Oh Christmas Tree….

I know there are strong opinions out there about trees. People are either strongly in the fake tree camp, or the live tree camp. I guess we have a foot in each camp. And are lucky enough to have the space to pull off both types of tree!

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Our fake, indoor tree.

Our trick…the live tree goes up outside! Seriously I have zero desire to deal with pine needles on the carpet and vacuuming every day, and frankly we don’t have a ton of room inside for a tree anyway. So, we have a 4 foot table top tree in the living room, and a 13 foot noble fir on the patio outside the living room window.

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Our outdoor tree…and it snowed just a few days after we got it…so perfect! 
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When it snows one must make snow angels! 

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I can sit on the cough and enjoy the view of both trees, and it makes me so feel so cozy & happy!

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Practicing.

I love the process of going out and finding our outdoor tree (man Sky was super picky about the tree and ended up picking the perfect one!), cutting it down, and then blasting the outdoor speakers with Christmas music while we decorate it!

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Trying to get under there to cut our tree down!

 

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Decoration Committee!
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Decorating the garage next to the tree…she’s such a good helper! 

It makes for a fun Christmas Tree Lighting with friends as well. If you have the space outside I highly recommend and outdoor tree to add even more cheer!

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View from the couch…love all the warm glow from the lights and Holiday Cheer! 

 

I’m Going to Miss Our Tree!

It’s always a little sad when Christmas is over because I love the reason for the season. The kindness and goodwill, time with family and friends, and even though it’s a busy time it’s also time to slow down and focus on things other than the daily grind. It’s a nice break from “real” life. 

It also goes along with the end of the NFL regular season, which is sad. I love playoffs and the SB and all that, but the end of regular season means I’m at loose ends Sunday and Monday nights, and once playoffs are over I’ll have to be productive on Sunday’s again as well. :-/ 
Even though I love Christmas once it’s done, it’s done. Dec 26th all the decoration came down, the house got put back to normal, and the tree came down between games on Sunday. Technically the tree is still up, but it’s naked, and sad, and I want it to go completely away now. I’m that way with life in general, once something is done, I’m over it and moving on. No looking back, bring on whatever is next.
We enjoyed the outdoor tree more than I thought we would. I was a little sad about not having our inside one this year, but once the courtyard tree went up it was the best thing ever!
 Enjoying the last Egg Nog latte of the year.
 Spiked Hot Chocolate!

 The thing I’ll miss the most is snuggling with Sky looking at the lights. Silas enjoyed it as well.

Now it’s time to look to New Years Eve and the New Year. I actually have no idea what we are doing this year for NYE, if anything. In years past we hosted a PJ NYE Party. But, now that we host Christmas dinner/gift exchange that’s too much large party planning too close together, so we haven’t been doing the NYE party. Last year we stayed home just the 3 of us, and were in bed long before midnight. May sound lame, but it’s actually really nice not to be overly tired/hung over when the tot gets up at the the same early hour no matter what. 
I suppose I had better nail down my resolutions. I don’t usually make NY Resolutions, but this year there are a few changes/things I want to work on that are ready to happen now, so this year there are resolutions. Just general ideas right now, but I’m listing them out and making them specific to ensure success! 
Resolution #1 is to find a new background for photos…the tree was pretty perfect!
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A few random pics from the last several days……………

Sunday morning run. The good news is that while I have constant accident related pain, the last few runs have not made it worse, and things seem to be holding steady. I’m slowly upping the number of runs per week and will start adding a mile or two every other run to see what happens. Keeping an easy pace seems to be helping.

Sadly Sky ended up with a pretty nasty little cold. We made it through Christmas day, but she was overdone by the time we left the parents house. We had an opportunity to have some family photos done a few days later and were keeping our fingers crossed Sky would feel up to it. Thankfully she held it together through the morning photo session and lunch after (yes we bribed her with lunch out and cake if she listened and cooperated for the photos). Judge if you must, but it worked and we got some great photos! She was done though, crashed on the way home, slept for hours and was cranky as all get out the rest of the day. It was totally worth it…can’t wait to see the proofs!

If you like Chipotle flavor you need to try this sauce! Super easy…I sauteed up a batch of fajita veggies and steak using only salt and pepper then added this sauce to let is simmer a bit, heated up some corn tortillas and added guacamole and it was really good! It has now become a pantry staple for us!

Sky is all about tea parties, so this tea set has proven to be one of her favorite gifts of the season! It’s tea party time all the time around here! 🙂

My favorite kind of Christmas morning sparkle!

We may have added another tradition to our Christmas…Sushi for Christmas Eve dinner! It was totally spur of the moment, totally yummy, and totally a nice treat to not have to cook dinner that evening. It was also the perfect break from the “normal” food of the season. After that we found pretty lights to look at, and even found a house that does a free display set to music. We tuned in and listened for a bit and then headed home to watch Christmas Movies.

They ran and played in the yard and tired each other out…my idea of a perfect afternoon at home = all three of them tired and resting in peace. 
Mommy, mommy, Silas is sitting with me…hurry take our picture! They have been cuddling watching cartoons together all morning. 

Tree Gazing & Christmas Program

Sometimes you have to stop in the midst of this busy season and just be, even if only for a few minutes.

When I take the time to slow down she actually has some pretty deep little thoughts to share. I’m really going to miss the tree, and starting our day with Christmas music & talking about what’s on her mind.

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Last night was Sky’s preschool Christmas program. All the kiddos were so darn cute I could hardly stand it. And, funny…really, really funny.

Sorry for the not so great pics…they are from my phone. We had the camera but the battery failed, so we were stuck with lame phone photo’s.

Anyway, this went much better than the Thanksgiving Day program. Sky was so into it and was singing and dancing in place. I think the fancy dress and shoes made all the difference! Maybe the promise of cookies after helped a bit as well.

