When we got our first real snowfall last weekend, I admit I was filled with dread thinking about the loooooooooong winter ahead. I assumed we wouldn't see our grass again until the end of April and tried to suck it up, since this will be my ninth Wisconsin winter. And snow *is* ridiculously beautiful, and our children (just two of them) were completely obsessed with the snow fall. Winter is coming, and instead of dreading the darkness, the chill-to-the-bone, the struggle to find indoor activities, and the constant fear of stomach bugs I might as well focus on the positive. Like those kids loving the snow and the beauty of it all, and the fact that it all melted a few days later by the grace of the good Lord above.
Loves the snow this year, has been asking to make a snowman since July so we better get on it!
Behind our house, a winter wonderland.
True Wisconsin boy.
The playhouse that our neighbors passed to us, a big hit.
The kid from The Christmas Story, right here.
Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, I'm gearing up to address and mail Christmas cards (went with Pear Tree Greetings again this year, love the Genevieve Gorder line!) . Is it really that time of year already? I guess it is!
I didn't force Nate into our matching Hanna Andersson holiday pajamas for our card this year, but don't you worry---he WILL need to wear them for Christmas morning as a bare minimum. And the day after Thanksgiving was the perfect time to gently persuade the children to wear their HA jams for a #reallife photoshoot. Porter was the only one who outgrew his pajamas from last year, the big kids still fit into theirs just fine. I'm not going to lie, seeing them in matching Christmas jams are probably one of my top five favorite things in life right now. They are just too much and Christmas is ridiculously fun as a parent, especially as the kids really get into Christmas as they age. Also: matching pajamas = my ultimate favorite.
Ah, outtakes, you are my favorite.
I'm making shopping lists for the kids, for Nate, for the grandparents, great-grandparents, uncles and one future aunt to the kids. I seriously love coming up with gifts and it also stresses me out unnecessarily. I want to have the *perfect* gift for people that truly don't need a thing, but I want to surprise them with something they didn't even know they wanted but something they LOVE anyway. The kids are the easy part, other family members are much more challenging for me to find THE gift. I shop online for 99% of my finds and have been making a running list of ideas for the past few weeks, so hopefully with some dedicated computer time I can whip through my lists with authority. No fancy gift guides here but I know that Cecelia wants chapsticks, a Hello Kitty book, orange tennis shoes, and a purple tricycle. She is very consistent in these requests, and I'm pretty sure she is beyond a tricycle at her 3.5 years but we will see if Santa pulls through. Truman wants the new Skylander game and all of the action figure guys that entails, and he refuses to elaborate on any other ideas beyond Skylanders. Porter just wants his sister's chapsticks and will probably get a few hand-me-down toys from the attic this year, poor guy.
We had an excellent Thanksgiving in the Chicago area with Lois's side of the family, and then I was off work on Friday while Nate worked until about 11:30 am. While he was away the kids 'helped' me rearrange our family room, because all of a sudden Nate and I couldn't stand our desk being *right there* when you walk in the front door. So I moved the desk and the two side tables to the sunroom, we purchased two new upholstered chairs to use at the dining room table when we host a party, and we now use those chairs in other rooms for everyday life. When Nate came home we ate at Culvers for lunch with the kiddos (newsflash: eating out with three small children is becoming less painful!) and then went by my in-laws to take an old Target TV stand we had stored in their attic. We put that under the selfie-mirror in our family room, moved the taller mail table to the previous desk-area, and now we have much more space and a 'grown up' feeling to the family room. The desk looks fine in the sunroom and I like changing things around fairly often in our house, so this makes me especially happy.
On Saturday, Nate stood in line at 6:30am for very rare beer at a local store. I pulled down our Christmas decorations from the attic and the kids 'helped' me set up our mantel, stockings, and kids' tree to get us started with the holiday season. As soon as he returned with his beloved and highly sought-after beer, we all went and purchased our Christmas tree. A Fraiser Fir, just like usual, and one that smells divine. We let Cecelia skip her nap (becoming a real Thing lately, kind of scary) so that she and Truman could help us decorate during Porter's nap. Sure, I pleaded with them to 'please don't break that, it's super old, please be careful' with the ornaments, but we also had a fabulous time talking about the ornaments from our childhood and reminiscing about years before this one. I only moved a handful of ornaments that the children placed on the same exact branch and mostly just let them do what they wanted with the ornaments, so very zen of me, I know. But I love our hodge lodge, sentimental ornament tree so much---with both Nate and I having and ornament from each year of our childhood, plus an ornament each year since we were married. Now that we have three kids who get their own ornaments each year, we might need to get a bigger tree to hold everything.
Decking those halls like bosses.
Love this one of my girl holding my own 'baby's first Christmas' ornament from 1981.
LIFE, man. The best.
Tiny dancer, always dancing.
I have a plan for these stockings, poor Porter still doesn't have a silver initial pin. Because they don't make them anymore and I've had it with searching online! Embroidered name patches, here we come.
We are starting to feel the magic of the Christmas season around here. I hope you are, too.
Paper chain tutorial coming next!
Nate worked hard on our outdoor decor, and I love how it turned out.