As usual for weekends in December, we were crazy busy, but had a wonderful time. My approach to December Daily this year is based on the idea that each "story" gets a page and each day gets at least one story (but more are welcome!) This weekend each day had more than one story so off I went to make additional cards for the extra stories!
First, we went to Pirate Gingerbread Story time at the Myriad gardens at the last minute. (Ok, fine, I got the time wrong and the older kids and I made a made dash out the door). After the story, the kids decorated pirate gingerbread men and we roamed the gardens looking at the train and beautiful decorations.
Doing many different things as part of this one story made me want to include multiple pictures so I made these flaps by adhering the images with washi tape.
There are four pictures and this one blank spot that I may fill with another photo or some pretty Christmas paper later, but for now it is just blank. We finished up this morning fun with some time at the playground. It felt oddly just like old times for just the three of us to be on an outing, but every once in awhile I'd have this moment of panic that we'd left E somewhere. The weather is chilly and the kids now wanted to make gingerbreadmen so they could decorate some more. This, of course, necessitated a stop at the spice store to replace the cloves I'd trashed during the great spice cabinet clean out this fall. The store was so busy, but great fun and I'm happy it is thriving.
This is the story of our Gingerbread Cookie making. Brendan just adores gingerbread cookies so I caved and made cut out cookies even though I'm usually averse. We had a great time. One key was we each only decorated one cookie that night and then could do more as needed the following day so no one got sick of it. I use the recipe by Nancy Baggatt from the All-American Cookie book and it is so rich in spice and flavor. We love it.
We have been several times and it is becoming a tradition. The parade is pretty short, but the kids love it. This year, as usual, it featured bands, old cars, a few horses, military vehicles, fire truck, electric trucks, and a float or two all decked out in Christmas lights. M loved it and now SO wants to be in a parade. E enjoyed it snuggled in his Moby wrap, which was sweet. B liked it, but, as every year, got impatient with the waiting.
Sunday was another day bursting with activity. We finished up preparations for the day while hanging out with Grandma. She headed to the shop and we went to brunch at the Shartel Cafe with the Wainrights and Palfreymans. It was great fun, chaos, and lots of love as our families merged, laughed, and ate together. Then, we took the whole crew to the spice shop. Some families took turns shopping with kids asleep in the store. The rest of us braved the fun together. Eventually, we handed out smart phones when the playing got a little wild. It was so fun to shop together and share some of my favorites and all the joy of being together.
Last, but not remotely least, were the weekend's paties. B and Brent went to his friend J's sixth birthday party at bouncin' craze in Edmond. (Which of course there are no pictures of...) M, E, and I headed to the "Tompound" (Tom & Emily's house in Norman) for the annual cookie exchange. Their house is big and has a wonderful play area outside making it the perfect venue for our crew and its ever growing number of children! It was a loud, but very happy party. My friend and photographer Heather was there working and playing so I'll wait for her photos, if any, of either of the kids with Santa and layer them on top of this page of E and his buddies Tracie & Bethany. E was very chill about snuggling with Santa or anyone else. M was a bit more shy. Ultimately, I convinced her to stand in front of him and maybe say a few words. Mostly she wanted the candy :) Later she was so worried that she'd only told him she wanted a doll and not the other things on her list. (For the record, besides a large Cinderella doll, she wants a small pink bear, an orange, a candy cane, and maybe some other candy--- totally can do and awesome.... her older brother's list is much longer and more complicated. Sigh).
Finally, we packed up our treats and headed home. I had a wonderful weekend. In part from working at home alone I really miss getting to be with grownups and just talk. It was wonderful to have the time with our friends, make memories with our kids, and celebrate it all together.