Two...We were able to see some of my family over the weekend as well. And this is the only picture I have to show for it, my niece Tauli. The other four kiddos were too hopped up on root beer to attempt any pictures for me. Oh well! Babies are so fun to photograph!
Three...We picked out our Christmas Tree at a local tree farm just as we have every year (2009, 2010). It's up, decorated and thankfully hasn't fallen down yet this year (just as it did last year...see #3).
Four...Our elf made his appearance to our home the morning of December 1st. The night before, while Pat and I were at a holiday work party, my mom read the boys the story of The Elf On The Shelf to prepare them for his arrival. The past few years, Jack always names him George, but this year we changed his name due to the fact that Owen can now have his opinion. He wanted to name our Elf, Henry Gordon, after some of his favorite toys (Thomas and Friends Trains) and Jack agreed! So, Henry Gordon it is! Both boys are totally into the whole experience this year. They just love the magic that Henry Gordon brings along with his funny/sneaky/mischievous ways! Thanks to Pinterest, I have been staying quite creative with where the boys find him every morning! This is where we found him this morning (I cannot remember exactly where I came across this idea..somewhere on Pinterest).
Five...We checked out the Macy's 8th Floor Auditorium, A Day in the Life of an Elf and Holidazzle this past weekend. The Elf exhibit was just okay, but the Holidazzle was awesome! We bundled up, grabbed some hot chocolate and found us some great seats on the sidewalk right out front of Pat's office. The last time I went to this parade, I was pregnant with Jack. Pat and I were on a little Babymoon for the weekend in Minneapolis and we leisurely walked by the parade as is was strolling down the street. I'm not sure I even really watched it. Well, now here we were 5 years later (which is just crazy in itself) and I was snuggling up with Jack and Owen actually watching and really enjoying the parade! I'm sure this will become a tradition for our family!
Six...I turned 33 years old on Saturday and it feels....Meh (with a slight shoulder shrug)! We spent the day as a family. I slept in and let me tell you 8:00 am is sleeping in these days! It was blissful. We ended up checking out The Twinkle Parade in Stillwater that night. It was snowing and there were truly twinkling lights everywhere...on people, kids, strollers, etc. Owen absolutely loved The Teddy Bear Band (this was our first experience hearing them..how fun are they?) while Jack just wanted to slide down the hill and make snowballs. Santa Claus (the real deal Santa!) rode in on a fire truck for his grand appearance and he and Mrs. Claus walked right past us. Surprisingly, Jack was scared and hid behind me while Owen chatted away with Santa! The night ended with fireworks and dinner at Nacho Mama's. There were to very precious things I overheard Jack say during the night...
1. While at The Twinkle Parade, Jack saw one of his classmates and he told her this..."Sophie! Guess what? Today is a very special day for me because it's my mom's birthday and I get to be here to see Santa."
2. Late on, while at dinner, the boys were very excited in telling our server all about the parade, the band, and Santa Claus. Jack told the server, "You can't believe this, but Santa just waved his hand and the Christmas tree lights turned on just like that...like magic..it was magic!"
We came home and enjoyed my birthday cake! It ended up being a great birthday for me spent with Pat and the boys. The magic and wonder that Christmas brings to small children is full blown this year with Jack and Owen. It's these moments that I want to last a little longer and then bottle up and save forever. That being said, my birthday was over the top special for me as their momma!
Seven...In between all of this, I have been trying to decorate my house for Christmas. I have tried to include Jack and Owen (simply because they really want to be involved) in the process along with making/creating child-friendly Holiday projects! More on this later!