Sunday, November 27, 2011


I am not sure if the wonder of spending a November day at the beach will ever wear off. While it demands for a little more effort to make the holidays feel familiar, it allows for freedom that snow, cold and gray takes away. Instead of snow men, we build sand castles. We substitute snow angels for sand angels. And we dig our toes into cool sand verses bundling them up from ice.

I love how Breiden's bathing suit tag covers his little but crack from showing, or how Gavin's idea of the perfect beach outfit was a hockey jersey, swim trunks and tennis shoes with no socks. I love how Fiona loves the sand. I love that the majority of my kids memories with my family involves the beach. And I love that pictures like these consume our photos.

But there is no denying that the holiday feel doesn't come naturally down here. Lucky for my kids, I love a good challenge. And lucky for me, I have had a few years to perfect and add on to what traditions I want for our family before my kids start remembering holiday memories. Things such as picking out the perfect tree from the tent at Lowes. Decorating the tree with me and hanging lights outside with Dad. Baking Christmas sugar cookies using my childhood friend's mom's recipe. Going for late night neighborhood walks to look for lights. And this years new tradition, Ryan the Elf. The Elf on the Shelf has arrived at the Blaeske home. I love you, my little magic elf that keeps my kids in line.

The whole process of turning our house festive for Christmas, decorating, rearranging, crafting, is the kick off. Its the first time the Christmas station gets turned on, the holiday books get pulled out and I get the itch for some Frosty, or Rudolf, or Santa Clause is Coming to Town to be playing on our TV. The Little Drummer Boy is the boys favorite right now.

 It was a nice twist to have my sister here with us to pick out our tree this year. Normally, she is just here to enjoy it in its glory- lighted, decorated, and surrounded by gifts. This year, well miss her as she is in Mexico for Christmas, but we got to enjoy her being here for this. 

Unfortunately, we had to say our good byes from there. So Shel, here is what you missed.

 Fiona puckers for kisses now. Well, depending on her mood, sometime she puckers, sometime you get an open mouth, and other times she just leans in. The pucker is my favorite.

Now, the season is here. Even if it doesn't feel or look like it outside, my house is filled with the smell of pine and lighted with the glow of the Christmas lights, and that sure feels like Christmas to me.

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