We have fully entered holiday mode around here. We pretty easily picked our tree out. Putting the lights up on the tree was another matter- as over HALF our light strings had gone out in the last year. Don't they last more than a single season?? Sigh. After 3 trips to Target we now have our tree fully decorated, our house decorated, a wreath on the door, and beautiful poinsettias on our mantle. And yes we caved and bought this little "light fixing gun" thing that did resuscitate a few strands of lights. Isabelle and I had so much fun hanging the ornaments together- she really wants to hang them all. The challenge was to keep her focused on the nonbreakables. Last year she was all about hanging the "diamond" ornaments but this year it was all tinsel for her.
We baked 3 batches of peppermint meltaway cookies for Mat and Mark's annual Xmas party and to share with neighbors. That was 3 days of baking between the cookies, the frosting, and the candycane topping! Paul and I got a babysitter and actually attended their huge party for the first time together since Isabelle was born. It was a blast to see old friends, do some crazy "chocolate cake" shots, and get a little bit crazy.
Can't wait for Christmas to come! We are so excited to have my parents fly up this year to celebrate with us (first time for Isabelle to have them here for Christmas!) and to have my brother and sister in law here as well.
We enjoyed having tons of family in town for Thanksgiving this year. George and Leslie came up from Utah, and Shanna and her family drove in from Missoula. We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast with Paul's relatives on Thanksgiving morning at this quaint cabin they rented. Isabelle dressed herself from her socks to her headband with Grandma Leslie in mind. ;)
Then we headed home to cook our turkey. Michael and Angela joined us for Thanksgiving dinner and came just in time to help out with some of the final cooking! It was fun to have them helping in the kitchen and really made Thanksgiving dinner special to have them finally settling in here in Seattle. Following her preschool's tradition, we went around the table picking one thing we were thankful for. Isabelle was thankful for her school. :) What a difference a year makes! This year we enjoyed our best turkey yet (a Diestel from PCC), made a maple syrup glazed sweet potato with pecans recipe, and had the usual homemade cranberries, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Isabelle helped me bake Grandpa Tom's cheesecake recipe. After Isabelle went to bed, we enjoyed playing Cranium with Michael and Angela.
The rest of the holiday weekend we spent with Shanna's family and George and Leslie. Black Friday we braved the downtown malls with George and Leslie and enjoyed seeing the huge live Christmas tree lit, as well as street performers etc. Isabelle loved every second of shopping the kids department at Nordstroms, and was treated to a Lowly Worm doll and a little backpack suitcase with a hippo attached from her grandparents.
Saturday we met everyone for a nice brunch in Fall City and then headed back to our place to play. Isabelle couldn't get enough of holding little Savanna! And she was more excited about playing with Archer than anything else. I had a blast playing with Archer and teaching him how to use chopsticks and my heart melted when they had to leave and he kept crying "want to play more with Jenn!". Too sweet. George and Leslie took us all to see Isabelle's second movie ever- the Muppets. She ultimately enjoyed it, and keeps singing "Menomeno" and pretending she's Beaker, but was definitely a little scared by the previews, sitting on my lap for half the movie.
Sunday, George and Leslie treated Isabelle to her very first Build a Bear! She was beside herself with excitement as she zoomed around the store looking at all her options for outfits and shoes. She pretty quickly chose about the ugliest bear there, covered in rainbow colored hearts- but we wanted to let her choose. ;) She decided her bear "Joey" needed to have pom-pom snowboots and a cinderella dress. Leslie added in the "glass slippers" so she could be fancy too. It was such a sweet and generous treat- Isabelle adores this new bear and can't wait to hear her say "I love you" over and over again. We enjoyed a wonderful lunch at Pagliacci's on their way out of town.We truly felt blessed to have such wonderful time with so much of our family this Thanksgiving.