Saturday, February 1, 2014


That foofy Valentine's Day is a comin' which means it's time to recap Christmas.

This year, for the first time, we went to Lights in the Park: "St. Paul’s Phalen Park is transformed into a fantasy of lights and color. More than 50 larger-than-life holiday sculptures and animated displays bring the season to life." Basically for 10 bucks, we got to experience the likes of the Hollidazzle parade from the warmth of our SUV. We even let Maci bounce from her car seat up to sit on my lap, front and center. We took our time, listened to the CD of local artists we bought at the gate and took turns naming our favorite displays. Maci was delighted and it was priceless just to watch her reactions. We were able to capture some on video, however, the best photo we got was with our iPhone, behind the windshield. It's not much but it's something to remember the experience by … although it's definitely something we'll do again, especially because I'm pretty sure Ivy schnoozed through the entire thing.

Next up was the girls' school Christmas concert. I managed to record almost the entire show on my DSLR, until the battery died, literally moments before Santa handed Maci her present. #parentfail In any case, as one might guess, the concert was the cutest thing! I'm pretty sure neither of them sang, but what does it matter when you have reindeer antlers and/or furry white boots? Again with the iPhone photo…

Then, of course, there was the visit with the big guy. It needs no explanation. In this case, the picture is worth every one of it's 1,000 words. Yin and yang.

I'm pretty sure this doesn't follow chronologically but somewhere along the lines, as is the tradition in our house, we ventured out for the DeBoer family Christmas tree! (I mentally picture Chevy Chase each and every single time I say that.) It was the coldest day we had had up to that point and our moments outside were bundled up and brief. This year Maci Mae picked out the tree and the hubby cut it down. While the awesome volunteers of Hampton Hills Tree Farm shook, wrapped, hoisted and tied down the small but mighty pine, Shawn took Maci to check out Santa, his sleigh and his, um … mules. (The reindeer must've had the day off.) Her feelings against Santa held strong but as per usual, she was enamored with the "horses." It's pretty much what she talked about the whole way home.

That night we got the bad boy up in the house but I believe it wasn't until the following weekend that we actually had time to decorate it. This being Maci's first year helping we weren't sure what she'd think but we knew she was big and bad into an "I do!" phase so we figured, at the least, she'd adapt. And adapt she did – she was a pro and was very proud of herself every time she hung an ornament, right beside each other. It very vividly reminded me of one of the first times Ty helped decorate the family tree when I was growing up and after he hung red ball by red ball by red ball, Dad took a picture and told the rest of us we were not to move them or rearrange them in any way because that's where Ty wanted them so that's where they were going to stay. It took some strength to shut off the OCD in me (then and now) but I left every single one where she put it because that's where she wanted them so that's where they were going to stay. And it did nothing but make me smile. In the end, we had the cutest darn tree you ever did see with the cutest ornament clusters this side of Ruggles. I can only imagine what another year and another little helper will bring…

Christmas Eve rolled around and while we had hoped to take the girls sledding, like we did with Maci last year, it was just too darn cold. We did get in some Grinch-watching and present-opening though so it wasn't completely without it's tradition. After the girls discovered their Christmas jammies, we fancied up and headed to church. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, we did not get a photo of the girls in their outfits so I'll just have to record it here: they both wore grey sweater dresses with pink stockings. No, they were not identical … but they did coordinate. My favorite part about this service was and always is when we sing Silent Night. There is something simply magical about a mass of people, faces lit only by candlelight, singing in unison and at the end, a cappella. Without fail, it always leaves me in tears. Good tears …

I know the photo above is blurry but Maci's expression is spot-on. And while the eldest Obi-Wan went the conventional route of opening, our youngest Jedi was apparently just banking on the force … of her gaze. And you can't see it but she dawned her Star Wars onesie just for the occasion.

Christmas morning! The girls were up, like clockwork, around 6am and we groggily made our way to the living room and the chaos that was Kris Kringle's visit. There were half-eaten cookies, empty glasses of milk, stockings full of stuffers, an art easel, a sled, a tunnel, a tent … it was awesome madness. We slowly but surely made our way through Santa's gifts and to the beautifully wrapped boxes under the tree. Even though this was the first year we feared fairness, the only little comment Maci made was declaring (not necessarily negatively) that Ivy was opening a big box and she was opening a little box. She claimed everything as hers anyway and Ivy enjoyed the wrapping paper more then anything else so it all worked out in the end.

It was a very relaxed day as we had plans to go absolutely no where. We watched some Toy Story (for Mr. Potato Head context of course), napped, ate, played games with Gma and Papa and really soaked in the complete and utter lack of a schedule. Nothing like a fireplace, family and fuzzy jammies to help you celebrate your first Christmas as a family of four!


  1. What a great group of photos to grace your wonderful memories. I do love your blogs and watching your family grow. Thanks for letting me be parts of it. love always cous'

    1. Thanks for coming along on our ride!



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