I'm not going to lie, December flew like a flash. Time often goes by fast, but because of December's happenings, both Christmas related and non, I have no idea where it went. But I have pictures to prove that it not only happened, but we Christmased our little hearts out along the way.
First, I'm obsessed with Quinn. And I'm obsessed with this 50 cent sweater. They made the perfect combination as we welcomed the happiest time of the year.
We had all sorts of non-Christmas shenanigans going on. We had serious troubles recovering from our trip to Oregon. The kids kept sleeping in until 10, and couldn't go to be before 1 am. We were a wreck for like a week and a half. Daddy had to go out of town, and we weren't very good at saying goodbye. Bubble baths are the best. Digger shirts are the coolest thing ever. Q wears sunglasses errrry day, and has never met a powered donut she didn't like. And the whole crew saw Frozen (today!) and lasted the whole time. We are big Elsa fans around here.
Carly finished up her gymnastics class. Our community ed program has 6 week classes that give kids the opportunity to dip their toes in different activities. I like it, because you don't have to put down a bunch of money for something your kid might not like. Gymnastics, however, was a hit. She really loved going. She, however, inherited her father's gracefulness, and was therefore the most adorably uncoordinated kid out there. But she was all smiles and she sure tried her best, so we couldn't be prouder.
Winter arrived full-throttle. I think we've already had more snow than we did the entire winter the year the babies were born. The first decent snow fall I bundled the kids up and we went out for a walk. It was surprisingly successful.
We went out again when daddy was home after a bigger fall. Chris pulled them around on a sled (what I like to call "midwest sledding" since hills are hard to come by) and Carly made several excellent snow angels. The babies though, they were not feeling it. A kid can only take so many face fulls of snow before they are done. We came in and Carly said, "Now I'm not playing outside again until spring." Good luck with that, sis.
Carly and I had a date to the Nutcracker. My dad took me at Christmas time when I was a girl, and its a tradition I hope to continue with my girls. We went to a pretty local production, but Carly was just awestruck by them. It was even worth driving 20 mph in a blizzard. We also hosted our annual gingerbread party, of sorts. It was a smaller affair, and no actual houses were built, but it was nice to have friends over to celebrate the season.
Then there is Santa.
Oh, my goodness, Santa.
Carly and I have had so many extensive conversations about Santa, I want to rip my hair out. I just want to tell her "He's a nice guy who brings you presents, so stop worrying about it and just go with it!" But no, we are already getting questions about how he gets into our house, how he gets presents for everyone, how he knows whether you are good or bad, why are there pretend Santas (she didn't believe the one she met was legit for one second), and on and on. Her little brain is thinking hard about this, and I was worried she was going to figure it out way too young. I'm not a huge Santa person, but I want my children to believe in a little bit of Christmas magic. Well, she wrote a letter to Santa and put it in a local Santa mailbox. And wouldn't you know it, she got a letter back. It was a cute letter, that detailed what she wanted, reminded her to be good, and asked her to leave cookies since Santa gets hungry on his long journey. She was totally shocked. I think we've got her believing.
John and Quinn: not feeling the magic.
But my very favorite part about this Christmas is the fact that we are spending it in our own home. We have had years of wonderful Christmases with our families, but this year we felt a strong desire to be home for Christmas, and I am loving it.
Staying home meant we decided to get our real first tree. Chris went out of town the first week of December, so while he was gone we got out the little fake tree and decorated it just for fun. But when he got home, we headed to a local Christmas tree farm to pick our beauty. It was bitter cold that day, so we ended up picking a pre-cut one. It was pretty obvious this was our first go-around, because Chris and I tied the tree to our roof through the car doors, and then realized we'd have to get into the car by climbing through the windows. It was pretty classy. But we got her home and set her up. I love her. I love walking by and having that real tree scent hit me. It is the best.
It has been a whirlwind 21 days. I look forward to peace and family time as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. Chris is now taking a break from school, presents are wrapped, the children are nestled snug in their beds, and a whole lot of ice is headed for the Mitten.
But we've got no place to go, so let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.