So our kitchen is done and Christmas is allowed to happen. I finished the unpacking and cleaning and decorating about twenty minutes before my parents and brother arrived last Friday which was approximately forty minutes before Claire's school holiday pageant was set to begin. She was SO excited to wear her Christmas dress and beloved "fancy shoes" that have been taunting her from her closet for weeks. I love her love of shoes.
The program was as earnest and adorable as a school program should be.
Christmas poems + hand motions are a very serious business.
She then basked in the post-performance glow with her Gigi, gave my family a tour of her classroom, before we headed home to eat dinner (in the new kitchen! nothing was microwaved!) and decorate the tree.
Normally I prefer to do the tree the weekend after Thanksgiving and enjoy it all season long, but the whole house was such a disaster and this corner was needed to stack up boxes of kitchen stuff (SO much stuff lives in your kitchen cabinets; I was shocked how many boxes it all required), so after my 24 straight hours of cleaning, it was finally time to pull out our new fake tree. JP vastly prefers live trees, but I knew this year any tree trimming would be last minute, so we've compromised on fake for this year and a fake AND a real one in the future. We're going to need more ornaments.
Cora was respectful of the tree and its traditions. She's an adorable little mimic and is always very interested in what the big kids are doing. She stood by the tree and seemed to concentrate very hard to figure out what kind of magic they were using to make the toys levitate in the air and stick on the branches. Then she gave up and went to make friends with the Julbock.
Christmas music was playing and cookies were eaten and snuggling and giggling happened. The loving laughing joyfully chaotic life of three kids is hard to put it in words, but every now and then there's a picture that gives you a sliver. I love this one.
On Saturday it was freezing and rainy, so we thought we should spend the whole day outdoors exploring the Arboretum. It certainly kept the crowds away.
The 12 Days of Christmas Exhibits were pretty amazing and of course the Children's Adventure Garden is always a hit.
we literally had to drag my parents out of there when JP and Eric were about to abandon the group in search of a much-delayed lunch.
In a final nod to Christmas tradition, we scarred the baby by putting her in the arms of a strange old man in a weird outfit.
I love how Cora's all, what are you doing? Why are your hands out like that? My daddy would never put me in the arms of a suspicious stranger.
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!