this past december, we really, really missed the pure magic of christmastime in london. but we did find some pretty great christmassyness here in utah.
when we got back from arizona, we took down our thankful tree. i had to take some closeup pictures before throwing that treasure away!
but it definitely needed to go … because it was time for a new kind of tree to be in the living room!!
we picked out a christmas tree from someone’s front yard – for generations this family has been cutting trees from the mountains and selling trees from outside their front door.
the boys were very into these grinch and cindy-lou photo opps that were among the rows of pines.
we eventually found a winner!
and then immediately got to work decorating it in a corner of our very undecorated (not even any furniture!) living room.
very exciting indeed. next up was letters for santa!
and putting up the stockings. and of course stocking up on lots of candy cane joe-joe’s (ian and i are both obsessed – we used to have to pretty intensely ration a couple boxes my mom would send to us in london … now we can get as many as we want and just gorge!! haha.)
meanwhile, at our favourite place ever – the provo rec center – moses made enough progress in swimming lessons that he was able to start jumping off the waterfall “diving platform.” he was soooo into it and completely fearless and would barrel off of that thing dozens of times in a row. i was so proud that he could confidently get to the side of the pool with a combination of front and back strokes!
our playroom couches came! and that room has become our colourful happy place at home!
we covered all the walls in the art room with moses and gabriel’s creations and needed to make room for new ones. so we took photos with each of the four walls and then picked out our very favourites to keep and recycled the rest!
evie was constantly standing up in and climbing out of her high chair in december (and she still is as i write this in march…).
we went to the christkindlmarkt at this is the place park in salt lake. we were a little wary about going to a wannabe european christmas market after having visited the most famous, charming and incredible markets in germany, austria, switzerland, denmark, etc. we weren’t sure if it would make us nostalgic or depressed, ha! while it certainly wasn’t nuremburg or copenhagen, i thought it was really well done and pretty darn magical.
gabriel was really into writing follow-up notes to santa claus… (“can you bring me lollipops?”)
a warm-ish afternoon at the playground – happy babies in swings:
we attended our ward christmas party, and the big man made an appearance. the kids were excited to sit on his knee (such an american thing; they’ve always sat or stood next to him in the uk) and have a little chat.
a snapshot from moses’s school (self-portrait on art day!) and from gabriel’s school (show-and-tell when he brought in a christmas tree craft we made at home):
finally getting the kids’ books organised, and a lego play date with a new neighbour friend!:
auggie working on different physical therapy exercises:
we went to luminaria at thanksgiving point. christmas light trials are a big thing in england, and this was the closest thing we could find to that here in utah. it was really pretty awesome, too. the boys were so excited and we had a great time seeing all kinds of different light displays.
the kids and i spent one full-day (played hooky with school) at my sister saydi’s house. my sister saren came down from ogden and met us there and the three of us sisters (missing our shawni in arizona!) dipped chocolates and assembled neighbour/teacher gifts. the kids played and watched christmas movies and napped. it was so much fun – such a huge treat to just spend the whole day with my sisters. saydi even made us a really fancy and delicious lunch, which we ate by candlelight and talked. what a joy!
august started therapy with the provo early intervention program. they come to our house for appointments, which felt like such an upgrade after taking having to find childcare for the other kids and drive auggie fifteen minutes away to his appointments. peip had a little christmas party that we were invited to so i took moses and the babies (gabriel was in preschool). mo was so thrilled about the balloon artist (and requested batman) and another quick visit with santa (under that beard and costume is auggie’s awesome physical therapist!).
*s*n*o*w* finally came in the middle of december. there was a great big storm resulting in several inches of snow on the ground and it was very exciting for all of us.
the world is so, so beautiful when blanketed in fresh snow! we started getting some pretty awesome icicles on our house, too!
i was eager to take the boys sledding – for their first time ever – but wasn’t sure how to do it with the babies in tow and no other adult to help out. we figured out a spot where the bottom of the hill ran into a paved path and crossed our fingers that august and eve would be happy watching from the bottom, strapped in the buggy. it worked! and although we quickly realised we needed proper snow gear, we had a blast! the boys were fearless and thrilled.
daddy joined us just as the sun was starting to set, and the mountains started glowing!
the sunset unfolded as we drove home and it was spectacular – the whole sky glowing, the whole world glowing … and sparkling too with all that new snow. a gorgeous, gorgeous moment in time (that i had a hard time capturing!).
to be continued – i started putting all our december/christmastime photos in one post and it’s just too many 🙂