Wednesday, December 2, 2015
We had a great four days off over Thanksgiving, and it already has me extremely excited for our much longer Christmas break coming up in a few weeks. The older these boys get, the more enjoyable these breaks at home together seem to become. There's lots of joy found in the baby and toddler years, but there's also a lot more time for relaxing on holidays when your kids get a little older! Playing games, wearing comfy pants, baking treats, watching movies, reading books and staying in pajamas whenever we feel like it... that's what breaks look like these days. And I am more than ready for more of where that came from!
Thanksgiving started with a quiet morning spent in our own home. We did indeed stay in our pajamas for longer than normal while we baked cinnamon rolls, watched Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving and the Macy's parade on TV and hauled out all of the Christmas decorations. We transformed our cozy cottage into its own little gingerbread house, leaving sparkle and glitter trails everywhere we looked. Even Lucy has been spotted with glitter on her nose (and unfortunately some pine-needles in her throw-up! Cats and Christmas trees... you know the rest).
A tree in each bedroom, a tree in the living room and a tree in our basement family room... lots of work but always worth it. The time of year when hibernation is welcomed and enjoyable. Oh, and almost everywhere there's an outlet, I find a way to incorporate twinkly lights!
After a morning spent at home, we headed over to my parents' for our last Thanksgiving spent on Barrington Dr. My aunt and uncle joined us for a quiet day spent in front of football, around the table, and making edible turkeys with Aunt Rita. Christmas is always full of busy, but Thanksgiving is its opposite. Plenty of time for food and food comas!
We spent Thanksgiving night in our home with Papa Tim and Nana Deanne, chocolate shakes from the drive-thru and old YouTube videos of our boys on the TV. No fuss. It was pretty perfect. I even wrapped the first of our presents to place under the tree after the boys went to bed!
We slept in on Friday, took our time getting ready in the morning and went out for some Black Friday shopping only to pick up some additional ornaments for our tree and a few other Christmas decorating wants. We enjoyed an afternoon of games and even a nap for Mommy before heading out to a special Holiday Hoopla evening...
I was smart this year and thought weeks ahead to make dinner reservations for us downtown for Holiday Hoopla night so that we weren't standing out in the cold the entire time or waiting too long for dinner tables with hungry boys in tow. While we enjoyed our meal inside Whiskey Road on the corner of 4th and Main, the festivities began on the stage directly outside, and when our meal was over, we were able to step right out the front door to mix in with the crowd and wait only about 10 minutes for Santa's big arrival...
And Santa's arrival did not disappoint. Shortly after leaving the restaurant, Papa Bob vanished, leaving the boys curious and confused, before he reappeared up on the Hoopla stage to perform the distinguished job of welcoming Santa to town, himself. Santa arrived atop a giant panther to Papa Bob's "Heeeeeerrrrrrreee comes SANTA!" greeting, and the boys' eyes couldn't have been bigger.
Truth be told, Jaden was in a little bit of a cranky mood that night until his Papa and Santa cured it all. The traditional march up Main St. to light the downtown Christmas tree and watch the fireworks over the river was complete with a traffic-stopping crowd only Cedar Falls can produce on a cold winter's night, and members of the UNI marching band leading Santa through it all was just the icing on top of the cake. It was everything I love about my hometown -- and once again, one of my favorite nights of the year.
Love this picture of him. This boy didn't flinch during the entire show...
We came home for warm pajamas, Christmas mugs filled with hot cocoa and marshmallows, and the first bedtime Christmas reading of the season.
More to come...