Holiday Happiness

IMG_0634 I spent Wednesday in preparation mode-kissing my china. I missed it so much. IMG_0639 We were not able to go home this year, so we spent the day with some dear friends who are also far from family due to residency. IMG_0644 IMG_0645 EBug loved adding to our Thanksgiving tree as we anticipated the holiday and listed all that we are thankful for. Listening to what kids are grateful for is hilarious. IMG_0646 This is Brother Bear’s contribution. Kites. IDK. “You mean food? or milk? or George?”

“No. Kiiiiiites.” Ok then. IMG_0648On the day of feasting I started the day off right: a giant cup of mocha coffee in my fave mug to sustain me through a marathon of cooking. IMG_0651 Brother was somewhat interested in the parade. Didn’t last long.IMG_0653 But he did tap his toes for a few beats to the marching band. IMG_0657 He was much more interested in a little 30 degree football time with Daddy. IMG_0668 It was cold but necessary for them to go with Daddy to the park. They loved it, and I got a lot accomplished. Cooking food for people is one of my all time favorite things in this world. It’s how I show love. And it’s so gratifying to work on something and then taste success. IMG_0674 Stuffing has gone from my least favorite holiday food to favorite. I have the best recipe in this world, and I plan to make it every year for as long as life permits. IMG_0679 Pinterest has a plethora of tablescape over-the-top-ness. I prefer free. Things that I can find outside or download and print. IMG_0693 A kids coloring table is a must. Again, free printable coloring pages. IMG_0702 There’s the stuffing. I cooked a good deal more than stuffing, but it’s the show stopper. The turkey is not pictured. He was delicious but not a looker. I decided to use a slow cooking method that truly did make the meat extra tender, but not extra pretty. Can’t have it all. IMG_0703 We had such a fun night with our precious friends. We even attempted a group pic, but between the flash and the crazy faces of my children and my own vanity issues, I am not posting. Please refer to previous post to see our lovely friends and their adorable children.

Today, we kept the holiday craze going with a trip to the tree farm. Yes, tree farm. We were on our way to a regular ole lot, and then we were like, “why?”

Our decision to drive the extra miles to do it was an awesome choice. Much more of an experience and a really fun memory. IMG_0735 IMG_0738 These trees! They were all gorgeous and all different sizes. The one we picked seemed perfectly average to small in size, and we got it home and it is taking over our apt. In a good way. Bring on the Christmas. IMG_0752 You know those moments when you see the world through your child’s eyes, and it is like the wonder washes over you all over again…IMG_0759 This was not one of those days. Sometimes the world through your child’s eyes is just filled with tears. Couldn’t even tell you why. Not a tree farm guy I guess. IMG_0765 Rob really got to get in touch with his farmer boy side. Cutting down your own tree is no joke. IMG_0770 Especially when your three year old wants a piggy back ride while you are cutting it. IMG_0772 But he managed!IMG_0776 IMG_0780 And I helped a little.

Actually, no, I could not get that saw to budge an inch. Not a single inch. I don’t even know why it was so hard, but it confirmed everything that I thought was true about myself. Strong in other ways.IMG_0784 “Ev, could you please go back and ask Brother to stop crying and follow us back to the car. Thanks.”IMG_0787 IMG_0793 IMG_0797 He perked up at the sight of the saws. IMG_0802She’s gone country. Just threw that tree in the back of the pick up truck and hauled it home.

No, we are not that in touch with our southern roots. Just have a zip car membership.

The past few days have been the perfect kick off to the holiday season. As I sat and ate my delicious leftovers tonight looking at our beautiful tree, I was reminded to continue giving thanks. We have had a ton of time as a family recently, and that has allowed for such enjoyment of this time of year.

The first two years of residency I found myself struggling to come up with ways to make this time of year fun for the children and myself. I felt two steps behind in my preparation and holiday cheer. But this year! This year feels totally different. Having Rob around for dinner and weekends and holidays has brought such calm to my heart. Tidings of comfort and joy for sure.

5 thoughts on “Holiday Happiness

  1. I can’t stop laughing, thinking about E being in charge of getting W to stop crying! The pictures are amazing, and your writing brings them to life!

  2. Look like a beautiful day! and we did the live tree thing this year for the first time. I’m a fan!!! I need to find you on Pinterest to see some of these coloring pages!

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