December is here again! Last year we bought a lot of decorations to fill our house... but this year, I tried to reuse what we already have or make our own.
Here is one I made... a chandelier wreath!
My friend Robyne and I window shopped at Pottery World to check out their Christmas displays. We left empty handed but with full hearts (crafters and decorators... you know the type of inspiration I'm talking about). The wheels in our creative brains were turning...
This chandelier was a product of that trip.
I just loooooved their hanging crystals and ornaments.
So what did I do? I dug into my jewelry making stuff and found these unused silver and crystal looking beads... threaded them through clear, elastic bands that I use for bracelets and tied them onto ornament hooks... hooked them right onto the chandelier.
The gold wreath was a hand-me-down decoration I've had for years... as is the bushy garland... and the magnolia garland was left over from last year's shopping spree.
The kissing ball... that's ours from when we were first married!
Ornaments are leftovers from the tree...
Our tree was our biggest purchase this year. We bought a fake tree from Costco... which Mark is very pleased with! We have this constant, playful argument about which is better... a fake tree or a real tree.
I'm team authentic ;)
It's all rooted with what we grew up with. He grew up with a perfect, never dries out, easy to put up tree... while my family went out every year to cut down a real tree from a Christmas Tree farm.
I have memories of bundling up, hopping in our Suburban, and driving to a tree farm where my brother and I would run past rows and rows of trees... looking for the perfect tree... "It's too fat" "There's a huge hole in that one!" "This one is slanted... who would buy that one?" until finally my mom would ask... "Are you sure you like that one?" We would both agree... all 4 of us would agree... and Daddy would hand saw the sucker down. Of course with one of us shouting, "Timber!"
Seriously... there is no comparison... real is better. ;)
Mark and I both agree that once Ethan is old enough, we will go Christmas Tree hunting... we do live next to the "Christmas Tree Capital of the World" - Placerville... as it is called in the movie, "The Christmas Cottage" (Did you know that Thomas Kinkade grew up there? We are watching that movie right now as I type...)
Anyway, here is our all too perfect, unscented tree :)
Stockings are hung...
One year ago...
Our little reindeer a year older!
Sweet kisses for Daddy
This little elf battles the temptation - everyday - to not touch the "orn-men"or ornaments.
We have lost 2 so far.... opah!
Some days are jammie days... just because life is a bit more snuggly that way :)
Yesterday, Mark and I took Ethan to ride a real train in Folsom.
The Placerville and Sacramento Valley Rail Roads was offering rides to Santa's Grotto where families can enjoy cookies, hot cocoa, and a picture with Santa. All ticket proceeds go towards the effort to save the historic rails and keep the trains running.
The train had a conductor and engineer...
Everyone working the event was a volunteer...
The conductor said in order to leave we all had to shout "All Aboard!'
Once we got moving, he asked for our tickets to punch them.
Ethan got a special ticket...
Very Polar Express ;)
Once we got to Santa's Grotto, Ethan wanted to get back on the train... here he is heading back :)
This is Mark... redirecting...
Ethan liked looking at the trains and sipping... more like chugging... his hot apple cider.
I love that E doesn't eat candy yet.
As far as he was concerned, the candy cane made for a great "Sow" or sword... "Hah! Hah!" he would say, waving the cane in the air.
It's true that boys will turn anything into weapons...
Riding back on the train...
Every Sunday we light our advent wreath and celebrate the anticipation of Christ, His return, and His intermediate entrance into our own lives.
Here is a picture of the boys at last Sunday's lighting
Ethan is obsessed with blowing out candles...
Don't worry... I have new candles for next year... the leaning one keeps it interesting though, doncha think? :)
It's almost mid-December and most of our presents are purchased, wrapped, and under the tree.
A few nights a week after Ethan goes down, Mark and I flip the fire switch, pop up some popcorn, and turn on a cheesy, Hallmark level Christmas movie... and we love it!
It feels so good to just be in the season and not feel like there are 101 things to do.
Just being present in the moment, in the waiting, in the anticipation...
in the advent season.