"When you called me to be a Mama, You didn't ask for perfection. But that with every breath, I'd point them to You."

Monday, December 22, 2014

t'was the weekend before christmas...

We're getting pretty excited around here. I am now off work for the next two weeks, the boys just have one more day of school, and I just picked up a couple of last minute gifts to wrap and place under the tree. There's big things heading our way, as we look forward to that special candlelight service, a couple of Christmas gatherings and a special 2015 looming. I took some time this morning to look back at pictures of our past year, and I almost got a little choked up. So many special moments captured. And just like that, we're about to turn the page again. In the mean time, these boys of mine just keep growing...

We had a good weekend. Cody and I spent a day and night in Des Moines, shopping at Trader Joe's for some special and unique goodies, stopping for a late afternoon lunch and watching our Panthers beat the Hawks in person. The boys got to have a sleepover with Papa Tim and Nana Deanne, and we spent all day Sunday baking cookies and readying ourselves for the big week ahead. I got plenty of use out of my new Keurig machine as I brewed cups of hot cocoa, cappuccino and cider, and I took some time to practice with my new camera tripod.

And it all started Friday night with our annual Christmas lights drive. I look forward to this every December and always save it for that final weekend before Christmas. And this year? We took it up a notch. We made a little game out of it, as I found this really cool printable scavenger hunt from Pinterest.

We piled in the car, reviewed our list, and turned up the Christmas music. The boys and even Cody got really into checking off as many things on this list as we could, and I'm happy to say that we only failed at finding two items... a Disney character and a decorated mailbox. I had hopes to find maybe half of these things, but we hit the jackpot near my old neighborhood. Within two blocks we were able to check off most of the items, including the Christmas music played outdoors. If you still haven't done your lights drive, check out Lilac Ln. off of Rownd St. The kids even got out of the car and explored the yards a little bit. These pictures don't do it all justice. I can't imagine where these people store all of this stuff!

After driving around for over an hour, we met my parents at Village Inn for dessert. We did this after attending the Festival of Trees over Thanksgiving weekend, and it's becoming a favorite way to wind down these special nights. The boys always order ice cream sundaes, Cody always chooses a banana crème pie and I love a simple slice of cheesecake.

Tuckered... :)

We also let the boys open a couple of gifts early this weekend from Aunt Sally and Uncle Bob in Florida. They are always gifted with so much, and it's nice to have a few items to open early so we can spread it out a little bit. They loved their new sets of binoculars... perfect for our many nature walks in the summer and football games in the Dome in the Fall... just like Papa and Daddy use in the press box!

And I caved in and once again made sugar cookies. We always leave a piece of Jesus' birthday cake for Santa to eat, but Brandon really wanted to be sure he had some cookies from us, too. I tried out a new sugar cookie recipe from Pinterest... one that said the cookies would actually remain in their perfect shape through baking... and it didn't fail me!

Merry week of Christmas, everyone! Just three more sleeps...