This year was certainly fun, but not nearly as picturesque, as our surroundings essentially amounted to brown, dead November. But that's okay. Snow may be awesome, but so is not dealing with the additional traffic headaches and the shoveling and the slushy goopy sidewalks. So for as long as nature will allow it this winter, I'm cool with no snow.
So no winter wonderland, and my camera died pretty much upon our arrival. This is literally all I got.
And from my cell phone camera, here's Gus "helping" my dad load up the trees.
Such a fun day though, and we picked out a real beauty. It can actually be pretty stressful, wandering around trying to really visualize how certain trees will work (read: fit) in our small home. (This year I think we actually did it... we didn't underestimate the size of the tree and end up with something that takes up our entire dining room!) And then there is some added stress when you throw into the mix a toddler and a dangerously encroaching nap time. One moment he'd be having a blast, running around wildly and fully enjoying the open space, and then all of a sudden he'd appear at my feet, pulling at my pant leg with snot running down his face, whining, "Carry you mommy, carry you!"
His misuse of pronouns never fails to make me giggle, but it really does make sense. He's such a sponge these days, basically repeating everything we say, so since it's common for me to ask him things like, "Do you want mommy to carry you?" or "Do you want me to help you?", it only makes sense that when in need of help, he (quite adorably) exclaims, "Help you! Help you!"
Yesterday was spent getting the tree up.
It really is quite the process isn't it? Especially when you do the real tree thing, because there's just oh so much more cleaning and sweeping and vacuuming of needles involved, not to mention the trimming and the sticky sap and inspecting it from multiple angles and messing with the tree stand to make the darn thing straight. But really, that's only the beginning.
Dan took what felt like 7 hours to get the lights on the tree. We switch off, every other year, because we both hate that part equally, and I was thankful to be off the hook this year. Anyway, he is very particular, as only an engineer could be, but he does beautiful work.
And our house is feeling mighty festive today, I've been reveling in it, seriously soaking up the holiday spirit, trying to drink it in and savor it like a really incredible cup of coffee. I love this time of year.
Charming. This year, I'm getting Gus a stocking with his name on it.
Just look at those chubby little fingers of Gus's from two years ago. Oh I really can't wait to taste this new baby's chubby little fingers.
I love this little kitschy Scandinavian skier guy my mother-in-law gave Gus last year.
It's true what they say about kids making Christmas and other holidays about 1 gazillion times better than they are without (not to mention 1 gazillion times more work, yes that too). It really was so much fun pulling out some of the ornaments Gus has been given over the last few years, remembering the times we've spent as a family in the past two years. Awesome stuff I tell you. Truly awesome, heart-kablooey, sappy stuff.
This was a fun surprise, something I had completely forgotten about, but was reminded of as we pulled all of our holiday stuff out of big blue tubs. Gus was given a Little People nativity set last year by his godparents, and it's pretty adorable. However he refuses to keep the little angel on the top of the stable where she belongs, and tears her off and casts her aside as soon as he sees that we've placed her there. He does what he wants, people.
Of course we also have our boring (really I love it), breakable, grown-up nativity scene set out as well. It, however, doesn't require batteries or play "O Little Town of Bethlehem".
Birds at the top of our tree. We attempted a new star year after year and it just never worked. How do people use those heavy star tree-toppers? Those mothers always just ended up causing our tree to precariously bend and nearly tip over. Whatever. These birds just clip on and I find them delightful.
We have no holiday decor in our bedroom, but look! I made our bed today. So I guess I'm just looking for a high-five for that effort. ;) And I really love this funky quilt we pulled out of the cedar closet when it started to get colder this fall. Made up bed equals me feeling all domesticated.
Gus just came and asked me for blueberries, and about a half hour ago he pointed up to the Bose sound dock thing and asked for us to turn on "the songs". So cool. I just have to say, I'm having so much fun being this kid's mom, and being around for all these little subtle moments of growing and learning and communicating. Just thinking about how different he is and how many new things he's doing from even just a month ago, it's pretty mind-blowing. Makes up for those times when I'm super frustrated with his constant hanging on me, clutching my hair, climbing all over me asking for hugs at the dinner table.
Yeah, that's motherhood for you. One second reveling in your kid's awesomeness, and the next begging him to please just stop hanging on you, feeling claustrophobic, overwhelmed, and stretched thin. It's all worth it. Every second.