Christmas Weekending_Part Two

Geez, I’m not really sure what happened to this weekend.  Besides having to redo an entire batch of spritz cookie dough, this weekend went too quickly for my taste.  Of course, should I have been able to request a few additional hours, I’m not sure I would have used them appropriately anyway.  I had dreams of another “sleepover” in the living room, a few more snuggles, and more time outdoors, but I admit, I cleaned and did more holiday hustle and bustle than I should have.  And while I search for a self-help book for my OCD tendencies, I want to celebrate, through photos, the things we did do this weekend that remedy my need for professional intervention.  I’m also going to make sure I get in those extra snuggles and outdoor time this week!

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A dash of sprinkles make any cookie taste better.

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Taking a break from baking to have a little classroom time with Eeyore and Tigger.

 

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A special project T is working on. I look forward to sharing it with you once it’s completed.

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His vision is coming together.

 

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Someone received a letter from Santa declaring her space on the nice list this year.

 

 

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Christmas Weekending_Part One

I love the feeling my home exudes during the Christmas season.  The simple little touches make it so special, from the handmade tree ornaments, evergreen wreaths and smells of a real tree to the nutcrackers, lights, cards from loved ones and classic holiday tunes.  Top it with a young child’s excitement for all things Christmas and it’s my little seasonal oasis.  While there are cookies to still bake and deliver, lights to still tour and gifts to still buy, this past weekend we kicked it off right at home.

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Decorating her very own tree for her room

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Helping hang the outdoor lights – a very good assistant

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Daddy didn’t forget to add lights to the other house

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At night, complete with a noble fir door spray – a warm welcome indeed!

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Sleepover in the living room while watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” – it most certainly is!

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Decorating the family tree with the ballerina and soldier ornaments, courtesy of Gigi

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The December homework/family project – make a snowman. Thank you, Pinterest, for the cute idea!

How did you kick off your holiday season?

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Weekend in Photos

A classroom Halloween party, trick-or-treating, Wild West Days and the school fall festival were the events of the weekend.

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The Three Elsa’s – D and friends during their classroom Halloween party

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D is ready for a little Frozen trick-or-treating

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D & G, aka Elsa and Optimus Prime, are trick-or-treat buddies this year

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Trick-or-Treating is exhausting, even for this queen

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Wild West Days in Cave Creek. D loves to watch the riders shoot the balloon targets.

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D gets to ride a horse herself during her school’s fall festival – she’s a natural

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D and friends at the stables

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Making macaroni necklaces at the fall festival

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2nd Annual Pumpkin Patch Train

After another enjoyable train ride to the pumpkin patch, this fall excursion is making its way up the tradition list.  Only two hours from home, it makes for a nice day trip with a stop in Flagstaff for dinner before heading home.

D has grown up quite a bit from last year’s visit.  I found a couple photos to showcase just how much she’s grown over the last year.  Her excitement was no less abundant, however.

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2013

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Still loves Smokey the Bear  

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2013 – First ride on a steam engine

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2014 – Watching the pines go by

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A laugh with Daddy

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Getting ready to leave the depot

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Relaxed in anticipation

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With Mommy at the patch

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Good for the Soul

I’m not really sure how I came to enjoy camping.  Growing up, I can count on one hand the number of times we went camping as a family and, somehow, most of my memories are of dirt and the yet-to-be-mastered art of peeing in the woods.  In college, a group of friends would take advantage of long weekends and head to the outdoors.  Those memories are much more positive.  Of course, in college, you can sleep, eat and pee just about anywhere.

As an adult, I’ve become more picky in my camping spots – cannot be in loose dirt and needs to be near water and/or trees – but I find my outdoor time soothing to my soul.  Being a native of the Pacific Northwest, I have a particular fondness for the sound, smell and shade of pine trees.  Add rain to the mix and I’m perfectly content.  This was my bliss last weekend.  90 minutes from home, we were in the pines and rain – a welcome change from another long, hot summer.  The best part?  My 4-year-old loves camping as well.  When we asked her what her favorite part of the trip was, she replied “Peeing in the woods.”   That’s my girl!  We’re getting her started early and preparing her for a nice long camping road trip next summer.

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A Big Girl Bed

When we were kids, my sister and I would go off to church camp every summer for one week.  While we were making memories, my parents would pick a year to transition our rooms to “big girl” rooms.  Since my sister and I are five years apart, they happened at different times, and we didn’t know when it would happen.  We would just pick out the colors and bedspread at some point and they would do the rest.  What a great feeling to come home to – a new little space of our own.

That’s what happened yesterday for my daughter.  D and I went for a week to visit my parents in Washington (photos to come) and when we came home, her little space was transformed into a little girls room.  Thanks to my amazing husband and daddy, she got a new bed AND a pink room.

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The bed was handcrafted by T.  We knew about it and knew what it was going to look like, but he spent the entire week finishing it, painting it and installing it.  I have to say, it is one strong and durable bed.  He added a rack below to hold baskets that were previously taking up precious floor space.  I’m still amazed at how he can picture something in his head, draft the measurements and build it – especially something he’s never built before.  It turned out great, D loves it and it will remain a special piece of furniture for her.  Here are photos of the progress (into the wee hours of the night) and the finished product – sleeping girl and all…

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Our summer visit to CA

This year marked our 4th annual 4th of July visit to B & G’s (aka Papa and Gigi).  I’m not really sure how this trip became a tradition, but it’s something we have looked forward to every year (even if it isn’t our only CA trip of the year).  There are always the simple, “traditional” things we do each time – pool, beaches, parks, walk to Mag’s Donuts, clam chowder at Sabatino’s, Farmer’s Market, fireworks show from the balcony… And then we always add something new to the trip – keep things lively.  This year we visited the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.  It was D’s first visit to an aquarium and she quickly discovered her favorite animals – sting rays and sea otters.  I, personally, would second the sea otters and add jelly fish to the top of my list – especially the jellies that have lights.  Nature sure is amazing and I’m convinced that tropical fish were designed by Crayola.

Besides the aquarium, this trip’s highlights were celebrating B & G’s 50th wedding anniversary, a little early, with a nice dinner at Gulfstream in Newport Beach; watching D’s confidence in swimming grow stronger each day in the pool; watching the strong surf at the Wedge and playing in the sand, seaweed and tidal pools in Little Corona.  So fun!

Here are some highlight photos from the trip:

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Jumping in is the best part

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She swam the entire length of the pool with her trusty kick board

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Laughing at the seagulls running in the waves

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Building sand castles at the Wedge

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Watching a penguin swim from below

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Admiring the color palettes with Gigi in the Tropical exhibit

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With Papa and the Penguins

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Getting a close up view of the sting rays

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Family photo at Newport Beach Civic Center

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Celebrating B & G’s 50th Anniversary

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Someone loves her Papa

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Somehow, chores are more fun on vacation

 

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