Saturday, January 23, 2016

Fourth Quarter: Holiday Haze

In 2015, I decided to write quarterly updates instead of monthly updates this year.  This seemed like a good idea because it meant that I had to blog less often--but the quarterly updates turned into monsters which overwhelmed me and probably anyone who attempted to read them.   So I am going to try a new tactic for 2016.  Or maybe I will stop blogging.  We'll see what happens.

So as my final quarterly update, I'd like to talk about Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas--not the special occasions themselves (which I have already blogged about), but the weeks leading up to them.  The last three months of every year really do turn into a haze of holidays, don't they?  

October was pretty low key, but we did put up some super simple decor, picked out beautiful pumpkins at the farmers market, "booed" our neighbors for family night, carved pumpkins at the very last minute (Ryan did this with Noah one evening when I was at a meeting because I realized it wasn't going to happen otherwise), and attended several preschool and friend parties in costume.  Noah was totally over the itchy, hot Grinch costume and makeup by the end of that week, so he actually went as a firefighter to a few events which was totally fine. 

November was our month of gratitude, and honestly, I can't remember if we did anything special with Noah to prepare him for that holiday or not.  If we did, it clearly wasn't that memorable.  Ha!  Fortunately he goes to preschool and his teachers do really cute things with him, and they taught him all sorts of turkey-day songs.  He had a little program one afternoon, and I thought he was the most darling little Indian this world has ever seen.  He was super fond of me taking his photo, as you can tell, but I managed to snap one when he was caught unawares!

December started out right: with a little tree decorating and a letter to Saint Nick.  We had fun putting up ornaments while bopping to Christmas music one afternoon, and another afternoon Noah asked me to help him write a letter to Santa.  He was so specific and particular about what he wanted, so I forced him to include stuff about being grateful for anything that he gets, but I'm pretty sure all of that went right over his head. ;)

Amid all of the expected holiday hubbub of parties and traditions, I was in charge of planning and hosting a progressive dinner for the teenage girls at our church.  It was a lot of work to prepare, but it ended up being a really magical, spiritual night, and I'm so glad that we did it!  We had appetizers at our YW president's house, walked with candles and caroled to my house, managed to seat 20 girls and several leaders in my living room for dinner, and then walked to the Bishop's house for carols, devotional, and dessert.  So much fun.  I love working with these girls and teaching them every week!

For the first time ever, we had an Elf at our house this year.  Noah enjoyed it but wasn't obsessed and I was grateful.  I felt like it was a fun and easygoing tradition that we can continue.  Noah named our elf "Brad" of all things, and Brad schemed up all sorts of mischief in the night--including leaving Noah a "love note" on his face and holding storytime with all of the stuffed animals.

We enjoyed some good snow during the month which got us in the Christmas spirit.  (December is the only month of the year that I actually love getting snow!) Sally enjoyed playing in it for the first time, and she is sweet as can be in the little snowsuit we borrowed from Aunt Alli.

Another day I decided to be an adventurous mom and plan a Christmas scavenger hunt at the mall for Noah and our besties.  Our mall is extremely small and it's not busy even in December, so this was a fun little outing...for the first ten minutes.  Then Sally started running wildly in all different directions, the kids started whining to ride the toys and get a treat (so frustrating), my friend's baby fell and cracked her head, and I was wondering why I ever try to do anything fun with kids!!  Luckily we had a nice visit with Santa at the end, and my kids cooperated for the photo...and then on the way home, my friend's daughter started barfing everywhere with a stomach bug.  Sounds about right!


I will end this post (and year!) with a couple of photos of my kids on the Sunday before Christmas.  Noah wasn't quite as cooperative as Sally for the photos (you can't win them all), but I loved their Christmas church outfits.  These kiddos were the best part of my 2015 by far.  The holidays are so much more fun (and so much more chaotic) with them in my life. 

Goodbye, 2015!  It was swell.  Bring on 2016!

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