Friday, December 29, 2017

Christmas Festivities

This Christmas (and the week leading up to it) was really one for the books! 

We had snow on Christmas Eve (which was fun for our first Christmas in the north) and had a wonderful time celebrating with family. It is so incredibly nice to be able to spend the holidays with family without having to travel - it's been so long since that has been the case... and now that Jack is a bit older (he turned 14 months on Christmas) he is understanding more and more that Christmas is something special!

Here's a quick peek at our Christmas festivities!

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I'm unsure who loved setting up our Christmas tree more... me or Jack! We used all plastic ornaments, and the sweet boy just loved helping "decorate" and "redecorate" the tree DAILY! I'm pretty sure "Those aren't really berries, Jack!" was said at least ten times a day...



John organized a Christmas date night for us, and we dropped Jack off at my parents house, headed to dinner at The Bachelor Farmer, did a little shopping at Askov Finlayson, and then went to the Guthrie Theater to see A Christmas Carol - it was such a nice evening, and the show was wonderful... I wouldn't mind making it an annual thing (hint, hint, John!). :)





My mom hosted a cookie baking day at her home for my aunts and cousin... and boy, we had tons of delicious cookies! I absolutely love baking so it was fun being able to bake and decorate cookies with other people. I boxed up the cookies and delivered them to our neighbors, John's coworkers, and froze a tray for Christmas morning - and you best believe they all got eaten!






Jack got to go to my parents house for a Christmas sleep over and John and I went to go see the new Star Wars movie. In the morning John woke up early and took the dogs hunting, and oh my, it was so nice waking up as slowly as I wanted... no baby or dogs that needed tending to - it was a wonderful morning moving very slowly and celebrating the holidays.


Christmas Eve we went to my parents house for dinner, gifts, and games. Jack enjoyed opening all of his gifts (slowly...) and loved laying directly on top of boxes - such a ham!! He is such a blessed little boy, and I pray that he grows up knowing the true meaning of Christmas and the gift of life that we have because of it.








Christmas morning my parents and brother headed over to our home for brunch. John smoked a delicious salmon on his Big Green Egg that we had as an appetizer, and we had ham and quiche for our main meal. It was a relaxing morning celebrating Christmas.

Later in the evening we all went to my aunts house for dinner, games, and a white elephant exchange. They live on a lake and had an awesome ice skating rink shoveled on the ice, but it was far too cold for me (although no one else seemed to mind!). We brought Scout and Lily with and they enjoyed being able to run on the frozen lake! It was a wonderful evening with family and closed the day exactly as I had hoped!










Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Life Lately

I have a long backlog of photos to share, but I feel like I'm finally starting to catch up on all that we've been up to. Although November was a month ago, here's a quick peek at all that we were up to!

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Rain, cold, snow... it doesn't matter - John insists that we walk everywhere we go! This is the first time that we have lived in a walkable area (since college), so any time we want to go to breakfast, coffee, the grocery store, etc. John insists we all suit up and walk there. Jack honestly doesn't seem to mind to cold, but his mama would much prefer to be warm. :) But hey, at least it keeps me moving throughout my pregnancy!



Snowy walks to breakfast and coffee at Caribou.


John has taken the dogs hunting in northern Minnesota several times this year, and boy, there is a ton of snow there! Scout lives for hunting so she doesn't even notice the snow (and in fact, I think she much prefers it to the heat), but little Lily gets a little cold and shivery if she gets too cold and wet.



After a long weekend of hunting, these two girls sleep for the next few day - which I absolutely love! The best kind of bird dog is a tired one...


One of my favorite things about our new home is the front windows... and they are one of Jack's favorite things too! That boy could look out the windows and front door all day long - and we have lots of little hand prints to prove it. :)




Jack and I recently made a trip to see John at work and get lunch downtown. Jack had fun exploring the skywalks and getting to say "hi" to all the people who were walking around for lunch!



Eating out with my favorite lunch date (other than his dad, of course).


My mom, aunt and I (and Jack) recently went shopping in Stillwater, and we had a great time exploring all the shops and getting lunch. ...and Jack discovered his love for wrapping paper (just like his mom!).



Saturday, December 23, 2017

Holly Trolley

Jack recently took a trip to meet Santa on the Holly Trolley!

The Holly Trolley is a historic streetcar that rides along Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun and it is totally decked out for the holidays. Santa (and Mrs. Claus) were on board the train and greeted every child individually asking them what they wanted for Christmas. It was super sweet, and we will likely make it a yearly tradition!

When we got to the station we were told the wait would be about an hour and a half long, but it ended up being almost twice that long! Had we known it would be a three hour wait from the beginning, I don't think we would have stayed, but Jack really did awesome - he had to skip his afternoon nap, and he was a total trooper. John's mom and step-dad were in town visiting, and his step-dad kindly waited in line while we walked to the toy store to help keep Jack busy.

Once we got on to the streetcar Jack loved looking out the window and thought Santa was quite interesting. He wasn't scared, but he certainly stared a hole straight through him... and had Santa tried to get too close, I'm sure Jack would have had an issue with him! Since Jack was so young last year we didn't do any sort of Santa activities, so it was fun to start a tradition this year!

Here are a few photos of our time on the Linden Hills Holly Trolley!

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Christmas Tree Choppin'

The past few years John and I have had a fake Christmas tree, but this year John insisted we started getting real trees since they are "more festive!" ...I'm all about more festive, so I of course didn't have a problem with this (so long as John would be the honorary tree waterer since this pregnant lady doesn't feel like crawling under a tree with a pitcher of water every evening...).

My parents and younger brother, Matt, have made a tradition of getting a real tree the day or so before Thanksgiving, and I was so excited when John was able to leave work early so that we could join them! We headed to Krueger's Tree Farm to pick out and chop down our own tree.

It was quite cold (and snowing!) which made it fun, but kept us moving since Jack was along and I was worried he was going to get cold (but as long as grandma was holding him there were no complaints from that little boy!). We quickly found our tree, cut it down, and hauled it home! 

It was super nice being able to join in on existing traditions with my family as these are things that we would have normally had to miss out on. Not only that, but since Jack was so little last year, any sort of Christmas decorating was not overly enjoyable for me... it was always on a timeline squeezed between naps or bedtime, with no real indication of how long it would be until Jack would wake up. This year has been totally different and so much fun - I love seeing Jack experience new things and can't wait until he understands even better next year.

Here are a few photos of our 2017 Christmas tree!









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