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Friday, December 14, 2012

Piper mountain 2012

Two weeks ago we got our Christmas tree and I finally got around to posting about it.

We made our annual trip to Piper Mountain Christmas tree farm where we have been going since before the girls were born, in those early days of coupleship where we were all about making memories and traditions to build a family on.  It is kind of funny to look back on the starry-eyed two of us then and glance through these pictures. 

Sometimes I really do have to pause and celebrate the fact that we created the life we wanted back then.  Of course, we didn't know about the infinite scope of motherhood or the actual commitment having children would be (no one ever does), but we envisioned a world filled with laughter, annual traditions, holidays full of joy, hugs, kisses and small hands fitted into larger ones down the dirt road of life.

We had no idea about the sibling fighting ("She looked at me meanly!"), the whining ("WHY can't I get another toy at Target even though I just got one last week?!") or the incessant worry (ER visits, compromised airways and emotional sensitivity crisis.)

It is a really good thing that on most days the love and sparkle outweigh the heartache or headache.  But let's be honest, some days it's not by much.

I am so amazed by how big and amazing the girls are right now.  I often find myself saying, "5 and 8! Great ages!" just like I did about 4 and 7 (3 and 6 was pretty great too but a willful 3-year-old will go miles toward lining your face).  But NOW if they would just slow up I would appreciate it.


Sandi's our designated family woodswoman.
There was a mini lesson about the age of the tree from it's rings.  It sounded like this.  Me: "Hey girls, look at that! You can tell how old a tree is by looking at its rings when you cut it."  Then we all stared and breathed in the pine smell for a beat.  Sandi: "Yes, let's actually count them.  It looks like this tree is ___ years old."  (I can't remember what she came up with.  Is it one year per ring and do you count the outside? So is this tree 7?  I try not to lead the kids astray.)

Then inside we go for homemade donuts, hot apple cider and the annual selection of one ornament per girl.  We label their ornaments and keep them in separate boxes (along with the ones they got when they were babies) and they love to decorate the tree with their own ornaments.  And the NEVER fight over who has more.   
 For Maya it was an overwhelming selection to make.  She stood paralyzed by indecision for quite some time.    We finally had to count it back for her:  "We need to leave in 4 minutes.  We need to leave in 3 minutes.  You have 2 more minutes to find one."  Otherwise I'm pretty sure we'd still be there now.

Then home to string some lights!  I actually love when Thanksgiving is early because it means that we get to have Christmas decorations up for an extra week.  Both Sandi and I love the glow of lights in the living room at night.  It is a great counterbalance to the 4:30 darkness that descends on December in Maine. 

Again, there is only one woman for this job.

Impromptu "snow" angels on the living room floor.
Completely of her own volition, Ella decided to give gifts to each of us.  The night before my mom had helped her get them wrapped and organized.  I guess she was going to wait for Christmas but it was only December 2 and Christmas was interminably far away. 

(For the record I was SO SO proud of Ella for this.  Spontaneous giving is something I have hoped to see in her and hadn't yet.)

Maya got a cool bag that Ella had received from the prize box at school.  Sandi got a Santa game where you have to turn a disc to get the bead in the whole.  I got a chapstick with a bracelet.   She had done such a good job with what she had.

Always our favorite.

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