Saturday, December 23, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and I'm not really sure where the time has gone, but here we are! We are enjoying these days with family, and our hearts are very happy. Every year gets a little bit better as we watch our boys' eyes light up with excitement for Christmas and all that comes with it.

Here's a little photo recap from our December thus far:

I found these vintage stockings at Goodwill last year after Christmas for something like 40 cents a piece. Being only a few days from my due date, I was excited to find the Baby's First Christmas for the following year!

After two years of cutting down our own big blue spruces, it felt like somewhat of a letdown to put up our small artificial tree this year. But August is an equal-opportunity-Christmas-tree lover, so we are okay :)

Our annual matching jammies Christmas photo. This is the first time all three of them wore matching outfits. Be still my heart!

Whenever I see those dimples, I have to try and get a picture. They make me so happy.

Lowe's may have stopped doing the kids' workshops, but we found Home Depot! The boys made little wooden gingerbread houses, and it was a lot of fun.

I didn't get any other photos of it, but we went to Back to Bethlehem, and they had a live nativity (a live entire Bethlehem), including baby calves and sheep and donkeys--and even a camel!

Baby August turned 11 months old! I'm in denial about his fast-approaching birthday. As far as milestones, we've seen him stand without holding on a few times, he started clapping last month (and now it's our favorite party trick), he points to show us things, and he seems to understand a lot of words. He still doesn't sleep through the night, not even close. His favorite foods are milk, yogurt, bananas, and fresh bread.

I can't stop taking napping photos. He looks so peaceful.

Cousin love :) 

I'm really working on finding quiet moments in my otherwise very-loud life.

We went to Christmas at the Zoo last week! We went at dusk, so we didn't see the lights in their full effect, but it was still really pretty!

My favorite animal to visit - the bears! Can you spot him?

It was cool to see real reindeer! The line to visit Santa was two hours long, so we were a little disappointed, but we did say "hey" to Mrs. Clause!

I quoted this on my Instagram, and I keep coming back to it this season:

"My desire for beautiful, sparkly Christmas moments was edging out my ability to live well in my own actual life, and I recognized this feeling as one I'd grappled with all my life. I could either wrestle my life and my kids and my house and our Christmas into something fantastic, something perfect, or I could plunk myself down right in the middle of the mess and realize that the mess is actually my life, the only one I'll ever get, the one I'm in danger of missing completely, waiting around for fantastic." Shauna Niequist, Present Over Perfect.

Our little rental house looks merry with a few decorations here and there. It's strange to think this will probably be our only Christmas in this house. My sentimental self is already getting attached to it.

We bought an A-frame gingerbread kit from Trader Joe's. Nolan and Ephraim really loved putting it together and decorating it with candy!

This month, we've borrowed a lot of Christmas books and movies from the library. We have a really great local library, and we try to get there once a week.

We learned about Santa Lucia and Saint Nicholas and the history of the Christmas tree in our Barbara Cooney written/illustrated books.

I've always wanted to make homemade marshmallows, and it turned out to be a pretty easy experiment. I used Ina Garten's vanilla marshmallow recipe. They were an amazing texture, and tasted really rich.

I hope you all have the MERRIEST Christmas Eve and Christmas day! 

May you remember that tiny baby in the manger who grew up to be our Jesus, our Savior, the light of the world.


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