And because there's lots of stuff waiting for us as we turn the page in the new year, I am determined to completely soak up this next month. To lose myself in the magic of the season, the twinkly eyes of my kids and the excitement on their faces as we go through the Advent each day. Which is why I think I felt such a strong urgency to jumpstart Christmas a little earlier than usual in our home. It's not because I want to rush through it, but because I want to savor it and drag it out. I absolutely love coming home to our house at night with its outdoor lights greeting us and making those early dark nights not seem quite so dark. I love our Christmas tree in our living room - how real and full and magical it looks as we read stories around it. I love the peace and coziness and protection I feel in our warm home as we watch snow flakes fall outside and cuddle under our new white fuzzy blanket inside. We've been doing a lot of cuddling lately. It's amazing how a new fuzzy blanket seems to invite even the boys to want to curl up under it whenever possible.
And so this past weekend, we stored away the Fall and put out the greenery, the white lights, the nativities. We decked the halls of this home of ours. It's one of my favorite activities in a whole year's worth of activities.
And in preparation for trimming our own tree, we spent a Friday evening out visiting the Festival of Trees at the Gallagher Bluedorn. We had never gone to this before, but I knew our little Brandon would have a wonderful time admiring the creativity of each one. What I didn't know was how much Jaden would get into voting for his favorite. They took it very seriously!
Standing in front of their favorite. I'm not sure what drew them both to this particular tree but it was a unanimous vote.
And they voted for their favorite wreath, too, which of course was the one with the Deer head sticking out of it. Cody actually considered bidding on it until he noticed where the bidding had already gotten to. ;)
We followed up our voting with a stop at Village Inn for late dessert with my parents. This might have to become a new routine. I loved sitting around the table while the boys colored, ordering ice cream sundaes and slices of pie and cheesecake before heading home for pajamas and bedtime stories.
We took a break from holiday planning to attend the playoff pairings watch party in the Dome on Sunday morning. We celebrated as ESPN showed a live shot of our team, Jaden finally got to meet David Johnson and Brandon showed us that he might want to be a punter one day...
And then a Sunday well spent... the entire day with our tree, our decorations, our pasta dinner and football on TV.
The boys first each took turns hanging our special yearly ornaments before the rest of the ornaments went up. A tradition I started right after we were married... one new special ornament each year. The collection is growing.
Brandon with his 1st Christmas ornament...
We of course got the tree set up in their bedroom, as well. I love having a smaller tree in their bedroom, how proud they are to have picked out their own special ornaments for it this year, how the lights shine on their faces as we're tucking them in bed at night and how warm it makes us feel as we're saying bedtime prayers.
When this gingerbread house of ours is only a piece of our history, this will be one of the memories I carry with me from it always. Ever since Brandon could sit, these two boys curled up together on the recliner, every night after baths and before bed. I'm thankful for this image, these memories and these chapters we've written here...
Looking forward to a long holiday weekend. We have fun things planned but have built in time for relaxing under that white blanket, too!
Just can't pick a favorite...
Happy Thanksgiving. All is calm, all is bright.