Tis the season to be jolly

Yep, I'm feeling pretty jolly right about now.  This feeling has nothing to do with the mulled wine I consumed a few hours ago or the vast quantities of cookies I devoured.  Honest!  Rather I feel content knowing that we are spending time with family, enjoying the excitement of our children's anticipation of Christmas day and finally realizing that there is nothing left to do other than play Santa Claus. 

I have tried to keep this holiday season fairly low key.  I haven't spent hours in crowded malls, felt the pressure to create a perfectly decorated home, nor have I found myself staying up late to ice that last batch of mocha frosted drops.  I did fail to find a pink horsey for my lil bug (mainly because I decided to pass on buying into the mass marketed my little pony or large stuffed unicorns).  Hopefully the cute brown stuffed Ty Beanie baby horse along with a horse book will be a sufficient substitute.  

Despite my attempts to be calm and relaxed I have had my testy moments with the kids and my spouse at times.  I have lost my patience and have been pretty tough on my monkey boy.  Hopefully he and I can weather through our battle of wills and continue to find special snuggle times to help us through his growth in independence and bossy tendencies. 

I honestly tried to keep up my family advent calendar.  The days however started to blend and like any good cookie were quickly consumed in a brief memorable moment of pleasure.  The last days of our family advent calendar were filled with decorating sugar cookies, creating tree decorations, tobogganing down a small hill at the farm, having a bubble bath and making a play fort/castle/house using a table and old bedding.  

Other than our trip to Heritage Park and our family snowball fight, the highlight event from the advent calendar was trimming the tree we had chopped down from a stretch of forest in the foothills west of my in-laws homestead.  Thankfully our tree-hunting expedition took place in late November since the last few days have been bitterly cold (as in -25 degrees celsius with a windchill of -30 or so) and there is no way I wanted to be in isolated country hunting the roadside for a suitable specimen to drag home. 

Today was fun.  A chinook wind blew in stirring up the snow, causing blustery conditions on the roads but heralding warmer temperatures.  We managed to go outside twice today.  The second time provided an opportunity to ride my father-in-law's new snowmobile.  It was so much fun!!  I love speed!  Monkey boy went on a quick run with J and lil bug ventured out with her grandpa (who can do no wrong).  

We had a nice super of chicken wings, rice, broccoli, veggies and dip and sweets.  The kids had a great time playing kitchen.  My father-in-law drew a stove top onto a large box and my mother-in-law located a vast array of kid's cups, saucers,  and other various kitchen paraphernalia for them to use.  We ended the day with setting out a cup of water and orange for Santa as well as 8 slices of apple for the reindeer.  The kids received matching monster truck pajamas from their grandparents and crawled into bed, excited but not overly bursting at the seams. 

I'm looking forward to tomorrow.  I've promised myself to relax and enjoy the moments.  I also want to find more moments with my honey like this: