Wednesday, November 30, 2022

'Tis the damn season

Halloween is done, Thanksgiving is done, and it is officially the damn Christmas season. I am going to fully enjoy this month, that's all there is to it. I feel like I haven't really loved the last few years of the holidays and I think it is stress and being broke. I mean, I still have stress and I am still broke, but I feel  so much more organized this year. I wish I could share with you the gift tracking system I came up with this year but alas.... I'm not trying to spoil anyone's gifts. Obviously. 

I can share that we are fully decorated! All of our trees are up this year, we have the kid artwork tree in our front porch, the red/white/green tree in the dining room, our big tree, and then the tree in my office. Which, honestly, I think I might keep it up. All year. Is that crazy? It kind of feels crazy but I also kind of love it. 

Isn't she a beaut? It's just so cozy and happy when its really the only lights on in here, and it's just happy. 
Also, can I brag on my son? If you know Jackson, you know that he really got into crocheting last year but he's really gotten good at it. He keeps trying new projects and after some encouragement (and harrassment), he finally made me a Yip Yip Alien. Honestly, if you don't know who the Yip Yip Aliens were, I don't know that we can even be friends, because there were the hit of Sesame Street in the 80s and I don't care what anyone says. #yipyips4life But isn't it the freaking cutest?! 

Let's talk about our family's new ornaments! If you're new here, every year we have new ornaments join our hod podge big tree in our living room and they have to be related to something to that year. 
We actually had quite a few this year, so that was fun. First one was the gondola from Lutsen Mountain, where Matt and I went to this fall to see the fall colors. It was a fun date for us, definitely a highlight of the year for me. 
OK, this one technically isn't a memory of the year, but it's an acrylic cutout of Lake Superior, which is basically our backyard. It's just super pretty that it only seemed right we have it on our tree. 
This summer we took a quick summer trip with our friends to Brainerd, MN and we went to Paul Bunyan Land, which was a fun weekend away. 
Way back in March, Olivia and I went on a fantastic trip so I picked up ornaments on all of our major stops, so here was Ellis Island, 
the Empire State Building, 

Mount Vernon (George Washington's house), 
the Statue of Liberty, 
and just the monuments in Washington, D.C. I will have to find new ones because I'm going on the same trip with Jackson this spring, but I'm excited for it. 
Olivia went to a Van Gogh art experience this year and she got me an ornament for my birthday, and it's so pretty. 
Oh yes, and we didn't get to go into the 9/11 Memorial (sadly, I really wanted to go through it and see all of the things and learn more), but we did get to see the exterior and the memorial fountain. 
Earlier in the year Olivia went to Boston to compete for Harvard Model U.N. and she brought home an ornament. 
Isn't it so fun? Each of the kids has their own box that has the ornament they pick out themselves each year, which can be anything they choose. We always have a good time picking them out but even more fun unpacking them each year and trying to remember why they picked it. Someday though, they will grow up and move away but they'll have an entire box of special ornaments to take with them to their homes. I will be sad to not see these year after year though, I can't lie. 
Also, has anyone had experience with a cat who had pink eye? What about a cat who has pink eye in both eyes? I have had cats almost my entire life and never once have I had one with pink eye, but our newest cat, Pickles, has somehow gotten pink eye in both eyes. He's a hot damn mess and I feel like him having pink eye is the most logical way to end the year for us. It just seems pretty on brand for the Strands. 

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