I am not a fan of the cold… December is cold. One of my favorite months of the year is December…. ironic? I am not sure.
I LOVE the holiday season… so much Jeremy has coined me “Mother Christmas”. Without a doubt, Christmastime is my most favorite time of the year and having kids has only expanded my love for the holidays.
Being that there was only 3.5 short weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas week (yes it needs it’s own week) this year…we had to get started preparing and decorating early. I was elated to buy our tree, break out our decorations and head out to see Santa the very first weekend after Thanksgiving!!
If if you know our family you know our weekends are packed, we are always running from one event to the next constantly. So much that sometimes I PLAN to do nothing at all for a change of pace. I foresee December as being one of those months that will never happen!
The first weekend in December did not disappoint.
The Friday after Thanksgiving, I decided to work from home instead of taking leave as we didn’t have a lot going on and I normally work from home on Fridays anyway. Jeremy took the day off to be at home with the kids.
In the morning he worked with Gavin on a little activity of making Christmas tree ornaments for our extended family as little gifts.
I bought one of those DIY Christmas Ornament Foam package kits from Hobby Lobby and since Gavin does things like this at Daycare all the time I figured he would love it.
I liked that Gavin could just put the stickers where he wanted and it turned into a really fun project for him. He had a blast designing different ornaments for his Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles and Godparents.
Two years ago we gave Gavin’s Godparents ornaments with his hand print on them and they all really loved them. This year I thought it was really cool that he made the ornaments himself… This may turn into a fun tradition we end up doing every couple of years 🙂
That afternoon after work I started decorating the house… I love when the house is full of Christmas decorations!! It just makes me SO happy when it’s all festive inside and out. I really want to invest in a whole new supply of decorations…. but I am patiently waiting on when we can sell our current house and get into a new bigger house before I go buying a ton of new stuff (hopefully by next year at this time we will be there!! Keeping my fingers crossed!!)
One thing I did get new this year was Stockings. I am in love with them and crazy enough they came from Walmart!
What I would give for a fireplace and mantle to decorate – but for now, this will have to do.
Friday evening we went and picked out our Christmas tree. If I had my way, we would get a fake tree… a lot less hassle and mess but Jeremy insists on a “real” tree. Part of me DOES enjoy the process of going and getting a real tree, and I have enjoyed it more and more since Gavin has been born.
He loved running down the aisles checking out all the different types of trees this year. Creating memories like these definitely make a big messy tree more worth it. He was partial to the “big big trees” (Shocking? No).
It was a bit chilly outside so it was a quick event but none the less, a lot of fun to do as a family of four for the first time.
Makenna was also really into it 😉
Later Friday night we broke out our Elf on the Shelf for the first time. We decided this would be a good year to start as Gavin is really getting into Santa and everything that comes along with the (commercial) holiday season. Gavin decided our Elf would be named Pete. We read the story (twice) and watched the movie (with popcorn of course) and Gavin was then sold on this whole “Elf Scout” thing.
We’ve been loving waking up and finding where Pete is and what he has gotten into every morning. I have been documenting his journey…. and we have been having so much fun with the entire thing. We don’t overly emphasize being good or bad, naughty or nice… or that behavior will determine whether Santa will visit him… but in our opinion, the elf is a nice incentive for Gavin to make good choices and a good reminder to do the right thing.
That Saturday we had our annual Tipton/Donellan family Thanksgiving with Jeremy’s side of the family. As always we had a great time, the food was delicious, the company (as always) was great and of course we ended up back at our house for wine and hanging out which seems to be turning into somewhat of a tradition (for the adult “kids”).
I got my fist lesson in making the ever famous Rutabagas (one of Jeremy’s most favorite Thanksgiving side dishes – think root form of mashed potatoes) and although I didn’t dive head first into really mastering the dish this year, I see myself maybe making them for him in the future (if he is good).
Sunday, after some tree stand issues Jeremy finally figured out (just another reason a fake tree is my top choice) we packed up and headed to Homestead Gardens to see SANTA and to pick out some new Christmas ornaments for the kids!
I don’t think Gavin could have been more excited. He waited in line very patiently like a big boy and ran right up to sit in the Big Man’s lap when it was finally his turn. He was in awe… and didn’t want to get down. Of course I forgot our camera so I had to improvise with the camera on my phone. Thank the Lord the iPhone has a decent camera.
We ended up getting some decent shots of the kiddos with Santa.
While waiting in line Gavin found a Reindeer friend and wanted some pictures with him as well.
Later that night we decorated the tree as a family. We put on some Christmas music and went to town. Gavin had A LOT of fun deciding where to put his ornaments on the tree and picking out the perfect branches (which all happened to be in the same general location).
Our beautiful family tree and all my babies posing in front of it!
After a pretty quick work week and yet another eye Dr appointment for me, another weekend was upon us.
Friday night we ended up at the Tomko house as my grandparents stopped in town on their way to sunny Florida for the winter. It was great catching up and hanging out. Gavin had a blast showing Nunnie and Pappy his cool new train set and Makenna got her see her great grandparents for the second time ever.
Saturday morning was full of errands. Gavin and I headed out bright and early to get his hair cut, and to do some Christmas shopping. It was really nice being out and about with JUST him. Sometimes I miss getting to spend as much quality alone time with him as I used to and I know he really enjoyed being out with just Mommy. He was a perfect boy and on his best behavior. It is times like this I know I need to carve out more alone time for him and I to do special things together.
That afternoon after lunch and naps we headed to Baltimore for Disney’s Pirates and Princess’s Live. Gavin loved it. We went with some friends (Amy and Little Tony) and both boys really had a blast. It was perfect for their age and kept Gavin’s interest the entire time. Gavin was definitely more interested in the Pirate part of the show however and Mommy spent the majority of that time frame out in the lobby with Miss. Makenna since she seemed to find it a bit loud for her liking… life of a Mom.
All in all the show was a lot of fun. Gavin loved getting popcorn and talked about it the entire ride home!
Sunday this past weekend was family Christmas picture day. The weather was pretty crappy but we decided to venture out anyway. I am glad we did because we got some AMAZING shots of our family and the kids.
We are also celebrating Makenna turning 6 months old this week. I have to stop sometimes to just relish her and love on her because she is getting so big so fast!! I don’t understand where the time has gone. I feel like she was JUST born… time really flies when your having fun.
Stay tuned – I am sure the rest of December will bring more fun adventures and glimpses into the holidays!!