A few (but by no means all!) of the highlights from the Christmas season...also, I'm not being quick at all about it. It's what comes of trying to cram a month of blog posts into one post.
: 1 : Christmas Tree Hunting :
I wonder sometimes how my kids will remember the tradition of getting our Christmas tree. There is always mud. There is sometimes rain. And because I absolutely don't want to just pick the first tree I see--even if I do, in fact, love the first tree I see--there is tromping around the Christmas tree farm promising the girls that at the end of the trip there will be hot chocolate and candy canes.
Remarkably, this grumpy face was just for show. She was all about getting the tree. Holiday spirits were high.
The big sister, however, was less than happy about Christmas tree hunting. First off, she stepped into a big muck of mud (see above boots) and when she tried to pull her boot out, she pulled her foot out instead and ended up with a sock full of mud.
I laugh as I type. I laughed then too. Much to Sydney's great indignation.
Jason remarked on Syd's grumpiness. I reminded him that Sydney hates getting the Christmas tree. Every year she's miserable. It's a tradition that I cease to fret about.
: 2 : Portland Zoo Lights :
The Portland Zoo has the best zoo lights! We were lucky enough to go twice this year, once with Jason's parents and once with our dear friends.
We were totally prepared this year with warm clothes and mittens and strollers and snacks and jammies for the girls to change into after we saw the lights so they could fall asleep in the car on the way home and life was merry and bright. We drank hot chocolate, rode the Christmas train, hugged the costumed polar bear and loved it all.
I have the cutest video of Jules narrating part of the Christmas tree lights, and I'll try to get it posted tomorrow.
: 3 : Dry weather :
We had so many nice, cold days. I wished it would have snowed, but at least we didn't have much rain.
(You didn't expect me to write about the month without getting in some weather related news, did you?)
: 4 : The Nutcracker :
Sydney's performances were the first week in December this year, which made for a less stressful month since that freed up the rest of our weekends.
She was a Peppermint and a Mouse, and all the girl cousins from the Family Farm saw Sydney perform and gave her performance gifts. So sweet!
After five performances and two dress rehearsals we thought she'd be all Nutcrackered out. But, no. We continued to listen to the music from the show all through December, and she was still excited to go with Grandma Sharon to see the Oregon Ballet Theatre's performance of The Nutcracker, which is, of course, quite a few steps above her own school's performance (which was still wonderful in it's own way).
: 5 : Family :
We did Christmas Eve Eve with my family, Christmas Eve with Jason's family in Eugene, and then Christmas Day with our own family, our church family, and Jason's parents. I am so thankful for our families! They bring me so much joy.
Addie and Grandma-Great were quite tickled with each other.
: 6 : Birthday Girl :
I know, I already wrote about her birthday. But it's still Christmas fun to have a birthday thrown in the mix. We do extra baking, extra wrapping, extra singing, and extra dancing. It's a birthday/Christmas extravaganza. Jules picked a 50's themed diner for her birthday meal, and got treated to an ice cream sundae surrounded by pictures of Elvis and Shirley Temple and Lucille Ball.
: 7 : Togetherness :
I love Christmas. I love that a school deadline forces me to have my grades in so that I don't have any work hanging over my head (too bad Jason can't say the same--he went in to school three times this week). I love the baking, the carols, the movies, the hot drinks, the pictures and more pictures, and going to church and thinking about this amazing thing of God becoming a little baby.
I loved watching my girls try to figure out what their presents were (yes, we had all their presents wrapped and under the tree a week before Christmas, and THEY LEFT THEM ALONE). Loved that my brother came down from Seattle for a long visit. Loved that I have an international texting app, so I got to text my sister in Scotland. Loved that Jason and I had--for the first time ever!--all three girls staying overnight with Grandparents, so we got to go see Sherlock Holmes.
We were together, and it was just everything I wanted it to be.
Tomorrow is the last day of the year, and I still need to get my end-of-the-year-video done. Better get to it.
Check out Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes.