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Thursday, December 18, 2014

25 Days of Christmas - Day 18

25 Days of Christmas - Day 18

This weekend, we went shopping for a Christmas tree at the nursery that's located just down the road from our house. As you can see, they have a huge amount of trees. You could barely walk around!

Tree love.

Normally we would buy nothing more than a 6 foot tree, but this year, we went big.

Is this the one?

Here's Lauren and Mark deciding if this is the one.

Yep, this is the one.

Yep, this is the one.

Stuff it.

The only problem is how to stuff a 7+ foot tree into a MINI Cooper Clubman. The irony of this is that we just recently purchased a brand new Subaru Forrester that would have easily contained this mammoth tree, but we didn't want to go back home and exchange cars for fear someone would claim our tree.

Obviously, I got the short end of the stick.

Lauren wasn't thrilled about squeezing into the 6 inch space left in the backseat, so took one for the team and let her sit up front since we were traveling just a short distance. I guess you could say that I got the short end of the stick. *rim shot*


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

25 Days of Christmas - Day 17

 25 Days of Christmas - Day 17

I'm so exhausted that I almost didn't post today, even though I had photos all lined up. We started the day by finding that our tree fell over. Luckily, we hadn't decorated it yet, but there were pine needles all over the living room.

 Baskets of greenery.

After a full day of work, I went grocery shopping, came home and made dinner, helped Lauren work on a project for school, and then made home made hot chocolate and wrapped gifts to bring to tomorrow's Girl Scout meeting. Everyday between now and the day after Christmas is looking just as full.

 Giant pine cones.

Anyway, these are some photos that I took around our local nursery where we bought the tree that fell over. I'll reveal the actual tree in a future post.

All tied up.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

25 Days of Christmas - Day 16

25 Days of Christmas - Day 16

On Sunday, we made gingerbread houses. Okay, technically they are graham cracker houses.

 Hard at work.

It's not easy, and it takes a lot of patience.

 Under construction.

It also makes a big mess.

My husband's gingerbread house.

But the results are worth it. My house is the one at the top of the post. This one is Mark's. He likes to re-create the real house that we live in.

My daughter's gingerbread house.

And this one is Lauren's. She really outdid herself this year!


Monday, December 15, 2014

25 Days of Christmas - Day 15

25 Days of Christmas - Day 15

Just a quick one today. It's hard to believe that I've been doing the 25 Days of Christmas for four years, and I've never taken a photo of our neighbor's giant moose made of lights. I remember years ago, before we moved to this house, driving past it and thinking, "Is that a MOOSE?!"  Little did I know that I would someday have the honor of living across the street from it. My neighbors don't switch him on every night, so I took advantage of the opportunity to finally capture him for posterity.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

25 Days of Christmas - Day 14

 25 Days of Christmas - Day 14

We did *lots* of Christmasing today. We built gingerbread houses and picked out our live tree. I took photos of both of these events, but however, I was short on time tonight and didn't have a chance to go through and edit them. So those will have to wait until later this week.

 Wintery apothecary jar.

In the meantime, here are some cheery, wintery apothecary jars that Lauren and I made these last weekend. I follow Martha Stewart on Facebook and happened to catch this project. It takes a lot "snow" to cover the bottom, and my jars aren't nearly as big as Martha's. Poor Mark had to go out twice to get us a big box of salt.

Cheery and bright.

And bonus - they light up! This is where Martha comes in. She's selling small strings of battery operated lights at Home Depot. They're kind of pricey ($7 each), but they are nice and even have three different lighting options. They're the same lights I used on the Eiffel Tower, so I got some extra mileage out of them.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

52 Weeks of 2014 - Week 50

52 Weeks of 2014 - Week 50

I'm not sure how this is week 50, but I double checked and there are now 50 photos in my project album. So I guess that Christmas week will be the last week of the project.

Mark opening Lauren's presents.

Anyway, today we celebrated Mark's birthday. Here he is opening one of Lauren's presents. She was very insistent that she give him two gifts.

Mark's 41st birthday cake.

As has become tradition, we also celebrated with a cake from Jean-Marc Chatellier's bakery. I didn't order one in advance, but we got lucky because we stopped there about an hour before closing time and they had this one sitting alone in an otherwise empty case. It's a little bit smaller than the one that we usually order (Which is really big), but it was perfect for just the three of us.

Card Lauren made for Mark's birthday.

Lastly, here's the awesome homemade card that Lauren made. Ever since we went on the chicken coop tour, Mark has been talking about getting some chickens, and I'm sure Lauren is dropping a subtle hint here that she wouldn't mind having some pet chickens herself. As a side note, she's been practicing drawing a lot lately and is really getting good at it!

25 Days of Christmas - Day 13

25 Days of Christmas - Day 13

Ugh - I'm so annoyed. Usually the weekend is my time to get caught up on photography, but today was so dark and gloomy, I couldn't shoot any of the photos that I had planned. So I had to used one of my stockpiled photos for today. I think I only have one left in reserve! Hopefully, we get some sunshine tomorrow. This is going to be a busy week and I don't know if I'll have time to shoot in the evenings (Not to mention that I'm getting kind of tired of doing shots like this one!).

By the way, can you believe that we are half way to Christmas already? This month is flying by!

Friday, December 12, 2014

25 Days of Christmas - Day 12

25 Days of Christmas - Day 12

I took a few photos last weekend so I could be working a few days ahead and have some shots with natural light instead of flash. This comes in handy for evenings like tonight when we went out shopping and then came home and watched Elf.

In the end, I decided not to dye the large white bottle brush trees because they look so nice grouped together on the new mantel that Mark just installed in the family room.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

25 Days of Christmas - Day 11

25 Days of Christmas - Day 11

Typically when I make a photo like this, I have to remove every little spec of dust (and usually pet hair) from the background. Since gum drops are quite sugary, there are granules all over the this. I started the painstaking process of removing them, but then I decided, "Who cares?" and I stopped. *That* is progress. I think I'll use the the time I gained back to watch some holiday tv.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

25 Days of Christmas - Day 10

25 Days of Christmas - Day 10

This is inspired by the conversation that we had with Lauren last night. She is almost 10 now, so naturally, she has questions about Santa Claus. She said that many of her friends think that it's really their parents that put presents under the tree (One friend said that Santa's handwriting looks just like her grandma's, so Mark teased Lauren that he was going to stay up all night on Christmas Eve to see if her friend's grandma would visit our house and eat the cookies.).

She pleaded with us to tell her if that was the truth because she had to know if she needed to put the presents under the tree for her future children and if they didn't get any presents, it would be our fault for not telling her - lol. Far be it from us to deprive our future grandchildren! So we promised to tell her the truth on Christmas Eve. But for now, I told her that Santa is as real as me and her dad. :)