Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Our Christmas!!!

How was your Christmas?

Ours was a whirlwind of family, guests, food and snow!  We spent the holidays with Nathaniel's side of the family for the first time this year and it was fun. On Christmas day we were joined by Nathaniel's brother and wife and their sweet little cherub of a newborn. Holding her made my womb ache for another baby.
We had a sumptious turkey dinner with garlic mashed potatoes, homemade cranberry sauce, stuffing, glazed yams, brussels sprouts and bacon, carrots, and pecan and pumpkin pie for dessert. Our fridge is still stuffed and I am happy that I don't have to cook for a couple of days. Well, that is not entirely true since I just made a GIGANTIC pot of turkey soup.
 Nathaniel made the girls a kitchen play set out of an old entertainment system he found on the side of the road. I have yet to add a few finishing details like scalloping, a ruffled sink skirt, a window, stove elements and knobs, and a chalkboard for the front of the fridge (you know... all the pretty things). I will post a photo once it is finished!  On Boxing day, Nathaniel woke up at the crack of dawn and waited in line at Future Shop for a great deal on a Flat Screen TV. It is the first TV that we have ever purchased in our married life. In the past we have always used hand me downs and cast offs. Bye bye tube TV!

I love all the preparation, events and special moments leading up to Christmas Day and I thought the  best way to share my highlights would be to share my December Daily album with you. Half way through taking pictures of the album my little one decided to help me turn the pages. Enjoy!

This is a little calender where I kept track of what we did this month.

1st - The girls spent some time watching vintage Christmas cartoons on YouTube. Amelia particularly enjoyed "Frosty the snowman". Even Claire sat quietly and enjoyed the shows while she munched on her afternoon snack.

2nd - As you can tell, this is NOT our Christmas tree. We did go to a tree farm in search of the perfect tree though.... The sun was shinning, the water was glistening on the branches of Norwegian pines and noble firs and my girls were happily  darting in and out of tree, but when I pulled out my camera to capture them I realized that my battery was dead. Nooooooo!

3rd- Today the girls and I went to value village and found a great little pop up tree for their playroom. When Claire took her afternoon nap, Amelia and I happily decorated it with sparky pink butterflies, white lights, homemade decorations and a few vintage wooden toys from my childhood. I hope that having their own tree will encourage them to decorate and undecorate to their hearts desire and leave our main tree alone!

4th- After Nathaniel and i dropped Amelia off at preschool, we took a little hike. It was really windy outside and we nearly got hit by some flying branches. Claire plodded through puddles and Chester ran himself into exhaustion. I felt so refreshed but the time we had returned home.

5th - After a great deal of consideration I decided to just make a few classic that Nathaniel and I both love. Tonight, after the girls had gone to bed, I went to the store and purchased the ingredients I needed to make butter tarts, gingerbread and almond roca. Yum yum yum!

 6th - Today we baked up a storm. Claire happily licked beaters and spoons and I allowed myself to nibble on chunks of almond roca as well as a butter tart or two.By the end of the day my teeth felt as though they were wearing sweaters.

7th - Today, while Claire was napping, I went to friends and house and she taught me how to needle felt. I felted a dogwood flower onto a felt of burgundy felt. I think it would make a pretty Christmas decoration. Later that evening I made gingersnaps and watched my favorite show - Grey's Anatomy.

8th - Today I finally got the chance to tidy up the house and string some lights through my garlands. Now I can just soak in the beauty of all the Christmas decor. Oh how i love this time of year!

9th - We had initially planned on riding the Christmas train in Duncan this evening, but since the girls were not feeling well, we decided to stay home and relax. I wore my pj's ALL day (which is incredibly rare for me) and blogged about funny Dutch traditions.

10th - This morning the girls and I collected some boughs of spruce and pine and used them to embellish our packages of almond roca. Amelia spent some time playing with the gingerbread play dough that we made earlier this week. Later we attended a friends birthday party and  the kids played until they dropped.

11th - While I spent the morning in waiting in emergency for an ultrasound of my bladder and kidneys Amelia was at preschool making these adorable angles out of paper, pipe cleaners and doilies. My favorite detail is the happy faces. I didn't even know that she knew how to draw them!

12th- Thankfully, we had some decent weather today so I jumped at the opportunity to take our annual Christmas photo. With my camera set on automatic timer, and balanced on a chair, we managed to get a few decent photos.

13th - Today was filled to the brim with fun! Claire and I went to strong start and  spent some time with our dear friends. In the afternoon, I wrote our annual Christmas letter and then took the girls to the store to buy some candy to that we could decorate our gingerbread shapes.

14th - Both of my children woke up on the wrong side of bed this morning and by 10:30 I was tired of the whining and put them down for a nap. To my surprise, they slept for two solid hours. Afterwards, we went to the mall and ran some errands. It was absolute mayhem out there. The roads and the stores were bustling with people and the line-ups were astounding. Amelia was happy because she caught a glimpse of "Santa" in the mall :0)

15th - This year I decided to take my Christmas cards to Starbucks  for some caffeine fueled writing. Armed with a caramel brule I wrote for over two hours. It was a wonderful idea and something I plan on doing in the years to come. Now, I just need to get them into the mail BEFORE Christmas!

16th - We attended church this morning and enjoyed the most beautiful Christmas concert. It brought me to tears. The girls and I were enraptured by the children's choir, the dancing angles and the story of Christ's birth. Perhaps next year, Amelia will be old enough to participate.

17th - Last night we had the most glorious snowfall. Thankfully ,there was enough snow for Amelia and I to build a handsome snowman this morning. I was so excited to finally use the snowman kits I had purchased two years ago.

18th -This evening I had a few girlfriends over for an evening of chocolate and wreath making. I was so much fun and I loved how unique each women's wreath was. Hopefully I can do it again next year!

19th - Our delightful friends from down the road came by for a visit this afternoon. Charity and Thorin have practically become fixtures in our home and we are so happy about that fact. I just adore this photo of the two of them playing in the girl's playroom.

20th -This morning Claire and I attended the Christmas party at Strong start. We brought a plate of homemade gingerbread that the girls had decorated. Afterwards I wrapped presents for hours! When I had tied the late bow the girls helped me place them under the tree. It is a tradition I remember fondly as a child. Hopefully Claire won't start tearing the paper off!

21st - Today I used some of the evergreens left over from my wreath making party to make a garlands for my front door. I LOVE how it turned out and I plan on trying it again next year.

22nd - Honestly, I spent the majority of the day working on my December daily scrapbook. I am hopelessly running behind and I want to catch up before Christmas Eve. When I grew weary of glue and paper, the girls and I hoped in the car and went to the North end Naniamo, to pick up a few last minute gifts. I took the girls to Subway for dinner and I have never seen them eat a sandwich so FAST!

23rd - Went shopping at one of my favorite boutiques downtown with a girlfriend and we bought a can of Annie Sloan chalk paint together. We are both a little obsessed with painting furniture. ( I forgot my camera, otherwise I would have posted a photo of us grinning like schoolgirls with a bag full of candy). When I got home, Nathaniel and I sat down and planned out our Christmas dinner.

24th - Every year I choose a different chocolate for my countdown calender and this year I choose Hershey's peppermint kisses. Claire loved them but Amelia did NOT! When Nathaniel's parents arrived in the late afternoon we whisked them away for an evening of Christmas carols and cookies at out church. When we got home we inhaled the chicken pit pie I had made earlier and tossed the girls into a bubble bath. Afterwards, the girls opened two gifts (pj's and a new stuffed animal) and then were tucked into bed.

25th - Claire and I were the first ones up on Christmas morning and we had a little cuddle before we woke Amelia up. The girls opened their stockings under their Christmas tree and squealed over their new treasures. When everyone else had woken up (except for my hubby who had just come home from working a graveyard shift) we had eggs and bacon on English muffins and a fruit salad. Once Nathaniel had slept for a couple of hours we buttered up the turkey, tossed it into the oven and started opening gifts. The girls were spoiled rotten! We were blessed to have Nathaniel's brother, his wife and their sweet baby girl join us for our turkey dinner!

There are so many highlights that I did not have the space or the time to document like the Christmas brunch with a bunch of ladies from my church, hhelping put together gift bags and goodies for street workers, collecting evergreen boughs with Nathaniel, visiting with friends, all the yummy food I munched on.....

As much as I loved all of the sugar, chaos, presents, squealing and overeating , I am ready to have my ordinary life back.
Hope you had a merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!


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