"Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!" --Ms. Frizzle

"Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!" --Ms. Frizzle

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

I realized when I started this blog that I would never be one of those people who posted every day... but I kind of figured I'd post more than once a month! Oh well-- I guess anyone out there who has been waiting around for updates can take comfort in the fact that these intervening stretches of time are always filled with a lot of living and joy. That couldn't be more true now that it is officially Christmastime! Right now I'm listening to Jingle Bell Rock (through the ceiling; I'm in the basement) and wanting very much to be cuddled up by the tree with a cup of cocoa and a blanket, but I'm also excited to share some pictures of our first holiday season with the little bunny so I'm braving the chilly basement. Cocoa can wait-- or rather, the dinner dishes can wait, which is realistically what I'd likely be doing right now.

By now it feels like it happened months ago, rather than just a few weeks, but Avery and I successfully hosted Thanksgiving for the first time! It was a full house, but fortunately we were able to get the basement room in usable shape so that the kids had somewhere to romp. The food was delicious and the company was, of course, beyond compare :) My only regret is that it went so quickly! Could we as a nation institute The Twelve Days of Thanksgiving? That would suit me just fine.

Here is the one picture I took of the actual event.

We also got the chance to gather at Jason and Allison's house for dessert, and to celebrate Holland's third birthday. It was especially neat for me to see all of the kids together because this was the first time that Geneva was able to really interact with the herd of cousins on her own. Granted, it was in an extremely limited way, but she wasn't on anyone's lap-- she was right down there in the thick of it. For some reason that seemed monumental to me. She's officially one of them now :)

I used to roll my eyes at the people who immediately launched from Thanksgiving to Christmas without missing a beat. Of course I have now become one of those people. Especially with a baby, I find myself thinking that a month just isn't long enough to cram in all of the Christmas baking and decorating and reveling that I'd like to do. Even now, with only four days left until the 25th, I feel like there's still so much more I want to do to celebrate. Shoot, I only just now heard "You're a Mean One, Mister Grinch" for the first time this season! But I certainly can't complain. We've had such a blast already (thanks entirely to wonderful friends and family!). We've made gingerbread houses, one adorable house with Jen and Owen, and another structurally unsound (and currently roofless) house made from scratch by Ave and myself. We've decorated gingerbread men with Allison and the boys, and we've visited the carousel at Westlake Center with Nana, which could only have been more wonderful if Geneva had been awake for that part. We played in the snow, went to see the Christmas train display at the railroad museum, sat on Santa's lap, and made some really knock-your-socks-off yummy shortbread cookies with Allison and Maya. And, despite having Christmas music playing at some point during each and every day, I'm not tired of caroling yet!

Some of our favorite moments this season have been quiet and peaceful. Others have been chaotic. Here are some pictures of both!

Cuddles with Daddy

We tried to take some family portraits, and this was the best we could manage. Also, Avery lied-- you CAN tell that that's a maternity sweater!

I think the gingerbread house turned out perfectly! Aren't they supposed to look like a kid had a hand in the decorating? Jen piped on the icing, Owen attached the candies, and I... what did I do? I guess I prevented too many candies from disappearing into Owen's sticky little mouth.

Here's a look at our house all gussied up for the holidays!

Probably my favorite little day trip with Geneva was our visit to the Northern Pacific Railroad Museum in Toppenish. It was cute without being glitzy, bustling without being loud, and there were just enough exhibits that Geneva didn't get overwhelmed before the end. Plus we got to ride a train to see Santa Claus! We rode it all of fifty yards, but still. I love trains.
The Hogwarts Express!

And here we are back home. My big girl can play in the bouncer now!

This is sort of random, but worth mentioning, because this is the first thing I ever crafted to fill a very specific need in our house. Most of the things I make are just for my own enjoyment, but with the weather down below zero at night we really needed a way to keep the draft out of Geneva's room. I pounded this sucker out in about half an hour. My craftiness is now officially a life skill!

Our most recent trip over to Seattle included snuggles at Nana's house, a trip downtown to Westlake Center, and Family Sing with the Labbees.

Our kitty, Io. He's peeking out of the kitchen window at the birds on the birdfeeder.

We might be a little out of our element on this side of the mountains, but one of the many upsides is that you can always count on Eastern WA to deliver when it comes to fun winter weather. It's mostly slush now, but we did get about four inches of snow last week which made for beautiful walks and a very appropriate backdrop for all of the Christmas lights around the neighborhood. Geneva and I spent some time at Franklin Park, where most of these pictures are from.

And finally, this weekend we had the opportunity not only to see Santa Claus, but to see Santa Claus with Geneva's best baby buddy Maya Rose! And as if that weren't cool enough, we then got to come home and make cookies with Maya and Allison. Later, Avery helped me to frost the cookies and we ended up having a really fun time with that. All and all, one of my absolute favorite days this winter.

This is probably the last you'll hear from us until after Christmas, so we hope yours is a merry one! Be safe, warm and happy. We love you all!

1 comment:

  1. Seriously, those are some of the best pictures ever! I LOVE the ones of Geneva and Avery!!!! Also, hooray for the update. Glad you guys are enjoying this wonderful time of year!