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Yesterday was the last day of school until next year. Crazy to say that! I’ve sort of been not looking forward to filling 3 weeks worth of full on Sky time. I got used to having 5 hours a week of preschool. I decided to flip my thinking around though and make it a celebration. I don’t know what all we will do during the 3 weeks, but I know I’m letting go of much of my “to get done” stuff and going to try really hard to make sure she gets the exercise and activity she needs rather than dragging her around doing what I need to do. That’s no fun for anyone!

We kicked things off with a lunch date to celebrate Winter Break. We went to my fave chips & salsa place and had a yummy lunch and then came home and played all afternoon with the dogs. Kind of the perfect afternoon for everyone. Tired kiddo and tired dogs = happy house!

So excited for next week when Mark has some time off for Winter Break fun as well!

A Tradition Was Born

We sort of fell into what is going to be our Christmas Tradition over the weekend. I’ve been wondering what our little family of 3 would settle into as far as a tradition. I love all the friends and family time that comes with the holiday season, but it’s equally important to me that we, the 3 of us, have our own little Christmas time, yet not take away from Christmas with the rest of the family etc.

After the weekend of Christmas activity around our house I think we have it! I don’t know that it will always happen in the same order, but the elements are all there and the result is the 3 of us can spend some fun, calm Christmas time together.

Friday night was Santa Picture, BBQ Party (dinner at Dickey’s, but Sky thinks everything is a party…which I fully support…please just let Dickey’s stay in business!), picking out our tree on the way home, and finishing up with a Christmas movie before bed time.

The real fun came the next day when we finished (!) our Christmas shopping, put up the tree, and had our own tree lighting ceremony.

I really hope that we can teach Sky not to be rushed, rude, and inpatient when it comes to shopping this time of year. That it can be fun, and to just take your time. We all know it’s a busy, crowded time of year, embrace it, or stay home and only shop online! I also hope she’s never too old/too cool to ride a skateboard through Sports Authority.

Sky learning the fine art of hanging ornaments.
Here’s a tip…don’t pick your tree out in the dark. I love our tree…let’s just say it has personality, but next year we will do so during daylight! 

Our little courtyard and patio are so festive and pretty. I love seeing the lights outside when we’re watching Christmas movies inside all warm and snugly. And, even though it was just the 3 of us I have to say we know how to have a fun tree lighting…much better than the sad events the local communities had last year. We swore after lasts years disappointing tree lighting’s we were done with that. So, we created our own instead!

Next year it’s a trip into the woods and cutting down our own, much bigger, tree. And, even better we are thinking hot spiced wine, cookies, carols, and friends/family coming over for our tree lighting!

I love that we found our “thing” for Christmas.  A weekend of Christmas fun that we can look forward to year after year, and that we didn’t plan any of it really. We didn’t go into it thinking “this is going to be our tradition”. We were just doing our thing and ended up having fun doing it. I’ve seen numerous lists of things to do/try to make family traditions…and that’s great if you need ideas, but to me it just felt like another to do list, and a bit forced.

Mark gets credit for the outdoor tree. Best Christmas idea ever! It’s right outside the living room window so we can see it all evening long. The best part is we don’t have a tree crowding our little living room, and the dogs/Sky can’t mess with it…I was not looking forward to the tree battle and broken ornaments.

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What’s your Christmas Tradition?

Trail Running at the Park

Even though my plan was to keep Sky home and chill all day yesterday she kept asking to go to the park. So we bundled up and hit the trails for a little trail running, and leaf inspecting.  Thankfully it has warmed up around here and it actually didn’t feel too chilly.    

Sky really loves it when we visit the park without the jogging stroller.  She knows it means she gets to pick every trail we take and she is in charge.  On my non-running day’s I try to get her out there and let it be about what she wants to do.  We run, we inspect leaves, we toss rocks in the lake, watch the ducks, meet new dog’s, and run some more.  
She got about a mile of running in before she started getting tired, and slowed down to walk and be goofy. 
It turned out that running a little bit at Sky pace seemed to work out the pain in my knee.  I spent time trigger pointing and foam rolling at home, and hit the hot spot that knocked the rest of the pain out.   
I let her puddle stomp all she wants at the park, but she wasn’t having it yesterday.  She flat our refused to get her feet wet.  
I asked her to show me her new gloves…she loves them.  Every time she fell and got them dirty we had to brush them off and pull them all the way back on before she would calm down.
    
I was so excited to find this surprise Christmas Tree on the trail.  Sky was a little confused and kept asking me to turn the lights on.  Such a simple little thing for someone to do, but fun to find when your not expecting it.  
 
Nap time has been challenging since the move to the toddler bed.  Even though she is tired, and still needs a nap, the freedom is proving to be too much for her.  She is constantly getting up and hiding in the closet to play with toys etc.  I really thought she would conk out yesterday because the park wore her out.  She even asked to go night, night.  But, she was up playing, reading her books, and yelling “Get me out of here”.  I let it go for a while in the hopes she would fall asleep…being sick I knew the rest would do her good.  Sure enough she fell asleep, but not in her bed!  I wanted to check on her since it was so quiet all of a sudden, but the door wouldn’t open.  I got down on the floor to see what was blocking the door and found out it was her face. She slept that was for a a little over an hour.  
So looking forward to the group run tonight!  I’m trying to get some good quality runs in before the Holiday’s and all the good food (ok all the wine…the wine it what makes getting up and running in the morning next to impossible!).  I’m taking my running stuff with me, but when it comes to visiting family I’m pretty terrible about finding time to get any runs in.  Especially in the painfully cold weather on the other side of the state.   
Anyone else traveling for the Holidays?     
I’m just thankful our travel is just a 4 hour drive and no flying involved!