not getting ANOTHER
cookie at the cafe
|Enjoying the lights and treats with dad|
The lights were beautiful, as were the lights on the gorgeous homes surrounding the plaza. It was a perfectly lovely evening of opera and lights that we finished off with some light Christmas shopping. I can only hope that every one of our twenty-five days are as magical and peaceful as tonight was.
This third day was a night of honoring our angel and listening to angelic voices. Marshall had the trifecta of perfection in his eyes (nice attire, stickers, and cookie) and we were all able to have a unique night of Kansas City culture. We hope everyone has a similar gentle, peaceful evening.