The holidays are in full swing - chilly night air and the smell of woodsmoke is finally part of daily life. I have missed a lot of the "fall beauty" from living in the east this year - I just haven't seen the same kind of colors that I had become so accustomed too. Also, the large LACK of apple orchards around here is rather tragic - I obviously just haven't found them yet. At the same time, the other kind of beauty that's becoming the "norm" to see here in Colorado is so outrageously gorgeous. Seeing a beautiful sunset and the constant wildlife....
Ducks swimming on a lake and the reflection of pink clouds in the water....
And this unedited sunset that we were so blessed to see with our own eyes - and we had a camera to capture the scene forever! This season I am reminded of what a wonderful God we have that he would send His very own ONLY beautiful son...the ultimate artist, to earth for us - is humbling.
So we have begun the celebration of Christ's birth. Trinity made her own popcorn string this year carefully with a needle and thread- she was proud to tell me that she had poked her finger at least four times but never once cried. I was proud too. :)
And then our very own "Master of Lights" hung three strands of white twinkles all over our FAKE tree (we are having a fake cheap tree this year for our fake house.)
I decorated my wreath for our front door - a lovely little round form given to me by my sweet Lori years ago when Zac and I were first married. Every year that I take it out of the shed and wrap ribbon and stick berries in it I'm reminded of a good time had at the Bower's house years ago...down in the basement with jars and jars of fragrant branches around us and me and Havala and Lori making Christmas loveliness. I miss them this year.
And then a new fun tradition - ordering pizza from Papa Johns for our night of "The Hanging of the Green." When I was a little girl I really believde that the restaurant Papa John's belonged to my very own Papa John. Having my grandmother's nativity set this year and taking out my little collection of teeny ceramic houses and church ornaments my grandpa helped collect for me his last Christmas was bitter sweet. I miss my family this year but I'm so happy for all of the little things I have about me that remind me of them.
I gave each of my kids their yearly ornament - a Mario one for Brady, an angel for Trin, and a little dinosaur for Tristan. I'm still looking for one for Finn. The kids were ECSTATIC - as if I just handed each of them a twenty dollar bill!
Decorating the tree this year was so different then any other year. I guess because the kids are getting older the time was just a lot more special for me - they loved looking at the ornaments and Brady was obsessed with the dates I had written on the bottoms of each ornament. They would talk about "last year" and Brady even said "oh mom! Are you going to make those delicious chocolate covered pretzels again this year?!" It's so fun to see that the simple traditions I've been trying to make happen are actually...happening! My kids have good memories of Christmas...and that makes my heart sing.
Trinity got to place the star on the top of the tree...Brady was sure to "call it" for next year.
And then some homemade hot chocolate with miniature marshmallows, a gingersnap or two and some Christmas M&Ms followed by a story read by daddy - and our night was a family success.