december 2013 so far: tree hunting, bears + elves, and considering a name change

We've been so busy this month, in a fun way. I'm about 73% done with my Christmas shopping, and 0% done with Christmas day planning. :) It seems like Christmas came out of nowhere and suddenly it's time to party! I guess it helps that I was in the postpartum fog for the last 4 months of the year. ;)

The weather helped my brain make a quick leap to the holidays for sure. It went from this:

To the mid-20's in two days! My poor Texas roses were confused. And frozen. 

We had another first this month- our very first build-a-bear session:

It was a reward for good behavior, and I was thrilled they were all still young enough to enjoy it. This kid-growing-up thing is hard on a mama's heart, I tell you.

Teddy bears + little kids = sweetest combo ever. Even Zane got one. :)

Speaking of amazing combos, this is one you have to try:

The pretzel crisp is non-negotiable and the Ghirardelli puts regular almond bark {which I previously loved} to shame. You don't even need to dip the whole thing in the candy. :)

Did I ever tell you that earlier this month we went Christmas tree hunting on my in-laws' property? They were kind to let us chop down a tree and take it home:

I somehow didn't realize there would actually be dirt in the forest {ahem}, and of course wore the wrong footwear. I didn't want to get my shoes all muddy, so despite all of my weak protesting, Rob insisted on carrying me over this huge ravine:

I have it rough, I know. I'm thinking about getting my name changed to Princess.

We found a good tree fairly quickly:

It was so tall! 

And the story ends with us buying a tree stand, and getting home with a tree that would not actually stand up in a tree stand. After all of that, we put up the old artificial one. :P

At least it was still fun. :)

Last week, we had dinner by candlelight one night.

And 3 out of the 5 went for haircuts last Friday. I don't know why, but no one was super excited about getting a trim. They must get it from their dad, because I love getting my hair done.

Yesterday after church we went to the library and stocked up for the next few cold days. We've never done elves before, but our library had an elf-on-the-shelf contest so it made it fun for all of us. :) Noah and Bella spotted him:

And this little {not-so-little} boy keeps growing. :D I am planning to do a 4-month update soon where I tell you how much he weighs now... :P It's crazy.

We have lots more to squeeze in this week- I have a big to-do list building now that Christmas is only a few days away! :) I'm going to do a little more man shopping today and I think I'll be done! :)

Are you done with your shopping already? {I'm amazed by you if so!}

How has your December been so far?

Do you love or hate candy-coated pretzels?
I am not a fan of chocolate ones, but the white ones are my favorite! They are definitely part of my favorite Christmas memories! :D



MariLynn said...

Loved reading all you are doing. One of my favorite live Christmas tree memory was when my oldest daughter was 2, I was 9 months pregnant with my second daughter. We went to get a tree. It had rained all morning but had stopped so we went that afternoon to get a tree. My daughter slipped in the red Georgia clay and like a good mommy I tried to keep her from falling, but the result was that we both slipped and fell and got covered with clay. It was such a mess and my husband didn't want to let us into his new pickup truck until we stripped down.

Betsy said...

That is too funny about the tree!! We are not done with our shopping yet. I have a few things still to get each kid and stocking stuffers. BLAH! I am so unmotivated.

Anonymous said...

I like your idea of candlelight with the kids. You are creating so many great memories for your family :)
I have heard there are potato chips that are dipped in chocolate! I hope that's not some cruel joke, ;) i haven't seen any yet.

Anonymous said...

I am actually organised this year (I think the first time ever!!) and have done ALL my shopping!! Living in Australia we have hot Christmases which include lots of swimming, BBQ's and friends and family getting together. But I've also had good reminders this year about not getting carried away with all the sparkle and trimmings and take time out for worship, remembrance, and seeking the TRUE meaning of Christmas!!!! said...

Christmas shopping is almost complete, I'm hoping to get it finished up tomorrow. :) December has gone by sooo fast, I'm working on goals, routines and meal planning for Jan. I hope to at least start next year organized.

Shawn R. C. said...

sweet, sweet memories! We got the most beautiful, HUGE, real tree this year and it has decided to stop drinking water and is now a huge fire hazard! UGH!! Im fairly sure it will NOT make it to Christmas day :(
I am finished with shopping but have some wrapping left to do. Merry Christmas! May His Peace and Love reign in your heart and home. :) (ps...thanks for following me on pinterest ;)

Mellissa Rose said...

Your tree in the forest is gorgeous! We do a vintage silver tinsel one which I adore. I'm done with shopping but we exchanged gifts at Thanksgiving with my family and the hubby & I don't have kids. We gave ourselves a vacation this year.

Mandy said...

oh my goodness! what a story- I bet it's one of those that wasn't funny at the time and now it's hilarious. {we have so many of those! LOL!} thank you for sharing!!

Mandy said...

I know how you feel girlie! we didn't even put stockings up this year, so you're doing great!

Mandy said...

mmmm...Lay's newest flavor = chocolate caramel with sea salt?? that would be fantastic!!

Mandy said...

Amen!!! so awesome!!! Thank you Jesus for coming to save us.

Mandy said...

oh my goodness, great job!! And January comes next? I can barely remember what month it is these days!! heheheh! way to go!!

Mandy said...

You bet! :D Way to go with your shopping!! and poor tree, please make it 8 more days! :)

Mandy said...

oh I would love to see a pic of your tree! and vacation might be the best present ever. I would LOVE that!

Jennifer Plotts said...

Thank you so much for sharing some memories with your beautiful family! We got all of our holiday shopping done about a week after Thanksgiving, but that was really only because my daughter's first birthday is this Thursday (Dec 19th). I seem to be going a little crazy trying to prepare for her first birthday party AND for Christmas at the same time. Right now I am just trying to make it until Friday so that I can turn my focus to all the holiday matters. Hopefully this year will be good practice so that I can learn how to focus on my daughter and the reason for the Christmas season in all the years to come.

Jari said...

I must admit your library is open on Sunday!! Lucky!!! We have several small branches and one big main one, but the smaller branches hours are crazy and the main branch just got renovated so it will not be open until after Christmas! So our library visits are on hold. I am not done with Christmas shopping but I have some other projects that need to be completed for Christmas presents!!So far my December has been ok, I am 8 months pregnant so the Braxton Hicks are bothering me but other than that its been great!! The big plus is that we have been getting some snow, which I love!

Mandy said...

oh man! I totally understand! :D I hope you have a productive and happy week! :D

Mandy said...

we are lucky for sure-even a few hours on Sunday afternoon is fun for us to do as a family. :D Yay for snow!!

626dch said...

Almost done with shopping.
Didn't think I would like pretzels coated in anything but Trader Joe's had samples of their peppermint bark coated pretzel crisps. Oh my stars! They are awesome - could have easily ate the whole bag myself! Might have a similar effect if you dip your pretzels and sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies/ candy canes.