Monday, December 21, 2015

A Capitol Christmas

Our family has really been enjoying starting some new traditions in our new town.  Since we live close to Raleigh now, I thought it would be neat for the boys to see the Capitol building at Christmastime.  The governor lights a special tree in front of the Capitol, and then everyone can move inside to see the decor and meet Santa.  Afterwards, everyone is also welcome to visit the Executive Mansion and see all of the beautiful decorations there.  The boys and I even got to meet our governor at the mansion.  It was actually a chance meeting as he was coming in as we were leaving so I didn't get a picture.  We greeted him, shook hands, and talked to him about how we "followed" him from Charlotte.  He was our mayor in Charlotte before he was elected governor.  And yes, I do think he has done a pretty decent job as governor.  Things were kind of a mess from our previous governor so he has really been trying to be more fiscally responsible.

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The Capitol and tree before the tree lighting began.  There were also luminaries all along the pathways around the Capitol building, but I didn't take a picture until later in the night when many had burned out.  The military presence with their mascot, the bald eagle, was a sweet touch. 
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Evan got his picture with the Durham Bulls (minor league baseball) mascot and the Carolina Hurricanes (professional NHL team) mascot.   Brody flat out refused.  He did cooperate a little for a picture with me. 

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The streets were lit up for the holidays, a band played festive Christmas music, and it was a gorgeous night to be outside. 

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Making memories with Baby Mattox for his first Christmas.  We had to hold Brody up for this picture. 

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A beautifully lit NC grown Frasier fir, the only "real" Christmas tree.  Evan, Brody, and the other children actually got to go on stage with the Mayor and Santa, but I wasn't able to get a picture of that because of the crowd.  Sigh. 
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We had to get individual pics with the tree because we didn't want to ask someone to take our whole family picture.  I know I should have, but I just always feel like I am encroaching on strangers when I do that.  I let people if they offer though. 
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These were darker shots, but I think the tree looks better. 

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The inside of the Capitol rotunda.  A statue of George Washington as a Roman legionnaire sits in the center.  I am not sure why Washington is in the state capitol building except that it is modeled after the U.S. Capitol.  The tree was beautifully decorated with ornaments from all parts of North Carolina.   

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And there was surprisingly a very short line to see Santa and Mrs. Claus. Brody seemed to prefer Mrs. Claus.  Mattox says they are fine as long as they don't try to hold him.  Ha!
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Brody, Evan and I went upstairs to explore.  Daddy didn't want to take the stroller upstairs because it was very crowded with very tight spaces.  That picture of Evan looks like he is sucking his thumb (which he used to do), but he wasn't.  

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This room contained the old State Library.  I could not believe that this room was the only state law library back then.  Law libraries like our NC Supreme Court library are huge now.   Even my little law school's law library was a whole lot bigger.  It wasn't nearly as "pretty" thought.  I love all the woodwork and wall sconces. 
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The outside light displays were gorgeous at the Executive Mansion. 
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Beautifully lit trees and lamp posts look like a winter wonderland. 
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Okay, so if I ever get my dream front porch (I have sadly never lived in a house since getting married with a large rocking chair front porch, but my "forever" home will have one), I am going to steal this idea of the "drapes" made from fresh green garland and lights.  I also love the countless chandeliers in every room of the mansion.  I can only imagine the work it takes to keep them sparkling though.  

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The men's parlor was decorated with a large traditional red tree.  
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The ladies' parlor tree was more feminine with decorations of gold and shades of pink.  Brody would not cooperate for picture with me. 

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There was another large tree in the ballroom (I don't know what the room was for but it was mostly empty with a grand piano so I am calling it that) that was decorated for children.  

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The tree in the sunroom was decorated with handprint ornaments and children's picture ornaments from school children in the state. The very long formal dining room table had a massive floral display that covered nearly its full length and some little trees on the mantle.  I really do love those gorgeous blue drapes on the massive windows. I think most people who know me know light blue is my favorite color, and I have been working on slowly decorating much of my house in that color. 

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Eddie and the boys pose for a picture in front of the grand staircase.  Like the White House, the Governor's family only lives on the upper floors in a large condo.  That was one remarkable looking gingerbread house.  


  1. This looks so fun. It makes me think I need to be more brave and get out of the house more. Hope you have a Merry Christmas. :)

  2. Gorgeous photographs. I can only imagine what it looks like in person, because I am sure that it is much more impressive! It's all just so southern. And I love it!

    I know you're missing from them and that's a bummer, but the pictures of Eddie with the boys in front of the grand staircase are wonderful. Besides the trees, definitely my favorite of the night.

  3. Wow! All these decorations are amazing! And this post is making me want to take the kids to our provincial capital because we've never been. We did go to the ones in Saskatchewan and Alberta though. Maybe we'll have to do that next time we're in the capital instead of a Blue Jays' game!

    And I'm sorry Brody wasn't in the picture-cooperating mood. Those happen sometimes eh, and they can be so frustrating for us mom photographers. Blah.


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