To say this December has been a little busy would be the understatement of the century—so busy, in fact, that it has made May, the month that historically has done our family in, look like a vacation. On the beaches of a Caribbean island. It was busy with many fun things, of course, and a few decidedly not-fun things (dental trauma for Matt and Maddie + a visit to Urgent Care on December 23 for me, Merrrrrrrrry Christmas). My plan to be ahead of the game this year was working really well through November and into the first few days of December, but the calendar that literally had 3-4 extra things per day in some instances shut that plan down quickly.
A few highlights from some of the pictures here:
+ going to the Christmas House at Hereford Ranch with friends
+ introducing myself to former WY first lady Sheri Geringer who was working at the Christmas House (you may remember I met her husband, former WY governor Jim Geringer, while dressed as Cat in the Hat some ten+ years ago); I told her how thrilled Maddie was to have a certificate issued after her birth that she signed, and she seemed genuinely thrilled to hear that
+ annual gingerbread party at Olivia's
+ buying our tree at Riverbend for the 6th time
+ live music while decorating the tree
+ touring the Historic Governor's Mansion with my parents, then visiting City News after
+ ordering the full Blu-Ray Harry Potter box set with extras from the UK Amazon store for under $50 USD, shipped
+ special projects for Big Picture Classes, wrapping up the Take Twelve Project for Ella Publishing Co. (more on that next week!)
+ Christmas programs at Maddie's and Gracie's schools
+ Operation Provide Joy
+ visiting our favorite Christmas lights
+ Maddie's mini-recital at her piano teacher's house (and getting to play two duets with her!)
+ chocolate-covered cherry making (over 150 this year total, whew)
+ Tuba Christmas with Abby and Wes
+ the joy of Christmas surprises: Captain John Smith and Ursula, requested by Bridget from Santa Claus
+ the joy of Christmas surprises: books and a box of chocolate, requested by Maddie from Santa Claus
+ the joy of Christmas surprises: a new dress and some accessories for Kaya (Gracie didn't really request anything from Santa Claus so it was a general surprise this year)
+ Hogwarts Express! We've had a lot of fun playing trains this week.
+ beautiful handmade dolls from Abby and Wes (only one pictured here)
+ contentment and downtime after Christmas—while I love the hustle and bustle (to some extent) of December, I found myself really hanging on for the week after Christmas this year. With almost nothing on the calendar, we've mostly stayed in jammies for extended mornings, worked on recovering from the year in general and illness in particular, and hung out with each other. It's been wonderful.
It's a little frightening to consider that this doesn't even cover half of what went on around here this month ; )