christmas-y happenings lately

Can you believe Christmas is in ONE WEEK!? I can't. I saw a meme the other day that said "December is the Friday of the months." It's SO true. There's so much anticipation up to the big day, and it's awesome and well worth the wait, but then it's just...Monday again (for like January-May). So part of me is already a little sad it's almost over and it's not even here yet! Does that even make sense? Someone else out there totally gets this.

Some things we've been up to lately to make our December as glittery and sugary as possible:

^Jillian loves to create, craft, and make. It will entertain her for hours. So anything that requires assembling and decorating is a huge win for all of us. Her mini gingerbread village kit was possibly the best $8 I've ever spent in my whole life (like two solid hours of entertainment good).

 ^Thanksgiving Point has real reindeer! Both girls were smitten. Olivia just said "reindeer" over and over for like two days straight, and Jillian was wondering why they weren't talking to us (the animated version of Rudolph gives kids false hopes in the reindeer department). I told her they could only talk to Santa...0_o We drove through the light display there and both girls were literally bouncing up and down in excitement. Christmas is 897 better with kids, I swear.

^What is Christmas without cookie making?! I'm a baking enthusiast the other 11 months of the year, but December is a bit like a Food Network marathon in this house. CHOCOLATE AND PEPPERMINT ALL THE THIIIIIINGS. 

 What good is snow without making snow ice cream? I remember doing this all of the time when I was growing up! (Before we moved to Florida, obviously). ;-) Olivia makes it her mission to shove as much as snow in her mouth as possible anytime we go outside, so she was completely giddy that I gave her a whole bowl of it- with sprinkles even!

 ^Jillian's snowman named "glittery sparkle". It's admittedly a little pathetic looking...I guess that's what we get for waiting until the snow started to melt before attempting one. I'm sure there will be many more snowmen made in the months to come. Don't worry glittery sparkle, we'll redeem you soon enough.

^We had a fun (and incredibly cold) night at Riverwoods eating reindeer cookies and meeting Santa! Both girls love Santa...from a distance. Up close is a completely different story (hence why we had to not only bribe them for a picture, but join them IN the picture. But I'm glad for the group shot anyway. ;-) 
And can I just say I'm all about the Santa's with the legit white beards? Don't even waste my time with your synthetic curls. 
This was actually the third Santa Jillian has seen this year, and started to comment on how they all looked slightly different, making comments like, "Mom you know when we saw Santa the other day he had jingle bells on his shoes? Where are his jingle bell shoes?" The astute little booger. I fear she'll figure out what's really going on all too soon, and that makes me a little sad!

 ^From snapping some pictures for our Christmas card! Seriously those eyes...everyone asks where she gets her blonde hair and blue eyes, and truth is I'm the only one of my siblings with dark hair and dark eyes so it's just those recessive genes coming through!

I'm excited for another week of lights, cookies, wrapping, all of the Hallmark movies one can tolerate and pure magic. T-minus 6 days people.


decorating the tree

It's DECEMBER! Fa la la la la, la la la LAAAAAAA. As much as I hate on the winter, it's pure magic in December-January through April, not so much... but for 31 days in the spirit of Christmas, bring on the snow- I don't even care. More reasons to drink hot chocolate.

Pretty much everything else in life has been put on hold to dig out Christmas decorations and scope out good toy deals online (I've turned into a mega online shopping addict over the last few weeks...). Everything is so cozy with the lights from the tree, my new Christmas-y pillows and warm throws to cuddle up in, and the fresh balsam candle burning in the kitchen, which makes the house smell like a freaking forest of wonder. 

Pretty much all of my decorations were put up before Thanksgiving this year (I know, I know...whatever...), but the tree didn't happen until the weekend after the feast. My sister and brother-in-law came over to help us put the decorations on, so we made a fun little video!

My tree has always been super eclectic; the same way my Mom did it when we were growing up and I love it! There are fancy ornaments, handmade ornaments, and the ornaments we picked out each year growing up- a tradition we've done with the girls as well! It's a little bit of this and a little bit of that, and a whole lotta happy merry holly jolly goodness. 

Let the baking, caroling, wrapping, giving, and ooo-ing and ahh-ing officially begin.