When Chloe was only three years old, we began the tradition of attending the Nutcracker every year before Christmas. For several years we went with my mom and sister and fell in love with the music, the dancing, and the excitement of getting dressed up and going downtown. Then we discovered that the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater actually puts on a performance - technically their dress rehearsal - every year during the morning of their opening night. They open their doors to students, and the tickets are incredibly affordable. Talk about a best kept secret!! We started going with our dearest homeschooling buddies, and took our girls out to lunch as a special treat.
It was a bit of an ordeal getting back to Pittsburgh for it this year, I'll be honest. We had just been there six days earlier for Thanksgiving, and it felt a little like I was trying to pour a gallon of milk into a pint jar. But oh, my goodness, was it worth it.
Chloe and I went to Pittsburgh alone, leaving the boys behind for a "guys weekend," and I had a few precious hours to spend with my dearest friends. So did she.
My mom came along with us, which made it even more special.
It was eightish hours of driving (have I mentioned I have a lead foot?), and it was worth every minute.