Well, it’s been the oddest Vermont winter I’ve ever seen… its been unusually warm at times, below freezing at others, and we haven’t even seen 30 inches of snow all season – that’s usually how much snow we see in a month – not three! We only had enough snow to go sledding twice. It’s either been too warm or too cold and windy to play outside. Not enough snow to snowshoe. Ice hasn’t been thick/safe enough to ice fish, and when it has been warm out, it’s been raining! Either way, we’ve been keeping busy hibernating inside this winter…
December was filled with good times with family and new holiday traditions in our new home. We had way too much fun cutting down a 30 foot tree and using the top 6 feet for our Christmas tree. (Notice the lack of snow and Steve in just a sweatshirt?!!)
We have big plans to clear our the trees in our backyard to actually HAVE a backyard, so why not use one we’re already cutting down for our XMass tree??! Avery, Rosie, and I kept a safe distance while Steve took the monster down.
But once it was down, Avery and I got to cut the top off!
It was a family tradition growing up to go to a tree farm and cut down a Christmas tree, so I was excited to carry this on with our little family – in our own way
We spent an entire evening decorating the tree, putting up stockings and lights – Avery was thrilled.
I actually threw away a lot of old general ornaments because we had so many personalized and gifted ornaments from the past few years that they covered the tree. We were worried about having a puppy and a tree, so we didn’t put any ornaments down low. It was pretty amusing watching Avery place an ornament on the tree, then get down on all fours to pretend to be a dog and try to bite it! But Rosie was too busy enjoying the wood stove to notice the tree…
She was fond of the red tree skirt tho… that might need to be replaced next Christmas… along with my favorite pair of black heels – oh the joys of having a puppy.
Avery put stickers up on the windows and we decked the halls…
There was a little Christmas everywhere… we even made a tree on the wall with all the holiday cards we got in the mail – so many considering we just moved!
Steve caught up to me and joined the THIRTY club. I was lucky and got away without having a party for my birthday, but I wasn’t going to let Steve get away this year (It’s so much fun planning and surprising someone else!) Avery and I threw him a surprise birthday party. Avery picked the theme.
We had a green cake with Ninja Turtle Candles, A Ninja Punch game (with prizes inside!), a Ninja Nerf Knockdown game, and Ninja Turtle birthday hats – all games and decorations were homemade (or borrowed from my Mom) and I’m proud to say the only $ I spent was on the cake mix, frosting, and Steve’s gifts – wine and candy bars (what else could a 30 year-young man want on his birthday… ninja turtles, wine, candy, and fun with his family!). I’m not sure who had more fun… It was sure a memorable small family birthday party! We had a busy December doing holiday things like building a holiday train at the local Lowes. Lowes hosts these workshops for kids every couple months where they supply you with a kit, and a mini hammer (Home Depot does them too, but for kids ages 5-12). Avery and I worked together reading the directions to build a train in December and a couple weeks ago we did a picture frame.
Avery had so much fun with the hammer and gets so excited when he can read and follow the directions almost on his own. Mommy loved the time together – and the fact that it’s free and we saw my cousin and his son there both visits – love living up here and running into family and friends at events!
And what holiday is complete without a gingerbread house??! Mimi found this great CANDY LAND themed gingerbread house kit. I set Avery up with all his supplies and we decorated together…
He was so proud of his finished product… and enjoyed eating while he worked!
Avery picked at it for the next month… stealing a piece or two every day after school. I stuck with family tradition and sent out holiday cards to our friends and family around the world. I swear, I have to order more every year! We are so lucky to have friends and family all over that love to hear from us – so although it took me a few nights at the dining room table, it felt great sending out a little love to everyone during the holidays!
Again, we had amazing pictures from Avery’s Year 4 Photos, thanks to Ariana Foundry. She’s super affordable and a wonderful photographer – Steve and I went to highshool with her. Aunt Sarah came home for the holidays and joined in making cookies with Avery and joined us for our Christmas festivies, which began at our new house on Christmas Eve.
Avery and Steve exchanged gifts before bedtime….
Avery’s Elf on the Shelf plopped himself on the tree before he went back to the north pole for the season. Avery had fun looking for him every morning all month… he was missed after he left.
Christmas morning was a flurry of wrapping paper.
Avery got some new clothes, games, puzzles, and Steve and I had a special gift for him that had been in the works a long time.
Last summer Steve took me on a secret date where we sat by the lake and colored giant coloring pages of Avery’s favorite Movie for him, with the intention of having him hang them in his room when we moved in.
They proudly hang above Avery’s bed today – completing his room!
Rosie’s stocking was full of goodies too…
She was very excited to open gifts.
We spent the holiday visiting family and ended the night at Mimi and Grampy’s for a yummy dinner.
It was so warm on Christmas evening, that we rode down to Mimi and Grampys in the side-by-side with gifts in the back. We ate and had lots more gifts and holiday fun.
By far, my favorite Christmas gifts were Avery’s key chain he made for me… it’s so big that its easier to find my keys when they are lost in my purse! And Steve got me just what I asked for… a rolly garbage can with handle and lid attached…. ahhh domestic life. I was so thrilled, really! Oh and he spoiled me with a new pots and pans set for the kitchen – yay!
Since the holidays, we’ve been busy with everyday life. Avery’s been doing great at school and took 6 weeks of swimming lessons. He starts his second session in March. We visit the library once a week to play and check out books and movies. Avery spends one night a week at Mimi and Grampy’s so he can play games and watch movies with them… and Steve and I get to sleep in! I’ve been busy with work, the usual household ‘stuff’ and slowly updating things around the house – my office has been the focus as of late…. its been painted, a new desk put in and picture frames are going up… ummm as soon as I find a free minute! We knew that buying a house would not only be awesome, but time consuming.
Finding Making time to do the non-essential things (like blogging and running) take a back burner to the essentials, like laundry, dishes, feeding the family, cleaning the house, etc. So just bear with me as blog posts will be less frequent… but we’re still here! In the meantime, follow me on Instagram or Facebook for daily updates/pictures.