Sunday, December 28, 2008

christmas magic

There is no more magical time than Christmas. I love everything about Christmas. Everything.

The week of Christmas began with a weekend of snow...lots of it. Jim couldn't get enough of his new toy, The Snowblower. He could not wait to get out and "blow some snow around" as he and Soren kept saying all weekend.

The snow just kept coming down...all weekend long.

Even church was cancelled (partially), so we watched the snow come down in our fancy church clothes.

But it did finally stop...with about 2 feet of it everywhere.

Anna Clara was ready -- with some help from daddy who put her coat over her snowsuit ...but left it unzipped...hmmm....kinda defeats the purpose of the double jacket layer....

Our house was decked out and ready for the magical white Christmas....

Jim's neighbors from Wisconsin made the wooden deer for us, and Jim rigged up the shiny nose. Our house definitely stood out as the most well lit of all houses on the block (which, of course, was Jim's intent).

Then came Christmas Eve. Finally.

Santa "sleighed" by behind a fire truck with a police escort. No matter how busy he is on Christmas Eve, he always makes time to wave to all the kidlings in the neighborhood just before he delivers presents around the world. How does he do it?

And then...all the magical Christmas Eve traditions.

Setting out the cookies, carrots, cheese, sugar, milk -- and writing (and cutting, since Soren cuts every single drawing he creates) Santa's note.

And...last, but certainly not least, the reading of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.

The stockings I made were hung by the chimney with care....

The magical tree that Jim cut down in our back yard right before we all went to bed....

Christmas morning!!

The final gifts to open -- the stockings:

One more tradition to be added in our new home of New Hampshire, the "Polar Plunge". The Saturday after Christmas. 8am. Strip down. Walk, run, scream, yelp, into the ocean. The very, very, very, very cold ocean. It was about 40 degrees outside and about 44 degrees in the ocean. Don't let anyone try to convince you that's "warm".

It's not.

Just ask Jim.

The "invigorated" group.

I hope the magic of Christmas invigorated you this year!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

ice, ice baby!

I can't procrastinate any longer...I took a million pictures of The Ice Storm and I've had a very tough time deciding which to include so I've been procrastinating my blog entry. And...of course there was that little, week-long power outage we had. Yes, that put a bit of a glitch in my mile-long holiday to-do list. I finally had to take this dang blog entry off my list and just get it done! So here is my version of The Ice Storm of 2008:
What we saw out our front window (the pine trees in front are completely decapitated):

What we saw out our back window:

It was like a literal neighborhood ice-land:

Every branch, every needle, every blade of grass, every leaf, EVERYthing was covered in ice:

So much so that most couldn't carry the weight of so much:

Unlike our poor neighbors across the street, we were lucky and only lost two trees (a pine and a birch):

But with destruction, there comes beauty:

And an afternoon snack:

And yes, there was that week-long power outage:

(note candles, flashlights, battery-powered radio and coolers -- all bare minimum necessities for a power outage, just as an fyi)

Since Jim and I wanted to keep from killing each other and our lil ones, we decided it was best that I take the kidlings to New York City to stay at my parents' place. A house that is 35ยบ inside with no tv, internet or any way of cooking a meal for a week with a 2 and 4 year old would probably test the strongest of families, don't you think? Well, that's what we thought. So I took off for my fave city at Christmas, and this is what we saw:
Central Park

Museum of Natural History (with a skating rink that was NOT made of ice!)

Rockefeller Center

Radio City Music Hall

across from Radio City

And, how could we resist, Santa at Macy's

So no, the ice storm didn't exactly put a damper on our Christmas spirit, but it definitely made for some scrambling to catch up on baking, card sending, cleaning, laundering, and general daily maintenance of our lives this week before Christmas. Not to mention all of the Christmas parties and school festivities that were cancelled -- all of which were to be Soren's first. Oh well. There are going to be many more to come to make up for it I'm sure! (We also lost all six of our fish from our saltwater tank. So very sad...and so very expensive to replace....!)

Ok, so now I can check this entry off my list.... But I haven't even mentioned the 2 feet of snow that has piled up outside just this weekend, with oh so many more pictures to go along with it! Nobody can ever say a winter in New England is "boring".